Once upon a time, I used to write whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. There was no planning involved. I just posted stuff straight up.
Then I added editors to the site, and things got a little more complicated. People were posting willy nilly and suddenly you'd have five posts in an hour, and nothing for the next two or three, and some editors would get annoyed to see their work bumped quickly by something else. Sometimes, we'd have three people working on the same story not knowing they would inevitably step on each other. It was chaotic.
So we started coordinating when posts would run. And eventually, that evolved into the queue system that Daily Kos groups also have these days -- an editor posts something into the queue, and whoever is managing the queue that day decides when it runs.
What that means is that hours can pass between writing a diary and it being published. In an era of instant publishing, we were moving backwards -- toward constantly being late on news story after news story. Furthermore, we have a lot of editors and featured writers (nearly 20), and if someone "claimed" a story, it took away the incentive for the others to also tackle the topic. This site has my name on it, and even I would shy away from hitting a topic I knew one of the other editors would cover.
Little of that made practical sense, so we're changing things up a bit.
Starting Monday, editors will post directly to their blogs, in real time. Those pieces will still end up in the front page queue, so many of them will eventually be promoted to the front page. But the most immediate content will be found in the specific blogs of those editors (including me).
Now there is one major problem we see with this -- those diaries will end up in the recent list. Some of them will make it on the recommended list.
Our intention isn't to clog up those lists and crowd out community written content. We had three options. 1) Not have editor content appear on the recent list, making that content more difficult to find. Right now, everything on the site is going through the recent list. People who like to use that list to find stuff shouldn't be forced to look elsewhere for editor content. 2) Block editor content from appearing on the recommended list, which would normally be okay, but sometimes not. I no longer put meta pieces on the front page. So for example, if we want maximum people to see this announcement, it has to be recommended. Or 3) we create a separate recent box for just editors. I don't like that because it would create yet another gulf between the community and editors. Having all diaries in the same boxes feels more equitable to me. And really, space is at a premium. Where would we put it?
But like everything else, if editors start crowding out the community in the recommended list, we will move quickly (as in within a few hours) to make changes to prevent that from happening.
That said, I will reiterate a point I've made several times before -- people's blogs on Daily Kos can and should be like their blogs anywhere else. There are no restrictions on topics, content, or length so long as they're not violating the broader culture of the site. People can diary a topic that has already been diaried! People can write a one-sentence diary! People can write about non-political topics!
There is no reason to police diaries except for those that are overtly trollish. If you find yourself acting as diary police, it is YOU who are wrong, not the diarist.
So yes, Daily Kos editors (like me) will be writing about topics already diaried, or will be writing short one-liners, or will be writing about things that have nothing to do with politics. And it's going to be okay for us to do it, just like it's okay for you guys to do it.
12:42 PM PT: Oops, I forgot to mention this -- when a diary is promoted to the front page, it is removed from all the lists. So nothing on the front page will clog up any lists.