Sometimes a performer loses the crowd – sometimes the crowd needs a curtain call to head towards – giving the artist and audience freedom to enjoy while the performance lasts, knowing that next week there will be another band to fall in love with (or, indeed, to perform in)
At the beginning of the year, when Readers Recommends was going digital only, I believed it was time for a shake up – nothing radical – still the same old nominate / playlist blueprint. But after 5 years a tweak, a refresher, a spruce Bruce with some pick up juice.
Here is what I thought:
As the Guardian already uses the reader generated content formulae – why isn’t it used for Readers Recommends?
Picking 20 songs then cutting and pasting the exact wording from the RR intelligentsia with a minimal amount of interjection from the guru creates a truly readers generated playlist, focusing on the nominations, channeling and inspiring the recommenders.
I don’t want to discount the pithy one liners or the speak for themselves songs (a txt vote is still a vote and those that struggle with their computers or typing are just as valid) – but these would be interjected into the overall feel of the 20.
But this way, I believe, it would come back to the eloquence of the posts and the unwavering enthusiasm that RRers have about their favourite tunes.
10 topic Guru’s:
We all think we have 10 topic’s – right?
Maybe right – maybe wrong – but it’s worth a try.
Cross reference with the Marconium, create your ten – (don’t tell anybody the themes) – and hey presto – for the next 10 weeks you are the Guru.
If people dislike your choices they know the timeline, they can take a break or change tact – but there will always be an end in sight.
The Guardian was requesting European Bloggers for a feature and stated that ‘obviously they’d pay’… well, can that not be the case for this feature? A thousand posts weekly and constantly updated over the weekends must generate a feel good vide from the advertisers.. if any one of us signed up to be Guru, an extra smidgen of pocket money would be most grateful in this age of austerity. Leaving a properly remunerated professional journalists like Jon Dennis to do his fantastic job presenting the daily news podcast. Obviously if a Guardian journalist requested the gig – a ten week curate would be most welcome from them also – the diluting of one overall taste is the ultimate idea and communal ownership the ideal… it wouldn’t be for everyone, but enough of us would enjoy the challenge I’m sure.
There’s no need to radically overhaul the blog – it works – it brings a great deal of pleasure to a large amount of people.
If it was to become reader generated with a (semi) volunteered Guru then I would proposes these tweaks:
*Cut off point returned to midday monday – giving the compiler that little extra time (probably around their family life and normal job)
*Dond lists saved for after the cut off – I love a pat on the back and find seeing regulars parade their taste fascinating. When a few lists were generated it was charming – when the subject was so huge (such as repetition) seeing 60% of posts being thanks or dond lists – it was losing it’s appeal rather rapidly….. having cut out the nominate lists it seems a shame to be taken over by Dond lists.… the Recommend button could be used for it’s proper function during the designated window – (rather than witch hunting) and the Guru could tell the records from the crates.
Jokes, detours, illnesses, recipes and friendly abuse can obviously continue in their stream of consciousness way – just ‘save our dond’ (S.O.D it ’til Monday – possibly)
*Clarify the theme – the professional journalists have sometimes struggled to get their ideas about a theme across.
I propose a statement at the end of the theme blurb from the Guru stating: I will cmd/cntr F (saneshane*) as close to midday Friday** to answer questions arising from this theme.
* name of that weeks guru.
** time able to log on.. (any questions posed before this will be answered as best as possible)
this would aid interaction, distill frustrations and give the Guru a valid reason to raps some knuckles.
..and at midday on the Monday I would post a ‘bloody obvious 10′ just to get them out of the way.
this week is Jon D’s 10th subject – and it’s been a rocky tenure for some (a breeze in the park for others) and having just seen it pop up – it’s a dond theme.
I don’t want him to lose his job – if he was a freelance and not securely on staff – I wouldn’t even propose this..
but what do others think? should Jon D do another 10 playlists helping to get this ideas scratches removed?.. in theory it should be less work: read the recommends.. pick a long list of nominations, then narrow that list down to a personal 20.. cut and past as you go, then organise into the final list…add a few linking segments… job done.
I know it works, because I created articles in the same way before the 5 year anniversary of RR, using all your collective writings, thinking it would be a great way to highlight the deeply ingrained passion of this community.
end of the article questions:
1 – what do you think?
2 – Does it need tweaking?
3 – What are your ideas?
4 – Would you give up ten weeks spare time to act as Guru? (if paid a token amount to take it on)
5 – am I completely out of order and should shut up?
night all – (got to have needles stuck into me in the morning for blood tests).. so better stop drinking.