I think there is a big difference between what works at the beginning as compared with later on (from the *volunteer’s* POV)…
For instance, most people take some time to become valuable contributors (and for good reason: what do they really know at the beginning just how worthy of their time a particular project is, for instance).
So it would be a mistake not to accommodate for that — I think newcomers should be treated differently (they need to get the feeling that their contributions are *valued* even if they are not necessarily all that valuable…)
And I see a little bit of a problem with this as far as the current NA site goes. I think, at a minimum, all people who made comments (especially if it was their first comment) should have been greeted. If they are not… plenty of them would not bother commenting again… And this probably also affects *potential* contributors that haven’t posted a comment yet (they see what treatment others got and are less likely to post themselves).
re: “A lot of what Asa does amounts to cheerleading for people who are doing things that add value”
and more ...
re: this comment...
Looks good! Don't get discouraged if you don't get a "huge turnout" -- it's just a starting point. I think what's important is that people get the feeling that you are *sincere*... that you'd only suggest projects that you would yourself participate in and (to the extent that it's feasible) are there to provide assistance if needed.
P.S. Feel free to email if you'd like my opinion on anything.
I'd consider adding a chat room to the NA page (I think the immediacy aspect of it would be much more conducive to encouraging people to gather and talk among each other).
It could be a free for all (and see what happens) or much more structured (I'd see if I could get the advisers together for a weekly hourly chat -- maybe a digest of the week's news with an emphasis on stuff relevant to NA -- , on Saturday afternoons for instance).
P.S. Something tells me that could prove to be a very powerful magnet: you, Dan Gilmore, Jeff Jarvis and (maybe) Craig Newmark casually talking about news...
Re: why I said "(maybe) Craig"
Just to clarify. The way I see it, Craig comes with a caveat: you'd *have* to get him to actually TALK (beyond his regular cutesy fare -- that would get boring quick) and I suspect that's not an easy feat. If you can't do that,(my opinion is that) the "chat circle" (you, Dan Gillmor and Jeff Jarvis) would be stronger without him.
Jay, wondering if you think this could work:
# Delia Says:November 14th, 2006 at 2:12 am
Interesting experiment, except the other way around: get 'the internet' to assemble a news portal that ignores newspaper and wire services for 24 hours after their release on the internet and see how well it would or would not work.
P.S. Wondering if NA could test this (just state the premise and invite contributors). You'd probably have to do it for quite some time before you conclude if it could work and how well.
P.P.S. Forgot to mention in that comment that part of the premise would be that they could not use info from the printed version, either (a commenter suggested that could be done).
Second thought: forget about the 24 hour thing (completely ban all info originating with newspapers and wire services)
The point of the experiment would be to test if you can get decent NEWS -- as opposed to opinion based on news already gathered -- without using info that originates with the newspapers or wire services.
Of course, there is plenty of this stuff *somewhere* on the internet... but it's not all (or even lots of it) in one place so I think it's much harder to form a well informed opinion on... say... how would news fare if (God forbid) the newspapers were dead tomorrow...
So if you could get a lot of the people who actually go out and gather news themselves, to at least post a link on a master page connected with NA, I think you'd get a much better idea of what's really going on...
I also think it would probably encourage at least *some* new people (that are not currently going out and gathering news) to at least consider doing so...
P.S. I posted a follow-up comment on the Buzzmachine blog... well... I *tried* to :)... and it appears that Jeff Jarvis "moderated" against it... I don't know why... If there is something not quite right about this idea, don't bother answering (I'll understand). D.