On “Autodrive”, DeafRead thanks Amy, Elizabeth and Carrie!

Tayler MayerBy Tayler Mayer
Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Today marks the first day DeafRead is on “autodrive”, meaning posts are automatically published to DeafRead without initial human input.

Changing DeafRead’s direction took more code edits than I thought (there is, in fact, a bit more to do). Now retired is the “Extra” section. And yes, it’s official, so are the human moderators.

  • Amy Cohen Efron
  • Elizabeth Gillespie
  • Carrie Gellibrand

Retired from daily moderating duties, that is. I am happy to announce that each of the above, who’s been with DeafRead for almost as long as it’s been in existence, has elected to continue to uphold a role. The capacity that they have agreed to is “adviser”. They will continue to debate and decide the policies on which DeafRead operates. We will continue to listen to the community for input and feedback. A strong form of expression, blogging comes not without responsibility and respect.

Staying on point, the main reason Jared and I wanted to compose this post is to send our utmost gratitude to the human moderators for their hard work over the years. And for staying on board as advisers! It has been wonderful working with them — and look forward to more years!

Now that DeafRead is on “autodrive”, empower yourself to become the moderator. The How-To is on the bottom of this post.

Onto the next chapter in the book of DeafRead.

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DeafRead’s new direction

Tayler MayerBy Tayler Mayer
Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Beginning Monday July 23, 2012, DeafRead will head in a new direction. In keeping with changing times, DeafRead will automatically publish all new posts; meaning they will be moderated no longer.

DeafRead will become like DeafVIDEO.TV, in which content appear on the site, then is moderated. The biggest thing that will change is the posts may or may not be deaf-related. That was the niche DeafRead thrived on. Like DeafVIDEO.TV, readers will need to use the DeafRead Hide feature to personalize DeafRead. A hidden blog won’t appear on DeafRead, as long as you are logged in.

A positive change is that posts will be published quicker, in sync with the speed of the Internet. New posts will be published as soon as DeafRead picks it up. A script is initiated automatically once an hour, and it takes time for it to check each blog. It may take approximately an hour, after the post is published on the blog, to appear on DeafRead. Still, this is quicker — now that the moderation step is skipped.

By using DeafRead Hide, you are in effect the moderator. Don’t like a blog? Hide it. To start using DeafRead Hide, look for “Dashboard” (with an icon of a gear. See below image.), hover it with your cursor, and a menu will pop up. Click on “Hide” to hide posts from that blog. Of course, this action can be undone by going to your Dashboard.

 

Ensure the DeafRead Hide feature is turned on. If it is, you’re logged in. If it’s showing as “Off”, login to enable the feature. This is shown below the Search Box. See below image.

Read more about DeafRead Hide.

 

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Welcoming J.J. to the DeafRead Team!

Tayler MayerBy Tayler Mayer
Thursday, May 31st, 2012

The DeafRead team is proud to welcome Jeannette Johnson, AKA J.J. as a new member. She is known as DeafPundit, and this is her personal blog.

One of the overarching reasons J.J. was chosen: her objectivity. In the past, she and I have discussed posts on DeafRead. She would state that she disagreed with whatever opinion was being presented, but that the blogger was well within his or her rights to present it.

If you recall from the very bottom of the DeafRead Guidelines:

Because a Human Moderator publishes an opinionated post does not mean the Human Moderator agrees with it. We will often publish posts with which we disagree.

J.J.’s values represents this exactly. We are thrilled to have her join us.

Please remember that it can be challenging to moderate DeafRead, or any forum where ideas or values may clash. There are sometimes posts that are borderline, and we make the difficult decision knowing that some people will be unsatisfied. Finally, the posts keep pouring in hour after hour, day after day. Thankfully, when you celebrate a major holiday, we can too. :)

One more important reminder: what she writes on her blog should not affect her moderation. If you are a blogger, you should feel safe that your posts will be published, if the guidelines are met, regardless of the opinions of the DeafRead team.

P.S. Our only former moderator was also nicknamed J.J. What are the chances? :)

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“Technical Difficulty” at DeafRead

Tayler MayerBy Tayler Mayer
Monday, April 2nd, 2012

About a month ago, I thought I had a clever idea: whenever a blog feed wasn’t found by DeafRead, the feed would be automatically turned off. Thus, DeafRead would no longer check the “dead” feed. What I miscalculated is that if the feed wasn’t found, it doesn’t necessarily mean the blog has officially died. It may have been unavailable for that precise moment DeafRead checked it.

The number of feeds subscribed to at DeafRead grows, and many do die from time to time. This was a way to purge the list, keeping the server load light and lean. It is somewhat intensive for the server to check each blog for new posts (last we looked, there are 602 active feeds). Obviously, we do not want to keep checking blogs which have been closed for years in the future.

From time to time, I do this manually; akin to a spring cleaning. The idea to automate this didn’t fare so well. As a result, some blog feeds were unintentionally turned off. This was my mistake.

After the first blogger contacted us about this, I immediately erased the automation code. Since then, two more bloggers have contacted us. After the third, I knew this post was necessary. There may be other blogs which hasn’t seen their posts on DeafRead and may be wondering why. I apologize.

Contact me if you haven’t seen your post(s) on DeafRead in some time, and I’ll quickly remedy it for you!

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A new way to navigate posts

Tayler MayerBy Tayler Mayer
Friday, December 17th, 2010

Try out a new way to navigate posts using DeafRead. If you consider yourself an advanced user, dare yourself to try the new and advanced interface. You may need to be a master of scrolling – of windows inside windows. This can be an awkward experience, but some people will prefer it over the current interface, including myself. With the current interface, clicking on a post opens a new window. When done reading, the reader closes the window to return to DeafRead.

The advanced interface eliminates this step. Simply click on the post and the post itself will appear on the right side — without leaving DeafRead. Click another post. It replaces the previous post in the right-side panel. Gone is the step of closing windows.

The pro is obviously speed. The new interface, in beta testing, comes with a few cons. For example, some posts may have page elements on the left side, which pushes the post content further to the right — which then requires the user to scroll to the right. This is where the scrolling mastery comes in. Even so, not all post content will fit in the right side panel. This suggests that computer monitors with larger resolutions will benefit the most. Do make your browser window larger for a better experience. The two side-by-side panels are 40%-60%, meaning they will automatically re-size according to your browser window size.

I don’t plan to replace this advanced interface with the current one. After beta testing is complete, the two interfaces will be standard and advanced, and you will be able to seamlessly switch between the two.

For bloggers: this doesn’t affect the traffic measured on your blogs, and the number of visits on DeafRead will count normally.

Currently the pagination (page 1, 2, 3 and so on) on the bottom doesn’t function properly. I’ll fix when I have the chance. Suggest feedback, share input and/or report any other issues. If you like it as much as I do, do tell!

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