So I've basically taken it upon myself to put together the weekend post. This is not a problem. This is easy. I just log into the Slacktiverse Authors email account, see if there are any submissions, and then, if there are any, add them to the post.
I've got a draft saved right now with the first submissions to come in.
Here's the problem: not all authors make content notes for their own posts. Back when we had TBAT handling things, mmy made sure to check every post to make sure that if it needed a content note it got a content note. I am not mmy. If something doesn't trigger me personally it's likely to fly right over my head that it might need some kind of warning.
I can put together the weekend post, but I can't promise that anyone clicking on the links will have appropriate warning about what they might be getting into.
Crowdsourcing. After the post goes up, readers who do not generally need content warnings can review the articles and comment about any content warnings they think should be added, and then the readers who do need content warnings can take that into account as they read.
In reply to this post by Ian or Mime Paradox or whatevs
I would prefer if you include notes when you send them in the future, but the truth is that I'm more concerned about authors who don't know what to warn for, of which I am frequently one.
The old way was to have the notes in the weekend post so that people knew before they clicked over. Now if there's already a note included in a post it's no problem for me to grab it from the post and put it in the weekend post. It's easier if the author already included it in the email, but it's no great loss if they didn't.
The real problem comes when an author simply doesn't know. I've had times in the past where I had to say, "I wrote this, I know that it probably needs a warning of some kind, but I have no idea what." And other times where I didn't even realize what I wrote needed a warning but in retrospect it really did and it was a good thing there was someone there to put the warning on it.
All of which is to say, I am probably not the right person to help authors who don't know their work needs a content note add a content note to its link. But I am, right now, the person putting together the weekend post.
I don't know what the best solution is. I don't want to push the work of the weekend post onto someone else, but I also don't want people to end up triggered because I didn't know to warn and neither did the author.
I suppose someone could look at the draft before it posted, but that's still pushing the work onto someone else.
For the moment we'll probably end up with the crowd-sourcing idea, make the weekend post as well as I can, and the modify as requested.
It has the same up and downsides as when the idea was suggested at Typepad:
On the one hand, for everyone who is being nice about it it'll be a perfectly useful tool.
On the other hand to a troll it reads as a list of, "How to hurt people really quickly."
Now we haven't had a problem with trolls here, and it's possible that when Typepad Slacktivist announced it was closing the moved on and will not bother us. So maybe the idea of people using warnings as weapons isn't something we really need to worry about right now.
It's one of many things that is up to us now and we have to decide as a community.
It's own merits are many, but there are some downsides when it comes to the weekend post. First, we don't want to scare anyone off. Saying, "Send in an email if you've written or read anything you'd like to share since last time and/or if you know of any worth causes that would be helped by us linking to them," is probably less daunting than all of that with a, "But first check this list of things that hurt people here if they come across them without advance warning and make sure to say if any of the things you sent in contain any of those things," tacked onto the end.
In person, so to speak, we just tell people if they step over any lines and ask them to put a on trigger warning/content note when discussing that topic in the future. (If we had a list we could point them to that too.) It's simple, straight forward, polite, and hopefully non-scary. But to make the list of content notes be part of the submission process on the author side seems like it could feel scary and impersonal and scare people off.
I'd much rather have the work of adding notes for those who don't already know be on the non-submitter side. That could come with an email sent to the submitter saying, "Just so you know, I added this content note because some of our readers need to know about this sort of thing in advance, so if in the future when addressing this topic at the Slacktiverse you could use a content note, that would help some people," which would hopefully make the person aware without making it seem like... I don't know exactly what I think it seems like. I just think it works better if instead of saying, "Look at this list before you submit," we just say, "Submit what you have," and then if there's a problem address it personally.
And aside from all of that, there's a question of people who don't realize they crossed a given line even if they know the line is there. I do that all the time because things just don't register with me. Maybe I'm the only one in which case I'm making a big deal out of nothing, but if I'm not the only one it seems like it would be a good idea to have a second pass to see if there's stuff that needs to be warned for because I don't want to trigger anyone.
Does that make sense? Am I rambling? I just really want to do this right and the shoes that I'm stepping into are shoes of someone much more competent than I am.
And, um, while we're on the subject, where should I put content notes?
Tradition dictates that they be bold and purple. I fully support this tradition as I think it makes them eye catching and hard to miss. Tradition is more fuzzy on where they should go.
My original plan was to put them right after the link*, but in some cases that would put them in the middle of a sentence and that doesn't work out well.
What I'm thinking now is to put them at the end of the sentence with the link or, if the sentence contains multiple links, at the end of the clause. But then I'm increasing the separation between the content note and the link it refers to and I'm not sure if that's good either.
This has been another episode of "chris the cynic broadcasts his numerous insecurities using the forum."
* This has the benefit of first telling you what it is, then warning you about what might be in it, which usually seems better than sticking the warning before the link which leaves you with a sort of backwards feeling of, "I don't even know what you're talking about yet!" when reading the content note. The fact that the content note is bold and purple is hopefully enough to get them to read it before clicking the link, especially if they're someone likely to heed said note.
What if we make the trigger list accessible only to people who are registered as authors for the blog? That would filter out trolls, while making the list accessible to everyone who's posting or compiling a post.
I think I'm probably pretty decent at figuring out what will need warnings, especially if I've got a list to work with, so that's something I could help with.
@Chris, I think your ideas for where to put links are good. The important thing, I think, is that the warning be in close enough proximity to the link that people 1) see the warning before they click the link and 2) know what link the warning belongs to.
That's my primary concern really, if someone clicks a link before they finish reading the sentence, and the warning is at the end of the sentence, that's a failure of the system. But, hopefully, the warnings are eye catching enough that, at the very least, people will notice, "Oh, there's a warning for this link," before they decide whether or not to click on the link.
The purple and bold note/warning style we inherited from typepad is, I think, very good at making itself noticed.
On a completely unrelated note, I really like the character of Snowman in Smokey and the Bandit. I'm not really totally sure why I like the character so much, but I just do.
So much so that I want to somehow (problems abound mostly in a "Space does NOT work that way" kind of way) have Smokey and the Bandit in SPACE!!!! with the pilot of the cargo hauler having the handle of "Snowman" and at some point have someone ask, "Why is she called Snowman," and have the explanation be, "It's a reference to an old movie," and then have the end be just like the end of Smokey and the Bandit except instead of Actual-Snowman saying, "We're just going to acquaint them" and the Bandit realizing they'll make it as the 18 wheeler smashes through roadblocks, it would be Space-Snowman simply asking, "What's my name?" and Space-Bandit realizing, "That might actually work," as the cargo hauler pulled out front and smashed through whatever the space equivalent of a roadblock is.