So the monthly recap is a thing we've been doing for the last four months and I've been spearheading that effort. it is a feature I wanted to do for many reasons, but it is also a rather challenging task given the amount of varied cblog content it is meant to cover. I guess you could say there's only so much one fairy can do and I've been doing a lot of it.
The monthly recap essentially curates the best of everything produced in Destructoid in the community blogs. This is meant to include links to all the topsauce from daily recaps, additional picks from recappers and reservists, Promoted blogs, Bloggers Wanted entries, Band of Bloggers entries, Comments of the Week, Podgasms, Cblog Analytics and trendy things like "10 Things" or "Ask me anything" blogs.
When the month ends, I collect all the links pertaining to these things from the other recappers and work to convert that into the monthly recap. That blog has an intro, those varying sections and closes out with "Recap Team Favorites" which is where we put all the Topsauce provided it didn't already fit one of those other sections.
I've started to see some problems with the process, though - the main one being it eats of three to five days of free time whuch I spend sorting and coding anywhere from 80 to 120+ links and is tiresome, forcing me to take numerous breaks. Additionally, since my laptop's WiFi is broken, I transfer a lot of files from tablet to laptop and back and have to ensure there are no formatting conflicts or elements lost when i do a cut/paste from the tablet to the cblog editor.
Thankfully I do have apps that play nice with the cblog editor.
Still, even if my PC and internet situation were better, this would still be a lot of work and I want to make the process not only more efficient, but add more community flavor to the recap as well. I realize it seems weird to say that since the blog we end up producing is really all about you guys but when you end up doing 90% of the heavy lifting you get a little disillusioned, I guess.
When it's all done, I put it in the editor and let Strider, Luna and whoever else on the team wants to take a crack at editing have at it. After it has been published and runs it's course in the cblogs, it later goes through him, then it's off to the front page a week later.
The result oftsn looks like this:
As a big a pain as I make it sound, though, the response is usually worth it and I sometimes notice you guys seem a bit more energized afterward because a spike in blogging seems to occur shortly after.
Anyway, I'm here writing this looking for feedback on the monthly recaps. I feel there is still room for improvement. Improvments I'm hoping to see implemented in the May recap ais letting another recapper/reservist come in to write an intro and maybe let other team members write some things into the various sections once they're sorted out. I've also got a little something worked out to give it a slight bit more community flavor and I'm hoping we can see more of that
That's meant ot be a surprise for now, though, so I'm not tellin'. If you have any ideas to share on how to get more community flavor into to the format, though, I'm all ears.
Which leaves me with one question I'd like answered by you guys - do you like the "Recap Team Favorites" as it is or would you like to see it changed? This section is the place where all the Topsaunce goes that didn't fall into any of the other categories. Usually, I alphabetize that section like the others, but write it in paragraph from because I think just leaving a massive list of links there is kind of ugly and lacks personality.
Writing it in alpha and weaving in little mentions and jokes along the way lets the reader skim/anticipate finding a mention or several about their blogs and I think that's a nice way of highlighting everyone topsauced in an even fashion, but I suppose there is something to be said for deeper categorization that helps readers find what interests them faster. After all, the monthly recap does serve as an aggregate or sorts on top of an extra layer of curation.
All that said, I'm looking for your thoughts and opinions on the matter, plus any others you might have. We're about eleven days out before the process begins anew and I have to compile all this stuff again. Well, I don't have to, but I like you guys and want to do it. I just want to find ways to make it easier, more appealing and hopefully one day this gets so easy anyone on the Recap Team can do it.
Now, if you will excuse me I'm going to go level up for the May edition.
-Pixie The Fairy