It may be true that you can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you do.
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Frequent Questions loosely taken from the Balloon Juice Mailbag (aka Site Feedback)
Not to be rude, or anything, but what’s the point of Featuring? Oh, hell, it’s Balloon Juice and we’re like family, so I’ll just say it straight up. There’s the Featuring section, there’s View by Topic, and there’s the Category Bar at the top – aren’t they all pretty much the same thing? Why do we have all of those? What were you thinking? Were you even thinking?
Dear Thank You For Asking So Politely,
What’s the thinking behind Featuring? For one thing, we want the featured items to be timely.
It’s ACA Open Enrollment, so David Anderson is linked under Featuring. When Tom Levenson’s next book comes out, Tom will be featured. But you don’t need to be a writer, or be nationally known, to be in Featuring. On the Road is featured right now, because we want everyone to be able to easily find their beloved On the Road posts until they learn the other easy ways to find them.
Featuring has a lot of potential, I think. Any author, future or past, can be featured. Any topic, any subcategory, or even sub-subcategory can be featured at some point, when the timing is right.
Besides the timeliness factor, we want to call attention to some of the fun and eclectic things we talk about here, or things you wouldn’t necessarily know about if you didn’t read every thread, every day. First up will surely be the addition of duck blogging, which makes it likely that one of the existing items will be swapped out. But hey, it’s Penelope; we all have to make sacrifices for the greater good.
What’s in Featuring right this minute?
How often will it change?
Is it the same as it was yesterday?
What about tomorrow?
Dear Wow, You Have a Lot of Questions,
There will typically be 5 links under Featuring at any given time. John Cole is timeless, so I am making him stay there forever. Translation: I told John that as Blog Lord, I thought he should always be in the #1 slot forever, and he grudgingly agreed. Or, alternatively, John wasn’t paying any attention to what I was saying, which could mean that he has no idea that he agreed to that! But I digress.
Aside from the timelines factor, Featuring will almost never include a top-level category; it’s intended to call attention to particular authors or to subcategories that are fun, or interesting, or that might never see the light of day otherwise, unless you happened upon them in a front page post. But, because rules are made to be broken, there are two top-level categories under Featuring right now.
What’s in Featuring right this minute? Check for yourself in the sidebar, under Featuring!
How often will it change? Featured links (except John) will change over time, generally every month or so, but some will change in a hot minute based on what is happening around us.
Is Featuring the same today as it was yesterday? No, it is not! I swapped out “Impeachment Inquiry” and added the more specific “Impeachment Hearings”. We had a hundred front page posts on the hearings, so it seemed appropriate. I added “Dear WaterGirl” after several people repeatedly asked me to put website posts in an easy to find spot. That will be swapped out once it’s no longer timely.
What will be in Featuring tomorrow? We’ll have to see what tomorrow brings.
I had so many questions, I couldn’t get them all in with my first letter!
Who gets to decide what’s in Featuring?
Who decides when it changes?
Dear Oh My Gosh, You Still Have More Questions!
This is perhaps best answered with a story.
For years, I had two dogs: Murphy, my cocker spaniel and AC, who looked like a big, black bear. I have no idea where the name AC came from or how to spell it, because he was left behind when a coworker’s neighbors packed up the kids, the car, the cat, and the other dog – and drove off, leaving AC behind when they moved to California. Bastards! The least I could do was let him keep his name.
AC and Murphy would race down the hall when I threw the ball; it was anybody’s guess who would get to the ball first. If AC got there first, sometimes Murphy would take the ball right out of AC’s mouth, and friends thought my cocker was the alpha dog. Nope! AC knew he was the big dog, and he didn’t need to prove it to anyone. On the rare occasions when it really mattered to him, AC always got his way.
Cole is like my beloved dog, A/C, and I mean that as the ultimate compliment. So who gets to decide what’s in Featuring? I imagine that will be me, most of the time. With, I hope, input from all of you. But when John has an opinion, I will surely know about it, and John is the big dog.
What if I have a great idea for something that could be featured under, well, Featuring? Do I have to keep it to myself, a potentially great idea that will never see the light of day? That could be lost forever? That would be terrible!
Dear Funny You Should Ask,
I would love to hear your ideas! Even if you post your suggestions in a comment, please make sure to also send an email message to my WaterGirl account at Balloon Juice.
THAT’S ALL THE LETTERS FOR TODAY. I’LL CONTINUE TO DO THESE UNTIL EVERYBODY IS UP TO SPEED.