Bil Browning

Never sit on your laurels

Filed By Bil Browning | January 15, 2009 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Site News
Tags: Ed Team meeting

The Editorial Team is meeting tonight to discuss where we want the blog to go over the next year and agree to some basic blueprints to get there. This seems like the perfect time to get Projectors involved too. First, a question about content...

Next, one last question. If you could change one thing immediately about Bilerico Project, what would it be? Whether a minor or a major change, it's all fair game. I'll pick one of the brave souls who comment and give them their choice of anything from the Bilerico prize vault, but the team meets at 9pm EST so you have to comment before then to win a prize. Get your opinion in now to have an influence!

Thanks for the help!


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I'd like to see a mobile-friendly TBP page offered, much like those available at Pam's and MSNBC. Since my computer's been on the fritz and I've often found myself relying on my WiFi-capable Playstation Portable to surf the web, I've found the regular TBP site to be notoriously difficult to visit for any length of time. It's not only slow to load but also redirects me to the MT login page every few minutes regardless of whether I have logged in previously or not.

Providing an easy-to-use page for mobile users would likely increase the number of visitors and visits to the site and perhaps even the number of comments and commenters.

Also, by doing this I think you'd make a lot of Projectors who rely on their mobile devices for web access while away from their homes or offices very happy.

There is a mobile site - m.bilerico.com - give it a try.

It's been there for over a year (originally the url was www.bilerico.com/iphone) but we didn't publicize it except when we first created it.

Jer, this is precisely what I was talking about so I guess my new, amended request is for you guys to promote this more! I've been coming to the site for almost 2 years now and I wasn't aware this page was available. Perhaps a link somewhere on the main front page for new visitors is in order?

Oh and hey, ya could throw a little color on there too. That black, white and gray is a bit dull doncha think? ;)

The look isn't gonna change soon - I'm buried and there's a long list of things the site needs.

I put a link on the front page right hand side.

I created the page for me back when no one had a mobile browser and I was one of 3 or 4 people accessing the site via my iPhone. It has some limitations (currently you have to go to the regular site to comment, for example) but it'll do for most people.

It needs some other work I haven't had time to deal with, but I promise I'll get to it.

Ooh, that's awesome. I didn't know about it. Is there a way to get the rss feed to default to the mobile version when using a mobile browser?

There's no way to do that right now, but it's a good idea. I'll see what I can figure out. I could add a "Open mobile version" link right in the RSS feed pretty easily.

You know Rebecca, you are absolutely right. I think its time that TBP gets a mobile version... it sure would help me stay on top of comments. I've been haggled by my own readers on buffawhat(1/1000 of the amount that TBP gets) to go mobile friendly and its something that most site should have these days.

Might I ask what kind of phone you have?

I have a Nokia 6300 on T-Mobile, but I rarely use it for web access as my plan is a "pay as you go". As I note above, I often use my Playstation Portable to access the web on my own wireless network when my desktop is down (six years old and rapidly disintegrating piece by piece).

The web browser on the PSP is a rather simple one. It can't handle video, struggles with Javascript, and seems to work best with pages made up of mainly words, links, .jpg graphics, and not much else. I think part of the problem is that there's so many scripts and such on the TBP main page that mobile browsers just can't handle it all. Conversely, I can fully load the Pam's and MSNBC mobile pages in seconds, read whatever I want without being suddenly and repeatedly involuntarily whisked away to a login page, and even comment if wish.

Consider, for example, how many more votes we might have gotten in the Weblog Awards if mobile users had had an easier way to vote for us through their mobile devices.

I agree with Rebecca that a mobile version would be nice. It's a lot of scroll down, scroll down, scroll down to get past the logo and ads. I haven't been able to comment from my LG Dare either.

But what I'd suggest more than that is just a general cleanup. I'm not talking about ads; I know those aren't going anywhere. I'm talking about all the junk (if I may be so bold) like the bookmark buttons (Do people really use those? I've read that most people who use delicious, mixx, etc. are more technically savvy and usually have the button built into their browser.), the sphere link (sphere found no related articles even on the Mason Wyler rape and Lawrence King articles), the twitter link, the email link, the digg button. (I looked at the digg results or whatever for your most popular articles, and most of them hadn't been submitted. None of them had even a hundred diggs. (That says less about you than it does about the changing relevance of digg. Same with delicious.)

And that's just to get from the article to the comments. Then below the comment form is three paragraphs of mice type that people don't really pay attention to. Could that be put on a separate page and be linked to before the comment form? Something like G-A-Y does. If not that, edit it down to a couple lines at most.

Then there's the tag links over in the 2nd column. They've been leading to 404 pages for as long as I can remember. Ditch those, or at least the showcasing of them, and maybe put the dropdowns for categories and authors that are currently on the Archives page in their place.

God, I'm a bitch.

To re-state it in the positive, I guess what I'm suggesting is that you clean up the presentation. Look through the data and see what tools people are using. If they aren't using it, toss it out. If there's a better way to showcase it, change it up.

I would like to see more content about queer arts and the queer art scene.

By this I do not mean gossip about Madonna, Real World contestants, or anything of that ilk.

I would love to read reports and reviews of gallery openings (whether in NYC or anywhere else in the country), music recitals, independent film, downtown queer underground scenes and events, and that sort of thing. Anything queer and art-related that is somewhat under the television-driven pop consciousness.

Arts and humor would be great and bi issues blogging would be good too but that is more the fault of there being a dearth of bi bloggers. maybe I should learn to blog.

I'd like to see original short fiction and literary non-fiction. And along that line, some travel and destination stories.

On the other end of the spectrum, interviews and profiles of glbt business and community leaders.

Nerissa Belcher | January 15, 2009 3:32 PM

I'd like to see more emphasis on successful people and less on whining ones.

Show us more of people who have overcome difficulties and succeeded.

Show us less of people who are professional victims to include the many non-elected "activists" in the LGBT community who attempt to make the rest of us victims for their ego gratification and profit.

Finally show us people who are stepping outside their gender/sexual orientation/race identity boxes and doing productive things in the general community.


I'm not sure I understand the first three sentences. Do you have some examples?

Maybe that would help.

How about an ongoing LGBT history column. Someone above mentioned some fiction posts as well - I know at least one of your Projectors (fur-dorable elevin) has posted some fiction on his site in the past.

As for immediate changes, I think that since Jerame got the bugs worked out of the comments I don't really have anything I'd want to change.

My suggestion is to lengthen the time of a login session. What I mean is, when I login to make a comment and click the checkbox to "remember me," the site "forgets" me too soon. It does seem to "remember" me for awhile, but when I come back the another day to make a comment, it's forgotten me again. :-(

I suppose that Movable Type uses a cookie for its "memory" and that it expires in a day or so. Is there a way to have it expire in a week? Or maybe two?

FWIW, just a few hours later the site has "forgotten" me and made me sign in again.

Try cleaning out your Bilerico coookies, Robert. Folks asked for the "NEW!" feature beside comments once we started threading them. Unfortunately, that requires cookies for each page now. (Ugh!) If you clear some of them out, the sign-in problem goes away; I've had the issue too. We're trying to find a way around it now.

I'd love to see more youth contributions. Like, I'm talking high schoolers and college aged folks. The GSA Voice or something equally cheesy.

I can do without the recycled posts from other blogs. What's the point in re-posting something that appeared two weeks ago on another gay blog that most of your readers have seen already? I could understand if it was something really compelling for the community, but the last one I remember was that silly piece about a vegetarian boyfriend. It was annoying the first time I came across it on The New Gay, and doubly annoying when it popped up again here.

And please, no fiction. Please. No fiction.

Otherwise, I love you guys!

Be a cause for meaningful activism, and post ORIGINAL OpEds not seen anywhere else. Instruct writers to use the New York Times/New Republic, Huffington Post, Salon style of OpEds. This will improve the quality of your blog and give practice for writers to be published in the influential main stream blogs and newspapers.
Invite gay activists to give an opposing OpEd to the goody goody two shoes essays, Jasmyne Cannick opposing Michael Crawford for instance. Give two sides to the same story. Create controversy. It produces interest and brings energy and new members to your blog.

Never sit on your laurels

Can we sit on our hardys?

(Sorry - its 20 below here in Illinois so I'm not only bored but vewy, vewy cold.)

Everyday Transperson | January 15, 2009 9:37 PM

I would love to see this blog one day reflect a diverse spectrum of opinions in a safe and respectful manner in which to present them. This current elitist system of "by invitation only" based on who is in the popular crony activist / consultant spotlight seems very exclusionary and very unprofessional.

It appears that the only projectors or contributors who seem to receive responses to their posts are those in the "family" circle while others, many of whom have very important points, go ignored or snubbed.

Lastly, I think that regardless of who likes who here, there should be some sort of order established so that people with opposing opinions don't get attacked or ganged up on by some of these celebrity notables as has been illustrated a few times previously. Fair is fair, otherwise it just becomes another case of favoritism and discrimination.............

Perhaps these issues may be a contributing factor as to why this blog doesn't win first place...........

Just a thought.

My suggestion is to number the comments. Comments in response to others can be labeled with numbers and letters, such as 1a. 1b., etc.

If you're reading a long comment list in more than one session, it can help to remind you where you left off.

As a budding/struggling/questionable non-professional comedienne, I'd love more humor myself. But as a feminist - yes, I use that term proudly - I wouldn't mind seeing more women's issues covered either.

Both together ... could be done. Carefully. :D

OpEd's shape policy and create dialogue among the lawmakers in Congress. We can't get a position in the cabinet, but we sure as hell can make alot of noise through the written word. Hold a contest for the best OpEd featuring LGBT civil rights. The greatest of all appeared in the New York Times today. It probably will get action and you can thank the writer, Mary Berry. GAY BUT EQUAL ?
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/16/opinion/16mfberry.html?_r=1

First of all, I love this blog. I particularly enjoy the fact that the content and the opinions are so diverse. I also enjoy the fact that I frequently disagree with some of the posters. I mean, how dull life is to read something that you always agree with. Although it's already been stated, I would have to say the one thing I would change is the color scheme. The black and green, besides being incredibly ugly (I mean, even the U.S. Army does a better job of making this color scheme work), is difficult to read. I've got to admit there are days when I avoid the site simply because I can't stand to look at it any longer. This is a GLBT site right? Surely you can do better.

Respectfully , I would also add more color. The green type in your logo BILERICO reminds some of the color of bile - green - the substance that the liver produces. One detracting wag on another blog referred to your blog as BILE-erico.