Hi there, Awkwardeers. There’s stuff.
Holy Crap! Stuff
Sometime over the weekend we hit 9,000,000 total page views since the inception of the blog. Most viewed: Creepy guys. Least viewed: Kind of a tie for loud-sex neighbors, can you invite only half a couple to your wedding (no), and one that’s relevant for the recent job red flags discussion.
Blog Admin Stuff
Questions are open again. There are some changes about how they are being processed at the link.
You’ve probably noticed that they’ve been closed for a while. I’m sorry, I know it’s less than ideal and I have noted your Tweeted, emailed, and Tumblr’d frustration. Let me tell you about that.
- The last two times I opened up questions, I got between 300-400 in three days. Each time. Overwhelming.
- Also overwhelming: Running a highly unqualified, highly understaffed, highly reluctant crisis hotline out of my email. “Dear Captain Awkward, help me compose my suicide note so my family won’t be mad” “Dear Captain Awkward, I think I was just raped. Was I raped?” I am not making fun, those topics represented about 20% of the stuff I was getting, from people who genuinely needed help and didn’t know where else to go. Where a real email address existed I did my best to refer askers to immediate crisis services, and where one didn’t I chewed my nails down to the blood hoping that they were okay. But I started avoiding my email on days when I felt that I couldn’t handle things like this. Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Months turned into “I want to open questions again, but I will get 300 of them, so, maybe next week?”
This blog runs on questions, and I can’t really hang a shingle out and then be upset that people asked questions. I would really like this to be sustainable and fun for me and useful for the community. So, based on some great suggestions from regular readers with more experience than I, and with the help of some brave volunteers, here’s what’s going to happen.
1. Questions are going to be sent to a mailbox that I have access to but do not check. Instead, a few volunteers will sort through and periodically forward on questions that might make good blog posts. This will “make the job smaller” and much more manageable for me.
I’m currently staffed up on volunteers, but will rotate them over time so no one gets burned out. If you’re interested in volunteering, hold onto that information for now – I will put out a call at some point.
2. Good blog post fodder: Short (<450 words). Not something that’s been answered & discussed many times before. Are you a dude who wants to try dating but you’re confused about feminism? We’re not that blog anymore, sorry.
3. We’ll have more topical open threads like we’ve been doing lately, where like-minded people in similar situations can connect with each other and crowd-source knowledge.
4. I’m looking for a way to do more short-form stuff – Short responses to Twitter questions? Maybe some kind of live chat? Not every question needs an accompanying essay about JENNIFERFEELINGS.
Chicago Event Stuff
Finally, if you’re in Chicago tonight (Tuesday, July 23) and you like board games and friendly new people, The Chicago Game Lovers “newbie” night has been combined with a launch party for the Geek Bar Chicago Kickstarter campaign. Facebook Event = here. Mad River, 2909 N Sheffield, 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm. No cover, just a lot of nice people playing games and teaching games, food & drink available for purchase. I will try to be there for a while after about 7pm if dratted deadlines cooperate.
Edited To Add Stuff
Organizers of the Saint Louis meetup, scheduled for this weekend, have a small request:
We had an update for the STL meetup happening on July 28. We’d like to ask anyone coming to bring a stuffed animal or doll or action figure or something similar. We’re (probably) all introverted nerds who don’t like having pictures taken, but my co-host and I thought it would be cool if we could take a group shot of everyone’s stuffed animals to show how many people showed up at the meetup. I’ll be bringing my Borg teddy bear, Locutus of Bear, and a few extra stuffed animals as well for Awkwardeers who would like to borrow one.Can’t wait to see everyone!