Thursday, 4 October 2007

The Secret Art of Cat Herding

As we are developing Umbrella Blog we are taking on a number of new members. Naturally this is a case of herding cats. So in the interests of saving everyone's time I'm going to clarify the deal should you wish to join.

Firstly, deciding to join:

You have two options to get the ball rolling. You can either invite us to join your blog via the blogger admin panel or just give us your logon details. We promise we wont abuse access to your blog; frankly we don't have time even if we wanted to. We may pop in to correct your spelling or maybe add a picture if you have overlooked it but other than that you have complete editorial control.

We have gone to great effort to be up front about all of this. What you see is what you get. We want a uniform image and we want our logo displayed somewhere visible at the top. We get hits, you get hits - that's how it works. It's not up for debate.

We are going for a standard so there is instant brand recognition and we have decided that we are not going to deviate because it's time consuming, undesirable and for me... very boring. We have some exceptions for those who are polite and come forward with helpful suggestions but generally speaking we want a uniform appearance.

When you join you get one of our rather cool banners and a "panel" that will appear on the top of your blog. It would be helpful to us if you have preferences as to its appearance. It would help if you either round up some images you want us to use or at least outline five basic concepts that I can use in the design. I don't get it right every time but if you leave me guessing, the chances of it coming out wrong are increased.

Again, politeness and co-operation generally brings about prompt and helpful service from us. We're doing this for the good of the blogosphere and we're not making any money doing it at this time. Keep that in mind. You may be a superstar blogger but we have no time for prima donnas. You can see what we're offering so think about joining before you contact us and it will save everyone's time. You're either on board or not. It might be good to have you but if we can't bring you on board without a fuss then we have a backlog of people we can.

We are somewhat puzzled by some of the attitudes we have encountered so far and we're trying very hard not to take it personally. The majority have been enthusiastic and encouraging which gives us the energy to make this work. That's what we need more of. Whingers and naysayers be damned. Or at least save it for your posts where it might actually do some good.

Our preferences:

We ask that your posts are topical or at least thoughtful.
Illustrate them with pictures and do it properly.
Make sure your links are properly linked and not long URL's.
Keep your sidebar tidy and up to date.

That is all.