But rather than simply making a longer list of Recommended Diaries (though that may be an interim solution because it's easier to program), I think we would benefit by having more categories, 4 by my proposal, perhaps still with 8 recommended diaries each.
- Popular authors, rather than being subscribed to, are often recommended faster than anyone could possibly have actually read their diaries. (You shouldn't vote for a bill without reading it, as we're all well aware now.)
- Politicians, candidates, and semi-politicians (or other famous people) get recommended automatically and leave one less spot for other diaries.
- Breaking news diaries are written hastily in an effort to be the first to have spotted a story. (I've succumbed to that myself. And I'm not proud.) There are often duplicates.
- Many good diaries go away too quickly even if recommended by a fair number of people.
The Featured Authors can be the 20 or 30 that have been recommended the most times as an author. These are the diarists like Jerome a Paris, Meteor Blades, SusanHu, georgia10, etc. This gives us easy access to their stuff. That tally could presumably be kept rather easily, and the list of Featured Authors could be listed somewhere and updated continuously. This can work in one of two ways: 1) If a diary becomes Recommended, it gets placed in the Featured Authors Recommended List if that author is on the current Featured Authors list; or 2) Featured Authors get Recommended status automatically for whatever they post (still one per day!), as long as they remain on the Featured list, and the diaries appear chronologically. I'm slanting toward No. 1 because people might be less likely to recommend a worthy work if they know the author has automatic status, thus unjustly decreasing that author's recommend total.
As for the other three categories, they can be split by readers. There would be three Recommend buttons, one generic, as we have now, one for Breaking News, and one for Politicians/Candidates. That third one is needed because there's probably no good way to recognize "Senator Russ Feingold" as a politician in an automated way. Too much room for screw-ups. The diary reader then decides which, if any, Recommend button to hit, and she/he can only choose one. Then the diaries get into the Recommended lists much as they do now.
That gives the general reader a nice categorization of different types of diaries, and it also helps good diaries from lesser-knowns get a chance to stick around a little longer if they're worthy of it.
At the very least, it accommodates the continuing growth of the site.
I'll continue to enjoy reading and posting no matter what happens. I'm thankful that Kos started this whole thing, and that he's done a great job in managing its growth and keeping it relevant, useful, and fun. Just thought I'd share some ideas, and I'm happy to have the chance to do it here.