Suggestions to Improve Future ReadaThings


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Suggestions to Improve Future ReadaThings

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elokuu 2, 2012, 6:30pm

I know we just finished the July/August 2012 ReadaThing.
Overall, it seems to have been a great success.
Yet, this is the perfect time to think about future improvements.

A few things might make the next one go a bit smoother (JMHO based on the questions we got in this one):

  • Use a 24-hour clock on the timeline (0:00 to 23:00 hours).
  • Use UTC/Zulu time as the base. (It stays constant; no Daylight Savings Time!)
  • Include something in the instructions about how to identify how your home location differs from UTC (e.g., -5, +2, etc.) and use that to determine which slot to fill in.

Of course, all is open for debate and discussion!

Any other thoughts/suggestions?

elokuu 2, 2012, 6:36pm

># Include something in the instructions about how to identify how your home location differs from UTC (e.g., -5, +2, etc.) and use that to determine which slot to fill in. :) Find your closest city (capital of the country for the smaller countries) and the UTC is under the table.

elokuu 2, 2012, 6:40pm

And if I had remembered earlier, we could have had an "Event Time Announcer" for the start/end time. :)

elokuu 2, 2012, 11:34pm

>2 AnnieMod: The link is there at the bottom of the wiki instructions, but there were some problems translating from those links to the timetable. We probably need to be more explicit.

>3 AnnieMod: Can you say more about what you mean by "Event Time Announcer"? Do you mean some sort of app? I had a Countdown Timer, but the html wouldn't display in Talk, so I just posted an opening and closing post.


elokuu 3, 2012, 4:17am

The link works fine for me. I can see my actually time and on the bottom the UTC time, so I'm perfectly able to see how many + hours my city has.

I think this is much easier 'to translate' or fill into the correct time slot. The other way I've got sometimes a little bit confused. So if we can have a UTC start and end time it will work well.

elokuu 3, 2012, 7:38am

Thanks Ameise. Glad it worked so well for you. I agree. UTC time starts seem to work much better for everyone.

elokuu 3, 2012, 9:25am

Thinking about this, but nothing sprung to mind yet. You guys did a great job.

elokuu 4, 2012, 10:33am

I agree it was a wonderful ReadaThing and thanks very much to those who set it all up for us!

elokuu 4, 2012, 11:25am

Just a simple observation from living in Europe and living in the US.

UTC might be good for the rest of the world, but I fear readers in the US will struggle.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 4, 2012, 8:15pm

Yes, but...the way we did it this time, with UTC and LT time, did that work for you? The cycle was in fact based on UTC (OK, we called it GMT, but they're the same in this situation) - ran from midnight GMT to midnight GMT, which was 8 am LT time.

Most US readers can translate from East Coast time to theirs (because we often have to, for calls to companies or to family/friends). UTC for everyone else (plus the NZ time zone, just because it's the International Dateline time). Multiple time zones are not much harder to make a table with than a single time zone - nor much harder to read (actually, reading was more difficult than making).

elokuu 4, 2012, 8:28pm

Considering I don't know what UTC stands for I am confused. Usually if I am lost on the Time Zones I just Google Time Zones and find a map or time site that has all the different time zones listed. I know the time zone I live in so that makes it easier for me.

I am in the US and I know that where I live we have the Daylight Savings Time going on right now. I figure even if I am off an hour or so that it really won't matter for something this long.

My only concern is if there was be a better way to get the word out for voting and everything. I didn't know anything about the voting until after it was finished. Since this isn't a consistently active group I usually forget about it.

All RaT are wonderful, fantastic, fun, and so much more.

elokuu 4, 2012, 11:08pm

>10 jjmcgaffey: It worked for me. I live in PST so subtract 3 from EST.

elokuu 5, 2012, 12:40am

UTC is the modern, high-accuracy version of GMT - it has leap seconds and stuff. For hours and simple timekeeping, Greenwich Mean Time and Coordinated Universal Time (yeah, I know that's not right for that acronym - apparently it's a compromise between the English and the French versions) are the same. I'd never heard of UTC before I was helping set up this RaT. GMT I knew, so that's the name I tend to use - I should switch to the modern one, though.

11> So where do you usually hang out in Talk? We did mention it in Talk about LibraryThing, as well as the Readathing group - what other places would be useful for early notice? The blog post doesn't come out until everything's set up and we have a start date and so on. For the setup voting - what's a useful place?

12> Me too - in PST. I only have to remember when it's S and when it's D...which it is right now, so PDT. And I have a sister on the East Coast, so I'm well aware of that offset. The offset to UTC for PST is -8, by the way - so it varies from 8 to 7 hours, since UTC doesn't do daylight savings.

elokuu 5, 2012, 10:10am

Thanks for that info about UTC. I read it before but it will leave my brain quickly since it isn't something I deal with everyday in my life. I prefer GMT over the UTC.

I usually hang out in my thread on the challenges, such as 75 and the 12 in 12 or what ever the year one is. I don't always visit the talk about LibraryThing group. Also only the threads that I have starred are the ones that I visit regularly (and that is quite a lot) and usually just the ones that are at the top. Maybe we could have a thread that is just for announcing RaT in the ReadaThing group. We could use it to announce voting and the up coming RaTs and such.

In the 75 group there is a thread that is set up for readathons and people post in there when they are planning to host one or are looking for one. That is how I know about those read a thons. That is just an idea.

elokuu 5, 2012, 10:37am

next time I'll try to post announcements regarding RaT in 12in12 and 75rs and point to the voting threads

elokuu 5, 2012, 4:51pm

This was my first RaT so I have no others to compare to & no suggestions to make. I enjoyed my limited participation & will likely join in again.

As far as how the time is reported, I live in USA Eastern time zone so the current method couldn't have been easier for me. Thank you very much :)

As I recall, the chart had both Eastern & UTC time. Did this not address the needs of both US & non-US readers? Certainly within the US people are used to converting from/to any of the US zones. Of course, I can't speak to what method would be easiest for those outside the US.

Whatever is used next time, I'm confident that I can adjust as long as I'm pointed to a chart or map to aid me in converting to my own zone. I'm good with any method that works best for the greatest number of participants.

elokuu 5, 2012, 6:50pm

The UTC/GMT confusions were in part due to the fact that during the summer months, few places other than Iceland are actually following GMT (due to various versions of daylight savings/summer time zones). The important thing about UTC isn't leap seconds and such, but that it is a set standard that doesn't change.

I'm guessing we would still have familiar designations for the US folks, but I'd like to try to be more welcoming to international/global readers . . .

Some combination of the two systems (as suggested in various posts above) should handle it.

And I like the idea of spreading the word early to the various "Challenge" groups . . . It seems to me that many of the folks who joined the RaT were also involved in those groups . . .

I had a few other thoughts/questions . . .
Is there anything we could do mid-week to keep folks excited/inspired?
Should we alternate some week-long RaTs with shorter ones?
Approximately how often should we schedule RaTs?

elokuu 5, 2012, 7:52pm

I like the week-long RaTs but I am afraid that if we do them too often that people may get tired of them. How long was it between this one and the previous one?

I know that when I know about the RaTs ahead of time I usually mention something in my thread in those challenge groups. The 75ers have a thread for read-a-thons we could post in there to let the members know about any upcoming RaTs. I know I always keep an eye on that thread.

elokuu 6, 2012, 12:21am

The suggestion for an announcement thread in ReadaThing group is a good one, too. If we keep it to announcing new RaTs and pointing to the full announcement thread for each one, it shouldn't grow too long too quickly.

I, personally, greatly prefer the week-long RaTs. Whenever there's a RaT I get incredibly busy - usually I read every day, but when there's a RaT on there are whole days when I don't have time to sit and read. With the week-long ones, the work usually slacks off a bit and I manage to read for a while - I've missed entire long-weekend RaTs.

We had one last August, one in November, one in February, then this one. If we'd had one in May, it would have been one every (approximately) three months. That sounds good to me - the next one in early November (nicely before the (US) holiday season).

Full list - the Beta was in January.