Suggestions to Improve Future ReadaThings
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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?
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/ :) Find your closest city (capital of the country for the smaller countries) and the UTC is under the table.
>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.
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.
UTC might be good for the rest of the world, but I fear readers in the US will struggle.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.