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Posted by on Aug 23, 2007 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

Proposed Changes to CoA

Regular readers may have noticed that the standard, scales-of-justice image for our “Center of Attention” (CoA) feature was missing from today’s installment. And why was that? Because I thought it was growing a bit stale and was overdue for a change; which, in turn, led me to wonder if a larger overhaul of the feature might be in order.

CoA has never been a big comment-generator, but the comments have entirely flat-lined over the last couple weeks. Maybe Michael did a better job compiling the feature than I do. Maybe it’s too difficult to get a comment thread going on a round up of 5-plus posts on 5-plus topics. Maybe it’s something else all together. I honestly don’t know. But in case it’s a sign that the feature (as well as the image/icon) have (in fact) grown stale, I’d thought we try to freshen things up.

So, to the degree you care and want to have a say in this update, my recommendations follow. And to the degree you don’t care … well, fine. Read something else.


The Title/Intent. “Centrist,” “moderate,” and “independent” are evasive, ill-defined, and (often) multi-defined terms … which caused a few arguments on past CoA installments over whether or not a certain blogger or post fit any one of those descriptions … which got me to thinking that maybe it would better serve all of us if the feature focused not on centrist/moderate/indpendent bloggers and posts, but on any post from any blogger that strives to put things in perspective, i.e., attempts to strike a sense of “balance” in the midst of a heated debate. If that’s the direction we ultimately go, I thought we could then re-title the feature simply “In Balance” or “Striking a Balance.”

The Image/Icon. Granted, the scales-of-justice image would still work with the above-recommended title/intent, but again, I’d like to freshen up the feature, all the way, from top-to-bottom. Accordingly, alternative icons/images are offered on the second page of this post, from the abstract to the ornate. If you have a favorite, let me know. (And if you think this is absolutely the dumbest thing you’ve ever been asked to do on a news/political blog, let me know that, too.)

The Number of Entries per Post. I recommend three, partly because I’ve always thought there was something magical about the number three and it’s a very … well … “balanced” integer. Plus, I don’t know if we’ll be able to find (every Tuesday and Thursday) more than three posts-a-day that truly attempt to strike a balance in a heated debate. I might be surprised, but I have my doubts.

Here’s the collection of replacement images/icons I’m considering for the updated feature. Again, I’d appreciated any comments readers have on a preferred image.




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  • I support the changes and… The first one is great, although the third one is good as well.

  • mw

    At the risk of being accused of a sexist suggestion…

    If the objective is to attract attention to the post.

    Given that the demographic of most bloggers are male and straight.

    Given that it is a maxim of advertising that “sex sells”.

    Then I submit you might want to consider whether an image of scantily clad beefy male gymnasts is likely to attract more attention than oh say… scantily clad attractive female gymnasts.

    just saying …

  • Yeah – lets dumb down the news even more!

  • mw

    MG – Just want to make sure I understand your comment.

    An image of attractive female acrobats as a metaphor for balance is dumbing down the the news, but the image of attractive male acrobats enhances the understanding of the news. Neither though, provides quite as much insight into the news as children balancing on a unicycle. Did I get that right? I am taking notes, just so I can make sure I don’t make any mistakes if/when I do a makeover on my site. Thanks.

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