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We have a blog and are now a few months in, so this seems like a good time to collect an initial round of opinions on what's working well and what could be better. This question is primarily for people who are writing for the blog or are interested in doing so; reader feedback is welcome at any time on the blog announcement.

Please tell us what your experience writing for the blog has been like. Feel free to address any or all of:

  • content: are you getting to write things you want to write about?

  • process: coordination, scheduling, the chat room, etc

  • pacing: are you feeling pressured, impatient because you have tons of stuff you want to share, something in between?

  • platform: how's Medium as a blogging platform -- what's easy, what's hard?

  • (other stuff I've failed to think of)

For reference: Abby's meta answer suggesting Medium to us.

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I think overall Medium is fit for purpose. It's not perfect, but then nothing is.

A lot of the limitations of Medium can be annoying to work around but on the other hand they do provide a cohesive feel tying all the articles together.

So from my perspective it works pretty well.

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I'm still new to the blog (well, at least as writer), and I must admit it's not really clear to me how the process works; maybe it should be documented at a standardized place (or if it is, that place should be better advertised, for example by linking it from the featured "We have a blog" meta post, or from the chat room's description text). The one post I did was essentially an invitation; I have no idea e.g. where/how I would propose topics I might write something about.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the feedback. Good suggestion about clearer documentation. Wow, I'm not seeing that CPU load; that sounds bad. What OS, browser, anything else that might be relevant? $\endgroup$ Jan 1 '16 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio: I now can't reproduce it either; maybe it was just a coincidence that Firefox stopped bogging the CPU exactly in that moment when I closed that page. So probably I was too fast in my conclusions. I'll remove that paragraph. $\endgroup$
    – celtschk
    Jan 2 '16 at 6:31
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio: OK, I've been able to reproduce the CPU load problem; it happens at least on this page which however is not part of the Universe Factory — I have no idea what is the determining factor, and if Universe Factory articles could be affected. $\endgroup$
    – celtschk
    Jan 2 '16 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ On documentation, I've just posted this: meta.worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/2878/28 Please let me know if that helps or if there are things I missed. Thanks. $\endgroup$ Jan 3 '16 at 20:16
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    $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio: Thanks, that's a really helpful post. I don't think there's something missing; at least I didn't have any open questions after reading it, and I believe I now understand the process. $\endgroup$
    – celtschk
    Jan 4 '16 at 6:05
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I've written a lot of posts for the blog. I mostly find Medium a comfortable platform to post to, but am sometimes frustrated by its limited HTML. (And I know its lack of support for math has caused problems for others.) Further, using the WYSIWYG editor is mouse-intensive, so if I'm doing a lot of formatting or especially if I have a lot of links (like if I'm doing a topic round-up from the site), I instead write the post in HTML outside of Medium, drop it in my personal web space temporarily, and import it to Medium. That works pretty well -- there's usually a little bit of cleanup to do, but it's easy.

Embedding images is easy. Also somewhat necessary; Medium is very image-oriented in how it presents posts, whether on the blog front page or in a feed. So you've pretty much got to find some image to include, but that's probably good for us.

Posts on Medium can have tags (recently raised from three to five). Those tags are global to Medium; if you click on the "fiction" or "space" or "RPG" tag on one of our posts, you'll see fiction or space or RPG posts from all over the site. That's good in that it broadens our reach a tiny bit (and gives our readers other related stuff to read), but not so good if we wanted to cultivate a set of tags just for our blog. The scope for a tag (and its name) is all of Medium, not just Universe Factory.

I've made a few support requests at Medium. They've been reasonably responsive and they fixed my problems (sometimes on the second or third try).

Something I consider a key feature is that we can have many authors, who can submit work once or on a regular basis or anywhere in between, and a few editors (not just one) to manage the site. Distributed workload and distributed access are important for a community-run site.

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