[Hpr] Show flow rate

epicanis+hpr at dogphilosophy.net epicanis+hpr at dogphilosophy.net
Mon Apr 22 11:46:45 PDT 2013

The direction this is going worries me a bit. The focus lately has been entirely on "shows on hand" 
with less attention to "show flow" (except as something to make "shows on hand" as big as possible).

> Well I do [care when shows are released], because this network will cease to exist if shows do not
> continue to come in. Right now, New or Older hosts looking at the
> Calendar might not contribute because it looks like we are swimming in
> shows. We are not. We still need 166 shows to fill to the end of the
> year.

This implies that in mid-November or so nobody should bother doing any more shows, because
we'll have all the shows we need to fill to the end of the year...obviously that's not the intention.
I think the "number of shows to fill the whole year" count is a distraction at best (the year end is
something of an arbitrary distinction).

I also think it would be potentially fatal to HPR if 166 people showed up tomorrow to fill all of those slots.
If they did, anyone (other than first-time contributors) who submitted a show would be waiting until next year for the show to be useful. That would kill the reinforcement that can make contributing to HPR a habit for at least some of us.  (It's like sending a check to a charity who "really needs your donation!" but then the check doesn't get cashed for half a year.) I suspect contributions would crash as a result. 

This might be a factor in the boom-and-bust cycles HPR seems to go through sometimes.

> The logical thing to do would be to remove the files from the Calendar
> page. I have just now done this for all the shows. The page now focuses
> on hosts only.
> Waitttttttt.
> The only reason that the files were ever shown is to allow the hosts to
> know that they have been processed. To that end I put the file list on
> the ftp server in a file called queue.txt. That way the hosts get to
> know where the shows are.
> Is that sufficient or should we continue to shoot ourselves in the
> foot by listing all the shows ?

I like the change overall (the files list made the page look a lot fuller than it really was, though
I DO miss seeing what topics were pending), but I would take issue with the "shoot ourselves in the foot" comment. It just doesn't feel right to me to hide HPR's backlog as a psychological trick to get new
first-time contributors (the latency due to the backlog doesn't apply to new contributors, so the only
element this alleviates is the lack of urgency - recurring contributors are affected by both).

The host list alone indicates that there are at least three weeks worth of shows in the queue so it's not really hiding the backlog, just understating it (there's 2 full months worth of shows ready right now - Ahuka, Ken Fallon, and Klaatu have put in some serious labor!) . Anyone currently in the queue who wants to contribute more has to get over the fact that whatever work they put into it won't be useful to HPR for about a month or more.

I would suggest that HPR's need is NOT "166 more shows this year" but rather "4-5 shows per week
for the next 34 weeks and beyond", and I think the distinction is important. Having a big backlog that can supply 4-5 shows per week for a while is one way of doing this, but at a certain point it just turns into podstipation inhibiting the flow of new submissions.

I'm not entirely sure what the actual solution would be to getting a more sustainable balance between the submission rate and the publication rate. Although whenever this topic comes up several of us suggest
shoving out the shows faster in one way or another, Ken's got me questioning whether that's really the
right approach.

What would motivate you all to contribute more regularly?
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