Thanks for your comments guys
I'll continue reading them all and we will take them into consideration. To respond to a few points:
Regarding accepting criticism, there are always improvements to be made here. It can be extremely difficult to take criticism well every week, especially if the author gets slaughtered by the entire community. But it is something that our team members are trying to do.
I have found some articles completely garbage, the author having formed a completely baseless assumption backed by absolutely nothing but his/her ill informed opinion. When I post something as such, I am being asked to post something "constructive" and suggest "improvements" to the article. I am sorry but some articles cannot be improved, they cannot be salvaged because they are as I said, just garbage.
Well just posting "this article was garbage" is against our rules because it's not constructive and serves no purpose other than to insult the author. But you can be constructive by politely outlining the flaws in the article. For example, you could say something like:
I did not enjoy the first article. I thought the argument was a little weak and one-sided. It lacked a lot of information and it would have helped if the author examined some opposing viewpoints.
I didn't like the first article. I feel like I've read similar articles/posts over and over again the last few weeks and it didn't present any new information.
If you say something like that, you can still get your point across but in a way that is constructive and not just insulting (like "this was complete garbage, how could you publish this?").
I have also seen that whenever anyone attempts to post anything that questions the quality of the article, the entire wrath of the Panel seems to descend upon them.
While I think this is a bit of an exaggeration (wrath
), I do understand where you're coming from. Since they all work closely together on an ongoing basis, you can view the Editorial Panel as a group of friends. In most situation, if you criticize someone, their friends will back them up. I'm not saying it's an ideal situation because I can understand how it would be a little intimidating to have 5+ people disagreeing with you, but it's something to think about. But we always do ask the panel members to read criticism with an open mind and accept it.
My personal viewpoint is that there's not enough guest articles and controversial subjects. The EP seems to be too intent on churning out it's own articles and the debate value of them is questionable. The proof is in the pudding so I'm not making this up.
You also seem to have stopped asking for guest articles after a short time of advertising them. How come?
Regarding the point on guest articles, we still accept them and we love receiving them. We try to publish every one we get. The problem is that we honestly don't receive very many. Sometimes we may only get 1 a month, if that. The community just doesn't seem to be very interested in writing.
While controversial and debatable articles are good, they aren't the only things we focus on. Sometimes articles are there for entertainment, or just to provoke thought, or for nostalgia, etc. Most of the really controversial topics are already very hashed out in forum topics and creating an article about them just causes people to complain about how they've already read about that or it isn't new material, etc. It's quite difficult to come up with new, fresh, controversial ideas