The Editors’ Association of Earth

I noticed the Editors’ Association of Earth on Facebook today. I thought it was science fiction looking, maybe a futuristic niche. But, I don’t think so.

The Editors’ Association of Earth is intended to provide a space for (text/content) editors from anywhere to meet, have fun together, and talk about the issues and challenges that all editors share.

The Danger of Trigger Warnings

I think of trigger warnings as the peanut allergy campaign. Out of all the allergies people have (I’m allergic to animal hair for instance) why was the peanut allergy given such high priority? How did one allergy cause so much change in how food is served or allowed to be served?

With trigger warnings it is the same story. There are endless lists of items/ situations which could cause issues for people. Enough to shut down communication. Where does it begin and end?

For generations, people have been responsible for their own health, making sure to avoid or be careful when something could cause them to have an allergic attack. People need to self moderate. It really is the only way for everyone to manage communication. Emotional triggers in particular, are very personal and individual. Second guessing what will bother any one person in a group, or the public as a whole, is fruitless. Like a bottomless pit. Moderating everything to that extent would make communication impossible and/ or meaningless.

Over sensitivity and hyper awareness is not going to work for communication and education.

We treat an allergy with exposure, allergy shots are a little of the substance given to the immune system to deal with. When it works, the immune system will lose its sensitivity to the substance. We deal with fear in the same way. Pushing our emotions to endure and gradually understand the problem. Trigger warnings will never work because they put the fear, emotions on a pedestal, making them bigger and more important. Focusing on anything will only make it grow stronger, and more prevalent.

Trigger warnings will only silence communication.

Oxford University law students have asked to be protected from distressing material that may crop up in their studies of the criminal law. Lecturers have been told that they must issue “trigger warnings” before lecturing on subjects that may – it is claimed – lead vulnerable students into depressive episodes or even suicide. Students thus forewarned can either steel themselves to what follows, or, as some are now doing, skip the lecture altogether. The directive is primarily aimed at students studying criminal law.

Will lecturers be expected to anticipate every case in which a trigger warning must be issued? Are law lecturers to become amateur psychologists and predict in advance the topics that may conceivably cause trauma to their students?

The whole point of a university is that it is an institution in which students and academics can engage in free and uninhibited discussion. Nowhere is this more important than in the subject of legal education, which involves much more than being told what the law is.

Source: Trigger warnings are an insidious threat to academic freedom – BarristerBlogger

Comment Scam

I’m glad we can edit comments left on the blog. I don’t remember being able to do that when I was using Blogger/ Blogspot. You could delete the comment or keep it.

Today I had a comment on an older post. It was a good post, in my own opinion. The commenter used my name and referred to the post, closely enough that it could be related to the topic or generic, depending on how you read it. I thought it was a sincere comment. I even posted it. Then I went to look at it on the post itself, outside of the editing screen.

That is when I noticed the period at the end of the last sentence contained a link to an acne treatment site. A hidden link. The funny thing is, I would have posted it (with the link even) if the link had been in the usual place rather than trying to make it a scam by hiding it. There was no link with the commenter’s name.

Anyway, I did not delete the comment. But I did go back and edit the link out. I decided to keep the comment. I will watch for other scam being made to look like a sincere comment.

Writer/ Editor for the TV News?

Everyone has their dream job, usually more than one. I don’t know if mine would be to write the news. It’s a picky thing, requiring perfection, fact checking and someone who really involves themselves with current events. That’s not quite me. But, for someone, writing for the TV news would be a dream job come true.

Here is a real job posting from CanWest Global. Do you have what they want? Could you round out your skills and become the perfect fit?

The Global Winnipeg News Department is seeking a full time Writer/Editor to participate in the daily production of our news and information programming. The successful candidate will be a proven journalist with demonstrable writing and technical skills. He/she will work in a competitive news environment with a motivated team whose newscasts are targeted at viewers in the 25-54 demographic.

The successful candidate will be an experienced journalist with demonstrable skills
Diploma/degree in journalism or similar relevant education
Prior reporting and editing experience an asset
Effective writing skills for both broadcast and online content and a proven ability to meet editing and on-air deadlines
Able to work co-operatively in a large team environment.
Exemplary work ethic and punctuality
Proficiency with MS Word/Excel/Outlook is a requirement.
Experience in new media platforms and posting website content is a requirement

The following is a paraphrase of requirements and primary functions and does not outline all of the duties and responsibilities for this position:

The ability to research and continually develop original and creative story ideas and local contacts.
Edit content and prepare online elements in a non-linear environment.
Edit content and reporter stories for broadcast daily in a non-linear environment.
Write web copy and elements for newscasts with the highest degree of competence, clarity, and accuracy.
Coordinate online content and website maintenance in cooperation with online team.
Strong organizational skills to facilitate daily production coordination
Assignments will include days, evenings and weekends as required.

For Web Directory Builders

Have you ever thought about building your own web directory? Maybe you just want to sort out all the links you’ve had stuck in bookmarks forever or maybe you want to share the great links you have found about a  personal hobby/ interest with the world.

Creating a directory is easier with software to help you build and maintain it. You can just keep a live bookmark list online, like a portal. But, it is fun to put your links out there and see what comes back when people have the option to add their own links. Of course, you will need to moderate any incoming links. (We all know about spam and spammers).

I want to start with a web directory for Canadian rural and urban exploration sites. I know it will grow from there, I already have the stash of links to do it. But, I am keeping it simple while I work with the software and get the hang of things. Luckily, I am already experienced at editing a web directory. I was an editor at the Open Directory Project for about ten years and I am currently editing the Best of the Web directory (though not getting nearly enough time in there to earn anything from my work yet).

Anyway, a directory is a fun project. Some people will add in the feature to charge anyone a fee for being listed in the directory. To me, that messes with the integrity of the directory. If you only list paying links you will be missing a lot of good sites. Also, the sites who pay to be listed are not likely the very best sources for information on the topic. Often it is still the sites which are a labour of love which have the most information, the best resources and the real time put into maintaining them. I never fully trust any site that looks like an ad farm. I think they are more interested in marketing, money making and SEO than building a great resource.

Some links of interest to anyone building their own directory:

Directory Blogger

Talk Directories

Web Directory List

Directories Blog

triPHP Directory Discussion

Everything Stinks

“Everything stinks till it’s finished.” Dr. Seuss.

How does your writing smell? Maybe you just need to take a shower break. Just kidding, it’s really your writing that stinks. But you can fix it, just keep writing. Then editing, then rewriting and proofreading. If you finish it, and polish it the stink will go away. Happy destinking.