This post goes especially to my fellow NYC Midnight competitors. So many have made kind comments on the maintenance of the “Master List” of stories posted for review – and a couple of them have said “I don’t know how you do it!” So – as it’s 6 a.m. on Saturday, the husband and dogs woke me at 4:30, and I am in that fatigue-delirium, I decided to show ya how that happens.
Yes, I skim the forums manually. I scroll down each page til I reach the part of the list that no longer shows ‘new posts’ or new activity – usually 10 or 12 pages of stuff, sometimes more in the week after confirmations come in. If you look closely, you will see that for posts that were newly started in the past 24 hours, the time stamp is bold. I look down each page for the bold text to see if there is something new that I don’t recognize either by title or by user name, and open those pages in a new tab. Then I open the Master List in a separate window and Alt+Tab back and forth between them, closing tabs as the posts are added to the list.
Then I open up the new comments on the List and make sure every one of those is present, and didn’t get missed. My accuracy is pretty good – but “pretty good” still only looks like 95% or so. There are generally a half dozen that I would have missed if someone hadn’t commented. And a few that get added but on the wrong line – so into the wrong group. And a few typos – ’cause, hey, my typos are legendary. My World of Warcraft guild has a special rule about forgiving typos in guild chat, and it is named for my character.
Yep – definitely doing it the old-fashioned way! But when I say I couldn’t do it without the help of everyone in the forums – I am being absolutely sincere. The List is truly a group effort.
The first few days, things are always happening so fast that I take a few minutes to check in whenever I can. This year, because one of the groups got “ferry” as a location (and someone wrote a story involving the very ferry I usually ride in to work in the morning), I noted that I was updating the list while on the ferry. For those of you who wonder what that looks like:
Yep – that’s a little airplane-style ‘tray table’ attachment that hangs off my steering wheel, and my 11″ tablet. (as we rode, I heard a seal barking just to my right. For the only time in my life – I didn’t run off to go look at him. I love you guys like that… Of course, if it’s an orca, you’re totally on your own 😉 )
Once things slow down a bit, my dedication wanes – I limit myself to “times when I am at an actual computer where the back-and-forth between windows and 8 million tabs open” thing isn’t a colossal pain. At home, the setup looks more like this:
And no, the difference is not that 23″ screen. OK, maybe a little. But the key feature is the vast amount of space for important things – like that Starbuck’s cup right next to the monitor!
That’s right – for those of you who wonder how I do it: Earl Grey Lattes!!! Your Master List is fueled by lots and lots of strong black tea, steamed milk, and vanilla.
Now you know my secret.