Etiquette Daily Meta and Happy 2nd Anniversary

by Daniel Post Senning on March 9, 2011

Image links to the 1st public post on the Etiquette Daily

This is a special post for those of you who make the Etiquette Daily part of your routine. At Emily Post we always advise that discussions about money should be open, honest, and candid. In the spirit of following our own advice, I want to acknowledge an evolution of the site. We ran an advertisement on the bottom right of the homepage over the weekend as a trial run to determine if we could deliver advertising that filtered out offensive material. The experiment was a success and we have decided to serve advertising on the site above the header and below our content.

Coming from a state (Vermont) that has outlawed billboards, I appreciate that this can be seen as a bit of a compromise. At the same time, I do feel that there is a balance worth striking to allow this site to continue to grow and expand in new ways. Right now, maintaining this site costs the Institute a small amount. I am hoping to cover these costs and eventually use our revenue to add new features and further develop content. The Etiquette Daily is a passion of mine and I appreciate all of the users who have made so many contributions. I hope that you will keep coming back, allowing us to grow together.

This site was launched on St. Patrick’s Day 2009. As we approach our 2nd anniversary, I am curious about what ideas or dreams you may have for the Etiquette Daily. We are going to be reworking the site’s FAQs and other navigation pages and are looking for any input that you might have. If there is information that you think would be helpful to new or old users please leave suggestions in the comments. Also, feel free to think big and imagine anything that you would like to see in the digital conversation of etiquette and civility in America. Emily Post once said that etiquette is about how people choose to interact, and we value how you interact with us and each other. Thanks again for all you do, and here’s to another year together!

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara Z March 9, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Thank you for all that you do!

I understand there are limitations on what you’re able to do with the site. One thing I find mildly frustrating on a daily basis is that I am not sure which posts have new comments because all the homepage tells me is the amount of total comments. Often times, I’ve already read some of them, but since I don’t memorize the number of comments, it’s hard to tell if there are any new ones. Short of signing in with a profile, I’m not sure how alerting me to new comments could be accomplished, but I would like to see it done as it seems very convenient to me. Thanks again for all that you do!

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Daniel Post Senning March 10, 2011 at 8:39 pm

You are most welcome. It really has been a pleasure to share a space with other people who like to think about etiquette – good and bad.

I also have dreams of a better commenting system. To start with we went for very simple threaded comments but I am looking for something a bit deeper. I would love to see comment rating, so regular users could build a “reputation” for giving good advice. As you seem to understand, most systems require users to sign in and I had wanted to avoid this complication. It may be time to revisit the idea.

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Maggie March 9, 2011 at 11:18 pm

I would like it if the site had a function that allowed readers to follow comments on a particular thread. Many sites allow you to check a box when you post a comment and receive an automated email with each new comment as the conversation continues.

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Daniel Post Senning March 10, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Thanks for the feedback Maggie. It sounds like the comments could use some work to make them more user friendly. I mentioned above that I have been thinking about a comment rating system and some sort of improvement to this aspect of the site will be the next top priority.

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Laura March 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I agree with the others about being able to follow new comments. It’s not a big deal for me personally, but it’s the only thing I can think of that would need improving. As for my own usage, I follow you through my RSS feed and the current set up (one short Q&A per day and one open thread) works well because it reminds me in a little way to mind my manners and gives me pointers to situations I might not have thought of ahead of time.

Thank you Post Institute for all you do. Happy 2nd anniversary!

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Daniel Post Senning March 10, 2011 at 8:46 pm

So glad that the RSS works for you! I am just becoming aware of what a nice feature this can be myself.

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Vanna Keiler March 10, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I would also like to congratulate you on this very successful site. I have been extremely grateful for it being available as a source of information on etiquette and a discussion forum for Q&A. I like the soft color palette along the top menu bar and the general style is conveyed to make one feel a sense of ease when visiting your site. As I visit from day to day, I noticed this site is getting more and more traffic and becoming a real hub for discussions. Perhaps creating a separate section where contributors can debate controversial etiquette questions would be a nice addition.

I understand the need for advertisement to keep the site up, but if possible do suggest to keep the top part of your website for yourself and bring all advertisement to the sides or bottom. Beyond that, I appreciate the suggestions above mine and agree they would be a definite asset to the site if incorporated. Best wishes for a continued web presence!

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Daniel Post Senning March 10, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Thank you so much. I really like the idea of a topic forum for longer discussions on certain topics. As you have probably noticed, there are certain themes and situations that tend to come up again and again.

Anna Post helped picked out the colors. I will pass on your remarks.

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Alicia March 10, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Happy 2nd Birthday!!
A slight suggestion on how to monetize Etiquette Daily. I know there is a way that you can put amazon links and if someone purchases an item a certain amount gets given to the blog. I also know that Emily Post institute writes a bunch of fantastic books that one might be unaware of. ( I referenced Peter Posts Essential manners for men today for example or the great emily post kids books like Emily’s Magic Words) Perhaps these things could be combined such that a random emily post book picture and link on amazon is shown on each page. This would expose readers to the neat variety of emily post books, generate revenue for the Etiquete daily blog, and generate revenue for EPI as a whole, and still stay on the topic of good manners.
p.s. I would also love a spell check button

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Just Laura March 10, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Alicia -
Re: spellcheck – If you use the Firefox browser, it automatically checks the spelling for you!

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JB March 10, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Alicia,
Another suggestion, if you know spelling is a weakness… Copy your message onto a word document and spellcheck it before hitting send. It’s an extra step but definitely worth it, for appearance and credibility sake. You can also do email this way — sometimes other programs don’t always catch the errors and this is a good double-check.

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rw March 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm

One thing that catches my eye is the time stamp on the postings. Since I’m on the west coast, I see times that are well ahead — 8 hours ahead — of my local time. I’d find it helpful if the time stamp indicated the time zone, in this case UT or GMT.

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Maggie March 11, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Another thing I wish was more transparent is the moderation policy. I’m not sure who moderates the open thread, but sometimes my comments are deleted or rejected without reason. I find this strange as there is no policy describing when it happens. I also wonder if this is why the opinion of the same three people tend to dominate every discussion.

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Graceandhonor March 11, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Dear Maggie,
I am one of the community moderators here and want to thank you for your comments. I have recently returned after a couple of months away and am very happy to see how much our community has grown. We value the opinions and participation of all our visitors. I generally try to wait for someone to respond to a query and if that doesn’t occur soon, I will respond to get the ball rolling and let the original poster know they have been heard. As for any of your comments being deleted, I can find no record of that done on purpose. Sometimes a comment is moved to a wrong folder but we usually catch that kind of mistake quickly. We have never ever deleted anyone’s posting unless it was legitimately proven to be spam. If you can provide further information about a deleted posting, please send it to dan@emilypost.com and we’ll get to the bottom of it.

Best regards,

G&H

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Daniel Post Senning March 12, 2011 at 5:40 am

I’ll also add that the new navigation pages will include an explanation of the system and give some credit to the people who help keep the comments working almost 24/7. It is a good and important question.

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