Introducing the ‘news nybble’ – an experimental new post format for RISCOSitory

A change is as good as a rest, and boy do I need a rest!

A perennial problem faced here in the bunker is one of time – the one most people will understand: A lack of it. Busy periods have become more and more frequent, and seem to go on for longer, and during those periods publishing news on this site can become quite a headache.

Several years ago, a ‘Snippets’ post format was introduced as a means to solve this. The purpose of Snippets posts was to round-up news periodically that hadn’t previously been posted – usually as a result of being too busy at the time to do the news justice. They are also used for cases where an announcement about a new release, update, or whatever is itself somewhat sparse on detail, since the individual items within a Snippets post are themselves usually quite short.

However, despite each item only getting a couple of paragraphs, the amount of time that needs to be spent on a Snippets post can itself make the job quite daunting. It involves going back over saved mailing list and usenet posts, bookmarks, and highlighted posts in RSS feeds, to find the news items (as opposed to things kept for other reasons), weed out duplicates, identify follow-up and/or related items in order to collate them, and so on. And some of those items will have been seen and therefore retained on different systems.

As well as the amount of time needed to do all of that, it also means it’s very easy to overlook news – especially if it’s something that has been mentioned on a forum, a mailing list, or on usenet, but hasn’t been sent directly to RISCOSitory.

As an experiment, to see if it works better, a new type of post is being introduced: A ‘news nybble’. These will be very short posts – usually no more than a couple of paragraphs, and quite possibly sometimes no more than a single sentence – which I will (hopefully) be able to publish even if I am not sat at my normal desk, using my normal computer.

Essentially, a news nybble will be the couple of paragraphs per item that make up a Snippets post, but posted individually, and sooner. They will also be easily identified as such – the post title will always begin with “News nybble:”

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