09 November 2001

To Dilettante:checks and stars

Subject: To Dilettante:checks and stars
From: Fray Editor
Date: Nov 9 2001 4:03 PM

I posted this below to a long thread on checks and stars, started by Dilettante (it is checkmarked), but then thought other readers might be interested.

I think checks were introduced almost exactly a year ago, and the first stars arrived in January. I always say that I hope a checkmark implies a good post, but the lack of a checkmark does NOT imply a bad post: I just cant read them all.

You have all worked out quite a lot about my reading habits, and I will try to tell you some more. I cannot read all the posts, and I cannot check every Fray every day, or even close to every day. My main job is to look for great posts that I can feature under the articles, so I tend to concentrate most on the articles that Slate is promoting on its main banner, above the full table of contents.

This means that some very good Frays get less attention than others: Todays Papers, Dear Prudie, and Poem almost never have excerpts under the articles, because their format just doesnt lend itself to that. I do try to visit the active Frays, which these are, but I am not looking for excerpts (although occasionally Ill use one in Best of The Fray.) Frame Game would get regular attention because they are great articles which tend to produce excellent, usable comments. I am the only person who hands out the checks and stars: however, William Saletan does read his own Fray and often sends me recommendations--and he knows who his good posters are.

It is true that I rely on the stars presence to provide something to come up on Fray Editors Picks, and I am very grateful to them for their input.

About getting a star: I always have a list of people Im looking at for stars. I notice a name a few times, and then start looking out for it, and checking the MBTU when a good post comes up.

Moira Redmond
Fray Editor

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