Feed Login

Thoughts on streaks 2021-01-03 17:30:16

There is a thread started by
Arcticloon
that discussed the differences between commenting on a post and responding with your own post. This led to talk about what should constitute a streak. Of course, I need to chime in.

First, let me begin by saying I'm a streak purist (let it be known that Grammarly wanted to correct "streak" to "steak.") I don't believe in "cheat days" or "rest days" or any other concoction that lets one off the hook. If you take a day off, that's the end of the streak. Period.

The original streak defined on 200WAD was to publish a post (minimum 200 words) at least once each calendar day. The timer reset at midnight local time. When the site was re-branded as the Co-Writers, the 200-word requirement was eliminated. I was not thrilled because I knew this change would open the door to misuse. In a conversation with Baz, I expressed this opinion. He responded that he felt 200 words was a barrier that was too high for many people, and he was aiming toward a wider audience.

So what should constitute a proper streak? Merely coming to the site and reading without doing anything else is not enough. We're in the business of helping people write, so the streak should be based on creating, not consuming.

Timing
I believe in posting at least once a day. Ideally, this means writing every day, but I understand that this is not always possible. Sometimes I have a flurry of creative energy, and I might churn out multiple posts in a day. Other days, I might be traveling or otherwise occupied without the time or ability to write. The ability to save drafts and schedule posts would help people post on days when it is otherwise difficult.

Minimum Output
There should be a minimum output required for a streak, and we can debate what that limit should be. No limit introduces the opportunity for shenanigans. Writing a few words or a sentence is like going into a gym, lifting a barbell once, and leaving. What kind of exercise is that? Some people think 200 words is too much.  A tweet has a maximum of 280 characters, which equates to about 55 words. This would seem to be a good starting point for a bare minimum, but I do think a post should be more substantial than a tweet.
jasonleow
is using 100 words on LifeLog, and I think that is a reasonable target. I am old school, and all my posts are a minimum of 200 words.

Private Posts
On 200WAD, private posts could be used as the refuge of a scoundrel. Since no one saw what was written, it could have been anything just to keep the streak going. I am not in favor of private posts. If you want to write privately, by all means, go do that. The purpose of these writing sites is to write in public.

#Teamstreak
#Teamstreak and the subsequent 100-day, 200-day, 300-day, One-Year, and Two-Year Clubs are for the hardcore people who are all-in. I still think 30 days is a good threshold to join #Teamstreak, and it should remain an opt-in club. Even if people reach #Teamstreak once and then disappear, at least they proved to themselves they can do something for 30 days.

Comments
keni
suggested that commenting on posts should count toward a streak even more than posting. I don't believe in setting a minimum word count for comments, and since I believe in a minimum output for a streak, the logical conclusion is that commenting would not count toward the same streak for posting. It's too difficult to compare one person's thoughtful comment with another person's "I agree." That doesn't mean that commenting is not important. I agree with Keni that comments are the engagement driver, and we should do anything we can to encourage them. Perhaps comments can be counted by person, and a leaderboard can display who leads in comments on a monthly basis and all-time.

Streak slavery
No discussion of streaks would be complete without bringing up the concept of streak slavery. A streak forces action, especially on days when you just don't feel like showing up. Goals change. Priorities change. I don't like the idea of anyone keeping a streak going purely for the sake of the streak. A streak is a tool, not the point. One function of #Teamstreak can be to help ensure people are on the right path for them so that they can avoid the sunk cost fallacy.

More from Brandon Wilson

Just FYI. Brandon i think you copy and pasted a link from your notifications page. What this means is that we actually can't access it. That link is a special link that marks your notification as read when you click it. Since it's our special link none of us can click it. Could you convert that link to the actual link to the pertinent post/comment? 

In the future I'll figure out a way to prevent users from doing the above since you won't be the first to copy and paste from the notifications page.
2021-01-03 17:39:12
Fixed. That's some inside baseball there. Good to know.
2021-01-03 18:21:52