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What do you think about “news” roundups on the TP blog?

I’m Jon, editor of the TP blog. We try to keep general news off of The Prepared. But there were times, like with COVID (where we were one of the first in the West to ring the alarm bells about it), where it seems worthy to talk about news in a prepping context.

We’re trying to figure out where the balance is. How much “news” do you want?

We’re planning to reduce the COVID “Key Developments” posts to about twice a week, but I wanted to take the forum’s temperature on this. We don’t (yet) have polling support in here, but if we did I’d post a poll with the following options:

  1. Reduce COVID key developments posts to twice a week
  2. Eliminate these link-dump posts altogether
  3. Turn Key Developments into a generic prepping link-dump post that includes non-COVID news, interesting gear finds, etc.

Thoughts or feedback? Other alternatives?

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  • Comments (13)

    • 9

      1 & 3 (in that order if it was meant as a “pick one option’)

      I appreciated the ramp up in COVID coverage early on, it helped drive home the point “you should pay attention to this” and you ‘showed your work’ but I would have been OK with dialing it back slightly sooner.  Overall I found it helpful/positive as executed.

      I would be interested in a broader range of news-dump topics at a slightly more frequent pace (even just once a week or every other week, for example financial news has been interesting lately and a few people have started to post about that aspect in the forums – the ‘how to survive a protest’ blog articles were also timely) but I wouldn’t need it all the time – i.e. during “normal times” I wouldn’t be upset with a slower blog cycle.

      In case this feedback is helpful: to the extent that its practical – being mindful of sources and their bias.  I realize this is easy to say, hard to do, and subjective for each reader.  The occasional news link went to a source that I’m familiar enough with to be skeptical – overall though I thought the links were pretty high quality.  Overall no complaints, just something I’d occasionally notice.  There is probably not an easy/effective solution (I’d imagine some people would accuse my preferred news sources of bias as well so its a hard balance for everyone).

    • 8

      I like the news & update side bar and it’s probably the first place I look when I load the website.  The Covid updates still seem very relevant.  This is not going away any time soon and I think later in the year things could get worse (maybe not–I’d love to be wrong).  I appreciate the idea of reducing them to 2-3 times a week (I have a seen similar trends at some of my news sources).  So I suppose I would vote for #1 or #3 but definitely not #2.

    • 6

      I like the daily ones the way they are.

    • 6

      I think the daily ones are no longer worth the amount of effort it takes for your staff to research/write them — twice a week would be a good balance. Of course there’s no reason if something new comes up, and needs to be discussed now, it can’t be.

      I’d prefer that COVID/current news link dump be separate from the gear info. Maybe categorize them as Need to Know, and Nice to Know type thing.

      I do understand not wanting to be a news site, but there’s value to a news site that is geared toward preppers.

      Lastly, in normal times you could do this news dump every couple of weeks, but these aren’t normal times.

    • 8

      2x a week seems about right for now.  I’ve found the curated summary quite useful; staff have uncovered several articles and/or perspectives I hadn’t seen.

      The updates also seem appropriate where they are on the site.  If some other major global event were to occur, that would be the place to communicate about it.  If/when things evolve to where you need to post more frequently, you can.

    • 5

      I’ve missed reading the daily blog updates, and figured a reduction was in the works…or that the TP crew was food sick from all night MRE benders 😉

      I feel the reporting and value of the blog posts warrant continuing the current structure. Option 1, for sure.

      Additionally, for those of us that try to steer, um, less informed folks down the path of righteousness, it feels a lot sturdier to send a link to a blog than a link to a discussion forum or prepping link dump (option 3).

      I’m sure the extra work for the COVID blog isn’t the most fun, but I think it’s a great front-facing piece of TP that probably creates a stronger sense of veracity than other prepper sites (i.e., zombies on yer six, we’re all gonna die!!!).

    • 8

      The COVID updates keep me coming back daily. We’re in the middle of a once in a hundred years event and it’s literally one of the things this site and the people who visit were preparing for. It wouldn’t make sense to stop having regular updates.
      In the first few months everything was new and unknown so it made sense to have daily updates.

      We’re hitting cruising speed so it might make sense to lighten up a little. I’d prefer 3 days a week over 2. But I imagine come September there could be reason to go up to daily again.

      The value in TP is the quality of the analysis. I have a hard time believing other sources because they seem either to doomsey or too rosey.

      Mixing in other links would be a good change of pace.

    • 5

      The news brought me here and keeps me checking in.  I’m not a prepper and will never become one.  I’m someone living through a once in a lifetime crisis and I believe knowledge is power.  Keep as is or option 1.

    • 5

      I actually miss them being daily. It’s such a nice go-to place to get some different angles on the COVID news. (Even though I’m in the UK, I still enjoy them)

      If you have to change, go with option 1 and throw some option 3 stuff in to replace them?

      Thanks for the great content…

    • 5

      One thing that would be helpful is a push option – I’m subscribed to the newsletter, but getting an email ping on new articles on the site would be very good. (Maybe a premium option?)

      • 5

        Thanks for feedback, we’ve been thinking about this recently. The newsletter is meant to be the “email push notification of new articles,” but is not a real-time push notice, rather it happens every few weeks when there’s enough to bundle and push.

        More real-time pushes happen via Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit.

        Would something else make more sense for you?

        Personally, I hope RSS feeds make a comeback!

    • 3

      I love the Key Developments, not only read them carefully and follow the links, but read them again and again. Two months ago zi went all the way back to January, when you started the Covid reporting, and read everything from that time on over several weeks. I started reading your blog in March, and enjoyed rereading in May in light of later knowledge and developments. I love your article with lists of games. I’ve never enjoyed games, but it has been a wonderful thing to do with my daughter. I would not have had a single clue what to buy, but took full advantage of many of your Amazon links. I noticed you had added more games last week, pored over them, and ordered Sequence. We played it for the first time today. My daughter caught on right away and enjoyed it. We haven’t played Stuffed Fables yet, but I have considerable fear about doing so. I’ve spent hours reading the instruction book and watching long, many-part videos on how to play it. I hope it won’t be as intimidating as it sounds. But I appreciate your making me aware of this modern trend.

      I love the Key Developments as well as the articles and the Forum topics and comments. It makes me happy when I see there’s a new Key Developments up and I have a lot of interesting time before me studying them.

       

      • 3

        Thanks! I didn’t realize that people were still looking at that stash. I actually have a much more up-to-date version that I had organized a bit differently and that was private, so I just made it public. Here it is:

        It has more recent purchases on it. I need to replace the kit in that blog post with this one.

        There are two other games I picked up that I need to add to it: The Fox in the Forest and The Fox In the Forest: Duet. Both are two-player card games that have gotten rave reviews, so I’m planning to play them with my kids. They’re a little hard to come by, but if you dig around you can usually turn up a copy. Cardhaus.com, for instance, has both.