What is the barrier to publication? It’s first and foremost a mental barrier. Sure, the act of writing presents its own challenges, but for me the mental hurdle of clicking send can be significant. Snippets lowers the barrier substantially compared with social media, messaging individuals, or even traditional blogging. Still, there’s room to lower the barrier even more; e.g. private journaling and thinking itself have much lower barriers than Snippets does.
The idea today for lowering the barrier is a publication queue. In this idea, I write a snippet, send it to Bieber Bot, and he holds on to it for a bit. Then, after a day or so, he lets me know that he’s going to publish it soon. He gives me an opportunity to tell him not to publish it, but after some time has passed, he goes ahead and publishes it in my Snippets section on my behalf.
During that waiting period, I can send Bieber Bot revised versions of the Snippet, which will supersede the original. This way, when I send Bieber Bot the original snippet, I do so knowing that it will only be published as is if 1) I don’t come up with a way to improve it and 2) I don’t decide not to publish it. This takes a bit of the decision making burden off of present-David, and gives it to future-David. Between the two of them, they should be able to handle the publication no problem.
This idea acts similarly to GMail’s “send later” feature, but without the need to choose a send time. Clicking “send later” is easier than clicking “send” because there’s an opportunity to undo or make changes.
In addition to decreasing the barrier to publication, one thing I like about this idea is that it gives me an opportunity to revisit old ideas. When Bieber Bot tells me “Hey, last chance to rescind publication of this Snippet” that gives me an opportunity to reflect on what I’d written.
I also like that it can spread out the publication of snippets that I write in a single sitting. Currently, after publishing a single snippet, I’m not inclined to write more because I would feel funny publishing multiple snippets in quick succession (another mental barrier to climb over, I suppose). If I knew that Bieber Bot would take care of spacing out the publications, I might feel more comfortable writing a second or third snippet in a single sitting. I’d like that.
So, a publication queue it is! This shouldn’t be too much effort to implement given the work I’ve already done to support snippet publications, scheduling, question-asking, and messaging in Bieber Bot.