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One of my goals for 2013 is to spend more time writing which includes diaries on DailyKos. However, trying to keep up on DK gives me information overload. Does anyone else struggle with this? Help!

Okay, I’m not a newbie. I’ve frequented this site for years.  I have inklings of where to look for help. For others who may not have seen it, here is one resource on DK that can help those of us looking to write our own diaries:

New Diarists Group

The New Diarists group is a great place to start if you’re seeking tips on how to write diaries, how to tag them, how to respond to comments, how to build a following, etc.  But I ran into the same problem I always have with DK: information overload.  There are TONS of diaries on how to do diaries, but at first glance it’s not prioritized nor does it have a contents page or guide on where to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Example: I went to Google when my own efforts to search through pages and pages and pages of DK for an article I remember seeing years ago which had tips on how to craft a well-written diary.  (I typed in “how to write a diary for DailyKos.”)  Despite my best efforts, I still haven’t found that article. Yes, I know—I should’ve saved the link when I saw it.  Hindsight is always 20/20, though.

I’m hoping that…

A)    Some veterans will take pity on me and try to once again hold my hand by posting some quick, easy links to helpful articles about diary writing for this site.


B)    Other DK members who are still navigating this complicated terrain will share how they’ve coped with their own struggles to write, comment and participate.

Rather than just post multiple paragraphs of run-on sentences (one of the unfortunate flaws in my own writing), let me throw out a few bullet points if I may:

1.    Everything Is Orange
Yes, yes—I know that’s the site’s color. It’s a visual trademark. But as someone with Attention Deficit Disorder, one trick I’ve learned over the years is to color-code everything in different colors. I literally use a rainbow of highlighters in my administrative work in order to keep track of all the information I have to access for multiple executives and co-workers.  

But unless it’s an “Orange To Blue” article, the site’s color scheme tends to be fairly monochromatic.  Everything tends to bleed together into identical blocks of text for me.

2.    Too Many Tools To Do 1 Job
There is an endless array of devices one can use to break up text or make your diary easier to read: tables, text boxes, HTML coding, bold, italics, links, tricks for manipulating cells, image mapping, ad infinitum.

Useful and practical? Yes, absolutely!  Organized simply and easily understood? Um, no, not in my experience. I could easily spend hours upon hours reading through diaries and articles on how to format my diary.  Yet I suspect I’m not the only one who wishes all these tricks and tips were all collected into one handy, easy & quick to read list.

3.    Where Are The FAQs?
Forgive me if it is staring me in the face, but I double-checked a minute ago and I don’t see a FAQs link right at the top of the main DK page.  Caveat: I did click on “Help” and found the Tutorial.  Still, a text version of that would also be helpful for quick scanning via “Ctrl F.”

4.    So Many Diaries, So Little Time!
This one kills me.  I could spend my entire day reading diaries and clicking links to other articles.  Unfortunately, I just don’t have that kind of time.  It’s frustrating because I can see all the talented diarists here who I’d love to support by reading thoroughly and commenting at length.  The problem is there are SO MANY of you!  I feel guilty not reading more diaries as it is.

It’s not that I don’t want to.  It’s simply not having time to do all the reading I would like to do.  (I feel like Burgess Meredith in “The Twilight Zone” who’d have forever to read after the world ends were it not for the fact his glasses broke!)

All the diaries. All the links. Plus all the news to keep up on at MSNBC, NYTimes and my local paper’s website. Then there are my friends’ novels I've promised to read and review.  In addition, there is my own writing to read and review. There’s too much for me to ever read all of it.

I'm sure this diary could probably use more brevity itself, though I’ve tried to be succinct.  But in sitting down just to write 1 diary of my own today, I sought to re-read tips on how to write DK diaries.  No doubt someone else most likely has already broached this subject in another diary…if only I could find it. Or if I had the time to look for it.

I love DailyKos.  Can’t live without it; gotta have it. But I think Duran Duran sums up my feelings best:

“Destroyed by MTV I hate to bite the hand that feeds me so much information
The pressure's on the screen to sell you things that you don't need
It's too much information for me!"
How can I simplify my search and sift through everything on DK without wasting hours looking for things? More importantly, how do you know what information to skip and what you absolutely have to read here?

Help... :(

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