In the April edition of KnitNet (I know, it’s the end of July; I only happened to look today) we have a pretty brief editorial based on the theme of “no good deed ever goes unpunished”. This moral is supported by a very brief story about why the current issue of KnitNet was low on patterns:
[W]e think of [the April] edition as our chance to welcome new designers — not just new to us, but new to the business of designing — in order to give them a chance to work with professionals. Our hope is that they’ll be able to hone their skills, particularly the difficult and exacting art of pattern writing…
Sometimes, it doesn’t work out quite the way we intended.
This year, for example, after more than a month of working with her, one designer balked at her patterns being brought into line with KnitNet standards. We pride ourselves on offering consistent, accurate patterns so felt we had to insist. Ultimately, she took her socks and went home.
Too bad for all of us because, not only did it delay publication by weeks, it leaves us a little shy on patterns for this edition.
The editrix thinks there’s a lesson to be learned with. I spot two:
1. The designer — even a new one — should have realized that all publications have standards for pattern writing (and this page links to KnitNet’s standards in PDF form). Assuming that the tech editor wasn’t proposing to do something that changed the meaning of the pattern instructions, well, that’s the way it is, but somehow I find it hard to believe that even a first-time contributor would object to a particular style of abbreviation or formatting. I wonder what happened?
2. I am apparently old-fashioned enough to think that it is not professional for an editor of a periodical to describe, in an editorial, how difficult it was to work with a would-be contributor, and to use that story to explain why an issue was late or otherwise lacking.
And an exercise for discussion: what was the “good deed”, anyway?
And as a bonus, lesson number three can be found here, in a reprint of an earlier gem penned by the publisher:
Everywhere I look on the Web, every search I do turns up, not useful and valuable information any more, but increasingly, somebody’s personal opinion, on their website or blog or podcast.
Now there is nothing wrong with this… The problem is that all this opinion on the Web makes searching for the facts more and more difficult. Now I have to wear my hip waders when I surf the Web. It gets harder and harder to find the pearls in amongst the straw.
There has been much talk of creating two separate Webs, one for business and one for personal use. I think it is a great idea. It can’t come too soon.
Hey, Web 1.0 called. It wants its web-safe palette back. Will his opinion change in 2012 when he learns about the companies engaging in topical or vertical searching?
I can understand being overwhelmed by the volume of user-generated content out there, but the individual searching the web for answers doesn’t cope only by taking information with a grain of salt; he needs to learn how and where to ask questions… and sometimes the “where” is “not on the Internet”. (That’s a fact.)
Dividing the world of information into “business” and “personal” (excuse my ignorance, but what is he talking about? .biz? a non-HTTP protocol? what “separate Web”?) doesn’t solve the problem of separating fact from opinion. (That’s an opinion.)
Also, Ravelry + this guy = some kind of explosion that will tear a hole in the universe. (Is that fact or opinion?)