I like MyDL. It is a great concept, and has a thriving, interesting group of regular authors. I am not a geek, or nerd, and probably well out of the typical grouping for MyDL. I am a bit of a gadget freak. Also, being disabled, I have a limited social life (even just calling around at a friend's house for a Braai often comes with a whole heap of issues!), so I enjoy the social interactions which are possible on MyDL. It is probably fair to say that I am online much more than most people. Aside from the difficulties of accessing different places in the physical environment, I have a very low boredom threshold (possibly a nice way of saying that I have undiagnosed ADD/ADHD!!). I cannot sit through a film. I find most TV intensely boring.
So there is much about MyDL that appeals. I can read about digital gadgets (although there is often the frustration of people describing gadgets that they have read about on other articles that are unavailable in SA). I can find out about new technologies, and issues in a mostly informed way. However, I can find out about these anywhere else... Even my own recent blogs on the Tablet PC, which (for a digital attempt) seem to have been well received give little or no new information. Anything that I described could have been found out anywhere else (Microsoft themselves do some excellent videos on the topic). But I keep coming back to MyDL for the cut & thrust of debate. I have made no bones about the fact that one of my main aims on MyDL is to raise awareness around Disability, and those issues. I also love science. I spend a lot of my time reading about the latest advances with the LHC, or the Hubble telescope. I find so many of the latest scientific advances, such as stem cell research, or whatever intensely exciting, and MyDL has been an ideal platform in which to share some of that information. I have strong views on religion, and am very concerned about the rise of fundamentalist religions within South Africa (such as creationism, or radical islamism), and again, this has been a useful forum to discuss these topics.
As MyDL knows; I choose to use my earnings from blogs for a variety of issues. In fact, none of the earnings have gone into my own pocket, even the few payments that were made to me, I used for a mixture of different uses. This 'extra' little bit of money is fun money; and I get huge pleasure in putting it to use in a number of different ways.
I have also been fortunate to meet a number of people through MyDL. None of whom would I have met without being part of the system here. I hope, and have plans, to meet more. These people I have got to know, not through the digital posts, but through the more lifestyle posts.
Which brings me around to my own suggestion; don't split the blogs into digital, newsy, and lifestyle (which is only going to create work for you, and frustration for everyone). Keep all the blogs together. With the tagging that you have people can easily sort through the different posts, to find the ones that interests them. If you are wanting to increase the digital blogs, and subject matters, then tell the authors. You can even task certain authors to write about specific subjects if wanted (I took on the job of describing tablets, as they are in the press at the moment, thanks to the iPad, but there seems to be widespread ignorance or misconceptions about them). I try to keep my blogs real world related..."this is how I use this digital technology in my own lifestyle". If you feel (or perhaps your sponsors / advertisers feel) that there are too many lifestyle posts, then tell us... I am sure than we can all adapt to your requirements. MyDL should be very careful who they award authorship to; in doing that the sheer competition to be awarded authorship status should increase both quality, and quantity of non-authors. If an author begins to drop off in quality or quantity, then warn them. Explain what you are looking for, and make sure that the quality is constantly improving. To my mind there should be no place for poorly written, badly spelled, ignorant posts. If an author keeps producing them, then boot them.
But I strongly feel that the lifestyle posts are the heart of MyDL, and your recent changed approach is going to kill them off. (Either that or I write a post about something digital, and then just put a line or 2 in saying that religion is stupid, creationsim is wrong, and any organisation that discriminates against women or gay people should be laughed out of modern society!!).
So my suggestion - pay 30c (minimum!!) per hit to all authors on posts. Make the status of authorship desirable. But put the responsibility on us, as authors to post regular, good articles, to keep bringing people to MyDL. Warn, and then kick, anyone not performing. Give specific subjects (if needed) to different authors. That may include having a slot where you provide different authors with a specific items (cell phone, computer, gadget, software, etc.) to trial and report on. But let people like Skard educate us all about the plight of the homeless; they are valuable insights, and should remind us all, that any one of us are only a few small paces away from that. Let OS describe the huge changes that he is about to undergo (but perhaps does not yet realise how huge) as he makes the journey into fatherhood. If, as you propose, these posts are demoted to 2nd division (in the UK system of having a Premier league), then I am sure your heart will slowly wither, and die... MyDL may survive, but as quite a different entity... Maybe I am being too conservative, and too resistant to change - no one like change after all...