As a certified project manager for twenty-five years, one of my many tasks when managing a project is to perform risk mitigation.
In essence, the act of risk mitigation is very much like crossing a bridge before you get to it. I’m required to imagine all the possible bad stuff that could happen before it does so I can create a strategy for fixing things when they do happen.
Most times, creating these strategies is not an easy task. Talk about being asked to carry around a crystal ball and a pack of tarot cards. Oh, and yes, I’ve been forced to use a Ouija board sometimes.
Nothing but the best prognosticative methodologies for project work believe you me.
Not only do I have to get to the bridge and cross it before the project team arrives, but I have to come up with a way to rebuild that darned bridge if necessary.
I have to stop it from burning down while I’m fighting off attacks of maniac Ninja warriors (stakeholders who never wanted the project to begin in the first place)with a bloodlust.
I also have to perform EMT resuscitation on the finance folks when they learn how much these manifested risks are going to cost to mitigate.
<Whining of the defibrulator>
So when the change announcement on how we’re going to get paid for our writing everybody is yammering about (rightfully so) hit our inboxes, I immediately donned my PM hat and started down the mitigation path.
Here’s what I came up with about the announcement:
1. The reading time payout versus the clap payout will affect my revenue stream in either a positive or negative manner.
Either way, I don’t know if it will or not. It’s way too early to tell. As risk mitigation goes, I don’t think any of us have enough information to develop a workable strategy to alleviate this risk if it becomes a negative aspect. However, the initial kneejerk mitigation strategy will be to produce more quality output.
Of course, there will be no reason to mitigate a positive outcome.
Unless you’re at that magical tax bracket where the IRS looks your way and begins to rub their hands together in greedy anticipation.
Regardless, I will have to wait and monitor the situation before I develop a plan.
2. The reading time payout versus the clap payout will negatively affect my revenue stream if I write one or two-minute poems or silly song parodies. It will impact me in the same negative fashion if I write micro-fiction.
Maybe, maybe not. Again, as risk mitigation goes, I don’t have enough information to develop an alleviation and risk mitigation strategy. And as in risk number one, I will have have to monitor the situation before developing a strategy. However, the initial kneejerk mitigation strategy will be to produce more quality output.
3. The reading time payout will force everyone to write longer pieces, and if we start doing that, we’ll be darned if we do and darned if we don’t.
It’s a given that an eleven-minute or heaven help us, a twenty-two-minute read is often passed over. The longer the piece, the fewer people will read.
Everybody struggles to find the time. To sit in once place for that long on a single article is like well, reading a book.
It seems as if no one has time for that either.
We won’t know until the change takes place, and we see the results to understand how this aspect of the change is going to impact us.
Again, I will have to see how my shorter or five-minute pieces fare with the new payout algorithm before I can develop a mitigation strategy.
However, the initial kneejerk mitigation strategy will be to produce more quality output.
Are you seeing the mitigation trend here folks?
4. Clapping for a writer is meaningless now.
I have a rock-solid mitigation strategy for this one.
Clap just like before the change. The numbers of claps, although not adding value from a pay standpoint, will send a message of the worth of the piece to the reading community.
Something published two weeks ago (the shelf life of my stories is far, far shorter than two weeks. More like twelve hours.) that only has five claps may not be your first read of the day when you see something posted by another author on the same day, and it has eight hundred and fifty claps.
Clap folks, clap like the clapping fiends you should be. Spread the word you like what you just read.
Yeah, the author will get paid because you read it, but how about helping draw the attention of all the other readers out there to it?
So, after two days of mitigation strategy work, my risk assessment looks like this:
The word Medium in my risk grid turned out to be a delightful pun. Medium Impact, Medium Probability. Get it?
Anyway, do you see any red, which indicates a high probability the risk will occur, and when it does, it will be a high severity and a significant pain point?
So stop worrying about things we’re not sure will even happen, folks. We don’t know enough to mitigate the problems if they occur. Unless you’re a knee jerk reactionary kind of person.
Regardless of what Henny Penny is screaming in the barnyard at the top of her lungs, we need to look up at the sky and examine the situation for ourselves.
Then, if the sky is falling, we need to do something about it.
For now, until the warning sirens start to go off, everybody needs to calm the heck down and stop worrying about this.
If you need something to take your mind off your fears of the unknown, I have a suggestion.
At the moment and for the next two days, it doesn’t matter how long or short your piece is. And it may not matter even after the new algorithm switch is flipped. We don’t know enough to make a reasonable assessment.
So keep writing.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a three-stanza haiku or a piece of fiction, or a silly song parody or a recipe for banana nut bread. Just write something you’re proud of, a quality work which we’ll want to read from beginning to end.
Continue to bring well thought out, well-written work which resonates with the readers to the table.
That’s what it’s all about.
Let’s keep in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
© P.G. Barnett, 2019. All Rights Reserved.