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Old April 29th, 2013 (6:53 PM).
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This is something that I want to discuss with the members before I spring it on everyone.

A while ago, in our discussion about reviewing, someone mentioned using the Like system. (Information about the Like system can be found here.)

The benefits to using the Like system is that if someone wants to let an author know that they like the story, but have nothing specific to say about the story, they can just click the Like button. The downside is that that really doesn't tell the author if anyone is actually reading their story. Anyone can just come in and click the Like button on every thread here without every reading a thing. (I'm sure there's more pros and cons to this. I just can think of them currently.)

That's why I want to ask the people posting their stories here: Would a "Like" on your story be a good way to gauge readers' interest?

If so, great! I'll announce it and let everyone like to their heart's content. If not, well...you're getting a guide to post constructive comments without needing to know how to fix everything, so...
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Old April 29th, 2013 (11:56 PM).
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    As someone who's had a couple of posted chapters of my story 'liked' rather than responded to, I can say from experience that it's... kind of a nothingness, really. It does allow you to gauge whether or not anyone enjoyed it enough to stay on the page for more than half a second after finishing the chapter, but as far as incentives to keep writing go, it isn't as effective as even the most cursory response.

    However, that's not the question under debate here. The issue is whether or not it's a good way to gauge reader's interest, and, given the state of reviewing on these forums, I have to say that I think any form of response, even one as indirect as a 'like', would be of interest. The danger is, of course, that reviews lapse in favour of 'liking' - but honestly, since virtually no one is reviewing anyway (and here I'm as guilty as everyone else, and more so than some), I'm not sure that that's going to be a problem.

    You raise the point that someone could conceivably go through all the threads in the forum and 'like' the lot without reading them; this is technically true, but realistically I'm not sure that anyone would bother doing that. That kind of scheme would be relatively easy to discover, as well, for anyone who regularly checks on more than one story.

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    Old May 1st, 2013 (11:31 AM).
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cutlerine View Post
    I have to say that I think any form of response, even one as indirect as a 'like', would be of interest.
    That was my thought as well when I asked this question. I'm trying to find some way to make it "easier" to let authors know that people are reading their stories, and the Like system is the easiest way I can think of. It only takes less than a second to click the Like button, while (for me personally) it could take up to a half-hour to write out a review.

    Quote:
    The danger is, of course, that reviews lapse in favour of 'liking' - but honestly, since virtually no one is reviewing anyway (and here I'm as guilty as everyone else, and more so than some), I'm not sure that that's going to be a problem.
    Indeed. I'll admit that a thought I had would be if the Likes help authors know that people are interested in their stories, they'll continue to post even without a constant stream of reviews. Right now, I'm trying to strike a balance between "stories that need reviews" and "reviews that need stories", if that makes any sense. We're far into the former, and I'm going to hopefully work on that this month.

    Quote:
    That kind of scheme would be relatively easy to discover, as well, for anyone who regularly checks on more than one story.
    Checking who Liked a story is far easier to moderate than checking post comments, which are more private. If there are any problems, which I too doubt, it can be taken care of.

    Thanks, Cutlerine, for the response!
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    Old May 1st, 2013 (5:41 PM).
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    Agreed that any problems with liking spam or whatnot can be dealt with.

    I think a good way to go about it is to promote both liking and reviews, really. Likes is better than nothing, reviews are great in general but just not happening for various reasons. Gotta start with something!
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    Old May 1st, 2013 (9:28 PM).
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      I'm in favor of this. Since I was last here I've started writing more short stories, which are probably harder for most to comment on.

      I haven't done much browsing here yet, but a quick glance shows a lack of summaries. I personally don't commit to anything longer than a short story unless I can gauge my own interest at the start, and without a summary the first several lines will suffice (which may not be fair). Improved organization and display of stories might help.

      Something along the lines of a weekly critique swap would be interesting, too.
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      Old May 2nd, 2013 (4:34 AM).
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      Quote:
      Originally Posted by Dubstep View Post
      I'm in favor of this. Since I was last here I've started writing more short stories, which are probably harder for most to comment on.

      I haven't done much browsing here yet, but a quick glance shows a lack of summaries. I personally don't commit to anything longer than a short story unless I can gauge my own interest at the start, and without a summary the first several lines will suffice (which may not be fair). Improved organization and display of stories might help.

      Something along the lines of a weekly critique swap would be interesting, too.
      I guess how people present their threads (ie starting with a summary or not) is up to them, but if there was some way to implement summaries for stories then it may be something to consider implementing.

      We did have a thread in which people could submit their story with a summary to it as a master list of sort, but it just didn't get used for a good while, and still requires people to read through it first. Maybe if we could do something like the fan section's Oekaki's (http://www.pokecommunity.com/forumdisplay.php?f=21 - look at the top, below the subsections) which previewed a fic at random each time the page was reloaded, would that be interesting to people?

      There's a few issues with it - firstly we'd possibly need a new system for it (because the Oekaki hasn't been updated for over a year and is made for images, and idk how that's even handled/etc). And then if it's some fancy automated system then what happens with fics over than a month since their last update? (Given the no bumping rule). Unless we just drop that, hmm...

      If I was really ambitious I could make a simple .swf which could display the above given a list of fics/summaries and do it at random (I know enough coding to do that), and that could be put in the forum's section splash, but then there's a matter of if we can even put .swf files in there.

      Alt is that we bug audy to make a system for it, but he's doing a lot as it is (and more important stuff in terms of making the forum work...). So I'll just leave it at that and see what you think of that.

      The simple solution - Astinus chooses a fic at random every week and features it in the forum splash. It's just far less fancy and... needlessly uncomplicated. =p
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      Old May 2nd, 2013 (10:01 AM).
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      Quote:
      Originally Posted by bobandbill View Post
      The simple solution - Astinus chooses a fic at random every week and features it in the forum splash. It's just far less fancy and... needlessly uncomplicated. =p
      I was already thinking of doing something like that, actually, well before the forum splash was introduced. Every week, I would pick a fic at random and sticky it, giving it more attention and hopefully more reviews. The reasons why I didn't do this then is because I wasn't sure if anyone would like that idea, and I wasn't sure if anyone would be willing to review a random fic each week.

      We are overdue for a reviewing challenge, which I think will be in June. There are other ideas we could do.

      But if people like the idea of pulling a random fic out each week, we could always try it.
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      Old May 2nd, 2013 (10:25 AM). Edited May 2nd, 2013 by Cutlerine.
      Cutlerine Cutlerine is offline
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        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Dubstep View Post
        Something along the lines of a weekly critique swap would be interesting, too.
        Indeed it would. This is something I'd like to see considered; people might well start reviewing more if they knew they were going to get something of a review in exchange. Food for thought, anyway.

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Astinus View Post
        I was already thinking of doing something like that, actually, well before the forum splash was introduced. Every week, I would pick a fic at random and sticky it, giving it more attention and hopefully more reviews. The reasons why I didn't do this then is because I wasn't sure if anyone would like that idea, and I wasn't sure if anyone would be willing to review a random fic each week.
        Well, it sounds like a good idea to me. We won't know if the scheme will succeed if we don't try it - and if it doesn't work, it can simply be quietly and unobtrusively banished to the void, and its existence forgotten. Besides, I'm sure I could find time to review a random fic each week. Somehow. There must be others who have a spare hour or two somewhere in their week.

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by bobandbill View Post
        We did have a thread in which people could submit their story with a summary to it as a master list of sort, but it just didn't get used for a good while, and still requires people to read through it first. Maybe if we could do something like the fan section's Oekaki's (http://www.pokecommunity.com/forumdisplay.php?f=21 - look at the top, below the subsections) which previewed a fic at random each time the page was reloaded, would that be interesting to people?
        Yes, it would, as discussed above. And about the catalogue... the fact that it ceased to be utilised suggests that either awareness of it faded or it got forgotten (I know I forgot about it very quickly). We could always try and resurrect it if we could think of a way to keep awareness going - perhaps by linking it somehow with the 'random fic gets chosen every week' idea? If there is an Oekaki-style splash at the top, perhaps it ought to contain a link to the catalogue, so that if people find that the random fic is not to their taste they're forcibly reminded that a catalogue exists.

        However, that causes the problem of perhaps not drawing enough attention to the random fic, so... I don't know where that leaves us. There is also the issue of getting authors to submit summaries and suchlike to a catalogue in the first place; it didn't happen enough before, which left the catalogue somewhat useless (and therefore may have helped it on the way into its decline). Perhaps there needs to be an incentive to submit something? Although you would have thought that increasing your fic's exposure and therefore its readership would be enough of an incentive...

        Hm. Plainly, the matter requires more thought. I'm not sure I've succeeded in doing anything with this post other than confusing myself.

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        Old May 3rd, 2013 (10:07 AM).
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        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Cutlerine View Post
        Indeed it would. This is something I'd like to see considered; people might well start reviewing more if they knew they were going to get something of a review in exchange. Food for thought, anyway.
        A little bit of research found that this idea was attempted in the Poetry section and in 2010 for FF&W in general. In Poetry, the idea was that if someone posted a poem, they would review two people's works. Those two people would, in turn, review the first one's poem. In 2010, we tried this.

        Neither idea worked.

        Quote:
        Well, it sounds like a good idea to me. We won't know if the scheme will succeed if we don't try it - and if it doesn't work, it can simply be quietly and unobtrusively banished to the void, and its existence forgotten. Besides, I'm sure I could find time to review a random fic each week. Somehow. There must be others who have a spare hour or two somewhere in their week.
        We'll try this idea in a few short seconds. As soon as I finish this post, I'll pick a completely random thread from the first page and sticky it. I'm sure in the course of the week, a few people will have time to review it.
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        Old May 4th, 2013 (12:42 AM).
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          Quote:
          Originally Posted by bobandbill View Post
          We did have a thread in which people could submit their story with a summary to it as a master list of sort, but it just didn't get used for a good while, and still requires people to read through it first. Maybe if we could do something like the fan section's Oekaki's (http://www.pokecommunity.com/forumdisplay.php?f=21 - look at the top, below the subsections) which previewed a fic at random each time the page was reloaded, would that be interesting to people?

          There's a few issues with it - firstly we'd possibly need a new system for it (because the Oekaki hasn't been updated for over a year and is made for images, and idk how that's even handled/etc). And then if it's some fancy automated system then what happens with fics over than a month since their last update? (Given the no bumping rule). Unless we just drop that, hmm...
          I like this idea. As for the older fics, I personally wouldn't consider it an issue because the reader would be receiving a much wider selection of offerings which makes it much more likely that they'll find something they want to read.

          Enjoyable reading is important. More readers and more active readers might mean more reviews. However, I have no business sense and may be a very bad and deceiving person to listen to.

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Cutlerine View Post
          Indeed it would. This is something I'd like to see considered; people might well start reviewing more if they knew they were going to get something of a review in exchange. Food for thought, anyway.
          I definitely would, since good critique takes work and I doubt that's anyone's idea of a relaxing evening reading. The downside would be that people who don't need critique at the time would opt out, and things might slow down. An honors system could work at first, with anyone who doesn't hold up their end of the bargain not being allowed to participate again.

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Astinus View Post
          A little bit of research found that this idea was attempted in the Poetry section and in 2010 for FF&W in general. In Poetry, the idea was that if someone posted a poem, they would review two people's works. Those two people would, in turn, review the first one's poem. In 2010, we tried this.

          Neither idea worked.

          We'll try this idea in a few short seconds. As soon as I finish this post, I'll pick a completely random thread from the first page and sticky it. I'm sure in the course of the week, a few people will have time to review it.
          Poetry is hard. Making words rhyme is the verbal equivalent of colorful dancing circus poodles.
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          Old May 4th, 2013 (3:39 PM).
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          One of the big things I've been planning while updating/modernizing PC is to replace the standard thread posting/replying forum thing with a layout/functionality modeled after fanfiction.net/fictionpress.org. Better lists with summaries and info in place of a forum index, posting individualized chapters as opposed to one single post, comments/reviews instead of just replies, etc. The whole thing will still be integrated into the forums, it won't be a stupid separate thing like the Oekaki. You'd click the forum from the index and it'd still be PC, it'd just be laid out more intelligently.

          If you guys like this idea/have a better one/want to tell me what you want, I'm happy to do my best to implement whatever works best for you.
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          Old May 4th, 2013 (6:13 PM).
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          I like the idea. I literally just today had a reader comment not on the thread of a fic, but on my profile that they liked my story. That's fine and all and the thought is appreciated, but it still leaves my fic seemingly untouched by me and a few hundred invisible people.

          I like this idea though. Less pressure on reviewers/readers, and easier for authors.
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          Old May 4th, 2013 (10:09 PM).
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          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Ausaudriel View Post
          One of the big things I've been planning while updating/modernizing PC is to replace the standard thread posting/replying forum thing with a layout/functionality modeled after fanfiction.net/fictionpress.org. Better lists with summaries and info in place of a forum index, posting individualized chapters as opposed to one single post, comments/reviews instead of just replies, etc. The whole thing will still be integrated into the forums, it won't be a stupid separate thing like the Oekaki. You'd click the forum from the index and it'd still be PC, it'd just be laid out more intelligently.

          If you guys like this idea/have a better one/want to tell me what you want, I'm happy to do my best to implement whatever works best for you.
          Just had a chat with Audy about the above, and I must say this sounds pretty darn intriguing. And I think it's a good way to go, and would be much better presentation wise.

          A rough summary - you can think of the list in the section as is, but now it'd offer more information (Besides just a list of threads with views/replies/etc, it's include a summary of the story, chapter counts, last update info, etc).

          As for the story thread itself, the whole story would be contained in the first post. For those with chapters, people would be able to toggle between chapters in the first post. (Authors would be able to add a new chapter via another button separate to post reply and do it the same way as currently done - reply box, etc. Because screw ways like ffnet which require document uploads for each chapter).

          Any reply would go below this chapter/s post and be like a minithread below the story. Replies would also be able to be made direct to a review. In other words, the layout for response, and responses to said responses, would be not unlike deviantart or livejournal/dreamwidth's way of arrangement, for sake of a comparison.

          Or in a more visual representation:


          [box of chapters, one can toggle between chapters in this box]

          reply1
          reply2
          -response
          -response
          -response
          -reply3


          I also suggested that maybe some tagging system could be included, which may be doable. Say a fic is about character x, or genre y (e.g. trainer fic). If they tag it as such then one could use the search function to find stories about characters they like, or types of fic they like. (Again, not unlike how other places like AO3 do it).



          Of course, it's not all sunshine and lollipops as there is one problem - what to do with ongoing/already finished fics. Because the system now and what Audy proposes doing would be quite different, it'd be either
          a) just let the stuff posted now become an archive
          b) audy could try to add some specialized mod tools that can convert posts into chapters.

          Maybe a mixture? Old archive and an option for people to convert threads into this new form as well... unless in general people don't mind doing it themselves and just reposting fics from the beginning.


          Thoughts and other ideas for the above would be appreciated.
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          Old May 5th, 2013 (1:10 AM).
          Cutlerine Cutlerine is offline
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            Quote:
            Originally Posted by bobandbill View Post
            A rough summary - you can think of the list in the section as is, but now it'd offer more information (Besides just a list of threads with views/replies/etc, it's include a summary of the story, chapter counts, last update info, etc).

            As for the story thread itself, the whole story would be contained in the first post. For those with chapters, people would be able to toggle between chapters in the first post. (Authors would be able to add a new chapter via another button separate to post reply and do it the same way as currently done - reply box, etc. Because screw ways like ffnet which require document uploads for each chapter).
            This sounds fantastic. If it could be implemented, it really would be amazing.

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by bobandbill View Post
            Of course, it's not all sunshine and lollipops as there is one problem - what to do with ongoing/already finished fics. Because the system now and what Audy proposes doing would be quite different, it'd be either
            a) just let the stuff posted now become an archive
            b) audy could try to add some specialized mod tools that can convert posts into chapters.

            Maybe a mixture? Old archive and an option for people to convert threads into this new form as well... unless in general people don't mind doing it themselves and just reposting fics from the beginning.
            I'd like to see an option to convert old threads, as opposed to reposting. Many of the files (and their backups) of the stories that I've written and posted here are not only over 500 pages long, but are hideously corrupted in places that means that the only surviving copies of them exist in the ether of the Internet. It would take a long, long time for me to recover them and repost them, and I'm not entirely sure it would be worth the effort.

            Of course, that's just me, and I'm aware that other people may be better able to just repost right away. In that case, I'd... well, I'd probably have to leave mine as an archive, so I think if there ends up being no option for conversion, then I would like to see the old forum remain as an archive. We could set up a static catalogue for that archive and then leave it alone; that would make sure it was at least moderately usable for anyone interested in the old completed stories.

            As for ongoing stories... I suppose if there's no option for conversion, then we will all simply have to repost. Which is fine by me, since I'm not too far into my current one, but I can't speak for everyone.

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            Old May 5th, 2013 (3:40 AM).
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            Now that there's more of a visual, I'm even more intrigued by this. So long as it's easy to moderate, I wouldn't mind seeing it implemented. Personally, I love the way Dreamwidth/LiveJournal have their comment sections set up. Seeing it here would just be rather neat.

            As for what to do with fics already posted, any way is fine with me. Then again, I don't have anything posted here that I'd like reposted.
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