1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    One Critique

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by Wreybies, Jun 1, 2013.

    I was just going through the different sections of the Short Story area and also the Novels section of the Workshop. I toggled the "Reviews" button twice at the top of the list for each area so that the listing would be from least to most "Reviews". I was astounded by the number of items that had received either only one or no critiques at all. Doing this also brings up all the items that were locked by moderators because the member had not met the forum requirements, many of these items locked by my own hand when I was a mod, but still, there are many that are open, valid threads.

    Just an observation.
     
  2. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    Hence, there should be a sidebar where threads with zero reviews are displayed just like the present display of most popular/hot threads.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There used to be such a panel. It was removed when the number of threads with no replies dropped to zero.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well, it's not zero any more...
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Perhaps there might also be an option to resubmit an entry without using up one's credits if there are no replies, like re-writing one's query letter a gazillion times until someone actually shows interest? :)
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    My concern in the observation actually stems from the other side of the looking glass. If we hold to the premise that the act of critiquing work is as educational for the critic as for the critiqued, I'm surprised there are so many missed opportunities.
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I don't doubt that, but I was just thinking about how I use the forum. I look for today's posts, I don't go to the subforum to see what I didn't reply to from days gone by. And bumping is frowned upon.

    Being as my own critiquing skills are still limited, (I have lots to learn), I tend to pick shorter works to review. I can handle smaller bites a bit better than the longer ones. If a person submitted something long and decided to divide it up, or change the title to interest someone who earlier passed it by, ... anyway, that's what I had in mind.


    Now that I'm thinking about this, however, another thought is showing a tally or some kind of credits for what you've reviewed, like the rep points. I have no idea how many pieces I've reviewed (not that it's very many) because I don't always pay attention to which subforums I'm replying in. I'd like to be able to check. I've not yet submitted anything to be reviewed, but if/when I do it would be nice to know what my status was as far as the thread posting requirements.

    And a tally might motivate people to review more pieces.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    This idea actually came up in a separate conversation I was having with Daniel, the site owner. It's a great idea with no good answer. The format of VBulletin doesn't make it easy to distinguish a "critique" from any other random post as regards the site structure keeping tally. :(
     
  9. Macaberz
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    Macaberz Pay it forward Contributor

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    Well it it's just for personal tracking I am sure that adding a bbcode tag like [ critique ] [/ critique ] would work just fine. You'd have to write your critique inside those tags and the system will count those and store a url to that post in the database...I am no expert on VBulletin but it shouldn't be too hard.
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    ... which unfortunately leaves the tallying of critiques as an open system where people can cheat. If I give you a critique on your work, and we have followup conversation on that critique in your thread, those followup posts are not critiques in my opinion, but others might see them as such and tag them that way and carry on the conversation on into the silly as their Crit-Rep clime. Is a "Yup! You're right!" a fair post to call a critique? I don't think so.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It would be simpler to simply count posts in the thread not posted by the thread starter. As Wrey pointed out, a VB tag would be too easy to exploit.

    Keeping chit-chat out of the critique threads is necessary anyway, to maintain teh Workshop focus. It doesn't always make the moderators popular, but it makes sure the Writing Workshop continues to have value for those who do wish to use it to improve their skills.
     
  12. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    After reading your original post, Wreybies, I went through the novel section (3 pages back) to check. I checked all entries with 3 or fewer responses, including one ZERO. Zero turned out to be a double-post apology. Many of the other 3-or-less threads had been partly pulled, or dismembered by the original poster for one reason or another. Another few had very long and detailed critiques on them, but only from a couple of reviewers.

    Maybe the situation isn't quite as bad as it first appears. (Did the same thing through a couple of the Short Story categories—General Fiction and Fantasy. Most of these have quite a few responses, and I didn't see any zeros in the first few pages. I didn't check to see how many of them are bona-fide 'critiques' though. Hardly an extensive search on my part, I admit.)

    The problem here might be sheer volume. When we're bombarded with umpteen workshop posts every day, we're bound to go to the ones of personal interest, to read and to post our critiques. If a topic or thread title isn't initially interesting to us, I reckon most of us quickly move on.

    Being ignored would be SO horrible, though.

    I, too, would support any way to bring it to our collective attention, if somebody's piece has been passed over. Some kind of sidebar thingy? Is it possible to do that, without driving the Moderators totally nuts, so they all end up with squirrel avatars? :) Is there some electronic way to snatch low-response threads and bring them to our attention, after a certain period of time has elapsed? I'm no tech wiz, but maybe a method exists?
     
  13. Isaiah JS
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    Isaiah JS Member

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    Why not just bring back the sidebar? And I assume it would apply to poetry as well?
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what 'credits' are used up?
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    In fact, the site has a rule AGAINST thread bumping to prevent members from pushing their writing back up ahead of newer submissions. Impatient members who think they deserve to jump repeatedly to the head of the line are a pain in everyone's ass.

    Also, resubmitting the same piece of writing is STRONGLY discouraged.
     
  16. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I know about the rule, that's why I suggested something to address it in this case. I didn't suggest anything like you are talking about. It would be simple enough to say one needed to wait a specified amount of time, like a month, before posting a second attempt to get a critique.
     
  17. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You need to critique 2 pieces before posting something to be critiqued.
     
  18. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Complete agreement with the above, and, I feel it attacks the issue from a philosophically incorrect angle. The paradigm should not be, "Hey, look at my piece for critique!". It should be, "Hey, look everyone, there's a new piece for critique!" I know full well that you can't make people give critique to items, but one can adopt a mindset that give is more important than get. Give, automatically satisfies get. The reverse is not true.
     

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