1. Norfolk nChance

    Norfolk nChance Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Hong Kong

    A Quick & Dirty View of WF forum by a Newbie...

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by Norfolk nChance, Dec 13, 2018.

    A Quick & Dirty View of WF forum by a Newbie...

    @Daniel

    @jannert

    You’ll need a glass of red for this. I’ve Posted this in the SUPPORT section to go along with @jannert post but if you wish to move it feel free.

    Not sure if this will help but might give some ideas on FORUM improvements from the view of a Newbie. Look at my profile with a start date of Oct 27, 2018 so still very new to the forum and whole writing thing, however approaching the half century I’m no kid either. I know full well what is suitable and unsuitable to post on a public forum. Also, I’ve read the RULES and the freedom of speech part and agree fully with its limitation restrictions.

    I play an early access MMO game called Naval Action. While testing ideas out I found myself writing Short Story content guides to help the new player along. This leading to me to write a short five story novella piece. I really enjoyed it but it was bad and felt I could do better needing outside help...

    http://www.navalaction.com/


    Finding and choosing the WF site...
    Searching Online I found mostly intros for me to BUY into writing courses. That wasn’t going to happen. With website recommendations came mostly adapted BLOGs like the ‘milsf’ one below, which don’t help in my case. The ‘Writing Forums’ site was always appearing somewhere in any recommended list with Wattpad. And it WF looked more active than most from looking at the ‘Current Active List’.

    http://www.milsf.com/

    and Review, WF community as a reputation...

    https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/writingforums.org



    First View...
    https://www.writingforums.org/

    The site opens on the SECOND tag ‘Community’ and not the first ‘Articles’? Top right ‘Log in or Sign up’ key, but I want a look around first. No obvious START HERE or Help pointer. Without changing tags hovering over the sub-menu tags ‘Blogs’ to ‘Get Involved’ again no pointers, but a possible one called ‘Start a Progress Journal’ under the ‘Get Involved’ tag.

    Page Title ‘Creative Writing’ offers sub menu threads going straight into writing mechanics starting with Publishing. Scrolling down ONCE, I see Applied Writing again nothing here for a beginner. By the FOURTH scroll I get ‘Community Interaction’ with the Lounge and the easily missed ‘New Member Introductions’.

    Pinned ‘New Member Quick Start Guide’... Now we are getting somewhere. I actually could have got here an awful lot quicker from hovering over the ‘Information’ top tag and seeing it in the pop-up menu at the bottom. Who knew? Just re-read all the steps needed to get here.

    Next the Sinkhole...
    The self-proclaimed ‘Quick & Dirty’ guide feels promising, but we hit the first hurdle ‘The Complete Forum Rules’ link. A cheeky knowing line saying You didn’t click on the link... but seriously come back to this and read it.

    WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?

    Read the rest of the POST first then comeback? Or Stop and Read the Link First?

    Here’s your PROBLEM if I go to the FORUM rules first, I get crushed and drowned in a wealth of detailed information I’ve no clue as to what it references. Its too much too soon. CUT the Complete Rules to the VERY BOTTOM of this POST. Better still Lock the Thread to Mod access ONLY and make it the second POST with members unable to reply.

    The rest of the POST is a SITEMAP and NOT a GUIDE.

    Take the POST and cut paste it BELOW the ‘The Complete Forum Rules’ Post. Then re-write the first post as a Quick Guide. Title Tags to general areas giving a walkthrough of a Reader interested in Poetry for example. Navigation how to... The Title Graphic “Writing Forums” is a HYPERLINK and will take you back to the front page. Highlight the need to read the Rules and then give a quick walkthrough example with the basics needed to post a story...

    Pinned Thread – New Members Quick Start Guide >

    Quick Start Guide >

    The Complete Forum Rules >

    Forum SITEMAP

    Thread Locked.



    The Workshop...
    I got stuck on this one. My initial interests are SF and War in the Short Stories Workshop. I interpreted wrongly the rules in order to post my Naval Action story I needed to Critique TWO short War stories first. A SF short I had would need two Critiques in the SF section.

    Looking at WAR had one person with two story posts in May, prior May’17. This section looked inactive for STORY posts. SF was hot so started there with my two honest and best critique I could. The site wouldn’t allow me access though? It took me ages to work out I still needed to do 20+ POST elsewhere.



    My Time on the Forum...
    After a few weeks use, I spend most of my time actually on the FRONT PAGE. And use the ‘WF’ top graphic to jump around. So, the guys know what they’re doing. However, for the Newbie start it’s not intuitive and the Bosses have forgotten what that’s like. I still find it hard or impossible to find my past posts. Its not obvious from a Newbie’s stand point.

    I don’t use the Articles tag or Resources tag? I need educating to the different depths of the FORUM and how they can help. Sell it to me with a quick YouTube tour across the main tags...



    The Monthly Short Story Contest
    The Contest tag intrigue me. The November feature needed ‘tumbleweeds’ somewhere within a short story less than 5k words. The thread would allow me to post a story even though I hadn’t completed all the Forum Rules.

    So, I thought I’d give it ago and posted my first short story from the Naval Action series. It’s the first time I’ve shown it outside the game’s forum or the wife and interested to see the reaction. I’m expecting not much as it’s my first and a story that’s part of a bigger picture. I’m hoping for critiques maybe pointers etc...

    ... but wait a minute that’s wrong isn’t it?

    The one other criticism of the contests is allowing member posts on the Voting Page, the SPOILER is irrelevant. This I assume to be the main Critique page, but it needs rules. If allowing members to comment should they be allowed to compare one against another story, why it was superior? I think it should, but it must actually reference all the other entries as well. Not in detail, but why two out the five are superior then why the one over the other. Does that make sense?

    Well, if it doesn’t read @Mark Burton Spoiler. This is wrong, he must mention the first story as well even if it’s just two words... utter bollocks. Otherwise seeing posts like @jannert below could lead to the conclusion somethings a miss here...

    https://www.writingforums.org/threads/am-i-missing-something-here.160388/

    Make the Rule for a Story Post tasks for all areas not just the Workshop. The contest critiques are ONE story focused or all must be referenced. Isolating part gives credence or weight over the ones not mentioned...

    Summary
    It’s a great site and I enjoy using it a lot. I hope my criticisms are taken in the right way and not intended to offend. By the same token, remember I’m a novice, a newbie and maybe the comments should be taken with a pinch of salt...

    I would recommend for the TOP LINE “Community” Tag is moved in front of the Articles tag. A NEW tag called “New Members Start Here” after the “What’s New?” tag. Leads to the Guide, Rules and Site Map. Do a short YouTube video showing someone around the forum...

    Change and clean up the Fundraiser Section. No idea what it means or care. Sell it to me... Get me to give you money. Show me why you need it and why its important. Currently it doesn’t say or tell me anything interesting.



    Norfolk nChance [Newbie]
     
  2. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    13,492
    Likes Received:
    15,038
    Location:
    Scotland
    You've gone to a lot of work to produce this overview. It's been so long since I was a Newbie, I have forgotten all the pits I fell into. I know I fell into a few that were similar to yours.

    All our Mods are volunteers, as are any other 'volunteers' so it might take a while for anything much to change—as everybody donates their time. But you've given great insight into what a more-or-less clued-up Newbie encounters. After you've been around here a while you do tend to catch on. But some parts of the forum are fairly obscure, as I discovered myself, just yesterday. Whether it would take a complete revamp or just tweaks to sort the problems, I don't know. I favour tweaks via the menu bar, but that's me. Not a fan of layout change! :)
     
  3. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Technical Admin Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    2,223
    Likes Received:
    1,415
    Location:
    Sweden
    On my phone right now so I won't do a detailed response for this right now, but I still want to say the following:

    Thank you for this post! Seriously, I mean it! This is exactly the type of information we want to see as we plan and build the next version of our platform. Even more so as you are a new member, since it's impossible for us "veterans" to see things from that perspective.

    I'll make sure Daniel sees this.
     
  4. Mark Burton

    Mark Burton Fried Egghead Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    Messages:
    917
    Likes Received:
    1,796
    Location:
    Playground of Dorothy and Tinman
    I'm genuinely sorry that my lack of an analysis of an entry in a competition didn't sit well with you, @Norfolk nChance . I struggled with the first story in that competition and couldn't put my finger on why. It could have been that I was tired, it might have been because it's not a genre I generally read, something problematic with the storyline or style. I generally don't comment when I can't provide some feedback as to why I found a story good or not. It's definitely not intended as a sleight. Again, this wasn't intended as a snub, merely that it's better to say nothing than say something unhelpful.
     
    Norfolk nChance likes this.
  5. Norfolk nChance

    Norfolk nChance Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    @Mark Burton

    No need to be sorry at all Mark seriously, I believe your intentions and action were honest and true. You as a Veteran Member have helped highlight a serious flaw in the Contest part of the forum.

    Isolating part of the contest gives credence or weight over the ones not mentioned. I’d rather be in a two-horse race and NOT favorite than in a five horse one. All members don’t carry equal weight with their comments. Look at your side profile to mine or better still @Sam 69 below yours.

    To add, I also needed to VOTE in order to see my Story’s appeal. I might have an ego worthy of my job title but voting for myself is just not British. I’m shifting my vote around to balance the others out. Make of that what you will, it’s your rules...

    I genuinely believe some Veteran Members still don’t understand the issue or even see the flaw here. For them I’d recommend The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli. I promise it’ll be an eye opener.


    Recap on my proposed Contest Changes...
    Don’t allow newbies to POST a story. Same hurdles as the Workshop

    At the “Opening Voting” thread allow open view of the poll progress.

    Between the 14days of the voting, any member comments posted appear “Anonymizer” like the authors do until day 15.

    No SPOILER rule needed

    Member can comment on ONE single story good or bad.
    This is misleading, it just means if solely writing about one story there’s no need to reference the others

    Member can comment on one is better than another. This provided they reference all other contestants.



    Norfolk.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  6. Hammer

    Hammer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2018
    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    1,684
    Location:
    UK
    Hi @Norfolk nChance,

    Not sure that I agree with your proposed changes to the contests. I entered one and it seemed like a bit of fun.

    I agree that it is not "British" to vote for yourself, and it seems a bit of an own-goal to vote for someone else, so... be patient. I have entered as a newbie and that's what I am doing.That's what you would have to do elsewhere or if you are querying a novel.

    The voting thread is not for critique so the competitions don't need the same crit rules. Members may say what they like about the story, but contestants have presented it to pit it against others, not for feedback. If members choose to say something about a story then that's fine, and I don't think you should be checking to see how long someone has been around to add weight to their comments. Comments in an open forum stand on their own merit and I would be amazed if the people on here couldn't decide which one they prefer without seeing which one "@senior-member" prefers.

    Also I don't think the spoiler is needed as such, members choose it for whatever reason, seems to be a bit of a tradition, and why should members comment on only one story? That seems weird. They presumably took time to read all of them and have formed an opinion sufficient to find a favourite, it's great to share those thoughts

    At the end of the day it is, as I said, just a bit of fun. There's no financial prize, it won't be published. I had never attempted anything similar and got a real thrill when a bit of my work appeared in a positive comment, but if no-one actually votes for it then so be it, I shall just try harder next time
     
    Norfolk nChance likes this.
  7. Norfolk nChance

    Norfolk nChance Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Thanks @Hammer for the reply,

    We started at the same time on WF, but I sense your somewhat more experienced with the writing world than I from posts I’ve read? What do you think in general to the OP? Did you experience similar issues? I’d guess maybe not, but any thoughts towards the site on the whole? Anything @Komposten could take away perhaps?

    The Contest
    These are just comments from a Newbie view and should be value weighted accordingly. The Review of this website (link in OP) and complaints made seem unfair to WF. My novice thoughts if implemented dissolve all arguments of bias allegations. If these ideas came at the expense of the fun element then NO, I agree with you and wouldn’t want that.

    Post contest I’ll need to re-post the story in the War section. Explain the wider goal and picture. The feedback will be invaluable of course and solely focused on that work. The Contest feedback gives a different critical view against the peer group. Something problematic with storyline or style from Mark already has given me brilliant feedback...

    All the other stories are much cleaner in storyline comparison. He struggled to get through it is my guess. The others in delivery are so much easier to read. I’ve had tons of fun and I’m learning from every comment.

    Take-away...

    I should to try to enter the contests regularly trying different styles and focus. The practice and discipline seem invaluable to progress...


    N.
     
    Hammer likes this.
  8. Mark Burton

    Mark Burton Fried Egghead Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    Messages:
    917
    Likes Received:
    1,796
    Location:
    Playground of Dorothy and Tinman
    Thanks for the reply to my comment @Norfolk nChance . Like @Hammer , I don't happen to agree with all of your suggestions, but many of them do have merit.

    I'm far from a veteran. I only joined WF in February. There are folks that have been here for many years, not mere months like me. I have won a fair few competitions since I joined and that's one reason I would not want to block new users from taking part in them. One of my very first posts on WF was an entry in a flash fiction contest on 19 February 2018 (a mere 2 days after joining WF). I won that competition and it spurred me on to enter more competitions and work on improving my writing.

    I've also entered many competitions where I haven't won. Sometimes, I intentionally sabotaged my chances by voting for another entry I thought was a more worthy winner. You win some, you lose some. I use the opportunities to improve my writing and to become part of the WF community.

    I really recommend giving WF a full go. Participate in the various discussions, critiques and competitions. For me, it's truly a miraculous place.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
    Norfolk nChance likes this.
  9. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Technical Admin Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    2,223
    Likes Received:
    1,415
    Location:
    Sweden
    Okay, so now that I'm at my laptop and have more time at hand I'll go through your feedback. Note that all my responses below are my own opinions and that nothing I say is binding to how we may (or may not) change things in the future.


    The reviews on that site are all from '11 and '13, and a lot has changed since then. I believe the forum is a much more fair and open place now than some of those reviews claim it was back in the days, but that's my biased opinion (I am, after all, a moderator).

    It makes sense to shift it so that "Community" is the first tab (unless we add a portal page, in which case the portal would come first and Community second). The Articles section isn't used much these days, which is another reason to take it off the pedestal a bit (at least until it becomes more active).

    We could probably re-order the Creative Writing section to a more logical order (maybe Publishing shouldn't be at the top?) as well.

    The issue with putting the rules at the bottom of the guide is that people often won't ever read that far (in my experience). However, I understand your concern about it being too much information to be the first thing you see, and thus unlikely that people will read it anyway. A middle-ground solution could be to e.g. say close to the top of the post that we expect the new member to read the full rules, but that they can read the rest of the quick start first and then find said rules at the bottom.

    We could definitely flesh out the guide-part of the post a bit more, maybe by giving a few examples of paths new members might take:
    • "If you're looking for critique, do like this..."
    • "If you're just starting writing and need tips on characters, plot and settings, go here..."
    • "If you are about to publish your first book, we recommend doing this...").
    I like the idea of splitting the guide up over two-three posts, each with its own purpose. But I also like the idea of allowing members to respond to and comment on the guide (as it is currently). Should be possible to find a compromise between the two options, though.

    Also, the clickable logo at the top follows a convention that exists on almost every site on the internet. We could add a clarification ("If you ever want to go back to the main forum board, click here..."), although I personally don't think it should be necessary.

    We can clarify in the rules (and quick start) that it's 2 critiques anywhere in the Workshop, if that's needed.

    If you had read the quick start and rules thoroughly you should have known about the 20 post and 14 days restrictions. If you did read it and forgot about it (because it's a lot of information to take in, as you said yourself), then the rules should be the first place to look to make sure you haven't missed anything.

    We could add a section to the guide about finding your past content, although it does feel quite intuitive that you would go to your own profile (by clicking on your name) to find that.

    The way voting works in the contests has been decided upon by the community. We have had a few discussions in the past about whether or not to allow discussions in the voting threads, but have generally found that people want to be able to talk about it.

    Discussions in the voting area will obviously lead to feedback on the contest entries, but it's not as focused as getting critique in the workshop is. Overall, the contests are there for people to have fun.

    I like the idea of a "New to the forum?" tab at the top. I wonder if it would be possible to only show it to new members (or at least give members an option in their profile to hide it if they want to).

    Are you referring to this page: https://www.writingforums.org/donations/ ? If so, how would you suggest we change (and/or clean) it?


    I personally don't see an issue with letting New Members participate in the contests.
    This would probably cause bias in voting. By hiding the results until after you have voted there is no way the current standing between entries will influence your vote.
    It might technically be possible to make it so that contest participants don't have the option to vote, and instead just see the current standings. However, that would require a lot of extra coding in the Anonymiser add-on.
    This would be problematic if one member wants to respond to a comment made by another member:
    1) You cannot @-mention said other member to get their attention.
    2) The Anonymiser add-on would require additional logic to be handle quotes of previous posts within other posts. Might not be too difficult to implement, but it's an unnecessary extra cost if we don't truly need it.

    Regarding the issue of some people being seen as more credible than others because of their post history: It is very unfortunate that this happens. I would bet that there are plenty of "junior members" around here that have way more credibility in their comments than I do, especially if they are published or have a background related to the writing industry. People will still see "forum veterans" as being more credible, though, so I can see why you raise this as an issue.
    Are you saying that we should have a rule saying "Don't use spoiler tags", or that we should remove an existing rule about using spoiler tags?

    (I actually don't know if there is a rule about spoilers or not... I haven't participated in the contests for a long time.)
    Could you expand on the issue you see with someone commenting on only some of the entries? E.g. if I have three entries I really like and I say so (and why I like them), why is that an issue?
     
    Norfolk nChance likes this.
  10. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2016
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    532
    Location:
    Undecided.
    My problem with the contest is that we're given a prompt but the prompt doesn't prompt us to write. I don't know that any of the tumbleweeds stories weren't started before the prompt and then adapted. We had a tumbleweed stuck in a cactus that the MC passed by, a dead guy riding a extraterrestrial tumbleweed, and a guy (for unexplained reasons of his own) turning into a tumbleweed. Why not get rid of the prompt and make it about the best story?
     
    jannert and Norfolk nChance like this.
  11. Hammer

    Hammer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2018
    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    1,684
    Location:
    UK
    Hi @Norfolk nChance ,

    " I sense your somewhat more experienced with the writing world "

    I am flattered but 'tis nothing but bluster! I did start writing about thirty years ago but life/marriage/mortgages/children happened and someone had to pay for it all so I wrote software instead of fiction - the only work of fiction was my tax return (not true @Hector, not true). I picked up the metaphorical pen again a couple of years ago having got all that corporeal stuff out of the way, but everything I have learned about writing was really from this and another writing forum (oh, and a friend of mine who is a successful author of high fantasy, but more from t'internet really). The biggest lessons are from critiquing other people's work - you learn so much about what to look out for in your own when you see what (you think) doesn't work for others.

    With regard to things which I find confusin' as a newb which might help @Komposten and the team in future...

    1) I have no idea how the "2 for 1" crit rule actually works in practicev - if I crit a piece of work in the workshop that's obviously one, but if I make further comment in the same thread is that another one? Presumably there is a software solution in the background but is it counting the threads I contribute to or my number of non-initial posts in the workshop

    largely irrelevant because

    2) I worry that putting anything in the workshop counts as publishing - especially complete short stories or flash. The other forum I frequent has a password-protected area for crit which means that only forum members can access it - I suppose similar might be true here, I haven't tried to access the workshop whilst not logged on - but it would be helpful if the "publication" question were addressed in the rules (actually, I have just gone to the FAQs and I see there is a huge thread about this but I will leave the comment because it took some digging to get there...)

    3) There isn't a three. I am finding this forum to be a great balance of fun and knowledge
     
    Norfolk nChance likes this.
  12. Hammer

    Hammer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2018
    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    1,684
    Location:
    UK
    My bold - I can't see the problem?! You have pointed out the tumbleweed connection with the stories... :bigsmile:

    A writing prompt doesn't have to be "write a story about x" (unless the prompt is actually "write a story about x")
     
  13. Norfolk nChance

    Norfolk nChance Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Thank-you for the timely reply @Komposten

    Rather than Cutting n Pasting to death I’ll just reply to title subjects you referred too...

    Finding and choosing the WF site...
    I agree with the dated reviews point you made, but this a condensed view of my search. Look at it from my viewpoint, I’m searching to improve on my story telling. The first and most powerful responses to my initial enquiries focus on BUY in methods (like 3 ACTs, 9 Blocks, 27 Chapters courses).

    Searching forum style interaction seemed a better method. I wanted Age of Sail fictional writing help. I found mostly BLOGs that had a small forum added not a real dedicated FORUM. These BLOGs were focused into SF or Fantasy and would focus attention around the BLOG owner’s own works sales.

    Searching for recommended Writing Fictional Story forums WF appeared always in a top 10 list. Your generic name is copied and used by others. Look at the TAGs on this one, I like Bookstore, Rules...

    https://www.writingforums.com/?styleid=4

    The other big name was wattpad which seems too much of a selling platform but looks professional. However, some great take-aways here we can learn from. The Website works and is slick with drop down sections and EDITOR picks. Heavily populated, winning a SHORT STORY Contest on this site will give good kudos to getting other works into Amazon etc. I guess. Again, a reason for my contest tidy up idea.

    https://www.wattpad.com/

    Reading the threads on wattpad its long on quantity and short on value added.

    First View...
    I like the TOP LINE tags on the [writingforums.com] website. Have “Community” first and “New Member Start Here” as the SECOND tag. The last three “Bookstore”, “RULES” and “Search” I like.

    YOU MUST DO THIS...

    https://www.writingforums.com/bookstore/

    This will add so much to your fundraiser... A Banker by trade obviously I’ll need a commission cut for the recommendation lol.

    You need to install uniformity to reduce maintenance and ease of access on TAG Lines. So, a walkthrough to Poetry or Novel writing or Non-Fiction Book writing to BLOG writing should follow a similar drill down path and feel. Think about using a Microsoft Software product whether Excel, Word, PowerPoint or Outlook they all feel familiar even if you’ve never used one individual Product...

    This means Reducing TOP LINE1 options, next tag line options and so on. Priority EDITING your top three drill down levels. This will clean up the views but still maintain detail below...

    Next the Sinkhole...
    RULES tag on the TOP LINE separated from STARTER Guide and always in view on the FRONT PAGE. I like this idea from the other website. A shorter version can go below the Quick Guide POST.

    The Guide needs to be just that, with general walkthroughs and rule restrictions that maybe encountered. Look at wattpads YouTube site for general ideas. However, what I remembered from the very start was “Two Week Wait and the 2x Critique”. I missed other or small details in the rules from the crush...

    I agree with you on Member comments “Hi & Hello” section thread. Have it at the bottom of the pinned Guide, Rules and Site-Map. Have the Site-Map use HYPERLINKs to sections. Newbies or Members will use it as a quick find section...

    The Monthly Short Story Contest
    This I’ll default to you. I covered it in detail here already with Mark & Hammer and our different opinions. Spoilers in my opinion are just not needed.

    Fundraiser Section
    Actually No, haven’t seen that page. I was referring to the FRONT-PAGE right-side section below the advert. You need to sell it to me somehow. Make me care... let me think about it and come back.

    The Bookstore tag is a MUST, you have to do this.

    Summary
    It’s all well and good me giving these views as a newbie, but as @jannert points out its dedicated Volunteers who are the backbone of the site and their devotion keeps it going. Unfortunately, WF competes against Professional and Semi Pro organizations now. This will always limit WF but I feel you must try to SELL yourselves more...

    You have ONE key advantage over wattpad and others, it’s the talent of this Community. To me it’s very clear to see from just the few weeks I’ve seen. They can’t offer that. This is WF key selling feature, so use it.

    Again, please take my comments as I intended to help and not offend. I hope some of the comments have helped and if you need a newbies POV please don't hesitate to ask this amateur writer and professional drunk...

    Norfolk nChance
     
  14. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2016
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    532
    Location:
    Undecided.
    Isn't that the whole idea of a Prompt? Is it only a check to make sure that the members can spell tumbleweed?
     
  15. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Technical Admin Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    2,223
    Likes Received:
    1,415
    Location:
    Sweden
    Not sure I understand your last sentence here. What are you referring to when you say "top line options" (is this the articles/community/etc. row?), tag line options and drill down levels?

    May or may not agree with having Rules as a top-level option, always visible (at least when on the front page). Depends on which other drop-downs we have, as we don't want to clutter it too much.

    We used to have a bookstore in cooperation with Amazon. It contained books written by our members, and when you went to Amazon via our page and bought a book we got a small commission (don't know the exact details here). However, I believe Amazon cancelled the program which we used to get this feature and we have not found a good solution since. We could easily add a direct link to the Member Publications section of the Resources area, but that would not function in the same way as there would be no official connection between us and whatever platform the books are sold through.

    (I might be wrong about exactly what happened with the bookstore, since it's the owner that dealt with that stuff.)

    I'm very happy to hear that you believe in our community and that you enjoy it. :)

    Don't worry about offending. This is a writing forum -- we're used to critique. ;)
     
    Shenanigator and Norfolk nChance like this.
  16. Hammer

    Hammer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2018
    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    1,684
    Location:
    UK
    at the risk of creating two threads here...

    No, I don't think that is the idea. According to "daily writing tips .com" -

     
  17. Norfolk nChance

    Norfolk nChance Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    @Komposten


    First View...
    Basically, reduced the amount of FRONT-PAGE tag line options. This will allow for a tidier environment. Look at the wattpad site...

    https://www.wattpad.com/

    Think about real-estate on the wattpad FRONT-PAGE and WFs. On WFs the majority of space is devoted to drill down links somewhere. Wattpad FP the majority of space is devoted to telling you information. Go to the [Community] tag at the top and click. Sub menu Community again click. Here you then drill into the individual sections...

    Imagine something similar for WF with just the main TOP tag LINE visible. What could you now do with all that FRONT-PAGE free space?

    Fundraiser Section...
    Ask the Community for a list of just 10 books that are a must have for a Newbie Story Writer to have. This base list plus @Daniel monthly top picks are posted on the FRONT PAGE. Highlight ANY book purchased through the WF Amazon Bookstore will generate 4.5% to the websites upkeep.

    https://www.cpasitesolutions.com/help/amazon-bookstore-setup/

    With the extra free space on the Front-Page this turns into a feature rather than just a sales plug. Think about how many members and non-members that visit the WF site buy books on Amazon anyway?

    Just a thought, but members that just outright donate am sure still buy books regularly from Amazon as well...


    N.
     
  18. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Technical Admin Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    2,223
    Likes Received:
    1,415
    Location:
    Sweden
    There is one very, very big difference between Wattpad and WF: Wattpad is first and foremost trying to sell a product. WF is 100% a community and discussion board.
    The entire front page of Wattpad is dedicated to selling this product. In contrast, our entire website is an equivalent to their Community tab. Yes, we could add a portal page that compiles information from different areas of the site (this has been, and still is, under consideration), but in the end it's the forum board that is WF and so it's the forum board that should be in the centre of everything.
     
  19. Mark Burton

    Mark Burton Fried Egghead Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    Messages:
    917
    Likes Received:
    1,796
    Location:
    Playground of Dorothy and Tinman
    Perhaps we could compromise. Many enjoy writing to the prompts (myself included), but I also have stories that I come up with without a prompt that I'm sometimes itching to share. If we made every 3rd or 4th competition open without a defined prompt, that might satisfy those that don't like prompts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  20. MusingWordsmith

    MusingWordsmith Lively Fred

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2016
    Messages:
    474
    Likes Received:
    359
    Location:
    Somewhere Over the Rainbow
    So, I've actually had a newbie ask me today 'how do I post a forum thread?' I found it pretty easy myself when I was starting out, but I figured I'd share here in case this was something ya'll wanted to take into consideration.
     
  21. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Thy rod and thy Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    11,371
    Likes Received:
    22,152
    Location:
    Seat 29e, Air Gradia 452
    When @Tenderiser was running the short story contest (and she's back at it) she would do an occasional "Open Prompt" round. No reason that couldn't go in all the contests, it's just up to the volunteer contest admins to implement it.
     
    Shenanigator and Mark Burton like this.

Share This Page