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Discussion: The Future Of The Collaborative Fiction Forum

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posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 06:47 PM
I gotta hand it to you DE, you're telling it like it is.

I don't have all the answers to the questions, but talking about them and getting them into the open is the first step needed to solve them.

I was thinking along the lines of asking all writers to save one of their wats and during the last week of each month start a thread and award it to the writer they think contributed the best story. It's not much but it is a beginning to community involvement. It could also generate feedback to those who have submitted something.

If were out to build a community then we have to get the members actively involved. This could be a start.

Any other thoughts on how we can involve the members?


posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 10:32 PM
There are often contests, challenges, or other small tasks completed for no real reward, only prestige. A challenge consists of a set of tasks issued with certain parameters, such as "Use Song X and write a songfic about Y and Z". It's sort of a friendly, internal competition.

Also, I don't think we know exactly how many people consider themselves writers. Some bounce in, ruin a thread (or start a bad one) and bounce out. Another thing we'll need is a roll call of everyone considered a writer. Once we've established who's in and who's out, we cna ask what the standard can be, and if we're big enough, set up smaller subcommunities.


posted on Jul, 3 2005 @ 02:11 PM
MrWupy that is an excellent idea. Having the chance to win a WATS award, could encourage writers to write more.

DE, I feel where your coming from, makes sense to me.

posted on Jul, 3 2005 @ 07:15 PM
very interesting, as for my absence from the thread...well I was on two weeks vacation, my mood could have told you that.

As the moderator of this forum, I do agree with and would like to see subsections, especially one for poetry. I have made that request known quite a whiles back to the admin. Just because I mod the forum doesn't mean I have the abilities to come with codes and such to change the whole forum, a request to the Administrators, SimonGray, SkepticOverlord, WilliamOneSac would be the proper channel.

Contests, I plan to have one every month...however being that I had a scheduled vacation in June and the response for a collaborative fiction contest was lacking, no contest was done.

There will be contest for July, I'll be announcing it soon.

As for the rest of the suggestions, I think you all know the answers, just like any other forum, it the member participation that makes a forum popular. I find many members on this website tend to stay away from long posts, maybe short attention span or something? I also find people requesting to be writers for the title, but never contribute to the forum in either content or praise and support for the others. I unfortunately cannot change that. Look at this thread, how many "writers" actually responded? not many.

Keep the ideas coming, get the ears of the admin and maybe the changes you want will happen, but honestly I don't think admin should waste their time on too much or anything else, other than giving us another subforum for poetry like the short story one.

posted on Jul, 3 2005 @ 07:20 PM
WOW, DeusEx you really put it all out there, and really do have some GREAT ideas!

posted on Jul, 3 2005 @ 08:34 PM
"very interesting, as for my absence from the thread...well I was on two weeks vacation, my mood could have told you that"

Glad to see you made it back to us. You're the Mod, where do we go from here?


posted on Jul, 3 2005 @ 09:21 PM
Hello everybody, Wolf chiming in on some thoughts.

Maybe my ideas sound drastic, but I think they would be a great addition in the long run for the CF forum. First up, I think we should have several subsections, one for each theme of writing: Poetry, Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Action, Conspiracy. For examples. Within the main Collaborative Fiction board, I think it should be broken into two categories: Collaborative Fiction and Solo Writing. I think the contests, whichdont necessarily need to award points, could be revamped a bit. My ideas is to have a little section on the main dicussion forum page, maybe to the top left, that says "Collaborative Fiction Contest Showcase" and has links to the Winner, Place, and Show for the contest.

posted on Jul, 3 2005 @ 09:54 PM
i think it would be great if there could be portfolios or a subsection for every writer, to archive all of there work. I think it would be a great way to organize this section and add a more proffesional feeling to it. I myslef would love to have this feature, so I could go back and look at my work and past writer's works that I really liked, without having to fumble through previous collaborative fiction pages.

[edit on 3-7-2005 by tondo]

posted on Jul, 3 2005 @ 10:12 PM
First of all, welcome back WW. Been some hard times while you were gone. I suppose you can see that, eh? Keep fighting the good fight.

Wolf, Tondo, I think your ideas are great. Wolf, for yours to work, we need a larger, more active community. Once we get that, yours is the only next logical step.

Tondo, having profiles would be nice, but we need to reassess who is a writer and who is not. Plenty of people have the title, but how many have contributed to the forum? Lotta empty profiles there, ah tell you whut.

I'm glad to see more people pitching in. This is a fairly concerning issue to me. I hear rumblings that something is being done in council- Cobra (or anyone else, for that matter) can you confirm this? Is anything actually beign done, or is there simply a whole lot of bickering occuring? I'm asking because Majic has U2Ued me, but strangely enough, he has not responded to this thread. We have ideas, we have a problem, we have members in an uproar...

What is being done?


posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 07:18 AM
At Pitchfork-Point By Torchlight

Originally posted by DeusEx
Majic has U2Ued me, but strangely enough, he has not responded to this thread. We have ideas, we have a problem, we have members in an uproar...

What is being done?

Sorry I've been scarce. There has been some... confusion on my part regarding my role as a Councilor, and it has been gumming up the works. I think I have a clearer understanding of how to proceed now, and feel more comfortable about moving ahead.

Before diving into discussing details, which will come in a later post, I will outline what my plan is here.

My Plan

As a representative, I can't do anything directly except listen to what you have to say and try to collate that into a form that can be presented to the senior staff for their consideration.

They may then, at their discretion, implement some or all of those recommendations. What they choose not to implement, I will try to get reasons for, but sometimes those will not be forthcoming, and I hope you can understand why that may be.

The general plan I'm using right now is as follows:

Step 1: Solicit member recommendations. This step is underway.

Step 2: Discuss the recommendations with fellow members and distill them down to a workable subset in the form of a draft proposal for the senior staff.

Step 3: Review the proposal with the forum moderator (worldwatcher, in this case), get her opinions and recommendations, and fold those in.

Step 4: Present those recommendations to the senior staff in Council and monitor for feedback.

Step 5: Report back to the members and keep you updated as information becomes available.

The “Real World” Nature Of Our Virtual World

Please bear in mind that senior staff need to prioritize their work, and can't always (in fact rarely) give simple yes-or-no answers. Sometimes silence means “no”, other times it means “later”. Sometimes they want to do something, but other things take priority, like keeping the site running.

As a Councilor, it will be up to me to make the case for member-recommended changes. Depending on a lot of factors outside my control, those changes may be adopted, but even then, please remember that these things take time to implement, even after the staff decides to do it.

I will do my best to get the most popular and feasible ideas from you, add moderator input to that, present it in a form that the senior staff can work with, and let you know how it goes.

I'm still new at this, and so far in three weeks as a Councilor have managed to fall flat on my ass more times than I can remember, but I won't stop trying.

My next step here is Step 2. That involves summarizing what I think are your most solid recommendations and running them by you in draft form. If I leave any of your ideas out of that draft and you think I am wrong to do so, let me know and I will either add them or explain why I don't think I should.

I will probably not be able to address every issue in this first pass, and need to be careful not to overwhelm the staff with a huge manifesto. Rather, what will work best will be simple, straightforward ideas that don't take too much effort to implement, and in the first go-round, that's what I will be focusing on.

Just because an idea may not make it into this draft does not mean it is rejected or to be forgotten, but rather reflects what I think will make for the best shot at a successful first proposal, so please don 't take such things personally. We need to move one step at a time.

Again, I'm sorry I've not been more available and active in this process so far, but I am committed to changing that, and intend to have a draft ready for your review in this thread as soon as I reasonably can.

Sincerely yours,

ATS DISC Councilor

P.S. worldwatcher, I appreciate your feedback in this thread and very much look forward to working with you to (hopefully) put together a proposal that we can all be happy about. -M

posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 07:21 AM

P.S. worldwatcher, I appreciate your feedback in this thread and very much look forward to working with you to (hopefully) put together a proposal that we can all be happy about. -M

There are some really great Ideas here, and the only person you appreciate is the Mod?

[edit on 4-7-2005 by SpittinCobra]

posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 08:14 AM
Deconstructive Criticism

Originally posted by SpittinCobra
There are some really great Ideas here, and the only person you appreciate is the Mod?

Do you honestly believe that's my opinion?

If you want my appreciation, offer constructive ideas instead of pointless insults.

posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 08:16 AM
I do feel that way, it seems that you ask question of all, but only really respond to mods.

I can get more examples if you like.

posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 08:28 AM
Ignition Timing

Originally posted by SpittinCobra
I can get more examples if you like.

If you want levy public charges against me, go nuts.

I would prefer that this thread focus on improvements to CF, and this doesn't look like one to me.

posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 08:30 AM
Its not that deep, I just dont want some Great Great Ideas just shuffled under the rug.

posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 08:49 AM
My .02 for further contemplation...

In the world of online communities, subforums tend to get little notice... which is why we have few.

Perhaps you might want to think on a grander scale. Look to ATSNN for ideas on how a single forum might be used to feed and "content manage" a stand alone site. (hmmm...

Get the council involved once you have an idea of what to do... there is a mechanism in place for creating a means to put "public works" projects like this into motion that originate in the council.

(end of .02)

posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 08:59 AM
Rugby Match

Originally posted by SpittinCobra
Its not that deep, I just dont want some Great Great Ideas just shuffled under the rug.

I will have to prioritize and make choices, and nothing is going to happen all at once.

I'm not planning to shuffle ideas under the rug. Everyone's posts will still be here for us to refer to as things go forward.

Hopefully the discussion over the first draft proposal will clear things up, and we can talk in greater detail then.

In the meantime, I have a lot piled up both here and in RL that need my attention, and I hope no one misreads things if it takes a few days to draft that first proposal.

Edit: Sorry to be so snippy. As you know, I've been under a lot of pressure lately. I'll try to be more civil.

[edit on 7/4/2005 by Majic]

posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 11:57 AM
Thanks for 2cents S.O. a great idea, submitting fiction the way we submit news, pick a drop category and it goes to the right place might be pretty good.

I'm happy to work with everyone here and read all your ideas, so please more "writers" feel free to express your opinions.

wolfofwar, I currently have a showcase of winners stickied in the Short Stories Subforum

btw DE, I take no offense you wanting more Moderators other than myself, but honestly I don't feel the forum needs one unless the participation "significantly" increases. As for the timing, well lets just say these things do take time, right now, let's get as many ideas as possible, present them to your council person and see where it goes from there. I'm on board as a writer and moderator to make this forum succeed and will offer my ideas and feedback in this thread for all to see.

Majic, your plan sounds good, however try to keep all suggestions to one thread, namely this one.

(advance warn to all ) I will remove any pop up threads with random suggestions and copy the posts to this one. Keep all the ideas in one place for easy reference. Lay off the off topic remarks, those will also be removed.

Tondo, currently you can see all the contributions by authors by clicking on the shaded gray "a" or "d" (stands for ascending/descending) and they will show up alphabetically like here

As for the contests, many of you have already u2ed me with ideas of what topics you would want to see in the future contests, all of which are being considered, however if anyone else has ideas or suggestions on what contests they would like to see, then by all means tell me.

posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 01:49 PM
Basically, we have a fun little circle going on with this forum. Due to lack of prescence or community, staff neglects fiction forum. Due to neglect by staff, no real community coaleses. Round and round we go- the community really can't get together because we're not given the tools, and because we're not getting together we're not given any tools.

In fact, a new site might just be the ticket. It's clear the greater populace of ATS frankly doesn't care about its writers. The fundementals are in this thread, and there is a post labeling possible regs. It's a good start. I will shortly start a roll-call thread.

Councilors and staff, it is time to take a step forward. The members have given you suggestions, none of them terribly outlandish. I would go so far as to call them "the basics of any writing community". I will be doing all I can, along with my fellow writers, to expedite the process.

Thanks to Majic, Cobra and SO for weighing in.


posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 03:59 PM
Squaring The Circle

Originally posted by DeusEx
Basically, we have a fun little circle going on with this forum.

While I worry that my contributions tend to do more harm than good, I'm pretty sure we can address the majority of writers' concerns and move CF in a positive direction.

This won't happen overnight, and I hate sounding like a politician spewing platitudes for saying this, but I really do think some very good things will come from this process.

As with everything around here, patience is not only a virtue, but a prerequisite if we want to accomplish anything.

Now, if we can keep patience from devolving into apathy, I think it's going to be okay.

Meanwhile, for those wondering, I'm taking time to carefully ponder and digest what has been pointed out and suggested in this thread before I prepare the first draft proposal. Essentially, I am trying to “grok” what's been put forth, and see if I can find a way to turn it into a relatively brief first set of recommendations.

I expect writers especially to grill me mercilessly if I don't get the gist of what you have written here, and there's a lot to sort out. Conversely, I think you know how tricky paraphrasing can be, which is the task that confronts me now. -M

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