Another feedback post (Please read and reply!)

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Another feedback post (Please read and reply!)
« on: October 25, 2017, 02:50:49 PM »
Hey everyone!

So, it's been a long time since we've had any feedback posts, and with all of the new members we've gotten in recent months we thought it was time to do so. We're hoping that you all will be willing to offer your feedback and suggestions to us so we can help continue to make Worldsmyths grow and a great group for fantasy writers!

Now, first a disclaimer: for those of you who've been here for a long time, you already know that we're currently working on having a library site built for us. This has been a long process, with lots of unexpected bumps in the road, but we want to let you know that we're really close to getting the first version of it, called Libralite! As soon as it's ready, a new announcement with the link will be posted. So because of that factor, we'd like you to focus on other aspects of the site.

Here are some questions we'd like to ask you:

Code: [Select]
[b]1. How are you feeling about the site in general? Is there anything that's keeping you from starting/responding to specific topics? Is there anything you think we can do to improve the site as far as overall activity goes and helping to encourage you to post/reply to topics more often that we aren't already doing?[/b]
[b]2. While we don't have Libralite yet, we do have the library submissions section. Is there anything currently keeping you from utilizing it? (i.e. submit a recent chapter that you've written.)[/b]
[b]3. How are you feeling about the writing challenges? Do you feel like the prompts have been any better than past ones lately or are they about the same?[/b]
[b]4. What do you think of the questions of the day and the tropes posts? Have they been interesting, or have they not really been something you've wanted to respond to?[/b]
[b]5. You may have noticed that a few months ago, we rearranged the forums- we removed certain sections of the forum and made other sections into subforums. Do you like the new arrangement of the site? Do you have a hard time finding any specific sections now that we've rearranged them? [/b]

Thank you to everyone who takes a few minutes to answer these questions and give us feedback. If you have any questions about something with the site or anything, feel free to ask us in this post.
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Xanxa

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Re: Another feedback post (Please read and reply!)
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 06:47:25 PM »
1. How are you feeling about the site in general? Is there anything that's keeping you from starting/responding to specific topics? Is there anything you think we can do to improve the site as far as overall activity goes and helping to encourage you to post/reply to topics more often that we aren't already doing?

The site is fine.  I like the layout and I find the other members friendly.  In relation to activity, forums like this are always going to find it difficult to recruit new members because social media has taken over from old-school forums to a large degree.  Being able to post photos and videos without having to use BB codes makes it easier and more immediate. 

I still believe that old-school forums have their place.  In fact, in recent years, I've been posting far more on forums than on Facebook.  I also have a few friends who dislike Facebook and prefer forums. 

2. While we don't have Libralite yet, we do have the library submissions section. Is there anything currently keeping you from utilizing it? (i.e. submit a recent chapter that you've written.)

Two things.  First, I had a terrible experience with a critic who trashed my work without giving any constructive suggestions.  (This happened on another forum, now defunct).  That person simply said that I needed to go back to school before attempting to write anything else.  It almost made me give up writing altogether.  I don't expect everyone to love what I write, but I do expect more than a blanket trashing without any suggestions for improvement.  That's immature and counter-productive.  Basically it's bullying.

Second, I'm worried about plagiarism.  I don't mind posting a few paragraphs but whole chapters or whole novels, I'm not so sure of.  I've heard that sites like Wattpad and Inkitt do nothing to prevent it from happening and don't punish anyone who does it. 

3. How are you feeling about the writing challenges? Do you feel like the prompts have been any better than past ones lately or are they about the same?

My writing time is very limited so I don't usually take part in prompts, not on this site or elsewhere.  Therefore I can't comment on the quality of the prompts.

4. What do you think of the questions of the day and the tropes posts? Have they been interesting, or have they not really been something you've wanted to respond to?

They are among my favourite kinds of discussions.  I find them very interesting and thought-provoking. 

5. You may have noticed that a few months ago, we rearranged the forums- we removed certain sections of the forum and made other sections into subforums. Do you like the new arrangement of the site? Do you have a hard time finding any specific sections now that we've rearranged them?

I wasn't a member when the reorganising was going on.  Therefore I can't comment.  I'm happy with the layout of the site at present. 


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True Neutral

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Re: Another feedback post (Please read and reply!)
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 07:33:19 PM »
1. How are you feeling about the site in general? Is there anything that's keeping you from starting/responding to specific topics? Is there anything you think we can do to improve the site as far as overall activity goes and helping to encourage you to post/reply to topics more often that we aren't already doing?
More questions of the day, but I'm guessing those are on hold for NaNoWriMo?
2. While we don't have Libralite yet, we do have the library submissions section. Is there anything currently keeping you from utilizing it? (i.e. submit a recent chapter that you've written.)
It's something on my end. I have conlang work to do before anything's ready to post anywhere.
3. How are you feeling about the writing challenges? Do you feel like the prompts have been any better than past ones lately or are they about the same?
Prompts are always going to be hit or miss for me. I won't write anything I can't use directly in the novel, so as to avoid getting off-track. As such, either a prompt is something I can use or it isn't. A prompt could be perfectly good but something I can't use in the novel. And it would be ridiculous to cater prompts to what one person can use and what they can't use.
4. What do you think of the questions of the day and the tropes posts? Have they been interesting, or have they not really been something you've wanted to respond to?
That's about all I respond to.
5. You may have noticed that a few months ago, we rearranged the forums- we removed certain sections of the forum and made other sections into subforums. Do you like the new arrangement of the site? Do you have a hard time finding any specific sections now that we've rearranged them?
I mostly use the activity stream.

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Another feedback post (Please read and reply!)
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2017, 08:22:30 PM »
1. How are you feeling about the site in general? Is there anything that's keeping you from starting/responding to specific topics? Is there anything you think we can do to improve the site as far as overall activity goes and helping to encourage you to post/reply to topics more often that we aren't already doing?

The site is fine.  I like the layout and I find the other members friendly.  In relation to activity, forums like this are always going to find it difficult to recruit new members because social media has taken over from old-school forums to a large degree.  Being able to post photos and videos without having to use BB codes makes it easier and more immediate. 

I still believe that old-school forums have their place.  In fact, in recent years, I've been posting far more on forums than on Facebook.  I also have a few friends who dislike Facebook and prefer forums. 

Fair enough point. I really didn't want to use Facebook for this site 'cause Facebook is so limiting with certain features, and if a group gets big enough it can be nearly impossible to find posts and a lot of the time posts get buried because of algorithms. But it is true that social media is taking over. One advantage we have is that a lot of people don't like or use social media, and a lot of people don't like using their real names in online groups (which you're forced to do on Facebook), whereas on a forum you can use whatever name you want and no one will ever know the difference.

Quote
2. While we don't have Libralite yet, we do have the library submissions section. Is there anything currently keeping you from utilizing it? (i.e. submit a recent chapter that you've written.)

Two things.  First, I had a terrible experience with a critic who trashed my work without giving any constructive suggestions.  (This happened on another forum, now defunct).  That person simply said that I needed to go back to school before attempting to write anything else.  It almost made me give up writing altogether.  I don't expect everyone to love what I write, but I do expect more than a blanket trashing without any suggestions for improvement.  That's immature and counter-productive.  Basically it's bullying.

Second, I'm worried about plagiarism.  I don't mind posting a few paragraphs but whole chapters or whole novels, I'm not so sure of.  I've heard that sites like Wattpad and Inkitt do nothing to prevent it from happening and don't punish anyone who does it.

Yikes. I can see why that would make you hesitant, but I've never seen a single person on this site in the almost two years of its existence give a really terrible review like that. I don't know if that brings you any comfort or anything, though.

As far as plagiarism goes, two points:
1. The general rule of thumb that I've been told is that if you're going to post any writing online, it's better to do excerpts/only a few chapters and not an entire manuscript, regardless of traditional or self publishing (though it's more relaxed with self publishing), and if you're going to do so this is exactly the kind of place to do so in, where you have to have a registered account in order to view the section(s) where you post writing or anything about your writing. Even I have become a little more wary of posting eeeevery little detail about things online recently, but not because of any plagiarism experiences (that would count. I once wrote a Harry Potter fan fic and someone on fanfiction.net basically plagiarized and barely changed any part of it and put it up on fanfiction.net. I ended up getting her to it take it down 'cause it was blatant (I either reported her or I messaged and told her she had stolen it, I can't remember).

2. While Wattpad does have the reputation of there being plagiarism issues that their administrators haven't done anything about, we do not have that reputation, and we haven't had ANY incidents like that. If something ever did happen, while we personally wouldn't be able to take legal action against the plagiarist, we would take whatever evidence we'd be given by the author, discuss it, and the plagiarist would be punished accordingly with a permanent IP/e-mail ban (which, those aren't foolproof but they're pretty much the only things we would be able to do). So while Wattpad won't do anything, we WILL, and you don't have to worry about us not doing anything about if it were to ever happen.

But I seriously doubt we'll ever have any kind of issues like that.

Quote
4. What do you think of the questions of the day and the tropes posts? Have they been interesting, or have they not really been something you've wanted to respond to?

They are among my favourite kinds of discussions.  I find them very interesting and thought-provoking. 

Good to know!

Quote
5. You may have noticed that a few months ago, we rearranged the forums- we removed certain sections of the forum and made other sections into subforums. Do you like the new arrangement of the site? Do you have a hard time finding any specific sections now that we've rearranged them?

I wasn't a member when the reorganising was going on.  Therefore I can't comment.  I'm happy with the layout of the site at present. 

Actually, we reorganized the forums toward the end of September, and you joined in late July. :P So you were a member already, lol.

1. How are you feeling about the site in general? Is there anything that's keeping you from starting/responding to specific topics? Is there anything you think we can do to improve the site as far as overall activity goes and helping to encourage you to post/reply to topics more often that we aren't already doing?
More questions of the day, but I'm guessing those are on hold for NaNoWriMo?

I mean...yes and no. Mostly for me, anyway, it's been me forgetting about posting them as often/being busy and not being able to get them posted early enough in the day. I'm definitely going to try and get one posted for tomorrow and try to post at least a few more before my upcoming trip on Tuesday. Otherwise @Sheepy-Pie and @Silver will be in charge of posting them while I'm gone. :D

Quote
2. While we don't have Libralite yet, we do have the library submissions section. Is there anything currently keeping you from utilizing it? (i.e. submit a recent chapter that you've written.)

It's something on my end. I have conlang work to do before anything's ready to post anywhere.
3. How are you feeling about the writing challenges? Do you feel like the prompts have been any better than past ones lately or are they about the same?
Prompts are always going to be hit or miss for me. I won't write anything I can't use directly in the novel, so as to avoid getting off-track. As such, either a prompt is something I can use or it isn't. A prompt could be perfectly good but something I can't use in the novel. And it would be ridiculous to cater prompts to what one person can use and what they can't use.

Fair enough.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 08:27:18 PM by Jedi Knight Muse »
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JayLee

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Re: Another feedback post (Please read and reply!)
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2017, 09:31:45 PM »
1. How are you feeling about the site in general? Is there anything that's keeping you from starting/responding to specific topics? Is there anything you think we can do to improve the site as far as overall activity goes and helping to encourage you to post/reply to topics more often that we aren't already doing? I like the site. I like the people. I probably already spend too much time on here, so I dunno about encouraging me more :P
2. While we don't have Libralite yet, we do have the library submissions section. Is there anything currently keeping you from utilizing it? (i.e. submit a recent chapter that you've written.) I have no idea what it will be good for in my case at the moment.
3. How are you feeling about the writing challenges? Do you feel like the prompts have been any better than past ones lately or are they about the same? Prompts are always prompts are always prompts. I rarely like them until I get over myself and do them, and I'd say there have been a number of decent ones lately :)
4. What do you think of the questions of the day and the tropes posts? Have they been interesting, or have they not really been something you've wanted to respond to? They're cool, but they fizzle out after the usual people post in them, cause we run out of stuff to say.
5. You may have noticed that a few months ago, we rearranged the forums- we removed certain sections of the forum and made other sections into subforums. Do you like the new arrangement of the site? Do you have a hard time finding any specific sections now that we've rearranged them? I was already totally lost on the site, so nothing new here! I'm still learning the navigation part.
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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Another feedback post (Please read and reply!)
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 10:42:18 PM »
1. How are you feeling about the site in general? Is there anything that's keeping you from starting/responding to specific topics? Is there anything you think we can do to improve the site as far as overall activity goes and helping to encourage you to post/reply to topics more often that we aren't already doing? I like the site. I like the people. I probably already spend too much time on here, so I dunno about encouraging me more :P
There's no such thing as spending too much time on Worldsmyths. :P
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Elena

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Re: Another feedback post (Please read and reply!)
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2017, 02:30:42 AM »
1. How are you feeling about the site in general? Is there anything that's keeping you from starting/responding to specific topics? Is there anything you think we can do to improve the site as far as overall activity goes and helping to encourage you to post/reply to topics more often that we aren't already doing?

I can't think about anything you can do to improve the general activity. People post when they have time. And maybe when they don't, they either are too busy to be able to think, or... well... actually writing! Which is a good thing...

2. While we don't have Libralite yet, we do have the library submissions section. Is there anything currently keeping you from utilizing it? (i.e. submit a recent chapter that you've written.)

What's keeping me from submitting chapters I have written is that they aren't in English :( . As for RP posts which make for an interesting story... I had posted a few when I had time. Everything gets to the limited available time...

3. How are you feeling about the writing challenges? Do you feel like the prompts have been any better than past ones lately or are they about the same?

They had been OK. Some inspired me, some didn't, but it is the same for any prompt collection.

4. What do you think of the questions of the day and the tropes posts? Have they been interesting, or have they not really been something you've wanted to respond to?

I replied the questions of the day which fitted my writing style.

5. You may have noticed that a few months ago, we rearranged the forums- we removed certain sections of the forum and made other sections into subforums. Do you like the new arrangement of the site? Do you have a hard time finding any specific sections now that we've rearranged them?

I like it.
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Sheepy-Pie

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Re: Another feedback post (Please read and reply!)
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2017, 04:55:53 AM »
We haven't added a QOTD recently because I think we have been busy! Me moreso dealing a lot with my bad health, another one should be going up either today or tomorrow though :)

Another thing is, trying to get the right balance of them. If we post them too much then only those threads get posted onto, where we'd like the whole site to be used and posted to :)

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Re: Another feedback post (Please read and reply!)
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2017, 11:21:15 AM »
Another thing is, trying to get the right balance of them. If we post them too much then only those threads get posted onto, where we'd like the whole site to be used and posted to :)

This, exactly, 1,000%.
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SecretRock

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Re: Another feedback post (Please read and reply!)
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2017, 04:45:38 PM »
Another thing is, trying to get the right balance of them. If we post them too much then only those threads get posted onto, where we'd like the whole site to be used and posted to :)

Maybe a question of the week would be better than a daily one? It would give people time to answer other threads and come up with more questions for it without having odd breaks like now (not that your health can help it).

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Another feedback post (Please read and reply!)
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2017, 11:26:01 PM »
Another thing is, trying to get the right balance of them. If we post them too much then only those threads get posted onto, where we'd like the whole site to be used and posted to :)

Maybe a question of the week would be better than a daily one? It would give people time to answer other threads and come up with more questions for it without having odd breaks like now (not that your health can help it).

The thing is, regardless of how often we're posting the questions of the day, it really shouldn't be effecting the overall activity/posting level of the forum...like, we shouldn't have to rely so heavily on them just to get some form of activity with posting. They should just be a part of the site but not the only thing that draws in any kind of responses. Even this feedback post shouldn't be the only thing getting any kind of responses. There should be many other posts being made besides the questions of the day or this feedback post.

It's a forum, for writers. There should be a multitude of posts being made, and that's just not happening for whatever reason. But we shouldn't have to rely on things like a question of the day to get any kind of activity. And as someone pointed out, usually those posts get a few responses and then they die out, and that's another issue, too.

And it especially shouldn't be like this when we're about seven months away from being at the two year mark.

(Sorry, a lot of that was me venting. I just feel really strongly and even a bit frustrated about this. I know that forums are a dying breed because of social media, but they DO still work, because I've seen it with my own eyes, even with social media being a competing factor. They can be successful, but a lot of that is very dependent on more than just the staff members being active and posting.)

Also, we have an entire list of questions that we're picking and choosing from with a lot of choices left still, so it's really not a matter of running out of questions or anything at the moment, either.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 11:35:22 PM by Jedi Knight Muse »
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True Neutral

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Re: Another feedback post (Please read and reply!)
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2017, 06:31:35 AM »
I know that forums are a dying breed because of social media, but they DO still work, because I've seen it with my own eyes, even with social media being a competing factor. They can be successful, but a lot of that is very dependent on more than just the staff members being active and posting.

Actually, I refuse to use social media for that sort of thing. Twitter would be rather illogical, so I'm guessing you mean primarily Facebook and Reddit. Well...I don't use Reddit, and because Facebook has a real-name policy, I can't use mine for writing-related activities. I have family members who just do not approve of the hobby, so anything with my name on it where they could find it super-easily would quickly turn into a disaster. So if forums die, well...there goes my ability to talk with other writers at all.

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Another feedback post (Please read and reply!)
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2017, 09:50:03 AM »
I know that forums are a dying breed because of social media, but they DO still work, because I've seen it with my own eyes, even with social media being a competing factor. They can be successful, but a lot of that is very dependent on more than just the staff members being active and posting.

Actually, I refuse to use social media for that sort of thing. Twitter would be rather illogical, so I'm guessing you mean primarily Facebook and Reddit. Well...I don't use Reddit, and because Facebook has a real-name policy, I can't use mine for writing-related activities. I have family members who just do not approve of the hobby, so anything with my name on it where they could find it super-easily would quickly turn into a disaster. So if forums die, well...there goes my ability to talk with other writers at all.

Unfortunately, not many people seem to think the way you do when it comes to social media (especially the Facebook groups, which is mainly what I'm talking about. Twitter isn't really a major competition for us because unless you use that Twitlonger thing you can't send very long messages so it's not really something that can be used at the same level of a forum or Facebook group) and interacting with other writers. I mean, I can understand why it's easier to be part of Facebook groups, especially because it means not having to go onto a separate site (there are...a lot of people that came here from Facebook that never or hardly ever log in to the site because they forget about it) in order to participate. It's all right there, on Facebook, and they can just go into the groups and do whatever. Reddit isn't necessarily what I was talking about, but it is a factor. (I mostly lurk on there in their fantasy writing subreddit.) Tumblr is even kind of a competitor, though I don't really "get it" and I don't use it. But a lot of people use it to share their writing or whatever, I think (though it's mostly fan fiction).

(Not that this will change your mind, but there are ways to hide that you're even in any writing related Facebook groups from your profile so that no one can see what groups you're in, even those you're friends with I believe, and if you join a closed group, no one you're Facebook friends with would be able to see your posts unless they're in that group, too. But I understand your reasoning for not even taking a chance at that.)

Like I said, forums still have two advantages over Facebook groups: 1. total anonymity and 2. the fact that Facebook algorithms are ridiculous with allowing people to see your posts when you actually make them before they get buried, especially in huge groups. At least here, it's not super easy to miss posts (especially with the activity stream). But it doesn't seem to be a massive advantage overall because there are still people who prefer Facebook or will join a forum but just forget that it exists, even when e-mails are sent out to them that might remind them about the site. Even if they do log in to the site, they have to actually, like, make an effort to participate.

On the other hand, like I said, I've seen with my own eyes that it's entirely possible for a forum for (fantasy) writers can still be successful even with Facebook competing with them. I can think of two examples of sites, one of which has been around for YEARS (like, 10+), that is still successful and drawing people in. The other one has been around since at least 2011 and they apparently have gotten very lucky but they also have a social media person who is very good at drawing in members for them, from what I was told by their admin. I would love for Worldsmyths to get to that point but like I said...it can't just be the staff members who are making the effort to get it that far.

The members are the driving force of a forum, and if the members aren't making posts and they're just logging in and MAYBE replying here and there...then we're always going to consistently have activity issues despite the staff's best efforts to avoid that.  :-\
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 09:57:44 AM by Jedi Knight Muse »
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JayLee

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Re: Another feedback post (Please read and reply!)
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2017, 11:16:37 AM »
I would love for Worldsmyths to get to that point but like I said...it can't just be the staff members who are making the effort to get it that far.

The members are the driving force of a forum, and if the members aren't making posts and they're just logging in and MAYBE replying here and there...then we're always going to consistently have activity issues despite the staff's best efforts to avoid that. 
Valid, cold-hard truth there....
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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Another feedback post (Please read and reply!)
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2017, 07:37:45 PM »
I would love for Worldsmyths to get to that point but like I said...it can't just be the staff members who are making the effort to get it that far.

The members are the driving force of a forum, and if the members aren't making posts and they're just logging in and MAYBE replying here and there...then we're always going to consistently have activity issues despite the staff's best efforts to avoid that. 
Valid, cold-hard truth there....
I'm glad at least one person sees that.

I mean, I don't want to be that hard about it, necessarily? But it is, it's the blatant, valid truth. If things don't change, then I'm always going to be making these posts and I don't wanna do that.  :-\
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