WFG Redesign Suggestions

9 years ago | Eli James (Moderator)

So Chris is rebuilding WFG from the ground up, and I'm helping do the design bits (and I promise you, it will be intuitive). This thread is for the suggestions you'd like to see incorporated into the next iteration. We can't guarantee anything, but we figure listening to ideas and letting people hash things out would be a good thing to do. If anything, it could give all of us some new ideas as to what we still need to do w/r/t the current community use of the site.

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Responses

  1. Chris Poirier (Moderator)

    Posted 9 years ago

    For instance, I want discussions better integrated into the site. I think people should be able to start discussions on reviews, and listings, and authors, and so on. Not sure how that would look, yet, but I'd like to see more opportunity for interaction. I'm also hoping we can just eliminate the current ranking system, and enhance casual browsing instead.

  2. Eli James (Moderator)

    Posted 9 years ago

    I'd prefer the ranking system to continue working, to be honest - it does help differentiate good stuff from bad. But discussions I completely agree with - if our early sketches are anything to go by, community will be one big change for WFG in general.

  3. Shutsumon (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    Could we get stumble and digg links on each review, or on individual reviewers' pages? That way we could highlight the high quality reviewers to the world as a whole?

    Becky

  4. Eli James (Moderator)

    Posted 9 years ago

    @Becky: That's a good idea. It does fit into what we see for the reviewer pages. Let's see if we can work that in ...

  5. Eli James (Moderator)

    Posted 9 years ago

    From Miladysa, on Twitter:

    Is the new WFG going to be listing WF sites & ebooks U can read online? If so it's going to be mega & will face rapid expansion.

    Well the tentative answer is no. We're here for web fiction, and there are certain things you can do on the web as a medium that you can't in others - interactivity, for instance, and cross-media integration. Plus there's the fact that not all the ebooks are free; ebook formats aren't standardized, and there are many ebooks for traditionally published works. Chris likes the idea that we're here for the indie people, and I agree. I think that we should pick a niche, and serve that niche very, very well.

    Updated: that does make sense, right? I'm tired right now, head's screwed on wrong. Will read again in the morning. Have fun, guys!

  6. Karen Wehrstein (Inactive)

    Posted 9 years ago

    I have more ideas than I have time to write right now, as I have two weblits to post on before midnight and a dinner and Santa Claus parade in between. But my *first* suggestion was going to be comments on the reviews, so I'm glad you're doing it. It will make the whole site friendlier, provide more information about the works without any effort on the part of Chris or other key people, and provide interesting content.

    My second suggestion was going to be to second what JanOda said, that the home-page needs more conversion info. More words to make people feel welcome and to entice them in.

    I have lots more ideas but no time at the moment... will do more tomorrow. What I suggest depends in part on this, so I hope you'll let me know: what are WFG's objectives and how important are they relative to each other? In other words, if it has two objectives -- 1) helping readers select works, and 2) promoting the field as a whole -- which is the priority or are they equal? (And are there others?)

    More anon.

    The Philosopher in Arms ~ asa kraiya (Beyond the Sword)
    http://www.chevenga.com
  7. Miladysa (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    Ditto Chris.

    I think there needs to be more opportunity for feedback rather than rating, shelving or writing a review. Sometimes you haven't the time or the inclination to write a full site review but you would like to offer up a couple of sentances of feedback.

    A few years ago there was a great site called Blog Explosion - it still exists but lost most of its original spark when it changed owners. The point of BE was that you could surf sites and earn points. There was also a blog rocket which was limited to a number of sites at one time (10 I think) and every time someone added their own site you moved up the rocket. Whilst you were on the rocket people earned a point if they visited your site and there were also mystery points to be won.

    The more sites you surfed the more visitors you received. The points converted to visitors back to your own site or banner space, news articles etc. Whilst surfing you could leave a comment or add the site to your favourites to read at a later date.

    I know these things are open to abuse but I did discover a lot of new blogs that way - some I would never have come across otherwise and I had quite a bit of fun whilst doing so. I am still friends with people I met through the early community of BE.

    From a writer perspective it would be nice to be able to embed trailer videos - I'm assuming that this would over burden the site though?

  8. Dary (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    I wish there was a way to outright eliminate "give me a review and earn points!" across the board. Fair enough when it's a popularity contest like this newfangled TWF thing, but when it's about reviews and for a directory that ranks things BASED on those reviews it creates a bit of a hierarchy: those series that offer stuff for good reviews (because, face it, THEY'RE GOING TO BE GOOD) have an advantage against those series just starting out, or who don't offer such rewards. Let TWF be ruled by popularity, not WFG!

    It would also help if all the webfictionlitserial communities just...joined forces. There doesn't NEED to be all these different forums for what is still a niche. What has weblit.us done that WFG couldn't have (or indeed, what has WFG done that EpiGuide couldn't have XD)? I know the former was started as a resource for writers thing but, eh, it doesn't seem to have panned out that way! The forum there is just the forum here (or rather, the users here migrated there and...have pretty much the conversations they had here...) Basically: PEOPLE ARE RUBBISH AND DON'T MAKE SENSE! If everyone focused their attention and concentrated ON ONE THING then MAYBE WEBFICTIONSERIALLIT CAN BECOME MORE THAN JUST A CLIQUEY NICHE.

    D:!

    Someone please take the jigsaw and put it together before I bang my head on this desk enough to break it!!

    REALISTIC SUGGESTIONS (because I know the above aren't happening XD)
    ~ Some kind of "next week in Webserial World...!" special previews. Like a television schedule. Hell, just get some inspiration from TV magazines. You know, like having reviews that comment on current storylines, rather than the first 5 episodes. When was the last time you saw a TV show review that judged it based on episodes from 3 years ago?!
    ~ Articles and advice for beginning authors on things like site design, effective promotion and, eh, writing a serial
    ~ Be careful with adding the ability to comment on reviews. It could alter the quality if people fear a reply from the author - of if the author doesn't agree with a review and wants to be public and shouty about it!!
    ~ Delicious cake

  9. Miladysa (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    @ Eli - Good. I had this awful idea that WFG was changing direction and going to be directed more towards ebooks than websites.

  10. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 9 years ago

    Just for the record, I really like the idea of making it easy to comment on individual reviews.

    Making it easy to stumble/digg/reddit/facebook things would also be cool.

  11. Karen Wehrstein (Inactive)

    Posted 9 years ago

    Dary wrote:

    > I wish there was a way to outright eliminate "give me a review and earn points!" across the board. Fair enough when it's a popularity contest like this newfangled TWF thing, but when it's about reviews and for a directory that ranks things BASED on those reviews it creates a bit of a hierarchy: those series that offer stuff for good reviews (because, face it, THEY'RE GOING TO BE GOOD) have an advantage against those series just starting out, or who don't offer such rewards. Let TWF be ruled by popularity, not WFG!

    Hear hear. I second this 100%. Some of my dearest friends bribe for reviews, but I still disagree with it.

    > It would also help if all the webfictionlitserial communities just...joined forces. There doesn't NEED to be all these different forums for what is still a niche. What has weblit.us done that WFG couldn't have (or indeed, what has WFG done that EpiGuide couldn't have XD)? I know the former was started as a resource for writers thing but, eh, it doesn't seem to have panned out that way! The forum there is just the forum here (or rather, the users here migrated there and...have pretty much the conversations they had here...) Basically: PEOPLE ARE RUBBISH AND DON'T MAKE SENSE! If everyone focused their attention and concentrated ON ONE THING then MAYBE WEBFICTIONSERIALLIT CAN BECOME MORE THAN JUST A CLIQUEY NICHE.

    I don't see the "people are rubbish" thing happening as much as you do, Dary, but I totally agree about joining forces to promote the field (though joining forces doesn't necessarily mean amalgamating sites). Basically, the larger the group of people who are co-ordinating efforts and the better they co-ordinate, the bigger difference they'll make. The term "web literature" and hence "weblit" was my idea, and it was picked up with a bang by MeiLin -- she registered the domain name "weblit.us" almost immediately -- as well as by the twitterati. So now I worry that I am responsible for some division in the community, which I hope I am not because that was the *last* thing I intended, and if I am, I hope it can be healed. I think we need a single term to push, for one reason and one reason only: search engines. You want fanfic, you google "fanfic", you want web comics, you google "web comics." You want what we do, you google... ? How many potential readers does that prevent from finding our work? When I came into the field there was no agreed-upon term that I could discern, so I proposed one. I personally am not attached to "weblit" being THE term, but from the day I worked vainly on SEO'ing my site, I've been absolutely committed to there being one main one, whatever it is.

    More later, focusing more on WFG!

    The Philosopher in Arms ~ asa kraiya (Beyond the Sword)
    http://www.chevenga.com
  12. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 9 years ago

    On "reviewing for points": I've never been wild about that either.

    On multiple communities: Personally it seems to me that the nice thing about Weblit.us has been that the person responsible for Epiguide has been involved there, opening up a connection. WFG and Weblit.us seem to be largely the same group. Epiguide is a distinctly different one. I don't believe that "there can be only one." I do think some collaboration would be useful.

    Weblit vs. Web Fiction: I really don't think it matters either. That being said, I'd argue that the matter might have already been settled. Google "weblit" or "web literature" and see what you get. Then google "web fiction."

    I like the web fiction results better, personally. The first page of web fiction leads you to WFG and the forums, Janoda's article on what web fiction is, and on the second page a Wikipedia article on web fiction. Weblit leads you to a place without a "gateway" telling you where to find it or what it is. Mind you, that can be changed, but it might be better to build on what's already there.

    That being said, it's a bit of a moot point, since both terms are now being used.

  13. Miladysa (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    @Dary @Karen @Jim - Agree

    @ Dary "Some kind of "next week in Webserial World...!" special previews. Like a television schedule. Hell, just get some inspiration from TV magazines. You know, like having reviews that comment on current storylines, rather than the first 5 episodes. When was the last time you saw a TV show review that judged it based on episodes from 3 years ago?!"

    Great Idea!

    "Delicious cake"

    Yummy!

  14. Dary (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago

    Webfic plays off the established term for fan fiction, so that always seemed the obvious one to me. I mean you don't hear people say Fan Literature/Fanlit! Literature also sounds REALLY PEDANTIC AND HIGH BROW. Like "look! look! take us SERIOUSLY guyzzzz!!"

    Re: reviews. It just occurred to me that one issue might be that these days everyone seems to assume we're all writing NOVELS. I'm not sure where that idea came from, but there's a BIG difference between a novel and a serial, and between a web-novel and a web-serial.

    Maybe THAT needs to be something addressed in listings?

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