Editor Reviews

I've been doing a lot of archive-diving after WFG's run through the queue. There were some changes I put in for TOKoR, and they were all successfully implemented, except for the RSS feed - which, the archives say, won't be allowed until an editor reviews the story.

Then I looked into editor reviews to see what'd been said on the forums. Two years ago was a thread saying that the numbers had nearly depleted, there was too much burnout, really successful serials had completed volumes and still not received a rating, and that... well, that seemed to be where the conversation winded down (seen here: http://forums.webfictionguide.com/topic/review-requests-eikasia-and-akumu-love-panic#post-8390).

Now, I've seen a couple from Fiona around January, one recently from Chris, and one from Palladian again around January. Hooray, there are editors around! But there's been a ton of new serials added, and the current pace unfortunately won't get to most of them for years.

Is there anything in the works to help out in this area? Are new editors being considered or...? I don't know what the situation is.

We had a discussion about this in the Brennus chat not too long ago. It isn't really that much about editor reviews, but about the lack of RSS updates without editor reviews. I don't quite understand why only editor reviewed stories can have their 'latest updates' visible on their WFG page. I've not missed a single update since June 22nd, 2014, and I'd really like for potential new readers to see that my serial is active.

I can live without editor reviews. But the fact that a lucky few can have their latest updates status visible, while I can't, is a big downer for me. Some of those serials might not even be active anymore. Mine is. I'd like for that activity to be visible.

It seems to me that the members who are active on the forum and in the WFG community should have their serials reviewed, or at least have priority over people who post their stories and never show up again...

Is THAT why some dont show up there? I never knew that.

yeah... that could do with a fixin. any easy way to make it an editor review or say, 3 regular reviews?

@Alexander.Hollins - Yup. I decided to look up the answer rather than make a thread asking, and it turned out someone had already made a thread that asked.

The RSS feed is the big thing that I want to resolve. I don't update that often, so anything that adds to my trumpet blast of 'IT'S HEEEEEERE!' is crucial. I can understand if the editors don't want to give that broadcast status to a less reputable serial (i.e., a serial that *cough* uses *cough cough* profanity in its titles *cough cough cough pretty sure that won't show up though cough*), but if there was some sort of milestone that needs to be reached, I'd really appreciate knowing it was there.

The RSS situation is complicated. Basically, RSS feeds are checked by the server software in response to user requests to WFG. There's nothing that can run the thing on a schedule, at least there wasn't at the time I set it up. As a result, I decided to ration the resource by checking more-highly-rated stories more frequently, and lower-rated-stories not at all. That's why some stories that do have an RSS feed don't have an episode list on their page. The system further culls the list for the home page by only picking stories that have a high editorial rating, on the belief that if an editor rated the story highly, it's probably something that's good enough to represent the community to a new reader (ie. someone encountering WFG for the first time).

But, yes, editorial reviews have been in short supply for some time. It's a problem for a number of aspects of the site, not just the home page RSS feed.

The truth is many aspects of the site need an overhaul. The software is 6 years old now, and hasn't changed much at all in the last 4. I've been trying to make time for it this year, but, so far, I've largely failed. I'm spending a couple of days this weekend trying to get going on it. We'll see what happens.


I believe readers would also benefit from knowing, at a glance and from looking at the story's page, which serials are still being updated.

Would it be possible for at least the top 15 on TWF to get 'first impression' editioral reviews of the first few chapters?

Edit to add: Or maybe make it possible to donate towards server / site running cost in exchange for an editioral review?

@Chris - That all makes sense, and I agree with the way you've rationed the resources and geared the bottom line towards the reader. That's exactly what I would've hoped for.

But if the issue we keep coming back to is a lack of editors available to read through the new entries, or lack of editors in general, what do we do to help with that?

@Chrysalis - I always get a bad kneejerk reaction to donation benefits. I don't want this to become a money war on any front. With that said, maybe a nomination system of some kind? Basically taking Chris' plan of looking at the higher rated stories first, but putting more visible rules to it (need at least X ratings, need at least Y reviews...).

@Tartra: You've got a point. I take it back - no donation benefits.

I like your suggestion of needing X ratings / reviews.

Moving the site to AWS would increase the number of things I can do with the software, but the server costs would go up markedly. There won't be any quid pro quo, but if I move it, I might start a Patreon account for WFG to let people pitch in on maintenance costs. I'm still quite adverse to running ads on the site.

Do it! Start the Patreon account now. With all the traffic WFG gets, I'm pretty sure you'd get a decent response to it.

Now the question is how to market the Patreon accounts!



gah. i hate doing monthly promises, i suck at keeping promises, adn would rather drop a chunk of change now, but I'll do it! It's worth it.

As a reader, a "last updated on" tag would be awesome.