Edtiors, have you forsaken us?

That might be a bit hyperbolic, but not entirely without merit. This isn't a post to complain, I know the editors (or is it editor now?) work here for free and deserve congratulations for the work they do accomplish, not complaints for what is not done.

But... Things aren't getting done around here. Three blatantly spammy posts in the forum have sat clogging up the forum for ten hours. Often this forum goes days between posts, and I asked a question of the editors in another thread a week ago that has gone unanswered. Furthermore, the 'editor's picks' are laughably old, half of them seem to link to invalid web addresses.

Not to mention it's been 14 days since any new blog fiction was listed (and I know for a fact there are valid projects in the queue).

I know the editors have little time for this, but perhaps they could, to put it frankly, shit or get off the pot. If you're going to be an editor, and if WebFictionGuide is to be a going concern, then make it so. Either do it, or find others who are willing to help pitch in. There seem to be lots of long-time users here in the forums with time to help out newbies. I certainly got a mountain of help when I had a few questions about starting my own blog-fic. Why not ask some of them if they'd pitch in?

Failing that, I think the only fair thing to do is shut it down. Leave it up, sure for the stuff that's already here, but if you're not going to maintain it, then be honest, post on the front page that this site is no longer maintained, and only legacy projects are in. Let it die a natural death.

I like this site. I think it could be great, but the current zombie state serves nobody.

Wow, spam in the forums for all of 10 hours. Horrors.

As for helping out, are you offering?

I can offer some time each week. I'd assumed you'd go with senior members who you've come to know, but if you want my help I'll do what I can.

I know the spam situation is not an emergency, but it does show a certain level of neglect, or a lack of adequate staffing. As I said before, none of that was intended as a complaint, rather it was an attempt to point out certain issues and suggest a possible resolution. If my language offended I apologize, as that was not my intent.

mfenger, seriously?

Chris puts in a lot of work on the site. A lot of it's not visible because it really should be automated (featured updates, I think?) and it isn't - but I believe he's working on that. And you're just saying shut down WFG because it took him less than half a day to fix some spam? The idea that he might listen to you made me shudder. What the heck, man? Seriously?

Hey Chris - wanted to let you know mfenger doesn't speak for the rest of us. You're a champ as far as I'm concerned.

@Wildbow: No worries. The only thing I was tempted to do in response was reject @mfenger's pending submission, to save him having to worry about the site any more. ;)

@mfenger: For future reference, the approach you might want to take in these kinds of situations is something like, "I notice spam is staying in the forums longer than it used to. I'd be happy to help moderate, if you'd like." However, I'll assume best intentions on your part and consider giving you moderator privileges, if you plan on being around a lot.

As for people helping out, my inclination is still to eliminate the need for editor input on the site. However, that's not going to happen at least until November, given the constraints on my time (it requires programming changes). So, if anybody with an existing body of reviews wants to be an editor, let me know.


Just a word to second Wildbow's sentiment. Thank you, Chris et al.


Of course, I can understand the desire to see WFG be a thriving, bustling community filled to the rim with enthusiastic editors spending their time writing, assessing, reviewing, and plugging the various fiction projects on the site. From a purely personal, mercenary perspective, I would love to have a horde of editors looking over my work and writing about it on a site that serves as a hub for serial fiction (though be careful--that's a double-edged sword right there, and when it cuts the other way...)

The roadblocks are, of course, time and energy. Everything on the Internet has its ebbs and flows, and the real world makes demands that cut into our time in this one. There was a time when my site had almost 10,000 visitors a day. Various events--some I could have controlled, some that were out of my hands--have left the site at a decidedly smaller fraction of regular visitors. And trying to struggle back to where you were is actually harder than getting there in the first place, usually because of the things that are out of your hands (lack of interest, changing demographics, changes in the community that make it difficult to re-capture the old audience, etc.) That's just the way it goes, and WFG--and every other site on the web, to be honest--has to deal with the same problems.

So I could see, from a writer's perspective who views WFG as a potential way to get the word out about his or her work, how one might wish that WFG has more than it does right now. But to go from there to suggesting that SOMEONE ELSE'S SITE BE SHUT DOWN because it's not meeting your standards? I will borrow from Clinton and say "that takes brass."

If WFG isn't doing what you want then don't use it. Or make suggestions without demanding he shut the site down if he won't acquiesce to them.

To echo the others - Thanks Chris :)

I'd be lost without WFG. Long may it continue.

"The only thing I was tempted to do in response was reject @mfenger's pending submission, to save him having to worry about the site any more. ;)"

Honestly, if that's your response to well-intended criticism, go ahead.


You're kidding me, right?

Mfenger has been a member since August 27, 2012, so I guess he's been through all the ups and downs of the creation process, the hours and hours put into coordinating efforts to get the site off the ground, the teams of editors that used to make sure EVERY story got at least one review and the countless weeks and weeks of effort Chris put into the coding.

I'm sure he can appreciate how hard it is to write a good review, since he's written hundreds --- oh wait, I count zero on his profile. Hundreds would be Chris, Fiona, Linda, or oh wait, ME a volunteer who hasn't been an editor in years.

Chris codes this place on his spare time and does it on his own dime -- there's no ads or revenue. It's a public service.

Fiona just finished a degree, Jim got laid off and has kids so he's drumming up work, and Eli is designing a system (pandamian) that will allow future writers to publish easier, from scratch. These are hard-working VOLUNTEERS who burn out because there are more writers than editors.

Everyone wants their story reviewed -- but I don't see a lot of reciprocity going the other way. Put in a tenth of the effort to this site as Chris or Fiona and I'll consider your opinion worth listening to because you'll have proven you care about the place.

There was nothing well-intended about that criticism whatsoever -- that was pure trolling.

Yes, I would also like to say thanks to Chris et al for maintaining the place.

I wouldn't mind volunteering but the best I could offer is a couple of hours on the weekend given my own writing commitments and working full time.


@mfenger, well, a sense of humour is pretty important around here, so I guess you're back off the volunteer list.

Everyone else, thanks for your patience and your support. I haven't closed the site specifically because I know people still value it, and I have no intention of doing so any time soon.



What a bizarre post.

It's unwise to criticize others on something you would not or could not do yourself. If you want more investment in the site, the path is there... for you. Do something about it. Energize the forums. Write reviews. Volunteer. Etc. If you are not willing, or have no time to do such things, then don't complain when others don't or can't either.

I believe it was Cicero who said "I criticize through creation - not by finding fault." Imagine how much wonderful stuff would be in the world if more people held with that. :)

Gavin: Just for what it's worth, I'm actually employed again (for the duration of my current contract), and enjoying the contract so far. Sadly, I'm actually working in an office (after 7 years of working from home), so I don't get to check in with WFG during the day.

Had I been unemployed, the spam would have been deleted immediately (which it was a few times last week).

With any luck, I'll be able to work in more time to check on these things once my first week is over and I've got a feel for my schedule.

Sorry Jim, I knew you had a contract I just meant you have a lot going on because there's been change in the system (of your life). It's on your site so I didn't think I was divulging anything important -- just underlining something my grandparents always told me -- "Don't judge someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes." I know some of the miles you, Fiona, Eli and Chris have put into things because of long association. August 27th is not a lot of miles for someone with zero reviews to put in before offering "criticism."

I get like 100 spam comments a day and keep erasing them, but I wouldn't close my site either. That's just the fun of the internet.