To move or close, that's the question

Definitely WFG is a highly useful site for webfiction writers like myself looking for readers. At this point it offers unique qualities that no other site offers online. If moving works and makes it easier for you then I would prefer that to the alternative.


I'm not sure how much free time I would have to work on it, and I definitely wouldn't be able to take primary responsibility for it, but I am a developer and would be willing to assist with upgrading/rebuilding the site.


An open source project like Houston described is the way to go. I'm not a good enough programmer but I could help with grunt work like sorting/categorizing entries.

If that turns out to be too much effort, theRedSheep's reddit suggestion is also worth considering. Sometimes simple is best.


There would be some definite limitations I hadn't considered due to my meager Reddit experience. Since Reddit locks posts after six months, attaching reviews to the Reddit index wouldn't work, and you'd still need a substantial database attached to TWF anyway. Another platform might be more useful, like a generic forum. The main advantages of Reddit would be avoiding some upkeep costs and disruption.


Structurally, I think TWF itself is pretty close to ideal as-is, though there's merit to having more categories (particularly a Royal Road tab). It's certainly got plenty of life in it at present!


I'm really opposed to using Reddit as there is a sub-reddit devoted to web fiction already. r/webfiction. But, there's very little activity there. It's basically dead which most people go on there to post their fiction and that's just it. I've not even posted my new web novel on there because I don't know how much it would even help me because of the lack of activity. There was discussion about how to make the place lively again, but that discussion really didn't go anywhere.


Furthermore, using it as a directory just doesn't seem the way to go with the way Reddit works. If you have a lot of activity, most people who would use reddit will always look at the top posts or newest or whatever has the most upvotes. They won't go any deeper than that. Everything will eventually get buried and basically unsearchable. The only alternative is having an sticky thread for story links. However, one post is going to get unwieldy after awhile and you can only sticky two post on Reddit. Not ideal organization.


Reddit might be ideal for a small group of writers joining together and using it to advertise their own stories on a chapter by chapter basis. As theredsheep said, a traditional forum would work better than Reddit. You'll have better organization.


However, a well thought-out website would be best. Basically, if something is going to be done, no quick fixes. Nothing that can be thrown up in a day and just attract mild attention. I mean, a good team of people so is won't be on a single persons shoulders. And I mean actual serious people who want to see this happen. I can't offer a lot because I know nothing about building a website for just my story, let alone with something of WFG functionality. Basically, I don't code. I just write and maybe do a little artwork. I rely heavily on Wordpress for these things.


The other thing with Reddit is that it isn't exactly expanding audience reach - it's limiting it to people who use Reddit. And, much like Discord, that's a fairly narrow demographic.


Yeah, the main goal was to get something in place to keep TWF going so it wouldn't go down with the ship if WFG succumbed to atrophy. That's my selfish interest at work there, since TWF is the part that helps me most. If you can actually get a functioning website up with crowdsourcing, so much the better. My main concern there, aside from losing the project halfway through, is having TWF go down during the transition and have everybody wander off and forget about it. That's not just selfishness talking; if this place is going to come back, it's going to have to recolonize via TWF. If TWF goes down and loses eyeballs during the construction phase, that's going to be hard to recover from.


TWF is actually very simple. I could disconnect it from WFG with very little effort. So it will likely survive either way.


Houston and I are discussing things in email. I believe he has already started on code. When I first wrote WFG, I did it in a week, because it needed to be done. So I consider his gumption to be a good sign. That said, I'll admit I'm hesitant to just hand the domain to somebody I don't know.


@ubersoft You are quite right. I don't have either the time or the interest necessary to have this much power over things. I need to fish or cut bait, and it seems unlikely I'm suddenly going to start fishing.


You can't keep doing something just because you have for so long if it is being to much. Passing it off seems like a viable option even if you keep a hand on the key so to speak until you feel secure letting it go.


I recently had to give up something because i realized it was pulling me in one direction to many and well it was the least consistent thing.


Thank you for everything you have done to date though!


Awesomesauce. NB that I've seen some interest expressed on r/rational in helping out as well, if more help is needed for the sort of open-source project Houston is describing.


Ubersoft is wright, as always. Chris, what you've done here has been awesome. I hope it continues in some form, but you do you, booboo. For one thing, I do intend to put more focus on some of the actions that have centered here as a home, such as the april fools event, in the coming year.


I like Houston's idea, Houston, let us know when there's a github we can all pop on? I would be happy to help with UI design elements, ect. I don't know python, but thats an excuse to start learning, and im one of those annoying asses that suck at coding myself, but can always find that bug you've been hunting on a quick glance.


I'm a web developer and I'd love to help out as well.




Any news on this front?


Will this version of WFG still remain in situ if the site is moved/closes or will it disappear altogether? There is so much web fiction history here it would be a shame to lose it, especially as so many of the earlier web fiction sites have been taken down over the years.


Well, I guess I should make it official. I've started rebuilding WFG from scratch as a Drupal site. I'm not a big fan of Drupal, but I think it will let me solve a lot of problems in a hurry. I've already copied over all of the users and listings, and the reviews and maybe forums posts should be done tonight.


The new site will be self-serve for new listings, but moderated by the community, with privileges determined by user reputation (ie. people who are on the site more will get more power).


I'll be ditching the current ordering system for the listings, but I'm not yet quite sure what the replacement will look like. I haven't yet figured out if the recommendation system can (or even should) be replaced.


If anyone has Drupal skills and wants to help, let me know.


Chris


Drupal or design skills, actually. I'd love some help designing the new theme, as I suck at graphic design.


Thanks for all your hard work, man. We all appreciate it.


Sorry I can't lend much help, I can't computer to save my life.


Hey Chris, I caught your email a few days late but I am willing to help!


Thanks Ubersoft. I'll be getting back to this on tomorrow (Friday). I'll contact you via email.