WFG closing; TWF will continue

Hi everyone,

As you know, the WFG site software has been broken for some time, which has stopped the influx of new listings to both WFG and TWF. That situation is bad for the community and is entirely my fault.

A few weeks ago, I took stock of the situation. The truth is that topwebfiction.com gets lots of traffic on a daily basis. webfictionguide.com doesn’t. This is partly due to the fact that WFG hasn’t had a (required-by-the-software) editorial presence in most of year, but that’s not the whole picture. The truth is that WFG itself never got the traffic TWF did.

Up until now, TWF has required WFG to function. It runs out of the same database, and gets its listings from there. That is now changing.

I’m rebuilding TWF to stand alone. Over the last few weeks, I’ve gotten a lot of the core functionality built, including support for WFG’s tagging system, which I hope will make TWF a richer experience for users and authors alike. I have added a “new listings” view that orders by descending create date. And I’ve given each listing its own page on the site where authors can manage their own description and images.

Submissions will be a lot simpler, too: there will be no editorial process. Instead, the site will be operated by invites from existing authors. New authors will have to convince someone—anyone—who already has a listing on TWF to send them an invite. Once they have that invite, the can create their listing without any further requirements. I’m putting the community in the community’s hands, and getting myself out of the way.

I am doing my level-best to have the basic, new software in place this long weekend (ie. by the end of September 7), or by next weekend at the latest. This will just be the replacement for what’s there now (rankings and voting), plus the tagging and listing pages. Over the next week or two, I’ll finish and deploy the management features (invites, listing editing, etc.).

When this is all done, WFG will close. My expectation is I will take it offline sometime around October 1. If there are things on the site you want a copy of, now’s the time to grab it.

WFG has had a good run. More than 12 years, in fact, which is an eternity for a non-commercial website. I’ll be sad to see it go, but I think it’s time.

Finally, I’d like to thank @rocode for taking a shot at rewriting WFG over the last several months, and for moving the forums to Discourse, so we could actually keep talking about it.

Chris

Hello all! I have gotten a lot of questions on WFC Discord, so I figured I would answer them here:

WFG, and all data contained within WFG will be deleted by Chris around October 1st.

I will continue paying for the WFG forums until October 1st, after which it will be shut down as well.

Chris will continue work on TWF. I will be taking what I had written for the WFG rebuild and working with WFC to see if I can hammer it into a possible new project. However, any old WFG data, from the site or the forums, will be deleted, so please save what you want before October 1st.

Oh my.
After a few moments shock and reflection, I think this is a good solution. A brilliant one, actually. Long live TWF!
Wow. I owe this site so much for all the great stories I have had the pleasure of reading thanks to finding them on here. And giving me a platform to express my views and give back a little.
If there was a way to mass-download all the reviews connected with my account, that would be awesome. If not, I will just let them disperse to the ether like a sand mandala getting raked over.
All the best to future projects
Fiona

Hi @fiona

I may be able to adjust the software to let you pull your entire review feed via RSS. Or, alternatively, I can write a script to email every user their reviews and ratings data. Would either meet your needs?

I have suggested to a few people that it would be easy to add a “reviews” tag to TWF and list review blogs, which would give regular reviewers a way to stay involved.

Chris

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The email script would be really nice, if it’s not too much trouble.
Thanks Chris!
I like the review blog idea…continuing with the theme of making TWF a crowd sourced effort.

By way of update, the site is just about ready to go live. I’ve got the rankings pages done, the listing page done, and tag-based navigation done. I just have to finish the new voting booth and I can deploy it. About 3-4 hours of work, all in. Not sure how my week’s going to go, but I’ll try to have it online before Friday.

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I finally created an account to see how I could get involved, but it appears I’m a bit late.

I’m glad TWF is sticking around, it has been a great tool to discover new stuff over the years.

If there is anything I can do to help (other than code) let me know.

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Forgot to post here. I’ve started a Twitter account for TWF and am posting updates there: https://twitter.com/topwebfiction

TL;DR: new software is done, and I might deploy it tonight.

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Created an account just for this. If Web fiction guide is closing and data is to be deleted, I would recommend that a static html copy is taken and hosted. There’s a ton of valuable data on webfictionguide which would be a shame to lose.

This is aside from the valuable niche that Web fiction guide fills. Without WFG, I don’t actually know where I’m going to find new independent fics. TWF is an interesting site, but ultimately useless for me because it only shows the most popular stuff which I’m rarely interested in. It’s about so much more than numbers. For example, I would assume that TWF would get more traffic because of the voting system, so it’s an unfair comparison.

This said, I do understand the situation, and appreciate the effort that has been put into made maintaining Wang the challenge of keeping it going moving forward.

A static site would not allow people to remove the reviews or edit their listihgs. As I have no license to use their data permanently, it’s a non starter.

The new TWF software is online now. You might want to have a look. It’s basically WFG without the reviews. And it will be getting infinite scroll on rankings pages and recommendations within the next week or so.

A static site would not allow people to remove the reviews or edit their listings

But surely keeping the listings and their descriptions at the very least is better than not having them at all?

As I have no license to use their data permanently, it’s a non starter.

That’s a nasty issue. I would have thought that you’d already have a license to display the content already, otherwise the existing website wouldn’t exist. Still, it’s a thorny issue.

The new TWF software is online now. You might want to have a look.

Looks cool! It looks much better than the old one. Although without the descriptions of the fics it’s difficult to tell which is which and whether I’d like to read any of them, so I’m unsure if it’s really helpful for me (although I can tell that many others will find it very useful).

Click through on a title and you get a full listing. The new site also has space for graphics, once authors supply them. Search for “Inheritors” or “Winter Rain” to see what that looks like.

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Haven’t done infinite scroll, but have added paging, so you can now access the full collection.

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I’ve already got a listing on Top Web Fiction (The Revelation), but I can’t seem to find a way to log in. Is the site fully live yet?

There’s no admin interface yet. That will be coming in the next week or two. I’ll email all existing authors with credentials when it’s ready to use.