A Place of Safety
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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > A time for reaffirmation
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A time for reaffirmation   [message #69900] Sun, 12 July 2015 10:16 Go to next message
larkin is currently offline  larkin

Toe is in the water
Location: Massachusetts
Registered: June 2015
Messages: 58



An open letter to the membership:

I have always thought some gay people had unique qualities in the arts because they were alienated from the culture at large, not because being gay was special.
 
But you are right, with the move to main stream many have become just regular folk.
 
The forum is the heart beat of a site.  It is what draws people in because they feel like they can be a part of it.  You might have to do some PR here.  A sycophant is only a sycophant when they are found out, but something is better than nothing.
 
From what I have discovered from writer sites is that, me included, they all want acknowledgement, they want to see their stuff in print and they desperately want feed-back and just a little stroking.  For this they must give back a little and support each other.  
 
Timmy, I can see that you have worked very hard because you are always there to add to a thread and prime it with a post but you need help from your core group. Show them this letter,  
 
When you first started out, gay issues especially with youth were important and constituted a good deal of your base.  What has changed is that middle class and above are enjoying tolerance and acceptance and even marriage.  They still need help and understanding.
 
But, what has also changed, maybe more in the US, is a huge increase in grinding poverty, chromic unemployment and homeless gay youth from single parent homes and laws that criminalize gay youth and it is getting worse.  In spite of all that, they will be online using cheap hand-helds and we need to hear from them. Stop for a minute and try to imagine yourself homeless. It can be crushing.
 
When you started this site, it was because you wanted to help. Well, here it is.
 
Larkin

[Updated on: Sun, 12 July 2015 10:23]

Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69902 is a reply to message #69900] Sun, 12 July 2015 10:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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Location: UK, in Devon
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Messages: 13737



I agree with Larkin. It perplexes me that we have had few participants here for quite some time. Do we know why that is? What might we do to encourage more posts? We have a large list of registered members here.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69904 is a reply to message #69900] Mon, 13 July 2015 05:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Smokr is currently offline  Smokr

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Messages: 399



Site redesign.
The colors are, well... odd. Green and tan? Not even a nice green, or a warm tan. But a kind of weak, sickly-grass green, and a pale, dead-flesh tan.
The mechanics of the design are rather clunky as well. The front page is not very attractive. The links across the top and on the left are basic text, like what's been used for decades, and looks and feels old-fashioned and clunky. The simple, square outlay is also rather cold and unwelcoming. There isn't anything warm or alluring. Not a single image, other than the adorable logo. It's the only redeeming factor.
The site just feels old. It always did. I didn't come here because of how it looked though, as I'd already read the authors here and didn't care what it looked like. I liked the content and the owner. How it appeared never mattered to me. I just ignored it.
But when you want to attract new members, you have to appeal visually, particularly if they aren't already coming for the content.
Folks want someplace that looks and feels clean and efficient, warm and welcoming, and generally colorful without being garish. Somewhere where you can easily find what you're looking for, and somewhere that is easy to navigate. Bells and whistles count. Folks get taken away by the flashier sites with good color schemes and interesting graphics. Especially when they can find the same stories there. More people are attracted there, and that attracts more people.
The forum layout is also old-fashioned. There are only two forum sections. General Talk, and Literary Merit. That gives the impression of little content, and not much to do. Have a look at the more popular sites, and you'll see dozens of forum categories. You'll also see a more friendly and usable layout, with more options and doo-dads. There's a reason they call FUD "Fucked, Ugly, and Dumb"
Have a look at the more 'active' and 'busier' sites with similar content and see what they have in common that isn't present in the lesser used places.
Things like more varied colors, buttons instead of text links, user images on forum listings, Facebook/Twitter/Google+ links, chat rooms, and gallery images.
Lastly, you sell the place as a place of safety. Statistically, a small percentage of people are looking for a place of safety. Most are looking for a place to have fun, meet others, read stories, and spend some free time. If you only appeal to the small percentage, you generally only get the small percentage.
I think you're aiming for a dichotomy that can't exist: A place for those to go who have questions and concerns and need a place of safety, and a place where a lot of people visit regularly for fun and chat and stories. Either you run a "Place of Safety" for those in need of it, or you run a "story site." Trying to have both puts both in a position of not being dedicated to. Who wants to visit a place that seems to not be dedicated to its mission? "A place of safety" should have threads and posts about common problems and solutions, where to find help, and what to do - not stories about romance and threads about politics and news.
A place of safety implies a place where troubled youth can find refuge. That's not a place most want to frequent. Its a laudable and important mission, and we need such places. But they aren't busy and lively. They should be dedicated to helping, not also providing recreational stories.
By trying to provide both, you water down both missions, and render them undesirable. New visitors don't know what to think when they find this place.
Person A thinks: "A place of safety? I don't need that. I want to find a place with folks to talk to, chat with, stories to read, and things to do."
Person B thinks: "A place of safety? How safe is a place that has stories about teenagers?"
Person C thinks: "A place of safety? I want advice and help, but do I want it from guys who write these stories?"
All three end up confused and concerned, and going somewhere else that is more definitely what they want. And they get grabbed by the colors, the images, and the vast amount of content. Even when the many forum categories may be very empty in real content, the images, colors, layout, and the impression of tons of content grabs them, and even takes them away if they posted here a few times and even liked the responses they recieved.

[Updated on: Mon, 13 July 2015 05:36]




raysstories.com
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69916 is a reply to message #69904] Mon, 13 July 2015 12:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
larkin is currently offline  larkin

Toe is in the water
Location: Massachusetts
Registered: June 2015
Messages: 58



Smokr,

You could be right on all of these points or maybe just some of these points, but this is all up to Timmy.  A makeover wouldn't be out of the question but more importantly is redefinition of its purpose and what this site has to offer.  
 
The best and most important efforts would be external efforts in the form of links and posts outside of this site.
 
I must be honest that I have been spending time on the AwesomeDudes site where they encourage young inexperience writers to post flash and help in editing and an open area for posting. The forum is larger and more importantly, active.  They don't censor but they accept or reject material for the protection of the site.  
 
Timmy, after 18 years you should be proud but perhaps with revolution on the horizon, it does need a paint job.  Get young people to come on to tell their story.

[Updated on: Mon, 13 July 2015 12:30]

Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69918 is a reply to message #69916] Mon, 13 July 2015 13:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13737



By our content shall you judge us. 

We have carefully avoided any form of "submit your story here and we'll judge it" because that also implies that it is fit for the site and might be acceptable as a published story.

I also avoid like the plague the sycophantic forums / story comments I have seen elsewhere.

Links and posts outside the site are a lovely idea, ideally to content deep within the site and especially the forum. Links to a home page are, broadly, useless. I do not do link exchange. That results in an immediate reduction in SERP position. I will link to a good site myself, and others will link to me. Feel free to encourage them to do so and to make your own posts with relevant links as the target.

There is no revolution on the horizon. There is simply a far greater number of diverse sites today which have different interests, centred around homosexual matters, usually with stories attached. The quality of some of those sites makes me despair of the webmasters. Some saw what we do here and started their own site. We were one of the first to encourage new talent. I submit that we are the best in the niche today.

It is the forum that is lacking activity. Historically that has been activity from gay youth, sometimes those pretending to be gay youth, asking about growing up, being gay, finding a partner. That was pre Grindr!

Today's teenagers are not the same as those of 10 years ago. Mostly, they are more confident. Gay Marriage is happening, love it or hate it. Gay role models exist. The only thing that is the same is that masturbation is just as popular today as it has always been.

The site is designed for simplicity of use, not for frills and fancies. It's designed t be quick to load, and easy to navigate. The colours are designed after considerable research, to make it easy to read the text. The text is the sole reason the site exists. We have words here, crafted into forum posts and into stories. The entire site is for the reader.

So, as I started I will finish.

By our content shall you judge us. 



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69919 is a reply to message #69904] Mon, 13 July 2015 14:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

Likes it here

Registered: March 2012
Messages: 215



Quote:
Smokr wrote on Mon, 13 July 2015 05:04
The forum layout is also old-fashioned. There are only two forum sections. General Talk, and Literary Merit. That gives the impression of little content, and not much to do. Have a look at the more popular sites, and you'll see dozens of forum categories.
<snip>
And they get grabbed by the colors, the images, and the vast amount of content. Even when the many forum categories may be very empty in real content, the images, colors, layout, and the impression of tons of content grabs them, and even takes them away if they posted here a few times and even liked the responses they recieved.

--

Personally, I couldn't disagree more. It all seems to me to reflect the modern obsession with form over content.
I'd much rather have a few posts of meaningful content than hundreds of posts about trivia such as TV characters, movie stars, gossip, sport,  etc.

An "impression of tons of content" which on closer examination is found to be  mostly meaningless waffle and mutual ego-stroking would drive me away from a site forever. I certainly wouldn't want to wade through such trivial posts in multiple forums just in case I might find something intelligent and worth reading.

The sort of person who gets attracted to a site mainly by its pretty colours, clever buttons, and lots of chatty drivel in multiple forums is hardly likely to contribute anything reasonable to an intelligent discussion. Yes, that may superficially seem elitist, but it really isn't, because I'm not implying that such people are unable to contribute to an intelligent discussion but instead that they are not interested in such discussions any more than I'm interested in discussions about cars or soccer.

As for galleries, I'm guessing that means pics cute guys. There are loads of sites where one can find such pics in whatever state of dress (or undress) one fancies.

For me, the main attraction of this site is the number of 'quality' stories. If I fancy a one-handed read I go to Nifty. If I fancy a bit of thoughtful entertainment I come here. The ability to comment on stories or general matters in the two forums is an added advantage. There is also a wealth of information (medical, sexual, etc) that would probably be new and useful to those who are younger and less experienced.

The newer social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc, etc) have, for the most part, taken the place of web-based forums in all areas from computing, to cars, to sexual chat rooms, etc, just as web-based forums took the place of the Usenet newsgroups. Radio audiences declined when most people could own a TV. The good response to that should be for radio programs to do what the do best and retain the core audience that appreciates it. The bad response would be to employ all sorts of gimmicks in order to try to get back the audience that transferred to TV.

Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69920 is a reply to message #69916] Mon, 13 July 2015 15:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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Quote:
larkin wrote on Mon, 13 July 2015 12:29

 
I must be honest that I have been spending time on the AwesomeDudes site where they encourage young inexperience writers to post flash and help in editing and an open area for posting. The forum is larger and more importantly, active.  They don't censor but they accept or reject material for the protection of the site.  
 

--

AwesomeDude might well encourage young inexperienced writers, but over a period of months he ignored my emails enquiring about having one or more of my stories on his site. So I certainly didn't feel either encouraged or welcomed.

Also, one has to ask: what is the purpose of a particular site and does it suit what I want to get out of a site?
Providing a place for inexperienced writers and aspiring authors to put up unpolished stories and get help is a good thing to do, and there are a few non-gay sites that do just that. If I want to read stories in the arduous and time-consuming role of editor, I can go to such a site. On the other hand, if I just want to relax and enjoy a 'good read' I might go to a different site. Some sites (AwesomeDude?) may well carry out both roles on different sections of the same site. That's a decision for the site owner.
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69921 is a reply to message #69920] Mon, 13 July 2015 16:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13737



Quote:
Kitzyma wrote on Mon, 13 July 2015 16:03
"Quote:"
larkin wrote on Mon, 13 July 2015 12:29

 
I must be honest that I have been spending time on the AwesomeDudes site where they encourage young inexperience writers to post flash and help in editing and an open area for posting. The forum is larger and more importantly, active.  They don't censor but they accept or reject material for the protection of the site.  
 


--

AwesomeDude might well encourage young inexperienced writers, but over a period of months he ignored my emails enquiring about having one or more of my stories on his site. So I certainly didn't feel either encouraged or welcomed.

Also, one has to ask: what is the purpose of a particular site and does it suit what I want to get out of a site?
Providing a place for inexperienced writers and aspiring authors to put up unpolished stories and get help is a good thing to do, and there are a few non-gay sites that do just that. If I want to read stories in the arduous and time-consuming role of editor, I can go to such a site. On the other hand, if I just want to relax and enjoy a 'good read' I might go to a different site. Some sites (AwesomeDude?) may well carry out both roles on different sections of the same site. That's a decision for the site owner.

--
I have guarded against a mission statement. Such that I have is on the home page. The site is here, primarily, for those who seek information. Some is handed out, some has to be hunted for, some has to be asked for.

It is a place I needed and never had when I was 13, 14, 15... 25... 35... 45 etc.

It has created lasting real life friendships, too. Not just for me but for many folk. 

We have had marriages, deaths, but not yet a birth.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69927 is a reply to message #69900] Tue, 14 July 2015 06:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
hillage is currently offline  hillage

Getting started
Location: USA
Registered: July 2015
Messages: 8



Hey guys, just wanted to chime in here. New to the forums but I've been lurking for a while...

The thing that brought me here and has kept me here is the stories, forums, and support pages (the content!). The site design is simple and somewhat easy to navigate. I honestly wouldn't bother with a whole rework, but possibly some minor tweaks. However going back to what Smokr said, I do agree that there is a split between the stories and the forums.

It took me a good year or so to really explore the forums. I once saw the link but never ventured here. Now that I am here, I also see the lack of "safety" threads. This isn't necessarily a bad thing seeing the numerous links from the main page, however it makes the forums a bit of an adventure trying to find what you are looking for.


I had some other thoughts in my head but lost them. I may come back later Smile
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69928 is a reply to message #69927] Tue, 14 July 2015 08:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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I don't see an issue with opening further topic headings for individual forums, though I'd have to scratch my head to work out how. So far no-one has ever said what they might like, so we have stuck to general and literature.

I've noticed many folk open a whole slew of fora that then remain steadfastly empty, something that would be rather silly to emulate



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69929 is a reply to message #69928] Tue, 14 July 2015 09:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
hillage is currently offline  hillage

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Quote:
timmy wrote on Tue, 14 July 2015 01:40I don't see an issue with opening further topic headings for individual forums, though I'd have to scratch my head to work out how. So far no-one has ever said what they might like, so we have stuck to general and literature.

I've noticed many folk open a whole slew of fora that then remain steadfastly empty, something that would be rather silly to emulate

--
I think the one thing I would recommend is making a branch off general for "A Place of Safety". Somewhere where people searching for help can ask questions, and the related topics can stay sorted out for easy finding (this makes it easier for people not wanting to post, but rather only read). 
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69931 is a reply to message #69929] Tue, 14 July 2015 10:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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Quote:
hillage wrote on Tue, 14 July 2015 09:02
I think the one thing I would recommend is making a branch off general for "A Place of Safety". Somewhere where people searching for help can ask questions, and the related topics can stay sorted out for easy finding (this makes it easier for people not wanting to post, but rather only read). 

--

I think I like that idea.
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69932 is a reply to message #69931] Tue, 14 July 2015 13:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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This is a relaxed decision, so I shall play devil's advocate for a while. My rationale is that we actually need things to be useful, not simply to be present.

There is the issue that the main forum has a huge number of help requests, answered and unanswered. There is huge historic value in these for a new enquiry, but I am not about to scan the entire forum to migrate them.

I would also mention that we have had occasional requests for help totally ignored by the membership here.

We cannot make a sub forum. The software does not allow that. To pre-empt any silliness about the use of different software, we only change forum software when there is a security need or other technical need. Some of the more common forum software is so weak on security that it would prejudice any server on which it is placed. That is not going to happen here. It is not a small piece of work in any case to change the software.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69934 is a reply to message #69932] Tue, 14 July 2015 14:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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Quote:
timmy wrote on Tue, 14 July 2015 13:34
There is the issue that the main forum has a huge number of help requests, answered and unanswered. There is huge historic value in these for a new enquiry, but I am not about to scan the entire forum to migrate them.

I would also mention that we have had occasional requests for help totally ignored by the membership here.

--

Just some ideas to throw into the mix...

Suppose I'm looking for help. On entering the site I see 3 possible areas to go: Sexual Health, Forum, and Pastoral Care.

Suppose my particular problem involves relationships (e.g. friend, lover, parents). For instance, I have a friend I really fancy a lot, who probably isn't gay, but maybe he is, and if he is I'd like to know how to go about seeing if he'd be interested in a relationship, or at least a bit of 'fun'. That isn't religious, so Pastoral Care isn't relevant, and isn't related to health or the mechanics of sex. So that leaves the Forum.

Before I 'expose myself' by asking a question, I want to see if it's been asked before.  There are a huge number of posts on a variety of topics over several years. Hoping for speedy advice, I don't have time to look through all of them. If I look carefully, I spot the 'Search' link at the top of the Forum page and use it to see if I can find what I need.

Generally, I'm hopeless with computers (not a supposition but an actuality!), so I'm not very good with search engines. In the search entry I put  "in love with my possibly straight friend" and get 67 results, most of which seem irrelevant to my enquiry and at least one thread ("Wow You Are Sooooooooo Missing The Point Dudes!!!!!!!") seems so antagonistic and heated that it would immediately scare me away from the site. (Yes, I am a very timid soul!).

Clearly, in my ignorance, I'm not doing things correctly, so I need instructions. How can I find similar questions and topics? Could such instructions on how to find the help I need (and how to search properly?) be put and pinned at the top of the Forum, e.g.  underneath  the Netiquette announcement?

I'm rather surprised and a bit shocked that some requests for help totally ignored by the membership. Even if the topic was outside the experience of the members, surely someone could have pointed the poster in the direction he might find help.

Possibly, the question came along when not many people were paying attention to the forum, it was missed and then buried deep by later posts and then never found again. Referring back to searches: if someone seeking help did a search and found a similar question had been ignored, he almost certainly wouldn't be inclined to repeat a question that had already been ignored.

Is there any way of going back and finding answered and unanswered requests for help among so many other types of posts? I appreciate that it would be a lot of work, but I'd be happy to offer some of my time to assist. For example, if I (and hopefully others) went through old posts and collected links to specific requests for help, perhaps the posts would not need to be migrated and instead a new 'help request' forum could set up which started off with links to the earlier help requests (maybe roughly categorised??).

This may be particularly useful for help requests that were previously ignored, because now they might still get at least a 'pointing in the right direction' response.  Obviously, after such a long time any response would be of no use for the original  poster, but might at least be useful for others who come along with a similar problem.

As I said, just some ideas. Feel free to shoot them down - I promise I won't be offended!
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69936 is a reply to message #69934] Tue, 14 July 2015 21:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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Well, there are over 69,000 messages in a 8500 threads. It is perfectly possible for me to create some form of administrative status for a trusted member (something I get to define without offending anyone) to work through the old threads, and migrating them to a new forum. But this is a job that, once started, must be committed to and finished.

So this is a thing to get right, and get right once.

Finding unanswered posts sounds useful, except the folk who asked the questions are long gone. That doesn't mean it ought not to be done, it just means that the usefulness has expired

We can't do a thing if an arse has answered a question as an arse. I have a policy of allowing folk enough rope.

[Updated on: Tue, 14 July 2015 21:58]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69939 is a reply to message #69900] Wed, 15 July 2015 07:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
larkin is currently offline  larkin

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While I was amazed at the quick response to the idea of reaffirmation. 

It had the effect of filling the kitchen with cooks all wanting to help by offering all sorts of technical remedies from minor tweaks to a brand new interface.
 
I think his Timmy's web site is just fine.
 
The changes I was suggesting was updating the message a little and doing some external outreach by getting linked to some new GLBT sites letting them know that the site is here.
 
This is completely up to Timmy.
 
The other is to get authors that have content published to participate in the dialog more regularly.  
 
It would also be good try to get young authors to venture forth with messages that are relevant to them.  Maybe someone wants to volunteer editing and writing help to those that have a story to tell but need help making it presentable.   
 
These are simple changes.  

[Updated on: Wed, 15 July 2015 07:50]

Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69940 is a reply to message #69939] Wed, 15 July 2015 10:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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Quote:
larkin wrote on Wed, 15 July 2015 07:37

The other is to get authors that have content published to participate in the dialog more regularly.  
 
It would also be good try to get young authors to venture forth with messages that are relevant to them.  Maybe someone wants to volunteer editing and writing help to those that have a story to tell but need help making it presentable.   

--

I would very much agree that authors with content here might also want to take part in forum discussions, at least occasionally. It would be nice to think that authors might regard this as a community, not just somewhere to show off their stories. Also, if an author wants feedback on his own stories, I think that he is more likely to get if he occasionally comments on the stories of others (presuming, of course, that reads stories by other authors!).

There is on this site a list of potential editors here. I don't know how up-to-date it is.

Kit
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69941 is a reply to message #69940] Wed, 15 July 2015 11:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
larkin is currently offline  larkin

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Quote:
Kitzyma wrote on Wed, 15 July 2015 10:28
"Quote:"
larkin wrote on Wed, 15 July 2015 07:37

The other is to get authors that have content published to participate in the dialog more regularly.  
 
It would also be good try to get young authors to venture forth with messages that are relevant to them.  Maybe someone wants to volunteer editing and writing help to those that have a story to tell but need help making it presentable.   


--

I would very much agree that authors with content here might also want to take part in forum discussions, at least occasionally. It would be nice to think that authors might regard this as a community, not just somewhere to show off their stories. Also, if an author wants feedback on his own stories, I think that he is more likely to get if he occasionally comments on the stories of others (presuming, of course, that reads stories by other authors!).

There is on this site a list of potential editors here. I don't know how up-to-date it is.

Kit

--That should be a given
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69943 is a reply to message #69941] Wed, 15 July 2015 18:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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I try very hard to have the lightest possible hand on the tiller here.

I can create new forums when folk agree on what will work rather that just what they would like.

I have often encouraged authors to come and play and not always succeeded. Please remember that the success of this part of the site is not down to me. All of us have a part to play. So encourage folk to come here as well as just being here yourselves.

The TV / Radio analogy is a good one, though. Always remember that the pictures are better on the radio



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69947 is a reply to message #69939] Wed, 15 July 2015 23:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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Quote:
larkin wrote on Wed, 15 July 2015 08:37While I was amazed at the quick response to the idea of reaffirmation. 

It had the effect of filling the kitchen with cooks all wanting to help by offering all sorts of technical remedies from minor tweaks to a brand new interface.
 
I think his Timmy's web site is just fine.
 
The changes I was suggesting was updating the message a little and doing some external outreach by getting linked to some new GLBT sites letting them know that the site is here.
 
This is completely up to Timmy.
 
The other is to get authors that have content published to participate in the dialog more regularly.  
 
It would also be good try to get young authors to venture forth with messages that are relevant to them.  Maybe someone wants to volunteer editing and writing help to those that have a story to tell but need help making it presentable.   
 
These are simple changes.  

--
Linkages from other sites are not up to me, but are up to other webmasters. Webmasters agree that simple link exchange is fruitless, and drive the site's SERP position down. Deep links to specific content is a different matter, They help.

You should also be aware that we, and other gay sites are in what search engines consider to be a bad neighbourhood. I'm somewhat of a Search Engine Optimisation expert. I can tell you clearly that this domain will never be high in search engine rankings. It will do well, but not exceptionally well. I have other sites that, using the self same techniques, are top of their league. Sites dealing in sex are, by definition, porn sites. No matter that porn sites were the first successful eCommerce sites, they are deprecated by the US prurient and prudish mentality. We even got kicked off the West Hollywood area of Geoshitties, for thise with long memories, and that was alleged to be gay friendly!



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69950 is a reply to message #69947] Thu, 16 July 2015 01:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark

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I like the idea of having a separate forum (along with "Literary Merit" and "General Talk")  for some sort of "Safety" area for people to ask questions on (as has been noted, it's too easy for questions to get buried elsewhere, even when they get a lot of answers, and it would help people coming along later to know what's been asked without having to search through a gazilion other posts first.

It would be nice if there was some way to get decent advertising for the site.  After all, people cannot post or submit stories if they don't know about the site (I'm trying to come up with ideas myself that don't involve link exchanges).  Perhaps in part we all must help out in this area, bringing it to the attention of those we think might be interested in it.
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69956 is a reply to message #69950] Thu, 16 July 2015 07:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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"Mark wrote on Thu, 16 July 2015 02:46"
I like the idea of having a separate forum (along with "Literary Merit" and "General Talk")  for some sort of "Safety" area for people to ask questions on (as has been noted, it's too easy for questions to get buried elsewhere, even when they get a lot of answers, and it would help people coming along later to know what's been asked without having to search through a gazilion other posts first.

It would be nice if there was some way to get decent advertising for the site.  After all, people cannot post or submit stories if they don't know about the site (I'm trying to come up with ideas myself that don't involve link exchanges).  Perhaps in part we all must help out in this area, bringing it to the attention of those we think might be interested in it.

--
The only way to advertise the site is by discussing it in relevant places, but not as a campaign. Relevant means relevant. We will not ever perform actual advertising for many reasons, not east of which is that online advertising has changed over the years so much that it barely bears fruit any more, if it ever did.

As an example of advertising, when I was writing I placed my stories on Nifty together with a snippet of code that encouraged folk to join our email list. They did, and they arrived here.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69957 is a reply to message #69950] Thu, 16 July 2015 09:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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This is an idea generated by a post in the Literary merits forum.
To be honest, I think it's probably totally impractical for several reasons, but I'll throw it in here anyway.

It seems to me that on this site are several stories of which the content could be as helpful for those with problems as the advice given directly on the forum. Problems of being outed, bullying, parental disapproval, relationships, unrequited love, etc are not uncommon in stories, but some stories might be particularly inspiring and/or helpful for those with certain problems. Perhaps those of us who've read and enjoyed such stories would be prepared to make a little list of them. With each story I would hope that it would be  possible, without  giving away plot details or spoilers, to list the particular problem(s) that we feel has been dealt with well and helpfully in that story.
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69958 is a reply to message #69957] Thu, 16 July 2015 13:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
The Gay Deceiver is currently offline  The Gay Deceiver

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Other than a slight modification in the colour scheme (I find the avocado-green a touch reminiscent of bile) Kitzyma® 's suggestion of an aide-mémoire of sorts associated with those stories perhaps deliberately penned with a given topic primer in mind might be the trick.

Navigation and site layout are just fine, and quite suitable for the nature of the content being served.

Warren C. E. Austin
The Gay Deceiver
Toronto, Canada




"... comme recherché qu'un délice callipygian"
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69965 is a reply to message #69900] Fri, 17 July 2015 04:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ChrisR is currently offline  ChrisR

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One augmentation that would be nice is a matrix I've seen at some other websites giving a quick look at the subject matter of each story. It would be a task initially to formalize the categories, and on an ongoing basis for people to assign the tags to new stories. But it would certainly make it easier, for newbies in particular, to navigate through the many stories and authors here.
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69967 is a reply to message #69965] Fri, 17 July 2015 07:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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Quote:
ChrisR wrote on Fri, 17 July 2015 04:40One augmentation that would be nice is a matrix I've seen at some other websites giving a quick look at the subject matter of each story. It would be a task initially to formalize the categories, and on an ongoing basis for people to assign the tags to new stories. But it would certainly make it easier, for newbies in particular, to navigate through the many stories and authors here.

--


Assuming that I correctly interpret this, and in my capacity both as a reader and a writer, I feel the disadvantages of doing this would outweigh the advantages.

1) Generally, I'm not into some categories (e.g. sports, westerns, fantasies) and might tend to avoid such. However, that might mean I miss out on a great story because sometimes I start an 'unknown' story and enjoy the style, plot and characters so much that it overrides the fact that it turns out that the story could be in one of the categories I might normally dislike. On the other hand, I might choose a story because it's categorised as in a topic I find interesting, then I realise that I can't get into the writer's style or that I don't agree with the story category.

2) If a story is realistic, it's contains a rich mix of things that might happen in real life. In one story there might be a 'coming out', unrequited love, problems with parents, the death of a loved one, cheating partner, etc etc. Choosing what might be an appropriate category would be very subjective.

e.g. A story about a teen who goes on a school camping trip where he is bullied but rescued by another teen. He falls in love with his rescuer but that love is unrequited. He goes off the rails and starts drinking, his parents throw him out, he gets taken in by an older man who abuses him, he escapes the abuser and goes to work on a camp site in beautiful countryside, where he meets really nice people, comes out to them and finds true love. Is it a story about camping? About bullying? About dealing with unrequited love? About the dangers of alcohol? About the advantages of rural life? About coming out? Different readers might choose different aspects as the main 'point' of the story.

3) One of the wonderful things that I find about reading and writing stories is that a story is a collaboration between an author and the readers in that the author provides a framework of words and each reader uses his or her imagination and personal experiences to put flesh on that skeleton. So different readers might reach different conclusions regarding the key aspects of a story or even about whether a particular character is good or bad. That could mean that the category chosen by an author for a story may not be a category chosen by some readers for that same story.

4) Because a story is a collaboration between author and reader, it's not unusual for me to get feedback from readers who, with their own personality and experiences, take what I intended to be a bit of back story to illustrate a character's personality and make it into a major part of the story. Alternatively, they might interpret a character I thought of as  soft and cuddly as being weak and wimpy. The author might describe the physical aspects of a character with the intention of showing how attractive he is, but just because that is t the 'type' that he finds attractive doesn't mean it will be a 'type' attractive to the reader.

5) There is a danger that categorising with act as a spoiler. Suppose an author deals with a character who seems sensitive to 'spirits' but may just be hallucinating. Then someone characterises it as a ghost story and the whole plot tension regarding what's really going on is ruined for a potential new reader.

In summary, I believe that the categories would have to be either so broad that they wouldn't be useful in choosing a story to read or so narrow that different readers would probably put the story in different categories.
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #69969 is a reply to message #69965] Fri, 17 July 2015 21:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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Quote:
ChrisR wrote on Fri, 17 July 2015 05:40One augmentation that would be nice is a matrix I've seen at some other websites giving a quick look at the subject matter of each story. It would be a task initially to formalize the categories, and on an ongoing basis for people to assign the tags to new stories. But it would certainly make it easier, for newbies in particular, to navigate through the many stories and authors here.

--
Kit expresses so well and in such detail my aversion to matrices and categorisation that he must have read my mind. However, I had no idea there was so much in there to read!

Almost 100% of our stories are teenage gay romance. Where that is not the case there is a very different reason for their being here. One of them carries a health warning, yet it is a romance.

Assuming I were disposed to perform this gigantic piece of work, how might you imagine them to be categorised. 



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #70003 is a reply to message #69969] Tue, 21 July 2015 19:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ChrisR is currently offline  ChrisR

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C'mon, guys - I offer suggestions, not solutions! Wink

Fact is, as a newcomer I'm faced with a bunch of stories with no clue as to what each entails. I did a quick count, and just in authors A thru E there are 70 stories and nearly 1,000 chapters! With no selection criteria aside from "they're all young gay relations" it's difficult to start a selection.

There are occasional reviews, which can be helpful for a limited time. But as they fall into the past they are lost. Some stories are simply so massive that I'm unwilling to dive in unless I have a good idea of the tale.

It's a bit like walking into a dessert bar for the first time. You get a menu of the chefs' names, but no description of their desserts. You might strike gold, or you could be sorely disappointed and never come back.
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #70004 is a reply to message #70003] Tue, 21 July 2015 20:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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Quote:
ChrisR wrote on Tue, 21 July 2015 20:49C'mon, guys - I offer suggestions, not solutions! Wink

Fact is, as a newcomer I'm faced with a bunch of stories with no clue as to what each entails. I did a quick count, and just in authors A thru E there are 70 stories and nearly 1,000 chapters! With no selection criteria aside from "they're all young gay relations" it's difficult to start a selection.

There are occasional reviews, which can be helpful for a limited time. But as they fall into the past they are lost. Some stories are simply so massive that I'm unwilling to dive in unless I have a good idea of the tale.

It's a bit like walking into a dessert bar for the first time. You get a menu of the chefs' names, but no description of their desserts. You might strike gold, or you could be sorely disappointed and never come back.

--
Let me push this back to you. With precision, how would you design a catalogue?



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #70005 is a reply to message #70004] Tue, 21 July 2015 20:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Matthew is currently offline  Matthew

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"timmy wrote on Tue, 21 July 2015 20:15"
Quote:
ChrisR wrote on Tue, 21 July 2015 20:49C'mon, guys - I offer suggestions, not solutions! Wink

Fact is, as a newcomer I'm faced with a bunch of stories with no clue as to what each entails. I did a quick count, and just in authors A thru E there are 70 stories and nearly 1,000 chapters! With no selection criteria aside from "they're all young gay relations" it's difficult to start a selection.

There are occasional reviews, which can be helpful for a limited time. But as they fall into the past they are lost. Some stories are simply so massive that I'm unwilling to dive in unless I have a good idea of the tale.

It's a bit like walking into a dessert bar for the first time. You get a menu of the chefs' names, but no description of their desserts. You might strike gold, or you could be sorely disappointed and never come back.

--
Let me push this back to you. With precision, how would you design a catalogue?

--

For me maybe this

1. Age of characters
2. Setting, school,college, camp ect
3. Location/Country
4. Subject, sports, work, club, home life ect
5. Type of story, love, abuse, friendship, family ect

I am at work so i cant go too in depth, but if an authors page had some of this next to each of their stories it would give some indication as to what to expect
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #70006 is a reply to message #70003] Tue, 21 July 2015 20:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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Quote:
ChrisR wrote on Tue, 21 July 2015 19:49C'mon, guys - I offer suggestions, not solutions! Wink

There are occasional reviews, which can be helpful for a limited time. But as they fall into the past they are lost. Some stories are simply so massive that I'm unwilling to dive in unless I have a good idea of the tale.

It's a bit like walking into a dessert bar for the first time. You get a menu of the chefs' names, but no description of their desserts. You might strike gold, or you could be sorely disappointed and never come back.

--
Just because a story is in a category that might interest me doesn't mean that it's written in a way that I'll enjoy. Conversely, just because its got quite a bit about football in it doesn't mean I won't enjoy it. This doesn't imply that a story is 'good' just because I enjoy it or 'bad' if it's just not my cup of tea.

Am I the only one who gives up a story if it hasn't 'grabbed' me in first page or so?
Given that there are, as Chris says, so many stories on here, not to mention other sites, why would anyone persevere beyond a couple of pages if it doesn't grab you? Why not move on to another story that might well be just right for you?

Of course, I strongly encourage people to review stories that they enjoy. This not only acts as encouragement for authors but might tempt other readers to take a look. However, even a good review doesn't guarantee that I'll enjoy a story. Maybe the reviewer likes sentimental, gushing love stories, but such stories might just make me cringe with embarrassment.  On the other hand, if I've read a few reviews by the same reviewer I'll probably have an idea if his tastes in a story are similar to mine.

BTW - for those looking for a review of a story but can't immediately find one, it might be worth using the search facility of the forum archivet o look for the title to see if it was reviewed in the past.

Having said all that, if people really think that categories are helpful to others, it's no skin off my nose. Smile
Deciding on categories will be hard enough, but who then will volunteer to go through all the stories and decide what categories they should be in.

And just out of curiosity, Chris, how would you categorise your story, 'Two Words'?  Smile

Kit
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #70007 is a reply to message #70005] Tue, 21 July 2015 20:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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"Matthew wrote on Tue, 21 July 2015 20:32"


For me maybe this

1. Age of characters
2. Setting, school,college, camp ect
3. Location/Country
4. Subject, sports, work, club, home life ect
5. Type of story, love, abuse, friendship, family ect

I am at work so i cant go too in depth, but if an authors page had some of this next to each of their stories it would give some indication as to what to expect


--

That might be fine for those who have fun just making catalogues, but would anyone REALLY decide what story they want to read based on any of those (or similar) categories? If so, they'd miss many gems and find themselves wading through many stories that turn out not to be to their taste.

Actually, in my opinion, we already have the only categorisation that really matters. That's the author. If I really enjoy an author's style in one story then there's a good chance I'd enjoy his other stories even if they are about subjects (e.g. sport) that usually turn me off. On the other hand, if an author's style isn't to my taste then the chances are I won't enjoy a story of his even if it combines all my favourite subjects. But maybe that's just one of the ways in which I'm a bit odd.

Kit
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #70008 is a reply to message #70005] Tue, 21 July 2015 21:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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"Matthew wrote on Tue, 21 July 2015 21:32"

Quote:
timmy wrote on Tue, 21 July 2015 20:15
"Quote:"
ChrisR wrote on Tue, 21 July 2015 20:49C'mon, guys - I offer suggestions, not solutions! Wink

Fact is, as a newcomer I'm faced with a bunch of stories with no clue as to what each entails. I did a quick count, and just in authors A thru E there are 70 stories and nearly 1,000 chapters! With no selection criteria aside from "they're all young gay relations" it's difficult to start a selection.

There are occasional reviews, which can be helpful for a limited time. But as they fall into the past they are lost. Some stories are simply so massive that I'm unwilling to dive in unless I have a good idea of the tale.

It's a bit like walking into a dessert bar for the first time. You get a menu of the chefs' names, but no description of their desserts. You might strike gold, or you could be sorely disappointed and never come back.

--
Let me push this back to you. With precision, how would you design a catalogue?

--

For me maybe this

1. Age of characters
2. Setting, school,college, camp ect
3. Location/Country
4. Subject, sports, work, club, home life ect
5. Type of story, love, abuse, friendship, family ect

I am at work so i cant go too in depth, but if an authors page had some of this next to each of their stories it would give some indication as to what to expect

--
So, lets categorise Loneliness:

Ages - 12 or so
School and river and canal
School home, boating
Love, abuse, friendship, family

"I hate boats. I'm not reading it because of that" - Ok, that is the person's loss. But imagine their gain if they read it?

Every story except a very few is about teenage gay romantic love. That is the topic. Some take you to places you would never dream of. Some take you to places you would never venture. 



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #70009 is a reply to message #70008] Tue, 21 July 2015 23:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Matthew is currently offline  Matthew

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I just gave an idea tbh, i think people are overthinking it a bit, you can talk yourself and others out of most things if you really try, if youre going into something with the minset of looking for negatives, then you will find them

Atm if i an honest searching through the authors list is a little frustrating for me, sure you can finds gems when you blindly search, but after 5 or 6 authors and giving their stories a few chapters each, well i found myself not wanting to go through every author and all their stories to find one i liked (in the sense of having no knowledge of what those stories are about until you start reading them and there are too many stories to actually will yourself to give them alll a fair crack)

So is having some form of categories really a bad thing? I dont think its fair not to have it because someone might avoid the story because it has for example football in it as a theme, because tbh right now (using myself as an example) are avoiding a lot of stories because the shear number of stories is daunting to look through, when you have very little to guage what the story is about and whether it is something you like, until you actually start reading.

So again both view points are valid, but foe me personally, i think having a few key words/points about a story in an authors page is a good thing and very helpful

If you would avoid the story because of those few words/points then that is perfectly fine, but to not have it just because of that reason is unfair on those that would read it because they would then know it is a story with aspects that they have previoisly enjoyed.

Again neither point is wrong and we are all entitled to our opinions, so for me i will support what Timmy decides because it is his forum and it is him who will have to do the extra work
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #70011 is a reply to message #70009] Wed, 22 July 2015 07:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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Messages: 13737



"Matthew wrote on Wed, 22 July 2015 00:53"
I just gave an idea tbh, i think people are overthinking it a bit, you can talk yourself and others out of most things if you really try, if youre going into something with the minset of looking for negatives, then you will find them

Atm if i an honest searching through the authors list is a little frustrating for me, sure you can finds gems when you blindly search, but after 5 or 6 authors and giving their stories a few chapters each, well i found myself not wanting to go through every author and all their stories to find one i liked (in the sense of having no knowledge of what those stories are about until you start reading them and there are too many stories to actually will yourself to give them alll a fair crack)

So is having some form of categories really a bad thing? I dont think its fair not to have it because someone might avoid the story because it has for example football in it as a theme, because tbh right now (using myself as an example) are avoiding a lot of stories because the shear number of stories is daunting to look through, when you have very little to guage what the story is about and whether it is something you like, until you actually start reading.

So again both view points are valid, but foe me personally, i think having a few key words/points about a story in an authors page is a good thing and very helpful

If you would avoid the story because of those few words/points then that is perfectly fine, but to not have it just because of that reason is unfair on those that would read it because they would then know it is a story with aspects that they have previoisly enjoyed.

Again neither point is wrong and we are all entitled to our opinions, so for me i will support what Timmy decides because it is his forum and it is him who will have to do the extra work

--
How would you categorise your own work?



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Odd how this turned away from the forum and into cataloguing stories  [message #70013 is a reply to message #69900] Wed, 22 July 2015 11:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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Messages: 13737



I have long wondered why authors rarely give me the story teaser that we find on book jackets. To be fair, the plot is usually "Boy finds boy, boy loses boy, boy goes on a nearly impossible quest, boy is reunited with boy," but it never comes my way, doesn't the book jacket teaser. I'm happy to add that as chapter zero, but, and here's the rub, that means that there can be no prologue, something I force in already as chapter zero. There is no chapter -1, nor any possibility of it. Chapters are auto-numbered, and I am not going to override that. I'm also not going to put it in plain sight on the author's index page.

The teaser would solve, at a stroke, the wish by some to catalogue new tales. It would be author generated. It would only be presented at the start of a story's life, and it would not happen for short stories. It ain't ever going to happen for existing stories. This is a hobby.

I do wonder how folk fare at Nifty, which has no such scheme of cataloguing at all, just broad areas of story collection. I wonder how folk fare in a library in the fiction section, where the library arranges books by author.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #70014 is a reply to message #70009] Wed, 22 July 2015 12:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma

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These are genuine (i.e. not rhetorical) question addressed to anyone reading this...

Does it really take people a 'few chapters' to decide if they like a story enough to read the whole thing? Am I really odd in being able to decide within the first page or two whether or not the author has grabbed (and can hold) my interest?

Authors rarely change their basic 'voice' between stories, so do people think that if they love (or hate) the first couple of stories they read by an author that they'll hate (or love) the third, just because it's changed its setting, or involves a slightly different age group, or is in a different category?

Am I the only one who finds that if an author's style isn't to my taste (e.g. doesn't draw me in quickly) then I won't enjoy reading it no matter what the category is?

Given that love, romance, coming out, first sex, prejudice, etc, etc, are all common human experiences that a good author can use to touch us deeply and give us insight, why on earth would want to choose (or dismiss) a story based on country, setting, or location? Is love and romance less valid in a tent than in a school? Is persecution less evil in a town than in the countryside? Is a teenager's first experience of his sexuality less interesting in the USA than it is in Germany?

Given that almost all stories on here involve teenagers, am I the only one that finds it a little creepy that someone should decide to read a story based on the actual age-range of those teenagers?

BTW -  the reference to 'good author' above is a short-hand way of referring to an author whose 'voice' touches  a particular reader and draws him/her into the story. I don't mean 'good' in any literary or skilled sense, and a 'good' author for me might be not good for another reader.  I can tell within a couple of pages (i.e. in about 5-10 mins) if an author is 'good' for me.

Kit
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #70016 is a reply to message #70014] Wed, 22 July 2015 13:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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Quote:
Kitzyma wrote on Wed, 22 July 2015 13:01These are genuine (i.e. not rhetorical) question addressed to anyone reading this...

Does it really take people a 'few chapters' to decide if they like a story enough to read the whole thing? Am I really odd in being able to decide within the first page or two whether or not the author has grabbed (and can hold) my interest?

Authors rarely change their basic 'voice' between stories, so do people think that if they love (or hate) the first couple of stories they read by an author that they'll hate (or love) the third, just because it's changed its setting, or involves a slightly different age group, or is in a different category?

Am I the only one who finds that if an author's style isn't to my taste (e.g. doesn't draw me in quickly) then I won't enjoy reading it no matter what the category is?

Given that love, romance, coming out, first sex, prejudice, etc, etc, are all common human experiences that a good author can use to touch us deeply and give us insight, why on earth would want to choose (or dismiss) a story based on country, setting, or location? Is love and romance less valid in a tent than in a school? Is persecution less evil in a town than in the countryside? Is a teenager's first experience of his sexuality less interesting in the USA than it is in Germany?

Given that almost all stories on here involve teenagers, am I the only one that finds it a little creepy that someone should decide to read a story based on the actual age-range of those teenagers?

BTW -  the reference to 'good author' above is a short-hand way of referring to an author whose 'voice' touches  a particular reader and draws him/her into the story. I don't mean 'good' in any literary or skilled sense, and a 'good' author for me might be not good for another reader.  I can tell within a couple of pages (i.e. in about 5-10 mins) if an author is 'good' for me.

Kit

--
Under three paragraphs for me to say no. Sometimes longer to say a definite yes. And that;s when I am looking as a potential publisher. 



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #70018 is a reply to message #70011] Wed, 22 July 2015 18:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Matthew is currently offline  Matthew

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Messages: 73



Quote:
timmy wrote on Wed, 22 July 2015 07:11
"Matthew wrote on Wed, 22 July 2015 00:53"
I just gave an idea tbh, i think people are overthinking it a bit, you can talk yourself and others out of most things if you really try, if youre going into something with the minset of looking for negatives, then you will find them

Atm if i an honest searching through the authors list is a little frustrating for me, sure you can finds gems when you blindly search, but after 5 or 6 authors and giving their stories a few chapters each, well i found myself not wanting to go through every author and all their stories to find one i liked (in the sense of having no knowledge of what those stories are about until you start reading them and there are too many stories to actually will yourself to give them alll a fair crack)

So is having some form of categories really a bad thing? I dont think its fair not to have it because someone might avoid the story because it has for example football in it as a theme, because tbh right now (using myself as an example) are avoiding a lot of stories because the shear number of stories is daunting to look through, when you have very little to guage what the story is about and whether it is something you like, until you actually start reading.

So again both view points are valid, but foe me personally, i think having a few key words/points about a story in an authors page is a good thing and very helpful

If you would avoid the story because of those few words/points then that is perfectly fine, but to not have it just because of that reason is unfair on those that would read it because they would then know it is a story with aspects that they have previoisly enjoyed.

Again neither point is wrong and we are all entitled to our opinions, so for me i will support what Timmy decides because it is his forum and it is him who will have to do the extra work

--
How would you categorise your own work?

--

It sucks that i was at work, because i didn't have much time to write and think about things, but i was trying to think of how i would categorize my story and honestly it's really hard to do, well i could give keywords, like i suggested earlier, but i think i really get your point Timmy, it's not that easy, i mean i look at my story and so much is going on and so many different things are happening, that it really isn't something that i can just say like :-

This story is about two boys falling in love
It is set in present day (over a 3 year period)
It has singing in it

Yeah the more i think about it, the less viable i find my initial suggestion, maybe shorter stories or stories that are just focused around one thing, like camping or wrestling or football ect would benefit from it, but when you have stories dealing with multiple things, then you could end up with a massive list of things the story involves and that would be a little ridiculous
Re: A time for reaffirmation   [message #70064 is a reply to message #70018] Mon, 03 August 2015 02:43 Go to previous message
Mark

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To make a somewhat long story short, I have a bit of experience elsewhere with other sites that have forums as part of their overall site 'activities,' and it seems to me that they've always had the same thing that is happening here - namely, that there are strong indications that there are a lot more people participating in those other activities than are active on their forums. Certainly, I think that is something that is happening here; the basis for my feeling that here on IOMFATS specifically is in no small part because Timmy and I talked a little bit a while back about the amount of views that my story "An Apprentice's Adventures" was getting, and unless I'm horribly misunderstanding the information Timmy provided me at the time, the amount of people reading the story was well over 100 people (I think it was actually more like 200+ at the time, if memory serves me, and that's assuming that it wasn't just a handful of people rereading the story using a whole bunch of different Internet-connected devices that would somehow skewer the results), so it makes me think that there are a lot more people who visit this site than who leave comments in the forums.

I don't really know why forums seem to get so little, if not respect, then participation (and yes, I've seen conversations on some of those others that have also been along the lines of "Why don't more people here use the forums?!"). I don't believe, though, that it means that this site (or any of those other sites) is somehow a failure just because we don't have hundreds (or even dozens) of regular participants in the forums. There are many sections of this site, and different people like to participate in different ways. Some want to read the stories or the various areas of information (such as the Sex/Health Info or Pastoral Care) or the forum posts. Some actually want to contribute stories or comments in the forums. Some want a combination of those, with no two having the same kind of combination (I know that at times I have to force myself to participate in forum threads outside of the "Total Inspiration" thread; it's not always easy to come up with a way to contribute to a conversation that is more than just pointing at someone else's comment and saying, "Yeah, what he said!"). I don't think that there's a "right" or "wrong" level of participation here.
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