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Why Are Stories Delayed? (or "The Librarian Explanation")

23 Nov 2019 11:12 #65674 by Woodclaw
Hello fellow Maniacs,

during the last month I (and other admins) received a number of questions about why certain stories and/or chapters were published way after the original upload.
Over a year ago Fats, Lfan and I decided to change the general SWM publication policy to a single weekly upload on Sundays, which was meant to simplifying things for me. This way I could work on reformatting and fixing issues on Saturdays, instead of having to do it all week long. This new arrangement worked really well, but it also pushed some people to upload groups of chapters all at once, instead of one at a time.
Now, one of the worst things that could happen to a site like this is a "drought" a period when content becomes extremely scarce. For better or worse, this site lives and dies based on the amount of new content we (as a community) upload and create. Hence, I decided to spread many multi-chapter stories over longer periods of time for many reasons:
  • The front page display ticker only shows the last 10 stories uploaded to the Library, which means than uploading more than 10 per week would result in some stories remaining hidden.
  • Moreover, only the last 6 stories are prominently displayed making the amount visible content even smaller.
  • Also posting some works all at once would result many more empty weeks over the last year.
My goal is to provide everyone with their own 5 minutes under the spotlight, which is why I decided to delay some works, even if I know all too well that there are other venues that an author can use to showcase his/her work.

Now I would like to ask from you all: what would you prefer?
The Sunday-only upload isn't something that I'm going to change, but everything else is up for debate.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)
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23 Nov 2019 14:54 #65679 by lfan
Thanks, first off, for all your hard work, Woodclaw!!   

Regarding my opinion, as an author, I would prefer that my story would be posted when submitted.  If this is not possible, except for Sunday's, I personally understand. It takes time and it's not fair or feasible to have the librarian "jump" and turn it around at the drop of a hat..  once a week is fine in my mind.

my personal thought in embargoing content to spread it out is that we should d away with it.  If memory serves, we started doing it for the reasons you outlined, and while I agree on keeping the Workshop stuff highlighted, maybe there is another way.

multi-chapter submissions do pose a problem but I feel the way we should fix that is displaying more recent stories on the front instead of the last 6.  

Based on feedback from authors i have received, some feel it frustrating from the long delay in posting submissions.   As an admin, I also fear of us losing on edge of exclusivity as authors go and post elsewhere to get more immediate results.  It wasn't as big an issue previously, but now we have more competition in the genre from DA, AmazonLove, and Writing.com, just to name a few.  All of those provide immediate posting capabilities.

SWM is a niche market, but I believe we could do a better in terms of story production.  Number one, to. me, would be a slight redesign of the home page which would display more recent stories, spotlight various random stories, and segregate recent Workshop stories for better exposure.  Of course, this would take time -- mostly Fats'.   

I cannot express enough of my personal thanks again to Woodclaw and Fats for their tireless (and free) efforts on the site and for our community.

my $.02
ElF
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23 Nov 2019 16:56 #65681 by shadar

lfan wrote: Thanks, first off, for all your hard work, Woodclaw!!   

Regarding my opinion, as an author, I would prefer that my story would be posted when submitted.  If this is not possible, except for Sunday's, I personally understand. It takes time and it's not fair or feasible to have the librarian "jump" and turn it around at the drop of a hat..  once a week is fine in my mind.

my personal thought in embargoing content to spread it out is that we should d away with it.  If memory serves, we started doing it for the reasons you outlined, and while I agree on keeping the Workshop stuff highlighted, maybe there is another way.

multi-chapter submissions do pose a problem but I feel the way we should fix that is displaying more recent stories on the front instead of the last 6.  

Based on feedback from authors i have received, some feel it frustrating from the long delay in posting submissions.   As an admin, I also fear of us losing on edge of exclusivity as authors go and post elsewhere to get more immediate results.  It wasn't as big an issue previously, but now we have more competition in the genre from DA, AmazonLove, and Writing.com, just to name a few.  All of those provide immediate posting capabilities.

SWM is a niche market, but I believe we could do a better in terms of story production.  Number one, to. me, would be a slight redesign of the home page which would display more recent stories, spotlight various random stories, and segregate recent Workshop stories for better exposure.  Of course, this would take time -- mostly Fats'.   

I cannot express enough of my personal thanks again to Woodclaw and Fats for their tireless (and free) efforts on the site and for our community.

my $.02
ElF



I mostly agree with Lfans’s points, but if publishing is going to remain on Sundays (for very understandable reasons), and we don’t want new stories to fall off the tracker, why not just set a “one submitted story/episode per author per week” rule. Authors can aggregate chapters into weekly “episodes” just like a serial TV show does.  We don’t have a limit on length of episodes.

That puts the onus on the authors to size and organized their weekly episodes as suits their storytelling style. 

Shadar

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23 Nov 2019 17:16 #65682 by Woodclaw

shadar wrote: I mostly agree with Lfans’s points, but if publishing is going to remain on Sundays (for very understandable reasons), and we don’t want new stories to fall off the tracker, why not just set a “one submitted story/episode per author per week” rule. Authors can aggregate chapters into weekly “episodes” just like a serial TV show does.  We don’t have a limit on length of episodes.

That puts the onus on the authors to size and organized their weekly episodes as suits their storytelling style. 

Shadar


The one-chapter rule isn't going to fix the main issue, which is that some writers prefer to submit up to five or six separate installments of their own stories at once, both here and on other platforms.

The real issue is that SWM is a platform where multiple authors share a single front-page space, whereas others (like DA) provides personal space. As a result on SWM uploading chapter 3 to 6 of one story in a single week means taking away a lot of valuable space and pushing other stuff out of the spotlight, whereas on other platforms this isn't a big deal.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)

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23 Nov 2019 18:30 #65687 by shadar

Woodclaw wrote:

shadar wrote: I mostly agree with Lfans’s points, but if publishing is going to remain on Sundays (for very understandable reasons), and we don’t want new stories to fall off the tracker, why not just set a “one submitted story/episode per author per week” rule. Authors can aggregate chapters into weekly “episodes” just like a serial TV show does.  We don’t have a limit on length of episodes.

That puts the onus on the authors to size and organized their weekly episodes as suits their storytelling style. 

Shadar


The one-chapter rule isn't going to fix the main issue, which is that some writers prefer to submit up to five or six separate installments of their own stories at once, both here and on other platforms.

The real issue is that SWM is a platform where multiple authors share a single front-page space, whereas others (like DA) provides personal space. As a result on SWM uploading chapter 3 to 6 of one story in a single week means taking away a lot of valuable space and pushing other stuff out of the spotlight, whereas on other platforms this isn't a big deal.


That's why I was suggesting you move the onus back to the authors to only submit one part or episode per week. The authors can then aggregate their chapters into a smaller number of submissions, which seems to me to solve all the problems. 

My $.02. 

Shadar

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23 Nov 2019 18:48 #65688 by njae
I am breaking my own rule here, but how about a reorganization of the main page?

The blog part hasn't been used for a long time, so it can probably be removed to give more space for the tickers and thus allowing more than six stories to be displayed right away. Similar for the comments, and the tag cloud could also return...

Also a menu to show the enties in the library by data (descending!) and preferably in a list form similar to the classic page layout could also help to show more than the ticker.

New Deviantart, setup in progress
njae2.deviantart.com/

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23 Nov 2019 20:41 #65691 by Woodclaw

njae wrote: I am breaking my own rule here, but how about a reorganization of the main page?

The blog part hasn't been used for a long time, so it can probably be removed to give more space for the tickers and thus allowing more than six stories to be displayed right away. Similar for the comments, and the tag cloud could also return...

Also a menu to show the enties in the library by data (descending!) and preferably in a list form similar to the classic page layout could also help to show more than the ticker.


Fats was working on it until his recent health problems.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)

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23 Nov 2019 22:27 #65692 by fats
as woodclaw affirmed I had prepared the groundwork to redesign the FP into more of a magazine-style layout, I even have a new site template designed and tested at home to show much more content.

I plan to get rid of the 5 section header above the blog and have more sections displayed.

These being:-
  • New forum posts
  • New stories (a scrolling list of 10-20 stories)
  • Featured writer (their best 10 stories)
  • Galleries
  • RSS feeds from selected sites
  • SWM tracker
  • SWM Discord online list
  • a reporters blog (a place for a new reporters role to post a weekly digest of news and other content)
With the viral infection that has laid waste to my life, I've had to put all these plans on hold while I have been in and out of the hospital. I have been hoping that I've been better, but it's now looking like it will be December when I should be clear of the infection, The infection has been attacking my thyroid so has been making me very tired, and has been suppressing my appetite so much that I should be changing my user name from Fats to Thins ;).

Believe you and me, I have the plans I have the drive to make this place better, I just don't have the energy at this time, but be assured once I have the energy things will be moving at a speed that not even Supergirl can keep up.

Fats
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23 Nov 2019 22:38 #65693 by lfan
No rush, Fats!   Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery!

ElF
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23 Nov 2019 23:55 #65694 by Woody
Firstly fats get well soon. Illness sucks in any form.

Having only started writing recently and in the publish once a week formula i like it. As a reader is good to log in on the weekend and see what is new.  Also as an author you know you're on a level playing field with the others

With the chapter discussion; whilst i understand that writers want their work published all at once but is actually better to get it posted in installments.  

Readership really drops after the 1st week. Spreading installments out keeps the story in the minds of people so they're more likely to go back and reread it

Thats my $0.005 - 2 cents in Australia doesnt convert well

Woody
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23 Nov 2019 23:55 #65695 by HikerAngel
I recently submitted my first few stories. At first, I didn’t entirely understand why it wasn’t showing up, but Larafan clarified for me that stories are posted on Sundays.

Then, on Sunday, I was worried that I had done something wrong, as only one of my three submissions was posted. Thankfully, Larafan and Woodclaw explained that stories are staggered to even out the submissions over time.

That approach of delaying content makes sense to me, and I’m fine with it. Making a longer list of stories on the front page would be a better long-term solution, but I have no idea how difficult that is.

Shadar’s suggestion is a good one... if an author is only posting chapters on one story. I have a three part story submitted, one additional story, and I have at least one other complete story that I could probably submit.

I have received great feedback here, and a large number of views relative to Deviant Art submission (though not as many as some of my stories on writing.com). I intend to continue to post stories here regardless of what is decided. I love the site and the welcome here...
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24 Nov 2019 00:22 #65696 by anonxyzus
When I first started posting here, I was uploading one or two chapters at a time. I was asked to consolidate multiple chapters into a single submission so as not to hoard the story ticker. I did, and it works for me. I have no objection to continuing that way.

I agree with others that the ticker should be expanded, if possible, or use a different format to point to new stories.
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24 Nov 2019 09:42 #65698 by Woodclaw

anonxyzus wrote: When I first started posting here, I was uploading one or two chapters at a time. I was asked to consolidate multiple chapters into a single submission so as not to hoard the story ticker. I did, and it works for me. I have no objection to continuing that way.

I agree with others that the ticker should be expanded, if possible, or use a different format to point to new stories.


Consolidating chapters in bundle it's something that I usually ask only if a the chapters of a story are very short (less than 2500 words or so).

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)

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