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Where is everyone????

01 Aug 2017 17:38 #55597 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Where is everyone????
Interesting discussion.

For my part, I think SWM is one of the most positive sites around, with just enough intelligent and critical discussion to be interesting. The discussions about negativity don't match my perceptions at all.

God help us if we became like the Supergirl TV forum that was syrupy sweet and dull beyond salvation. It's always so refreshing to come here and read posts from people with adult brains and experience within the genre. And with experience and critical thinking comes critique, which is the best part of discussion.

That's why I'm here and active. If that were to end, I'd have to find some place else to feed my brain. I can't live on Fruit Loops forever.

Shadar
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01 Aug 2017 17:55 #55598 by Agent00Soul
Replied by Agent00Soul on topic Where is everyone????

LustMonster wrote:

fats wrote: There is not one post or one thread that I can point to and say that this is the negative element, it's a general trend that seems to have crept up on the site over the last few years.

Fats


Frankly, I'd say this trend has crept up on the entire Internet over the past few years. I'd be really surprised if you could point to a publicly-accessible website that hasn't been touched by it.


I watched a conference about this a few months ago. A lot of the older sites are experiencing this. It seems the crux of the matter is this: when sites this old were founded, the Internet was considered a new forum for community, bringing together fans of somewhat obscure stuff in a safe environment. But in the last few years, basically since the domination of social media, the whole thing has become more of a space for venting negativity, Not saying that's correct, but it's what the online conference was about.

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01 Aug 2017 18:20 #55599 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Where is everyone????

Agent00Soul wrote:

LustMonster wrote:

fats wrote: There is not one post or one thread that I can point to and say that this is the negative element, it's a general trend that seems to have crept up on the site over the last few years.

Fats


Frankly, I'd say this trend has crept up on the entire Internet over the past few years. I'd be really surprised if you could point to a publicly-accessible website that hasn't been touched by it.


I watched a conference about this a few months ago. A lot of the older sites are experiencing this. It seems the crux of the matter is this: when sites this old were founded, the Internet was considered a new forum for community, bringing together fans of somewhat obscure stuff in a safe environment. But in the last few years, basically since the domination of social media, the whole thing has become more of a space for venting negativity, Not saying that's correct, but it's what the online conference was about.


Interesting point. I remember well when the promise of virtual communities were the stuff of SF realized. Finally, everyone could have a voice, and not just the voices that came through letters to the editor or defined news media. I was fortunate enough to be on the leading edge and lived through that period.

That promise seemed to last for a glorious ten years, and then trolls and an influx of people who had nothing good to say arrived.

But I still don't think that applies here. People bring in knowledge and ideas and cool things they have found, and are generally well regarded for it. Sure, we critique published material and movies/TV, but the tradition of critiquing plays and other "performance art" goes back centuries. Shakespeare had his critics.

I can't think of a single active contributor here who is truly negative. But many are critical of things for reasons that are generally rational and explained and usually personal, but they have good things to say when things please them. Happiness is very individual. An intelligent critique of a movie makes me a lot happier than some saccharine-coated accolade.

Like it or not, comic book themes are now mainstream, and that means that every kind of opinion is being expressed. We're not kids sitting in the corner smiling insanely over some beloved comic book anymore, lost in our own imagination. Now we're part of the larger world.

Or so I see it...

Shadar
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01 Aug 2017 20:54 #55602 by kikass2014
Replied by kikass2014 on topic Where is everyone????

God help us if we became like the Supergirl TV forum that was syrupy sweet and dull beyond salvation. It's always so refreshing to come here and read posts from people with adult brains and experience within the genre. And with experience and critical thinking comes critique, which is the best part of discussion.

An intelligent critique of a movie makes me a lot happier than some saccharine-coated accolade.


My sentiments exactly. Couldn't have said it better myself Shadar :)

Peace.

/K

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01 Aug 2017 22:32 #55603 by Esteban
Replied by Esteban on topic Where is everyone????

LustMonster wrote:

fats wrote: There is not one post or one thread that I can point to and say that this is the negative element, it's a general trend that seems to have crept up on the site over the last few years.

Fats


Frankly, I'd say this trend has crept up on the entire Internet over the past few years. I'd be really surprised if you could point to a publicly-accessible website that hasn't been touched by it.


That doesn't mean that Fats doesn't have a point, though. A few pages back in this thread, someone used "pretty strong" words to describe his feelings towards the peril-content that's being promoted by some posters on this forum.

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01 Aug 2017 22:51 - 01 Aug 2017 23:03 #55604 by lowerbase
Replied by lowerbase on topic Where is everyone????
It is not the first time it happens. I think that there is a seasonality in the audience/content for superwomen. Like crops? I don't know. I remember a couple of times lurking here the amount of content skyrocketing, and then suddenly... 'where is everybody?'

I've always lurked here to see what was on the 'radar' and the library. I'm not a lurker because I don't want to hang in here, I love all the stuff on the front page, but there is not enough content to make me visit so frequently. And I'm not just saying about user content, I'm talking about the mainstream content as well.

I think that the 'userbase' numbers never changed, my theory is that time from time, the userbase get thirsty for content. And seriously, the last year was rich in content across the board, crowned by WW. Both rich from users and the mainstream. No we are back to the 'off season'

...

A nice easy to use user gallery would be useful and might help to bring more content. I could do more renderings just for here, but if it is only visible in the forums, it would be buried. So I have to place it elsewhere to not be lost, or make a thread just for myself, which I don't feel comfortable. It feels like self-promotion and not sharing.

...

Since you guys talked about workshops, I'm one of those guys who would like to be in it, but not in a form of a competition. To me, 'workshop' should be a collective effort to build something together. I know that some writers/artists are adamant about their vision, but some would like to do something 'bigger' along other people. I wish there was a story 'BE chain adventure' just for superwomen, or something alike

...

About the site's presentation, yeah, the first impression feels that aims at superwomen comics, and not superwomen in general. Our universe is much more diverse than DC/Marvel canons and capes. But I wouldn't fret about it, I think most people can see it by browsing the stuff.

...

Negativity is the new normal. I don't see it going away. Internet made everyone more anxious, and people get triggered easily. I have to police myself to not trigger anyone, here and elsewhere.

...

One thing that I always thought that is problematic on SWM is the vast index of topic categories. At times, I don't know where to post. There isn't enough superwomen content in the world to fill all these categories. It should be simpler. Do we need 'Superheroine transformations' or 'Favorite Cosplayers'? Or the 'Completely off-topic' in the 'Off topic discussions'?

I don't know the complexity or the amount of work to do so, but a system with 'tags' and 'likes' would be smarter, and more open and organic.
Last edit: 01 Aug 2017 23:03 by lowerbase.
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01 Aug 2017 22:57 - 01 Aug 2017 23:25 #55606 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Where is everyone????

LustMonster wrote:

fats wrote: There is not one post or one thread that I can point to and say that this is the negative element, it's a general trend that seems to have crept up on the site over the last few years.

Fats


Frankly, I'd say this trend has crept up on the entire Internet over the past few years. I'd be really surprised if you could point to a publicly-accessible website that hasn't been touched by it.


I agree with LM on this count, this trend of negativity is a general problem on the entire net.
Given that I don't think that's a good reason to stay idle. Internet, especially over the last 10 years has grown into a very hard to navigate place. Way too many people over-react to the slightest offense (real or perceived) and react with a level of verbal violence that boggle my mind. SWM has been spared the worst of it -- at least in my eyes -- but we had our fair share of arguments and some of them didn't end well. I think that we should all take a moment before replying to any post and give us time to review what our previous replies were and think about it: we often use forums and other system as if we were talking, but that is not the case. Everything we do on the net goes on a record and so whenever we disagree or push another person there's a tangible proof. Every time we write an angry reply is there to stay. So, these little things pile up until one part of the other blows and all hell breaks lose over something apparetly meaningless. I have to admit that I experienced this a lot of time in RL as well, so I know all too well how bad this situations can go and how poisonous they are, not just for you, but for all those who are around (in this case the site and the community).

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Last edit: 01 Aug 2017 23:25 by Woodclaw.
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02 Aug 2017 00:14 - 02 Aug 2017 00:16 #55607 by argonaut
Replied by argonaut on topic Where is everyone????
I agree with shadar. I've been with SWM from the beginning, and I've always found the conversations on the forums to be civil, reasoned, and free of rancor, so I've been puzzled by the recent comments about "negativity." My impression is that the nastiness is largely confined to the threads dedicated to the Supergirl TV show and the Wonder Woman movie -- which I don't visit. (I binge-watch Supergirl and haven't yet seen Wonder Woman, so I want to avoid spoilers.)

I know that the tone of the Supergirl thread made one very active and giving member walk away in disgust. And of course we all remember that fats needed a break from it.

I think the overwhelming majority of those who post on the forums contribute something positive to the site. So thank you for that. To those who might be about to post something hostile in tone -- please pause and ask yourself if you want to be the guy who drives member X, Y, or Z away from the site. I'm all for the free expression of one's opinions -- but I'm also for civility and reasoned disagreement.
Last edit: 02 Aug 2017 00:16 by argonaut.
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02 Aug 2017 00:34 #55609 by argonaut
Replied by argonaut on topic Where is everyone????

Sarge395 wrote: I challenge everyone to post at least one reply to one of their favorite stories. Or one image or a comment. Stir some of the old coals up. It will catch fire again.


Sarge, with all the talk of negativity on the forums, I want to take a moment to thank YOU for your contributions to the site. You've been with SWM from the beginning, you're always adding to the conversations, and you've been generous with thank-you's -- to say nothing of the prizes you offer to the workshop winners. You're one of the people that helps to make the site a community. Thank you for your service!
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02 Aug 2017 05:31 #55612 by ace191
Replied by ace191 on topic Where is everyone????
I have been a member of this site and its predecessors for a long time. It never ceases to amaze me
How large the collective knowledge base of its users are, be it movie/entertainment insiders to Silver Age fans like Argo and me. We have movie makers, artists and of course authors as well. There have been many contributions to it from legends of the genera like Marknew and Conceptfan along with current stars like D_K_C. There really is no other place like it.

There certainly has been a world wide slide in manners and common curtesy, especially in digital and social media. Even our elected officials and their staffs at least here in the USA have managed to drop an already low bar even further. I suppose it was inevitable that at some point in time this site would be affected by digital negativity. But having said that, it still is my favorite place to hang out.

We have been through tough times before ( like when the site was hacked) but we have always come back stronger. Hopefully, we will come back from this little bump in the road as well.
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02 Aug 2017 12:02 #55617 by fats
Replied by fats on topic Where is everyone????
Thanks for all the comments, I'm looking for any other comments about the site, nothing about the negativity but anything else that people can think off.

Fats

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02 Aug 2017 15:43 #55619 by njae
Replied by njae on topic Where is everyone????

lowerbase wrote:
Since you guys talked about workshops, I'm one of those guys who would like to be in it, but not in a form of a competition. To me, 'workshop' should be a collective effort to build something together. I know that some writers/artists are adamant about their vision, but some would like to do something 'bigger' along other people. I wish there was a story 'BE chain adventure' just for superwomen, or something alike


That would actually be an interesting point. We had some attempts at interactive stories here, but they were only forum posts stuck together, rather than having the possibility to branch off into different directions. I'm not sure how easy that would be to implement, though. Not sure if there's an interactive story addon for Joomla.

I also have a bit of a mixed opinion about the image galleries. At some point in the past, SWM had the goal to have the best library for stories. I think a bit of that got lost when the Supergirl TV series appeared. Earlier we had a dedicated comment ticker to show and encourage story feedback. Now we only have a sub-forum that requires an extra click to be seen. It feels a bit like the focus shifted by trying to cater to all possible tastes - but maybe that's just me. It still feels like there are fewer entries in the library, or maybe it only appears that way because most of it are a couple of long running stories.
So, I am not against a gallery in itself, I personally like artwork in a story. But I am just not sure if a gallery could hold up against stuff like DA? Is there a way to integrate DA links/folders into the site? That way the gallery would be hosted at a site specializing in it. It's a question of space after all.

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02 Aug 2017 15:54 - 02 Aug 2017 16:02 #55620 by LustMonster
Replied by LustMonster on topic Where is everyone????
I'd definitely like to see some form of image gallery, if for no other reason than it would be a better way to upload and present comic-book stories (i.e. my Critical Evidence and Supergirl Unleashed/Unbound stories). Dumping the images into forum threads doesn't make for a good user experience for people trying to read them.
Last edit: 02 Aug 2017 16:02 by LustMonster.

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02 Aug 2017 17:14 #55621 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic Where is everyone????
On the subject of galleries, I think the best way to make it succeed would be to make it a highly curated space were only pieces of a certain caliber are displayed. That would make some of DA's better artists actually motivated to post their pieces here in addition to posting them on DA. And it would differentiate the site from DA. It would be fun to add a commenting capability to the gallery as well, so that users can volunteer vignettes inspired by the image, or offer up links to stories that share some of the images themes. And Fats, I would not get hung up on getting the existing inventory of images uploaded: simply creating a space where users can contribute what they have on file will generate a good deal of content.

Another area where we could create more appeal would be the library. It's easy to post stories and to find the most recent ones. It's very hard to go back and read the old stuff. For example, as an experiment, I tried to find everything in the library by Marknew, and I wasn't able to do it. "Sort by author" got me to the "A" authors, but author names were not displayed on the story list. Even if those were displayed, I would have to guess where the "M" might fall in the page sequence -- are they on page 10, 20, 30? And often, the library seems to "lose track" of which sort order I am using as I page through. Other story archives take as simpler approach: I have seen many were a simple click on the author's name will get you to their full list of works. More tinkering with the infrastrure here may produce dividends in terms of usership.

All of these ideas create lots of work for Fats. And the gallery one may have some cost associated with it too. But if the question is "how do we make the site more relevant/appealing", then that's my two cents on what would make a big difference.

Whatever sort of content we're talking about -- whether it's simple stories, collaborative stories, writing contests, mentoring writers, or adding image galleries -- I believe that the future of the site lies primarily in the content generated by users, and not in the content generated by Hollywood or other institutional media. When we discuss and debate the content to which we have some connection, I've noticed that the discussion feels much more positive and party-like than those time we are discussing content over which we have no control.

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02 Aug 2017 17:45 #55622 by njae
Replied by njae on topic Where is everyone????

circes_cup wrote: ...
Another area where we could create more appeal would be the library. It's easy to post stories and to find the most recent ones. It's very hard to go back and read the old stuff. For example, as an experiment, I tried to find everything in the library by Marknew, and I wasn't able to do it. "Sort by author" got me to the "A" authors, but author names were not displayed on the story list. Even if those were displayed, I would have to guess where the "M" might fall in the page sequence -- are they on page 10, 20, 30? And often, the library seems to "lose track" of which sort order I am using as I page through. Other story archives take as simpler approach: I have seen many were a simple click on the author's name will get you to their full list of works. More tinkering with the infrastrure here may produce dividends in terms of usership.
...


Back in my time, I introduced a "classic view" that emulated the old list found in the storybank of the original site (pre-2011). It was a bit easier to sort through as each story only had one row rather than the lot of space it has now.

Another problem with the Sort By Author is that it sorts by the "name" rather than the "username". So if anybody used a different name in this field (in his profile), the stories would be sorted based on that. And since these names aren't displayed it looks like the sorting is off, but it isn't. Tried to fix it back in the day but didn't get anywhere in the backend options. Best solution would probably to update the database by overwriting the name with the username.

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02 Aug 2017 17:47 #55623 by fats
Replied by fats on topic Where is everyone????
As a quick experiment, i'm going to launch a gallery with some IG sourced images to show people what the gallery will look like.

On the issue of the library, the software has just received a MAJOR update, with over 300 updates and changes, I've not fully explored the changes and I'm not sure how these will impact on the library but I'm hopeful that the issues that we've had are now sorted.

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02 Aug 2017 21:23 #55625 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Where is everyone????
I'll wade in with some thoughts on desirable improvements for the story library.

1) It's fantastic to see "read" counts of a story, updated real time. Nothing beats seeing your latest story getting read when it comes to motivating more writing.

2) I liked when comments were attached to the stories.

3) As others have noted, the current search and indexing functions leave lots of room for improvement.

I believe that providing feedback to the authors, whether hit counts or comments or LIKES, is vital to encouraging more stories. While we all like comments, LIKES and read counts are more motivating than it would first seem. Authors will take encouragement wherever they can get it, but the lack of ANY kind of feedback is demotivating.

As far as reading, I for one am an absolute nut about formatting. As it is, I use the Mac's Reader software to format the stories in the SWM library before I read them. Sometimes that's OK, but not always.

Of lessor priority, it would be nice to be able to release stories in EPUB e-book format. The organization and formatting options that modern editors have available can be fully utilized in .epub format, leading to a controlled and repeatable experience for all readers.

EPUB is readable by many PC and Mac programs, and can easily be converted to Kindle .mobi format with free utilities, if Kindle is your preferred reader (as it is for me).


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02 Aug 2017 21:42 #55626 by fats
Replied by fats on topic Where is everyone????

shadar wrote: I'll wade in with some thoughts on desirable improvements for the story library.

1) It's fantastic to see "read" counts of a story, updated real time. Nothing beats seeing your latest story getting read when it comes to motivating more writing.

2) I liked when comments were attached to the stories.

3) As others have noted, the current search and indexing functions leave lots of room for improvement.

I believe that providing feedback to the authors, whether hit counts or comments or LIKES, is vital to encouraging more stories. While we all like comments, LIKES and read counts are more motivating than it would first seem. Authors will take encouragement wherever they can get it, but the lack of ANY kind of feedback is demotivating.

As far as reading, I for one am an absolute nut about formatting. As it is, I use the Mac's Reader software to format the stories in the SWM library before I read them. Sometimes that's OK, but not always.

Of lessor priority, it would be nice to be able to release stories in EPUB e-book format. The organization and formatting options that modern editors have available can be fully utilized in .epub format, leading to a controlled and repeatable experience for all readers.

EPUB is readable by many PC and Mac programs, and can easily be converted to Kindle .mobi format with free utilities, if Kindle is your preferred reader (as it is for me).


Shadar


I would like to answer the points that you have raised if i may,

read counts - something that I can add
comments below the stories - again it can be added
search and indexing - there have been issues with the previous version of the software, I've not checked the current one so I'm not sure how those issues have resolved - it will be looked in to.

Now the biggest issue is downloading of stories into epub or mobi fotmats, I've looked into that and to do it all the stories would need to be copied from the library and made into doc files and then converted to mobi or epub files, the problems with that other than the issue of time to do the work is the issue of having the files in an easy to get format that could be copied on mass, it's one that we've [admins] have looked at in the past and we've felt that there could be a whole number of issues with it so we never moved forward with it.

Story formatting is an other point, when a new story is submitted woodclaw formats it to a style that he's come up with I think it would be useful for people to have a copy of the specs of the style so that when stories are uploaded the author can pre-format the story so it will save time for woodclaw and get stories to the site faster.

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02 Aug 2017 21:49 #55628 by Random321
Replied by Random321 on topic Where is everyone????
Some thoughts from someone who was a SWM regular until I "got busy" four years ago***:
:
  • I've always seen a significant downturn in traffic in the summer on the web-pages I owned.
  • Very recently I've found myself going to the supergirl.tv main page for news a fair amount. I don't use their forums - I've not joined.
  • I'm following a few SGCW people on Twitter.
  • I'm using Instagram a lot to check out any good pictures/cosplays/news but do wish some of the non related or repetative content wasn't there..
  • I was using Tumblr for a while but I grew tired of the gif's attitude ~ it seemed to take a turn like "myspace" did back in the day.
  • I feel like the quality and quantity on devaintart.com has fallen off.
  • I use forums - but mostly to learn new in depth things and collaborate on issues.
  • I'm feeling opinion-ed to death on the internet and starved for quality and respectful conversation/discourse in person.

What would get me clicking on SWM more often? I'll check out the media feed/gallery fats has set up that's a good start. An easy mobile first experience - I do 90% of my pleasure web surfing on mobile now. Is it possible to keep more than just the first/one article showing on the front page? SWM covers a broad range of things but it feels like some of the menus have a lot of sub-menus so I rarely navigate the full page. Of course content is king - maybe there is something I can do to help that - but having unfiltered feeds like twitter doesn't help - but then again filtering takes a lot of effort or means some fun items are missed. No sliver bullet...

(***The good news is I made a change 30 days ago where and I'm getting some time for myself again).

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02 Aug 2017 22:30 #55636 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Where is everyone????

fats wrote:

shadar wrote: I'll wade in with some thoughts on desirable improvements for the story library.

1) It's fantastic to see "read" counts of a story, updated real time. Nothing beats seeing your latest story getting read when it comes to motivating more writing.

2) I liked when comments were attached to the stories.

3) As others have noted, the current search and indexing functions leave lots of room for improvement.

I believe that providing feedback to the authors, whether hit counts or comments or LIKES, is vital to encouraging more stories. While we all like comments, LIKES and read counts are more motivating than it would first seem. Authors will take encouragement wherever they can get it, but the lack of ANY kind of feedback is demotivating.

As far as reading, I for one am an absolute nut about formatting. As it is, I use the Mac's Reader software to format the stories in the SWM library before I read them. Sometimes that's OK, but not always.

Of lessor priority, it would be nice to be able to release stories in EPUB e-book format. The organization and formatting options that modern editors have available can be fully utilized in .epub format, leading to a controlled and repeatable experience for all readers.

EPUB is readable by many PC and Mac programs, and can easily be converted to Kindle .mobi format with free utilities, if Kindle is your preferred reader (as it is for me).


Shadar


I would like to answer the points that you have raised if i may,

read counts - something that I can add
comments below the stories - again it can be added
search and indexing - there have been issues with the previous version of the software, I've not checked the current one so I'm not sure how those issues have resolved - it will be looked in to.

Now the biggest issue is downloading of stories into epub or mobi fotmats, I've looked into that and to do it all the stories would need to be copied from the library and made into doc files and then converted to mobi or epub files, the problems with that other than the issue of time to do the work is the issue of having the files in an easy to get format that could be copied on mass, it's one that we've [admins] have looked at in the past and we've felt that there could be a whole number of issues with it so we never moved forward with it.

Story formatting is an other point, when a new story is submitted woodclaw formats it to a style that he's come up with I think it would be useful for people to have a copy of the specs of the style so that when stories are uploaded the author can pre-format the story so it will save time for woodclaw and get stories to the site faster.

Fats



Sounds good, Fats.

As far as EPUB goes, I was thinking instead of having an option to Upload stories in that format, which would then be downloaded as is, ensuring the author's formatting is preserved.

The obvious problem with that is that it would make it harder for Woodclaw to reformat. But my presumption in the upload is that it won't need that. Clearly, that will depend on the author.

I see this more as an option for some more experienced authors who are obsessive about their formatting (like me), but that most story submissions would still operate much as they do now, with HTML formatting. I just don't like using the online tools provided on SWM.

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