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Where is everyone????

03 Aug 2017 01:34 #55646 by Markiehoe
Replied by Markiehoe on topic Where is everyone????

Woodclaw wrote:

Markiehoe wrote: It is kind of tough for the people that are here to respond why people have left'
Why not seek out active and semi active members that no longer visit and contact them?
I assume you have a data base of e-mails.


One of the big problems is that often people doesn't update their e-mails and many accounts have out of date informations that makes more complicate to contact the users.


It is weird out there right now.
I Admin a Facebook group.
We had a very active member.
Posted all the time.
He dropped out today.

I personally contacted him to find out why and got the cold shoulder.
Weird.

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03 Aug 2017 01:50 #55648 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw 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


I have to point out that some of the formatting I have to do manually straight into the html code because in some previous iterations of our library software certain changesit didn't carry over. I don't knwo abou the most recent update. I think that the e-book format might be a good idea, but not as the main file, but rather as a "print" option alongside a .pdf print option for those who want to store and save they favorite pieces.

One more thing: the read count is a double edged sword, on one hand it's a great motivational tool for some writers, but it's also very easy for some people to grow obsessed, which is why we decided to remove it the first time.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

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03 Aug 2017 03:34 #55658 by slim36
Replied by slim36 on topic Where is everyone????
What about a thumb up/thumb down option under the stories and other content even forum posts to allow for more feedback?

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03 Aug 2017 03:48 #55659 by Dru1076
Replied by Dru1076 on topic Where is everyone????
Just wanna say that while I don't post often I haven't and will not be going anywhere.

I posted a string of pics a few years ago, but I stopped because I didn't think people enjoyed them all that much. I kinda felt it was the wrong place for them at the time. That said, I think the gallery idea is great one.

It takes a lot of time and energy to maintain a site like this, something I sometimes forget. Huge thanjs to Fats and the team for keeping my favourite internet site not only up and running but evolving too. I wish I could do more to help...

"Stupid Reality!" - Homer J. Simpson

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03 Aug 2017 03:49 #55660 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Where is everyone????

Woodclaw wrote: I have to point out that some of the formatting I have to do manually straight into the html code because in some previous iterations of our library software certain changesit didn't carry over. I don't knwo abou the most recent update. I think that the e-book format might be a good idea, but not as the main file, but rather as a "print" option alongside a .pdf print option for those who want to store and save they favorite pieces.

One more thing: the read count is a double edged sword, on one hand it's a great motivational tool for some writers, but it's also very easy for some people to grow obsessed, which is why we decided to remove it the first time.


From my perspective, it seems a shame to deny a motivational tool for everyone based on a few people who somehow had problems with it

Shadar
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03 Aug 2017 08:35 #55665 by HendrixLives
Replied by HendrixLives on topic Where is everyone????
Hi Fats and others

Based on the recent discussion concerning the apparent lack of activity on the site, I thought it might be worthwhile for you to get some feedback from a lurker, and one time (only) contributor. These comments are observations and opinions, rather than criticisms. I do think that any genre website faces an uphill battle given the current form of the web. Even 10 years ago, sites of related interest tended to link to each other, as the web intended. Now, for the most part, websites are very self-contained and it is unlikely that a person with an interest in genre fiction will find this site even if they happen to stumble into one with related content.

To an extent, this is simply how the web now works. It also means that if you don't have any form of social media presence (to use a horrible marketing term) then I think it is increasingly difficult to attract or find new uses. If you were brave enough (!) to undertake a demographic study of your members, I think you would find many are in the 40 to 50 year old age group. Being a lurker of long-standing, some of the regular contributors must almost definitely fit within the category. As one would think that it is statistically unlikely that the demographic itself has changed (in this context, meaning the number of people interested in fiction of this genre) then it is a reasonable assumption that people interested in this subject are not easily finding the website.

I also wonder if some of the tinkering with the site has made it more difficult to determine its target audience. Originally, my recollection was that the site was intended to showcase more serious works relating to the superwoman theme. However, if I was a new user looking at the site in isolation, I would think that it was more a Supergirl fan page. Although you certainly won't lose any existing members by switching to the comic sans typeface, that decision combined with the current color scheme and emphasis on the Supergirl TV series (with its own forum heading and the countdown) may encourage some people to think that the site is just a fansite, as opposed to something intended to promote independent creative work. There was a suggestion in one part of this thread that a movement to shorter pieces of fiction would be encouraged; I would be disappointed by this, as I think it would confirm, to an outsider, that the site isn't really about serious attempts at genre fiction

Finally, on a slightly unrelated note, when I did make my one attempt to write and publish a story I found the process somewhat opaque. I was extremely surprised that it was not possible (at least I couldn't find the option) to upload prewritten stories as either plaintext or in markdown formatting. Some members had made brave efforts to provide guides explaining the process, but they still were of limited assistance. I'm not technically illiterate, and I don't think the process should be anywhere near as difficult as it seems. Also on the technical side, I also recollect that images were originally removed due to bandwidth considerations. Have you looked at the overhead created by the content management system you are using? The stylesheet headers are approaching 40 or 50k, which is borderline obscene when applied to stories of which the actual content is sometimes less than half of that.

As much as I hate to say it, I think that the site needs some form of promotion so that its existence is brought to the attention of its actual demographic. Perhaps we should combine some of AuGoose's creations with some DeviantArt work, create a Twitter handle, and see what happens?

In conclusion, I reemphasise that this is not intended to be a criticism in any way. I simply think that the way the web has developed at the moment tends to promote, to a ridiculous extent, what is trendy for the moment, effectively crowding-out much other material.

Having written a comment this long, perhaps I will try and write a proper story by the end of the month…

Cheers all.
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04 Aug 2017 03:33 #55683 by ace191
Replied by ace191 on topic Where is everyone????
I think we do skew old, especially Shadar, Brantley and myself. If you added up our ages I bet it would be over 200. As most of you know, TGK has left the net along with most of his works, however, Argo, Lfan and I have a large number of commissions that we could post here including somenever before seen ones. And maybe Argo and I can finished a couple of the chapters that they were commissioned for. One was done TEN years ago, and it is my favorite.

I would like to thank everyone for their input. It will really help make things better. And if there are more ideas out there, let's hear them!
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04 Aug 2017 07:28 #55686 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Where is everyone????

HendrixLives wrote: Finally, on a slightly unrelated note, when I did make my one attempt to write and publish a story I found the process somewhat opaque. I was extremely surprised that it was not possible (at least I couldn't find the option) to upload prewritten stories as either plaintext or in markdown formatting. Some members had made brave efforts to provide guides explaining the process, but they still were of limited assistance. I'm not technically illiterate, and I don't think the process should be anywhere near as difficult as it seems.


On this count, it's entirely possible to upload pre-written stories by doing a copy/paste of the original text from the word processor and, in any case, when there are any kind of problem in this sense you can always contact me via PM or e-mail. Sometimes I might not be around, but I do my best to explain and help. Also, if there's no other solution you can always send me the story file and I can force upload it.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

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04 Aug 2017 14:49 - 04 Aug 2017 14:51 #55692 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic Where is everyone????
Some general comments regarding issues raised by others:

* I haven't noticed a wave of negativity, let alone been influenced by it.
* I have noticed that it's hard to search for and find stories by author.
* I once started a round-robin story, but attracted few robins; had to finish it up myself as "When We Dead Awaken" at The Bright Empire.
* I've rarely seen any comments on my stories here at SWM; in the last few years, it's been the same at AURG.
* A number of superheroine fiction writers have gafiated in recent years.
* Supergirl and Wonder Woman are obviously more popular subjects than our own amateur fiction. But they get far more attention elsewhere.
* Pictures are obviously more popular than prose, though I wonder why there was such an obsession with the West Twins for a while.

--Brantley
Last edit: 04 Aug 2017 14:51 by brantley.
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05 Aug 2017 05:22 #55699 by pithlit
Replied by pithlit on topic Where is everyone????
It's summer...or as my sister calls it "beach season"

Besides....there arn't any new stories. I've been waiting for the new and improved Infinity Crisis for years now.

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05 Aug 2017 05:37 #55700 by pithlit
Replied by pithlit on topic Where is everyone????
Shadar & Brantley, I still visit your sites. I am glad you stuck to your story concepts.

I prefer the written word...but I do hear guys are more visual.

I visit less now that the stories have slowed down. I used to visit every day when there were multiple stories per week. I'm not sure what happened.

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05 Aug 2017 10:12 - 05 Aug 2017 12:52 #55702 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic Where is everyone????

pithlit wrote: Shadar & Brantley, I still visit your sites. I am glad you stuck to your story concepts.

I prefer the written word...but I do hear guys are more visual.

I visit less now that the stories have slowed down. I used to visit every day when there were multiple stories per week. I'm not sure what happened.


Well, it would help to have feedback. Including criticism.

From my stats, I know there is continuing interest in the Empress of the Dawn and First Protector series. But two stories I thought would have strong appeal, Delphic Obstacles and my conclusion to Walking Tall,* have been flops. Obviously I was doing something wrong, but I don't know what it was. If you know,please be blunt.

And I'd also welcome suggestions for future stories and story lines. No doubt Shadar would too. I know where Empress and First Protector need to go, but the Aurora Universe has potential for other stories and even epics.

Please share your thoughts in the Bright Empire thread here and at AURG. I hope others will do the same.

--Brantley

* Jordan Taylor's part had always done well.
Last edit: 05 Aug 2017 12:52 by brantley.

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05 Aug 2017 16:00 - 05 Aug 2017 16:01 #55703 by Mynn
Replied by Mynn on topic Where is everyone????
(OOC Note: This is strictly in-character, but commentary from her point of view.)

I find that for a lot of people, a ton of stuff competes for our time especially now there's so much crap out there on the 'net. So, "why spend time here?" is one question someone might ask themselves.

Darling, I spend time here because it appeals to my own ego and I love the women here too..... and the men to an extent. The food could be better. It's part of my lifestyle.

The hate is part of the internet culture in my opinion. Why be weak in real life when you can pour so much acid and kryptonite as you want on-line? Bullocks! So the internet gods have given everyone a voice and now the internet is as noisy as a galaxy-sized ass farting on a planet. I utterly don't enjoy the poisonous environments made by the fact that you're protected by virtual text.

One of these days, I should fly over and pay a visit to these twits who have never seen someone lift a car.

That aside, might be a good idea to see if there's ways to bring on new superwomen on this site let alone normal women (fictional or non-fictional) since, people on here already like and seek out superwomen? So why not have MORE? MUCH MORE?! *licks lips*

I'm not too sure many people know much about this place either. The subject matter might be niche depending on who you talk to.

Nonetheless Fats, you're doing a lovely job with the place and I simply enjoy relaxing and doing as I please and most here are quite respectful too. Keep up the good work!

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Last edit: 05 Aug 2017 16:01 by Mynn.
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05 Aug 2017 17:51 #55707 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Where is everyone????

pithlit wrote: Shadar & Brantley, I still visit your sites. I am glad you stuck to your story concepts.

I prefer the written word...but I do hear guys are more visual.

I visit less now that the stories have slowed down. I used to visit every day when there were multiple stories per week. I'm not sure what happened.


I'm kind of semi-retired, but I've always got a few stories I'm working on. Whatever I do get whipped into good enough shape to share, I share here on SWM.

It's too much hassle to run my own site when SWM provides a library, a forum and a great bunch of enthusiasts who love this genre.

Shadar

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05 Aug 2017 19:03 #55708 by koopa
Replied by koopa on topic Where is everyone????
As a long time lurker and fan the genre from sginc days i'm pretty sure Deviantart is "stealing" a lot of contributors and ubergirl enthusiasts that are even not aware of SWM existence. Not sure how and even if SWM should compete with the deviantart powerhouse. What's really clever with deviantart is that the site constantly gives you notifications and new stuff to look at on a daily basis.

It's sad because the community here is really well-mannered, educated and above all very respectful.

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05 Aug 2017 19:14 - 05 Aug 2017 19:46 #55709 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic Where is everyone????
Interesting thoughts about Deviantart there. It may be worthwhile to set up an SWM account on DA for galleries that links back to this main site.

ETA. God! It must be about twenty years ago that I found Conceptfan's site that led to the link for Supergirls Inc. which led to SWM as we know it today. Worth looking into.
Last edit: 05 Aug 2017 19:46 by Monty.

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05 Aug 2017 22:53 #55712 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Where is everyone????

koopa wrote: As a long time lurker and fan the genre from sginc days i'm pretty sure Deviantart is "stealing" a lot of contributors and ubergirl enthusiasts that are even not aware of SWM existence. Not sure how and even if SWM should compete with the deviantart powerhouse. What's really clever with deviantart is that the site constantly gives you notifications and new stuff to look at on a daily basis.

It's sad because the community here is really well-mannered, educated and above all very respectful.


So, we're like the Linux Users Group compared to the Windows or Apple users groups?

What I'm trying to say is that sometimes it's cool to be smaller and more specialized and deeper into the tech (genre) than the big groups. With fewer assholes too.

With the lack of advertising, nobody is getting rich here. So why not enjoy being smaller and more friendly with a sense of community. Put your feet up kind of cozy.

DeviantArt maybe many things, but cozy isn't one of them.

Shadar

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05 Aug 2017 23:00 #55713 by Lucent
Replied by Lucent on topic Where is everyone????
Probably the lack of new stories, new stories is what I come here to read.

Is the lack of stories due to it being summertime, does this happen every year?

Maybe we need a writing competition? Or maybe a writing school? I don't know.

Or it might be competition from Deviant art. Deviant art has its downsides though, finding the right stories there is not as simple as here. It is hard to tell the image posts from the story posts there. Also they have every genre of story, so you might think you're reading an FMG or female superiority story, and then half-way through it turns into an adult diaper or fat fetish story.

Last time I checked Wattpad it was mostly high school students posting romances. So a totally different market from here.

Improving the site? I can think of one thing. I find the index here really cumbersome. +++ I'd really like to simply click on an author's name and see a list of all of his stories. (So, while reading a story, click on the author's name and be taken to a list of all his stories.) +++
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05 Aug 2017 23:09 #55714 by Lucent
Replied by Lucent on topic Where is everyone????
Deviant Art has had the problem of every so often some activist or prude going through flagging stories they "find offensive".

That happened to Mr Grey Man and he almost gave up on the site.

In the end the prudes end up banned, but in the time it takes for that to happen authors and artists new to the site become discouraged or embarrassed.

Wattpad is, or at least was, even worse that way. Formerly, they just didn't have the ability to handle adult themes. Now all adult stories are filed together, using "mature" as the genre name, instead of as a flag added to the genre.

DtV is in a rut.

Saradas doesn't let authors edit their own stories unless they buy "points". They've lost at least one author to DA.

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05 Aug 2017 23:21 - 05 Aug 2017 23:27 #55715 by Lucent
Replied by Lucent on topic Where is everyone????
I just realized. They're being lost to Patreon. That is my best guess, and this should have been the first thing in my mind. DA is losing a lot of FMG authors to Patreon too.

The author starts a Patreon channel and charges something like US$4 to read each episode of their short story. It ends up being very expensive for readers, often US$20+ for a novella length story.

And Patreon takes a significant cut of every transaction.

I was talking to one author. He isn't happy that his move to Pateon means his readership has become so small, but he likes the money. He is hoping to release his stories to his regular fans for a lower fee, some period of time after his paying patrons get to see the story.

I'm not sure how long Patreon has been sucking authors into it, maybe slowly increasing over the past 2 years?

Patreon may take care of itself. It leadership is very SJW "trendy", that is to day authoritarian and bigoted. They've banned not just conservative journalists collecting money via their service, but also liberal journalists. I don't doubt they'd ban FMG authors if they noticed them.

Story websites with more mainstream genres have the issue of authors being sucked into Kindle Unlimited. Only a few FMG authors have discovered that outlet.
Last edit: 05 Aug 2017 23:27 by Lucent. Reason: Added about Patreon's leadership being

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