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A quick survey

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Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:42 pm
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Nate says...



These are just some questions designed to give me a better understanding of how people use the site. If you have the time, please answer them!

1. Should we continue with Review Teams on Review Days?

2. Which should have more emphasis in Clubs: the Wall area or the Discussions area?

3. Why do you think the blogs section is less popular these days?


4. How would you improve YWS?

5. If you participate in storybooks, what would make them better?
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Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:52 pm
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shiney1 says...



1. No, I don't think so because, competition is pretty good and helps reviews, but I have seen more and more poor reviews turn up, and some people do it more for their team than they do it to help the author.

2. The wall area is very prominent in many groups, a good time more so than the discussion area. This is sometimes a problem when you want members to get involved in discussions, but then again the walls are very nice and lovely. Maybe there should be a little more emphasis on the discussion area, but the wall area should stay pretty big as well.

3. Hmmm.. I guess there are more disagreements? am not sure, maybe there would be a way to make them more popular?
Plus you barely even see blogs unless you click the tab or the link on someone's page, versus people's works are everywhere, and the chat room has a link on the home page. Maybe the blogs could have a link there as well?

4. The site itself is pretty good, the organization is fine by me honestly...
But maybe reporting trouble would be easier with a quick link and report system that other sites have.
And maybe post new members on the home page so they get more noticed and feel more welcome.
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Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:59 pm
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JabberHut says...



1. Should we continue with Review Teams on Review Days?

Yes! Ironically enough, I tend to have more time to review when I'm in school rather than at home with family. However, I think it's fun! I've met a lot of new people and friends because of the Review Teams. It's a great bit of teamwork, whether they win for the day or not. So far, I've experienced only good things about them!

2. Which should have more emphasis in Clubs: the Wall area or the Discussions area?

I don't really know. It kind of depends on the club, but I think it's safe to say most, if not all, clubs use the Walls area more. A lot of the clubs are just fan pages while others rely on discussions, but everyone has at least a small blurb they want to say or like on the wall.

3. Why do you think the blogs section is less popular these days?

Probably because they can just update people on their life with the Walls. I've seen a lot more personal statuses posted in the Walls now and less in the blogs. They'll use the blogs if they have a lot to say, but otherwise, they can just post a short blurb on the wall. I think it's a habit of Facebook that everyone's used to.

4. How would you improve YWS?

No idea.

5. If you participate in storybooks, what would make them better?

I don't participate enough to have any ideas for this. I'm pleased to find some storybook teams use their resources to their advantage though, such as clubs or WFP. I find that extremely excellent!
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Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:04 pm
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Master_Yoda says...



1. No
2. The wall area.
3. There's no need to wade through long blog posts when the time could be spent getting to know someone in chat.
4. There should be more focus on the authors as authors. Profiles should be largely reformatted with emphasis on the person and on his writing. The about the author forum should be replaced within each profile. The usual profile style of php forums should be replaced with more of a social networking type of format. Novel chapters should be constructed in such a way that a user can immediately move to the next or previous chapter with a single click.

Authors should be able to favorite literary works of other authors and share their favorites. They should be able to favorite authors as well. These favorites should be compiled to list the most favorite-d authors. The same should be done with reviewers.

5. I don't participate.
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Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:19 pm
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GryphonFledgling says...



1. Should we continue with Review Teams on Review Days?
Mmm, I'm a bit torn. I liked the sense of community and team spirit that built up over the month that we had Review Teams, and that same sense of camaraderie just doesn't quite have the time to grow in 24 hours. On the other hand, the month-long Review Teams led to burn-out and whatnot and apparently ultimately wasn't successful? So... I dunno. *not helpful*

2. Which should have more emphasis in Clubs: the Wall area or the Discussions area?
I know more Clubs use the Wall than the Discussion area, but how much of that is due to the Walls being emphasized more is up in the air. Personally, I like the Wall more from something like the Clubs.

3. Why do you think the blogs section is less popular these days?
Ha, I totally was actually going to write a blog entry on this. It's due to the Feed, methinks. The blogs are still relevant, they're just used for different purposes now.

4. How would you improve YWS?
Being able to move between chapters in the novels without having to link back to the novel's page itself would be uh-maze-ing.

5. If you participate in storybooks, what would make them better?
I don't participate.
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Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:08 pm
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Lauren2010 says...



1. Should we continue with Review Teams on Review Days?
I only participated during the month-long review team thing, and didn't have time to participate when they were around for just the one day. They seemed to work well team-spirit and community-wise over the month (though led to burnout). I don't know much about how they went for the day to really make a decision on the matter.

2. Which should have more emphasis in Clubs: the Wall area or the Discussions area?
It depends on the type/purpose of the club. I've seen some that rely on discussions for most of the activity but others that are more relaxed fan-club type clubs that work better using the wall.

3. Why do you think the blogs section is less popular these days?
Since walls/the feed have become more used there is less need for blog posts that are just less important information that someone wants to share. So then blogs have been filtered down to more important information someone wants to share/larger topics someone wants to talk a lot about.

4. How would you improve YWS?
It'd be nice if you could flip through novel chapters without having to go back to the novel page. It would also be nice to see things streamlined to favor authors rather than literary works. Portfolios could use a lot of cleaning up/simplification, as well as maybe a redesign of profiles to show off a person's work.

5. If you participate in storybooks, what would make them better?
Storybooks could benefit a lot from being formatted similar to how clubs are. An area similar to the wall could serve as the location for the actual story writing, while there could be separate areas/tabs for information about the storybook (plot, rules, etc), a place to post character profiles, and a place for discussion. Keeping everything in one area so that there is less of a need for multiple threads/having to flip way back in a thread to find info on a person's character.
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Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:32 pm
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Skins says...



1. Should we continue with Review Teams on Review Days?

I personally like the Review Teams because I find myself reviewing more on review days because of them, although I do think that they can be misused. For example, people writing loads of small, not so helpful reviews just to get points. As for whether they should continue... I'm not 100% sure. I'm probably leaning more towards, yes, they should continue.

2. Which should have more emphasis in Clubs: the Wall area or the Discussions area?

Like others have said, I think this depends on the club itself. I do think that the Discussion area could do with more emphasis though. Not necessarily so much that it seems more important than the wall maybe, but more emphasis to make it so that its used more, I guess. I think that area could be made to seem a bit more interesting and important maybe. One thing I don't like is that smilies aren't enabled in discussion posts, for example.

3. Why do you think the blogs section is less popular these days?

I think it's because of the walls we have on our profiles now. I rarely use my blog, and I tend to use it more for more personal stuff as well, whereas I use my wall to say whatever's on my mind at that time. Because of that, my wall is obviously used more. So yeah, basically, I think that the blogs section is less popular these days because of our walls.

4. How would you improve YWS?

I agree with what a couple of people have said about being able to flick through novels without clicking numerous links. It would just be a lot easier, I think. I also partly agree on what's been said about there being an option to favourite authors as well as literary works. The downside to that is the fact that it could end up turning into a popularity contest, which I'm sure could get messy, but if handled carefully, I don't think it could cause too much harm.

5. If you participate in storybooks, what would make them better?

Hmmm... I'm not sure. I quite like the SB forum as it is. I do like Lauren's idea about storybooks being similar to clubs though. It is a pain to have to go back and forth from the SB's thread itself to the discussion thread of that SB and such. Having it all in one place would make it a lot tidier and easier to use, methinks.
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Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:22 pm
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Rosey Unicorn says...



1. Should we continue with Review Teams on Review Days?
I'm not sure they should keep up. I'm not sure if any dip in activity is caused by the summer slump or the hyper wearing off.

2. Which should have more emphasis in Clubs: the Wall area or the Discussions area?
Depends on the kind of club! For the most part, I use the wall. But for really discussion-based clubs, the discussions are the main draw.

3. Why do you think the blogs section is less popular these days?
I agree with Gry about the feed. For short updates I use the feed because it's really quick to just post a status. I use blogs for big things I need to talk about or things I'm willing to write an article-length post. Or want to take advantage of the image uploading features.

4. How would you improve YWS?
Again, I agree with Gry about moving between novel chapters. It would also be nice to have the ability to open the full novel synopsis in the new tab. I've tried to do this repeatedly and always have to open the chapter in another new tab then going to the novel tab which gets just a bit long.

5. If you participate in storybooks, what would make them better?
The ability to remind people participating in the storybook to post. This is a bit of the bane of SB mods' existence.

It might also be nice if there could be a Contest-like format? Current Storybooks, all the components of a storybook (Profiles, the book itself, and out of character discussion) all in one place. The main thing you open is the rules of the storybook, then you can go to the posts relating to the plot, and you can check the discussions right there. Or like Lauren suggested, a club-like format. Although I'd have the discussions be the main focus (click a club and be at the discussions) with the Wall used to poke people to post.
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Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:03 am
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ultraviolet says...



1. Personally, I've found them to be good. Competition spurs activity, and it's a lot of fun - I know I've reviewed more with my teams than I normally would. But really, to go with everyone's concerns, I haven't decided their long-term effect. I think you should wait and see what happens/how they're taken (I mean, we've only had two, and one was the month-long one). The only thing I can really say is, I was excited getting my new team, trying to stay ahead of everyone; it made me do more than I might've otherwise. But this is just me.

2. Walls, I've found, are used a lot more. And, ironically, I've noticed that in a lot of places, people discuss things on the walls. Not long or in depth discussions, but smaller-scale things typically; like, the creator of the group will ask a question you might consider suitable for the discussion thread, but people just talk about it on the wall.

3. Is there really a reason to have a blog? Most of the things I might write are short little excerpts of my life, things easily wall-post suitable. For people who just want to occasionally keep people posted on their lives, they most often just write on their wall; either that, or they'll write a list of the little things and post it as a blog. But typically, there isn't enough happening to validate an entire blog entry.

4. I'll bounce off of someone above me (I forget who) that mentioned author profiles - I definitely think it'd be nice to make them more about the writing, and the person not just as a person but as a writer specifically.

Also, something that could be cool is a sort of middle ground between a Novels page and a Club - something that announces when a chapter's posted, something with links and such, something with different pages to add in information about your work if you so choose. Basically, just coming the two pages, focusing mainly on the features generally used for that purpose. I know people can just make clubs for their novels, but it'd be really nice to have it all tied together.

5. For the most part, I'm really happy with the SB forums. Though, something that would be nice would maybe be a link or a sidebar that's like a DT, sort of - a place to keep character profiles (this is my main reason for bringing this up - it can get really hard, especially at the beginning, to keep track of characters - mainly when writing a post and the "previous posts" thing won't go back far enough), to talk about the SB, all that stuff. Of course, we could just post the profiles in the DT and keep a tab of that open. It's just a thought.
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Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:37 am
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stargazer9927 says...



1) I don't really have a solid answer, because I would have to say I also think it causes people just to post so they can win and the reviews aren't the best they can be, but it personally helps me to review more and it does seem to be getting more things reviewed than before.

2) Discussions area

3) Personally I think it's difficult to work. I apparently have a blog but I don't know how to use it.

4) Make it so somehow we can see what the person posted after we review their work because I have to go back to my old reviews all the time to see what they said about it. Perhaps put it in the notifications area after the author posted a review about their own work so we can see what they said.

5) Sorry, I've wanted to do a storybook but it's more points than I can afford right now.
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Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:09 pm
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Ranger Hawk says...



1. Should we continue with Review Teams on Review Days?
Absolutely. :D It builds a lot of camaraderie between users, lets us meet new people, and overall just makes the event more exciting.

2. Which should have more emphasis in Clubs: the Wall area or the Discussions area?
Wall, methinks. Just because it's the first thing people will see and it's less cumbersome than clicking on tabs and such to get to Discussions.

3. Why do you think the blogs section is less popular these days?
Because people are so distracted by the other shiny new improvements? :D

4. How would you improve YWS?
Definitely agreeing with everything that's been suggested for the Novels section; just making it easier to access and read the posts/chapters. But, I think I remember something about this being in the works already, so I don't have much more to say about that.

5. If you participate in storybooks, what would make them better?
I don't storybook anymore.
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Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:12 pm
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Nate says...



Thanks everyone for the responses! Keep 'em coming :)
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Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:22 pm
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Kyllorac says...



1. Should we continue with Review Teams on Review Days?

Not sure. With the month-long teams, I got burned out, but I wasn't able to participate in the last Review Day, so I don't know how they worked out then.

2. Which should have more emphasis in Clubs: the Wall area or the Discussions area?

The Wall is pretty well-emphasized at the moment, so I think emphasizing the Discussions would be a good idea. Then again, different Clubs have different foci, so there's differences between which is more useful for each type of club.

3. Why do you think the blogs section is less popular these days?

I've never been one for blogging, but I do have to say that the Blogs section is rather hidden away. Combine that with how convenient posting status updates on the Walls is, and there isn't much reason to use blogs except for really long musings/status updates/etc. and their friends-only features. Featuring them more prominently, especially in the profiles (perhaps even adding a Blog-specific tab that shows previews of the last 5 entries), might help generate more traffic.

4. How would you improve YWS?

Make the Nominations system more prominent, and promote it a bit more.

Clean up the dead links in the footer. Perhaps use to footer to highlight some otherwise-hidden areas and features, like Pro Accounts and the Nominations section.

5. If you participate in storybooks, what would make them better?

They're perfectly functional as-is, though making them more Club-like in function wouldn't be a bad idea. It would give SB-specific mods the ability to more effectively moderate their own SBs and keep everything conveniently in one place.

While SBers who want that level of control could just create a Club for the purpose, I think it would be nice if the Club format (with some flavoring from the Contests section) were used in the SB section. With that format, the SB page would list all the open and recruiting SBs, with fields for their name and summary. In addition, other tabs could be for ongoing, completed, and dead SBs, so it's a bit more organized than the current setup.

Once you clicked on an SB, it would bring you to a front page where the backstory and rules of the SB are explained, and perhaps profiles could be submitted here as attachments for approval, with profile approval tied to approval to post within the SB. Like the Clubs, a Wall could be used to take the place of DTs, while the Discussions section could be for profiles and the SB itself, or you could probably cut out the Wall aspect entirely and have three discussions tabs for Profiles, Storybook, and Discussions.
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Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:14 am
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ToritheMonster says...



1. Should we continue with Review Teams on Review Days?

I say absolutely! They're a terrific way to get motivated and get in lots of awesome reviews.

2. Which should have more emphasis in Clubs: the Wall area or the Discussions area?

I think the Discussions area. In the old groups; that's all we had. I personally miss that. The clubs have sort of become just that- fun clubs, and not places for discussion on common topics.

3. Why do you think the blogs section is less popular these days?

Honestly; I think they were never that popular to begin with. And then, once people realised that very few people were even reading and replying to their blogs, they stopped posting. It was sort of a time bomb.

4. How would you improve YWS?

It's already awesome! A mobile version would be the only way to make it much better.
EDIT: Just thought of something. So, in the 'review works with 0',or '1 literary comment', I've noticed something a little annoying. A literary comment might just be one word. So if an inexperienced reviewer does a one-sentence review on a work, that person automatically has less of a chance of it being reviewed. Or, if they get a decent review and they post 'thank you' in response, their work now has 2 comments and is effectively removed from the reviewing pulse. I think there should be a change so that instead of 'literary comment' it is 'review'. That way everyone is almost guaranteed at least one good review. This would also take care of spam review on review day.

5. If you participate in storybooks, what would make them better?

I love the storybooks. My only problem is that a lot of people make really low-quality storybooks that die out before they start, and just clog up the forum. If there was some way of filtering them, it would be awesome... that's probably not even possible, though.
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Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:24 am
Lava says...



1. Should we continue with Review Teams on Review Days?
I think yes! Because it's a great way to get to know other people and it will help the new kids on the block get to know the others as well. And it provides a good competition and the names always fascinate me. But yes, sometimes, there are a couple of people who might post a lot of small reviews for points, but I do think the balance shifts toward a yes.
I was wondering, will we still have the 50%/25% extra on review days? Just a thought.

2. Which should have more emphasis in Clubs: the Wall area or the Discussions area?
Most of the clubs I'm in have a lot of wall activity, but there are a lot with Discussions activity. I think the wall i smore popular because it easier/faster to write and post stuff there, and mostly clubs are like fan clubs.
So, I would say Wall area, only because I think it is more active.

3. Why do you think the blogs section is less popular these days?

Blogs are like this personal space. And with the shanzzy new Feed/Wall, you aren't compelled to write out a long blog post explaining things that happened and stuff.

4. How would you improve YWS?


1. Mobile version: I've mentioned it before, and so have others but this is something I would absolutely love. And for me, the main things I look up from my mobile is My Notification, Profile, Feed. I browse the forums from my phone only when I'm connected to a WiFi.
2. Sometimes, when I need to tell someone something, it takes me a while to hunt for their page. I generally go to "My YWS" and then use F3 to find the person's name I'm looking for. I was wondering if it's possible to contract the list of names on the left such that it doesn't stretch all the way down or something. (Why am I nitpicky?)
3. Ja, novels. And I like what UV says there about this middle ground thing.

5. If you participate in storybooks, what would make them better?
I did, but I couldn't stay committed to one, because of work. So, I don't know.
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