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10 September 2010 @ 08:45 pm
Electronic Housekeeping  
My Fansite.  As you may know, my FK fansite is here.  I recently redesigned my fiction and poetry index pages (the non-FK stuff is over here) in hopes of making them easier to use and more appealing, with the up-front information readers now expect.  I'm not entirely satisfied, but I don't know where to take the layout from here.

What do you think?  Is this better than before, or should I revert?  Keeping in mind that this is a single-person list of stories, do you have models to recommend -- websites with more appealing results from different designs?

My Tags.  Similarly, I redid all my blog tags (LJ tags/DW tags) this summer, hoping to make it easier for readers to find what interests them.  Thus "fanfic:byme" is distinct from "fanfic:byyou," "fanfic:hl," etc.  "Recommendations" alone brings up everything of the sort, while "recommendations:project" pulls just the designated monthly recommendations, which is also where the monthly fkfic-l recap goes.  "Recently" identifies those periodic round-ups of FK stuff that I see on blogs.  And there are character tags, couple tags, and so on.

What's your opinion?  Is this the way to go with tags for readers?  Keeping in mind that I follow few fandoms and write gen almost exclusively, do you have models to suggest -- bloggers who have hit just the right tagging approach?

FKFicFest Community.  The paid account for fkficfest will expire soon.  Of course I'll renew it for the next game, whenever that might be!  But is there interest/need for the community to be a paid account between games?  (While it is paid, no advertisements appear on it for anyone.  If it went unpaid, it would show advertisements to readers who do not have paid or permanent accounts.)

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greerwatsongreerwatson on September 11th, 2010 07:35 am (UTC)
"...is there interest/need for the community to be a paid account between games?"

Probably not (and a penny saved, and all that). It does, however, raise the much more fascinating question of when the next ficathon will be. I know you want to do the twentieth anniversary of "Dark Knight" in 2012. But next year...? It will, of course, be the fifteenth anniversary of (sob) the end of the series.

I'm up for it, if your're up for it. (I promise to try not to write another novel.)
Melissa: blank paper deadlinegnosticdiva on September 11th, 2010 09:59 am (UTC)
I promise to try not to write another novel.

You might not, but I probably will. I seem to be aiming for novella-size, at the very least, these days.
Amy R.: Gamesbrightknightie on September 12th, 2010 02:13 am (UTC)
From among the lessons learned in the first game, I expect that for the second game we will either institute a maximum story length of five LJ posts (the maximum that any one member can have in the queue of a paid community at one time) or cooperate with AO3 for hosting stories that are too long to fit in the queue.
Melissagnosticdiva on September 12th, 2010 10:25 am (UTC)
Considering I fit nearly 4000 words into a 'fest post the last time, I really don't expect I'd use more than the five-post limit. On the off-chance I do, I'll probably post the full story on my A03 account instead.
Amy R.: Gamesbrightknightie on September 12th, 2010 02:03 am (UTC)
Thank you for being interested. I have some life concerns before I can commit to dates for running a ficathon next year. However, if enough people wish to play, I will find a way for a 2011 game!

I'm thinking that summer would be best in 2011 but, again, I can't yet commit to anything, and of course there would be a survey.

Also, I'm considering the possibility that a challenge-style game (instead of an exchange-style game) would be as much fun and less stress; this would be an idea to put up for survey and discussion if it continues to seem promising when the time comes. (Challenge-style games -- like old list challenges: one prompt for everyone, write it with whatever characters and slant you prefer -- have been rare on LJ, but I just recently saw a multifandom one get over 200 sign-ups in a matter of days. And, well, I miss them.)

We will either institute an upper limit on length or request a partnership with AO3 to host the very long stories. As we learned last time, five is the maximum number of posts that a single member can place in the queue of a paid community on LiveJournal. (A person using no formatting can fit more words into a post than a person using much formatting, as the code counts toward the character limit, so that may not seem fair, but queuing is the real issue, not word counts.)

Dreamwidth posts can be much longer than LJ posts. It may be advisable to relocate the game to DW, for that as well as other reasons. Again, that's something that would be surveyed and discussed if it seemed promising when the time comes. It's much too early for anything but keeping options open on that front, of course.

Anyway, those are mostly just things I've been thinking about regarding the next ficathon. No decisions have yet been made.
Melissa: angie - sitting thinkinggnosticdiva on September 12th, 2010 10:18 am (UTC)
There's also the possibility the next game could have more people than the last one. In a 'fest with only 20-odd people, the exchange makes perfect sense. If the number for participants gets any higher though, it'd be better to have either a prompt list everybody can choose from, or a single prompt for all.

If we're destined to remain a small, cozy affair, then any way'll work.
greerwatsongreerwatson on September 13th, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
"There's also the possibility the next game could have more people than the last one."

I guess hope really does spring eternal.
Melissagnosticdiva on September 14th, 2010 03:28 am (UTC)
I guess hope really does spring eternal.

Not really. I'm just open to all possibilities. I doubt we'll ever have a huge turnout, but I'm sure the numbers will fluctuate, none the less.

We had 20 participants last time. Who's to say what'll be next time?
Amy R.: Nickbrightknightie on September 15th, 2010 01:22 am (UTC)
Yes, as you say, it can happen. :-) If Chiller or some other venue puts FK into regular rotation, the fandom will get some newbies and some nostalgics. The same if Sony puts FK onto blu-ray. And perhaps each of us will connect or reconnect with one more FK fan in the course of the year, and bring him or her into the game.

(I'll be as thrilled with ten players as with twenty as with fifty, honest! Although my head might spin a little if we hit fifty. ~g~)

ETA: Just fixing a silly typo!

Edited at 2010-09-15 01:47 am (UTC)
greerwatsongreerwatson on September 13th, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
I'm not so sanguine about the single prompt idea. I know that, over on maryrenaultfics, I often am simply not inspired by the word and don't participate.

A list of potential prompts would be better, I guess—that is, if you simply can't manage the time to handle a gift exchange. (Clearly, that format is the most time-consumptive for you.)
waltdwaltd on September 14th, 2010 10:53 am (UTC)
National Public Radio is having a contest where listeners are invited to submit "Three Minute Fiction"; that is, short shorts that would take about three minutes to read on air. Each time they've done this there are certain rules to be followed. In this case:

Start with the first line: "Some people swore that the house was haunted."

End with the last line: "Nothing was ever the same again after that."

What brought this to my mind as related to Forever Knight is that the sentences above could be the outline for the third season's "Dead of Night". It might be interesting to offer a sentence (or two or three) for everyone to write a story to. I think it would be fascinating to see how many and how different the takes would be. An option would be to have people submit an opening sentence (a prompt, if you will) and vote on the two or three best and then let the fun begin.

One of the more interesting aspects of the last ficathon was the surprise some of us felt at the unexpected turns some of the stories took. While they were appropriate to the prompt, they were entirely different from what one expected (and delightfully so).

Just an idea. :-)

Walt D
Amy R.: Castbrightknightie on September 15th, 2010 01:44 am (UTC)
Weekend All Things Considered's "Three-Minute Fiction" is indeed a good example of a challenge-style game! I heard its return this weekend, and didn't make the connection; thank you for pointing it out.

I particularly remember the round in which they posted, as the prompt, an illustration of a diner with a newspaper on which the viewer just couldn't quite make out the print.

An example of a time when an fkfic-l challenge took the form of an opening sentence was the Snake Challenge, in which every story had to begin with: "Put down the snake and we'll
talk." (This clearly lent itself to humor!)

Other challenge games have included the Card Challenge (What did Nick write in the card in "My Boyfriend is a Vampire"?), the Song Challenge (incorporate the full lyrics of a song into a story), Susan's original Christmas Challenge (write a winter holiday story starring a character and Susan posted a story by her starring that character), and the annual games that the Dark N&Ners ran for a while (they posted a different list of nouns to include in a story supporting their slant, e.g. "sleigh, music box, key").

Any challenge prompt for a diverse fest would need to be both intriguing and highly flexible, to inspire fans of all the different perspectives and tastes. If we went that direction, we would definitely want to hold some discussion and then take a poll.

Thanks for the idea!
Melissa: dr. horrible - ph.d in horriblenessgnosticdiva on September 11th, 2010 09:55 am (UTC)
Like Greer said, "a penny saved." There doesn't seem to be a real reason to keep fkficfest a paid account when there's no game running, especially if having it be "free" only means that there'll be ads. Plus, I've got an ad-blocking plugin with my copy of Firefox, so I won't see 'em anyway (and I'm probably not the only one).

...So, when's the next game? :D

Edited at 2010-09-11 09:56 am (UTC)
Amy R.: Gamesbrightknightie on September 12th, 2010 02:10 am (UTC)
>"So, when's the next game? :D"

Thanks for asking. As soon as I know, I'll post it hither and yon. :-)

As I was just telling Greer (above), I have some life considerations before I commit to specific dates, but if there is enough interest in a 2011 game, I will find a way to make one happen. Perhaps in the summer? There will be a poll to measure interest and timing and such... perhaps in January?
Melissagnosticdiva on September 12th, 2010 10:28 am (UTC)
Thanks for asking. As soon as I know, I'll post it hither and yon. :-)

I figured you would. I'm just being... well, my cheesy fangirly self. The 'fest was so fun, I'm definitely looking forward to doing it again.
Amy R.: Nickbrightknightie on September 15th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
I'm very glad that you enjoyed it, and are looking forward to another! That's a happy thing to hear.