Stories+Inactivity

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Ejyptia

Stories+Inactivity

Postby Ejyptia » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:37 am

Has anyone posted any stories? I can't seem to find them in the "Writing Forums." There's only Short Stories. Where it says Fiction and stuff, it's more like talking about them. There's a few stories, prologues more so, but basically from 2007, which... is a long way back, I would be doubtful that person even comes online anymore.

And about the "inactivity." Honestly, I like semi-inactive sites, they aren't so stuffed. I like it when there's only a few people around, not like fifty, make a hundred threads each, nonstop, but I don't think anyone else but me and one other person has been on at all o.o. Now, I would like to comment on things, but there's nothing to comment on since they're all before 2011, which has be doubting the user doesn't come on anymore, which makes me decide not to waste my time. The topics that are 2011 often don't take my interest, they're about other things. I know everyone has a life outside of the internet, but it's summer now. Some might have jobs, etc, but a little break at the least? What happened here o.o?
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Postby charlesp » Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:52 am

This deserves a bit more discussion, but the simple reason you don't see many stories is that they mostly live in the "Writing Group" (which you just have to ask to join). So they're in a part of the site that doesn't show up until you've been added to that group. Alas, even those aren't terribly recent as we have been pretty low traffic in the last year or two.

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Postby timberline » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:16 am

Just dropped in at WT to visit after being away--ignoring it--for a couple of months. The Fast Fiction Friday prompts disappeared when Jillstar defected. I've moved over to Every Day Fiction's forums and weekly prompts. Karma met me offline, and PT's studying in India, so WG#6 faltered. (In fact, one of my stories there won Writers' Digest 6th place last October.) And nobody has posted on the Large WG since Feb. '10!

Don't think we need--you--need discussion. Just promotion of what Writer's Digest called one of the best.
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Postby JillStar » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:31 pm

We seem to be doing the same thing...dropping in once in a while just to check in.

I have not found another website to share my writing and creating one myself did not seem to work. I do understand that running one isnt as fun as just being a part of the team. The poetry site i was on was okay for a while until the weirdos showed themselves. :)

But i am still here...sorta...and still writing... ;)
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Postby timberline » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:47 am

Any thoughts on this--or the site--Charles?
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Postby xcheck24 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:55 pm

There aren't other writing communities out there that are nearly as good as this one was at its height.
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Postby JillStar » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:44 pm

I completely agree with you X!!!

It's as if everything crumbled at once. Now we just have the few of us who "pop in" from time to time to see if anything interesting is happening or to just check up with those we miss. :?
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Postby timberline » Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:12 pm

Makes me want to call my doctor if there's inaction lasting more than seven hours.
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Postby xcheck24 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:18 am

jillstar wrote:I completely agree with you X!!!

It's as if everything crumbled at once. Now we just have the few of us who "pop in" from time to time to see if anything interesting is happening or to just check up with those we miss. :?


Well, how can we fix it?
If we got the place a little action again (even if it's chatter about what we're working on or what's happening in our lives), maybe things will perk up?
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Postby charlesp » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:09 pm

Alas I'm as guilty as any of the "just popping in" thing. I'm not sure if I feel good that you still regard Wordtrip "in its prime" as being better than anything out there now, or sad that neither Wordtrip nor any other site are filling that void.

We could point to many things that influenced the decline of Wordtrip over the last 2-3 years, though admittedly a large part was probably 5 years ago when I changed positions at the day job and it became a real day job (instead of an evening job). When I went from being able to spend a few hours each day moving things along to only having a couple hours here and there for any writing thought I stopped doing more than just "popping in" around here myself. Basically when Wordtrip became too much "work" for the moderators and administrators, we stopped putting the work into it I think (though some lasted longer than others. I know I ended up doing the equivalent of putting gas in the car, but never doing the oil changes).

I'm not sure where this leads us, but I'm going to take my 750 words time today/tomorrow to ponder it and maybe write a few more thoughts on the subject.

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One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee." - Wally (Dilbert)
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Postby Anblick » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:29 am

I know I had a pretty dramatic change in lifestyle (getting married, having kids, having more kids) that really affected my ability to do stuff here. Combine that with a lack of inspiration/motivation to write, and it was kind of a perfect storm for my writing and moderating.
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Postby charlesp » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:49 pm

So, back on the 5th of July I actually did do a bit of writing/thinking on the situation here. I think the source of stagnation was much as described above, but I don't have any real answers about how to change it.

Jamie Ford was doing a "hangout" writing session on Google+ this afternoon and I joined in for a couple of minutes (enough to write a paragraph on something work related and then talk for a couple minutes about the demise of Borders). He asked how Wordtrip was, and as is my way these days (too much honesty), I had to admit that it is in a painful to watch decline (or more accurately it was in a painful to watch decline for the 2009-2010 and has been on life support since then).

Ultimately a community like this is only as active as its members make it, and that can be driven by a handful of people (which Wordtrip was for many years), or it can be an organic self driving community. The solitary nature of writing, I think, lends itself to not being something that will be a self perpetuating community with ease and I don’t know if there is a framework that could be put into place to perpetuate the sense of community without it simply being done by the effort of a few individuals. Anybody have any ideas along those lines?

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C Clarke
"Coffee is sufficiently advanced technology" - Merlin Mann
One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee." - Wally (Dilbert)
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Postby xcheck24 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:42 pm

What was Jamie's reaction when you mentioned how things were going here?

(Or maybe he'll pop by and tell us himself...)
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Postby timberline » Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:22 am

It's unfair to say that a site's entropy is due solely to the inactivity of its members. In large part, the administrators and moderators have also drifted away, leaving a vacuum at the top.

I haven't stopped publishing or keeping in form with prompts, and I do actively solicit feedback. What I want to see here is an administrator who corrals past and present members, shows a presence and tells us the lights have been turned on in the store.
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Postby charlesp » Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:43 pm

Fair enough Timber. I wasn't intending to say "you guys bailed on us" as much as I was "we all bailed on each other." I think of the moderators and administrators as members the same as anybody else.

I guess to some degree I never felt as if, as an administrator, it made sense for anybody to be "in charge" and driving things. My intention was more to provide the location and technology for the members to meet and community to grow organically.

(To be honest I should say that in retrospect I don't think I ever felt that way but I'm not sure, as I may well have felt that I should have been "driving things" at one point but don't remember it now)

In a community of creative adults I think "leading" too often (for me anyway) feels like a futile attempt to herd cats. That said, I understand that there are people who have a knack for initiating and continuing those discussions that foster community. I probably made the foolish assumption, because I'm not terribly sociable as it is, that a group of people who trade in words would ultimately be inclined to use those words to build the community. What I see more now, is that the problem with that thought process is that the ability and desire to string together words to tell a story or a poem is not the same as the ability and desire (and understanding of how) to use those same words as means of communicating with others of similar interest.

I guess ultimately it is not all that different from the musician who can play beautifully on their own, but requires (or at least benefits from) a conductor who can get all the musicians working together to perform the symphony. Maybe, probably even, part of my problem was always that I wanted to play the instrument when the skill I needed, perhaps even started with, was more in understanding the overarching tune of the symphony and a baton to allow those of you with the writing skill to communicate that symphony with one another.

Geez that’s just pretentious as all hell isn’t it? Sorry... I should organize those thoughts in a way that doesn't reveal how much of an ass I am shouldn't I?

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C Clarke
"Coffee is sufficiently advanced technology" - Merlin Mann
One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee." - Wally (Dilbert)
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Postby timberline » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:35 am

CP, let me humbly submit that site administration requires a lot of time and effort. It's not a one-person job. If memory serves, there were half a dozen moderators on WT a few years ago. Prompts were offered, contests were held, reader discussions were initiated, dialogue was engendered. The only thing missing--and probably required now--was cross-promotion via Facebook, Twitter and other networks.

A good deal of this is being done, successfully, by the team at Every Day Fiction. In fact, they're the best writing-site model I can think of. This is the direction WT might return to.

Finally, one smallish point I never understood: WT members were encouraged to take aliases and post avatars. This anonymity was curious, comical and infantile. Years passed before Gay Degani, now of Every Day Fiction and other publications, was surprised to find "Timberline" was a person named "Walt Giersbach."
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