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Public Comments

Lostlady

Just curious, has anyone been accepting public comments on their stories and if so, has there been any problems or abuses?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Lostlady

yes I have them turned on, and not seen any bad comments yet.

Crumbly Writer

Several of us have turned it on. So far, no one has detected any problems at all.

You've got to pay attention to it, otherwise you're likely not to notice new comments, but it's a great way to interact to users, specifically to answer questions or address concerns.

I there IS any abuse, you can always turn it off for any particular story.

Lostlady

Thanks, I have no problems with criticisms, you can't fix a problem unless you're aware of it. I was just wondering if the trolls have found this site.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Lostlady

I was just wondering if the trolls have found this site.


there's a few around, but they usually limit themselves to voting 1 on a story - to leave a comment they have to identify themselves with their log on, so that limit's trollish behaviour.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
shinerdrinker

Yeah, I turned on my comments as well and it got turned into people arguing over having the main character be involved in football. I can understand that if you are not familiar with the sport, you would not like to read about it. But I do take care to try and write the football scenes in a way anyone could understand what is going on with the character as well as within thew character.
But I say to those not liking that portion of the story that I hope you realize that football season does not last year round... no matter how much I might want it to.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@shinerdrinker

I say to those not liking that portion of the story that I hope you realize that football season does not last year round... no matter how much I might want it to.


It sure do between pro-ball, college ball, bowl games, highlights, replays, specials, and youtube - it's an all year thing.

I did a lot of research on football to learn enough to not look a fool in the football game scenes - did the same with baseball, too.

Michael Loucks

I have it turned on, and other than one person who seemed to be trying to give away the ending (doesn't work since the comments only appear at the end of the last chapter), they've been overwhelming positive.

sejintenej

Because I seem to find only older stories I haven't come across such option yet.
That said "praise in public, berate in private".

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

there's a few around, but they usually limit themselves to voting 1 on a story - to leave a comment they have to identify themselves with their log on, so that limit's trollish behaviour.

They're generally not trolls in the classic sense, however, there are a notable few who'll take exception to a story, for whatever reason, and they then vote every story the author writes from them on a 1, even though they continue reading the story. In those cases, it seems to be more a matter of politics. There are also those who encounter a squick (like MM stories), and use a combination of 1-votes and author abuse to chase the author from the site. That's why we have so few minority authors on the site.

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

even though they continue reading the story


How do you know they continue reading the story?

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
ustourist

@Crumbly Writer

Are those 1 bombers any different to the fan boys who vote every single story by an average author as a 10 ? If one faction actually exists I have no doubt the other does.

There is at least one author on here with many stories who continually receives high scores but has no character development, a shaky plot, no explanation for lead character abilities, almost identical sex scenes (but no romance), and a standard ending, but gets scores that can only be justified by a fan base, not quality.
(And NO, it is not a forum poster as far as I am aware, so it is not personal to anyone here).

Unless an author states they are any sort of minority, how would we know there is a lack of them? Maybe the ones here rely on ability and don't pull the race or ethnicity card?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

How do you know they continue reading the story?

I've discussed this at length in the past: it's because their 1 scores jump to 3s every time there's an exciting chapter. When I complained they're 1 votes wouldn't accomplish much, and proved it by outraging them again, they all jumped to 3s. Since I don't have many 1 votes, it's easy tracking them.

Crumbly Writer

@ustourist

Are those 1 bombers any different to the fan boys who vote every single story by an average author as a 10 ? If one faction actually exists I have no doubt the other does.

I could accept that argument (which you keep repeating) if my average score was 6 with only a few outlying 1s and 10s (like a normal bar graph). However, the majority of my scores are 8 to 10s, so the 'exceptional' scores aren't so unusual. I see that as evidence I'm writing what people want to hear, rather than people are simply voting to piss me off (or inflate my ego).

demonmaster62

Ok, this may seem like a silly question, but I'll ask it anyway. I already have it so that I can receive email and all of that. This the first I've heard of "Public Comments"...so the question would be; where and how do I turn this feature on.

Thank you in advance.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@demonmaster62

question would be; where and how do I turn this feature on.


it's in this thread

http://storiesonline.net/d/s1/t2025/new-feature-opt-out-of-reader-comments-display

Crumbly Writer

There are different options for authors (to turn the story feature on) and readers (to turn the feature off, so they don't see it), both of which occurred at different times and were on different threads as a result.

You turn the feature on (as an author) a story at a time on the story stats page. You can subsequently turn it off again, if anyone abuses the privilege.

From the responses so far, no one has abused it, not even the notorious 1-bombers many of us have, however, readers only seem to respond to currently posting stories (I, at least, haven't gotten any comments on the older stories I've turned on).

The flag on the stats page alerts you if the total comments change, though you'll need to remember the last comment totals for each story on each site (additional files, anyone?).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

readers only seem to respond to currently posting stories (I, at least, haven't gotten any comments on the older stories I've turned on).


I've received about a dozen messages on stories posted before the system was activated, but they're by people reading them for the first time or re-reading them.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


I've received about a dozen messages on stories posted before the system was activated, but they're by people reading them for the first time or re-reading them.


Since they only appear on the final page, I imagine it's easier to respond earlier via the automated response (email). I'd imagine the only comments reserved until they finish the story are "Great story! Write more!" 'D

Guess I should check each story on each website again, just to be sure. :(

Update: Turned on voting for a bunch of new stories.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer


Since they only appear on the final page, I imagine it's easier to respond earlier via the automated response (email).


Very soon after I started turning the comments on I had someone ask me a question via the system, and I responded because I try to be kind to the readers. However, since it's extra effort to check the comments out I made the decisions to not get involved with them. Thus all of my stories now have an end note that says:

The site has a reader service where they can add a comment at the end of the story for other readers. Authors can turn this on or off for each story. I've turned it on. This is for readers to make comments for other readers. I do not track them or read them, so don't say anything there you expect me to respond to. If you wish to communicate with me, send me an email via the Author Feedback link or my site email link.

Thank you.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

The site has a reader service where they can add a comment at the end of the story for other readers. Authors can turn this on or off for each story. I've turned it on. This is for readers to make comments for other readers. I do not track them or read them, so don't say anything there you expect me to respond to. If you wish to communicate with me, send me an email via the Author Feedback link or my site email link.

That's makes for a LONG end note, which has a limited size. Do you have any room to acknowledge your editors, or comment about posting schedules?

Despite 31 comments on one story, my numbers are still low enough for me to remember (I only received 2 from non-SOL sites, none at all from Sci-Fi). Still, I'd prefer hearing from people reading stories others had issues with (like ** Spoiler ** everyone dying in Great Death #1, or other stories where I addressed outstanding story issues).

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Do you have any room to acknowledge your editors, or comment about posting schedules?


Yes, plenty of room, and this comes after them.

Jay Cantrell

I decided to turn them on for my latest story. In hindsight, it might have been a mistake not to wait until well into the story.

I only turned on the comments to limit the number of emails I get. I don't really have time (or inclination, if we're being truthful) to answer 75-100 emails per week.

My problem doesn't revolve around the comments but more about complaints that it made the final chapter look much longer on a standard browser than the story content (because the comments are at the end of the final chapter).

I've gotten 54 comments on five chapters. I have another 136 chapters to go before it's finished. If this keeps up ... the last chapter will seem like War and Peace.

docholladay

@Jay Cantrell

Maybe a feature of the forums can be included. Where it takes me to the statement after the last comment read. Of course there is always the option of scrolling back through the forum to reread the remarks. Otherwise like you said after that many chapters it might become to large to check out.

Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

Of course there is always the option of scrolling back through the forum to reread the remarks. Otherwise like you said after that many chapters it might become to large to check out.


readers have the option to not see the comments see the link I gave a short while ago by mistake when thinking I was giving an earlier link.

Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

Of course there is always the option of scrolling back through the forum to reread the remarks. Otherwise like you said after that many chapters it might become to large to check out.


readers have the option to not see the comments see the link I gave a short while ago by mistake when thinking I was giving an earlier link.

Crumbly Writer

@Jay Cantrell

I decided to turn them on for my latest story. In hindsight, it might have been a mistake not to wait until well into the story.

Sadly, it'll never do that. As Ernest noted, he includes a note stating he's unlikely to ever check comments left and to leave a response if they want him to see anything.

Instead, it's a way for readers to comment, and as you noticed, vent. However, for all those who don't respond via the normal routes, it often provides clues to story issues you otherwise would never discover.

Luckily, the comments only appear at the end of the latest chapter. I can't remember which appears first, the "respond to other" form or the comments, but hopefully it won't limit the more direct responses.

DocHoliday, the default will always be to take you to the top of the page, as that's where readers go to read the latest chapter. Maybe Lazeez can add a "End" button to take you to the last entry, or as you suggested, to the last entry you read, though I'd imagine keeping track of everyone's last read comment for each story they read could become onerous.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Maybe Lazeez can add a "End" button


The header of every story page already has a hot link Bottom that takes you to the bottom of the page.

Replies:   richardshagrin
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

DocHoliday, the default will always be to take you to the top of the page, as that's where readers go to read the latest chapter.


For all I know that might be a part of the browser's operations. I do know it showed up in the forums for me however.

REP
Updated:

One option is for Lazeez to implement an expiration date. The expiration date could be the date the comment was posted plus X days or weeks. When the expiration date is reached, the comment is deleted. I would suggest X be 4 weeks. That is more than enough time for current readers to read each others comments.

Jay Cantrell's observation of 54 comments on 5 of 141 chapters making finding new comments difficult is one downside of having a comments section. A second downside is the retention of all comments becomes a spoiler for the story. For example, if Jay posts Chapter 85 and a new reader is reading Chapter 5 and checks the comments, then they will be reading comments on what are to them unread Chapters.

Replies:   doctor_wing_nut
sejintenej

@Crumbly Writer

The site has a reader service where they can add a comment at the end of the story for other readers. Authors can turn this on or off for each story. I've turned it on. This is for readers to make comments for other readers. I do not track them or read them, so don't say anything there you expect me to respond to. If you wish to communicate with me, send me an email via the Author Feedback link or my site email link.

That's makes for a LONG end note, which has a limited size. Do you have any room to acknowledge your editors, or comment about posting schedules?

I have seen it; it is clear and unambiguous. If another author wants to acknowledge 15 editors, 30 sub-editors, 60 hangers-on, The Late Great Aunt Harriet, Old Uncle Tom Cobley (and all) he/she should put the thanks on a blog and just refer to it in this text

doctor_wing_nut

@REP

For example, if Jay posts Chapter 85 and a new reader is reading Chapter 5 and checks the comments, then they will be reading comments on what are to them unread Chapters.


As a reader I have turned off comments, so I cannot confirm this, but as I understood it the comments only appear at the end of the LAST chapter posted, so when your example reader finishes chapter 5 there will not be any 'spoiler' comments to see. Can someone confirm that?

Replies:   Ross at Play  REP
Ross at Play

@doctor_wing_nut

comments only appear at the end of the LAST chapter posted

CONFIRMED. Spoilers should not be a problem.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

CONFIRMED. Spoilers should not be a problem.

REP's point is that many readers starting out (or considering the story) may jump to the comments, where end-of-story discussions may contain spoilers.

All I can suggest here is the standard for most online comments:

"*** SPOILER ***"

Replies:   Dominions Son
REP

@doctor_wing_nut

finishes chapter 5 there will not be any 'spoiler' comments to see


In my example, the comments would appear after Chapter 85. If the reader goes to 85 to make a comment (or read comments), all comments will be available to be read.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

REP's point is that many readers starting out (or considering the story) may jump to the comments, where end-of-story discussions may contain spoilers.


If they do, it's probably because they are looking for spoilers.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

If they do, it's probably because they are looking for spoilers.

Not necessarily. They probably wouldn't read them all, but it's like reading story reviews/ratings before diving into the story, you're looking for what other readers thought of it before deciding on it. If they read more than five, though, they're asking for reasons NOT to read the story!

richardshagrin

@Ernest Bywater

The header of every story page already has a hot link Bottom that takes you to the bottom of the page.

That is for the anal readers.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

That is for the anal readers.


Trust you to be a pain in the ass about it. - hehehehe

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater


Trust you to be a pain in the ass about it. - hehehehe


Animal Cruelty! :)

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