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Forum: Bug Report and Feature Requests

Updated Stories

Capt. Zapp

I just read an author's blog entry where he had updated a chapter to make corrections. That lead me to check the "Updated Stories" list which did not show the updated chapter. Is there any way that find out if chapters have been updated other than by clicking each chapter? If not, would it be possible to add the feature?

maroon

I'm curious about this too. For example, colt45's 'Spring Training' was updated with a lot of spelling grammar fixes of all chapters in 2008, but it's still listed as just posted in 2004, and when a story lists a "concluded" dated, it's the date the last chapter was posted, not when chapters are updated.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Capt. Zapp

Is there any way that find out if chapters have been updated other than by clicking each chapter?


You're a premier author, so it's available to you. Click the 'More Info' link in the story's listing or at the bottom of any of the chapters, and you'll get story details that included each chapter's posting date and update date if applicable.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Capt. Zapp
Not_a_ID

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

You're a premier author, so it's available to you. Click the 'More Info' link in the story's listing or at the bottom of any of the chapters, and you'll get story details that included each chapter's posting date and update date if applicable.


I think he's talking about a chapter update showing on the "Updated Stories" listing, which IIRC, only shows stories with "new chapters,"(which result in the chapter count increasing) rather than newly edited and revised chapters(which probably won't add new chapters unless the author splits apart some of the old ones). Not exactly a bug, but it doesn't exactly work in a way some would expect it to.

Sometimes it would be nice to see a listing of that grouping as well, rather than needing to go into each story and review the meta-details about each chapter within the story itself.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Not_a_ID

Sometimes it would be nice to see a listing of that grouping as well, rather than needing to go into each story and review the meta-details about each chapter within the story itself.


Something being nice doesn't justify development time and resources, and doesn't make it into a good feature. How often would you use something like this.

While it's interesting to know when chapters get updated, it's not a necessary feature as the vast majority of people don't care about that detail. Even readers who are following the story closely wouldn't go back and read an edited chapter just because it was edited.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Capt. Zapp

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Click the 'More Info' link in the story's listing or at the bottom of any of the chapters...


That is exactly what I was looking for. I didn't realize that was already an option.

While most edits only contain typo corrections, The Blind Man blogged that he had added information to clear up something. That was what made me look at the update page. Using the More Info button will be much easier.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

I wonder whether authors would be interested in being able to decide for themselves whether a revised chapter incorporates enough changed detail to qualify it for the 'Updated Stories' list, or perhaps they could request the moderator to consider it.

I agree with you that it would be rarely used - a few spelling and grammatical corrections certainly wouldn't justify it. But if there are wholesale changes it might be justifiable. As an extreme example, what if the author submits the wrong chapter or, as has happened, a chapter from the wrong story?

AJ

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@awnlee jawking

I wonder whether authors would be interested in being able to decide for themselves whether a revised chapter incorporates enough changed detail to qualify it for the 'Updated Stories' list, or perhaps they could request the moderator to consider it.


We certainly take things into consideration if the author mentions something.

Usually if a repost changes the size of the story significantly, like by 20% or more, then we do make the announcement.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Thanks. It hasn't happened to me yet but that's good to know.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

I think he's talking about a chapter update showing on the "Updated Stories" listing, which IIRC, only shows stories with "new chapters,"(which result in the chapter count increasing) rather than newly edited and revised chapters(which probably won't add new chapters unless the author splits apart some of the old ones).

"Updated stories" mean 'adding content', not merely tweaking existing content. Listing any chapter where an author corrects a word or two would frustrate everyone, as readers would wonder why authors were reposting older chapters for no apparent reason.

If authors change the content in a story (adding subplots, fixing plot holes, etc.), they'll generally alert readers in their blog, specifying which chapters have changed and deserve a rereading. Otherwise, it's just general clean-up which will make re-reading easier, but won't change the underlying story at all.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  maroon
Crumbly Writer

@Capt. Zapp

While most edits only contain typo corrections, The Blind Man blogged that he had added information to clear up something. That was what made me look at the update page. Using the More Info button will be much easier.

You should probably write him and ask "which chapter". It probably never occurred to him to specify it, and should be included in a "content update" blog post.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

they'll generally alert readers in their blog


My experience of blog posts is that they're accessed a lot less than story posts, so the majority of a story's readers won't be aware of their contents.

Do you have the same experience from your blog posts?

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Thanks. It hasn't happened to me yet but that's good to know.

I've posted the wrong chapter (correct chapter, but one from a different story) several times in the past. It's easy to do when you're not only working on several at the same time, but sometimes post different stories to different sites. Like many sites, SOL defaults to the 'last accessed folder', so if you post a correction, that's where you'll be asked to choose your new chapter from, frequently causing confusion.

Again, this sort of thing is better handled by blog posts, after all, isn't that where you'd go if the story was posted incorrectly, rather than "Story Updates"?

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

My experience of blog posts is that they're accessed a lot less than story posts, so the majority of a story's readers won't be aware of their contents.

Do you have the same experience from your blog posts?

Blog posts are funny. Many readers never even glance at them, but there are other readers who often will be attracted to your story through an intriguing blog entry (i.e. they actively monitor new blog postings). In that way, they've very much like including a prologue to a story. As an author, you realize most readers will never read it, so you take that into account, but if readers want to get the most out of a story, they'll read it as it was intended, rather than picking and choosing what to read (like skipping over sex scenes because 'they're boring' and then bitching to the author that 'your story doesn't make any sense').

However, every time I've posted the wrong chapter, I get deluged with complaints, so I'm quick to make the correct and then alert everyone when the corrected chapter is ready. I'll try to respond to each reader individually, but only a small fraction of readers ever complain. I gave up posting to ASSTR when I posted an unreadable chapter (because the wrong character set was specified) and out of 7,000 regular readers, not a single person felt the story was important enough to warn me they couldn't read the story.

If readers don't value a story enough to ask about errors, then they clearly don't care about it much.

maroon

@Crumbly Writer

Otherwise, it's just general clean-up which will make re-reading easier, but won't change the underlying story at all.


It can be a significant effect on judging the reliability of the score. If a story has a lower score due to typoze and grammer, an edit that goes through the story and fixes a lot of them could mean the story is more enjoyable than the score indicates. Also, if you plan to re-read the story, it could be worth fetching the story again instead of reading the export you saved the day it concluded.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Not_a_ID

@awnlee jawking

I agree with you that it would be rarely used - a few spelling and grammatical corrections certainly wouldn't justify it. But if there are wholesale changes it might be justifiable. As an extreme example, what if the author submits the wrong chapter or, as has happened, a chapter from the wrong story?


Depends? A wrong chapter mis-posting should result in a deletion, which would lower the chapter count, so when a new chapter eventually does get added, it increases the chapter count, and thus triggers the "Updated stories" listing(because a new chapter was added).

Now if it actually was an edit, where the mis-posting was edited so it now contains the correct content, then the "Updated Stories" listing probably will not get a new "ping" on the list.

As for editing/revisions being made. If it's an in progress story, a blog post, paired with an Author's note at the end of the newest chapter announcing the edits should cover many cases. Just remember to keep the note(w/date of the revisions being made) there when you actually add a new chapter the next time as well(which brings the story to people's attention on the updated stories list once more). ;)

Capt. Zapp

@Crumbly Writer

You should probably write him and ask "which chapter".


It wasn't a matter of not knowing which chapter, only that if he had not mentioned it, I wouldn't have known it was done. I actually went through his story and found that there had been edits, most likely typo corrections, for most of the chapters. Makes me wonder how many of the other stories have changes in them. I'll just have to use the 'more info' and check through them.

Crumbly Writer

@maroon

If a story has a lower score due to typoze and grammer, an edit that goes through the story and fixes a lot of them could mean the story is more enjoyable than the score indicates.

Except, scores usually reflect the earliest posted scores. Thus a story that starts strong (or weak) will typically remain in that position indefinitely, with later changes (strong endings, plot twists, etc.) rarely boost the overall scores much). Thus, cleaning up the language doesn't effect the score much. If typos are a major problem for a story, you'd do better deleting the original and reposting the entire thing, so it attracts all new readers and gets a fresh reading (though, of course, then your original readers may vote it down because they didn't like their original scores being erased). :(

@Not_a_ID

Depends? A wrong chapter mis-posting should result in a deletion, which would lower the chapter count, so when a new chapter eventually does get added, it increases the chapter count, and thus triggers the "Updated stories" listing(because a new chapter was added).

Except, that's not how it works. If order to 'delete' a chapter, you typically have to delete the chapter and then wait a full day (or at least several hours to be sure it goes through before posting the update), otherwise the new chapter merely replaces the incorrect chapter.

EzzyB

@awnlee jawking

I wonder whether authors would be interested in being able to decide for themselves whether a revised chapter incorporates enough changed detail to qualify it for the 'Updated Stories' list,


This, unfortunately was used by one author to game the scoring system in the past.

Mind you that scoring was different in a way that gave what amounted to a .65 advantage to older stories (this has long been corrected).

What that author did was modify one story a year enough to get a new "completed on" date. This meant he literally had a 5 to 8 year old story on the "Recent Top Stories" list every year for at least five years. I even predicted which story he'd "modify" next.

To do this Lazeez would have to decouple the completion date on said modified stories.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@EzzyB

This, unfortunately was used by one author to game the scoring system in the past.


Good point. It's a shame a few authors are like that.

I guess it gives their self-esteem a minor boost, but since there's no financial reward I don't really see the point.

AJ

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