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Forum: Author Hangout

"I just posted..." - What am I missing?

Zen Master
Updated:

As near as I can tell, author blogs are seen in two places; their own page and SOL's 'home' page. If an author submits a new story or a new chapter to a story, it will show up in several places. Those include their own page where their stories are listed, the "new" or "updates" list, and the "home" page. Since everywhere that the blog entry will be seen also gets the new story or chapter, what's the point of a blog entry that simply says "I just posted the next chapter of {FITB}? What am I missing?

-ZM

Vlad_Inhaler

@Zen Master

Nothing, except possibly that the chapter is in the queue and will arrive soon (as if a blog entry makes a difference).
People have moaned about this over the years but some authors persist and just ignoring the blog entry is not that big a deal. Sometimes there is a bit more information than just the "I done posted it", but not in the case you appear to be looking at.

Switch Blayde

@Zen Master

What am I missing?


I typically give some insight to the story or about me writing the story or something pertaining to the story. Isn't that what blogging is?

Ernest Bywater

When I post a new story I post a novel length story ins several parts with 2 days between each part, all uploaded to SoL with the set release dates. I also make the complete story available on my Lulu page and I blog about the new story and where it can be found on Lulu. I see no point about blogging about each chapter. However, I can see someone who posts a chapter at a time and having some frequency issues using their blog to explain about it.

Gauthier

@Zen Master

Prior to the "My Stream" feature and "follow" authors, when you didn't have a premium account you used to only see 10 or 7 days of updates, it's now down to 2.
So if your readers do not visit the site every 2 days, and you have an long update period chances are they will never be notified of your update posting. They will however still have an easy access to the blog history. Hence the former interest for Authors to announce chapters posting: It increased readership among irregular non premium site visitors.

REP

@Zen Master

what's the point of a blog entry that simply says "I just posted the next chapter of {FITB}? What am I missing?


If an author doesn't post on a regular basis, it is possible for the readers following the story to miss the chapter on the update page. A blog post is an additional way to let a reader know the next chapter of FITB has been posted, if the readers check his blog.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Gauthier

when you didn't have a premium account you used to only see 10 or 7 days of updates, it's now down to 2.


It was never more than 2 days for free members; I set it in 2001.

Zen Master

@Gauthier

It's counter-productive. The site shows only 50 things on the home page. Sure, LJ could change that number, but whatever the number is the problem will remain. With the current 50, we see 1 oldie but goodie and the latest 49 updates. That could be 49 stories. Or maybe 2 reviews and 47 stories. I have no problem with anyone blogging about what's going on, but an entry that simply says "I posted chapter 3" isn't harmless. Yes, it doubles HIS space on the home page, but he gets that at the expense of whoever was at #49 beforehand. This is a zero-sum game. The 'reductio ad absurdam' end result of this would be 50 entries but only seeing 24 stories, because of 1 oldie, 1 review, 24 stories, and 24 'look at my new chapter' blogs.
It's certainly not a serious problem yet, and it may be simply the cost of doing business at an open mike without censorship. It just seems....selfish to me. "Hey, everybody, look at my utterly devoid of useful content blog entry that kicked a really good story off the home page so you missed it. I sure am important!"
I would rather see whatever #49 was, the item that got kicked off for the empty blog. Or maybe a second story from the blogger. That would be worth seeing.
-ZM

Keet

@Zen Master

Sometimes I see the blog post and the actual new story chapter as two items after each other on the home page. That's really annoying. Some authors use the blog just for advertising on the home page. Simple blog posts like "Chapter x is uploaded" are that kind of advertising. It would be more useful for both authors and readers if the blog post was created two days before the actual posting of a new chapter but that doesn't seem to happen very often.

StarFleet Carl

@Zen Master

what's the point of a blog entry that simply says "I just posted the next chapter of {FITB}?


One thing I noticed when posting my first multi-chapter epic is that sometimes my blog post would show up BEFORE the chapter did, and due to the time of day I was posting things, sometimes the chapter didn't post until the next day.

I'd also just say 'Hi' to everyone in general, too, or complain about the real world, or whatever.

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
Vlad_Inhaler

@StarFleet Carl

I am not an author, but my understanding is that there is a delay between submitting a story / chapter and it actually being posted. If something is posted at night - in the appropriate time zone - then the offering appears on the following morning.
There is no such delay with blog entries.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Vlad_Inhaler

There is no such delay with blog entries.


Blog entries are posted in the system immediately. However, story uploads are delayed as they go through a moderator before being made available to readers. The moderators log in and check things on a regular basis, but usually turns out to be each moderator logging in once a day, but at different times. If you upload just after a moderator logs off it could be up to 24 hours before it's checked and posted, or you could be lucky and upload while the moderator is on line and it's up before you know it - I've had both happen to me.

REP

@Zen Master

It just seems....selfish to me.


Actually, your position seems selfish to me.

Authors use their blogs to advertise their stories and presence on SOL. You may not like their blog posts, but it is their right to post whatever they wish in their blog as long as Lazeez does not object.

Their post shows up in the Stream and it may knock an Outstanding new story off the bottom of the Stream. So what! What you think is an Outstanding story may be rubbish to the rest of us. Besides that Outstanding new story will be on the New Stories listing for 30 days. You can find it there at any time.

So stop complaining about something that isn't a problem.

Replies:   Grant
Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Ernest Bywater

but usually turns out to be each moderator logging in once a day, but at different times


I usually check in every couple hours at least unless I'm sleeping or away from the internet.

So if something goes without getting processed for a longer than 8 hours (night time Eastern), then something unusual is going on.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Zen Master

The site shows only 50 things on the home page.


It used to be 30 and I increased it to 50.

The home page's stream is only a quick display of the latest activities. At the bottom, it links to new stories, updates and blogs for people to check if they miss something.

I'm sure somebody will think that 1000 entries in the stream are too little.

I've had in the past requests of putting 100 stories per listings page instead of 10. One gentleman wanted all the site's stories (at the time it was around 20,000 stories) listed on one page, literally. Just yesterday somebody asked how to access more than 1000 hits on the quick search results page.

The site provides many, many ways to navigate and find stories to read. The stream is a limited, unfiltered one on purpose; it doesn't need to do more.

awnlee jawking

@Zen Master

I don't know whether it's the same for everyone but I estimate my story chapters get at least 100 x the readership of my blog posts so, as far as the stream is concerned, my blog posts don't pull their weight.

IIRC (and please correct me if I'm wrong), there is already a mechanism for curbing blog posts - if someone makes more than two in a certain time period, only the first two are shown.

A couple of times recently, I've seen cases where an author has had problems posting (formatting, wrong chapter etc) and written a blog post to warn their readers, then because blog posts are instantaneous but story updates aren't, they posted a couple more blog posts to keep their readers updated on the progress of sorting out the problems. The third, and probably the one of most current relevance to readers, doesn't get shown.

How about limiting each author to a single blog post in the stream, showing only the latest, but also displaying a count/link (eg 1 of 3) of however many blog posts would be in the current stream if they hadn't been curtailed. Clicking on the link would take the reader to the author's blog page where all the blog posts can be read.

AJ

Grant

@REP

So stop complaining about something that isn't a problem.

Yet.
It reminds me of ASSTR's "Most Recent" list on the front page. It gave a quick view of what was new/recently added or updated. However towards the end all it showed was the same files that people were re-uploading just to get themselves noticed, and the usefulness of the Most Recent list was gone.

The Stream here is heading in that same direction- lots of noise, very little signal- which is a shame. It's not there yet, but it is going that way.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Grant

The Stream here is heading in that same direction- lots of noise, very little signal- which is a shame. It's not there yet, but it is going that way.


The system currently automatically bans from the home page any author that posts four blog posts in a 24 hours period. So there is no incentive to create too much noise here.

REP

@Grant

It reminds me of ASSTR's "Most Recent" list


Since I don't visit ASSTR, your comparison is meaningless to me.

The Stream is nothing more than a snapshot of the posting that has happened on SOL during the past few days. It sounds to me as if your idea of "noise" is any post that doesn't meet your content definition of acceptable.

I suggest you use My Stream and tailor it to your preferences. That way all those useless blog posts in the Stream won't bother you. Unless of course, the authors you chose to follow are the ones making the noise, and if so, you can always delete them from your stream.

Replies:   Switch Blayde  Grant
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

It seems to me that this thread is now about a disagreement about how much stuff is showing on the SoL Home page in the way of Blogs, New Stories, and Updates and people not wanting to view all those blog entries need only go to the bottom of the Home page and select the desired link from the two listed as All New Stories and All Serial Updates or both of them. That way they don't get bothered by those pesky blogs at all. BTW: I checked and those links work on the free accounts as well as the Premier accounts.

Personally I rarely see the SoL Home page because I use the My Library page for the authors I'm following, the New Stories Page as listed above, and the All Forum Threads by Date page.

typo edit

Switch Blayde

@REP

It reminds me of ASSTR's "Most Recent" list

Since I don't visit ASSTR, your comparison is meaningless to me.


I haven't been on ASSTR in ages, but @Grant's point about ASSTR is valid. People gamed the system there. They filled up the Most Recent stories with their own so readers never saw the most recent stories. But Lazeez handles that kind of abuse so it's a non-issue on SOL.

joyR

@Grant

The Stream here is heading in that same direction- lots of noise, very little signal- which is a shame. It's not there yet, but it is going that way.


Please, enlighten us, state -exactly- how it is going "that way".

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@REP

The Stream is nothing more than a snapshot of the posting that has happened on SOL during the past few days.

As was the "Most Recent" list on ASSTR.

But by the end it was just a list of people re-loading files to get themselves noticed on that list (which was prominently displayed on the front page).

Sure, someone can customise their view- but it would hardly be a good introduction to the site if all people see are a few Story listings, and the rest are "I've just posted another chapter" or "Checkout my current story" blog listings.

Replies:   REP
Grant
Updated:

@joyR

Please, enlighten us, state -exactly- how it is going "that way".

As per the opening post- Blog posts along the lines of "My next chapter is up", and that's all that's posted.
I can see the point of posting to the blog if it's about updating a chapter, or as some authors do, it contains further information relating to that chapter or the story overall.

There used to be very few such posts, there are considerably more now then there used to be (although in absolute terms still very small), hence my statement "it is going that way".

It's got a long way to go (an extremely long way to go, although all it would take is a couple of dozen frequent posters spruiking their stories once every 24 hours) before it gets there, but it has been trending that way over the last few months.

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@Grant

There used to be very few such posts, there are considerably more now then there used to be (although in absolute terms still very small), hence my statement "it is going that way".


So your projection is based on a very small perceived trend in a couple of recent months. Obviously conclusive evidence then.

There are already frequency limits in place that prevent successive blog or story posts from appearing in the stream, if a group of authors were to time blog posts to circumvent the spirit of those limits, I have no doubt that Lazeez would simply adjust the limits.

Asstr was/is a site that received very little active moderation, by staff who did nothing at times and at other times were unable to even access the site administration at all. Yet you are intent on comparing it with one that is very demonstrably far better administered.

Such a comparison is either extremely naive with regards to the way asstr was/is administered, or very insulting towards SOL

Of course you are free to continue to compare chalk with cheese, but the comparison is at best, meaningless.

Replies:   richardshagrin
REP

@Grant

Lazeez gives authors tools such as Blogs so they can communicate with their readers. An author posting something like "My next chapter is up" isn't appropriate by your standards, but the author sees that short statement is an aid to his readers, and it is the author's right to post that type of Blog entry.

You may not like the way authors use their blogs, but it is their right to do so as they wish. You do not have the right to dictate the contents of their Blog posts. Since you adamantly refuse to accept that authors have the right to use their Blogs in the manner they feel is appropriate, I will stop responding to that aspect of your issue.

Your only avenue for resolving your issue is to contact Lazeez and complain to him about those useless posts that annoy you so much. Perhaps you can suggest that he not display Blog posts. But that means those Blog posts you approve of and want to see will also be gone. I doubt you will get a resolution from Lazeez that is acceptable to you.

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@REP

"My next chapter is up"


Just a side note. I would find it helpful if authors would include a little more - like the name of the story to which they have posted an additional chapter. I, for one, do not keep in my head the names of all the stories that all the authors on SOL might be working on at any given moment. A brief note about the story would also be helpful, i.e., "I just posted Chapter 2469 to War and Peace. It's about Russia."

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@PotomacBob

Good point. I've noticed that too.

AJ

richardshagrin

@joyR

compare chalk with cheese

Both start with "ch". The third letter is a vowel. Chalk has five letters, cheese has six. Cheese is better to eat, for most kinds of cheese, and smells more than chalk. Based on a very limited on-line search, some people do eat chalk. It isn't recommended.

PotomacBob

@richardshagrin

Chalk and Cheese (and chiggers) are immaterial. Chocolate is recommended.

awnlee jawking

@richardshagrin

Based on a very limited on-line search, some people do eat chalk. It isn't recommended.


I eat chalk. My doctor recommended it.

AJ

Grant

Good to see joyR continue to attack and belittle when a civil response would have been more appropriate as all I was doing was responding to her question.
And REP chooses to ignore what I was actually pointing out and continues to go off on an irrelevant tangent.

Well done people- Both of you have managed to interpret (or just ignore what I was saying) in such a way as to consider it an insult to SOL, or that I find the "just posted" blog posts annoying (I don't). All I did was make a response to REP's post saying it wasn't an issue, and pointed out why it may become an issue, and gave an example of why.

So please continue to read what you want to and pay no attention to what was actually being said, don't let facts or reality get in the way of your perceptions.

Replies:   Michael Loucks  REP
Michael Loucks

@Grant

So please continue to read what you want to and pay no attention to what was actually being said, don't let facts or reality get in the way of your perceptions.


Sadly, that happens quite a bit, but not just here. I get emails about my stories which make me wonder if they actually read what I wrote. Sigh.

Replies:   Grant
Grant
Updated:

@Michael Loucks

Sadly, that happens quite a bit, but not just here. I get emails about my stories which make me wonder if they actually read what I wrote. Sigh.

I've often wondered if Shakespeare (or other authors from the distant past) were still around to ask just how much of what they wrote has been interpreted the way they intended? Or if it was meant to be interpreted at all, and was just meant to be taken at face value (the changes in language over time just making even that so much more difficult)?

REP

@Grant

don't let facts or reality get in the way of your perceptions.


don't let facts or reality get in the way of your beliefs

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