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Other Fandom Library Needs You!

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Zombie, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    Other Fandom Needs You!​
    Yes, that means you DLP. Creating this thread as a general poll about the current state of the Other Fandom Library.

    I feel like with the growth of Other Fandom on the forum as a whole, and everyone's waning interest in the Harry Potter fandom that our Other Fandom library needs some attention.

    What I'd like to happen here is a general discussion on improvement in quality of life for Other Fandoms.

    The reason I ask this is because, personally, I feel that having 17 subforums is super broad. I realize the futility of lumping everything together but someone has to have a better idea of implementation. So, short of merging everything, what else is there?

    There are tons of threads in Other Fandom Library that have no rating and no reviews. What I'd ask is that if you're going to rate and go on about your way, that you drop a review. 250, hell even 200, words isn't asking too much. Tell me why you're rating this fic a 3. Help me form my own opinion, tell me how you felt. If we don't fully support the system, then the system is broken. Our principles from HP FF shouldn't change here because its not HP. If anything we should continue to seek the best of the best.

    What makes other fandom different than HP? There are many fandom that are niche. So I get that not everyone is going to read and review, but if you do rate, you should review. It's that simple. Some of these threads are a ghost town. We're better than this.

    So, essentially this is going to serve as poll post, I'm not going to do an actual poll. I want good, constructive feedback for improvement on what we'd like to see implemented and steps for going forward.

    Edit: And because it was pointed out by someone that this basically is me telling you not to be a leech, that is only partially correct.

    I want an open discussion on improving the Other Fandom Library. Something that is logical, and advantageous for all members. I'm looking to foster improvement through general pop. opinion and not just have my own personal bitching be the counter point.

    Other Fandom does struggle because the fandom outlined therein might not be everyone's cup of tea. But, imo, the library is for stories that deserve attention and we think would appeal to the larger whole. There is nothing wrong in posting something from an obscure fandom - there is no backlash - but to be frank, you best start trying to sell it to me right off with a really strong review. Hit the high points, tell me what you thought about it. What makes this story library worthy.

    If its not your fandom, fine, but someone might read it. If you only give a 200 word review and its you basically dick sucking, that's not going to make me want to read your submission. Sell me, sell us.


    No shit posting, I'm serious about this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  2. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    You're completely right on the point about subforums, @Zombie. The more navigation that's required to get to a location in the forum, the less likely people are to actually bother with it. Add on that we have such a focus on HP that people don't even remember that we have the Other Fandoms section. Recommendations get made on IRC nearly every day for a couple fandoms, but I'd say one out of twenty of those ever ends up on the forums in any capacity.

    Then you have the fandom threads for things like Worm and RWBY. Just a couple days ago we had someone recommending a story in one that they said was 4/5, so I said it should be added to For Review. That fic did not get posted to For Review.

    It's a twofold thing, with both the organization of the forum and the perspective of the users. In some ways our own reputation works against us, to the point where people think if something isn't a 5/5 posted by a DLP author then it's not worth putting yourself out there by recommending something the forum might not like. That's true of both HP and Other Fandoms, but Other Fandoms is a wasteland because of it.

    I spend quite a bit of time reading stuff in other fandoms, and even I don't bother browsing the subforum or recommending things there. We've discussed a hundred RWBY stories on IRC, and yet only a dozen of them ever made it to the forum in any capacity?

    One of the things I've recommended is a reorganization of the forum home page. Should Hall of Shame take a place of precedence as the second thing you see? What about the Site Support section being before the Library or WbA? Fanfic Discussion and Work by Author are both near the very bottom of the page. I think we should reorganize the front page by emphasizing For Review and Work by Author as a start. Those are the two backbones that helped Make This Forum Great(Again).

    One of the things that I've mentioned before is how SpaceBattles uses the tagging/titling system in Creative Writing. If we could implement something that allowed for users to ignore fandoms that they weren't interested in through the tagging system, that would preserve the structure of WbA for the people who only want HP stuff, for example. If someone hates Worm, then allow them to ignore Worm stories. If you could implement a blacklist and a whitelist, that would allow people to exclude the things they hate, or only allow the things they're interested in. That seems the best compromise that allows for the forum to reorganize while preserving things for the Old Guard™ who want these newfangled fandoms off their lawn. You can see a similar system on reddit where some subreddits have clickable filters that only show posts relating to a certain topic or type.

    I've made one or two of these suggestions before, but the amount of discussion related to it was anemic. Don't just thumb this or Zombie's, give us something to work with.
     
  3. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I second this, again.

    That would be useful. I don't want to be SBlite ever but they do have some nifty forum tools. I realize that some of those cost money and time to implement so I never expect changes to just happen over night. Honestly though I miss the days when more then just a couple of threads got bumped every day. There was activity.

    @Sauce Bauss is right in regards to reputation I think. Too many people are afraid to have their ideas and their likes shat on and don't want to take a risk. Thumb culture is also rampant. I get that you show support but this is a forum. I want feedback I want opinión.

    Further possible sorting ideas I've thought about is as follows;

    Sorting the 'top fandoms' as it were and leaving their category, but merging all other Fandoms into a misc category.

    Sub Forums in Other Fandom that are active are Dresden, Naruto, Anime, and Worm. With all others lacking very little contribution.

    So organization around the above seems more likely. Thoughts?
     
  4. Banta

    Banta The Chosen One DLP Supporter

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    I honestly can't remember the last time I went through the forum looking for things. I tend to use the New Posts option and see if certain threads I follow have an update. I like that the option is there to get a quick snap-shot of what's currently going on, but I've become reliant on it to find new threads, and I wonder how many others are in the same boat without realizing it. It has definitely cut in on how active I am on the forum, as has the Thumbs Up button on posts.

    A mix of a whitelist/blacklist option and changing thread prefixes to filter threads by fandom (with a Misc. option for ones without a prefix) would be very useful, and would allow integrating the HP and Other Fandom libraries together under one roof. Also, the fandom specific "Almost Recommended" threads in the FanFic Extras section should get moved to the Almost Recced section in the Library.

    Thirded.
     
  5. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Maybe it's a bit of a defeatist attitude but I'm not sure if there is anything that can be done to the Other Fandom forum structure to significantly increase usage there. I mean, how many active users does DLP still have? Can't be that many and the only thing everyone of those shares is the interest in Harry Potter, everything else, well, as mentioned there isn't any other single fandom that overlaps with the interest of that many users here. Of those that like a certain fandom, how many have the same interest in fanfics and of those, how many have the time to read said fanfics and of course of that only a portion drop a review.

    Honestly, it seems much more like a pure numbers in terms of users thing more than anything else. Sure, there are quality of life changes that can be implemented, but it would surprise me if anything there had a significant impact outside of outright changing DLP from a mainly HP thing to a general forum.

    I mean, we do have tags. If anyone wants to find and or discuss a RWBY story, they can do that. Same with other fandoms. I can't speak for IRC of course, since I don't really partake in that but it's always easier to post something in a chat than in the permanent nature of a forum post.

    But okay, reorganization of the forum home page would be a huge step forward but honestly not sure what to do there. Could add a few of the more visited parts in the main Library section like Misc, Original Fiction and maybe Almost Recommended. Worm I guess as well but dunno on that.

    The two Review Boards could be merged to one. I don't think too many fanfics are recommended for the library anyway, so it wouldn't exactly make things hard to keep track off and that way people looking for one type of story would inevitably see others.

    Everything mentioned so far is a neat idea but don't think any or even all would have the significant impact that one hopes to have.
     
  6. CareOtters

    CareOtters Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    Even if the forums are less active than they used to be, that's not completely the reason. It's because bitches are lazy. Pasting a link into an ongoing thread about a fandom - this 118 page behemoth of a story search thread for instance is a lot easier and has less pushback if you rec something ongoing or something shit.

    And then there's also the rule that 90% of everything is shit. Although since this is DLP we go up from shit to mediocre. Which is kinda true, even for the things we still enjoy. There's a lot of fandoms and genres which just don't interest me, so I don't read those. And then of the ones I do read, if they're mediocre I'm not going to leave a review saying "3/5. Okay. Wouldn't recommend, but keep a thread open in Almost Recommended for posterity."

    That's on me, though. There's absolutely potential for valuable discussion to be opened up if we start talking about what we did and didn't like in a fic. So I'm going to try getting into the habit of leaving a review in an actual library thread instead of a shitty one line response or thumbs up when somebody posts a link to a fic I end up reading.

    I'm going to need a volunteer from the audience, though, because a review alone doesn't create a discussion - we also need to reply to the reviews to build a conversation, as opposed to a list of ratings.

    TL;DR -

    We need to get back into the habit of creating story threads for discussing specific fics, and not just bury discussion in giant general threads where they'll get hidden and closed off when the next fic is linked. We don't need to have the library kept pure at only 5/5 fics.
     
  7. Tasoli

    Tasoli Headmaster

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    I think we came to the point about discussing wheter we should collapse HP library in to subforums. Leave Review board up but let library take a back seat.

    I think we can push a few of the other fandoms to frontpage and have rest split off by genre and have them as subforums there. Essentially changing focus somewhat.

    I mean we will always be HP forum first but there is no need to commit sudoku as fandom slows down.
     
  8. fire

    fire Auror

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    I've said it before, I think the Spacebattles system makes more sense. People post links in a fandom thread, and the thread starter/mod/designated thread manager later tags the post into threadmarks; meanwhile, the OP can is turned into a list of recommendations that includes details like summary and net rating (upvotes less downvotes), in the style of Beast Lair (link).
     
  9. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    So this is just a mega thread?
     
  10. fire

    fire Auror

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    Yep. It makes it easier to find rec-ed fics, I believe - no need to trawl through the forum archives for individual story recs - but also, I think it encourages more discussion. Can't speak for the others, but I myself tend to frequent the mega rec/discussion threads for the fandoms I like (e.g. Naruto, RWBY, Worm), because that's where the recs and discussions are, and because I and others go there the thread gets more recs and discussions, and so on in a virtuous cycle.

    In contrast, breaking up story recommendations into individual threads removes this sort of marketplace/community effect - if I see X Y or Z fics in the library or under review, and the title doesn't look particularly interesting, I won't even bother entering the thread. But if the rec is in the megathread, which I have to go into if I want to see any fandom rec/discussion at all, then I will happen to see good points/interesting discussions/extended summaries that make me interested in a title that I would otherwise have dismissed out of hand. Just human nature, imo

    Also on a separate note - I think we should just put Other Fandoms Discussion and Story Search together. Discussion on any particular topic (e.g. low-powered Naruto universes) ultimately bleed into relevant fic recs; and more often than not people just post story requests in OFD anyway, asking for fics focusing on a particular matter (e.g. scanning OFD I see reqs for Akatsuki!Naruto, Peggy Sue fics), or just straight up asking for fics from X fandom (e.g. Overwatch.
     
  11. Lindsey

    Lindsey Death Eater

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    I agree with @CareOtters and I may have a way of making more active, at least temporarily.

    I've always thought the library section of the front page needs to be updated. The categories make little to no sense, and unless it's a crack fic, the forum it ends up in seems incredibly random. This is doubly so for the Other Fandom section, which has sub-forums that haven't been active in years (Firefly). I suggest reorganizing the library forums and make it easier to search for something we may be interested in. An example would be time traveling stories. At the moment, you might find different time travel stories in different sections (general vs alternate). As Time Travel/Alternate Universes are a huge category on its own, perhaps it should be its own forum/subforum. I have my own 'this is how I would like it to look' example below.

    Of course, if we change up the forum sections, it means reorganizing the library. We could promote ten fics a week for re-review to update the categories, tags, and if this fic should still be included. This would be similar to the 'let's read HP again' but with fanfics. I bet lots of fics will end up being new to people and it might end up making the review forum active again. Perhaps we could start with the other fandom section first, as it is the one needing the most updates.

    As for the 'how should the review forum look like', here would be my rough, rough idea.

    HP Review Category
    Review Board HP
    Almost Recommended
    -- Haven't Aged Well*
    Humor
    Dark Arts
    Romance
    -- Restricted Section
    The Alternates
    -- Time Travel/Alternate Universes
    -- Major AU**
    -- Crossovers
    General Fics
    -- Independent Harry
    -- ???

    Other Fandom Review Category
    Review Board - Other Fandoms
    Almost Recommended
    Other Fandoms - Books
    -- ASOIAF
    -- Dresden Files
    -- Other

    Other Fandoms - TV/Movies
    -- Stargate
    -- Starwars
    -- Other

    Other Fandoms - Manga/Anime
    -- Fate/Stay Night
    -- Naruto
    -- Worm
    -- Other


    * Haven't Aged Well: I think we should have a separate section for those that were once ranked highly, but just haven't aged well in the grand scheme of things.
    ** Major AU: Fics such as Prince of a Dark Kingdom, HP and the Lords of Magic, Ectomancer, Hogwarts Battle School. Fics that massively change canon from top to bottom, as well as those with completely new magical systems.
     
  12. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Only thing about this is if we re review everything it won't make it into anything but the trash bin.
     
  13. Banta

    Banta The Chosen One DLP Supporter

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    Maybe not a re-review but a re-read or re-visit thread. Could set it up with a list of 15 fics, brief summaries of each, and then we all vote on 2 or 3 to re-read as a community on a rough schedule of x number of chapters every week (or few days). Whenever we finish one set, start a new thread.
     
  14. EsperJones

    EsperJones Death Eater

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    I haven't looked at the HP library in quite a while, and the "Almost Recommendable" threads are actually more useful for finding new stuff to read. I bet I'm not the only one in that boat.

    I'm in favor of squishing the HP and other fandom forums. Not quite sure I'd like high-level categories like "Peggy Sue" as forums - that sounds like a much better use case for tagging, really.
     
  15. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    So, say I subscribe to this idea. We need a format in order to compose these threads. The example you showed me, looks like a total dumpster fire. Mostly the fact that its in a large quote.

    I like the tool that T3t made where you could use an FFN URL. This would work in most cases, but I'd like other non-FFN rec's to comply to the same format. As always. I like this idea, to an extent, but I feel like its limiting. Its going to put some amount of work on someone that might not otherwise have the time. That's the benefit allowing everyone to submit their own story to a thread, and then we rate from there, but I see the merit.

    I like this and then I don't. I feel like its too broad, mostly because I was addressing only Other Fandom, but I suppose if we're talking about reconfiguration of the forums, HP fandom should be brought in too.

    I could see this tying in well with the mega thread idea above to an extent, as an extension. Because, mostly the largest issue is going through and rerating everything. There are some dead sub-forums with no activity, but that doesn't mean the fandom itself is dead.

    Adding the idea here, an expansion of the mega thread idea would be that for each category, Anime, Game, etc. We have a thread, under other fandom, where we have stickied threads with a compiled list of current recommendations. As times change, we revisit them, or we make new rec threads when the current rec thread hits, for example a 1k post limit. Similar to how we prune other large threads on the forum. Its just an idea, but the number is up for grabs.

    I feel like the almost rec'd threads are a deterrent than anything else. I see fics that people put in there all the time. "While I'd rate this as a 4/5, I'm not going to take the time to put it up for review."

    There are people that avoid the Almost Rec'd forum/threads and they would other wise miss the exposure.


    @Sauce Bauss I agree with the IRC thing, but IRC culture and forum culture have never meshed too well, while we have some members on the forums that overlap and they do rec fics, we're all just as guilty of not posting things for review.
     
  16. Stealthy

    Stealthy Slug Club Member

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    I like Lindsey's setup, but the Haven't Aged Well section may be ripe for disaster if a lot of fics get thrown in there (not impossible). Merging the Review Boards is a good idea. An Original Fiction section also needs to be added. A megathread as something of a directory if nothing else isn't a bad idea either.

    As is, if I want to find a good ASOIAF fic, the section they're in is four layers deep. That's fucking ridiculous. A makeover is necessary.
     
  17. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros.

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    I agree with the library setup needing a revamp and even the Review Board to an extent. The last time I tried to put a story up for review I spent like half an hour trying to figure out where to put the story. Maybe I'm just being dumb, but I feel like things need to be more streamlined/clearer. Similarly, I have no idea where a fic might end up in the library making looking for anything more difficult than it ought to be.

    Lindsey's setup looks like it has potential, although as others have discussed before, "Haven't Aged Well" (or any discussion regarding a re-review of old fics in the library) will leave us with barely a library to speak of. Most things simply haven't aged well, but were good for the time/context they were written in. Most common are trailblazer stories - ones that had an interesting idea before a thousand copycats followed suit and turned a once novel twist into a hated fanfic trope.

    I mean, to an extent we do have this (just not merged into the system). My Archive project (see sig) tried to put some form of structure/ease of searching into the Almost Recc Megathreads, complete with a rudimentary rating and a "starting point link" for discussions on the story in the thread.

    The problem with this, and with any system similar is that it relies a lot on the manager to keep things updated. It's not sustainable long term.
     
  18. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I knew we had tried this before, totally forgot it was you that had it in their sig. For some reason I thought it was Mishie.

    You're right its going to take a lot of management that mods otherwise don't have, because they're going to be the ones that will have to go back and edit the master post or what have you. I mean, short of establishing a champion for a fandom and putting them in charge of a mega thread, I don't see this being maintained long term, mostly because people will loose interest.

    Our current format works for the most part because post by post, we have formatting guidelines, megathreads to me just feel like they're going to be total chaos.
     
  19. Eiri

    Eiri Banned

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    I agree the system needs change but I'm not a fan of the mega-threads solution. I like that I can quickly look at titles and mouse-over previews to filter my interest instead of slogging through a huge thread and go back several pages. It also helps that I can see the star-ratings other reviewers have given before first.

    I do think having too many categories is not helpful to build up conversation. An ideal (somewhat radical reorganization) solution from my perspective is to implement some sort of tag for a fandom ("Harry Potter", "Naruto", "RWBY"), then have a whole bunch of fandoms in one forum, allowing the user to filter through them all (selecting two or more tags for crossovers). Let any user (not just threadstarter or mod) add additional tags for story attributes/tropes ("Time Travel", "Genius", "Villain Protagonist"), but keep the "fandom" tags somewhat separate or easily visible when choosing tags. The allowable tag pool could be determined as a group first if that works better than having people randomly type new words (especially typos and variations of the same thing). This way, people first entering the forum see all the latest recs, and they can go in and add tags if they notice something that should be added but isn't there, or they can start filtering by their own interest. New threads/for review posts don't need to look for where to post it, just post it in the big forum and add whatever tags they think are relevant, other users adding more for them as necessary.

    The same system should apply in the actual Library as well, tagging is just far superior to categorical forums, except when there are huge amounts of content/users that only look at one specific fandom, but these days there's not enough activity on here to justify that.


    Well what if we just kept the almost rec'd threads in the for review section? If people lose interest in it, it automatically gets buried in older pages. If the story changes to be good enough or enough new reviewers come in and suggest it should be rec'd, then it goes to the library. Anybody wanting to look for them could use an "Almost Recommended" tag filter, or filter by ">3.0 stars", or whatever criteria is being used to judge that they are almost rec'd.


    EDIT: Also, I just wanted to add that I'm aware that tags exist in DLP right now, which is why I suggested it in the first place, or else it'd be a major technical barrier. The problem is that they're not being used as the kind of convention I suggested above, and there's no way to actually use them for filtering beyond 1-tag searches, or combining them with other rating/views sorts and such. Plus the categories separate threads into different forums so that substantially increases confusion, because you not only have to add to the right forum, but ALSO add tags. It should be only tags, no subforum categorization.
     
  20. Jester

    Jester Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    I've been using this site for almost it's entire life span. Some if the recommendations of reorganizing the front page makes sense. I think discussion forums shouldn't be split up so much.

    We should be using tags to organize more broad forum subjects, and having HP separate from everything else at this point is just isolating parts of the community.

    I'd like to see everything be a bit more streamlined by using tags to highlight fandoms over having everything separated out into small niche forums. I've never entered parts of this site because I just don't know they're around.

    Tags need to be a bigger focus for organizing the forum instead of the massive pile of subforums.
     
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