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Forum: Administrative Notes
 Topic: Welcome to the Forums
Welcome to the Forums [message #91087] Wed, 27 August 2014 20:47
Warren is currently offline  Warren
Messages: 1720
Registered: January 2005
Location: Wet wonderful Washington

Again, welcome to the Crystal Hall, the forums for the WHateley Academy Universe.

A bit of history.

Back around 2004 (has it really been ten years?) Whateley universe stories started appearing on Sapphire's place. Things were nice.
Then around 2005 the universe stories were not being published even though we were sending them to Sapphire. In this window I offered to update Sapphire's place to make the site as a whole easier to update. That fell through for reasons best not discussed. We had been utilizing space on Bob Arnold's servers for a private chat room and he offered up space for a Whateley web site. I dusted off the Sapphire's place design and modified it for our use. Being the web guru of the Whateley Authors I wanted something a bit better than the comment section that was available on Sapphire's place. I found the Fudforum software and asked Bob to install it. And away we went. Lots of discussion along with back and forth feedback. Life was good.

During this time we initiated the fan fiction section for those stories to be available and made it clear that they DO NOT affect Canon stories. We recruited a couple of new authors. Life was good.

Then Bob passed on. Suddenly the site was gone (someone had turned off the servers) Piper and company got the servers and moved the sites to their small server farm of sites.

Forum discussion/arguments caused some of the canon to drop out. Life was not so good. Down right sad.

I got fed up trying to update the web site when I couldn't get access to it due to password issues and permissions. So I stopped maintaining the site "with notice" but I agreed to keep managing the forums because of my skills at stopping spammers.

The universe has been published over 10 years, has been in development at least 12 years. (yep for two years it was nothing but brainstorming, even before I joined the Canon)

Till recently I only had to ban two people because they ENJOYED causing discord and arguments on the forums. I followed a rule of warn first, second time suspend an account for 24 hours (to get a person's attention) then Ban for a week and finally perma-ban. It had worked well for us.

Except time caught up with us. We've been around for ten years. With fairly close contact with the fan base. Again, this has good and bad sides to it. A lot of which has been discussed over in the Bullying thread.

The point is, Fans are not editors or publishers who can sometimes dictate what we as author's write. I've talked with published authors quiet a few times and I've always slipped in the question of "How do you feel when someone says 'I have this idea you should write about.'?" Universally they hate it. Some do admit that it might spark something, but they still hate being told what to do.

Some people think, hey I bought the book and read it. I have the right to have my feedback heard!

Generally this is done at a convention or a store book signing and trying to slip in all their opinions/ideas into the thirty to sixty seconds it takes the author to sign the book and look to the next fan.

The catch here is that our stories are free. We publish them because we like to.

Read that again.

We publish them because we like to.

Not because we are paid.

Honestly the only person getting any money here is me for managing the forums (the ads at the top and bottom) that cash figures out to less than a dollar a day) I'm managing the forums because I like the canon authors and want to see it work.

Minor stuff like (hey there is a spelling error is "What's Buzzing you?") easy fix great having someone catch stuff that I didn't when I readied the story for publishing. That's great.

In the stories I wrote for the universe I tried to write in a different genera for each story. Feedback from the fans was great. Letting me know if I got the form right for the story.

I'm all for free speech and everyone is entitled to speak their mind. I'm also the forum moderator. (along with almost all the other authors now) We have to ensure that the forum doesn't break out into protracted arguments.

So, if you start hanging on to an issue like a dog with a meaty bone.

Be warned

Don't keep trying to get in the last word on an issue. Be happy with your position and agree to let the other person have their opinion.

USE the emoticons and even <smile> if a smiley doesn't fit the issue. <virtual head shake>

This portrayal of emotions goes a long way to provide visual feedback to a person. Saying "you suck." with nothing else can be taken bad. Where as "you suck" <smile wink> let's a person know you might be joking.

Getting dictatorial towards others is a sure way to be on the receiving end of a ban hammer. Before you post imagine yourself on the receiving end of that scathing posting (adjust it to be about something you care about as much as we care about this universe) And see how you feel.

I'm getting off my soap box and going back to cleaning my troll club.


Sometimes writing with geeks is like eating Jello with a chainsaw. Interesting but painful.

[Updated on: Wed, 27 August 2014 20:47]

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