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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Where are the readers?

  1. #11
    Retired Staff Levi's Avatar
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    I know I have readers because they tell me they exist and are reading my stories. However, they don't often take the time to comment on a story submission or provide any sort of public feedback, so end result is a graveyard-quiet entry.

    I am to blame for much of this. I've not been reading and responding to other story submissions I've seen of late, because in the past few months I've had a very bad case of "I'll read it later." And I'm sure everyone can guess what really happens.

    Then there is the usual go-to complaint about this being a primarily visual-art-based site, which is true, and it's also true that writing takes more of a time commitment to enjoy than a visual piece. And it does seem that there aren't anywhere near as many here willing to make that commitment as there are on, say, SoFurry.

    I don't have a solution yet. Giving up on the site is something I won't do, because I like much of the setup and want to be wherever I can. But it's certainly a problem. Perhaps there's a way to network better here? I made a halfhearted attempt at this a few months back and got distracted. But that solution potentially limits readers to other writers, which isn't ideal. Maybe we ought all to make a concerted effort to comment on written works? People may be inspired to add their own thoughts.

    I also think literature submissions get pushed off the front page too quickly to be seen. There is the "Literature" tab below recent uploads, but how many actually check that, I wonder?
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  2.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #12
    Retired Staff Frank LeRenard's Avatar
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    Just a question, somewhat related to the topic at hand. How do writing communities work in the real world? Because it seems to me like in literary circles, authors sit around writing a lot, occasionally pat each other on the back via book blurbs or statements on social media, and in the meantime are elevated to mystical, demi-god-ish status by legions of adoring fans that they rarely communicate with (aside from the occasional person like George R. R. Martin, who is apparently very involved with his fans). Other than that, there seem to be an awful lot of critique circles or book clubs or whatever else that typically consist of maybe a half-dozen MFA students and aspiring novelists who work at KMart during the day.

    But since I don't belong to any of these groups, nor have I looked very much into it, this impression of mine might be completely off-base. If it isn't, though, maybe that explains why it's so hard to create a thriving online writing community.

  3. #13
    Regular Getta's Avatar
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    Forgive me if anyone else has already suggested the same, but it seems to me that a big part of the issue is that Weasyl seems very focused, if unintentionally, on illustrations.

    This is because when someone strolls into Weasyl and begins browsing content, there's no categories they can use to sort through said content. It's just one big mess of thumbnails. Thumbnails being visual make the site a visual art site for all intents and purposes because thumbnails are useless for literature and only somewhat effective for video or sequential work.

    Well, ok, Weasyl has categories, but they're not very well considered. We have:
    • Submissions
    • Characters
    • Journals


    "Submissions" are more or less everything.

    "Characters" are just regular pin-up submissions with a quasi-RP arrangement to the submission information.

    "Journals"? No one browses random journals. When someone reads a journal post, it's from a contributor that they follow.

    What Weasyl really needed was to break the categories into types of submissions, for example
    • Illustrations
    • Animation
    • Video
    • Music
    • Literature


    That kind of category breakdown actually serves a purpose, for both content creators and those who come to the site to browse content. But even that's not enough because, ideally, you're going to want to give people the power to browse through subcategories. If someone is browsing music, there's a whole lot of musical genres! Same with Literature! Illustrations could be broken down into various categories, too, such as pin-ups, sequential works, the genre of the subject matter. The tagging system should be a large part in how this would all work.

    Now, if you want to make "Journals" a useful category for browsing, they should consider making the individual contributor pages more like a blog and journal posts more like articles. Give contributors better tools to format their posts, allow them to embed images.

    But I digress. If Weasyl wants to make itself more than a furry illustration gallery and cater to authors, sequential artists, animators, musicians, et all, then the site devs really need to reassess how they're engaging both those contributors and their audiences.

    Simply allowing people to upload more than just illustrations doesn't make Weasyl more than an image gallery. There's a lot of good ideas, like displaying active streams on the front page, but none of these ideas seem very developed. That's something I've always wanted to see the site work on.

  4. #14
    Senior Viciviser's Avatar
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    I hate to say it... because I never want to seem disparaging toward writing and its capacity to engage. But it might help, especially given Weasyl's current format, as Getta mentioned, to have an illustration from the story or chapter you have written. Something to get the attention to the writing and maybe they will not just look at the image, but also read what has been illustrated.

    I write many stories and I plan on being a published author within the next few years. But you know what? I don't have my stories posted up. I don't even bother with putting out my writing for the online communities. Not with the way things are. It seems like a monumental frustration and I already get enough of that putting art out but at least I can get more returns.

  5. #15
    Junior Iscin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viciviser View Post
    I hate to say it... because I never want to seem disparaging toward writing and its capacity to engage. But it might help, especially given Weasyl's current format, as Getta mentioned, to have an illustration from the story or chapter you have written. Something to get the attention to the writing and maybe they will not just look at the image, but also read what has been illustrated.

    I write many stories and I plan on being a published author within the next few years. But you know what? I don't have my stories posted up. I don't even bother with putting out my writing for the online communities. Not with the way things are. It seems like a monumental frustration and I already get enough of that putting art out but at least I can get more returns.
    This is precisely what I do, it does not appear to help much.
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  6. #16
    Premium User Oly's Avatar
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    2cents:

    I can say I'm just not a reader of this kinda thing, honestly. I love reading but i get my fix mostly through chats, forums and such, not stories. Frankly I don't think I've read a single furry story I didn't end up skipping chunks of.

    I can also say that really whether there's furries/anthro characters or not doesn't actually factor into my choice to read something. If anything it might actually give me the impression that it's like a YA book/story or whatever and not really gonna be that interesting. Really the thing that gets me wanting to read is hearing that a story is very complex, that the writer has a really fucked up unique style, stories that you can't really get on just one read through... Sooo, i'm probably not a good gen-pop case study, but for my part if I knew people were posting a lot more weird, densely complex, atypical stuff, I'd be far more inclined to look. Not really interested in slice-of-life or romance or your typical action type stuff.

    (And as for why i'm even here in the writing forum since I already saw someone else get asked: I browse forums by the new posts link almost exclusively, especially on a forum this slow, so the whole board is just one big board to me and I don't really look at what subforum something is in usually. plus I do write, just not narrative stories.)

  7. #17
    Junior Amethyst Mare's Avatar
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    Funny, I thought Weasyl originally tried to gear this towards writers. Peculiar.
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  8. #18
    Senior Eduard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oly View Post
    Really the thing that gets me wanting to read is hearing that a story is very complex, that the writer has a really fucked up unique style, stories that you can't really get on just one read through...
    Now where could you find such an author?

    c:

    Ego-stroking aside, I dare say there are quite a number of quality writers who hoard their works on this website, and who match the pattern you described. I proudly count myself as one of those.
    At least, I am certainly not a "furry" writer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amethyst Mare View Post
    Funny, I thought Weasyl originally tried to gear this towards writers. Peculiar.
    We ought to accept the fact that no Furry website was ever geared for writers, for quality writers I mean. (I disregard sofurry or whatever that "furry writing" website due to the fact that it is nothing but a cesspool of pornographic muck carved on virtual documents)
    And the reasons no Furry website ever geared itself towards writers is that the main focus of the majority of the furry audience has always been pornography, and pornography is most easily conveyed through visual arts. After all, they seek liberation through easy means, not to test their neurons over paragraphs and esoteric metaphors.

    Personally, I throw my writing here as this website serves as a portofolio, a stockpile where I can hoard my writings without the fear of hard-drive malfunctions. It also connects me with the occasional uncanny personality with whom I build enduring friendships.
    I much rather enjoy the criticism, and having my ego stroked by a handful of persons I esteem and care for, rather than a thousand random plebes, the same way I am sure others wouldn't like other parts of themselves stroked.

  9. #19
    Junior Amethyst Mare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eduard View Post
    We ought to accept the fact that no Furry website was ever geared for writers, for quality writers I mean. (I disregard sofurry or whatever that "furry writing" website due to the fact that it is nothing but a cesspool of pornographic muck carved on virtual documents)
    Actually, I find SoFurry to be a fantastic site with an excellent, responsive readership.

    If I write erotica that gets adults off, who am I to complain? Adults like sex. I never understood the general theme of "ugh" towards erotica on this site (well, in forum threads). Diverging from the topic at hand: why the hate?
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  10. #20
    Premium User Oly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amethyst Mare View Post
    Actually, I find SoFurry to be a fantastic site with an excellent, responsive readership.

    If I write erotica that gets adults off, who am I to complain? Adults like sex. I never understood the general theme of "ugh" towards erotica on this site (well, in forum threads). Diverging from the topic at hand: why the hate?
    Of course I can only speak for myself but, I find most written erotica to be boring. I used to like RP because it was writing but dynamic and with input but then it just got boring too.

    I would much rather read or listen people just discussing kink or other RL aspects of sex than read a fictional account of it.

    Other than that, I'd assume it just comes with that attitude some people seem to carry around that things which are 'too sexual' aren't 'legitimate art' or whatever phrase they couch it in. That's not me tho, for me it's just that I get bored, plain and simple.


    EDIT: also ont eh topic of visual art being better for porn: the best part of any picture is what happens with it in my head afterwards, and I can pull that from thin air. I love art but the mind itself is the best tool at creating arousal. Nobody can possibly know how to push my buttons as well as I do, even if I tell them exactly how.

 

 

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