There seems to be an unwritten rule out there for websites and publications everywhere that the last week of the year is the time to do a year in review wrap-up sort of post. This is the one for Gay Authors.
2017. What a year! This was the year we jumped 50 versions of software to finally break free of the 3.4 version of the forum software and break into the world of 4.1 and then 4.2 versions of the software. We've had hundreds of Stories archive software updates in the same timeframe as we've worked through all the bugs from going through a complete software rewrite and carrying a ton of existing data along. The good news? The biggest part is behind us for now. It took considerably longer than we wanted to get where we are, but the system is mostly working as intended. There are some outstanding notification bugs and quirky language that will be the target of a patch sometime soon. The important thing here is that we made it! We had a much smoother transition this time around.
It's time to look ahead at 2018. Just what is coming?
Blogs and Newsletters:
- Sunday Weekly Wrap-ups Blogs - These will continue.
- Sunday Newsletter -This will continue
- Monday - No change
- Tech Tuesday Blogs - I'm hoping to keep this going as a weekly feature to highlight features on the site and new features that will be coming.
- Wed Blogs - No change
- Thursday Anthology Blogs - We will be featuring a previous anthology (or two) on a weekly basis. We will also be reminding authors about new anthologies and contests coming up.
- Friday Prompts - This will continue
- Saturday - Writing Tips. We will be wrapping up the previously posted tips next week and then we start with new content provided by Comicality, a (20 year!) veteran of writing on the web. We'll also feature other author's tips along the way.
- We are testing the bug fixes for notifications and wonky notification wording now and hope to patch that soon.
- This version is also going to streamline the story pages so we have a standard listing everywhere instead of the odd front page we have now. Very large advanced search improvements will be added as well to make it much easier to sort and filter stories in the system. This will include being able to do so by author. Example, if you want to look at all of Comicality's Fantasy Stories, the filter bar on his author page will let you do that with a couple of clicks. It will look similar to the filters you see on the Activity Streams.
- The major update after that will be Reading Lists. This will allow you to have "Favorite Stories", "Favorite Authors", "Reading History", "To Read", "Recommended" and custom lists of stories and authors. The intention is to make things clear and easy for you. The Reading History list, which will be private unless you choose to share, will include the chapter you were last reading to help make finding things easier. We'll go into more details when we get closer.
- The major update after that will be aimed at authors. We are working to provide far more robust stats on what people are reading so an author can see how they are doing. We'll also be working to provide more stats for authors on what readers are looking for. This will appeal to authors who like writing for the market and challenging themselves to appeal to that market will differentiate themselves. We'll go into more details when we get closer to this one as well.
- The final currently planned update for Stories is to improve the Story Queue. This will automate some of the rules and let us do mass updates. For example, the plan is for you to be able to post all your chapters at once so they are in the queue, and then you can just click a couple of buttons saying to post weekly on Friday at 9 am. Stuff like that. We know it is a bit tedious posting multiple chapters currently. We'll get a lot more into this later in 2018.
- The forum software 4.3 updates is also expected earlier in the new year. The only announced features we are aware of right now are Improved search, Emojis support and Club enhancements to make them more visible when they have activity. We'll post more as we know about it in our Tech Tuesday posts.
My personal 2018 Stuff:
- I am planning on writing an entry for the anthologies and novella contest for this year.
- I am hoping to complete my Harry Potter and the Parliament of Dreams story finally. 16 years is really procrastinating.
- I am also hoping to spend more time writing in general.
- And I'm making an active effort to be posting on the site regularly. A good portion of that will be with the various writer clubs.
Thanks to everyone for making 2017 so great for us! Here is to all of us having an even better 2018!