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Myr

Brainstorming Site Features for Readers

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I've been working on software specifications for future versions of our Stories system.  I'm looking to have a brainstorming here to see if there are new features we need and would be able to implement. 

The author topic is in the Writer's Circle.  Authors should check it out there:

 

This will be an official brainstorming though, so here are the rules:

  1. Go for quantity: This rule is a means of enhancing divergent production, aiming to facilitate problem-solving through the maxim quantity breeds quality. The assumption is that the greater the number of ideas generate the bigger the chance of producing a radical and effective solution.
  2. Withhold criticism: In brainstorming, criticism of ideas generated should be put 'on hold'. Instead, participants should focus on extending or adding to ideas, reserving criticism for a later 'critical stage' of the process. By suspending judgment, participants will feel free to generate unusual ideas.
  3. Welcome wild ideas: To get a good long list of suggestions, wild ideas are encouraged. They can be generated by looking from new perspectives and suspending assumptions. These new ways of thinking might give you better solutions.
  4. Combine and improve ideas: As suggested by the slogan "1+1=3". It is believed to stimulate the building of ideas by a process of association.

(courtesy of Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainstorming)

 

The focus on this brainstorm is: How can make our software better for readers?

Already planned, but details are not all worked out yet:

  • Reading lists that have a robust "Favorite Stories", "Favorite Authors", "To Read List", "Recommended Stories List", "Reading History", as well as custom lists members create themselves.  (Public or private, or club)
  • Recommended stories.  This will suggest stories with similar genre and tags.  Looking at filtering by your To Do list as well.  (that is, if it is already on your list to read, not to recommend it again)
  • Genre and tag specific stats of what stories are being read... so you can stay on or stray from the beaten path.

 

Any ideas you have related to those items or anything else that would make things better for readers here, please post the idea.  Please follow the rules above.  I'll weigh in we compile ideas over several topics.  Sound good?  Go...

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I have been thinking of some sort of point system to reward members that write reviews (and other people find them helpful). 

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45 minutes ago, Myr said:

I have been thinking of some sort of point system to reward members that write reviews (and other people find them helpful). 

I would support anything that encourages readers to leave a review. As an author, getting feedback on stuff I've written helps encourage me to write more, or to finish one of my on-going stories.

 

 

 

For readers, a way to mark a chapter. Some Authors have really long chapters, and there are a few times, I've had to run before I could finish one. Having some way to mark where you left off, between readings would be nice.

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53 minutes ago, Myr said:

I have been thinking of some sort of point system to reward members that write reviews (and other people find them helpful). 

It's hard to get a lot of them to even LIKE things ... i think a lot of them don't like to write them out. I've had people PM their reviews because they are shy. I appreciate that but it doesnt help me. I dont know if they would even use pre-written stuff which they can select from and check off.

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3 minutes ago, Mikiesboy said:

hard to get a lot of them to even LIKE

75% of readers are guests and can't like things.  We're working on that problem too.

 

hmmm.... some premade responses possibly for guests too. 

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Some thoughts on the "Recommended Stories" widget...

What constitutes a "Recommended Story" to you when you see the old, "Since you've read this, you mike like these stories"?

We are thinking stories with the same genre(s) and tag(s).  But that could be a ton or a little, so we have to figure that out programmatically.  What is important to you in finding a similar story? 

 

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22 minutes ago, Myr said:

Some thoughts on the "Recommended Stories" widget...

What constitutes a "Recommended Story" to you when you see the old, "Since you've read this, you mike like these stories"?

We are thinking stories with the same genre(s) and tag(s).  But that could be a ton or a little, so we have to figure that out programmatically.  What is important to you in finding a similar story? 

 

Since you like this you may like these.. is good .. how you'd select those stories.. based on likes and /or  reviews? .. so you'd show the top 10?  with an option to view more possibly? 

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38 minutes ago, Myr said:

Some thoughts on the "Recommended Stories" widget...

What constitutes a "Recommended Story" to you when you see the old, "Since you've read this, you mike like these stories"?

We are thinking stories with the same genre(s) and tag(s).  But that could be a ton or a little, so we have to figure that out programmatically.  What is important to you in finding a similar story? 

 

i like the idea of a "Recommended Stories" widget, using just a main genre and a few tags.  a little push to read stories that i normally wouldn't have. 

 

thank you for promoting some of the older anthologies. read stuff i'd never stumble across to read. is there a place on site that has links to the older anthologies and just haven't found it yet?

 

for me personally, it would be nice if i could sort the stories i follow the way i want to sort them. 

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2 minutes ago, mogwhy said:

is there a place on site that has links to the older anthologies and just haven't found it yet?

It is the link that says "Categories" on the main story page.  https://www.gayauthors.org/stories/browse/category/

 

4 minutes ago, mogwhy said:

it would be nice if i could sort the stories i follow the way i want to sort them. 

Please provide more details here.  what do you mean exactly?  (we largely do this currently and we're actively working on an update to make it easier, I need you to be clear so that I can make sure if we can cover it, we will)

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8 minutes ago, Myr said:

It is the link that says "Categories" on the main story page.  https://www.gayauthors.org/stories/browse/category/

 

Please provide more details here.  what do you mean exactly?  (we largely do this currently and we're actively working on an update to make it easier, I need you to be clear so that I can make sure if we can cover it, we will)

thank you. that was not intuitive to me to look there.

 

1st: to be able to sort them by complete/on hold/in process.

2nd: alphabetical order

(these two things are the biggies. It would make my 12 pages of stories I've stashed, easier to deal with when I want to find a particular story to reread. right now, i have a devil of a time remembering when I put it in there.)

 

by author or genre  might be useful to some

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Um... That link is the same for everyone and being logged in determines what get's shown.

I'll make sure to add 'managing followed content' to the list of items.

 

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I like the idea of Readers who liked this story also liked xxxx  I suggest also having these:

Readers who follow this story also follow xxxx (in the same genre or maybe wider)

Readers who reviewed this story also reviewed xxxx

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Romance and Drama are the most popular Genres, so they don't need much promotion. But how about doing features for each of the other genres? There could be various parts, such as:

A short description of the genre characteristics, ie what sort of stories will you get if using this genre as search criteria.

Most read/reviewed story in the genre. First story in the genre perhaps. Or longest

Short interview or description of the author who has written most stories in the genre. 

Cross-over with other genres, ie if you read Horror, what do you also get?

 

I'm sure others can come up with even better content.

 

If we get really into this, we can do the same for some of the more rarely used tags too. The whole point being that readers can discover ways to find the stories they like.

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23 hours ago, Myr said:

Some thoughts on the "Recommended Stories" widget...

What constitutes a "Recommended Story" to you when you see the old, "Since you've read this, you mike like these stories"?

We are thinking stories with the same genre(s) and tag(s).  But that could be a ton or a little, so we have to figure that out programmatically.  What is important to you in finding a similar story? 

 

Timothy has a similar idea to me, in that recommended stories be based on reader activity. The "readers of this story have also read..." approach. Linking it likes or follows is one way, but it may be we can do it simply from the reading history. Short stories don't get a lot of follows, and I wouldn't want them being inadvertently excluded. 

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We have the genres  and tags from the authors, but sometimes they're inadequate, especially for some of the older stories. How about a mechanism where readers can recommend additional genres/tags? Maybe even descriptions for really old stories that don't have one? This would need to be moderated somehow, but it would improve access to the older stories. 

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I've been pondering a system to allow readers to report display quality issues on chapters.  (broken images, bad spacing, weird formatting, broken text controls, colors making it hard to read, etc)

 

And looking at published books... other author blurbs/recommendations.  Pick up any book and see other authors comments on it.  some system that allows authors to write these.

 

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this has quieted.  Any more thoughts on it? 

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On 12/29/2017 at 3:51 PM, Myr said:

I have been thinking of some sort of point system to reward members that write reviews (and other people find them helpful). 

This would be helpful. Reviews are good but I think that members are often wary of writing them because they don't know how. It can be difficult to write a review without giving away too much information. Rewarding this would encourage more people to review but you would also get a lot of two word reviews like, "Good story", "Well written", or "Worth reading".  Chapter comments are useful to the authors and readers and rewarding this kind of input may be easier.

What you really want, of course, is to find a way of luring some of the guests out of the shadows so they are able to participate. I was really surprised by 75% guests. This means that three out of four people who enjoy reading these stories for free can't be bothered to show their appreciation even though it's only a click of the mouse. Is this being too negative?

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In the forums and notification lists, I would like completed stories to be shown differently to 'In Process' stories. Some of us have a preference for completed stories, so having an easy to see when a story is completed, without diving into the story itself, would be nice.

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How about a feature for being notified when your Premium Subscription runs out instead of discovering it by accident? I don’t always delve into premium stories, partly because I’ve read most that interest me, but I would like to be notified when my support needs to be updated. The renewal date tends to slip my mind.

Edited by Ron
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7 hours ago, Ron said:

feature for being notified when your Premium Subscription runs

We have one. It is called an invoice and you should be getting one  7 days prior to renewal and one the day of renewal.  Please verify that you are receiving emails from GA

 

You can also check manually under Store - > Manage purchases. https://www.gayauthors.org/clients/purchases/

Or under Store - > Orders 

https://www.gayauthors.org/clients/orders/

Please let me know if you are receiving emails from the site but not getting the invoices. 

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3 hours ago, Myr said:

Please let me know if you are receiving emails from the site but not getting the invoices. 

Yep, I got them and there were a few messages, too. I suppose I expected to be notified through the P.M. system here on G.A. and I didn't check that email account. I haven't checked that account in a while now; lots of Goodreads to read through. Thanks for the reminder.

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21 minutes ago, Ron said:

I got them and there were a few messages, too

Oh good. The PM system is for messages on site. Official stuff goes to email. 

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