Furry Writers' Guild Forum

What do you want out of a furry writing site?

Last night’s coffeehouse chat was all about what would go into a good writing site that caters specifically to furries, spurred on by a conversation about the shortcomings of existing solutions. There were lots of good ideas, from the submission and reading process, to thoughts on discovery and searching, and lots of folks had a say on what would really make the site shine.

So with that in mind, lets see what we can pull off! I’ve started pulling together a specification here of what folks in the chat mentioned they wanted, and the Honeycomb project on Github will house the source. Feel free to take a look and comment/suggest/question.

It’s plenty alright if you’re not a programmer, Github allows you to create issues and tasks to be done and make suggestions for directions to head in, and it’s free to register, of course. If you are a programmer and are keen on working on a Django app, PRs are totally welcome. In addition to Github, I set up #honeycomb on the FWG slack for further discussion.

The only other thing I thought of, though it wouldn’t be of HUGE help to the masses, is possibly having a separate category for publisher pages (traditional and self, most likely?). We could use this to promote new product we have for sale. It could be a separate advertising spot on the main page where you have the other paid ad spots, or the same one.

Oh, that’s a wonderful idea! I’ll add that to the list :3

Work continues apace… http://imgur.com/a/hKtiO

You move fast! Looking good so far. For promoting and sharing favorites, I think a toolbar or button to share favorite finds to other social media would be amazing. It makes promoting an author or story you love a lot easier if you can one click to like it on facebook or tweet or what have you about it. :slight_smile:

Oh, sweet, that’s a good idea! Will probably stick that on submission, author, and publisher pages

Beep boop, profiles are getting there. Submissions are next. http://imgur.com/a/hY2AI

And mobile, natch: http://imgur.com/rjBOBdT

Beep boop, now you can play along as I work: http://alopex.honeycomb.cafe/

You can register here.

You can see a sample profile here.

You can see a sample submission here

This is just a sandbox, naturally, so it’ll be in flux. I’ll also wipe the DB every now and then, so don’t actually use it to share stuff just yet :slight_smile:

OK where did you get furry Lipsum? I need dis.

http://yipsum.openfurry.org :3

licks ur booper

That’s a brilliant name. wags

This whole thing makes me very happy. ^.^

Lots and lots of work because I’ve been bad about updating :frowning: More chatter in #honeycomb on the slack, if you’re interested

[ul][li]Rating/favoriting/enjoying works on submissions.[/li]
[li]Gravatar plugged in[/li]
[li]PyMDown markdown extensions work, including linking to users (~user for just text, @user for icon and text, @!user for just icon, see https://alopex.honeycomb.cafe/~makyo/)[/li]
[li]Submissions listed more clearly[/li]
[li]User favorites listed[/li]
[li]Notifications work (favorites, ratings, enjoy votes, promotions, watches, etc; see note below)[/li]
[li]Flatpages added (terms of service, acceptable upload policy, credits, help, markdown help)[/li]
[li]Misc styling (glyphicons, badges, layout, etc)[/li][/ul]

On notifications listing: Per Chip, I’ve provided two ways to list notifications (FA style groups of notifications such as favorites, watches, etc), and a simpler stream of notifications. This is spread across uses as an A/B test - if your user id is even, you get one, if it’s odd, you get the other, though you can switch between them to see the difference. To see what works best for folks, you can vote here: https://github.com/OpenFurry/honeycomb/issues/11

Update! Folders! Again, I messed up the merge and had to reset the db :S I know the problem now, at least! Can dig through the folders here and see the features included in this branch https://alopex.honeycomb.cafe/~makyo/folders/

Update! Groups! Again, the db has been reset because even though I figured out the problem, I forgot to actually fix it :stuck_out_tongue: Anyway. Here are some screenshots and explanations so that y’all don’t have to register multiple accounts: http://imgur.com/a/5iFNx Groups work as they did in LiveJournal, for those who remember.

As always, you can play around on https://alopex.honeycomb.cafe and chat on the slack in #honeycomb

HAHA WHOOPS well, I didn’t mean to ship that. Oh well. Now forms are prettier and pages are more consistent. AND I figured out that silly resetdb bug. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hmm, late to the party, but still!

One of the things that worries me about writing websites is the actual lifetime of pieces on it. Usually, a piece is viewed as long as it is on the frontpage of the website, and on busy websites this can be a very brief window of time. Think of it as the period when you get free advertising for your work. After that exposure tails off dramatically, as it filters through your watcher’s notifications until it reaches a point where it’s not being promoted.

Pay to promote is a good idea, but I don’t think it solves the issue well enough, or promote enough traffic through the site in general, as it will be instead directed to specific areas, if that makes sense. Could be an idea to have a random story tool, where you click and get sent to a submission chosen at random. It could be further refined to randomly select by certain criteria - block lists, favourite tags, word limit.

I’m just throwing thoughts out now. I’ll stop. xD

That’s a really good point!

Discoverability is one of the key goals with the project, and I’m approaching it in a few ways:

[ul][li]Promotions caused by an uptick in activity on a submission (lots of faves/rates/enjoys at once, and a story could get promoted)[/li]
[li]Promotions caused through pay-to-promote system[/li]
[li]Promotions caused by content admins highlighting a story (e.g: FWG members could be made content admins, and if one finds a good story, promote it)[/li]
[li]A stream of recent activity on the front page (e.g: new stories posted, new favorites/ratings/enjoys added to a story, etc; this is the current task in progress)[/li]
[li]A ‘submissions you might enjoy’ pane on logged-in users’ front page based off of favorite tags, tags on favorited stories, etc.[/li]
[li]A ‘more stories like this’ pane on a story page (e.g: if you enjoyed this story, you might also like…) based off story’s tags and, for logged-in users, if friends favorited this story, other similar stories friends favorited[/li][/ul]

Any other thoughts on what would help increase discoverability? Bonus points for non-logged-in users, too, since that’s more likely to entice them to register.

EDIT: hadn’t thought of this, but with furry book month just coming to a close, scheduled events to highlight relevant works might be cool - spoopy stories for Halloween, annual non-fiction week, annual sci-fi fortnight, etc

EDIT 2: collecting ideas in a project here: https://github.com/OpenFurry/honeycomb/projects/2