My rule has always been the less I have to do the better. This site is Applied Laziness in action. :-)
Keeping power out of the hands of the masses has never been a motivation, to say the least. However, balanced against that is the KISS issue. How to put more control in the hands of the users without making it so unwieldy that no one can use it. For an example in this area, see HalfEmpty, which runs a system called Glasscode that's kind of Scoop to the Nth degree. It has a more complex rating system, and AFAIK anything can be rated. While it demonstrably more precise and accurate than Scoop's system, it is also alot more complicated. So much so that the author has confessed to me personally that it really is too complicated for people to use.
I'm not trying to say Glasscode sucks or anything. It's a cool idea, and I think it could have a niche, somewhere. But for general day-to-day use, it's just too complex. So another important goal, along with putting power in the hands of you guys, is making it easy enough to use that it's worth having the power.
So, that's the abstract theory. For specifics: I don't like the Diary <-> Section idea. Never have. Diaries are not part of the story system, as such -- they are an open place for people to post whatever they want. I don't think they should ever become part of the story system, because the line has a lot of value, I think. Consider the sections as the "product" of K5. We're a bunch of people, doing a little bit of work every day to produce this online magazine type thing. The diaries are the water cooler of the K5 production team. It's where we can hang out, talk about our offline lives, bounce story ideas off each other, and arrange a time to meet for drinks in some London dive.
I think the two should remain separate. Now, I think it could be possible to expand the queue into something more like an editorial desk, which seems like what you really want. I definitely want to make it possible for authors, at least, to edit their own stories before they get posted. My current thinking on that is as follows:
This still leaves the possibility that someone will write a good story, wait till just before it posts, and then turn it into a great big goatse.cx link. I'm figuring that with the time voting takes, and the rate stories get posted, it would be easy for one of our four or five admins to just summarily drop any story to which that is done. I honestly don't think it would be a problem, considering the effort to get a story posted in the first place.
- Add another vote: "Please Edit"
- Make it so that any voter can change her vote at any time while the story is in the queue.
- Make it so the author can edit the story at any time while it's in the queue
- If a story is edited after someone votes, and their vote was "Please Edit", the story will again be marked "New" for them. Their edit vote will not be erased, nor will any other votes be erased, but it will be brought to their attention that it's been changed. (Note: I'm not decided yet if an edited story should be marked "new" for everyone, or just people who voted edit. Could go either way, but maybe marking it new all around would be a good idea)
Better yet, but requiring more code, would be to save revisions, and let an admin roll a story back to the version that people actually voted for. This could be saved for version 2 of the editing features, probably.
Either way, the certainty that your l33t h4x0ring of your story would be gone before anyone even noticed it would probably serve as a pretty good deterrent to anyone actually doing it.
Story editing in the queue would also allow an author to take into account the broadest opinion of what the appropriate section/topic is, and change a story to fit. I think that would effectively solve that problem as well.
The creating new sections thing, I'd really like to do, but it's not much of a draw, in terms of payoff for effort. That is, it would be some fair bit of work to implement, but wouldn't make much difference in actual practice, meaning that on the long list of features to be added, it rates pretty low for us.
People would have to submit official "section" proposals, and justify the creation or removal of a section. There would also need to be various code that handles page layout without knowing the sections beforehand, and so on. It's certanly possible, it's just stayed pretty low on the list because I have things that are more directly in demand to work on, not to mention trying to bring in a paycheck every month.
Upshot: It's doable, certainly, but I'm not likely to code it in the near future. If anyone with some perl mojo takes an interest, we'll gladly consider patches to Scoop for that, or anything else, really. I'd love to have someone take the above editing idea off my hands and implement it too, since I'm probably not going to get to it for a few months.
Thanks for the suggestions. I look forward to seeing what others thnk.
Not the real rusty
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