If K5 gets a fiction section, K5 is going to become some bad fiction site.
OK, this seems to be the prevailing view as to why we shouldn't embark on the fiction experiment. But you know what? I don't believe it will work out that way.
Bad fiction authors will vote up everything other bad fiction authors write simply because they want more of it, and pretty soon we'll have a fiction community voting up just about everything posted under that section.
Yeah, but what about the large community of people here who are against any fiction, who will probably continue to downvote it even if there is a section?
K5 is not just a fiction site any more than it is "just" an Israel/Palestine discussion site. The invasion you are postulating would have to overwhelm the existing user base before it could start supporting a flood of crap. Long before it reaches that critical mass, the vanguard is going to get discouraged and go away.
Look, the queue can be a vicious place, especially when something that is really mediocre gets put in there. Why would this change? It's true we might see a lot of stories posted to the queue all of a sudden, and I'm sure we'll also see a lot of authors slink off after being bitchslapped for putting up something that is redundant, boring, unoriginal, or otherwise lame.
How long does it take to write some crappy short story? An hour? What about poems? 15 minutes?
Um, have you ever actually, like, tried to write a story? There's a word for stories you write in an hour -- crap. There's a thing that happens to crap here -- it gets voted down, fast. Where's the problem?
The few stories that have been voted up here have obviously been the product of a lot of thought and effort on their authors. In fact, the nonfiction stories that get voted up here tend to be the same way. There's a reason for that -- it's what the voting queue is for.
For all the problems that pop up, I have to say that the K5 moderation queue is one of the most elegant things I've ever encountered through a modem. The first iteration of anything is going to have problems, and Scoop suffers from first-of-its-kind syndrome too. But the only way to work these things out is to try it and see what happens.
People who write fiction will write fiction no matter what, and now they have an excuse to queue up every piece of trash they write.
And the rest of us will have an excuse to vote it down if it's lame. Really, people get the point quick. You also have people who want to put up a MLP every time they read the news; we manage to deal with those people, and I don't see the fiction people being any different.
The reason fiction sites are the way they are with so much crap is that they aren't moderated in terms of quality; they are openly operated as showcases, and well-meant but mediocre submissions are encouraged to keep the volume up and solicit support.
That's not what K5 has ever been about, and I just don't see the moderation system suddenly getting broken because of an influx of SF fans. It would have to be hundreds or even thousands of new people, who would all have to register and start voting before any of them could start seeing results. What is much more likely is that a few people will try, they will get voted into oblivion, and that will be that.
And in any case, there is a simple solution if the experiment doesn't work out. If Rusty can add a section, he can also remove it; and if fiction submissions start dominating the queue, the situation can always be put back. Meanwhile, we have no way of knowing what the result would be if we don't do the experiment at all.
I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]