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[P]
Fiction Section Poll

By rusty in Site News
Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 03:54:10 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

A proposal for a Fiction section was posted a few weeks ago. There was a lot of discussion which anyone who doesn't have an opinion yet should probably read, but the poll attached to that story was largely in favor of the idea. So I'm putting it to a general vote (the poll is on the front page).

The proposal is to create a fiction section. If the vote passes, I will by sheer bloodyminded executive fiat be replacing "Columns" with "Fiction". Of course articles published as Columns up to now will stay, but the section was never a good match for the way K5 works, and I don't think anything will be lost in axing it. If the vote doesn't pass, Columns will stay as is. In the interests of simplicity this time around, the options are just Yes/No/Abstain.

So please vote. The result as of next Wednesday will be implemented.


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Fiction Section Poll | 59 comments (59 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Replacing Columns?! (4.66 / 3) (#1)
by BadDoggie on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 03:56:39 PM EST

Why is this an either/or choice? Columns are very good and server their purpose well, namely providing a place for a series of articles on Subject X. Matt's Particle Physics columns are a prime example and I'm working on my series of economics right now. Where would I put them otherwise? Certainly not News, Tech or Opinion. If it's a matter of space on the menu bar, can't you abbreviate "Technology" and "Internet"?

I would like to see a Fiction section although I wouldn't be reading much in there, but I don't want Columns disappearing.

woof.

"The line between genius and stupidity is very fine indeed, but you're so far away from the line that it doesn't matter." --

Columns (4.75 / 4) (#2)
by rusty on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 04:07:22 PM EST

The problem is that neither your series nor Matt's are actually columns. They're multi-part features. Matt's PP articles can easily go in Science, now that we have that. As for yours, Economics isn't necessarily part of any of our main sections, but either Science or Culture would be appropriate.

A column isn't an occasionally recurring article on a theme. It's a "slot," which appears at a regular predictable time and generally has one author, in which the author writes about whatever they want. The way K5 operates just isn't really amenable to actual columns, and the columns that I hoped would appear here never really did.

Multi-part articles and series are great, and there's no reason not to have them. But they aren't really columns, and it's kind of silly to have a section that's used that way when it doesn't really fit.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Economics should go in Science <nt> (none / 0) (#6)
by aphrael on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 04:35:27 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Economics should be in the pseudo science section (5.00 / 3) (#9)
by idiot boy on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 04:56:29 PM EST

What do you mean there isn't one?

Well damn it, we need a pseudo-science section (for all spurious economic and political theorising) now!

;)

--
Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
[ Parent ]

Economics should go in *RELIGION* (5.00 / 1) (#30)
by Eric Green on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 10:42:35 PM EST

Since virtually all economics is based upon unprovable religious beliefs about the best way to organize a society and the nature of the "best" society, perhaps "Science" is not the best place to put economics articles? :-).
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
Pseudo-science (none / 0) (#33)
by j1mmy on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 11:06:46 PM EST

Well damn it, we need a pseudo-science section

What, like a fiction section?


[ Parent ]

hehe. Good Point [NT} (none / 0) (#41)
by idiot boy on Thu Jan 16, 2003 at 06:10:41 AM EST



--
Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
[ Parent ]
What are Columns? (4.00 / 2) (#13)
by BadDoggie on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 06:20:41 PM EST

The problem with Columns as you may have envisioned them -- like regular newspaper columns -- is that the medium and the method aren't conducive to the form.

It's hard enough to write something in a certain way day in and day out (or weekly or even bi-weekly). Then there's the voting. If Dave Barry posted his stuff here under a pseudonym, he'd be lucky to get a quarter of the stuff ever voted to section. There are some people who have a good enough reputation that they might be able to get an automatic vote up, but this isn't due to columns per se, but rather general good writing and comments on all sections.

"Columns" have taken on a different meaning here. Maybe the category could be changed to "Series" or "Serials", but I think it's an important category, and one which stands on its own.

Econ is more a soft science, and if I had to pace it, I'd probably go with Science or Culture, but take it a step further. Suppose someone shows up and is also inspired by Matt's Particle Physics and decides to enlighten us with a series on Philosophy. Where does it go? Culture? It has little to do with my culture. Science? There are few things less scientific than Philosophy.

Maybe someone else is inspired to do a series on the History of X (which would probably lead to a lot more series in specialties Y, Z, J, and D7). Where would that go?

I'm trying to come up with the most extreme examples because this is the point where the hardest questions appear. If I did a series on solar life and decay, it would easily fit in "Science", but where do the series on the Napoleonic Wars go?

I would really love to reincarnate my I Cover Absurdia columns that I wrote for two papers in the '80s. Most of it would, at present, be directed to Diaries, and much of it would belong there. By having diaries full of rants and thoughts and whatnot, the possibility of a regular column is reduced that much more.

I beg you reconsider. "Columns" may not be what you intended or meant, but they have a purpose and place. Sectioning is hard enough as it is. If forced to choose between "Fiction" and "Columns", I would rather keep the fiction under "Culture" and save "Columns", no matter how poor a choice intuitively.

woof.

"The line between genius and stupidity is very fine indeed, but you're so far away from the line that it doesn't matter." -- Parent ]

Oh, get over it. (none / 0) (#44)
by notafurry on Thu Jan 16, 2003 at 12:39:30 PM EST

You just said the same thing Rusty did - that the columns section doesn't work on a site like this because it's just not a good environment for it. Columns work well in a controlled, regulated environment like a regularly published newspaper, not a continuously-updated site like K5. Redefining the definition of "Column" does not suddenly mean you're the authority and because you want to change it, you can.

Second, Economics could go in Science, Culture, Politics... it wouldn't go in Columns, however, because I sincerely hope you weren't intending on making a long-running "column" out of your series.

Third, I don't think anyone is "inspired" by previous multi-part entries so much as they decide they want to write an article and that making it multi-part lets them cover more ground. Whether there's a Column section or not, I don't see that changing.

Fourth, Philosophy is culture. The fact that you don't believe in it doesn't matter, other than by making you seem even more sad and narrow-focus than being excited about a column of economics stories.

[ Parent ]

Quibbles (5.00 / 1) (#53)
by leviramsey on Sat Jan 18, 2003 at 03:28:55 AM EST

Econ is more a soft science, and if I had to pace it, I'd probably go with Science or Culture, but take it a step further. Suppose someone shows up and is also inspired by Matt's Particle Physics and decides to enlighten us with a series on Philosophy. Where does it go? Culture? It has little to do with my culture. Science? There are few things less scientific than Philosophy.

Philosophy fits extremely well with Culture (in case you haven't noticed, Culture is the catch-all category... it could easily be retitled, Other, or Omnibus). And to say that Philosophy and Science have no relation implies to me that you have minimal experience with at least one (and quite possibly or even probably both). Philosophy is thought, nothing more and nothing less... ultimately everything intellectual (Science, [so-called High] Culture, even Politics, etc.) is Philosophy.

Personally, I think the ideal solution is to have a huge number of sections, and spotlight the most popular sections over the past 90 days or so in the top-bar. Also nice would be allowing submissions in multiple sections.



[ Parent ]
Sounds like a diary (none / 0) (#36)
by John Milton on Thu Jan 16, 2003 at 12:01:49 AM EST

A column isn't an occasionally recurring article on a theme. It's a "slot," which appears at a regular predictable time and generally has one author, in which the author writes about whatever they want.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Columns vs. Fiction (4.00 / 1) (#3)
by dr zeus on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 04:27:17 PM EST

Sounds fair. Columns is underutilized, and it really isn't a columns section anyway. Columns should be regularly appearing articles by the same author. Sounds likes a glorified diary to me.

I'm not convinced that a Fiction section will see much use; there might be a large number of submissions, but with K5's critical readership, the majority will not make Section. Personally, I doubt I would read the Fiction section anyway, since I don't have time to read a large article. I say, give it a shot and see how it turns out.

-1 Site News (3.40 / 5) (#4)
by duxup on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 04:31:46 PM EST

-1 to all Site News & Iraq stories

Features (4.90 / 10) (#5)
by highenergystar on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 04:35:23 PM EST

How about calling columns and fiction as features? that way we have a nice ambiguous title that encompasses both types of fields, can accept non recurring articles/write-ups and perhaps (hoping) features guest authors.

vote NO to FICTION (4.25 / 8) (#7)
by eudas on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 04:36:08 PM EST

i vote NAY because i would rather have a seldom-used columns section than a 'fiction' section that gets crapflooded with everybody's lame attempt at fanfic.

eudas
"Nothing is on fire, but the day is still young" -- Phil the Canuck

vote NO to lame fanfic (5.00 / 3) (#11)
by Wah on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 06:00:41 PM EST

it's why we have editors, neh?
--
The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress. -- Joseph Joubert. ...
[ Parent ]
does fiction lead to good discussions? (5.00 / 5) (#8)
by adamba on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 04:53:35 PM EST

It seems that the point of k5 is really the comments as much as the articles, and I don't see how fiction leads to much discussion. One problem is that since it is fiction from the mind of the author, people won't have pre-formed opinions about an issue that they can then bring to the discussion, like they would about a lot of non-fiction topics that are discussed here.

So a fiction discussion would mostly be about a) liking or not liking the story and b) typos and editorial comment (oh and c) "should we get rid of the fiction section on k5?"). There might be some small discussion of the actual subject as it applied to real life (e.g. a story about cloning might lead to some discussion of the ethics of cloning) but mostly it would just be advice to the author on how to improve the story. I'm not sure many people would invest enough in reading the stories to really comment constructively, and even if they did they wouldn't get much out of it (besides the author).

- adam

The flip side (5.00 / 2) (#15)
by rusty on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 06:40:42 PM EST

A good story should provoke discussion. localroger's recent fictional contributions have led to a ton of good discussion, and I don't see why he would be unique in all the world.

If the only thing anyone can think of to say about a story is either "I liked/didn't like it" or an editorial suggestion, then the story sucked and should be voted down.

While a story might spring from the mind of the author, if there aren't any ideas or concepts there that people can connect with, then it's a pretty bad story. I hope if we have a fiction section, we enthusiastically dump bad stories. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Fiction doesn't lead to discussion (3.25 / 4) (#49)
by dipierro on Fri Jan 17, 2003 at 12:41:48 PM EST

It seems that the point of k5 is really the comments as much as the articles, and I don't see how fiction leads to much discussion.

You've apparently never taken a literature course. Think of how much discussion has taken place over the fictional work 1984, for instance.



[ Parent ]
most fiction is not like 1984 (5.00 / 1) (#58)
by adamba on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 12:03:53 AM EST

1984 is speculative science fiction, which is the type of story that is going to attract some discussion on a site like this. Now localroger's story was *also* of a similar nature and I think might have skewed people's idea of how "discussable" fiction will be.

Plus published fiction is extremely well written. The typical k5 fiction piece will be written less well. Now even a somewhat-inferior-to-professionally-written non-fiction piece of the type posted now on k5 can still attract discussion, and I would vote +1 if I think the discussion will be interesting. But I don't think a somewhat-inferior-to-professionally-written fiction piece will attract much discussion (besides criticism of the writing itself), for one thing because most people won't wade through it to the end.

I could be wrong of course...I'll post my story and see how it goes.

- adam

[ Parent ]

Aw man. (none / 0) (#10)
by Jehreg on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 05:32:51 PM EST

I was working on a column of 7+ articles. Check it out in my diary.

Op-Ed (none / 0) (#43)
by SaintPort on Thu Jan 16, 2003 at 08:09:00 AM EST

might not seem as attractive as Columns, but could it work for your series?  Which, by the way, I really enjoy previewing in your diary.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]
Fiat? (1.00 / 2) (#12)
by vyruss on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 06:18:21 PM EST

<quote>by sheer bloodyminded executive fiat</quote>

Actually, there's not very many executives out there driving fiat cars.

Yeah, I know nit-picking on somebody's typo sucks, but it was such a good typo! :D

  • PRINT CHR$(147)

Typo? (5.00 / 2) (#14)
by rusty on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 06:36:15 PM EST

Where's the typo?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
As Socrates said, (none / 0) (#22)
by vyruss on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 09:13:03 PM EST

I know one thing; that I know nothing. I stand corrected (and this proves that a U of Cambridge Proficiency A-grade doesn't mean all that much) :)

By the way, where were you on January 5, 2002? ;)

  • PRINT CHR$(147)

[ Parent ]
01/05/2002 (none / 0) (#27)
by rusty on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 10:18:04 PM EST

I don't know, but I didn't see it as WotD. I just read a lot. Amazing what kind of useless crap you can pick up doing that. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Need more vote options (none / 0) (#16)
by ComradeFork on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 07:14:07 PM EST

Fiction is all very well, but rather than get the awful sludge that is fan-fiction, how about we restrict the section to non-copyrighted works?

This will avoid both the rock bottom quality, and the legal problems of Fan-Fiction.

Fanfic is crap (none / 0) (#17)
by rusty on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 07:18:48 PM EST

I plan to avoid rock-bottom sludge by voting against it, like in every other section. Vote! It works! IMO, all fanfic is crap and this is not the site for it.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Fanfic... (none / 0) (#20)
by carbon on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 07:53:40 PM EST

The problem with fanfics is that the vast majority of them are grade-A crap, with only the occasional gem. Fanfic has it's own merits as a genre, but the problem is that bad writers tend to flock to it since they feel as though they won't have to go through the effort of coming up with anything original.

I think the best policy would be to just vote down crap. If someone submits a very good fanfic, then people will probably vote it up. It'll probably never become an issue, though.


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
We need a miscellaneous section (4.25 / 4) (#18)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 07:34:38 PM EST

I don't think anyone really wants to exclude articles and stories because they don't fit into narrowly defined categories. So we a miscellaneous section.

A miscellaneous section will be an end to all the, "We need a poetry section, a burritto section, a smegma section, a let's complain about Israel section, a dildo section, etc." It can be given a subheading which says something like, "Fiction, numerology, of whatever you feel like."

Anyway, the problem with fiction is that very few people are capable of making good fiction. It will either be underutilized or filled with bad fiction.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

Culture (none / 0) (#26)
by rusty on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 10:16:31 PM EST

"Culture" is pretty much the catchall section, as it was suposed to be.

As for: It will either be underutilized or filled with bad fiction, that may be, and if so, I'm sure we'll think of something else. Of course no decision here is ever really final. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Bad fiction (none / 0) (#29)
by Eric Green on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 10:37:05 PM EST

Rusty, I don't think you understand just *HOW BAD* most of the fanfic stuff out there is. Hint: Slash. Don't know what that is? Don't bother. It's generally illegal anyhow (since it typically uses characters copyrighted by Paramount or other movie studies, such as Kirk/Spock). Then there's the furry stuff. That's downright... bizarre.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
And (none / 0) (#31)
by rusty on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 10:45:11 PM EST

I do know what you're talking about, and, as I feel like I keep saying over and over, why would anyone vote for that? Especially considering the slew of comments warning against it, where are the lurking hordes who really just want a whole lot of slash fanfic?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
But does it catch enough balls? (none / 0) (#34)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 11:42:46 PM EST

It does an admirable job of being a miscellaneous section, but why not call a spade a spade? Some things still get an awkard fit under the present system. Obviously, fiction doesn't fit. Then there's math, philosophy, linguistics, history, economics, and various kinds of how-to guides.

Again it would end all the "we need X" talk forever. I would think you would like that.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

End all talk forever (5.00 / 2) (#37)
by rusty on Thu Jan 16, 2003 at 12:14:41 AM EST

Why do we need to end all section adjustments forever? My operating principle has always been that when it seems like the site is calling for a change, we will make a change. If there's enough demand for something, we can add it. If not, we won't. A catchall section shouldn't, I think, be an end in and of itself. It should be a safety net for the rare but valuable.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
K5 is too slow (3.00 / 2) (#19)
by trener on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 07:39:12 PM EST

for me to post a comment suggesting that you spend your valuable time upgrading K5 servers.

Columns.... (none / 0) (#21)
by /dev/trash on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 08:21:53 PM EST

I never understood why we had that designation anyway.  The way it's worded is like we have a Jon Katz or other submitters like Slashdot.  We don't.  We just have users.

I'm torn on Fiction though.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site

-1, Don't put the whole story in the intro. (none / 0) (#23)
by nstenz on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 09:18:38 PM EST

It fills up the diary page with useless crap.

What, this isn't a diary?

good idea but... (1.00 / 1) (#24)
by anonymous pancake on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 09:22:57 PM EST

How can someone fairly vote for fiction??? I for instance write humourous homosexual sex stories... which are appreciated by many but not all. I would expect this to be posted, as I put a lot of work into it... but who's to say some christian fundementalists might gang up and vote my submition down? The only fair way to treat this is to accept ALL submissions.


---
. <---- This is not a period, it is actually a very small drawing of the prophet mohhamed.
I TOTALLY AGREE! ACCEPT ALL SUBMISSIONS!!!! (none / 0) (#25)
by trener on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 09:40:38 PM EST

holy shit, that's an INCREDIBLE idea.

mod queue mayhem made legitimate! i guarantee that it'd be a) the busiest, and b) the most entertaining section on K5.

[ Parent ]
Most stories are cr*p (none / 0) (#28)
by Eric Green on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 10:33:54 PM EST

Frankly, having read some of what passes as "fan fic" on the Web, I'd rather not see the typical lame slash and furry on the front pages of Kuroshin. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're better off :-). I think we do need to vote on stories, even if just to sort them from highest to lowest so I can ignore the ones that get the lowest scores.

Actually, I think the whole notion of a "fiction" section is a waste of time. A good story takes weeks to write. I doubt there's more than a half dozen readers of Kuro5hin who have the literary talent to produce a reasonable piece of fiction, and given the amount of time it takes to write a good story, that means we might see one readable fiction story a week at best, one readable fiction story a month as a more probable result. And frankly, if I was going to drag out some of my old stuff like "A Girl and Her Dog" or "The Tiger and the Bear" and polish them off, I'd be more likely to ship'em off to _Asimov's_ or _The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction_ rather than to Kuro5hin.... not that I'd do that anyhow (I have enough trouble finding time to write songs).
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

Why does it have to be on K5? (4.66 / 6) (#32)
by godix on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 10:50:38 PM EST

Rusty has started a non-profit organization with the goal of funding more than just K5. Has anyone considered making their own fiction site and requesting aid from the non-profit corp? Why exactly should a 'technology and culture' site turn into 'technology, culture, and someones half-written D&D novel' site when the half-written novel can go to it's own place?


Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.

Yes (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by The Bedlington Ape on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 11:43:27 PM EST

Speaking as a purely fictional character, I think I can say on behalf of all fictional members of Kuro5hin that this brave proposal has our wholehearted endorsement.



Nay (none / 0) (#38)
by LJ on Thu Jan 16, 2003 at 12:49:47 AM EST

I would be interested in knowing if you will take some peoples suggestion to use the CMF as a true umbrella org, or if it will remain K5 with a different name? BTW, was this story supposed to have a poll so people wouldn't need to post comments?

-LJ
"A feature is a bug the programmers don't want to fix"

CMF (none / 0) (#39)
by rusty on Thu Jan 16, 2003 at 02:13:45 AM EST

Yes, CMF will be an umbrella org, but it's not up yet. Besides which I think the idea of starting a collaborative writing site is fine and good, but not really what's up for debate here. This is about whether to provide a place here on K5 for finished, polished, publishable works of fictional writing. I think a whole site for fiction would go in a different direction than that. It's a good idea, but not this idea.

The relevant poll is linked in the story ("general vote") The poll appears on the front page, for hopefully maximum notice by the community at large. This is basically a pointer and explanation of that.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Columns (none / 0) (#40)
by mumble on Thu Jan 16, 2003 at 05:15:44 AM EST

Rusty, if the columns section is not working as expected, why not use it for yourself? Some, maybe many, here wouldn't mind a, say weekly, editorial form you on some thing or other. Since no one in the community has taken up the bat, why don't you?

Well, only a suggestion. Probably too late though, as I am going to vote for the Fiction section.

-----
stats for a better tomorrow
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"They must know I'm here. The half and half jug is missing" - MDC.
"I've grown weary of googling the solutions to my many problems" - MDC.

A weekly column (none / 0) (#56)
by enterfornone on Sat Jan 18, 2003 at 08:45:45 AM EST

On starving cats and sql issues.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Connect stories to make a book (none / 0) (#42)
by inerte on Thu Jan 16, 2003 at 07:00:38 AM EST

It would be cool if Fiction authors could:
  1. Edit their stories;
  2. Connect them, to form pages of a book;
I don't know if the purpose of the Fiction section is to write short stories or full-blow sagas. But I think it's good to leave the option for those who desire to do so.

--
CID 4596201: Of course power users can always use another distro, or just

Nah (3.00 / 1) (#45)
by jann on Thu Jan 16, 2003 at 10:43:26 PM EST

A fiction section does not become K5.

K5 is about discussion ... "Technology and culture from the trenches" does not extend to creative writing. To branch into this area would dilute the K5 brand and undermine the fundamental fabric of what makes K5 great.

The submission queue and the diary section have been bombarded for a considerable time with forays into fiction. This has not improved K5, merely added to the already significant level of static.

A feedback orientated creative writing system is an admirable fit with scoop model of feedback orientated discussion, but not as an integral part of the K5 website. As its own cohesive unit it may be a success - ie www.kuro5hin.org/fiction/ or www.fiction.kuro5hin.org - but it does not advance the fundamental "core" values of the K5 website. And, I suspect, it would actually be a failure ... why? because K5 users post fiction to K5 as a response to their desire to be widely heard. A fiction scoop site would have to survive under its own "inherent value" or, to rephrase, without the existing userbase that is K5 very few would access the site leading to it being a failure.

I suspect that most users who post fiction are seeking some form of peer acceptance of their creative writing (eg. see la princessa). The fact is most of it is crap. With its own scoop site it would be forced to survive on its own merits and, I predict, it would not. Because the "peer" do not really wish to read predominately second rate fiction and would shun it. As a result, whilst it may have initial success, within the first 12 months its active userbase would dwindle into insignificance.

So, Yes to a Scoop fiction site, but not as an integral part of K5. If it is a great idea (tm) it will have no problems surviving on its own intrinsic merits. But K5 has enough problems reagrding content already. To extend it into Fiction would cause K5 to spiral more towards the  slashdot arena of "to much to be absorbed by one person in one day."

Jann

Methinks you are very presumptuous (none / 0) (#52)
by leviramsey on Sat Jan 18, 2003 at 03:18:49 AM EST

K5 is about discussion

K5 is about "Technology and Culture". The discussions are icing on the cake; to some, the icing is the best part, to others the icing is a bonus, and to a few, it would be better off without the icing. Within that framework, Fiction most certainly fits within that remit; what could be more in Culture than fiction?

The submission queue and the diary section have been bombarded for a considerable time with forays into fiction. This has not improved K5, merely added to the already significant level of static.

I have seen comparatively little fiction posted to the queue (compared with, say, poorly written, amateurish Op-Eds, truly mindless MLPs, and dime-a-dozen trolls), and a slightly larger amount is posted to the Diaries. There has hardly been bombardment. In addition, I doubt that a Fiction section will substantially increase the amount of static on the site; it would be hard to have a lower signal-to-noise ratio in the Diary section (which is, at least for me, the greatest part of its charm) and as for the front-page, well, Fiction would still have to be voted on, and, considering the animosity that many such as yourself have demonstrated, I doubt that many fictional works would survive voting, thus one can conclude that what fiction would be posted would be of a uniformly higher quality than the rest of the site. As for noise in the submission queue, I say, "So what?" What crap is submitted is consistently annihilated by the voters and doesn't last too long.

A feedback orientated creative writing system is an admirable fit with scoop model of feedback orientated discussion, but not as an integral part of the K5 website. As its own cohesive unit it may be a success - ie www.kuro5hin.org/fiction/ or www.fiction.kuro5hin.org - but it does not advance the fundamental "core" values of the K5 website

And what would these core values be? The simple fact is that there are no real core values at K5, short of a belief that as many editorial decisions as possible should be made collectively (which is ultimately what the rating and voting systems are the embodiment of). Even if, as you will probably assert, one of those core values is discussion of thought-provoking matters, than I reply, how does a Fiction section fail to advance those values? Fiction can be very thought-provoking; one could even go so far as to say that it must be thought-provoking in order to be of value.

I suspect, it would actually be a failure ... why? because K5 users post fiction to K5 as a response to their desire to be widely heard.

Is there anybody who posts to the submission queue who does not do so out of a desire to be widely heard? If vanity submissions to the queue (let alone the Diary section!) are to be verboten, K5 will die a quick death, starved for content.

I suspect that most users who post fiction are seeking some form of peer acceptance of their creative writing

Somehow I don't get the impression that the bulk of the Op-Eds or even MLPs are written for a purpose other than a quest for some form of peer acceptance of their opinions/persuasive writing skills/abundance of free time to spend browsing inane webpages.

The fact is most of it is crap

The fact is most of the content on Kuro5hin is crap. And it is the blend of crap with transcendantly great content that makes Kuro5hin what it is; no site has come closer to perfecting that balance than this one.



[ Parent ]
None Of The Above (none / 0) (#46)
by johwsun on Fri Jan 17, 2003 at 03:11:03 AM EST



Redesign the columns section (5.00 / 1) (#47)
by izogi on Fri Jan 17, 2003 at 04:42:59 AM EST

My first reaction to reading this was Why Columns? The columns section seems to get some of the more carefully written articles compared with some other sections. I voted No for this reason, even considering what I've said below.

Then I realised that you're probably referring to the assumption that a column would be a regularly recurring topic by someone, and because of the way K5 works, this hasn't eventuated.

I'd still like to have a columns section, but maybe it should work differently from how it works now. For example, I'd probably quite happily write a semi-regular space and astronomy column, or at least republish the internal one that I send around my astronomical society. Unfortunately it's not going to work under the current system because people would start voting them down as soon as they became semi-regular.

How about re-designing it a little to encourage people to write columns as well as encouraging more sub-communities? Here's a possible design of how I think it could work:

Column stories get automatically posted, similar to the diary section. In fact, a diary would be just another form of column. Any user can create and name a column that they publish, and post stories to it whenever they want to. Maybe they can also write a short description of the column. (eg. "This column is posted on Wednesday afternoons with updates on the happenings in psychoacoustics.")

Any other user would be able to select columns that they like reading as part of their preferences. On viewing the columns section or the everything section, recent stories from all of their preferred columns would be visible. (Maybe there's also a separate way to view all of the columns in total, which would be visibly similar to the current diaries section.)

Such a system would encourage people to write regular columns, because they wouldn't have to worry about each individual story being rejected by the bulk of users who were sick of seeing generally similar stories in the mod queue. Instead, the column owner would have control over what was posted to it. Most users wouldn't be bothered by columns they weren't interested in, but smaller sub-communities could develop around the authors who wrote interesting regular columns. Maybe users can set a flag that emails them a note when a new story is posted to a given column, and that would let people who aren't k5 regulars still keep coming back for the niche-topics that they're interested in.

Add a few minor extras such as letting an author see who's subscribed to their column, and it'd encourage the good ones to keep going and often try to write with a quality that would attract more subscribers.

Thoughts?


- izogi


Way too open to abuse... (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by leviramsey on Sat Jan 18, 2003 at 02:51:57 AM EST

...much like the Diary section, which suffers from more than enough crapflooding as it is. Also, what exactly is the difference between the envisioned Columns section and the Diaries? I'm not really spotting one, except perhaps the ability for authors to see who has Hotlisted them.



[ Parent ]
The way I see it... (4.50 / 2) (#54)
by izogi on Sat Jan 18, 2003 at 06:59:27 AM EST

Well the intent was that most people won't see columns except the ones they want to see. The global columns section would effectively be a catch-all, and wouldn't necessarily be needed. (Perhaps there are other ways for users to publicise their columns.)

As long as they're aimed at the niche interest groups, the only reason that a column needs to be seen outside of that is to let people know it's there so they can find it in the first place.


- izogi


[ Parent ]
Columns (none / 0) (#55)
by enterfornone on Sat Jan 18, 2003 at 08:44:27 AM EST

If you really want a column you can always write a regular article in another section or in the diaries (I used to post a regular comics column to diaries). The columns section only really made sense when Inoshiro and the it's shit guy had regular columns. It pointless now.

OT, but somewhat related - I'd love to see topics in diaries. That way you could seperate your astonomy diaries from your trouble with girls or whatever.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]

Diary columns (none / 0) (#59)
by izogi on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 02:27:17 PM EST

If you really want a column you can always write a regular article in another section or in the diaries (I used to post a regular comics column to diaries).

Well the 'another section' idea was one of the problems I was commenting on initially. Posting in a regular section requires going through the mod queue meaning everyone has to vote on it, and sooner or later more and more people are going to get bored seeing similar-topic'ed stories and vote them down. Especially if it's a niche topic that maybe 5% of people are interested in.

The advantage with an unmodded system is that people wouldn't have to put up with seeing the same column on the moderate page all the time. Obviously it's not the sort of thing to put too close to the front of K5, because there's no control over quality.

I think the topics-in-diary section idea is a good one, but I'd take it slightly further because not all columns are diaries. How about renaming the diary section to 'columns', and letting people set a topic? Often this topic would be diary, but it might also be many other things. In other words, the columns section is as it is now, but unmoderated and also so stories never go to the front page.

I still think it'd be cool to allow users to create their column formally, and associate the entries with a column title. (eg. "enterfornone's weekly movie reviews".) I guess that would be a slightly more complicated extention to scoop.


- izogi


[ Parent ]
Compromise solution: "Prose section" (none / 0) (#48)
by Karl Cocknozzle on Fri Jan 17, 2003 at 12:00:10 PM EST

Why does it have to be an A/B decision? Why "Columns" or "Fiction"?

Why not just change it to "Prose" and let the writer himself distinguish whether its intended as fiction or non-fiction/opinion writing. The idea of a fiction area is very cool, but not at the expense of removing an appropriate place for people to post opinionated non-fiction.

-- "It's craptacular."


Opinionated non-fiction (none / 0) (#50)
by leviramsey on Sat Jan 18, 2003 at 02:45:06 AM EST

Belongs in the op-ed section. The Columns section is more for regular series. Unfortunately, Scoop's voting system doesn't necessarily handle this case that well, and it could be argued that the user-base doesn't handle it that much better.



[ Parent ]
Adding Fiction and Removing Columns (none / 0) (#57)
by Mysidia on Sat Jan 18, 2003 at 05:34:25 PM EST

Are separate activities.

If the results of a poll are to be used to determine both of those, then the polls should be done separately as discrete issues.

So for example people who don't want a Fiction section can still vote in favor of the removal of columns, and so that those who think a Fiction section should be added but don't want Columns to vanish can express themselves fully in the poll.

Oh, and the poll should say "Add a fiction section and delete the columns section" if that's what the plan is, and not simply "Add a fiction section" with a hidden meaning.

There are after all a lot of people who may see the front page and think, "Oh, fiction section.. Cool!" without realizing that their click on vote brought their beloved Columns section one step closer to demise

Or may think, "Oh fiction section, Yuck!" and click-hit No+vote without realizing they just wasted an opportunity to bring the dreadful Columns section one vote closer to demise.



-Mysidia the insane @k5
Fiction Section Poll | 59 comments (59 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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