I just wanted to clarify a few things that I said in a comment thread on this story, in a place where everyone could see them.
Here’s my original comment:
“I understand your concerns, guys, but I’d ask that you give things a little time to settle down before freaking out too badly. :) Ficlets technically hasn’t even shut down yet (Jan 15th) and integrating members of one existing community into another can always cause a little grief.
The comment-based tagging will end a soon as I finish putting in a built-in “challenge” mechanism (funnily enough, this was something Dysphemism [suggested] ages before the Ficlets folk[s] started coming over.)
As for any kind of clique-ish or isolationist behaviour, well, the only problem with that is that we don’t have groups on the site yet. Once that’s in there.. well, that would be the expected behaviour within each group. This is all part of the growing pains of any kind of community site and I’m keeping an eye on it.
I would expect the zeal of our new members to die down a little bit eventually, though, so I’d ask you all to please bear with it for the time being. A little patience should solve much of this. :)”
To clarify that statement: I didn’t mean to imply that anyone was at fault for anything here (and maybe I misread your original message, Trish.)
I have had a few authors on the site email me and voice their concerns primarily about the deluge of re-posted material from Ficlets, which is shutting down for good later this week. That’s more what I’m talking about when I said things should settle down soon. Re-posted content can be a little tough to deal with in an established collaborative community, as our existing authors aren’t really sure if they can contribute or not. I would ask that if you are re-posting material from another source, that you please clarify whether it’s okay for people to contribute to it in the author guidance for the story. That should put everyone a little more at ease when re-publishing stories from another site.
I really hope the activity on the site itself doesn’t settle down, or else I’d be shooting myself in the foot. :)
As to challenges, they won’t be restricted to groups or anything of that sort. I’m still thinking about how to work them into the interface, but they’ll be a separate way of requesting that someone follow up on a branch or chapter. That will avoid the “by invitation only” kind of feeling authors are getting right now, seeing all of the challenge spam/comments going back and forth on the activity feeds. And if you have any questions about how groups (writing circles) will work, there’s a blog post here describing them in a bit more detail. They should be nothing if not beneficial to the site’s mechanics.
As to notifications being a bit spammy, I’m thinking some of you may not be aware they they are at least somewhat configurable. While the system isn’t quite totally done and granular yet, you can read about how to configure your notifications in the Getting Started guide. I’ll be making some tweaks to the on-site notifications display down the road, as well. But in the meantime you shouldn’t be getting a deluge of email if you’ve set yourself up not to receive any.
Finally, I’d just ask that everyone have a little patience. The merging of two active communities is always likely to be a bumpy ride, and this was unplanned. If any of our authors, new or old, have concerns that they’d like to share with me, please contact me directly, or feel free to post a comment here, and I’ll do my best to reply promptly.