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Author Topic: A few ideas  (Read 6296 times)
Another Roy
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« on: June 01, 2010, 10:47:43 PM »

First of all, thanks for all the good work on the site over the years. I've been participating on and off for almost nine years now and would love to see 100words continue and improve.

Here are some of my ideas, in no particular order:

-- Allow people to include a photo with their entry to add some visual interest to the site. I've created a handful of these over the years and sent them to my friends and even turned them into greeting cards. But I couldn't post them to 100words.

-- Provide URLs to individual stories instead of whole batches. This would let us to show specific stories to people, where we might not be able to convince them to scan through a whole batch.

-- Allow us, officially, to link to other stories and websites. I've done this once or twice but felt bad that I was breaking the rules.

-- Set up some sort of mechanism for group writing. I'm in my third month of doing this with a couple of friends where every day we write a piece inspired by the person who wrote before us. (See http://drinkthenewwine.blogspot.com/.) And boy does it make the writing come easier. People could come up with their own rules, and all you'd need to do is allow people to link to other entries.

-- Implement some sort of voting system to bring good entries to the attention of the person that chooses the featured entries.

-- Allow commenting on entries. This could be problematic, but I'd suggest you follow the Youtube paradigm, where people can choose how to manage (or delete) the comments their entries receive.

-- Create a subset of 100words, where we write 100 character stories, which are then distributed on Twitter together with a link to promote the main site.

-- Finally, get some sort of cookie thing going so that I don't have to enter my password every single day!

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Roy
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2010, 11:34:32 PM »

Thanks, Other Roy, for the idea list. Let me respond to one at a time...

-- Allow people to include a photo with their entry to add some visual interest to the site. I've created a handful of these over the years and sent them to my friends and even turned them into greeting cards. But I couldn't post them to 100words.

Yeah, I thought of something like that too, when Jeff was publishing his own photos with captions. A person could publish 100 words, with a photo for each entry. We could even do something where 30 people each contribute a single photo, then each day everyone gets to write about the next photo.

-- Provide URLs to individual stories instead of whole batches. This would let us to show specific stories to people, where we might not be able to convince them to scan through a whole batch.

Also considered at one time, thought to be a good idea, but not quite implemented. This could be done by using URL slicing tricks, something like...

http://100words.com/sites/membername/batchid/entryid

The code is not in place for this to work, at this time, but I have enough written variations of it that I am confident I could build it. This also starts us on the path of mini-websites, with 'vanity urls' that lead you right to a members published content.

-- Allow us, officially, to link to other stories and websites. I've done this once or twice but felt bad that I was breaking the rules.

That would be a link from within a 100 Words entry, I presume?

I guess it would be useful if you were referring to something outside the website so that people could explore. As long as it doesn't start appearing as spam, or just turn into some attempt to boost a websites Google rankings. Sure is going to make the word counter more difficult for me though.

It would be interesting to get Jeff to chime in on whether the external links still have a reason to be taboo.

-- Set up some sort of mechanism for group writing. I'm in my third month of doing this with a couple of friends where every day we write a piece inspired by the person who wrote before us. (See http://drinkthenewwine.blogspot.com/.) And boy does it make the writing come easier. People could come up with their own rules, and all you'd need to do is allow people to link to other entries.

I had not considered this, but it seems like it could be fun. We had discussed more flexibility with allowing members to create their own batches. They could choose the duration, the theme, then invite other people to participate.

-- Implement some sort of voting system to bring good entries to the attention of the person that chooses the featured entries.

Yep, I have been wanting some better system for choosing the featured entries. A voting system would take the burden off of me. How do I keep people from 'stuffing the ballot box' though? Can people vote for themselves?

-- Allow commenting on entries. This could be problematic, but I'd suggest you follow the Youtube paradigm, where people can choose how to manage (or delete) the comments their entries receive.

Yeah, I like the comment idea too. I've wanted to post my own feedback and remarks on some of the more interesting entries. I'm thinking this feature could be enabled/disabled by the user (Yes, people can attach comments or No, people cannot), plus have them able to delete individual entries.

-- Create a subset of 100words, where we write 100 character stories, which are then distributed on Twitter together with a link to promote the main site.

That might take some time. Would the entries themselves be in 100 word increments too?

-- Finally, get some sort of cookie thing going so that I don't have to enter my password every single day!

Funny you should mention that. Just today, I changed some of the programming that I think will keep you logged in for 2 weeks at a time. I also tried to give some visual indication whether you were logged in by putting your username on the front page (need to put that throughout the site).

Thanks again for the feedback. I've always felt site had a great deal of additional potential, to expand on its current offerings, while still motivating people to write and share their work. It's good to see that many of the ideas you're proposing are the same ones we've had too.
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Another Roy
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2010, 12:01:54 AM »

A few clarifications:

-- Re: Photos. I once set out to do an entire batch with photos, but gave up because it was too much work. I wouldn't make photos a requirement for each entry, but rather let people post photo for a single entry if they felt it was suitable.

-- Add my vote for vanity URLs. I think I'd asked Jeff for this a while ago.

-- Allow links within an entry, yes. But also apart from the entry. I've also been posting my entries for my serial writing project on Facebook and sending them by e-mail, and on those postings I always add a link to the entry that preceded mine, so that people can read my inspiration. Obviously this cannot be part of the word count. Anyway, your software already allows it, it's just the rules that don't. To avoid spam, add to your voting system something that allows us to flag such misbehaviour.

-- Voting shouldn't choose which entries get featured, rather the voting system would only be used to bring entries to the moderators attention. Someone still makes the final decision, but this might make their job easier.

-- For Twitter I was suggesting 100 *character* entries. Either stories unto themselves (a challenge) or teasers for longer stories on the site.

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steamed dumpling
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2010, 05:02:03 PM »

I think the idea of having optional photos for an entry is really wonderful.  I also find the idea of having comments on entries completely terrifying, although I don't know why.   Shocked

The consensus on the forum so far seems to be to make sure that the changes be optional, which is very reasonable.  Some of them are really exciting and cool, though, and I'm looking forward to seeing what other people suggest.
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Roy
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2010, 02:05:28 PM »

I think the idea of having optional photos for an entry is really wonderful.  I also find the idea of having comments on entries completely terrifying, although I don't know why.   Shocked

The consensus on the forum so far seems to be to make sure that the changes be optional, which is very reasonable.  Some of them are really exciting and cool, though, and I'm looking forward to seeing what other people suggest.

I do want to be careful not to alienate or intimidate the people that have made 100 Words a success for so long. So, in the case of allowing comments, I would definitely allow a user to opt-out of that.

Ideally, all feedback and comments would be positive or at least polite & constructive. The anonymity of the Internet sometimes brings out the cruelest sides of people, no doubt feeling they need to unleash the torrent of pent-up meanness they themselves have been subjected to for too long.
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steamed dumpling
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2010, 08:56:15 PM »

I agree that if you did create a comments feature it would mostly be used for encouragement and positive comments, because everyone on this site seems really nice.  For the same reason, I don't think anyone on here would abuse the "vote featured" button, which was something that one of the other posters on here was concerned about.

While the members of 100words are some very classy people and would only leave classy comments, I have a feeling we would also get a flood of comments advertising cheap generic drugs from Russian spam-bots.  (We have almost 200 members on this forum... I think the spam-bots are preparing to strike.)
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Roy
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2010, 11:25:59 PM »

While the members of 100words are some very classy people and would only leave classy comments, I have a feeling we would also get a flood of comments advertising cheap generic drugs from Russian spam-bots.  (We have almost 200 members on this forum... I think the spam-bots are preparing to strike.)

Yeah, thanks for the heads-up on that.

I neglected to activate the most basic email activation feature on the website to slow some of the spam. That has now been corrected. I also deleted all the accounts that had 0 posts to their name.

Hopefully, that will slow the tide a little.
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Roy
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2010, 08:57:40 AM »

-- Provide URLs to individual stories instead of whole batches. This would let us to show specific stories to people, where we might not be able to convince them to scan through a whole batch.

I am happy to say that today I've added a tiny link icon, displayed when reading entries, that is a direct link to that entry.
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dr1nk1ngm3rcury
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2010, 06:25:32 PM »

Some more suggestions:

-an option to make entries private or available only to select people
-an option to delete or hibernate your account
-an option to make your entries "invisible" to search engines
-maybe instead of allowing comments, have some kind of rating system for entries. Maybe a feature that would allow you to "like" someone's entry, like on Facebook
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p.a.turner
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2010, 01:05:24 PM »

just wanted to say, there is something wonderful about 100 Words.
It's like having a secret box full of letters stashed away.

thank you.
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feeble
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2011, 10:56:40 PM »

I think this may have been covered indirectly earlier....

Would it be possible to link individual entries within 100words?

I love reading other peoples entries. They provide inspiration, relfection and conformation.

I know this could turn into a beast, rampaging links between and over all entries and all people. However this could be a personal system of connections. Shown only to the person who creates them and who ever they choose to show (maybe by a survivor/friend system).

If the links were able to have lables, they could become like literary playlists.
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steamed dumpling
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2011, 08:55:44 PM »

Hello,

When you're logged in, you'll see a little link icon next to each entry.  Clicking that link takes you to a permanent URL for that entry.

You can read more here: http://forums.100words.com/index.php?topic=25.msg67#msg67
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boytaRose
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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2011, 11:07:01 AM »

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