[Sticky] WABD future
Oh yes, of course, Richard. We can't have it both ways. 🙁 And use of a forum is why I brought up Wild Poetry and the way they have made a forum style writing site work there.
I'm afraid it does seem to have come to the end of its function as a creative writing site.....a useful forum though?
Goth, my experience at the site I mention tells me this isn't true- but Wild Poetry does persistently remind its members that it is meant to function as a ( in their case, poetry only) workshop, not a showcase of finished work; not a publishing venue.
Yes, I do understand that Bel, it's just that I think most people interested in creative writing, admittedly probably mainly poets, do like to lay their work out in ways that add to the overall effect and attraction of the presentation, and even fun and ease of reading. They also like to keep them together in listed order, to keep easy track of them chronologically. A lot of the social interaction and personal development is achieved by the continuation of comments, especially critique, between the like-minded or those who share great affinity regarding person, style, and/or messaging i.e. life philosophies. I think the showcasing part is an important aspect with regard to the attractiveness of the site, and the major function and magnet of a creative writing site. I looked at Wild Poetry and if I'm honest, I wasn't very impressed at what I saw and experienced, but then when a cat's tasted the cream..... and UKAuthors was something special, very clean, professional, and attractive, in short, I've been spoilt! Hahaha!
Hello folks. As some of you may know I've recently returned from two months of travelling, first to New Zealand to meet my new granddaughter, then a second visit to Costa Rica, which is one of my favourite places in the whole world, to meet some of my more distant primate family relatives. The result is that I'm badly behind on the subject of recent Write and Be Damned / UKAuthors developments. It sounds like things haven't improved since I went away – still very few of the old members re-joining, lots of problems with spam accounts and various little site glitches. Also it seems a move afoot to go back to something more like UKAuthors Mk. 1. It's a lot to take in. Personally I'm a lot less concerned about the appearance and layout of the site than the number and quality of the submissions and comments.
If it's any consolation Gold Dust, after 14 years of continuous publication, is going through similar difficulties. Omma Velada, who has been our rock, has had to take a back seat for a couple of issues while she sorts out her personal life, and Adele Geraghty our poetry editor is having serious problems with her eyesight that make it very difficult for her to contribute like she used to, so the whole thing has come down rather heavily on my own ageing shoulders. Apart altogether from the internal problems we simply aren't getting the number or quality of submissions that we did at our peak. For a long time we were getting more than 100 short story submissions from all over the world for each issue, now that's down to about 35- 40, and without meaning to be unkind very few of them would have made it into the magazine in the old days. I don't know whether to blame social media, as Andrea seems to, or just the way all good ideas tend to run their course and fizzle out.
On a more positive note I've managed to download all of my UKAuthors archive by the simple but slow method of copy-and-paste into a monster Word file. I tried all the suggestions of how to do it with clever software but didn't get on with any of them.
Looking anew at your whole back catalogue is a very interesting thing to do. I've got most or all of them in old folders and backup discs etc. but to see all of them in one place, complete with the comments, gives you a real overview of your whole writing history. My first thought was that it isn't such a bad body of work. I feel reasonably satisfied with at least half of the stories, and the comments are really interesting to re-read. The whole archive, including comments, comes to a bit under half a million words. A lot of the stories were re-written and worked on, some of them published or put into anthologies and the like, but in the archive I've got the original versions without very much revision and it's fascinating for me to see how some of them have evolved. Several of them ended up, greatly altered, as chapters or incidents in the novel 'Engineering Paradise'. The other thing I noticed was the amazingly large number of song lyrics I've written over the years, either within stories or stand-alone. Now that I'm in communication with so many singer/songwriters and musicians I'm going to have a go at getting people to turn them into actual songs. This process has in fact begun - a brilliant singer /songwriter named Christine Linge liked the song called 'Promises' that appears as lyrics in a short story of mine of the same name and turned it into a great (in my view but I'm biased) Country and Western number:
Writing song lyrics for the stage musical version of 'Engineering Paradise' and nursing that project along has of course come to occupy a big chunk of my life now. Here is a great version of one of the songs by a lady named Dayna Lynn:
However, I don't intend to desert my first love, short stories, and am determined to go on submitting to WABD or whatever it mutates into until they come to take me away in the big box with the brass handles!
I'm not sure the new UKA should ever be a version of ABCtales. Only room for one such format in cyberspace, I think. I also recognise the fact that new UKA won't be the same as old UKA. Old UKA was fantastic... but 'of its time'. I can't imagine many folks will not have good memories of how it was. But life goes on. I don 't think the previous level of commenting and interaction on submissions will ever be the same again. The stark truth of the matter is that there are only about half a dozen folks who like to comment and interact on WABD. I also can't see much evidence of in-depth critique.
I gather from Richard's comments that new UKA is intended to be a forum only. Not entirely sure what that means. I like the idea of interacting in a 'fun(ish)' way with other folks who have a literary bent (like wot I have), but the new 'Poetry' boards scare the bejeezus out of me. I don't have a clue what most of the forms are. What's a Ghazal? Not a clue. Is a Shi a breed of dog? Is Tanka a mystical Japanese martial art? Does old UKA, present WABD or new UKA have any members who are ever likely to submit poems in many of these formats? I keep looking at the new site and I'm desperate to pitch in and submit some poetry and short stories, but I'm unsure what category to submit them to. Most of my scribblings don't really conform to any particular form or category. A lot of it is an attempt at humour... but there's all sorts of humour and often humour is not the original (or sole) intention.
Please understand that this post is not in any way criticizing Richard and that nice young Andrea. I'm in awe of what they did with old UKA and what they're attempting to do here. I tip my virtual hat to both. It's just that they've asked for comments/opinions/suggestions and I'm trying to do that in the best way I can.
I honestly think the idea of a forum (similar to old UKA and present WABD) for us literary folks to interact with equal measures of critique, debate, humour and general insanity is fantastic. However, I still think the inclusion of a showcasing facility (as I described above) for each member which allows comments is the way forward. Not the idea of posting to a myriad of different poetry formats/styles wot most folks wouldn't use anyways.
I'm now retired... and apart from family, gardening and decorating demands on my time... leaves me with the ability to volunteer for moderating duties. I'd be happy to moderate the Poetry section if it could be organised as a showcasing board. With a little bit of techno-advice, I should be able to create pages for folks and I'm certainly capable of giving any miscreants a finger wagging, a red flag, or indeed a slapping of their bare bum with a wet kipper if required.
I understand Luigi has also tentatively offered himself for moderating duties... which quite possibly gives you two stonkingly good old fellas.
I've looked up and looked down. I've even done the okey-cokey and turned around, but I still can't find where my lost youth has gone. Has anyone seen it? There's unfinished business.
I'm getting very confused here. It hadn't quite sunk in that the new UKA will be just a forum, but with categories and submissions as well (?). Maybe I've misunderstood but are we not just chasing our own tails (or tales)? If we wanted a forum we've got a forum. That's what this thing is that I'm typing on right now. If we wanted a whole bunch of categories we could create them here. The simple fact is, it's very inactive. It's weeks and often months between individual posts. Why should a new forum somewhere else be any more active than this one? What's going to bring the people in? I'm not trying to rain on anybody's parade, I just don't understand what the point would be of starting up another forum. If that's the answer can somebody please tell me, what was the question?
Everyone hold fire!
Things will be changing but we (A &R) are still trying to work out the best way forward - sort of like brexit but MUCH more important!
A few things to mention:
1) WABD engine (Wordpress) is crap and so a major rethink is underway.
2) UKA engine (what we used for 15+ years on UKA) is bust beyond repair so we can't go back to that engine.
3) The UKAuthors website will be rebuilt and we will be reverting to the original domain name (ukauthors.com)
4) WABD was a bit of a disaster really weren't it! (my fault (R) entirely)
5) We will be attempting a PROPER UKA rebirth.
6) Sorry about all chaos and confusion all this has caused.
a few things can be done so that temporarily we can enjoy this brand new site.
the i am not a robot
any email that is not the email of an old ukaneer that posted at least one work and one comment has to wait to be accepted.
so old members who had even minimum activity can join wabd.
it's a new promising site we must not forget it and it may have attracted enemies. the old uka's format/platform was too old to become a threat a rival. this one? yes it can. oh yeah. it is very promising.
you know what I mean?
try to implement some simple things for hackers and bots even if it means getting rid of the shoutbox then do it.
I remember when I was a site owner of php writers site. At some point I found out they used the pms not only the forums to hack. So I deactivated permanently pms. And told them all use your bloody emails for private messaging, here we WRITE.
I plead not ordinary
I am absolutely certain that we are fighting against sophisticated bots from now on.
because the site's format this platform has the potential of becoming as successful as facebook's and twitter's
it's not about wabd. it's a platform war. big sharks out there. as big as facebook and google. think about it.
I also think that any site out there that uses the "like" buttons and IS a community will attract BOTS.
I plead not ordinary
and since it's a good thing people to talk I will add another reply and hopefully I will make more sense.
the social networking sites managed to make themselves almost essential as links to them. "facebook" here and "twitter" there and so on
what does that mean? who knows what crappy stuff they can do to the sites that place/use/implement these links? these are algorithms at work. bots easily come from anywhere and such active links are an open invitation to them. I think I mentioned it again once upon a time, do not link to facebook at all. share this on facebook hell no. create communities there groups and link your site to facebook in a reverse manner. no link here to facebook. we were an online community first!
now I must risk frying my brain for a poem, I think I must stop thinking about the hackerbot dangers this platform faces if I want to have an active brain for poetry. (one of the reasons I stopped being a website owner: members and their quarrels were catastrophic for my thinking capacity as a writer. I'm only human.)
I plead not ordinary
read the comments, bots use the like dislike flag buttons, some bots are designed to up vote others to down vote. bots everywhere. they say that 60 % internet traffic is now bots.
so all we need is each other, we must stick to the basic interaction between members who are real, we have a website owner and a chief editor/administrators too.
we need a simple site with a fresh look.
this one is good, the way it looks is good.
and it is achievable to make a php site look a lot like this. we do not need to link from here to any other site and we do not need anything that attracts more bots.
and another thing, when you join facebook (done it hundreds of times) you never have to prove you are not a robot. when you deactivate or delete your account (done it a million times) you have to prove you are not a bot.
why? tee hee because there is a war and I dare say that facebook is the Godzilla of bots. the king Kong bot. a giant bot that imitates a site. think about it.
I agree with this sort of like brexit but MUCH more important!
it is absolutely spot on, it is much more important because being here means I am not giving all the power to sites like facebook that I am willing to resist. facebook is like the EE and Ukauthors/wabd is trying to remain sovereign... where is everybody? are you all talking on the newly created forums now?
I plead not ordinary
I refer to an earlier notice by wabdmin which stated: 5) We will be attempting a PROPER UKA rebirth.
I am a bit confused as previouly we had been told that Andrea and the webmaster had decided to adopt a forum format. In my opinion the forum we are offered is suitable for general discussions but not for posting poetry and prose especially regarding the sub-divisions as other members have indicated.
Also if the WABD site is to be closed by the end of July, what is going to happen to the material posted so far, the comments, the picks, the nominations? The feeling I have is that all that won't be taken into account in the redevelopment of UKA. Is there any point, therefore, posting and commenting on WABD any longer?
As this site has been renamed UKAuthors 2.0 and some changes to the presentation have been made, is it A & R's intention that it will be continued. Or will it close end of July as Luigi states or end of April as the notice on the front page states? As I've already copied all my subs, I think I'll regard this site as the one to post work on, and await the bitter end.....
Yes, I wonder about this too, ionicus. Sounds like Richard can't transfer all our stuff in the same way he did when creating this site.
Don't agree we can't use the new forum as a writing site though. A number of writing sites already do use this format, though I certainly don't like all those individual subdivisional threads that have been created on the new uka so far! We only really need one thread of each for posting prose and poetry, imo. Very confusing, as it stands at the moment. But all the same tools are there, to include font choices (though more limited) and inserting pics (though not quite as easily) and centering etc.. for presenting our work in the best light possible.
Follow this link to check on a number of other sites using the same or a very similar format customized to their own 'look'. http://ibpc.webdelsol.com/ The 'boards' are to the left and highlighted/linked in red. You will see Wild Poetry, which I've mentioned a number of times, included on this list.