WABD future  

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stormwolf
(@stormwolf)
Honorable Member

Briefly looked in but no time to digest much. At a glance I agree with Wolf Bro. He's got the knowledge and the experience of the site. 

I have had to dash home to attend to my mum, who has taken a turn for the worse. So as I said in last communications, more going on in the real world to take time out to respond in the way I may have done in the past, to getting really irate over certain things. ????

I pray we shall overcome , in fact I know we shall. Too many good hearted, well intentioned people to do otherwise.

For now, I send all good wishes

Alison X  ????????

 

 

 

 

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Posted : March 7, 2017 7:20 pm
stevef
(@stevef)
Famed Member

Tech note - occasional drop-out on the new site:

We were unable to locate the forum you are attempting to access. This may be due to an angry bear, or maybe you just typed the URL wrong.

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Posted : March 7, 2017 7:43 pm
Shackleton
(@shackleton)
Eminent Member

Sorry to hear about your Mum, Stormwolf. Take care now.

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.

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Posted : March 7, 2017 7:47 pm
andrea
(@andrea)
Prominent Member Admin

Well, been working on it for a while now, and added a lot of sub-genres for prose and poetry. The thing is, though, that I was rather hoping that the mods were going to have control and decision making over their own chosen forums. I/we will continue working on it, obviously, and suggestions more than welcome,  but can we have some mod volunteers please, to take the work-load off a bit? 🙂

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Posted : March 7, 2017 10:33 pm
shywolf
(@shywolf)
Trusted Member

I've visited the new UKA website and must say I really like the new layout (especially the more modern looking masthead).  What I'm not so sure of, is if it will make an appropriate platform (as others have noted) to showcase, and receive comments on, our work.  But it's a start.  I haven't been able to register yet, as my email service is experiencing an outage.  I'd like to volunteer my services as a moderator for the Research and Computer forums (I will email the webmaster at ukauthors.com upon resumption of my email service).

Instead of trying to undo the biting of the old apple/I bite a new one instead/And with a toothless grin/Become a Dionysian among Christians.

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Posted : March 8, 2017 3:09 am
ionicus
(@ionicus)
Noble Member

I like very much otreasaigh's suggestion, which I reproduce below:

Thinking about the comments by Trevor and Luigi concerning showcasing a member's work. Instead of sub-dividing 'Poetry' into 'Haiku', 'Humour', 'Serious', etc... could you sub-divide into member's names. For instance... 'otreasaigh', ionicus', 'gothicman', 'ifyouplease', etc, etc, etc. Each poet could then submit their poems in sub-sub-divisions which they would produce and administer. That way, each member could showcase their work under their own name. There would need to be the ability to rotate the sub-divisions (poet's names) so that everybody ends up at the top and bottom of the list at different times. Perhaps every time a poet created a new sub-sub-division (submitted a poem), their sub-division (name) would go to the top of the list. Likewise when a comment is left. They'd then slip back down the board as/when other poet's submitted their own sub-sub-divisions or received comments. A member could self-moderate their own threads with help from a big-boss-super-moderator when required.

Same set-up for the 'Prose' section.

Does that make sense? The concept seems exciting to me. Members could submit links to their own UKA collection anywhere in cyberspace to improve visitor numbers and hopefully attract others to join. Wot u fink?

Can his solution be implemented?

I'd like to help if I can. What does a moderator's role entail?

 

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Posted : March 8, 2017 10:54 am
kdr
 kdr
(@kdr)
Active Member

I'm not sure how helpful this'll be (or otherwise), but for me there are a couple of big things to consider:

1) I've been informed (somewhat reliably, since it was first by an editor then by a former agent who is now also a mag editor) that anything that is openly accessible and/or free to read is considered 'published'. If that's correct, then anything on old UKA and WABD would have to be removed prior to submission to a market...and even then an author would probably be required to mention that it had appeared on the site, which in turn would/could affect whether it 'sold' or not.
That might not be a problem for some, depending on how you see the site. For me, it was always more in the way of an online workshop. Publication 'proper' was also possible via being nominated for, and voted into, the annual anthologies (though again, perhaps I was mistaken in thinking that counted as a publication credit).
Whatever the case, it seems work submitted shouldn't be publicly available, and should require members to log in to read as well as to leave comments.

2) The number of clicks required to access a piece on the new site is probably too high. Back on old UKA, it was as simple as clicking on a title or author's name on the main page. One click and, story/poem! That held a lot of appeal way back when. Now it's click for form, then click for genre, then click for story, and AFAIK no way to access an author's other work should you like what you see and want more (which is how I discovered a number of people way back when, and presumably how people also found me).
Any site has got to look appealing, be easy to navigate and be fairly intuitive to use when submitting. Old UKA had a few problems re: subs and from what I've read WABD has been the same, if not worse, from an end-user perspective. This isn't whacking anyone around the head - I know something of the amount of work that went into it all, and continues to go into it now; I think we all do, even if we just sit back and imagine for a moment what it must take - it's just an observation. Throw in Richard and Andrea's travails and...well.

Suggestions: Just the obvious ones.
a) Establish a front page again - welcoming, inviting (I agree that the colour scheme for WABD seems a little cold; neat and tidy, but cold), with new works listed on the front page. A FP click on either title or username could then take you to a log-in screen, and once logged you'd go through to the item clicked on;
b) If people aren't leaving comments, consider bringing back the old star rating system. I know it was occasionally abused and people didn't like it being used instead of comments being left, but if there are few/no comments anyway...
c) Keep all the good stuff like 'Nibs' and the anth recommendation buttons (and while we're at it, can't more be done with the Press again? I assume it's not gone the way of the dodo, and if there's a possible route to publication or two being dangled it might just tempt more people in - or not, in these days of KDP et al, but surely it can't hurt to try?);
d) Try to get old members back. One thing that has struck me about WABD is how dead it is relatively to what UKA was. Granted I'm going back a way when I talk about UKA so the chances are it was no different over there, but clearly not many made the jump or felt like WABD was 'homely' enough, regardless of the (very good) reasons why the decision was made to shift from old UKA in the first place. Another jump now risks being one too far, but again, there are several very good reasons that have already been laid out for why it should/needs to happen or will be happening. Anyway, the bottom line is make whatever jump is required, stick to it, and try to get former members to come back. Some might, many won't, but any boost to the numbers and contributions can only be a good thing;
e) This is specifically for Andrea and Richard to address. Bear in mind that everything's more or less back to square one. How did you grow UKA in the first place? What did you do to get your first five members, then ten, then fifty? How visible was UKA on the 'net? (For example, I found UKA via the Jacqui Bennett Writers' Bureau - not that that's a viable route anymore, alas.)
That then points you both to the large grey pachyderm between the coffee table and the sofa: do you want to put yourselves through that again? Do you have the energy, belief and will to go on? Seventeen years is a long time, as well as a long time ago, and no one could blame either of you if you decided you wanted to call it a day. It'd be a sad day and no one really wants to see UKA/WABD end, but ultimately there can be nothing but the fondest thanks and best wishes from any of the current or former users should you choose to bring down the final curtain. It was great. I guess the question you have to answer is: Can it be great again?

I've not listed this a particular point, but another obvious thing would be to get more prose on the site (should it go on in whatever form), somehow, instead of it being pretty much wall-to-wall poetry (one of the reasons I became much less active on old UKA was that prose was becoming largely ignored, like the unwanted relative that is there on sufferance and gets shoved into the corner chair - and yes, I'm very aware that walking away helps/ed create the very situation I'm talking about).
Where are all the prose writers, anyway, like e-griff and sirat? I've seen they're still about, even if not as much as in years gone by. Others, I realise, are perhaps no longer with us. But whenever I read down the list of current subs and upcoming ones, I'm left thinking Prose writers of yore - bluepootle, TheGeeza, et al - wherefore art thou?

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Posted : March 10, 2017 1:09 pm
ifyouplease
(@ifyouplease)
Famed Member

so do we have to save work that appears here and work as ukarchive?

how much time do we have?

I haven't been able to search for the file I told you, but if I find it I will perhaps create a dynamic site anytime this year and show it to you all if Andrea Richard or Egriff and Luigi are interested in it, if it is something you like and can be combined with the forum as a showcase section. will not be like old uka. but it will strongly remind you of it.

What is not clear at all is whether Richard and Andrea have no interest anymore (or temporarily) in a website that showcases the work of members with unique member pages like the ones we have here and had on old uka, or are still interested in such an option. I find it hard to believe a brand new php site which is stable and can be setup in most servers with an upgraded and/or updated script/code cannot be created by anyone with minimum knowledge, like me! 

I thank them for their wonderful efforts all these years. 

I am one of the people who want the old uka site to continue to exist in any form similar to the one we used to know. I will use the new fora on and off too. 

off for some Greek reality check in the most doomed financially country in the world.

I plead not ordinary

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Posted : March 10, 2017 3:42 pm
wabdadmin
(@wabdadmin)
Reputable Member Admin
You should already have a copy of ALL your writing on your own PC/Cloud/storage. If you need to save your UKArchive then you will have to do this by manually copying and pasting each submission from the archive (UKA/WABD) to your chosen storage solution. I think Andrea and I have settled on 30th April cut-off but of course I won't be wiping my own backup of the site(s) so I will have ALL the archive(s) saved for the foreseeable future (unless I am emailed by specific authors expressing a wish to delete their writing from any and all backed up databases).
The new forums on UKA (the ones we've just created over at ukauthors.com) will be a pared down (very basic) version of UKA. They are simply forums created to allow UKA'ers (New and old) to continue their online, virtual relationships with other UKA members. This is the solution we (Andrea and I) have chosen instead of the alternative - total closure. 
 
If we can get lots of moderators on board to take charge of all the different forums then perhaps we will see a resurgence which will lead to the development of UKA.2 in the future.
 
We shall see.
 
 
 
 
Posted by: ifyouplease

so do we have to save work that appears here and work as ukarchive?

how much time do we have?

I haven't been able to search for the file I told you, but if I find it I will perhaps create a dynamic site anytime this year and show it to you all if Andrea Richard or Egriff and Luigi are interested in it, if it is something you like and can be combined with the forum as a showcase section. will not be like old uka. but it will strongly remind you of it.

What is not clear at all is whether Richard and Andrea have no interest anymore (or temporarily) in a website that showcases the work of members with unique member pages like the ones we have here and had on old uka, or are still interested in such an option. I find it hard to believe a brand new php site which is stable and can be setup in most servers with an upgraded and/or updated script/code cannot be created by anyone with minimum knowledge, like me! 

I thank them for their wonderful efforts all these years. 

I am one of the people who want the old uka site to continue to exist in any form similar to the one we used to know. I will use the new fora on and off too. 

off for some Greek reality check in the most doomed financially country in the world.

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Posted : March 10, 2017 5:04 pm
wabdadmin
(@wabdadmin)
Reputable Member Admin

That's fine, but it's going against what we have decided... a basic writers' community forum. Not a website but a forum. I will have a chat with Andrea tonight (Friday) to see what she thinks of the ideas and suggestion on this thread.

 

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Posted : March 10, 2017 6:38 pm
ionicus
(@ionicus)
Noble Member

I know that Andrea is familiar with the website ABCtales.com; is there any reason why UKA cannot use a similar format?

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Posted : March 10, 2017 10:35 pm
sirat
(@sirat)
Reputable Member

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!

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Posted : March 12, 2017 12:12 pm
Shackleton
(@shackleton)
Eminent Member

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.

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Posted : March 12, 2017 9:46 pm
sirat
(@sirat)
Reputable Member

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?

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Posted : March 12, 2017 11:07 pm
wabdadmin
(@wabdadmin)
Reputable Member Admin

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.

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Posted : March 12, 2017 11:19 pm
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