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Fanfic Library Input Gathering
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Fanfic Library Input Gathering
Topic Owner: SailorUranus
Topic: We're looking at bringing back the fanfiction library.

What are your thoughts?

What kinds of fanfics do you want to see in the library? Do you write fanfics? Would you contribute to the library?
Maximum Posts: 50
Greatest Hits: Top 10 posts in this topic
Beth: I'd estimate we'd wait until we got 2 or 3 submissions for "Mars and Jadeite" before it'd have it's own category. However, on the other hand, it'd make things very detailed and specific.

Lbeth: I like the idea of making our own rating system. We could put it in a FAQ and come up with 2-3 letter abbreviations that describe the content of a work.

Hoshikaze: No idea quite yet on that. I'd imagine it'd be for registered users only. It'd mostly depend on what the Uranus team or Webmasters set the file permissions to.
like   lbeth  said, i think tagging fanfic documents would be nice. many fanfics can't fit into one solid category or genre. and it might feature more than one character or anime. i'd much sooner see a sorting of anime series (providing there's a crossover folder too), then simply by alphabetical order (by author or title, i don't care). you could "tag" documents with a central document (or FAQ) and just manually update it. it's not very dynamic, but it could work. if i remember correctly, the previous fanfiction library wasn't exactly a HUUUUUUUUGE thing where people submitted every single day (note: i'm not saying it sucked here), so i don't think manually updating is an insurmountable task.

let's see... what else is being discussed... i'm totally for other anime, of course. but since this is sailormoon.org and all, there should be some sort of featuring of sailor moon-related stuff, i think. moongram was mentioned, i think that'd be great. a "fanfic spotlight" maybe? it'd make a good column, i think. i'd rather read about one good sailor moon fic (or even an interview with the author too?) than an overview of everything that was submitted (because i won't find everything interesting anyway... i'd rather just browse the library itself than read other people's quick summaries).
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SAILORMOON.ORG
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Re: content/age-appropriate levels.

We've always strived to keep this site kid-friendly. So, I'm really not comfortable with allowing the inclusion anything more than PG-13 the fanfiction library. I know that a lot of people write more "adult" fics, but I don't think necessarily belong here.

We don't do any age checking for the people who sign up and I don't want to get into that business; it's very messy and requires a lot of record keeping.
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The reason for the download quota was to keep hosting costs reasonable. Bandwidth is cheaper now and our load is a lot less. I'd still want to enforce quota for movies/sounds and such. But for text? Unless it becomes unreasonable I don't think we should limit it.

I also don't like the idea of restricting anything to registered users unless we have to--or thats what the copyright holder requests. My goal is to have as much of sailormoon.org open to non-registered users as possible. Again, the original reason for users/security/quota was to keep hosting costs in line. Right now, I can't imagine the fan fiction using absurd quantities of bandwidth. Let's not turn access-restriction into a ritual we perform without reminding ourselves of the real reason for it.

If there is a reason to restrict it, fine, let's do so. But lets not restrict things just for the sake of restricting them.
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Point taken, scot. Text based files do tend to be rather small (average paper I write for university seems to be 40-50 KB) so given a text file that is 50 KB, it'd take roughly 20 views of it before it'd even equal one megabyte of bandwith.

Also, now looking at it in perspective, it would be a better idea to not restrict it. The more people can see the wonders of Grep, the more they'll be motivated to join the site.

Thanks scot!
does anyone remember how fics were submitted back in the day?

how should they be submitted this time?

i don't think anyone wants to be obligated to open attachments from strangers, but the site is so new that most people don't have the promotion points to create documents.
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okay, i got bored at work today, and came up with what i think would be a good way to go for the fanfic stuff:


Main directory

(FAQ) how to find, rating system explained, naming convention explained, where to submit, etc.
(directory) by genre - romance
->alias to FAQ, aliases to individual documents
(directory) by genre - parody
->alias to FAQ, aliases to individual documents
(directory) by genre - [etc, you get the point]
->alias to FAQ, aliases to individual documents
(directory) by title - sailormoon
->alias to FAQ, aliases to individual documents
(directory) by title - [other anime/manga title, however many we need]
->alias to FAQ, aliases to individual documents
(directory) by title - crossovers
->alias to FAQ, aliases to individual documents
(directory) other fandoms
->alias to FAQ, directories by fandom containing aliases to individual documents
(directory) by author - [author name]
->alias to FAQ, documents written by the specific author

(directory) writing desk
-> FAQ on specifics of submission and approval process, works waiting to be approved, possibly a short HTML tutorial, etc


i don't know if that even makes sense. >_>; but yeah.

does that look like a good file structure? i think it's important not to have empty directories sitting around. that's just disappointing when you go to look. new directories could be created as necessary.

*edits*

also, i think that the "by genre" would work for writings of other kinds, should someone decide to submit an essay or poem or whatnot. the actual document would still reside in a directory of that author's works, and an alias would go in the essay or poetry or whatever directory.
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Oo, interesting lay out, lbeth. I like that way of organization too. There's so many ways we could potentially organize it. I guess the ultimate decision will be a "guess and test" and see which works more efficiently.
Well, yaoi/yuri are generally sexually explicit stories, so I would imagine those would not be allowed. Shoujo-ai/shonen-ai stories, however, are sexually implicit or non-sexual stories, and usually are more about romance and things, so provided things didn't get too implicit, they would be PG-13 and allowed.

Maybe put genres in the Sailormoon folder, but include aliases to those stories in the regular genre folders, too? May be extra work, but it would ensure people would find what they're looking for depending on where they start looking.
To not allow same sex romance stories would be slightly discriminatory, eh? Like robyngirl said, as long as they meet the PG13 and they aren't explicit (which goes the same for any romance story, same sex or heterosexual), then it would be allowed.
i don't think that the webmasters here are going to do that.

and given how many non-hetrosexual people we have on the site...
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"And the light clicked off..." is PG-13.

Anything much more than that is probably not.

I'm fine with honest discussion of same-sex relationships in the fan-fics as long as they are held to the same standard of decency as everything else. 10% of the people on this planet are gay. People are going to encounter homosexuals in real life. Get used to it.
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(I think the "get used to it" was more of a general statement. Like, "We're here; we're queer; get used to it"...)

At any rate -- I don't see any reason not to include same sex relationship fanfics, as long as they are PG-13 or under.
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"We're here, we're queer, get used to it..."

I can't tell you how many times I've heard that in the last two months. (My study program is sexuality and gender studies...)

Either way, I would be really interested in a fanfic library. I love fanfiction -- I read it and write it, and would be willing to submit the archives myself. I think we should allow tasteful fanfiction from other genres (not just SM) as well as some original work if people are inclined to write that.

I like the idea of the writing contests, especially themed contests revolving around seasons or special events (Women's History Month, Christmas, summer time...) I agree with the notion that it adds another dimension of participation in the community.
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'Nuff said, really.
I don't think it necessarily matters how many of our users are young, it matters that even one of them might be.

Also, I think it matters that whoever has to check the fanfics for content not have to deal with an endless barrage of obscene and/or violent material.

Besides, I'm sure that even Penthouse Forum letters have content guidelines so it really comes down to "what are the webmasters willing to let you put up here?" Magazine and book publishers reject submissions all the time. I think that potential writers here need to keep in mind that just because some fanfic sites allow you to post anything doesn't mean this site will.
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The problem with accepting foreign language submissions is that we would have to be able to read it to determine if the content is appropriate.

We do have a translation team, and the translators might be available to look over the fanfics and make sure that they follow the content guidelines. But that can't be guaranteed.

It's too bad we don't have more bilingual members, that would make it easier to get more bilingual staff. :/
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BOO!

i just wanted to let you all know that, now i've been promoted, i'm working out stuff for the fanfiction library and will let you know what's going on as soon as something worth mentioning is going on.

i just realized that if i'm going to be in charge of a library of written works, i should use proper capitalization or something...

Oh my, this will be difficult to keep up. XD
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Awh, you guys are great! :D

If you really want to help, gimme questions you'll want to have addressed in the FAQs I'm writing up.

Other than that, the best thing you can do for the library is write stuff for it!
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The first thing that comes to mind to have in the FAQ is an explanation of what ratings are allowed in the Library and give examples of what will and will not be allowed. (Well, as much as you can describe things given the site's overall rating. ^^;) You want to be really clear right out of the gate so that you're less likely to get really inappropriate stuff later on. Or complaints about the restrictions.

You may also want to stress who owns the creative works displayed in the Library. (Was working with the Copyright office on something, so that's drilled in my head now. @_@)

I'm sure I am saying really really obvious things, so I am going run away now. XD
We need to make sure the current, and proposed TOS's cover the fan-fic library properly. I think the new one does quite well, but could someone who writes fan-fics please go re-read it and make sure you are cool with it?

By submitting you are giving us permission to store, display and archive the work, but not modify (except censoring? if not, that needs to be in there) in any way (we should explicitly allow formatting modifications so we can put it in the crescent layouts--someone will raise a stink because of their carefully crafted Word template layout... ugh.)

Things to think about.
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Thank you Beth!

1. got it
2. ...I dunno if we're going to require a disclaimer on fanfics. All users are responsible for the content that they submit to the site, whether it's adding links in the Crescent Key or posting in the forums. We don't have a disclaimer on every page. But I have added it to my please-include list.
3. got it
4. got it
5. got it
6. I try to make it a point never to address the concept of self-insertion fics. (Not since I had to kill myself off because certain other members of the writing team are bad bad people.)
7. got it
8. I don't think this is enough of an issue to really warrant putting in a FAQ. People are so used to cross-posting stuff that this probably won't cross a lot of minds.
9. got it
10. I'm not sure exactly what you mean with this one. If someone only has one chapter finished out of a projected 10 chapter fic, they can submit the chapters as they are finished. But if they submit a half-complete one-shot story... I'd probably request that they put in an ending.
11. This would be examined on a case-by-case basis, if they were to submit the work. I'm not going to want to be sent fics to read before they're submitted, because I'm not going to want to read the same thing several times, especially if it contains content inappropriate for the site. I've already moved the fanfic topic I had before (Insert Yourself) to the directory I'm setting up. I think that would be the best place to solicit feedback.
12. Yaoi is inappropriate for the site. (got it)
13. got it
14. got it
15. got it
16. got it

Scot: I don't really want to be going in and editing other people's html. It seems much simpler to say "no, sorry, used the f-word pls to be taking it out." Now, if the site censor actually worked on documents like it works on posts, that wouldn't matter so much because it would happen on its own.

I'll add the formatting stuff under what we might change in the document.

Claire: I really don't know if I'm prepared to start saying "no you have to write it THIS way" when it really doesn't matter to me. Besides, different publishing houses prefer different ways of denoting inner monologe, telepathy, etc. And I didn't sign on to be an editor, I signed on to be a librarian.

I've put a catch-all readability clause in the submission guidelines. An excerpt:

While the Uranus team will not reject any submission for being of poor quality, your work may be rejected for poor execution. Spelling, grammar, and typographical errors should be kept to a minimum. Paragraph breaks, correctly formatted dialogue, and punctuation are expected where applicable. If the Fanfic staff is unable to read your work, it will be rejected pending revision.

Use of "l33t" speak, emoticons, sTiCkY cApS, and/or ALL CAPS will usually be grounds for rejection as they are unreadable for many people. Judicious use in contextually appropriate situations (ie. Usagi emailing Rei from her cellphone with "lol u fail (^o^)") or parodies may be excepted from this rule.
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The document type is going to be rewritten. Instead of storing the file on the filesystem, it will be in the database. This means it will be sync'd between servers (almost) instantly instead of once a day.

How can the document type be made better?

Should we bother to keep the rating bit?

Ideas (far out there) allow direct uploads (as now) and pasting the content into a post box.
All uploaded content can be fed through the censor/XML validator.
HTML rewriting (e.g. removing head/body tags)
Run the content through anti-Word (http://www.winfield.demon.nl/) if the uploaded file is a word doc.

None of this can happen until summer school is over. But, what would make the doc type better?
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Ideas for reviews might include the regular user links (as used in post headers in the topics, i.e.   Cherrii ) so the person can send a PM to submit a review. But if we don't want to charge PP for reviews (PMs still cost 5pp right?), then I'm not sure how viable that system would be. Maybe an aliased link to email the author?

I'll be trying to think of ways to improve the document filetype, but I'm pulling a brain fart at the moment. I'm trying to draw comparisons from other fanfiction archives that require pre-release content approval - like Sycophant Hex for HP fics.

With using documents, are we going to allow any images or HTML links if someone has fanart to accompany their story? I know ff.net doesn't allow either - they even strip out plain URLs - but I'm unsure on other sites. I've never had fanart to go with any of my stories, so I've never had to test it.

As far as setup is concerned, how are things going to be organized? Directories by fandom/pairing/etc, directories by author, or hidden documents with links lists to get users to the proper files? Will we be able to search for certain characters, pairings, and the like, or do we just have to wade through it all to find what we want to read? I have to learn to finish reading the whole topic before posting. -_-;

Yes, I know I'm a pain in the butt, but that's why you lurve me. *smooch*
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An idea about the new file type: I would assume these things could get pretty lengthy so maybe some sort of bookmark system? Maybe when the document was being parsed and cleaned, numbered anchors could be added based on some criteria. I suppose that would mean a small database entry for whoever wanted to save their bookmark on that fanfic, but just a thought. :)
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Cherrii: Images and links are tricky things. I would prefer for the fics to be self contained and static. That way it can be approved once and nobody has to worry about it again.

And all staff have access to what I've set up so far. :) Check recent activity.

On the document file type: I have never used the rating thing. Pagination would be lovely for long stuff. I would much rather use a post box than upload, because none of my word processing programs are really good for html.
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Ah okay, I see it all now. The last time I checked the directory, you hadn't put the test files or other subdirectories up. Looks good. :)

For content-uploading, is there potential for using either the straight upload or the post box?

While some people are more than happy to use regular text-editing software (go notepad) for writing fics - which would support formatting html for italics, bold, etc, some others are lazy slobs like me who type it all out in Word for the lovely wonderfulness of spelling/grammar check, and it's a bit of extra work to format it all as you're going to ensure it looks the way you want and then go back and paste it from word to notepad and remember where to insert which tags to redo it all.

So the premise would be when you go to "change document", there would be the regular "browse" button to choose the local file, or a textbox in which to paste contents from your text file.

I'm sure the system at Sycophant Hex allows that and eFiction's open source, so you might be able to look at their code for inspiration on how to get it to work with crescent.

Oh, and lbeth, if you need a free word processor that formats its html the same as the big expensive ones, OpenOffice.org offers their software for free and it's available for PC, Mac, and Linux. Actually, openoffice.org only serves for pc/linux. To get the mac version, it's neooffice.org.

I think that's the extent of my brilliance for tonight. ;)
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Document file type:

I'd love to be able to tag documents, and have some way of generating a list of documents with that tag.
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