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Reviews from
A Better FanStory, in 2019


Essay: Comments, Issues & Suggestions/Solutions

  18 total reviews 
Comment by
Stephanie Launiu
Premier Author
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Poet Rating
  Rank:  138
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Extremely well-written and great suggestions. I just joined FanStory a week ago, but I have already noticed some of the deficiencies you wrote about. I paid for my first month, but honestly don't know whether I'll be able to stay on the site long-term. And you're right, it would take me all day of reviewing others to earn enough to promote my own work. I do like the camaraderie that I can feel between most writers on the site, and that can't be duplicated. Let's hope FanStory uses some of your suggestions to offer everyone a better experience, and more subscribers for them.


 Comment Written 29-Jan-2019



reply by the author on 04-Feb-2019
    Thank you, Dear Stephanie,
    Your well-chosen, thoughtful words are as comforting and gratifying as a soft, soothing zephyr ~ gently caressing bowing grass and flowers across a verdant, springtime meadow.
    I, too, wish the suggestion in my humble offerings, and all the other's, too, might somehow be utilized to improve the experience of all FanStory members.

    Yes, the camaraderie here is truly a blessing, and your comments are truly well received by this olde bard.
    Thank you again, Stephanie ... warmest hugs 'n happiest smiles! ~ Richard : )
Comment by
C. Gale Burnett
Premier Author
C. Gale Burnett
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  30
Author Rating For Short Works
  Rank:  77
Review Stars
  Rank:  186
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
One of the most important communication strategies I have learned throughout my career, is to never go to a higher up with a problem or issue if you do not have reasonable, viable solutions to offer in return.
This was excellent! You are an expert in communications, writing and diplomacy.
(And, you're brave) lol.
Gale


 Comment Written 30-Dec-2018



reply by the author on 31-Dec-2018
    Gosh, Gale!
    How wonderful of You to gift my humble efforts six stars; I feel so very blessed ... thank you, too, for your treasured praise and expressed appreciation.
    Such wisdom you've so thoughtfully shared will help bring us so much more of valued success through the coming new year; I truly hope we've listened well to the meaningful essence of your words.

    Just "brave" to get into trouble ... LOL!
    Big Happy New Year HUGS! ~ Richard : )

Comment by
WalkerMan
Premier Author
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Poet Rating
  Rank:  96
Author Rating For Short Works
 
Review Stars
  Rank:  170
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Your favorable view of FanStory versus comparable other sites is useful for anyone who has less experience with the others.

The six issues for which you chose to offer suggestions for improvement are well thought out.

Certainly the full keyboard for messages (point I) ought to be implemented, especially as FanStory is behind its competitors in that respect.

On point II, many free and low-cost dictionaries, thesauri, and rhyming resources are available both online and downloadable. Each user should compare similar resources to decide which one(s) is/are most consistently helpful for that individual's purposes.

I have two whole shelves full of physical dictionaries and thesauri, some of which are highly specialized, plus some "reverse" dictionaries showing pictures marked with words or phrases for separate parts of the image. Beyond those, I have TheSage, a downloadable dictionary, thesaurus, rhyming resource combination (free, but with more features for a ten dollar donation). I also have a physical rhyming dictionary as well as software for the purpose. Each item has its pros and cons, so the choice is highly subjective. That may be why FanStory has not provided links.

I agree with point III. Even if we can't see the competing posts during the contest period, it ought to be possible to know what they all were once the winners have been chosen.

Regarding point IV, automated spell-checking, I thought that was already an option at FanStory. I do not personally use that one, however, as I have one on my computer that works wherever I type text (online or offline); and I easily can add new entries as needed. Thus, I do not know whether or not what FanStory has works (or how well if it does). I use my own mostly to catch typos, as I'm not a trained typist but spell accurately.

Of course, spellcheckers do not flag correctly spelled words that are wrong for their context. Thus, they will not catch such common errors as confusion between "to" and "too" and "there"/"their"/"they're" -- which require proper education of the writer to resolve.

On point V, contests for differing skill levels, I agree in principle, but I would not base "level" on either time or win-count. Some writers have been doing so for many decades, but that alone does not assure high skill in a specific genre. If "time" means duration of active FanStory membership, that is misleading except in the sense of how well known here one has become, which is based on cumulative number of posts and reviews (and those numbers vary by how much time a person has per week to be here).

I do like the notion of contests for newbies who have never entered (or won) a contest before.

Beyond that, though, I think competition should NOT be based on any arbitrary "level" because neither win-count nor time here has any real bearing on the quality of a new work. I have seen a poem (not mine) with a grand total of three reviews deservedly win a contest entered by some of the best-known poets here, whose posts had already reached "Recognized" or even "All Time Best" status -- simply because it was voted best for its unique fit to the contest topic (and lack of technical flaws). Competition in the real world rarely has levels, except in sports (physical or mental).

Meanwhile, FanStory already has provision for those who want to be visible but not competitive -- simple non-contest posting. Also, for those who do not even want commentary, all they need do is put "NOT FOR REVIEW" (or words to that effect) in the post's Description box and then use no more than a base certificate to keep it visible.

Finally, regarding point VI, there's no getting around the fact that the highest ranked writers here have posted and reviewed so much and for so long that virtually everyone knows them to some degree. In some cases, their style is so familiar that even blind contests cannot hide their identity. Because they have had time to accumulate a huge following, simple statistics put them at an advantage. They don't always win, but their chances in member-vote contests are better.

However, what goes on within the invisible committees will remain suspect until there is more transparency about exactly who those people are. I understand that the judges may be concerned about potential negative feedback from losing contestants, but secrecy invites questions about the "real" basis for decisions made.

Your post in attempt to improve FanStory is both thorough and thought-provoking. Superb.


 Comment Written 30-Dec-2018



reply by the author on 30-Dec-2018
    Thank you, Mike, most gratefully, for your thorough assessment of my thoughts and ideas to help the site be a better place for us all to enjoy more fully.
    I believe your discernments and concise comments reflect well thought-out insights any sensible person should agree with, and I do ... LOL!
    Six stars from a writer of your caliber is high praise, indeed ... you've encouraged and inspired an olde bard to continue with and be proud of his work.

    Thank you for your gracious support.
    "A Blessed New Year to You!"
    Most humbly and gratefully yours! ~ Richard


reply by WalkerMan on 30-Dec-2018
    You are most welcome, Richard. It was well worth my time to discuss your thorough list of points late last night. I do hope there will be some action in 2019 on at least the keyboard issue, which presently annoys everyone. -- Mike
Comment by
MissMerri
Merri, Premier Author
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  23
Author Rating For Short Works
 
Review Stars
  Rank:  259
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
I enjoyed reading this idea-packed essay very much. The suggestions are excellent and every idea is presented clearly and correctly. There were some suggestions that would fix questions I've pondered myself, and others that I hadn't even thought of, but I do think this essay is well worth considering as FanStory makes plans for the new year. It is a fun site, no question about that, but there are certainly ways it could be made better. Happy New Year Richard, and good luck in this interesting contest.


 Comment Written 28-Dec-2018



reply by the author on 29-Dec-2018
    Hi, Dear Lady Adonna! : )
    Six stars(?) ... goodness-ME! Thank you sooo very much!
    How wonderful to receive your understanding words of expressed enjoyment, appreciation, praise, and good luck!

    I am always proud to write for You, to share my thoughts and feelings, knowing you'll grasp them well and let me know in ways I can tell you do.
    Your input is highly appreciated, admired, and respected! ~ Richard : )
Comment by
Judvan2
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Thank you for writing this. I am also concerned that we have to spend more money to get our poems moved up and read. I also see a tendency for the committee to vote for the top people on the list in contests, they are the people who paid. It doesn't seem fair, since the poor people have little chance of winning. Anyway... It would be nice if everything was based on quality not money.


 Comment Written 28-Dec-2018



reply by the author on 29-Dec-2018
    Good afternoon, Dear Lady-Poet! : )
    I hope you are keeping warm on this cold, overcast Texas day, enjoying yourself on the site.
    Six Stars is such a wonderfully gratifying, inspiring, and appreciated gift for any hopeful writer to receive for their earnest efforts ... I cannot thank you enough for this outstanding gift. I bow most humbly!
    It's true, and I agree, the materialistic, rather than artistic, approach to poetry does seem to lack in meaningful essence and appeal. To me, the monetary system here is more an unnecessary chore than a pleasure, (albeit) designed to inspire reading, reviews, and (perhaps) a psychological sense of accomplishment.
    Fortunately, for us poor folk, the site sponsors entry-free contests that pay well for the best writers, and we can earn funny money by reviewing to join-in on contests that charge an entry fee. Honestly, though, nothing about the money thing interests me the tiniest bit ... LOL!

    Thank you again for your great review ... a most wonderful weekend to ya! ~ Richard : )
Comment by
2018 Novelist of the Year.
2017 Short Works and 2017 Script Writer of the Year.
Thomas Bowling
Premier Author
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  126 (+1)
Author Rating For Short Works
  Rank:  21
Author Rating For Novels
  Rank:  11
Script Rating
  Rank:  7
Review Stars
  Rank:  39
 

#7 Ranked Script Writer
Excellent
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I hate to agree with all of your issues - - but I do. Ten bucks a month is a lot of money for a membership. I think you hit the nail on the head with the favoritism. When I was fairly new, I gave someone a worse review than they thought they deserved. They used a pen name and I was so new I didn't know how to respond. They wrote, "Be careful, I am on the review committee and can make things tough for you."

I don't know if it was an empty threat, but it might explain why I have never received so much as an honorable mention in a site sponsored contest.


 Comment Written 23-Dec-2018



reply by the author on 25-Dec-2018
    "HAPPY HOLIDAYS & A MOST SPLENDID NEW YEAR TO YA, THOMAS!"
    It is certainly gratifying to know you agree with the issues and suggestions that will help make all of our experiences here more fully functional and enjoyable.
    Yes, it's true: Reviewing is an art in itself, where one becomes skilled at tact and constructive critique; but, from my own experience, regardless how proficient, well-meaning, and intended a review, there will always be those who do not appreciate their writing receiving anything but accolades ... ah, cést la vie!
    It is unfortunate your were treated in such a manner for your honest review; seems you inadvertently trampled someone's sensitive toes ... LOL!
    One would hope no one is so little that they'd actually hold a grudge for a critical review and make you pay for it by retribution in contests. But, unfortunately, we know there are vindictive, ego-driven, little-minded folk in the world, eh?
    Perhaps, you've ideas of your own to help make FanStory a better site you'd like to share? I believe there are a few spots left in the contest, and after-all, it's not about winning this time, but about helping, eh?

    Thomas, thanks sincerely for reading this somewhat lengthy treatise and leaving your honest comments ... many blessings to ya! ~ Richard : )
Comment by
Sarkems
 
Review Stars
  Rank:  116
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Thank you for this excellent posting, offering great solutions to problems you've highlighted. I absolutely agree about how much this site costs, and the annoying keyboard anomalies. Well done.


 Comment Written 23-Dec-2018



reply by the author on 25-Dec-2018
    "Happy Holidays & A Great New Year!"
    Your words of expressed appreciation and praise validate and gratify my humble thoughts for bettering our site, and this makes my efforts feel truly worthwhile.

    Thanks back atcha ... many blessings, Dear Poetess! ~ Richard : )
Comment by
country ranch writer
Premier Author
Premier Reader
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  165
Author Rating For Short Works
  Rank:  23
Author Rating For Novels
  Rank:  33
Script Rating
 
Review Stars
  Rank:  53
 
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Nice presentation for this site and I am afraid no matter how much we stress things because we have been told by Tom he likes things just the way they are.


 Comment Written 21-Dec-2018



reply by the author on 22-Dec-2018
    G'Mornin' CRW! : )
    I am sooo happy you took your time to read my ideas and suggestions for the site's improvements.
    One would hope Tom recognizes and cares enough about the members' suggestions and complaints to take proper steps to improve on them ... after all, we pay a prime price for membership here and deserve the best a site can offer.
    Liking things that are broke and not listening to members unhappiness can backfire ? I do not think it is wisest to take the members, or their wishes, for granted.

    Thanks mucho for reading and for your thoughtful compliment, Dear Lady-Poet! ... Richard : )
Comment by
ExperiencingLiphe
Premier Author
Premier Reader
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  181
Author Rating For Short Works
  Rank:  121 (+6)
Author Rating For Novels
 
Review Stars
  Rank:  188
 
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
I usually don't win contests, however, I do feel like the ones who win deserve to win. A lot of the time the winners are the people I look up to on here. I have gotten third place a few times and I do get the frustrations some may have. I guess I try to stand back and ask myself if they deserved to win, most of the time the answer is yes. I do like your suggestion for the contest thing tho. Great job with this


 Comment Written 20-Dec-2018



reply by the author on 22-Dec-2018
    Good morning, Megan! : )
    It is so nice to see you and to receive your shared experiences and thoughtful input on my ideas.
    I thank you sincerely for reading through the length of my treatise on trying to help FanStory a better, more functional place for us all.
    It is true that our skills usually improve with time, influence, observation, and effort ... I look forward to seeing you place higher and win in some of those contests, in 2019.

    Bless you with grateful hugs and brightest blessings for the holidays! ~ Richard : )
Comment by
Sugarray77
Melissa
Premier Reader
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  5
Author Rating For Short Works
 
Review Stars
  Rank:  14
 

#5 Ranked Poet
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Very well done. I fully agree with everything you have stated. I have been writing on FS for exactly one year and I have seen some of what you have mentioned. I hope the powers that be take your comments to heart. Thank you for your great input.

Melissa


 Comment Written 20-Dec-2018



reply by the author on 22-Dec-2018
    Hi, Dear Melissa! : )
    It is a pleasure to receive your validation, conformation, and understanding of my constructive comments.
    I, too, hope many of the comments made by those who've taken their time to make effort of helping bring to the administration's attention so they can the dysfunctional issues we all contend with on an ongoing basis.
    It would be great to read your own ideas, too, so why not share them, along with ours? I know they will be welcomed and appreciated.

    Thank you for your support, for reading my lengthy treatise, and for your graciously grateful time ? big hugs, Melissa ~ Richard : )

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