Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Poll for the Clitorides Awards

As I work on the moderation end of the Clitorides Awards site, I've become aware of something. Many of the nominated stories are no-sex stories. As in not a bit of sex in them.

The clitorides awards were created to promote the erotica writing community; even the name 'clitorides' is a reminder of that.

So my question to the community is: Should no-sex stories be eligible for the awards?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

New Clitorides Awards Site

Hello everyone,

Back on February 15th, 2007, Souvie posted the following in message on Usenet in the ASSD group (alt.sex.stories.d) id Message-ID: <dqk9t2tihhc7as6cf8qv704v44utjfqttk@4ax.com>:

> I will not be running the awards next year, someone else has taken them over. I'm sure everyone'll find out eventually. In the meantime, it's been fun. :)

> I'm going to email Kenny and see if he wants me to do the Silver Clits for the time he's been away, and it's possible the person who's taking over the GCA will be taking over the SCA (depends on what Kenny says).

> Now that I have no legitimate excuse not to write, I still won't be writing. It's not fun right now and if and when the fun returns, maybe then I'll pick my pen back up.


Well, time has come to reveal that I'm the one who volunteered to try to handle the awards. I'm sure many of you have already known or guessed that little fact.

I registered a domain for them, it's at http://clitoridesawards.org/

I always thought the clitorides were a great idea, but the awards suffered from the fact that, usually, one or two people took the responsibility of handling them. Those people should be thanked for taking on such a big responsibility. However, that usually meant if the person got too busy, or simply lost interest or whatever could happen in real life with them happened, the awards suffered. The awards are a big job and a tedious one. Nobody wanted to do the job forever.

I believe that a central website that can handle most of the grunt work and overseen by volunteers from the community can go a long way to establish the awards as a legit entity.

I'm here to announce my plans for the awards and to seek all input.

Personally, I don't have any particular interest in running the awards or influencing them in any shape or form. My only interest is the general health of the writing community. I believe that well established awards are good for the community.

What I offer is my technical expertise and my resources to build and host a site for the awards.

What I'm here looking for is the input of everybody who is interested in the issue.

In order for me to finish implementing the site and have it work properly, I need a clear set of rules that most would agree on to govern the awards. I also need a group of volunteers to oversee the nominations and handle the final announcements.

The site's engine would handle receiving nominations, sending out confirmation messages if needed, and tallying the results.

As of now, the site is up and running in limited fashion. It can handle user registration, log in, author nominations and story nominations for the Golden Clitorides awards for 2007.

Currently, there 20 story categories and 2 author categories. They are the same that Souvie used last year. The old archive pages are there, the only change to them was that I put them in the site's template, otherwise, they're still as they are on the old site.

What I'm looking for now is suggestions for changes, the creation of a set of rules to govern the awards and volunteers to moderate the awards. There is no admin section to the site yet because I don't have any guidelines what needs to be implemented other than there should be a way to verify and moderate nominations.

I'm not sure which way is best to start this process; I don't have a forum. We could use this blog here and the comments system below, or we can create a page relating to the issue on http://storieswiki.org/.

So, lets get this process started :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Story Delivery Changes

I've implemented some important changes in the story delivery mechanism today. The new system has the ability to deliver long stories or long chapters in multiple pages.

Explanation:

Storiesonline is a busy site. Very busy site. In order to keep the site running smoothly and responding as fast as possible to readers' requests, the reply time for those requests must be kept short. The servers have limited numbers of connections. So the faster each reader got their file and their browser disconnected, the faster the server could respond to another reader. In order to keep connection times short, I tried to keep files as small as possible. That meant for long stories that took a while to reach the readers' browsers, I used to divide the story into chapters and long chapters into sub-chapters. That's why some stories have 'Chapter 1A', 'Chapter 1B' etc...

While the old way was perfectly functional from the story delivery point of view, it created some undesired side effects. The side effects were mostly in management and database size. Each story and each chapter has two database entries, one for the meta data (title, size, etc...) and one for the text itself.

Each time an author wanted to repost a story that had been divided for size, one of us (me or the author) had to make sure that the replacement matched the old divisions. Many readers didn't realize that chapter 1A and chapter 1B were the same chapter, simply sliced in two in order to keep each part short. It lead to confusion on everybody's end. It was a mess.

The new system works around all these shortcomings.

So, the new system has 'Pages'. From the readers' point of view, it's a little different.

Each long story (that doesn't have any chapters), whose size exceeds 60,000 characters (including all html formatting) will be delivered in pages. There will be a mini navigation bar for the pages. When the reader first clicks on a long story, they'll get a part of the story with the small navigation bar listing the pages. When they're done reading one page, they click to the next and so on.

Long chapters also get pages.

That change affects on-screen reading only. Downloading archives and using the 'V' link to download individual chapters from stories still works exactly the same way as before.

The implications:

Not many implications. For long stories, instead of seeing 'Chapter 1', 'Chapter 2' etc... you get pages and you click from one page to another. And for stories with multiple long chapters, you won't see 'Chapter 1A', 'Chapter 1B' etc... anymore. You'll also click from one page of the chapter to the next.

For authors, no more 'Chapter 1A', 'Chapter 1B' in the wizard. Each chapter stays as one entity.

For stories and chapters that were divided under the old system, they'll stay that way, for now. It's too complicated to fix for now. Maybe sometime in the future when I have a good chunk of free time for programing, I'll whip a script that joins those parts.

While I tested the new system extensively, I can never be sure that I worked all the bugs out. So if you stumble on some unexpected behavior, please let me know about it. If you have suggestion for enhancements, I'm all ears.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Looking for a story

Looking for a story that is supposed to be on storiesonline, but of course, can't remember the author or the title:

The main character is hired or rents a house. That night he and the house move back in time. The next night he goes back to the present. The owner who lives nearby comes by and tells him that this happens and sometimes the person living in the house doesn’t come back. The owner’s sons come over and clear more of the land around the house and the house and the cleared land goes back. As he picks up travelers the house grows with the need. It becomes as large as a castle with underground garage and target range.

Appreciate any pointers