How can we increase Forum Participation

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Greta
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How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby Greta » Thu, 11 Dec 2014 3:20 pm

Over time I've noticed that while Forum membership steadily increases, the number of active participants doesn't seem to grow.

People come and go and occasionally life steps in and turns us to other things - we can't change that. I've been away myself for a fair while due to unforeseen circumstances. But I've a fair idea of how much work and time Peter devotes to the Forum and think it would be great if members don their thinking caps and come up with suggestions to increase involvement.

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Oldmeadow
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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby Oldmeadow » Thu, 11 Dec 2014 5:33 pm

Hi Greta,

I'm a new member. Just joined yesterday. I have been surfing through the site and notice that there don't seem to be any dedicated places for members to post draft story ideas, first lines, first pages, treatments etc. except for regulars (please correct me if I am wrong!).
Other writer forums I go on tend to have these with an ongoing format where one writer posts and another one critiques e.g. First Page Friday is a great one. Writers post a draft first page and others comment and critique it.

Apologies if this does happen here and I've missed it. I am very new here. :)

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Greta
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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby Greta » Thu, 11 Dec 2014 6:12 pm

Hi Oldmeadow and welcome :)

We do have Reviews http://www.australianwritersforum.org.a ... um.php?f=7
It is locked for members only so that what you write doesn't end up on google or elsewhere. It seems though that some writers send their work now to one or two people to review. When writers posted them in the section for everyone to edit, we learned a lot from the various comments and edits from other writers. I've been away so I don't know why this changed. Unless of course, like me, we lack the confidence to post

Rath still posts work though. If you go to members and click the letter of a member, say R, you can call up all their posts. I've done this for Rath, and other members - you will find some great reading.

First Page Friday sounds good :)

It might be quiet for a while though with Christmas holidays.

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Oldmeadow
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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby Oldmeadow » Thu, 11 Dec 2014 6:46 pm

Cheers for the welcome Greta,

Great to be on board.

Yes I can see the security of work being an issue. I suppose posting treatments or a synopsis would be safer.

Thanks for the reading recommendations, I'll check them out. :)

Writers Bloc
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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby Writers Bloc » Thu, 11 Dec 2014 7:10 pm

Heya, joined a week or two ago myself!

How about writing "challenges" pick a topic every week and we all write a short story with that topic in mind and have a vote.. no prizes just a bit of fun?

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Peter McLennan
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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby Peter McLennan » Sun, 14 Dec 2014 3:23 pm

I'm all ears (well, eyes :shock: ). I've certainly got a grand vision for what this forum could become, but how to get there?

To touch on the points mentioned so far:

Oldmeadow suggested more or clearer places for posting writing snippets. This has been a vexatious issue (see here). The current options can be read here. I'm more than happy to consider additional options; we just have to balance that against the workload created for those who can't say 'no' to a review request!

Writers Bloc mentioned writing challenges. We've had a few of these, and they're extremely effective at getting people involved. I've put up the contributions from a couple of them on separate web pages (eg, here). The main practical problem seems to be that many of them peter out. I'm always on the lookout for a good entrepeneur/organiser/game-show-host to run with these.

I hope nobody interprets my comments as criticism of these suggestions. Au contraire: they're good suggestions; we/I need to do them better.

Please keep the ideas coming, whether as refinements to the above or otherwise.
Peter McLennan
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Writers Bloc
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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby Writers Bloc » Sun, 14 Dec 2014 4:50 pm

Ok, I will try and flesh out the idea of writing challenges. Please feel free to shoot down, tweak or agree with any of the points below

1. Once a month previous "winner" (ill describe how a winner is determined later) picks a topic that we all write about. This topic can be anything within reason...could be a single word, a phrase that must be used or even a genre as a challenge
2. Writers who wish to participate send a PM to the administrator of the perhaps new forum with their story so that eventually we have a few stories in the same thread that people can vote for. Reason for PM is for anonymity.. Votes would also be anonymous
3. Story with most votes wins - no prizes maybe a "sticky thread" that shows all the winners of each months comp (for the glory!!!!)
4. First month (since there hasn't been a winner) the topic will be determined by admin
5. Rules for every month will be posted in a new thread so one month it could be poetry then short story the next?

I think this could be a little fun and challenge people to write out of their comfort zone with topics or even styles they don't normally indulge in. Let me know what you guys think!!!

PS im more than happy to admin this with Peters blessing and I promise to be completely fair and just! Of course as admin of the site, Peter may want to run this which would be great also. His choice of course!

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Peter McLennan
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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby Peter McLennan » Tue, 16 Dec 2014 7:17 pm

Sounds fine to me, Writers Bloc. We have voted on challenges before (eg, here). This was anonymous, but the submissions themselves were not. Anonymous submissions could be achieved in the manner you suggested.

I'd be happy to set up any new forum sections required for this.

I'd also be happy (and even prefer) for someone other than I to run such challenges. The current event co-ordinator is shelltree, but I think she's been overtaken by reality recently.

I'd love to hear others' views, but this is probably not a good time of year.
Peter McLennan
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Writers Bloc
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Joined: Tue, 02 Dec 2014 7:35 pm
Location: Just outside of Canberra

Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby Writers Bloc » Tue, 16 Dec 2014 7:54 pm

certainly agree with time of year. Would also like to see if others want to play? What do you think guys?

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Greta
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Re: How can we increase Forum Participation

Postby Greta » Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:44 am

My timing was a little unfortunate, we can raise this again early in the New Year. A monthly competition sounds good as that will give everyone a chance to enter without taking too much time from their WIP.

Peter - I read the posts on the links you provided - one thought that comes to mind is that some people find it difficult to review work from others, or are afraid to do so. DD pointed out some reviews can be quite short and still be accurate.

What about taking the competition one step further - when the decision is made as to the winner(s) invite members to review one or more of the entries - a good learning experience.

Greta


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