Inkpop Blog

Write, Read, Connect

We Hear You: Response to Homepage Questions

Posted by inkpopbecki on October 24, 2010

So you had a week to digest the new homepage for inkpop and voice your concerns. We just want you to know, we heard you! This is what is going on in response to your thoughts.

Many of you pointed out that currently there are more short stories on this site than Nonfiction, so why is Nonfiction receiving its own section and Short Stories still put in the same category as Fiction. Users also made a good point that some might knowingly mislabel their projects Nonfiction as their Top Project list might not be as competitive as the Fiction or Poetry Top  Project List. Good points.
1) We want to offer writing space that does not currently exist right now. There are not a lot of outlets for young writers to display, promote and discuss Nonfiction writing. On the other hand there are a lot of sites that support the short story format. Perhaps more than books or poetry. We want to be a platform for all sorts of writers. We have given Nonfiction into its own category to present more opportunities to a more diverse group of writers.
2) The Top Projects concern is legitimate. We are taking measures to prevent this sort of cheating. We the administrators of this site have the ability to change a projects category. So any fiction project we see listed as Nonfiction that is not actually Nonfiction will be moved to Fiction. Second if a project just make it through the Top Projects and is not the category it claims to be, it will not be reviewed by an editor.

Many are afraid that badges will make this site more competitive than it should be. While others think badges make the site “young”.  First badges will not be like trendsetter status or top five where you have to “beat” other users to “win” the badges. Badges are more a representation of what you’re into. So if you read more fiction than nonfiction, other users will be able to tell because of your badges. If you’re an excellent reviewer of poetry, users will be able to find you through your badges. We created this feature as you the users were often asking for easier ways to find the best critics or the best types of fiction. Through the new badge system you will be able to find users who excel in these areas.
As for the “young” part, I would contend that you have not even seen the badges yet. You know that’s a lot like saying you don’t like broccoli when you’ve never even tried broccoli. Until you see how badges work and how they fit the emerging and growing culture of inkpop, we would hope you would not pass judgment on them. Just try the broccoli! You may discover you actually like it.

Hope that helps some of your concerns. We still want to hear from you, so let us know your thoughts here on the inkpop forum.

31 Responses to “We Hear You: Response to Homepage Questions”

  1. The Beaver said

    Okay, I guess there are some plausible reasons for the changes. However, you made no comment on Watch Lists — which I believe should stay.

  2. Rosiee said

    That definitely helps to address some of the concerns I had. I feel a lot better about those two areas now– thanks for the clarification.

  3. HobbitFeet said

    Still wrong.

    Okay, I’ll try the badges, and complain if I don’t like them. But, short stories should have their own top-5 section. I suppose that non-fiction can have one too, but short stories should have one of their own. I see no reason not to.

    You never brought up the watch list. EVERYBODY hated the idea of taking it away! Why are you still taking them away? It’s a horrible idea.

    Third, you didn’t bring up the 5-star rating system. IT. DOES. NOT. WORK!!!!! I don’t know why you don’t see that! I sent you guys a long and detailed Email about how it doesn’t work and you guys obviously ignored it!

    We were partially heard. For the most part we were still ignored. I’m sorry, but I’m still not happy. This cleared up a little bit, but you should have at least been honest about ignoring us in the areas you ignored us in.

  4. Meagan said

    I feel like inkpop as a whole needs to take a collective deep breath and trust that the people who are in charge and working on the new format will do what is best.

    We can all want specific things from the website, but inkpop is a growing community. It would be great to bring in even more active users–and some of the things (like badges) that work for other websites, will work to bring in a more active community.

    The proposed changes seem interesting and great, and I look forward to seeing the outcome.

    • Della Brezza said

      Thank you, Meagan! Everyone on here has been complaining and wanting their every demand to be met! No one can please everyone, and Inkpop is taking a great step forward by improving the site.

      Besides, it hasn’t even transpired yet. Let’s wait to see how it works first of all, then make our concerns known.

  5. gabriellan said

    I’ll take the easy way out and just say: Meagan has a good point! I agree with everything she said.

  6. QuiteSpazzy said

    In case some of you didn’t notice, it says HOMEPAGE questions. Watch Lists and Comments aren’t on the homepage.

    I guess I can deal with the badges now that you explained them a little better. We were all just assuming you meant like “PICK THIS MANY PROJECTS AND YOU GET THIS BADGE!” badges.

    I do think that Short Stories should get a Top 5. There is a lot of Short Story sites, we know that. But we came HERE to outlet our stuff. If you make a Top 5 for SSs, then Inkpop will be a better deluxe package.

    But I’m hoping you do acknowlege everyone’s concern over the Watch Lists (I NEED THAT THING) or comments.

    • Thanks QuiteSpazzy! We will address the watch list issue and the comment ratings in our post Sunday. We need a week to collect your insight formulate responses and see if we can indeed make any changes suggested.

  7. Shock! said

    Okay, I’m satisfied with the badges. Could probably be a very useful thing(I won’t say it is until I try it of course; but I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out now).

    I get what you’re saying about short stories and nonfiction. I’m not sure you understand; we aren’t saying you should replace nonfiction with short stories. But why can’t short stories have a top five as well? I realized that’s a lot to take on–but short stories are, well, short. You could even put on a word maximum, saying if it goes over 10,000(or whatever you decide) it can’t be reviewed. The way you’re saying it, it’s like you WANT the short story community to another site–why not accommodate them as well, and have that many more people on Inkpop? I just don’t get why they’re being excluded. As a short story writer, the top five are essentially useless to me.

    • We understand what you are saying about short stories, unfortunately we just do not see their format as too distinct from fiction in general to engender its own section. Imagine the scenario this way: In our fiction section we have the following “genres” romance, historical, paranormal, science fiction, fantasy. If we were to launch short stories, what “genres” would differentiate it? None, we would see a repetition of romance, paranormal, historical, etc., etc.
      The only logic behind creating a separate short story section is to make sure that books and short stories are not competing with one another for Top Projects. That is not the reason we have created these new sections. The reason we created these new sections, primarily, is so that writers can socialize around the distinct formats that interest them. We can all admit there is a huge difference between a new article and a short story. But when we boil down fiction–unless you want to get into incredibly technical discussions–there is not as great of a difference. Fiction is fiction no matter what the length.

      • Shock! said

        Thanks for the reply. 🙂

        But, I still don’t see things the way you do. In that respect, poetry isn’t any different from fiction. You see the same things there; it’s just written in a different form. Short stories are written in completely different ways from novels; sometimes, the only difference between them and poetry is the format. There is so much more differentiating short stories and novels than length; you could never review a short story the same way you do a novel.

        I’m sorry, it’s just that I see a whole community of writers who are neglected because the focus is on books. They’re so much more than “writers without the dedication for a novel”(as they are sometimes referred to), why can’t they have a platform as well?

    • Again it comes down to genres and formats. With poetry you have genres such as sonnets, verse, beat, etc. With short stories you would find a whole section of the exact same genre types as fiction–i.e. science fiction, romance, mystery, etc. It just doesn’t lend itself to ENOUGH diversity.
      We’re not saying short stories are not different from books, we’re just saying they are note different ENOUGH to warrant an entirely separate section. It still all falls under the heading of fiction. If you need further examples, see where short stories live in chain bookstores. You will generally find them in the fiction section. But poetry, well that is generally a section unto itself.

      • Shock! said

        But those aren’t genres; those are styles. Sonnets, verse, beat; those are all ways to write a poem. They aren’t referring to the CONTENT of a poem, which is what genre refers to. You can find any of those genres in poetry–fantasy, science fiction, romance… they have the same content and genres as novels and short stories. What it comes down to is a division of STYLE.

        You’ve divided it by content: fiction and nonfiction. And then you have the division of poetry, which is a style. Why is this the only style being singled out? All writing has essentially the same content, it’s the styles that differentiate them. Short stories are vastly different from novels; I’ve heard tons of people say, “I couldn’t write a short story to save my life!” I just don’t understand the logic behind these divisions.

    • No in relationship to poetry, style defines the genre. Verse, narrative, epic, prose, all of these are termed as GENRES of poetry

      Where as with fiction genre refers to similarities in characters, settings and themes.

      Semantics aside we return to the point that there were too many similarities between short stories and novels to justify their own category.

      We realize you’re unhappy about this, but for the moment the resolution is that we have three section fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

      • Shock! said

        Genre is used in a different way there, though. The point is, you’re referring to the content of short stories and novels being the same–they both have romance, mystery, science fiction, etc. But poetry has this content as well, it’s just written in a different way. The only differences are style; poems can be fiction or nonfiction, as can short stories. It just seems mixed up to divide it by content and then have a category that divides only style.

        Sorry about being so persistent about this, but it just seems to me that Inkpop doesn’t truly understand short stories if they think there aren’t enough differences between them and novels.

        But thanks for your time anyway. 🙂

      • Anon said

        Aw 😦
        I thought that you’d actually said short stories would have a top five?!
        This is quite guttering XD

        But yeah, it’s your site…who am I to intrude 🙂

      • Gamayun said

        Look at the comments on this post. Just read through them. I have lost all faith in all of you. You don’t care what we want at all. You’re blatantly ignoring our opinions. Apparently your definition of “hear” is very different from mine.

      • Anon said

        Woop! You go Gamayun 😀

  8. LostinBooks said

    The thing is, the watchlist is useful for finding our projects again. It’s not just like with bookmarks, so you can find where you left off, the watchlist is a way for us to keep track of what we liked, want to read again, want to rotate into our picks, etc. I, for one, would forget what I needed to read if I didn’t have one.

    As for the short stories, we need a top five for them. It’s not fair for those who spend hours and hours promoting their novels if someone with a 5000 word story can get in the top five – the novel takes so much time, it should deserve the opportunities such a rank offers. Yet the short story writer deserves a way to get credit for their fantastic writing as well. It just doesn’t work to throw them all together.

  9. kbj said

    The badges sound great! I’m excited for them!! Oh and for your information I LOVE broccoli, but I’m weird like that. 😛
    I love, love, LOVE that nonfiction will now have its own top five. I can’t wait to read some, it’s hard to find on this site sometimes. I haven’t come across much of it.
    But I have to agree, short stories should definitely get their own top-five. And just like (Shock!) said they should have a word limit, that would make sense. I think that there are lots of short stories on this site and they rarely get into the top five. Which is really unfortunate because I read many amazing short stories. But I can understand why there’d be some problems with that, after all many people upload the prologue or first chapter of a novel they’re working on as a short story, and really it’s not a short story at all.
    Honestly, I’m excited for the changes and I know that you guys will do what’s best for us. Thank you for listening to us!!


  10. Gamayun said

    So in other words, no, you don’t hear us.

    Your arguments for including non fiction instead of short stories make no sense. You say there are many sites out there for short stories. There are many sites out the for books too. Would you like us all to go to those instead of inkpop? You say that short stories aren’t different enough to warrant their own genre. And non fiction is?

    By all means, keep the non fiction top five, but the fact remains that you are ignoring what people want. We are the users on this site. We’re the ones who have to live with it. You give us something no one asked for and refuse to give us what people want. I am honestly considering leaving the site. It’s perfectly obvious that you’ve made up your minds what is “best” for the site and refuse to take our feelings into account. I defy you to find anyone on this site who disagrees with the idea of a short story top five. But do you listen? No. You don’t seem to care at all about how enjoyable the site is for us. I despair of this site, I honestly do.

    • Anon said

      I completely agree with you Gamayun. You go toad!

      It’s true HC. Short stories really deserve their own top five, and have you actually seen most the non-fiction? Most the non-fiction on this site aren’t really non-fiction at all!

      I realize that by having FOUR top picks, it would be quite a lot of work for you. But…like Gama said. No one on this site will agree with you. I know of only one person who does, and out of…how many members?

      You aren’t really caring for our needs now, are you? But I suppose if we all left the site. It’d be no skin off your backs, will it? You have enough money not to care about the new generation of YA authors; don’t you?

      So thanks a lot. I really do know it’d be a lot of work for you…but if you think about it like this.
      It’s a lot of work for us to write short stories too, no matter how short they are. A lot of thought and time are put into them; just like novels, poetry and non-fiction.
      Why shouldn’t SS’s get the recognition they deserve, just because you don’t have time?

  11. Inkie said

    Uh…not all short stories are fiction. There are non-fiction short stories.

    • Gamayun said

      And non fiction poems. In fact, I’d say the majority of the non fiction projects are poems. What happens to those?

      • Della Brezza said

        What do you mean, the majority of poems are non-fiction? Do you know what the definition of non-fiction is?

        Non-fiction would be along the lines of a newspaper article, a review, a feature article, essays, textbooks, biographies, documentaries, and personal journals.

        There is NO SUCH THING as a non-fiction poem. What do you mean, “the majority of non-fiction projects are poems?”

      • Gamayun said

        I mean that the majority of projects currently classified as non fiction on inkpop are poems. They’re based on the true experiences of the author, a la “The Darkling Thrush” or “in Mrs Tilchers Class”, and so, while non fiction is technically classified as prose based on fact, bug me a lot less than the other misclassified things But that’s irrelevant because that wasn’t what I was getting at. I was pointing out that they’re there, that they’ll either have to be moved or be in two charts, and that people will continue to misclassify them even after a purge because it makes perfect sense. Ergo, we have a problem on our hands.

        Try not to insult people when you don’t understand what they’re saying. If you don’t understand it’s a lack of knowledge on your part, not theirs, and it doesn’t cast you in the best light.

      • Della Brezza said

        First of all, I wasn’t trying to insult you. I was clarifying the definition of nonfiction and asking, “What do you mean by this?” Try not to deflect your own embarassment for having been vague and unclear in your comment as me being ignorant.

        And no, poetry on inkpop is not being currently classified as nonfiction. Which would be why poetry is getting its own Top 5. And that will not create a problem, because no matter how misinformed people are about the genres of poetry, the poems will still fall under the poetry section.

        And your answer was very vague, yet again. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what exactly you’re saying, since you’re not conveying your thoughts very clearly. Care to elaborate?

    • Della Brezza said

      Exactly. Not all short stories are fiction.

      Sooo… Short stories that are fiction would be listed as fiction, and non-fiction short stories would be listed as non-fiction.

      Quit whining and complaining, guys. You haven’t even seen the new site or how it works. Besides, nothing will ever please everyone. Short stories have fair chance. I know of many wonderful short stories that have made it in the Top Picks.

      • Gamayun said

        With all due respect, you don’t write short stories, you write poems. You have a right to tell us to stop complaining if they take away the poems top five and tell you poems are a genre. It’s easy to be calm when you aren’t being negatively affected.

        We are not whining, we’re pointing out valid problems. Once again, you can complain when you work had on a humour short story and are told short stories are a genre and humour doesn’t exist.

      • Della Brezza said

        Who says I don’t write short stories? I do, as a matter of fact. I write poems, short stories, and novels.

        The point is, not everyone is going to get what they want. It wouldn’t make too much of a differece if they got rid of the poetry top 5 for me. My goal here isn’t to climb my way to the top, it’s to get back realistic feedback and try to improve my work.

        And as I said before, short stories can be listed as either fiction or nonfiction. Like novels, some short stories are fiction, which would be why they are listed there.

        And as I said in my above comment, many short stories have made it to top 5. Why? Because of their content. They’re written well with strong character development, good word choice, and a voice that the reader can emphathize with.

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