WritersCafe.org Blog


A few new features.. 1 Year Ago


Hi all.

We've whipped up a few new features for you. So, without further ado, let's dive in:

Reading History
You can now view what you've read (if you've read it from this point onward) by visiting your home page, clicking on the 'Writing' tab, then clicking the 'Reading History' button you see above and to the right of your writing. And don't worry, no one else can see what you've been reading.

Comment on Reviews
You can now comment on reviews other writers have posted. To do, simply click the new 'Comment on this Review' icon you see below each review. You'll also be notified both in your feed and via e-mail if anyone comments on one of your review or if someone else comments on a review you also commented on. You can turn off these notifications by visiting the 'Options' page of your 'My Account' section.

As always, let us know what you think or if you find any problems.

Hope you're all having a good summer and are writing as often as possible.

-Charlie


Connect with Facebook 2 Years Ago


You may have noticed that Charlie (that's me) and Patrick have been tweaking things a bit lately. Most of this is stuff in the code which you'll never notice. Hopefully, though, you'll have noticed that the site is now much faster and doesn't crash every few hours (sorry about that).

Now we've got another improvement we'd like to tell you about. You can now connect your WritersCafe.org account with your Facebook account.

Why, you may ask, would you want to do that? Well, first of all it makes it easier for you to login to WritersCafe.org or, if you're not yet a member, easier to signup for WritersCafe.org. More importantly, it makes it super easy for you to share your writing and other WritersCafe.org activity with your Facebook friends.

First off, you don't have to share anything if you don't want to. As soon as you connect your Facebook and WritersCafe.org accounts you'll be asked exactly what you want us to share (writing you publish, contests you create, groups you join, photos you upload, etc.). You can turn every type of sharing on or off at any time in the new 'Connect' section of your account.

But if you decide you would like to share certain activities with your Facebook friends, just check the box and we'll automatically post a story to your Facebook wall whenever you perform said activities.

Click the link below to get started and, as always, let us know if you think up any way we can improve our new Facebook Connect feature or anything else on the site.


Connect with Facebook



The New Version of WritersCafe.org 4 Years Ago


So, Charlie finally got off his ass and finished (mostly) the new version of the site which you're seeing right now. Things are different, but don't worry, change isn't always bad. So, here's some of the new features:

  • Blogs are back
  • The Forum is back
  • Subscriptions are back (lots of stuff is back)
  • Better news feed (we like it better anyway)
  • More personal stats
  • Courses - share your writing knowledge
  • Publisher, Literary Agent, and Literary Magazine listings
  • ..and other stuff
I know there are some features I mentioned in my last post which aren't here. Sorry, I just didn't have time and thought I'd give you guys what I built so far. Also, I didn't test it very well because, again, I don't have time (and I'm rather lazy). So, if you find any errors (and you probably will), let us know about them here.

Enjoy,
-Charlie


The beginning of a new beginning 4 Years Ago


Alright, the time for a new beginning has come. Me and Patrick have started working on ideas to improve the site (we've got lots of them), but we're also asking you all to help us out with suggestions. The first thing we need your help with is how the hell do we make this place friendly again?

You've all noticed that tensions have risen on this site. Arguments seem to dominate every conversation. Most of the messages I receive concern some malicious or otherwise unruly act. I handle them the best I can, but not as well as I should. I will admit such daily evidence of humanities faults wears me out and is part of the reason I have not been as present on this site as I should.

There are a few bad apples, a few people too quick to throw punches. The vast majority of you, I know, are kind and good and you're just looking to get feedback on your writing (and let me take this opportunity to thank you for that, it makes me happier than you could ever know). We must, however, find a way to make this community more accepting and more friendly.

So, I'm asking for your suggestions.

Offer Your Suggestions



Me and Patrick have a few ideas (The return of blogs for example. These will be where 'opinion' writing is allowed. We welcome dissent and opinions, but the 'Writing' section should be for posting and reviewing creative writing.), but we'd like to hear what you have to say.

No, on to more exciting stuff. Here's what we have planned for the site in the near future:


  • Return of 'Subscriptions' - Allows you to subscribe to writers so you will see their latest writing and (optionally) receive notifications when the publish

  • Improved Facebook & MySpace Apps - I know, the Facebook one doesn't work very well. It will be fixed and we'll introduce a MySpace App.

  • Writing Courses - I'm excited about these. User created writing courses of any focus (poetry, sci-fi, or whatever). Share your knowledge, discuss techniques, improve your writing

  • Fancier Reviews - We've got some weird ideas for this which may or may not work out, but some things you will definitely see: Inline Notes (better than the old method), Reply to a Review, and . . . well, I won't tell you anymore

  • Return of Agent / Publisher / Magazine listings. Let's get some of you published.

  • A new forum . . . maybe (I'm hesitant about this because people argue in forums way too much).

  • A whole bunch of backend stuff you'll never see, but which is awesome to us nerdy coders.



Of course, we want to hear what you have to say as well.

Offer Your Suggestions



Now, it's going to take some time for this all to happen (I work 60 hours a week and Patrick got hit by a car and has to lay in bed for a few weeks), but we've already begun converting the old site into our new code base (nerdy stuff). Get us your suggestions straight away though so we can work them in.

-Charlie

P.S. If you have kids you should check out hiSprout.com, a new site I just finished which lets you easily share your kids photos & videos with your friends and family.


Use Google's Cache to Recover Your Old Writing 6 Years Ago




Restore Your Writing 6 Years Ago


In an effort to help get WritersCafe.org back on track, we've set up a Restore Writing section.

What does that mean, you ask. Well, if you have a saved version of your writing and that piece of writing got reviews, you may be able to restore the text.

  • Head over to your Restore page
  • Identify your writing from it's reviews
  • Re-add the writing text

    Restore Your Writing



    Of course, if you'd rather just post a new version of the writing, you can always do that to:

    Add New Writing



    -Charlie


  • With Our Sinserist Apologies 6 Years Ago


    It was a snowy night in Wisconsin and Charlie was just finishing up a long day of optimizing WritersCafe.org so it would run nice and quick for you. Then it was a slip of the mouse, an errant click, and catastrophe.

    I'm afraid to say that all the previously published writing on WritersCafe.org has been lost. I, Charlie, accidentally emptied the wrong table in our database and deleted all of your writing.

    I could say this is a chance to start fresh, a chance to push yourself to write more, and I think that's true, but I also know that you all put a great amount of work and heart into your writing, and I know it is an irreplaceable loss. There's nothing I can say or do to make up for this catastrophe, but I will say with as much sincerity as one boy can muster that I am truly sorry. I am very sorry.

    The Good News
    Besides your writing, everything else is safe. Your friends list, private messages, reviews, and overall rating are all still intact. Indeed, if you head over to WritersCafe.org right now you'll see it's pretty much the same. All you really have to do is add new writing and everything will run just as it did before.

    Add Writing


    However, there are a few small differences besides the missing writing.

    As a result of the missing writing, all the Contest Submissions have also been deleted. Every contest is still running, but if you want to be considered you'll have to resubmit.

    If you're a group moderator, you'll also find that your 'Writing' section is now empty.

    The Future
    First. We have now backed up the entire website. It will also be backed up every evening so that if something of this nature were to occur again, it would be easily fixed.

    Second, for every piece of writing you add to WritersCafe.org this week, you'll recieve an extra 10 points. We call these Loyalty points because it really shows your quality.

    We're also throwing a contest with prizes worth $300. You can submit any kind of writing in any genre and you have until March 1st to enter the contest.

    Check Out Our Contest



    The Conclusion
    Again, I am terribly sorry for any heartache I may have caused you. I tried everything to recover your writing, but it proved impossible. Yet, I dare to hope that you may decide to continue using WritersCafe to share and improve your writing. We love having all of you and we want to continue, and improve, this community.

    Lastly. With death there comes new life. There is no better time than now for us to introduce improvements to WritersCafe.org so if you have any suggestions for new features, please let us know.








    -Charlie







    Share Your Writing on Facebook with our new Facebook Application 6 Years Ago


    For all you Facebookers we've got a brand spanking new WritersCafe.org Facebook Application.

    Head on over to our Facebook page, add the application, and you'll be able to easily share your writing with all you Facebook friends.

    Newsfeed


    Adding the newsfeed feature means everytime you publish a new piece of writing on WritersCafe.org a notice will be published in your Facebook Newsfeed.

    Profile


    Add the profile feature and your 30 most recent writings will automatically be displayed on your Facebook profile

    -Charlie



    Welcome New Writers and Get Double Points - Win, Win! 6 Years Ago


    In an attempt to get more and more new writers involved in the WritersCafe.org community, we're giving you, the established writers, some perks.

    Every time you review a new writer (a writer who has registered in the last week), you'll get double the points for that review. As well, if you're the first to review any piece of writing (by new or old writers), you'll receive double points. If you're lucky enough to be the first to review a new writer, then, you could earn triple the points.

    10 points for review
    10 points for reviewing new writer
    10 points for reviewing first

    30 points

    We also have a new badge for you all. If you review 10 pieces of writing by new writers, you'll get the "I Welcome New Writers" badge.



    So review new writers and new writing, and you'll get double points. I think that's the definition of Win, Win, is it not?

    -Charlie



    'Tis The Season For Giving 6 Years Ago


    So you've been on WritersCafe.org awhile and you've collected all these points. You're in the thousands now and you've finally begun to wonder, "What the hell do all these points even do for me?"

    Sure, they put me higher on the Writer's Search and the Writer's Rankings. And I look cool, obviously. But what's the point? I mean I'm already cool, everyone knows that, so why do I need all these points?

    Well, we've got you covered old buddy. Now you can spend your points on Gifts. What are gifts you ask? Well, gifts are icons of things (animals, TV characters, Christmas crap) which appear on the gift reciever's profile.






    Simply pick out the gift you like, choose a person to send it to from your friends list, include them a nice little message, and send the gift. You'll automatically be deducted the points (anywhere from 10 to 100 points depending on the gift), but don't worry, your Total Earned Points won't change (which is what we use in the Writers Search and Writers Ranking systems).

    See All 126 Gifts



    In the future we hope to give you even more things to spend your points on. Things which should be more useful. But for now you'll have to enjoy spending them on Gifts. It is the holidays after all.

    -Charlie