Why I ♥ Writer's Cafe

Why I ♥ Writer's Cafe

A Story by dw817
"

This is for you Xangans out there who haven't yet found a new home for your blogging. Hopefully I can encourage you to join us here.

"



This is for you Xangans and other bloggers out there who haven't yet found a new home for your blogs. Hopefully I can encourage you to join us here.




WHY I WRITER'S CAFE

Hey - welcome to Writer's Cafe. I am, as you should know, the famous (or perhaps at this point - infamous) dw817.

Yessir, the one and the same.

Now I know many of you were expecting me to write this article in Xanga.



But like it or lump it, they are going down, and whether or not they actually resurface even if they meet $60,000 in donations is really not known for certain. And they've only got 48-hours as of this writing !




Now what I do know is this. I'm very grateful to the members in Xanga that steered me to take a look at this blogger site. You should also know that I'm rather thorough too when I set my mind to something.

I've looked far and wide for several months now at different bloggers. This includes Tumblr, Facebook, Blogger, WordPress, Open Diary, Blogster, and Live Journal, and I'll be reviewing them as I saw them all below.






First on the chopping block is Tumblr.

I hadn't been in Tumblr for awhile nor did I really know how things functioned there as I thought it was pretty klunky, but when I returned after a few months absent, I found this on my site, repeated 30 times in a row !



I'm not showing the whole page, but you get the idea. Manually screened by an employee of Tumblr ? Ahah, yeah, I don't think so. Bad BAD security there. Moving on.






Now there is Facebook. I really can't say anything bad about them cause IMHO it's a great system with excellent security, but it is definitely not for bloggers or writers.

Now if you just wanna post crazy random pictures and have people click LIKE and write a sentence on them or two in comment - sure that's fine and that can be fun to do and I've done it myself.

But for writing true heart-felt poems, or maybe lengthy events from your own personal life, and even entire short-stories, this is not the place for it.

No, Facebook is and always has been a quick fix for photos, your own or not, simple words, meeting friends, chat, and Online Facebook games.

If you try and write something of your own that goes over 2-paragraphs, there's a good chance it won't receive as much attention as a single funny photo of a dog in a tutu.

And even if you use their NOTES area, you'll find you can't change font, size, can't even center lines, and you have to hardcode to get bold or italic text, and absolutely no Flash, Inline, or HTML.






OK - let's do Blogger.

Now Blogger is provided by the fine people of Google so you would think it would be good, and yes it is, they have a fine good editor.

Absolutely excellent for businesses and entrepreneurs. And why is that ? There is NO community. Zero. I piddled with the controls for weeks and could never have it show 'top writers' or anything in there.

The closest I could find was it's a habitat for companies to advertise their wares. Now for bloggers that don't need or desire a community and wanna be all independent and on their own, sure, I say go for it.

I'm friends with one nice girl in there who posts Window Games all the time but no other person shows up for me as I'm not friends with anyone else. It's also a little flash-intensive for things it doesn't need to be, so if you have a slow computer, you'll lag trying to build read-worthy pages there.





Right, next is WordPress. I am understanding a large number of you Xangans are going there, and hey, that's fine, I won't stop you. Personally I didn't like it myself. They have restrictions set deliberately in place for the sole purpose of making money. Really.

They crippled their editor so badly for free users it requires external plugins from other outside programmers to do neat things like add flash and videos - unless you have a premium account.

Further when I did finally get my cool stuff to work, it DOES NOT APPEAR if you log out and view it as a guest. You can read my further findings on this controversial site
HERE.

That's sad and NO OTHER blogger site I have ever seen does this. I don't respect a company like this even if someone says the best bloggers are there, my principles are to stay far far away.

Additionally, they have no private message ability, no ability to edit a comment once you post (not even to delete it), and no way to post any images or links in your comments either. It's just text or nothing.

Wordpress is also definitely not the easiest to use blogging system. I believe it was designed for massive businesses and even as much as I know about computers - I don't like it. It's very hard to get things done in there and it's too cumbersome and complex - even for me.







Next is Open Diary and it's a nice little system, but for the ever-loving-greed-of-money, they don't permit you to search any pages written by others except through what is called "Interests" !

Interests are the ONLY way you can find pages there and each "interest" must be voted on before it is even accepted. While, "Jewelry" and "Wedding" might be there, let's say someone wrote the exact words of, "Golden Ring" and you're looking for it.

Well screw it, you'll never find it with their search engine unless you go premium. "Golden Ring" is not an, "interest" and while you can 'suggest' it be added, it has to go through a committee of votes.

They also limit each entry to 8,000 characters and all images must off-linked from a different server.

Totally and completely UNNECESSARY on all these counts.






Next is Live Journal. It first got my interest cause of it's complex interface and the ability to enter direct HTML. But after examining their community, the 'top writers' are made up mostly of advertisers. If I want to find advertisers and products I'll search for them in Google or go to Yahoo.

Advertisers IMHO should NEVER encroach on blogging space. That should be for the individuals who want to tell others about new arrivals to the family, or to show photos and parties they went to, or to write their thoughts about clouds in the sky.

I love clouds and snowflakes, I would definitely read about those, especially poetry.

Not businesses. It's bad enough we have as much spam as we do on sites and advertisements and add to that pop-ups, pop-unders, rapeware (you get it whether you want it or not), viruses, malware, keyloggers - the list goes on.

No, businesses should leave the blogging sites ALONE and have them reserved for individuals, especially those who aren't trying to make a profit and just want to have good communication with their Online friends.






This website meets an interesting and previously unmentioned criteria. That of complete, "A$$hole." I was interested in them as a possible blogging site so I created an account and a sample page that linked to my Writer's Cafe site and vowed to examine them more thoroughly after the weekend.

When I got back, it turned out that they had not only shut down the page I put together but banned my entire account outright. This is the very first time this has happened with any blogging site I've been on as I do often get on a blogging site and make a redirect to where I am currently blogging.

I do this so if one goes belly up, I can return to that previous one and either start to blog there or post a new redirect to where I'm at then.

I finally got in touch with one of the senior members of Blogster and they =AGREED= that in fact they DID shut down my page because it linked to a competitor blogging site. The way they worded it, "No advertising of any kind."

They did also bring my page back up but I think it's cause I told them I was writing a bad review about the way treated me and gave them this link. Must've made an impact with them. Anyways.

Wow.

I'm sorry but that really cuts against my grain as a blogger to shut me down initially for posting a link. I can and often will post links willy-nilly all over the place when I write my posts.

Add to that she said, no, their search function does not work, no you cannot search for words in post, like even cat, or dog. You cannot edit or post HTML, and you only have 4 "widgets" to add media, one for an ad-driven music server, the other for 2 obscure video sites, and the last, sort of helpful, Youtube, but under their rules.

You also can't upload any images to them so you are expected to find your own server.

As you know or should if you use Photobucket today, they have their head so completely up their A$$ now it requires a LOGIN to even retrieve links from pictures on their site and they still shut you down for the month if you go over your bandwidth which I am understanding is now smaller than the space you are allotted to upload. It's about the money folks.

Good grief.

I have since started a tutorial on advanced HTML methods and talk about an alternative site, unlimited bandwidth, you can use as a valid and good image server. Nonetheless, completely ridiculous they can't even let users host 100mb of images on site or so.

You can read that weekly series I started right
HERE.







So we've gone through the gamut, what's left ? Well, if you know of any other blogger sites I may not and would like me to examine them and give my opinions, feel free to let me know. Or if you think I am mistaken on my estimation of these other blogger sites, you are also welcome to let me know - I want to be fair here and these are my own findings.

I am and always will be searching for the perfect blogging site, and as you know that WAS Xanga (except for the stalkers, trolls, and spammers), and well, here we are today. Yes I'm sad it's going away too ...

...

So let's take a look at Writer's Cafe now.



First off, let's consider some of the current members of Writer's Cafe. They are composed of, mainly, writers, and that's a good thing. Most of us write, we're not out to advertise some company, and it shows here. Good, honest people writing poems, short-stories, silly and serious writings, and even entire novels.

Rather refreshing to find really, like one big friendly party and everyone is all talking at once with their mouth full of cake, but it's about stuff we know and understand - ourselves our ideas, dreams, hopes, and fantasies, not about company products.

Writer's Cafe is not just about stories, books, and writers but also has a BLOGGING area too so you can write public blogs that are viewed and sorted by date, like most other good blogging sites.



One of the advantages of writing a BLOG instead of a WRITING is that only your friends can see it. That's the same thing as, "Friend's Lock" in Xanga. So you can either make your posts perfectly private for you in your friends in BLOG or air them out publicly in Writing - your choice.

Writer's Cafe also immediately lets you know if you receive a new comment for your writing, someone replied to one of your comments, you have new private mail (separate from your Email), or someone is requesting to be your friend.



They all appear as neat little graphic icons in the top-right-hand corner of the screen and appear on any page. Awesome to be notified that quickly and immediately.



Writer's Cafe allows an INFINITE number images in your writing and account.

Now, I'm not certain how they can get away with that. I was on some sites a few years back that could pull it off and MAN I went nuts posting everything on my HD, well over 400mb and they still never complained.

In any case, you click one button in your message editor and can either link it from a URL or directly from your computer - unlimited.

Writer's Cafe also has, and this is highly unique from all the blogging sites I've seen and aren't even being reviewed here - the ability to list all of the following from their front page.



New writers, writers who haven't been visited yet, posts that have not been viewed yet, and posts that have not received any comments yet.

YES ! That is what I =TRULY= call, "No child left behind." Very VERY nice of Writer's Cafe to support this !



Now to be fair I do need to say Writer Cafe's main editor is a bit skimpy for me.

There is no HTML editing (tho I found a way around this), they don't have Tahoma, my favorite typefont (I use Trebuchet), and you can't hexadecimally enter in colors either so I can't get that perfect shade of PINK I like so much without a bit of HTML coding.

And the GOOD NEWS is you can in fact have any HTML, flash, and Inline coding you want. Even WordPress was trying to charge $30 a month for that privilege, and there is no limit to the size of your posts too, unlike Open Diary.

But everything else is right there. Bold, Italics, Strikethru, Underline, Left/ Center/ Right/ All justify, indent, font color, insert any image from URL or HD, add link, separate link, select font, and font size.

You can upload on the fly any number of images ad infinitum directly in your post. Or you can make a post with a protected status and upload images to there so you can retrieve their URLs and use in other areas like inserting images in people's profile comments, private messages, or in your own profile page.

You get to build a splash page telling about yourself, fully customizable via HTML editing (mine is HERE).

Your writings are listed right alongside it.

You also have Courses, Groups, and Contests. Courses are unique posts you and others make where you TEACH things. Contests are where someone holds, as it says, a contest, usually a type of writing, and you even win graphic awards that show on your profile. Neat stuff !

There are Groups as well where like-minded people can collect and talk about their interests.

You also have a nice little area to post an infinite number of photographs to show others, as many as you like. I added a few to show you found HERE.




Other neat things are a TON of options and configuration. Optional Email notifications for new friend request, new review, new review reply, new message, new profile comment, new photo comment, new blog comment, new course comment, and new group invite, all able to turn on or off - and that's just to let you know what's going on in Email.

You can also easily flag it so your friends in Facebook receive notifications every time you write or update a new writing, post, or blog.

On the site itself you have =38= other things you can be notified about and these can all be turned on or off ! That oughta cover even the most sophisticated and informed blogger.



Security here is pretty good too.

Remember how in Xanga you can post something that any old John or Mary can post an anonymous reply to ? Ripe for spammers and trolls, right ?

Well no so here ! In fact, you can set each post so they appear to everyone or only to members of WC, and of course can specify whether it's everyone, teen, or mature.

If you have a die-hard troll or spammer trying to get in, they'll find that their Email address is gonna get verified by the system before they can even say boo to ya.

Remember, they never did that in Xanga (which would take any old fake Email) so that's also an added security bonus and a deterrent to fly-by spammers and trolls.

...

Lots of good things for bloggers, but once again, with the added advantage of allowing an infinite number of pictures and blog storage. No limitations, no needing to buy a premium account, and certainly no need to use a nasty image host that cripples you with limited bandwidth and storage.

I can only think of one mainstream website that does everything in Writer's Cafe and that's Facebook. But as you know Facebook is not about writers, it's about entertainers, whoever can post the silliest picture and get a whole bunch of LIKEs for it.




Now you may think you HAVE to post stories or books or poems in here. No you don't.

I've also seen some very simple posts where it's just a silly crazy image followed by 6-7 words they want people to joke and comment on so apparently they aren't very strict about what you write in here even it's just a picture with a bit of accompanied text.

You can save to draft (like I'm doing here), so it doesn't actually show up till you're ready. You can specify ratings or not (I haven't figured how that works yet), and you can specify it so it's INVISIBLE except to members.




It's REALLY simple to use and hard to make mistakes in it. It doesn't use any Flash or Java to slow you down like Blogger, and you can do true blue searches for ANYTHING you want, including words, phrases, and sentences and immediately get people's writings that include what you looked for unlike Open Diary and Blogster. [Example]

Just type out in that search field what you're looking for and it checks both titles and content to find what you're looking for, and that's a bunch of people that can share same and similar interests of you !

What could be simpler !

And, I'm here !

Yeah, I know I'm not like a Chippendale Dancer or cute bikini model or anything but as you know I'm always technically minded and always helping folks learn stuff so if you get stuck or wanna know how to do advanced tricks like add videos or flash or music to your blog, it can all be done and I'm definitely here for ya.

I have also started a tutorial for advanced topics in Writer's Cafe which can be found HERE.



Just look me up cause now you know where to find me !

If Writer's cafe sounds like a place you want to make your home, click HERE to join !


Return home HERE.

© 2013 dw817



Andrew Nelson Stewart Andrew Nelson Stewart
In poetry and to find answers of who we are while walking the ephemeral road upon cracks of pain signs leading you.
The first mistake
A band of soldiers finds diplomacy in the dreg forest comes with consequences.

My Review

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Featured Review

A lot of great, useful information here, told in your upbeat, often amusing style. (I like the bit about 'everyone talking with their mouths full of cake) I've seen your comments other places about the little rating box beneath each piece of writing. Long ago, I began giving anything I read a '100', the reason being that it was the only way I could really be fair to everyone. I'm an amateur, after all, I have no high-powered credentials that qualifies me to grade the work of others, so I just give everyone an "A". You'll come across some writers who've opted out of the grading system altogether. One pretty serious flaw you're going to find with this site is that it gets constipated often. Sometimes it goes off line for several hours. Long ago, it crapped itself and lost everyone's work. (Mine's always backed up) Another item, and this is a personal gripe--the "top ten" list of writing found on the log in page. The honest truth is, making that list has little or nothing to do with the quality of a piece, and has everything to do with the popularity of the writer and how well she/he drums up reviewers. Also, a story almost never makes the list. WC is dominated by poets, and many of them not very good poets. Still, it's the best, most fun writers site I've ever found.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

A.M. Wilborn

4 Years Ago

Thank you. I'm new and this review helped me out a lot. Especially since I'm a short story writer.
dw817

4 Years Ago

You're very welcome, Amwilborn. As for the shout-message you put together, if you haven't written it.. read more
A.M. Wilborn

4 Years Ago

Thank you again. Good advice.



Reviews

KILLUA! KILLUA IS ON THIS PAGE!

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

dw817

2 Years Ago

Hm ? Who is Killua ?
steven

2 Years Ago

oh lol, its a guy from Hunter X hunter, he is a white haired kid
Just had the time and found you! Trying this site again ... hope no snobs backstabbing perverse coming to us ever again! LOL

Nice blog, my friend!

Posted 3 Years Ago


Great job, you just convinced me for the second time to write on this site again. We had a conversation on xanga where you explained some of your reasoning why writerscafe was better than wordpress, and after using wordpress for a bit, I realized you were totally right! It got to the point that I stopped writing for awhile because it was such a pain and next to no one was even looking at my page. It was depressing. There is a much better community here. I'm writing again and I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU! Hopefully more xangans will come here.


Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

RealistMe

2 Years Ago

I'm so glad, that I never paid to use Xanga. I was content with what I had on 1.0.
dw817

2 Years Ago

First time I ever invested money in an internet company too. I guess today we need to go with the un.. read more
RealistMe

2 Years Ago

Based on what I have learned, Xanga 2.0 is just as dead as 1.0. LOL! They should've just raised the .. read more
Okay, this is awesome. First off, I clicked because I used Xanga about 11 or 12 years ago, maybe longer. I didn't even know it still existed, lol! Total throwback. At any rate, I had to check it out when I saw the link, and I was more than impressed by your detail. Basically it sounds like the majority of options are pretty awful. I actually complain a lot about the "group" setup on the Cafe, but now I feel like I should probably just shut up. ;-P I've also used Inkpop (which is now Figment, and is COMPLETELY and utterly different... a move I will never understand, even given an infinite lifespan with which to contemplate it, lol) and Fictionpress before, and they both have some interesting components. I don't know about Figment, but Inkpop had the most amazing group function, and the only thing I like about Fictionpress is, in fact, the HTML function. It's better than the Cafe's if memory serves, but the last time I used that one (save for some messing around) was in 2004. Of course, another plus for Fictionpress is the fact that my 2004 account, untouched in 9+ years remains intact. That's a pretty impressive claim, in my opinion.

At any rate, sorry for the wild tangentiation... which should totally be a word. Keep up the good sleuthing, oh wise blog master!

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

dw817

4 Years Ago

Blog Master ? Goodness ! *Grin* You brought up some of my old haunts. I looked at Fictionpress and s.. read more
Arutha

4 Years Ago

Lol 200 is a serious task. I like your style ;-P Actually, FP probably doesn't allow HTML on comment.. read more
dw817

2 Years Ago

Yes ... as I've been invited to several blogging sites by members, I have found more and more of the.. read more
Very good information. I use a few outlets. Some are useful and some are storage. I like it here. Good writers trying to help each other. Thank you for some very good wisdom and knowledge.
Coyote

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

dw817

4 Years Ago

Thanks ! I see I may have missed a few comments on my stuff. I'll have to go thru them manually and .. read more
Coyote Poetry

4 Years Ago

No perfect system. Each of us want more or less. My main concern is security and respect.
i'm just a semi-pro writer and not a blogger, so i ran through many writing sites to post my work. but i found writers cafe very much suitable for the very same reason. though few people told me that there are others good sites like :hubpages for writers, yet i don't find it that nice as this. thanks for sharing this article with us. it's quite informative about other sites as well.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

dw817

4 Years Ago

You're very welcome ! Tomorrow I'm gonna make a post on how to back up your posts (with comments) to.. read more
The dark story

4 Years Ago

yeah that had happened a long time back ago when i wasn't here. i have read about it in the wc's blo.. read more
dw817

4 Years Ago

Glad to help !

A lot of great, useful information here, told in your upbeat, often amusing style. (I like the bit about 'everyone talking with their mouths full of cake) I've seen your comments other places about the little rating box beneath each piece of writing. Long ago, I began giving anything I read a '100', the reason being that it was the only way I could really be fair to everyone. I'm an amateur, after all, I have no high-powered credentials that qualifies me to grade the work of others, so I just give everyone an "A". You'll come across some writers who've opted out of the grading system altogether. One pretty serious flaw you're going to find with this site is that it gets constipated often. Sometimes it goes off line for several hours. Long ago, it crapped itself and lost everyone's work. (Mine's always backed up) Another item, and this is a personal gripe--the "top ten" list of writing found on the log in page. The honest truth is, making that list has little or nothing to do with the quality of a piece, and has everything to do with the popularity of the writer and how well she/he drums up reviewers. Also, a story almost never makes the list. WC is dominated by poets, and many of them not very good poets. Still, it's the best, most fun writers site I've ever found.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

A.M. Wilborn

4 Years Ago

Thank you. I'm new and this review helped me out a lot. Especially since I'm a short story writer.
dw817

4 Years Ago

You're very welcome, Amwilborn. As for the shout-message you put together, if you haven't written it.. read more
A.M. Wilborn

4 Years Ago

Thank you again. Good advice.
Good info. If most of those on Xanga were coming here, I would too but WP seems to be the main choice. I still might check this out sometime.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

dw817

4 Years Ago

NP, maybe I'm a stubborn little mule but - WP just rubs me the wrong side the way they deliberately .. read more

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Added on June 6, 2013
Last Updated on July 30, 2013
Tags: davidw, xanga, homeless, blogging, homelessness, what is offered, site shutting down, where can I go, free blogger, free blogging, free blog site
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