Politics Of WC

Politics Of WC

A Story by Jenny Davis
"

This is an older piece...but still valid- mostly ;)

"

I have been wondering what the cafe represents lately. Is this place for writers or for those that need their ego stroked? Do I need my ego stroked? Do you?

 

I LOVE to write. I write in my sleep, no lie! Sometimes I wake up, reach under my bed and grab my notebook. I atleast write a skeleton of an idea I conjured during slumber. It's that intense for me! Yet after I post things here lately, my excitement fizzles rather quickly. I start wondering what people will think of what I write...will they rate it accordingly or will someone with a personal vendetta come along and rate it to zero for their own ego. Hmmm...I think the fact that someone CAN do this is problem enough.

 

There has been many pieces about the politics of this site lately and I have responded generally the same on all that I have seen. The only thing I haven't said is this:

 

I think it is ridiculous that one has to come on here and entertain SOMEONE ELSE'S idea of a good poem or story. I think EVERYTHING that is written is sacred and valuable. I don't think there should be ANY ratings available at all. That's why I have decided to leave off that option from here on in regarding all of my works.

 

Originally I had this stupid idea that people were here to be read. Maybe because I saw this place as an oasis for serious writers and not another glorified myspace. Now before any of you myspacers get your britches in a bunch, please understand. There is a place for everything and there is nothing wrong in theory with myspace. However, when I think of a place to read good poetry, myspace is not the first place I think of. That being said, my point is basically that Writers Cafe is looking more like a "look at me" site than a place for artists.

 

Not for nothing, the top lists on both the writers and the writings page leave a lot to be desired. I have been up there many, many times. Now, I am not so eager to be there. Reason? There is no credibility there. If someone gets 5 reviews on 2 of their pieces and their overall score is over 95%, they will appear on the board....so? So what this means is that your writing isn't necessarily being rewarded, it's more like your friends are rewarding you for probably reading them earlier that day.

 

Now I know that is not true ALL of the time, as there are SO MANY genuinely talented writers on here...but seriously, how many of them are there. I used to think that others who felt this way were just being bitter for NOT being up there themselves. BUT, I have since changed my mind...I am up there a lot and I don't like it.

 

There's only one problem though. Like EVERY WRITER, I want to be read. Now how can new eyes see a new piece of poetry if I close off the ratings? They can't, only those on my friends lists will ever see anything...hmm...I love all my friends, but I like fresh perspectives too. You may be saying to yourself, "Yeah, but friends can send your work to others." THIS IS TRUE. BUT- This site took away the "send to all your friends" options. This means that someone would have to go down their entire list, picking, clicking and choosing who to send a work to. Do you think most would do that? I don't think so. I have come across some really great pieces and wanted to pass it along to everyone...but I always stop somewhere around "d," it gets tedious!

 

Anyway, my whole point of this vent is to express my displeasure at the inner works of this site. The badges, the ratings, the lists...but most certainly not the people. Let it be known, I like coming here and reading everyone, that is not the issue. The issue is simply the politics. I wish in this coming new year for a better, more peaceful environment to write. Where I can feel free to voice my opinions and still be respected...

© 2008 Jenny Davis


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This place is a far cry from what it used to be when I first got here. It was pleasant sure enough but there was still room open for sabatage as I saw from reviewing and having my review being slamed and messing up my stats. (That's when I really cared about that.) Fabian G was another guy on that same piece that got slammed and I couldn't figure what the problem was on that. He's no longer here and I wonder does this place chase away good writers for poor sports.

"I think it is ridiculous that one has to come on here and entertain SOMEONE ELSE'S idea of a good poem or story. I think EVERYTHING that is written is sacred and valuable. I don't think there should be ANY ratings available at all. That's why I have decided to leave off that option from here on in regarding all of my works.

With the ratings system as it is now I wonder is it too sensitive. I've rated three writers only to get a response like I just threw there score in the basement. Not my intent and never will be. None of the ratings were harsh or below what I thought was fair in 'my' eye. Yet it seemed to do a huge amount of damage. I do wonder how anybody can be knocked off the page by one rating not far below 95. Also if the ratings slide is open then it's fair game for a legitimate rating and not intended to be used to slam someone.


"Not for nothing, the top lists on both the writers and the writings page leave a lot to be desired. I have been up there many, many times. Now, I am not so eager to be there. Reason? There is no credibility there."

Until there is a foolproof system to rate without bias then it's hard to say. I've seen it said by one that the same people are always up there. My answer was it can be cliquish at times but then they put in the work. Anybody who puts in the work can get up there. It's hard to see your worth if people become to agreeable or harsh. So why are we really writing? The best reason I have because it's touching somebody. My greatest moments have been when someone tells me the printed out my work to hang up on their door or someone I don't know from off the site decided to leave a comment saying they liked what I wrote. Those are my little special moments that I won't get a star or any points for. It sticks with me better.
I wonder what's going to happen now.
Charles could find out who has more than one profile easily I think. He could look at the IPO number to the computer and see who's got more than one profile. I don't know what software he would use but then I think that may just ruin the site all together. I wish I could be on the show but second shift is ruining that idea. There's really a lot more I wanted to say.


Posted 16 Years Ago


6 of 6 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

As I read your article, it felt as if I'd written this myself. I agree the issue is politics plus favortism, tends to be somewhat cliquish and a considerable amt. of the reiews are 'fluff", or a 3 word sentence.
There is no moderator or anyone to answer questions, it says to email if you need help, yet of the 4 emails I've sent, 0, zero have been acknowledged.
A good part of the contests have a deadline yet 30 or so days past there have been no winners, because whoever held the contest hasn't followed through.
More fluff stuff. I' ve had 2 writers who sent verbally abusive emails, even after I blocked them, they somehow were still able to get past that and continue their abuse. Noone ans. my email re: this matter. (usual norm)
I also feel that so many are ego driven. I'd get emails from one part. writer who'd already had his claim to fame. He email me read req. then completely ignored mine.

I'm a high rater, not for any quid pro quo, its just the way I m. Plus I don't give 3 word reviews or fluff

Posted 13 Years Ago


It's interesting what you write here. I'm three days into using this site, so I'm in no position to judge. On top of that, my experience of myspace is only a month or so.. so again, Je ne sais pas.

I think the social component of a site like this is inevitable. Some people will always approach any dynamic as a ladder that has to be climbed. What can we do?

The site will inherently reflect the society that writes within it, both in terms of its content and its politics. There will be ladder climbers and there will be those who do not even see a ladder to climb.

With myspace, and I suspect this site as well, I have adopted a policy of 'dinner party-esque' politeness. The old adage of not saying anything, if I don't have anything nice to say, is applied in full by me. Having said that, I have, thus far, never written something that I did not believe in regard to a person's write. It's rather that I do not offer corrections or negative feedback. Perhaps when I get to know a few writers and feel like I know them and their work well enough to offer something that requires such light and delicate fingers, but even then I think it would only be after being asked.

The problem with that is how real is the criticism on a site like this? Do we all either gush or b***h? Is that our lot? Not sure. I shall continue to explore and see how things work.

As I said before, an interesting write.

Posted 16 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I have to agree. Several very good and very talented writers left this site. Seems it's all about who is on top. I don't care to be there. I want to have my works read by people who like to read, period. I would like to see a send read request and send review request. In the real world I have had many people read my published works, but when it comes to reviews, I have not one single review. Books are expensive and I appreciate that fact. I've sent thirty books to reviewers, some of whome asked for my book to review, some of whom I sent to in good fatih because they said on their website they review every work sent to them and some who asked me for the books to review. Not one review out of the lot. Here, we get reviews. Good or bad, we get reviews.

If someone attacks your work, you can talk to them here. It's a check and balance system in a way. IF there are those who simply read you then attack you personally, there's the reporting system in place. As long as everyone is mature and sensible, this site can stand as a writer's site.

Posted 16 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I think EVERYTHING that is written is sacred and valuable.
I agree, you said it well...maybe it will be taken into consideration! BRAVO.

Posted 16 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Hey you. I haven't been in touch for a while. You make plenty of good points here, but there's one problem for me; I haven't been abused or 'slammed' or a top writer, so I guess I have managed to avoid all this politics. Saying that though, I did experience something once that startled me, but the writer has since been banned by the site administrators, which is a shame because in an odd way, I was growing to like her.

I completely appreciate your argument and concerns here. The way I use the points and ratings parts of the site is simple for me; I rate everybody top, despite the words they gave me. I just offered good critiques and rate 100% either way, just like you do.

This could go on for ever.....I just assume I am not read because I am not writing my 'real' work yet. It motivates me in a way.

Take care.

Posted 16 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I think alot of valid points have been made but as with all things it is what you make it. I would suggest that all the writers on site take a few minutes to read a new writer and it you feel it is worth while send it to three or four friends and that way we as the writers become part of a solution and not the problem. Well thats my opinion anyway.
Hugs Debby

Posted 16 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I tend to stay out of politics, but I've been less interested in WC ever since the change. They dumped the forums, they got rid of subscriptions, and the old format allowed for new writings of anyone to be viewed. My activity on WC has decreased dramatically, and now I think the 2 main ways my works get viewed are from my friends list and entering contests. I have actually only sent one piece of writing to my friends for review, otherwise I had not publicized them unless in the old forums, as my signature.

As to why my activity has decreased on WC, it is really that I don't care for the new design, including the ripping away of the best way to feel a sense of community on the internet, the forums. There is a forum group, but it seems activity there has also died.

Good to see there is discussion of this, but it took them 2 - 3 months to put the tree back, I think it will take longer to get positive changes back to this site.

Posted 16 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Good analysis Jenny. You are absolutely correct. They've bred a competitiveness amongst people that has nothing to do with the quality of the work, per se, and as a result, have choked out new writers from participating in the "club". I think that's precisely why the fuss to get everyone to read new writers and new writing, because the way the system has evolved "excludes" them now. They should rethink the system to encourage new writers, and for those who've been around, to be "truly" encouraged to read and introduce new writers. The top writer and top writings are really pointless popularity contests. What should be up is featured new writers. Encourage the newbies.

Another point: remember the subscriptions? Wasn't that a better way to handle new work?

Posted 16 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I completely agree with this subject that WC is becoming another myspace. When I first arrived here, I loved this website. I enjoyed the fact that not only I could get my writings read and critiqued in order to improve my craft, I also enjoyed that there were so many serious writers who were talented as well. However, after the drastic makeover of this website, many things that were added contributes to the fact that this website now is a huge popularity contest- with the badges, and with the rating system. It seems like many writers on here only strive to be a top writer-instead of becoming a better writer. I think it's ridiculous- I really do.

Anyways, I think this article is a great way of voicing out your opinion on this subject, and I'm glad that I'm not the only one that notices that WC is turning into a popularity contest.

Thanks for sharing.:)

Posted 16 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I'm pretty new to this site so I'm not too aware of the politics, though the badge system seems like a good way to cause problems. I'm sure it makes sense for those running the Writers Cafe, because it increases people's motivation to be active on the site, but I'm sure it leads to petty competetivness.

Oddly the piece I read just before this one was also about the politics here, so I guess there's a groundswell of opinion on that. I've been on Yahoo 360 for about a year and there's been a lot of discussion about that forum too. It seems everything has it's pitfalls. I suppose it's because they have humans involved. That's always a mistake from the start!

Thanks for the informative writing! :-)

Posted 16 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on February 18, 2008
Last Updated on February 18, 2008

Author

Jenny Davis
Jenny Davis

NY



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