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.


I agree with the way you think, I have given up on the rating game and therefore given up on the Top the list game. I'm sick of the ones that come and rate you low ( under false IDs) because it threatens their work from hitting the top, it has happened to me and others. Great Write.

Posted 16 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Go Jen!!!! Everything you said is true and I support you in your efforts, but I warn you...don't hold your breath!
I had something to do with getting the 'send to all friends' option removed because we were all snowed under with reviews, which resulted in everyone turning off their request box, it became a bottomless pit of multiple requests by the same person. If they need to put a little work into requesting they don't do that and the reviewing has become more manageable because of this, As far as the ratings go HA!!! What a joke! I know of one person who has been deemed top reviewer consistently, but I also know that she has not been on this site for months!
I am a serious writer, I have one book published and three others in the pipeline. I have many friends here who feel the same about the two word review...they are not worth anything to the author at all. I am here to fill in time and try to do as many reviews as I can. I also like to encourage young writers...
Great rant worthy of a spot in top stories LOL what a circus...
Helen :-)

Posted 16 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I've been here for a few months or so, not quite an oldtimer but no longer a newbie either.

I followed fellow writer friends here from a writers' forum that we that we used to gain insight and skills for our craft. This was well before the Cafe underwent the "changes." At first I was nervous, writing was new to me and I had (lol still have) lots to learn. What I discovered here surprised me. I received some (as in a few) constructive criticisms, but most were and still are more along the lines of what I classify as a comment, not a review. It's always stumped me as to why we are calling these reviews when they are comments. However, I appreciate all comments and I have made dear and lasting friendships that I wouldn't trade for the world. What really amazed me the most is finding that by submerging myself in reading the talents here at the Cafe has probably taught me more than anything else ever has.

Concerning the rating system, it scares the hell out of me. It took me a while to start actually using it, I didn't feel qualified enough as a writer to judge another person's work. Eventually I began using it anyways but it still makes me nervous. I'm worried about under or over rating. Recently I read about how some people are using it to knock writers others off the charts and that just confirmed my worries.

I've read lots of good suggestions here. I personally would like to see some of them happen. I think the powers that be would be interested in working with members to make things happen. I've seen them do it before. This is were it starts in my opinion, getting everyones thoughts out there comes first and you've done a wonderful job accomplishing that.

Btw, I still use a forum when I want a critiquing, this place represents more of a community to me. I don't have a MySpace page or anything else. I consider THIS is my home base and overall I'm pretty happy here.

Thanks for writing and posting this. I've always believed that when you can get interest and interaction combined, you've done something remarkable and you've certainly done this here. :+)

Posted 16 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This will be short because I'm at work.
Good piece, nice to see someone who's actually on the top writer's list show their awareness of how meaningless it's become.

I hadn't realised the 'send to all friends' feature is gone, but I'm glad it is, because it meant people's requests boxes were being overflooded, which led to them ignoring requests and, as I've done, turning them off. Ok, not being able to share another's work with your 300 or whatever 'friends' may mean the writer gets a few less reviews, but when I read a piece that seems worth sharing there tends to be specific people in my mind who I think 'they'll like/appreciate this'. You get to know people's tastes.
So, while sharing en masse may have been easier, it also led to annoyance and to mindless clicking of buttons instead of purposeful sharing.

I think i may be in the minority with this, but that's my opinion on that aspect.

Hmm, it wasn't that short after all.

Good article.

Posted 16 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I for one came here to be read. I have had serious issues with my writing and it took a place like this to get me motivated again. It took a place like this to spur me on to write pieces that I now hold dear to my heart. With that being said I feel that I should define "a place like this". I am here for the other writers who genuinely love the craft. Those that are there to read new talent and are willing to lend a helping hand. I have made many friends on this site that I consider dear and every one of them has helped me in some way with my writing.

There are several issues here though. The ability for people to trash your work just so they or one of thier friends can get a picture on one of the top pages is rediculous. I don't have a real solution but I see a very real problem.
Also I have to agree 100% with your opinions on sharing work. I have always pushed for other writers to share thier favorite pieces by other writers with me. I routinely share pieces that I enjoy with others. The real problem is that, like many others here, I have a long list of friends. It comes down to trying to decide who would like what poem and who will actually review it.

All in all I think my bit of Tania Leigh says it best. We spent over an hour reviewing each others works to knock ourselves out of Top Writer in lieu of the the other. With one review from either of us the top changed. Things are too sensitive and too many people would rather use that as a weapon.

Posted 16 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

I just review and never rate - does that cause someone's rate to drop? hmm... i never thought of it that way :-( Do serious writers STILL look at the "TOP WRITERS" columns? I mean, really? . . . if so, i blame those writers who keep reviewing crap for whatever rating systems and top lists are bad -- not the system itself. The cream should float to the top, like another writer said, if the work is put in and like-minded writers respond... (panglossian optimism i know)

still, hmm... interesting questions posed, action, i think, should be taken up in the form of petitions and e-mails -- the site isn't at its full potential, but growth can come yet.

(why did we lose the "send to everyone" feature... that really was a lifesaver = i can understand if it took up a lot of time, but if it nothing else we should move to the facebook model where we can - all on one page, without having to load and send to each person - check box our entire friend list and then send, leaving persons or groups unchecked if need be... that's at least better than the hernia now)

- - - - - - - - - -
A thought:
maybe a group should be started, i know there was one once before - of PURE REVIEWERS - whose only objective is to find and weed out exceptional works to rate, review, and share - who are constantly promoting unheard writers and bringing light to the corners of the cafe, where talented individuals are yet to be waited on.

just a thought?

- g ;=

Posted 16 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Very true, Jenny. The politics on this site are so aggravating. I hate the rating game. I get frustrated with the top writing list because I always see the same people there ... myself included and I wish there were more variety. Some of the best pieces I've read on this site are pieces that haven't been read or reviewed because the writer is unknown and not playing the "look at me" game, they're here just to be here and share.

I want this site to be more constructive than it is, but I don't think that it ever can be with so many members and so many people out there trying to "get even."

Posted 16 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

No one's ever happy with this sites features. HA! First this place had stars and everyone got tired of the five star rating system, and then there were the "popular" lists everyone complained about. It was quite comical to hear the whining and complaining about the site features once. Now, being a WC "oldtimer", reading about it off and on is quite boring.

As with most things, they are nice and shiny when new. This website was like that once. A really fun place. Now it isn't so much. Mainly because everyone started demanding new features and options...and the majority of those demanding the changes and options seemed to be the ones who weren't getting 5 star ratings or showing up on any popular list. A lot of its luster faded when changes were made and certain people and/or groups of friends didn't like the new changes because "it just isn't the same old cafe"...blah, blah, blah...and left or stopped coming to the cafe as often.

Now...a wise writing website owner would get rid of any rating system and place all submitted writing in a chronological order list. The list should show how many views and comments a write has below the name of the write and the name of the author. Unfortunately, the owner of this website cares more about making a financial profit from it with advertisements (akin to how myspace does) and could care less about the quality of people that frequent the site...because, the more people that join, the more opportunity for financial profit, ya know? But you have to have money to run these websites so you can't blame the guy for trying to turn a profit.

I used to think good writing would always get noticed, but the current rating system has proven me wrong.

Decent commenting seems to have faded away as well. Here is an example of a typical comment I would expect to find about this write:

"Good write. I agree."


But yeah...popularity contests are so...high schoolish. It'd be nice if the website owner realized that.

Thanks for sharing.

Posted 16 Years Ago

1 of 2 people found this review constructive.

I am new and I already get that feeling about this place. I still think it is better than myspace.

Posted 16 Years Ago

0 of 2 people found this review constructive.

The ratings are crappy and aggravate me very often. But there are so many things about this site that make it worth the frustration: the inspiration I get from my fellow writers, the wonderful edit suggestions from talented people around the world, my friends, meeting new people and sharing ideas . . .

If it means I have to bite my tongue and count to three when someone is featured whose work I have no appreciation for . . . well, in the long run, it must be worth it.

Posted 16 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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


Jenny Davis
Jenny Davis


Next Vent Radio poetry show: Sept. 12th, 9PM EST! Be there or be sorry you weren't...haha ;) Join Group Vent Radio Home Page Check out the show: Latest works that I have read and loved: IMM.. more..


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