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Manu

Add a minimum amount of posts required to post int he beta readers forum?

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Hi guys,

I might be overreacting a bit, but I find it incredibly annoying to read those "Want a beta reader" threads by members who just registered and have not posted anything else. Admitted, there's only a new one every couple of months, but they are still annoying. I don't appreciate people coming here, asking for favors but obviously not willing to give anything back or become part of this community.

So here's my suggestion: How about adding a minimum amount of posts required before you're able to post there? It could be something as low as 15 or 20, just make it so that the beta reader section is just for members of this community with a reasonable activity.

Thanks for reading and (hopefully) considering!

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That sounds like a good idea to me 🙂 I dont know if the settings allow it, but @kherezae can confirm that. 

If it is of interest Manu, I am planning starting a club for those wanting more faster and deeper crits, like what was happening over the summer (mainly talked about in discord). So it will be pieces for submission which need lots of edits and things like that. I'll be starting it in the new year which is when I'll be needing my feedback again and I am sure others will be wanting to get back into it.

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Sounds like a good idea for a club! I'll probably have more time to join something like this in February, 'coz I'll hopefully be working in my new home office job by then 🙂

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I haven't played with the settings yet but I'm like 99% confident that's something I can do. I'm also going to look into making it so people's Discord usernames show up on/by their forum posts, but that one might be harder... I'll see what I can do. My understanding in this situation is that the member who requested feedback has been quite active on Discord recently (I've seen her around myself and I'm not even on there as much as I should be), but at a glance that's hard to tell because her username is different here.

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19 minutes ago, kherezae said:

My understanding in this situation is that the member who requested feedback has been quite active on Discord recently (I've seen her around myself and I'm not even on there as much as I should be), but at a glance that's hard to tell because her username is different here.

That's true, I found that out only after I made this thread. It was rather a general suggestion, though, not aimed at a specific member - the most recent request was just what made me finally voice this suggestion, but it has happened before and it has bothered me before. I'm sorry if it came across as if I was attacking someone specifically, that was not intended!

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7 minutes ago, Manu said:

That's true, I found that out only after I made this thread. It was rather a general suggestion, though, not aimed at a specific member - the most recent request was just what made me finally voice this suggestion, but it has happened before and it has bothered me before. I'm sorry if it came across as if I was attacking someone specifically, that was not intended!

Oh no, you were clear in your post that it was inspired by a string of similar occurrences, I get that! 🙂 I'll definitely work on getting something set up for that. While we're at it, are there any other forums we'd like to see limited until someone has posted a certain number of times to show they're participating actively in the community?

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5 hours ago, Manu said:

Hi guys,

I might be overreacting a bit, but I find it incredibly annoying to read those "Want a beta reader" threads by members who just registered and have not posted anything else. Admitted, there's only a new one every couple of months, but they are still annoying. I don't appreciate people coming here, asking for favors but obviously not willing to give anything back or become part of this community.

So here's my suggestion: How about adding a minimum amount of posts required before you're able to post there? It could be something as low as 15 or 20, just make it so that the beta reader section is just for members of this community with a reasonable activity.

Thanks for reading and (hopefully) considering!

Late response is late, but your concerns are totally valid and understandable, Manu. I think part of the issue is that we really don't have any rules in place when it comes to beta reading - i.e. if you ask for a beta reader, you need to offer to be a beta reader. I don't know if anything like that would even realistically be enforceable (and it would probably discourage people from doing so, because not everyone can commit right then to being a beta reader if they ask for one, especially for projects with large word counts), honestly. We can certainly discuss rules that DO make sense and are fair enough to begin enforcing starting in the new year, though. One of the things I want to do is revamp the beta reading section and encourage people to use it more and come up with some rules to start enforcing going forward in the new year.

As @kherezae said, the member you are referring to is an active member on the Discord server, but their display name is different from their forum username. I also encouraged this member to go ahead and post on the forum, because that's the easiest way to get anyone's attention in this community when it comes to this kind of thing and I honestly didn't even think anything of it by telling them to go ahead and post on the forum.

If anything, this post was good because it reminded me that we need to revamp things with the beta reading section, which means getting feedback about it from members. 😄 I made a post at some point asking for feedback on the beta readers section, I think, but it's been a while and since there's more members who might hopefully use it more often, it seems like a good time for another one.

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I agree that some more structure would be helpful. Maybe a minimum post amount, and having reviewed a story in the library? The reviewing would be more of an honour system thing though, hard to police. But it would show some...spirit of reciprocity?

I also think suggesting (but not having it as a hard rule) that people could post Chapter One (or their favourite chapter) in the library instead of a quick excerpt, so potential beta readers would have a better idea if they are a fit. Though it is generally a good guideline to send the first three chapters to a potential beta reader, to see if you are a fit. Going in blind leads to people realizing too late they aren't the right person for the job, and peacing out. Maybe we have that as a suggestion instead. Or suggest both. IDK man, I haven't had enough caffeine yet.

I'm totally just spitballing ideas here, refinement of these is definitely welcome.

I also think doing a wipe of the beta read forum for 2019 is a good idea. People can repost if they are looking for work, or update their beta reader profile/status, we can have a clean slate.

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1 hour ago, Penguinball said:

I agree that some more structure would be helpful. Maybe a minimum post amount, and having reviewed a story in the library? The reviewing would be more of an honour system thing though, hard to police. But it would show some...spirit of reciprocity?

I also think suggesting (but not having it as a hard rule) that people could post Chapter One (or their favourite chapter) in the library instead of a quick excerpt, so potential beta readers would have a better idea if they are a fit. Though it is generally a good guideline to send the first three chapters to a potential beta reader, to see if you are a fit. Going in blind leads to people realizing too late they aren't the right person for the job, and peacing out. Maybe we have that as a suggestion instead. Or suggest both. IDK man, I haven't had enough caffeine yet.

I'm totally just spitballing ideas here, refinement of these is definitely welcome.

I also think doing a wipe of the beta read forum for 2019 is a good idea. People can repost if they are looking for work, or update their beta reader profile/status, we can have a clean slate.

Yes, the review thing would be difficult; we'd have to manually promote members in that scenario once we see them post a review. Now, we could set up a system like that, but it might suck for them if an admin isn't around for a while to promote them once they hit that milestone. At the moment I have it set so members auto-promote from Newbie to Member once they have 15 content (which includes posts, stories, comments, and articles). Newbies can see and post in almost everything, but they can't read topics in the Brainstorming forum and they can't make new topics (only reply to current topics) in the Feedback / Beta Reading forum.

We might consider limiting whether Newbies can read stories in the Library, too, if members feel that makes more of a buffer between their work and just anyone reading it. To read it you have to participate in the community and earn your Member promotion first. What do you (and others) think about that? For now I'll leave it so that they can see it, but we could discuss the idea.

I was thinking along similar lines to you when I updated the Feedback / Beta Reading forum and added guidelines and revamped forms, so why don't you take a look and see if I covered some of the bases you were mulling over? Here are the forms. I also think it's important to share a sample of your work when looking for a beta reader, and often when you're looking to offer yourself up as a beta reader as well, so you'll see that to some extent in the form. I didn't specify posting in the Library because I think some people won't be comfortable with that, depending on what they're looking for feedback on.

I like the idea of wiping the beta forum for the new year too. For now I edited @Jedi Knight Muse's list of beta readers with the most complete list we have of beta readers right now, which is a search of active members who selected "Yes" or "Depends/other" for the beta reading option in the profile. But I like the idea of doing a more thorough survey around the beginning of the year and making sure beta reading options are up to date in profiles, etc. This is what I did for now.

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