Chat log for May 11, 2004

System: davek joined us. Cheers!
anneliese: Hi Dave! Didn't see you sneak in!
camidon: hello, hello
davek: Just got here. History is working but not scrolling.
anneliese: No history here
davek: The history was from the last chat. Weird.
anneliese: Nope, that is what it is supposed to do. But there should be a way to empty the buffer at chat end.
anneliese: Hi CM?
anneliese: !
System: camidon joined us. Cheers!
anneliese: Fingers are off tonight.
camidon: let's try this again
anneliese: Looked like I was seeing double for a while there.
camidon: ah, I think that's better
camidon: yah, my internet browser crashed
davek: Hello???
camidon: and when I relogged on, i saw myself too
anneliese: Hello, Dave
System: davek left us (snif).
camidon: It was weird. I didn't get the history the first time I logged on, but the second time it gave a few lines of our last chat
anneliese: I feel so left out.
System: davek joined us. Cheers!
anneliese: Looks like Elizabeth will be joining us soon.
davek: I'm back.
camidon: Are we all in communication now? After a little strangeness?
anneliese: I sure hope so.
davek: That's why my stories all have manevolent computers in them.
camidon: funny, Dave
anneliese: lol
camidon: So what's the cause for this special session?
camidon: It seems the three faithful amigos, have arrived to chat again...
anneliese: Well, I wanted to work out with Elizabeth (and anyone else) our strategy for getting links to our site changed.
davek: I was looking at the web site and the critique schedule is the chat schedule.
anneliese: Any serious boo-boos?
camidon: boo-boos, as to the website alterations, or boo-boos to our strategy for getting links to our site changed
System: joeg joined us. Cheers!
anneliese: Which ever, I guess
anneliese: Hi Joe!
joeg: hi
camidon: Hi, Joe
davek: I guess there are two things to do. Get the external links pointed to the new site, and somehow get the old site removed.
anneliese: I don't know how we can get the old site removed.
joeg: where are the new and old sites?
davek: Old is -
camidon: Not until, we get back in contact with Mark (SFWWmoder)
camidon: with regards to trashing the old site that is
davek: CAn we contact AOL?
camidon: So: I think this is priority 1: Get the external links pointed to the new site.
anneliese: so far, our contacts at AOL have not been overly helpful.
davek: New site is -
davek: DOes Mark still have an active AOL account?
camidon: If the other site is still kicking around, it's kicking around. As long as most of the old links go to the NEW site, I can live with that
joeg: only the account owner can remove the content, unless it's offensive
anneliese: The account is 'active' but not accepting any email....the sfwwmoder one, that is.
davek: I'll agree with Camidon, get the new one on the external links and every AOL chat we announce the new site to prospective members.
anneliese: Well, as soon as we get the other links to change, I'll be happy.
System: Elizabeth joined us. Cheers!
joeg: what do you mean on the external links?
camidon: So, the question is: What is the process for changing the external links?
anneliese: Hi Elizabeth! You made it!
joeg: never mind
davek: I would start with an e-mail to the site owners.
Elizabeth: yes, finally
camidon: So, the question is: What is the process for changing the external links?
anneliese: The process will be that Elizabeth and I will send emails out to the site owners.
davek: Joe, there are a lot of external (not AOL) web pages with links to the AOL page.
anneliese: We will still be depending heavily on you guys to a) find the links and b) check back from time to time to see if they are updated.
camidon: And, Dave K compiled that list, correct?
davek: Yeap.
camidon: or rather, a beginning list?
anneliese: Within AOL, I think we need to form a 'group' that can point folks in the right direction.
camidon: fantastic
anneliese: A pretty comprehensive list, I thought...kudos to Dave.
Elizabeth: I need to get onto the message boards on AOL and drop our new address.
camidon: Let's make sure SOMEone keeps track of all the links, in some form of a database
davek: I found about 18 sites.
anneliese: Yep. Elizabeth, will you be able to do that?
Elizabeth: Use that as my signature and post to the AOL boards.
Elizabeth: Yes, I should be able to get onto the boards.
anneliese: Great.
anneliese: Great idea about the db, also, CM
anneliese: I think we have a pretty good start.
davek: Let me know when you send out the emails and I'll monitor the sites.
anneliese: Will do.
camidon: So, how long do we think it will take to update the sites? Have you two (A & E) created a form letter or something to contact those websites?
anneliese: That is our next job. I had hoped to do that this afternoon, but snoozed instead.
davek: I just bookmarked the sites in an "old sfww" folder. As they update I'll just remove them.
Elizabeth: not yet.
anneliese: I'd also like some more of your opinions on how we should re-organize the site.
anneliese: Also, to Elizabeth, I'd like your thoughts on some of the emails we've received wrt bulk emailing.
camidon: Once we update the old external links, should we let you know about sites where we can post an SFWW link? IE, places like Ralans?
anneliese: Certainly, CM, if we can get more links to our site, that's great.
anneliese: We could probably be doing both simultaneously (updating old links, asking for new ones)
camidon: "received wrt bulk emailing" is this something the rest of us need to know about?
davek: There are various "rings" we may be able to join.
anneliese: Well, AOL is telling chat hosts that they can no longer send out chat reminders.
Elizabeth: I need to talk to the AOL gurus and see if our critique/chat reminders/subs fall under "bulk e-mail" or not.
joeg: what's wrt?
anneliese: Reminders have to come from other sources.
Elizabeth: w/regards to
camidon: with regards to
anneliese: wrt=with respect to
Elizabeth: We may have to find another means of sending chat reminders. I have a non-AOL ID I could use for those.
anneliese: I would think that we don't fit the guidelines...all of our members specifically request....
Elizabeth: If I'm sending it outside of AOL, I don't think that would be a problem...
joeg: why won't AOL allow chat hosts to send out bulk emails?
anneliese: AOL is getting very restrictive wrt 'spamming'
joeg: how many emails do you send at once?
Elizabeth: New policy, I think...trying to cut down on spam. Or avoid having chat hosts accused of spamming.
anneliese: about 40 emails.
Elizabeth: Anneliese, I'll e-mail Mike D. and ask about our situation...explain that our members have to ask
joeg: I forget what the threshold is, but 40 s/b under it
davek: Hardly seems enough to worry about.
Elizabeth: to be added to our mailing list...see if AOL will make an exception.
Elizabeth: If not, I can always send stuff from a Yahoo! ID.
anneliese: or from my id.
joeg: who's Mike D?
Elizabeth: That would have an ID closer to the SFWW site URL...might work out better.
davek: What kind of system is that? Could you automate the emails?
anneliese: Yes, it would seem that if AOL wants to become very strict with this, that we either have to go off AOL or change the way we distribute stories and critiques.
anneliese: I can set up an email address for
Elizabeth: Chat host leader/mentor for Work & Careers (where AOL shoehorned us after Writers Club was axed)
anneliese: Or whatever.
Elizabeth: Nice guy, very reasonable, but I don't know how much wiggle room AOL allows him.
anneliese: Actually, I already have list manager software running on the acmfox site.
Elizabeth: hi CM!
camidon: my computer is having a fits of the "crashes", did I miss anything interesting int he last five minutes?
System: Elizabeth left us (snif).
anneliese: And you knocked out elizabeth, I guess.
anneliese: This is too wierd.
camidon: phooey, I scared away Elizabeth
davek: We're talking about how to get around AOL's email restrictions.
anneliese: Yep, don't know if you missed anything or not...if history worked.
joeg: average members are really wierd about spam...
anneliese: Anyway, I'll post the logs.
camidon: Ahh, as I was going to say, that fits right in with MIke and I's discussion: The purpose of AOL... coming soon to a chat room near you
davek: BUt a few aliases at would be good - SFWW-members , SFWW-hosts ...
anneliese: Exactly, CM.
System: Elizabeth joined us. Cheers!
anneliese: Since I have unlimited aliases/emails, we can certainly do something.
Elizabeth: My turn to get booted off. Sticking out tongue
anneliese: WB, Elizabeth.
joeg: I can find ouit what the spam thresholds are tomorrow...when you send from outside, just send in batches...
anneliese: We were talking about taking the boot and sfww email accounts.
anneliese: Or make sure that AOL members list us in their 'white lists'
davek: It started to rain here so my wireless link my go.
anneliese: I was reading the AOL spam guidelines...not for the faint of heart, but manageable, I think.
joeg: AOL based members should already have you in their address books
Elizabeth: I'm waiting for the English translation, Anneliese. You're braver than I am.
anneliese: I'd agree with that, Joe, but I gave up on the AOL address book myself long ago.
anneliese: Too buggy.
joeg: I know the director of mail ops, I can get some answers tomorrow
Elizabeth: I'd agree. It burps every so often and I have to re-enter my addresses.
davek: For critiques, I do a reply all. I figure anyone who got the story gets my critique.
anneliese: I keep important lists, like the SFWw list in a Word doc.
joeg: that's what I do. Reply all works
camidon: Me too
Elizabeth: I save the member lists in Notepad, in case I need them later.
anneliese: It sounds like we've made some assignments for ourselves.
anneliese: Elizabeth will email Mike D
Elizabeth: Yep. I'll ask about the mail reminders tomorrow.
davek: I think we have a plan for the links. Any ideas for the SFWW site itself?
anneliese: Joe will check on bulk mail limits
joeg: Elizabeth, send me your questions too. I'll work it from my end
anneliese: I will write a letter to use to contact webmasters
davek: I'll monitor the sites and look for more.
Elizabeth: Will do, Joe. Thanks!
anneliese: Yep, Dave
anneliese: CM, you will look for other sites to post links
joeg: what's Mike D's Screenname?
camidon: As to the website: the new format (experiment, whatever), I'm liking the new colors for fonts and backgrounds.
anneliese: Losing the clouds of stars for a plain background OK with you all?
camidon: I also like the streamlined left-side menu-bar
Elizabeth: Joe, I'll handle Mike D. He had his ID hijacked a week or so ago,
Elizabeth: and he may be a bit touchy about me giving his screenname out.
joeg: nice
Elizabeth: Yeah, if somebody was spamming under my ID, I'd be ticked too.
davek: I think the chat schedule page should have a link to the critique schedule for the details of each week.
anneliese: I think it does. Perhaps it could be worded better, though.
camidon: when you reach what you think you want, Anneliese, should we vote or something? Agree we like it? Majority has to like it to keep it? Just brainstorming?
davek: Duh, you're right Annelise.
anneliese: Don't know. Since I am kind of unilaterally making changes,
camidon: when you reach what you think you want, Anneliese, should we vote or something? Agree we like it? Majority has to like it to keep it? Just brainstorming?
anneliese: and it is on my site, where it sort of appears as a portfolio item for me,
anneliese: I think I want to have the last word. However, I am very open to suggestions.
davek: Only thing missing is a cover letters page.
davek: Oh, and a Your Hosts.
anneliese: Cover letters, hosts, which I couldn't find, so has to be redone,
anneliese: and I'd like to improve the resources information.
anneliese: We could expand the hosts section to member profiles, if you all wanted something like that instead.
camidon: I do think we should rework the "links" page so that we break it into sections: Writing craft, publishing links, conventions, etc, and then in each subsection, have a little blurb about what the use of the link is for
anneliese: And I thought the 'wall of fame' suggestion was a good one too.
davek: All I need is the fame.
anneliese: I agree, CM, and incorporate some of the info that has been posted to the message board.
Elizabeth: lol Dave! Me too!
camidon: lol
anneliese: However, links pages are ones that are notoriously out of date, so, again, I'll need some helpers to keep it current.
davek: OK
camidon: certainly, can help there. Don't my checking the links every so often
anneliese: Good, because you've all noticed that I abhore checking links.
camidon: That's also why I think we should scrap the publishers's page if favor of links to those who already keep track of publishers (ralans, spicy green, etc) Then we just have to keep the one link updated
anneliese: Absolutely!
Elizabeth: Thanks for setting this up, Anneliese, and thanks to all of you for your suggestions.
davek: OK by me.
anneliese: Consider the publisher page scrapped.
joeg: I like also won't have to worry about adding new links
anneliese: I also scrapped the FAQ & Cons page. I think some of the material was good, but made better message board material.
camidon: But, that's also why a brief description of the link itself is useful: So we know what to expect. IE, what ralans offers, what spicy green offers, etc, on down the list of links
davek: Good, because it has a mailto to SFWWmoder.
camidon: That's good too. FAQ seems perfect for the message board
anneliese: Yep, CM, I definately prefer links that include some description.
camidon: we might be able to help you with that too.
davek: A few pages still have "How it works" instead of "How SFWW works".
anneliese: Really, all the true FAQ material is incorporated in other pages: SFWW description, how to Critique, etc.
camidon: IT doesn't take much to write up a two sentence blurb about a link. However, that's in the future: Updating the external links is the most important thing
anneliese: Yep, Dave, I am still working on dropping the new TOC links in all the pages.
anneliese: <==agrees with CM
Elizabeth: Well, I need to sign off...thanks to all of you.
davek: BYe.
anneliese: Glad you could make it.
Elizabeth: I will work on AOL messages, bulk mailings, etc.
camidon: bye, Elizabeth, have a good night
Elizabeth: good night everybody!
anneliese: Niters
System: Elizabeth left us (snif).
anneliese: Any other thoughts about website changes before we close?
camidon: I like the format direction you're taking, colors, etc
anneliese: That's good to hear.
davek: The goal of the web site should be to get members to join. We should review it in thet perspective.
camidon: WHen I compare it to the old black, starry and green format, it's better already
camidon: I agree, 100% Dave
camidon: Well, maybe 99%, the website should be a resource for ourselves too
anneliese: I agree, Dave. But it also serves as a place to keep relatively static reference information for our members.
anneliese: on the same wavelength, CM, again.
camidon: But we desperatley need some new blood.
anneliese: Yes. I feel like I should be wearing a sandwich board out somewhere.
davek: What do you think would be on the web site that you wouldn't maintain on your own?
camidon: We had some communication via email, Anneliese, those thoughts still stand too
anneliese: yep
davek: I still like my promotional - Do only 2 critiques and get your story critiqued.
anneliese: I don't understand your question, Dave.
anneliese: I don't have a problem with the promotional, per se, only where to advertise it.
davek: It was to Camidion. What resourses on the SFWW site that you would not keep yourself.
camidon: I say, put the idea to the group, Dave, and let's have a vote (once the external links are updated). This might show just how many people are still active, a vote that is
davek: The forum has a voting system.
camidon: Ah, Dave, there could be dozens of links on the SFWW page, instead of in my favorites section
camidon: Then they are also there for new members too
davek: That is a good way to share links.
camidon: Links that I might use once a year instead of common enough to bookmark
camidon: But you do have a point, about it is pretty easy to click and bookmark pages
camidon: Also, sfww, as a group would be responsible for keeping the links active, instead of just myself. <a few thoughts about your question>\
camidon: Also, sfww, as a group would be responsible for keeping the links active, instead of just myself. <a few thoughts about your question>
davek: It is good for new members.
camidon: But, not everyone uses the forum, <sadly> so a vote should got through email, at least at this stage.
camidon: I envision, in a few years, if I'm still active with SFWW, that the SFWW links page could be a major resource for writers, and it would be in our own "backyard".
camidon: Okay, halting my yammering...
davek: That would be nice. Especially if it is kept current.
anneliese: lol, but Iike yammering
davek: Maybe we need a chat on how to get new members.
camidon: lol
davek: Spam Eye-wink the group and we can hunt for ideas.
camidon: That's a good topic for a topicless chat night, Dave
anneliese: I think we need to think about how we each found SFWW and use that as a basis for gaining members.
davek: And we should promote it to the group. Not just one emailing but two or three.
davek: May 31 is open. Should we grab it?
anneliese: Fine by me.
joeg: we need to get a little higher in the google rankings
camidon: Yes, let's reiterate the chats to the group. If we can even pull one sleeping member into a chat, it would be worth it.
anneliese: Unless, it gets filled with a story....but will the holiday interfere?
camidon: And if we don't, we've only wasted virtual space.
anneliese: good point
camidon: ah, good point, let's not do that on Memorial day
camidon: less chance to get folks.
davek: May 24 is "Our ties with AOL" Can we hitch on that?
anneliese: If Monday nights are take, how do you feel about alternate days/times?
anneliese: I know that Juanita wanted to come tonight, but she's working.
davek: Fine by me. It depends on the particular day.
anneliese: I'm sure that we can hitch on that nite.
camidon: same thought as Dave
davek: We should notify Bruce that we're stealing his day.
anneliese: So expand the topic to include: Our ties with AOL, and ...
anneliese: Bruce is OK with it, he is unable to make the chat.
camidon: sounds fine with me.
camidon: If we wind up talking for an hour on one subject or the other, we can always bump the other topic if necessary.
anneliese: True.
davek: Maybe we need a regular, bimonthly (?) SFWW organization chat.
anneliese: Well, I think this has been a very productive meeting.
anneliese: That might be a good idea, Dave, at least in the short term.
camidon: Good thought, Dave,
camidon: maybe not too often, but it would be useful.
davek: Quarter;y?
anneliese: After we get more of our immediate plans in place, a once monthly meeting, or less would work.
camidon: I'd say let's not add anymore chats than the weekly ones, Monday.
camidon: Most likely one Monday a month would be free for that type of chat
anneliese: Yes, we need time to write, after all.
camidon: and if not, we can rethink it when it comes up.
davek: Until we get so many members we need story chats every week.
camidon: good point, Anneliese!
camidon: everyone's full of good points
davek: Everyone always says that I'm full of it.
anneliese: Another alternative might be to meet half an hour early, once in a while, as necessary.
anneliese: lol Dave
camidon: I say lets leave some of these thoughts to the next chat (looking at time, have to rung)
camidon: rung? run...
anneliese: Same here, way past my bed time.
camidon: though I like that idea Anneliese.
anneliese: Again, a good chat.
camidon: I do need to go, tonight, but as always, this has been productive.
davek: See you all next week.
anneliese: Niters, all.
camidon: Once crits pick up... things will be down right rosy in SFWWland again...
camidon: gnight all