Chat log for May 24, 2004

anneliese: Hi CM
camidon: Hi, Anneliese
anneliese: The new domain name is live.
camidon: What's new?
camidon: Cool.
anneliese: It even works!
anneliese: Tomorrow, I'l begin sending emails to our links list.
anneliese: Or the day after.
camidon: awesome. It does, it does!
anneliese: Yep. Hours before it was supposed to go online.
camidon: are you just going to forward to your site for now?
camidon: Is eventually going to BE out website, this domain name?
anneliese: Yep. I don't see the need to have it's own space.
System: davek joined us. Cheers!
anneliese: In the future, we can alias it (for a fee), which means that no one would see my web address.
anneliese: Hi Dave!
anneliese: All that would display is the sfwritersworkshop address.
davek: HI, Anneliese, CHris.
camidon: Confused, partly my fault for the poor question wording. So: You';re just forwarding the new domain name to your website?
davek: I got history and scrolling today. Maybe I should buy a lotto ticket.
anneliese: It is a SFWW website, which is being hosted currently on my site.
camidon: Hi Dave
anneliese: That's great, Dave, then you can see my announcement.
camidon: sorry, froze up, missed Dave's first comments. Annoucement?
anneliese: The announcement of the new domain name. You were here for that.
camidon: ah, got it
camidon: You, there Dave? Haven't gotten text from you
davek: Yes, I was checking out the new domain name. Cool.
camidon: Cool.
anneliese: We just get a little bit further every week.
davek: That's what it takes.
camidon: yep, just like writing a story
anneliese: Which reminds me...
anneliese: I'm gonna ask for your help here.
anneliese: I am trying to create an interactive tutorial/entertainment kind of thing about writing sf.
anneliese: Some real content, some animation, some silly stuff.
anneliese: If you have any anecdotes you'd be willing to share with this project, I'd appreciate it.
davek: I was just thinking about something like that for the forum.
anneliese: Well, it can be posted there.
anneliese: I'm doing it to show off some of my information design/director skills as a portfolio item.
anneliese: It can't be something I did commercially...don't have the rights for that.
anneliese: You can find the enneagram tutorial on my site now (again).
anneliese: That's my Flash/shockwave portfolio item.
camidon: So, anecdotes about writing science fiction? Stories about writing science fiction stories?
davek: I was thinking of somethink a bit different.
anneliese: Yes, and/or motivation, lack there of, etc.
anneliese: Well, Dave, I also plan to have a basic outline of how good stories are constructed/developed (ala Amy Sterling's class)
anneliese: I want the anecdotal stuff to use as illustration, and fun along the way.
anneliese: But this is very conceptual, so all ideas are welcome.
camidon: I'll see if I can think of anything over the next few days. Do you just want us to email you? Any form for these anecdotes?
anneliese: Emails are good, or whatever works. No real hurry, this is going to be a work in process.
anneliese: As I begin to construct it, I'll post it for you all to play with and kibbutz.
davek: I haven't been doing this long enough to have any anecdotes. Just me and my computer.
camidon: That's an anecdote, Dave, if a short one.
anneliese: One of the things I'm going to create is a little cartoon of a guy typing away at the computer...I'll name him Dave.
davek: It can be summed up in eddycurrents graphic on the forum.
davek: I'm flattered.
camidon: So are things like: where you get story ideas, which we've talked about a little.
camidon: lol
anneliese: Yep. I love that graphic of eddy's.
anneliese: I'd like to incorporate as many SFWW folks as are willing. Their personas can be real or fictional.
davek: Has anyone heard of "Forward Motion?" It is a writers site.
camidon: nope
anneliese: Send us the link.
davek: The link is -
anneliese: Looks interesting.
davek: Also and
anneliese: woa, more starry backgrounds.
davek: I think Holly Lisle started it and Lazette is managing it now.
camidon: yep, does look interesting
anneliese: Looks like some interesting articles on the holly Lisle site.
davek: Lots of content on all sites.
davek: Sorry for the digression, we're supposed to talk about AOL and getting members.
camidon: Yeah, the forward motion looks like a great site
anneliese: I'm going to have to spend some serious time checking these out.
davek: The fm site will waste a lot of time.
anneliese: True, Dave, but we are...indirectly.
anneliese: I've also set up another SFWW website page on AOL.
davek: What is that link?
anneliese: It points to our main home page. It's advantage is that it comes up right below the old site on the AOL search.
camidon: Yah, we should talk about getting members. We can bag the AOL, since we talked about it last week. If Mike had shown up, well then, it would have been worth revisiting that topic, but since he didn't. Once we're done chatting about these sites, let's breainstorm ideas for new members
anneliese: I also set up a pointer as an AOL group:
anneliese: You all can join that one if you want...
anneliese: I just need to send out invitations, I think.
davek: Great idea for that new AOL site.
camidon: I agree with Dave
camidon: Good idea
anneliese: Elizabeth and I are on a mission to find as many places in AOL as possible to advertise SFWW
eddycurrents: ciao?
anneliese: That plus our other links should help promote SFWW.
anneliese: ciao?
eddycurrents: bonsoir
camidon: Yep, let's either use it, or lose it.
eddycurrents: took a minute for stuff to show up
anneliese: Hi Eddy!
anneliese: I didn't see a system message for your entrance.
eddycurrents: I snuck in
anneliese: I guess so!
anneliese: Glad you made it.
camidon: Hi, Eddy
davek: Hi Eddy, I was admiring your forum graphic earlier.
eddycurrents: sums it all up, doesn't it?
davek: You'll have to read the log.
davek: New members. WHere do those hang out?
anneliese: Good question.
camidon: Do we want to move onto one of our topics: Brainstorming ways to get new members?
eddycurrents: #1... activity
anneliese: Go for it.
eddycurrents: that was my $.25
anneliese: lol
camidon: ah, its up from .02$
anneliese: Well, let's start did you find SFWW?
davek: Anneliese said it earlier - advertise.
eddycurrents: web search
camidon: web search
davek: Anneliese and Elizabeth sound like they are going to cover AOL. So that leaves the rest of the world.
eddycurrents: I googled for online writers groups
anneliese: What did you find when you did the web search...what was your search criteria?
eddycurrents: found a site that listed SFWW
anneliese: lol Dave.
camidon: lol
anneliese: AOL has been a major source of members in the past.
camidon: I searched for science fiction writing groups. Found critters and SFWW. Then I joined, oh way back when Mark and Phil?? were the hosts (phil seems wrong... the previous Anneliese)
eddycurrents: I didn't find SFWW site directly but I found a site that listed a few sites, and SFWW was one
anneliese: Elizabeth has also been looking into Yahoo groups. Maybe we can do that to get a pointer as well.
anneliese: Mark & Craig.
davek: Google has a way to get listed -
camidon: Craig. Ah yes
anneliese: So it sounds like updating the links on other sites is well worth while.
eddycurrents: I would like to see people getting kicked out for non-activity...
System: eddycurrents joined us. Cheers!
davek: At least a warning.
anneliese: I do kick members for inactivity.
eddycurrents: oops I logged myself out
camidon: Once we get some new members and new activity within the group, then I would agree with Eddy.
anneliese: Yes. I'd like to wait for new blood before doing more purges.
camidon: I think more activity might awaken a few sleeping members. I can hope anyway.
anneliese: It probably will.
camidon: But then, I think we should cut the dead weight on the email lists. So many names, and so few participation is depressing.
anneliese: True.
davek: Anneliese, are there any keywords in the SFWW home page?
camidon: So: 1) Visibility of group will get us members, 2) Participation/activity within the group will keep/attract new memnbers.
eddycurrents: not wanting to criticize but...
anneliese: Not too many yet.
eddycurrents: the rules on the website say: To maintain membership, each member must critique at least two stories a month.
eddycurrents: that may be a little too much
anneliese: That is true, but we do allow sabbaticals and we have a bunch of members in that category right now.
eddycurrents: so I'm thinking we should either enforce or change the rules
davek: How many storeis have we had the last few months?
camidon: Your point is taken, Eddy. I agree.
anneliese: We've been having 3-4 stories/month.
camidon: We should be firm, with whatever rules we have/change/create
anneliese: Usually the AOL chat week has not had a story of late.
anneliese: Good point, CM
camidon: I was always a big fan of your monitoring Anneliese, tracking who does how many crits and sending it to the group. I know others rebelled though/didn't like it.
davek: I'm less concerned with non-complianent members then new members.
anneliese: Actually, CM, most folks seemed to like it. I never got any complaints, anyway.
eddycurrents: thing is, we won't attract new members unless the group is active
eddycurrents: we are competing head to head with that "other" sfww now
camidon: I think new members are the first order of business. Once that's established, we can defintaely/should definately reevaluate inactive members and all of our rules
anneliese: I feel that the group is active, even though it is a small subset of the full list.
davek: goes to Sport Fishing World Wide.
anneliese: You checked that out (so did I)
camidon: You're right, A, it is active, but just not active enough. 3 crits is good for a small group, but for a group of our size and potential, we should have lots more. It's all about expectations, and I expect more crits, not less from a group.
anneliese: You're right, CM
camidon: from this group, that is.
camidon: I would love to see, an active large group with a wide range of crits. However, that means less stories from each member. But I would rather submit 3-4 works a years, if that many, and get 15 crits then submit 12 (as I'm on pace to do) and only get 3 crits...
davek: is a SF writers site. Maybe associated with Yahoo?
anneliese: in that case, sf=short fiction
camidon: Eventually, small groups could always form within the larger group to critique more works, but with only 3-4 crits from the 3-4 member small group. Those are my ideas and brainstorms, anyway
davek: Ha on me. I read what I expected to see.
anneliese: Well, if we got really large, restructuring would be required. Our current format works well with <40 members.
anneliese: It gets unwieldy when the group gets larger than that.
davek: I suppose rich people worry about what to do with their money, too.
camidon: Yep, it would get unwiedly, but I'd love to face that hurdle when we came to it... and create small subgroups.
anneliese: That is certainly a goal to strive for.
camidon: Dave? Huh? what did I miss? Rich people orry about money? huh?
davek: I'll get our new domain added to Google and maybe Yahoo.
davek: We're worry about the group being too big and we have 4 in this chat.
eddycurrents: yeah rich people say money doesn't buy happiness... either they know something we don't or they don't want us to know
anneliese: lol eddy
davek: Everyone knows you don't buy happiness you rent it.
anneliese: I was just trying to see if google would pull up our site. I noticed the site can now be found.
eddycurrents: google works on links, or at least it used to
eddycurrents: th emore links to your site the higher your ranking
anneliese: They use crawlers.
camidon: Ah, point taken, Dave. However, we are all writers, and we're suppose to dream/create big!
anneliese: And yes, the number of links to your site helps in the ranking.
eddycurrents: of course the google consipiracy theorists say advertisers now jump to the top of the ranking
davek: The crawlers look at the internal keywords. Or they used to.
anneliese: Well, advertisers jump because they pay for the listing.
eddycurrents: so someone must be linking to acmfox...
anneliese: Doubtful.
eddycurrents: I can !
anneliese: My site (and my business) are a very well kept secret.
camidon: Well, soon enough, we should have plenty of links out there, right? PLenty of potential writing sites to "advertise"?
anneliese: (which might be why business is so slow...???)
eddycurrents: we can all get free webspace on yahoo and msn and angelfire etc. and link to acmfox
camidon: IE, Ralan's comes to mind immediately
anneliese: lol, eddy!
eddycurrents: there's one
anneliese: Yes, as the other sites change their pointers to our new site, hopefully, we'll pass Mark's in the rankings.
eddycurrents: there's two
anneliese: Don't know about how much good this will do buried in weblogs and forums, eddy.
anneliese: well:
eddycurrents: have you tried this: go to google and search for "weapons of mass destruction"
eddycurrents: it's quite funny and it shows how google works
eddycurrents: once people starting linking to it, it shot to the top of the rankings and it has been there for a year now
anneliese: so true.
eddycurrents: so we need to link to in various places
eddycurrents: the webcrawlers should get it in public forums too
eddycurrents: probably not here
davek: So Anneliese gets the links to the old site changed, I'll add the URLs to Google and Yahoo. Whatelse?
davek: I think we need keywords added to the SFWW page.
anneliese: Yes. Let's think of what keywords to add, and I'll do it.
eddycurrents: google doesn't work that way, apparently.. that's the old way... although google won't say exactly how they work
eddycurrents: I think keywords are still in there somehow
eddycurrents: I got listed on yahoo and altavista thru keywords once
camidon: science, fiction, writing, worksop? How about those key words. Oh wait...
davek: Google asks for them when you submit a URL.
eddycurrents: was a bit of a thrill
eddycurrents: ah ok
anneliese: When you submit them with the URL to Google or other search engines, that is a different thing from adding them to the page.
eddycurrents: don't forget: free sex porn viagra blue pill warez mp3 menage-a-trois
anneliese: oh year!
anneliese: yea!, I mean.
davek: I didn't think viagra was that strong.
eddycurrents: I found a site once that had absolutely nothing to do with what I searched for, so I looked at the html... there was about 10 pages of words just copied from a dictionary
eddycurrents: we could try that
davek: We're going after a limited member list.
anneliese: A practice that is frowned upon, which is why keywords are less important to search engines these days, I think.
anneliese: You do want links to show and good descriptive text at the beginning of the page.
davek: I'll look at some sites and send Anneliese what I find.
anneliese: Thanks, Dave, That will be helpful.
davek: I didn't understand your question.
anneliese: Which question?
davek: Showing links, descriptive text?
camidon: I really want to update the links page. I'll start looking up links and writing a 2-3 blurb about it.
anneliese: Web crawlers use links to navigate sites, so it is important how they are constructed.
camidon: Descriptions about the links will help so much.
anneliese: And the text that is shown by the search engine can come from either meta tags, but is usually the text where the keywords was located.
anneliese: I did not mean that these help to get listed with the search engines
anneliese: I don't think that they do.
davek: Well, it's getting late.
camidon: I got to run off before the conclusion tonight, though this has been productive again
anneliese: Oh, yes. I completely lost track of time.
anneliese: This has been a good meeting.
davek: Bye. time does past when you're having fun.
anneliese: Niters.
eddycurrents: yep... time for a little writin'
anneliese: Same time next week. Or time off for the holiday?
camidon: Or so, I won't run off before the conclusion, I'll run off AT the conclusion
camidon: Or so, I won't run off before the conclusion, I'll run off AT the conclusion
davek: Chris T storm coming your way. In Weld now.
eddycurrents: a la prochaine
davek: I'll be here.
camidon: I'm in SD, Dave, though heard Sterling go hit hard the other day, hail, etc
camidon: I'm in SD, Dave, though heard Sterling go hit hard the other day, hail, etc
camidon: I'll be here, most likely
eddycurrents: I'll be here next week then I can go visit Herbie
anneliese: Well, let's talk about writing next week. Any suggestions?
camidon: Got to go, night all
davek: How to do it?
anneliese: Nite then.
davek: Bye.
anneliese: Yea, something writing related.
anneliese: Writing basics, maybe. What separates SF from other fiction.
anneliese: Does good SF have to be good fiction?

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