SFWW Website

camidon's picture

Hi ya'll, to those few that still remember this place exists.
The three of us at last night's (3/15/04) impromptu/extra chat had a wonderful discussion about the future of our website. Thre three of us, Anneliese, Dave, K, and myself (CM) reached the following decisions regrading it, and now we would like any and all input regarding these choices, whether you agree or disagree, or anything else you may think about the following.
Simply put: the SFWW website desperately needs to be updated. As this is our main means of new members and we have not had a new member in MONTHS, we need to take care of this. It should also be an easy and active resource for our group (publishers, writing links, conventions, and lots more stuff).

Here is an 6 step process we determed to revamp the website. (Dave/Anneliese, feel free to add anything I may have forgotten)
1) Email Mark (SFWWmoder@aol.com) who was previously in charge of the group and was, even in his winthdrawl from full particpation with the group, in charge of updating the website. If we hear from him and he still can and wants to update the page, great. If we don't hear from him, we move to step 2.
2) We cannont alter our current website without Mark's authorization, so that means creating a new site somewhere else, and Anneliese has the capabilities to do that.
3) Create the new site by using our old site as the base. Dave K has volunteered to search the web for all of our old external links so that if we have a newer site, the links will eventually go to the correct place. Once we have a new place where we can update our existing site content, we'll start to add new content. Anneliese has volunteered to spearhead the updating of the website, but anyone and everyone can help.
4) Get geedback from you all in the form of this discussion board, email, and in chats, regarding our website. What do you think about our website? What do you think should be on it? How do you think it should look? Do you like the way it currently looks? Should it be more of a resource for the group? What is it's purpose? Here's the link to our old site: http://members.aol.com/sfwwmoder/index.htm
5) Once we have a new site, be more proactive with it. I was having all these ideas about actively searching out websites that might consider hacving a link to SFWW. Especially scifi related places like Ralans, Spicy Green, perhaps even online markets that sugget to prospective writers the usefulness of a writing group. Anneliese then promptly coined me: the SFWW publicist for all these wacky ideas. Laughing out loud However, this stage is far off; first we must concentrate on steps 1-4.
6) Timeline: A) Email Mark, and post this discussoin board topic this week. (week of 3/15/04) Wait a week for feedback from Mark and the group, then proced to updating/creating a new site. B) Have a new/updated site up and running by the end of April/end of May. C) Keep the website updated.

What do you think?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Re:SFWW Website

I just checked out the old site, I think it's the first time I've been to it since I found the group. Funny how much of the information I look for regularly is on there.

I would love to see activity on the forum pick up. I've used other forums before and the key to their success is member activity -- network effect. If there's anything I can do to help build out the site (researching links, etc.) to grow membership, please let me know. I'm online ALL day at work with frequent sanity breaks.

camidon's picture

Another idea for the Website

Here's another idea for the website.

I think it would be really beneificail to current members and new members if we had a wing of our website dedicated to successful members. Members who have broken into the publishing world, whether a novel, one short story, or many. Amy (SFAmy@aol.com) is a great example. Bruce's novel, though self published works, as well as his numerous short story pubs. Mike Marsh too, and anyone else who's smelled success. Not only could this be a draw for new members, but in a few years, it could boast SFWW's notoriety and be a beneficial point to the group if it's recognized that this writing group helps people to get published. A foot in the door so to speak?

Granted, this "wing" of the website would be voluntary. Successes would only be posted if the author wanted it so. This would also be "publicity" so to speak for a published work. Potential members would see the publishing credits, and go and read them. This would also be a way to keep in touch/know older members who may have moved out of the group because of success.

I may be reaching here, but I blame it on brainstorming. What do you all think? Am I reaching?

----

Life is a lot like caving: Most of the time you grope around in the dark.

Re:SFWW Website

I think it's a great idea but... oh the pressure. Shock

I'm not a complete idiot -- some parts are missing.

Re:SFWW Website

OK, Mark is unavailable (sfwwmoder@aol.com) and so I asked Amy (sfamy@aol.com), our advisor what she thought. She felt it was up to us to do what we felt best.

So, to that end, I have copied the old SFWW site and moved it to my site with a few edits. You can find it at:

http://www.acmfox.com/sfww/index.htm

Let me know what you think, and what other changes you'd like to see. After that, we can decide on a final home location (or decide to leave it here).

-anneliese

camidon's picture

SFWW website critique

As per Eddy's request, I'm posting my SFWW website critique here:

Hello there critters,

As brainstormed in a weekly chat, and seeing as our website is in the process of renewal/rebirth, I thought I'd apply my writing critique skills to our virtual home, the SFWW website, and give it a thorough inspection CM style (with all my critiquing merits and flaws). As an esteemed colleague often says, the following is my $0.02, no more no less. Agree, great. Disagree, great. In you have an opinion, let the group know.

1) Background: The black, starry background is rather appropriate for a science fiction website. It has always worked for me and continues to do so, though in a 1960's "New Wave" done up for the 21st century kind of way. It's slightly hoaky, but as I said, it works for me. However, perhaps it is time for a new background regardless. We can always experiment, while retaining the tried and true current background. I'm fresh out of ideas for a different background, if anyone has any ideas...

2) Text Color: I've always felt the green text is a littel garrish. It does, however, work with the black, starry background. If we change the background, the text color will change too, otherwise it works.

3) Page 1: "Home": The intro text to the website and group is short and sweet, as it should be. Thumbs up. I noticed the visitor counter is inoperational. Is this something we want and desire, keeping track of the webpage visits? My vote is yes, though for no real reason. I DO think that one thing is missing from the HOME webepage and that is a "To Join" line. That should be up front and clear, We have this under on another page, but I think it should be on the first page too.

4) Page 2: "How it Works": Nothing to report here. Text was a little awkard in a few places, but nothing too serious. This is a good description of how SFWW works.

5) Page 3: "Chat Logs": The most recent chat log is from 2001. We should either do away with this page in the future, or keep it updated. Perhaps we should keep the 4 most recent chat logs on this page, and then create an "archive" page of old ones. Also, these logs should reflect only "story" chats, and not free-for-alls. No matter what, I think all our chat logs should be maintained on the forum.

6) Page 4: "Chat Schedule": Excellent page, short and sweet and relates all the necessary info. The chat websites are prominently displayed for easy access and referal. I like the @ symbols as bullets.

7) Page 5: "Critique Description": Nothing to report. Works fine for me.

Cool Page 6: "Critique Guidelines": Lots of useful info provided by SF Amy about critiquing a story, and it also applies to writing a story. It's probably something we should all reread every so often.

9) Page 7: "Critique Samples": Good page to have. It needs to be updated. I think the posted critiques need to be dated, and at least one posted critique should be from an active member. Perhaps we could add two a year, and, like the chat log page, create and archive.

10) Page 8: "Critique Schedule": It's been updated for the next few months which is great. Of course, we need to keep it updated. I like how "last updated" is prominently displayed. Then we KNOW if it's not updated. There was a missing picture icon; don't know what that was about or if my browser just screwed up.

11) Page 9: "Publishers:" This page just needs to be canned in my opinion. A lot of the links are obsolete, the magazines too. This is, however, a good idea. I think it needs to be altered, and here's my idea. I think under the "links" page, we should have a seperate page for publishers, and then, instead of keeping track of publishers ourselves, keep track of links that keep track of publishes, i.e., ralans.com, spicy green iguana, and any other publisher related links members may use. That way WE don't have to keep a constant watch on publishers, rather only on the links to the sites that DO keep constant watch on publishers.

12) Page 10: "Links": Underutilized page. Some good info here, but there could be a lot more, and I think there should be. Here's what I think should be done: On the first "links" page, there should be a bunch of categories: science, publishers, contests, conventions, writing craft, etc. When you click on that link, it takes you to another page filled with links dedicated to that category. Then, on that secondary page, beneath each link there should be a 1-4 sentence description of what that link does, where it goes, what that link provides, etc.. Links are useless unless we know what they do and where they'll take us. I hate wading through linked webpages when I don't know exactly what they'll do. For those of us with slow connections, waiting for webpages to load we don't need to use is also a waste of time.

13) Page 11: "Cover Letters": Good idea, though it does not currently exist. Let's get this page up and running. It would be useful for new writers, and probably for current members too. When do you need a cover letter? What should be in a cover letter? To whom should it be addressed? Info like that What does SF Amy say about cover letters? What do members say about cover letters?

14) Page 12: "Manuscripts": A very helpful resource for those not accumstomed to manuscript form. It does differ little by little from one publisher to a next, but this is a great resource. We should get the "novel" section up and running too.

15) Page 13: "FAQ's and Con Reports": What FAQ's? They don't seem to exist. All that is here is one Con Report from Mark, 1999 (SFWWmoder). Do we need a FAQ page? I'd say no for now, unless anyone can think of FAQ's about the group that might be useful to list. The Con Reports page is a good idea, but the 1 con report is looking awfully lonely. Anyone else been to a convention and want to write something about it? There's good info in Mark's report. Perhaps, a differnt Mark (MarkERudolph) could write something up about Clarion, seeing as he attended (if you still exist in virtual SFWWland, Mark--I don't mean to pick on you). ALSO: THe email addresses for the hosts, Elizabeth and Anneliese are wrong on this page.

16) Page 14: "Your Hosts": On some pages this link is active, and takes the clicker to a "error" page, on other pages there is no link. As I recall this had a little blurb about Elizabth, Anneliese, Mark, Amy, and other previous "hosts". This page doesn't currently exist. I don't have an opinion whether this is needed or not.

17) Page 15: "Our Sponsors": On some pages this link is active, and takes the clicker to http://www.iuniverse.com/jahia/Jahia/pid/155. On other pages the link does not exist. Is this something needed on a redone website? My feeling is no, but then again, if other sites link to us, then perhaps a reference to them is necessary, and a "sponsor" page is the appropriate place.

18) Possible new pages:
A) Link to forum from our website. Where the appropriate placement for that link should be, I don't know.
B) Success page. I think we should have a page that tracks current and old members as they achieve published success. People like SF Amy are great marketing for this group, and also prove this group has an affect. Current members lik Mike Marsh and Bruce Golden, as well as anyone else could go on here. Perhaps on the page, there could be links to web-published short stories, as well as printed word credits; potential members could read these stories, as well as current members. It would be publicity for the group and for the members in the group. It would also act as a kind of "history", recording the rise (or fall) of the group. I think it's a disservice to new members to not know people like SF Amy. Knowing people that have been in this group and are in this group that have had success, could be encouraging to potential members, as well as current members. Lastly, this page WOULD be completely voluntary. What do you think?

Conclusion: So there you have it. My critique of the current SFWW webpage. As always, I hope my comments have helped, but if not feel free to get back to me for clarification and I'll do my best to get back to you. Also, feel free to ignore them if you see fit. Keep writing!

Best Wishes,
CM Amidon

----

Life is a lot like caving: Most of the time you grope around in the dark.

DaveK's picture

Re:SFWW Website

What is the current to do list for the web site? I had volunteered to search for links to our old site but someone else offered to do that also. Has that been done? I'll start on that unless I hear otherwise. Has that impressive critique of the web site by CHris been fixed or is it still pending. Sorry but having been gone for two weeks I'm a bit out of the loop.

Just because I like to worry about things I found the following in slashdot.org for Tuesday the 13th.

James Gosling On The Sun/Microsoft Settlement

Posted by timothy on Tuesday April 13, @09:49PM
from the horse's-mouth dept.
greg_barton writes "James Gosling has responded to the two previous commentaries cited on Slashdot about the Java Dilemma. Some interesting excerpts: "In Rick Ross's 'Where Is Java In This Settlement?' he worries that Sun may have sold out the Java community. We didn't. We have not sold our soul to the Dark Side." and "There's a long thread of discussion on Slashdot 'Two Takes on the Java Dilemma' that is pretty entertaining, from a wow, what are they smoking! point of view. There are voices of reason, and conspiracy nuts.""

( Read More... | 14 of 24 comments )

Ongoing Linux/Solaris Compromise Epidemic

Posted by timothy on Tuesday April 13, @08:39PM
from the active-malice dept.
An anonymous reader writes to point out that Stanford's Information Technology Systems and Services "has written a summary of a series of compromises that have been happening at universities, research institutions, and high performance computing centers, for the last month or more. The attackers are using known vulnerabilities in Linux and Solaris, along with compromised user accounts, to gain access and control of systems, from standalone servers to HPC clusters ... (the attacks are still ongoing)."

( Read More... | 91 of 152 comments )

Lawrence Lessig Elected to FSF Board of Directors

Posted by timothy on Tuesday April 13, @07:52PM
from the appropriate dept.
Free Software Foundation writes "Stanford Professor Lawrence Lessig was elected to the Free Software Foundation's Board of Directors on March 28, 2004. With Eben Moglen, the two most prominent academic legal minds on the subject of copyleft licensing now both serve as Directors of the Foundation. Professor Lessig's involvement will undoubtedly give a major boost to the FSF's ongoing efforts to neutralize legal threats to software freedom. The official announcement is here."

( Read More... | 56 of 103 comments )

Microsoft Announces Three More Critical Vulnerabilities

Posted by michael on Tuesday April 13, @07:05PM
from the patch-and-wait dept.
weekendwarrior1980 writes "Microsoft warned that three 'critical'-rated flaws in the Windows operating system and other programs could allow hackers to sneak into personal computers and snoop on sensitive data. The flaws could allow attackers to break into PCs running Windows in several ways and then use the system to run malicious programs and steal or delete key data. These latest security flaws affect the latest versions of Windows, including Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98, Windows 2000 , Windows XP, as well as software for networked computers such as Windows NT Server and Windows Server 2003." Their bulletins are available for these vulnerabilities. Techweb has a pretty good summary.

( Read More... | 187 of 288 comments )

Intel Launches DRM-Enabled CPUs for Phones and Handhelds

Posted by michael on Tuesday April 13, @06:23PM
from the you'll-buy-it-anyway dept.
squidfrog writes "AP reports, 'The next generation of Intel Corp. microprocessors for cell phones and handheld computers will, for the first time, include hard-wired security features that can enforce copy protection and help prevent hackers from wreaking havoc on wireless networks.' Or more ominously, 'The same technology also can be used to ensure that content such as music or movies is used in a way dictated by the copyright holder. A purchased song, for instance, would not play unless it's sure that it's authorized and running on secure hardware.'" Intel has a press release.

( Read More... | 152 of 214 comments )

Ask Slashdot: Five Fundamental Problems with Open Source?

Posted by Cliff on Tuesday April 13, @05:40PM
from the stuff-to-talk-about dept.
meriksen asks: "I found a very interesting paper which I am sure will stir up a hornets nest. Despite the growing success of the Open Source movement, most of the general public continues to feel that Open Source software is inaccessible to them. This paper discusses five fundamental problems with the current Open Source software development trend, explores why these issues are holding the movement back, and offers solutions that might help overcome these problems." What do you think of the issues given in this paper, and how do you think the Open Source community should address these issues?

( Read More... | 727 bytes in body | 410 of 534 comments | ask.slashdot.org )

Iomega Ships 35GB 'Son of Jaz'

Posted by michael on Tuesday April 13, @04:53PM
from the data-glut dept.
Hamster Of Death writes "Iomega has begun selling its 'son of Jaz' removable hard drive, Rev. Pitched as an alternative to tape back-up rigs, Rev provides 35GB of uncompressed storage capacity per 2.5in removable disk. The disk is mounted inside a 1 x 0.8 x 0.8cm cartridge, and yields a 25MBps transfer rate - eight times faster than DDS-4 tape, Iomega claims."

( Read More... | 320 of 404 comments )

RFID for Automobile Tracking

Posted by michael on Tuesday April 13, @04:11PM
from the car-talk dept.
mindless4210 writes "The U.S. Department of Transportation

camidon's picture

SFWW linked pages

Dave, good golly there was a lot to the previous post!

As to checking for SFWW links. I'd say search away if you're still up for it. I haven't heard it's been done.

Also, I wonder why my '8's from the previous SFWW critique post turned into smileys. Eddy, did you have anything to do with that? Laughing out loud

----

Life is a lot like caving: Most of the time you grope around in the dark.

camidon's picture

Website To-Do List

Thought of a few more things. Should have waited to reply until I got my thoughts straight.

At the next chat, let's make/brainstorm another To-Do list. We can do it briefly before or after we chat about Juanita's story (April 19th)

Let's try to get the website fresh and new and one hot commdity by the end May. (Think it can be done, Anneliese?)

----

Life is a lot like caving: Most of the time you grope around in the dark.

Re:SFWW Website

If you type something that the forum software recognizes as a smiley, it will stick one in automatically. So if you type a : and x together, you get a Oups. If you type a 8 and a ) together, you get a Cool.

If you don't want the symbols turned into smileys, click the box below that says "Disable Smilies in this post".

I'm not a complete idiot -- some parts are missing.

DaveK's picture

Re:SFWW Website

I don't know why my copy and paste from slashdot included so much, nor why I didn't see it before I submitted the post. But here is what I was refering to. We probably need to put a disclaimer on the SFWW chat site that the posts will be saved and logged. I'm not sure what to so about AOL.

Science: Save a Chatlog... Go to Prison?

Posted by CmdrTaco on Tuesday April 13, @10:45AM
from the hold-the-bots-responsible dept.
Alien54 writes "You are engaged in a chat session with some friends and colleagues, when one of them makes a witty remark or imparts a pithy bit of information. You hit CTRL-A and select the conversation, then copy it to a document that you save. Under a little-noticed decision in a New Hampshire Superior Court in late February, these actions may just land you in jail. New Hampshire is "two-party consent state" -- one of those jurisdictions that requires all parties to a conversation to consent before the conversation can be intercepted or recorded. The decision is the first of its kind to apply that standard to online chats, and the ruling is clearly supported by the text of the law. But it marks a blow to an investigative technique that has been routinely used by law enforcement, employers, ISPs and others, who often use video tape or othermeans to track criminals in chat rooms. This also has troublesome implications [for employers] monitoring of email and other forms of electronic communications."

( Read More... | 394 of 463 comments | science.slashdot.org )

The URl is: http://science.slashdot.org/science/04/04/13/1356216.shtml?tid=123&tid=99

camidon's picture

Post a Chat Log go to Prison

Point well made about the disclaimer. Let's mention it at the next chat if Anneliese, doesn't see this before then.

----

Life is a lot like caving: Most of the time you grope around in the dark.

Re:SFWW Website

Another brain-dead decision by a judge who didn't weigh the implications first... excuse me Mr. Pedophile, can we record this conversation where we impersonated a 10 year old and use it to get a search warrant for your house?

The irony is, a chat is always "recorded". It's sitting on your screen. If someone comes over and sees it, is that the same as recording and saving it?

Officer: Excuse me Mr. Judge, I can't copy and save this conversation so can you run over to my office and peek at my screen? I need a search warrant to run down Mr. Pedophile.

Judge: No. You are way across town. Besides you are running Windoze and it will probably crash before I get there.

Officer: Okay, how about if I hook up a video camera and send you the live feed over the internet, that's the same thing as you actually being here, right? Just don't hook up a VCR or anything to it. Oh, and don't remember it because that would mean your brain is recording it, and we can't have that.

Dumb dumb dumb...

Anyway, we can easily have disclaimer for our chats and that should cover it. Something like:

All chats are recorded. By using this chat room, you consent to having your words copied and displayed to SFWW members, and maybe in public. If you do not agree with this, then don't chat, stupid.

I'm not a complete idiot -- some parts are missing.

Re:SFWW Website

[quote="eddycurrents"]
All chats are recorded. By using this chat room, you consent to having your words copied and displayed to SFWW members, and maybe in public. If you do not agree with this, then don't chat, stupid.[/quote]

I think something like this might be well added to the chatroom page, either on the logon screen, or somewhere on the chat screen itself. But maybe we can fine-tune the words a bit?

Rather than posting chat logs on the website, I think a reference that they are available in the forum makes sense...It's also easier on the webmaster. I really don't think non-SFWW members benefit much by having chat logs on the website.

-anneliese

camidon's picture

Chat Warning

That sounds good, Anneliese.

You're probably right, they're not necessary on the website since we have them hear. As well as having the warning on the chatpage itself, I do think we should include it on the SFWW website chat page after the links to the two different chat places.

----

Life is a lot like caving: Most of the time you grope around in the dark.

Re:SFWW Website

Your wish is my command. www.acmfox.com/sfww/sfwwchat.htm

I did change the wording a tad, though.

-anneliese