Good morning all,
I appreciate this should probably be posted in the Archive Business sub-section, but I've chosen to instead post it here so that it receives maximum exposure as I believe this is something that is important.
I've been a member of the archive for, in its various forms for over 15 years now, and it is probably the web-site I visit most frequently and regularly.
While I believe the archive is a great place to chat, share ideas and information, and certainly don't want to diminish the community engenders, I believe its most valuable resource is its library.
The archive has a massive collection of stories by incredibly talented authors, some still around, some long gone. What worries me, is that often, valuable stories are slipping through the cracks, getting lost with moves and revamps, or simply being forgotten about.
In times past, I, and I suspect a great deal many others, would download and save stories they liked. However, as ease and efficiency of connection has increased, it's now days often easier to merely access that which we like through a few simple clicks and very few of us take the trouble to save work. The problem with this is, that when work gets lost online, it is often lost for good.
I also feel, that at times, excellent stories are getting lost amongst those that are not worth of mention.
As the archive grows, stories are not only getting lost amongst lesser stories but are simply getting forgotten about because of the sheer volume of new stuff. This certainly in of itself isn't a bad thing, but perhaps we can have the best of both worlds.
I'd like to suggest three goals.
To separate good stories from bad.
To make stories more searchable.
To actually archive stories and ensure stories are not lost.
To this end, there are a few suggestions I'd like to make and would like the input of others.
1. I'd like to suggest setting up a team of committed and long-time members who are interested in achieving the above aims with the goal in mind of doing the work I'm about to suggest.
2. I'd suggest that we create an index of stories, with details including but not limited to: _title_, Author, Date and then create a number of tags, so stories can be filtered when searching for. Perhaps someone wants to search through all stories that contain a specific piece of text, and then filter the results to show only stories that include male are to infancy, or perhaps female ar to preteen. This is not complicated, and there are a number of ways we can approach it, and I have a number of ideas, however this will require time and effort, hence point 1.
3. I'd like to suggest the inclusion of rating system for stories so users can rate a story, perhaps out of 10.
4. I'd like to suggest that ultimately, a separate library be created together with a panel of veteran or long standing members, and when a story is complete, it is vetted by the panel and voted into the library. Only completed stories of merit will be approved. Other stories are still certainly able to be submitted, but could be included in a sperate area.
5. A number of stories still haven't been moved across, notably from the old archive. There is a wealth of stories there that could potentially be lost, which would be to everyones detriment. Again, I'd suggest that due to the nature and time required to do this, that this is a task for the team suggested in point 1. Not only are there stories on the old archive, but there are for example, numerous stories by authors such as Jennifer Lorraine floating around.
6. Lastly, I thought perhaps there could be a way of downloading an archived file of all new strories at the end of each month, or perhaps a digest of each months stories. This would mean stories were saved more frequently and were less likely to be lost.
Heid, I hope I'm not stepping on your toes by suggesting this in an open forum, rather than coming directly to you. I thought perhaps it would be a good idea to open it up as a discussion and see what other ideas or concerns others have. I appreciated there may be issues and limitations with regards to technology which you will be more informed about.
I'd also like to volunteer myself to assist in any way with the above suggested projects, and look forward to others views and opinions.