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 Post subject: Moving all the fic off the CBB
PostPosted: 30 May 2011, 16:44 
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Bonjour, mes poppets.

I think this has been raised before, although possibly not for a while. I have decided that the time has come for all the fic on the board to find a new home on the Sally Denny Library. Do not panic. This will not be happening immediately.

Forums such as the CBB are not designed to hold the quantities of fic which our members produce. Every single element on the CBB is held in a database, and, as you are all aware(!), space is at a premium, hence our constant efforts at archiving. Nor, on the forum or in the archives, is it easy to find fic, despite the mods' best efforts at indexing etc - you're OK if you know the author, but that's about it!

The best way to manage a collection of fic is to use specifically designed software. If you've visited fanfiction.net or archiveofourown.org etc, you'll know the kind of thing - fics can be more easily catalogued, assigned main characters, tagged for themes etc, all of which make fics easier to find.

Some of you may, in the past, have used or visited the Sally Denny Library. It is run using software called efiction, which is a fairly standard opensource fic archive. It is also database-driven, though the actual content (the fic), is not kept in the database, so it can grow unchecked. The SDL is split into houses in exactly the same way as the fic houses on the CBB (St Agnes, St Clare, Ste Therese, St Scholastika and St Mildred), and each story is put into the appropriate house. You can post a whole story, or in chaptered parts (though general fic etiquette in wider fandom is that a recognisable chapter/part be posted, rather than just the next few paragraphs of the story). Each story is accompanied by a summary, author's notes if the author wishes, and tagged with fic genre, school period, main characters etc. Reviews are added separately so do not form part of the fic's body.

Now, I'd like to give you a reliable timetable about what's going to happen when in order to effect this change, but unfortunately, my life will never cooperate with that! However, I will do my best.

Stage One

Starting from now, I'd like fic writers (and those who like to read/comment on fic) to mosey on over to the SDL (http://www.sallydennylibrary.co.uk) and have a look round. You will need to register (it's completely separate to the CBB, though you might want to use the same username so people can find your fic over there). Get used to it. Maybe post some of your old stories there. If you're about to start a new story, start over there rather than on the CBB. Let's iron out any kinks there might be: if you come across any problems or don't know how to do something, post in the Ask the Librarian forum here on the CBB, and either I or someone who's worked out the answer themselves can help you.

Stage Two

The earliest date this will happen will be 1 July 2011.

Posting will be disabled in the fic houses on the board. No new fics can be posted, none can be added to, no comments can be made. The various fics will still be there.

What is on the CBB from today (30 May) onwards WILL NOT be archived. If you want to continue/keep it, it will HAVE to be posted to the SDL (or, naturally, if you spurn the SDL, then LiveJournal or AO3, or wherever takes your fancy).

Stage Three

The earliest date this will happen will be 1 August 2011.

The fic houses and all their contents on the board will be deleted. The forum links on the main index of the board will lead to the relevant fic house on the SDL. Any fic that has not been saved or reposted elsewhere by the author at this point will be lost. Please make sure your fic has been saved one way or another by 1 August.

I hope this is all clear and reasonable. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask. The SDL is currently rather bland in design, but I will endeavour to perk it up, and to sort out a large-font version. There is also the minor technical hitch I mentioned a while ago, viz whilst attempting to upgrade the software I managed to destroy the old SDL and have been unable to fix it. :? THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN. I just won't upgrade it! (Or, be more sensible about doing it.) I apologise profusely to those who had works archived in the old SDL as I'm afraid they will need to be reposted. If anyone doesn't have copies of fic they'd posted there, please let me know, as I've got backups for everything lurking in my hard drive somewhere.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving all the fic off the CBB
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 12:26 
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I'm glad you said all that so eloquently Ariel because it is exactly what I have been thinking. Although I now read relatively few drabbles, and enjoy much of the rest of what goes on now that I have got to know people, I think that, particularly for new people seeking a Chalet School fix, it is the fiction that draws them in to begin with. It certainly did me.

Without at least some fiction I wonder where the attraction will lie?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 12:27 
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Well, the CBB thrived before there was fic on it, and I'm confident it will survive the fic being moved elsewhere. If it turns out there isn't sufficient interest in fans discussing the books and characters and getting to know each other etc, then so be it. That's the fickle nature of life on the Internet! Hopefully this won't be the case, though, and we can all continue to enjoy the board.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving all the fic off the CBB
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 12:43 
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I see there's a new topic under each house for SDL but locked and nothing there yet. Is this for stuff people post in both places? And how does one read it? I have just registered with SDL but they are still locked.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving all the fic off the CBB
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 12:50 
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Also concerned about moving all the fic off the board. Is there any half-way approach we could take ? (Longer, or completed fic to go to SDL and shorter items to stay on the board ?)

Are we keeping Joey's Trunk on the board ? I find that really interesting to read/check/learn things from and contribute to.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving all the fic off the CBB
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 13:40 
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I'm sure the CBB sans fic won't stand still in terms of development.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving all the fic off the CBB
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 13:47 
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Apologies for jumping in here as a relatively new girl, but I have some experience of this, with a yahoo group that just fizzled out as everyone moved on to FB Myspace and Twitter addictions.

When I first read the above I was very upset since I thought that it would likely be the end of a lot of people bring so social on the board.

But having had a play with SDL I think it could well be fine, as it still seems to allow interaction with the review options.

More importantly - if things do start to quieten down, it is up to the people who are missing the drabblers to get them back. Rather than move the fanfic itself, move the people. I assumed that ET at F was just word games until I gatecrashed the Procrastination party. If you miss procrastinating with someone, PM them or go onto SDL and comment as such somewhere.

I joined the board for the discussion, and had never had the slightest interest in most fanfic. So I think if people want to talk they will still find the board.

Would we be allowed Drabble yibble type threads in English Tea, or maybe even Anything Else? That might help keep some interaction between the two and therefore provoke discussion.

The drabbles are a different way of discussing the series but they are a form of discussion, especially on here. Coming to it from no fanfic, I had no point of comparison, but I have to admit I have had to give up on numerous occasions trying to work through New Dreams and RCS simply because there didn't seem to be an easy way to find and catch up with things. Under this new system I could have read the actual stories, then I think gone back and read the reviews. I could then join the ongoing story much more easily than under the current system where I am having to leave reading them till another time.

The biggest thing is to not end up in a "them and us" situation. I know now that it isnt that way, but I initially felt once I gave in to beong a drabbler, that the drabbles were looked down on by some of the discussers. But if there are discussions in the drabbles reviews that are likely to provoke debate, then drabblers need to be brave and suggest topics, or if it is appropriate, start a thread. The Sallly Denny links are on the site, the CBB links are on the SDL.

Is there any way that the SDL could have something like the digest showing up as news? That way new fanfic people will realise that the CBB is as interesting and interactive as it is.

This board is very strong, be proactive and we will only gain by this.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving all the fic off the CBB
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 14:19 
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I originally joined the CBB because of the fanfic; however, I stayed because of the community - the discussions and yibbling. I rarely read drabbles these days - not because I'm not interested, but because of a lack of time - and I've run out of steam for my own fanfics - although I haven't given up on them: who knows, maybe I'll be inspired afresh once the new system is in place.

I don't see any reason why the board should suffer as a result of separating fiction and discussions. People who only want to read fiction can stick to Sally Denny; those who prefer discussions can stay here; and those who enjoy both can visit both sites. I can definitely see that there will be advantages for the admin team, and since they all give their time voluntarily that can only be a good thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving all the fic off the CBB
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 14:46 
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As someone who's been around since almost the very beginning, I would just like to re-echo what Liss has said ... the board and fiction were two separate places and both thrived. In those days COT wasn't particularly popular and Gathering had yet to be thought of and so I think there will still be a huge pull to the CBB for people. There will still be the opportunity for new people to find us - they did then otherwise most of us wouldn't be here!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 16:50 
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Half measures are always a recipe for disaster. All the fic will be moving to the SDL. Joey's Trunk and Ask the Librarian will stay here, and I have no objection to drabble (in the proper sense) challenges or anything of that ilk carrying on here.

As others have pointed out, if members are concerned about the CBB curling up and dying, it's in their power to prevent it.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving all the fic off the CBB
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 17:13 
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I'm surprised that people think moving the fiction will mean the board becomes yibble free. There's always been yibble here - and in the early days there was was far more than there is now. I thought it was the main function of the Procrastination party.

I wouldn't, though, have said drabbles were the best place for yibble and it's a fairly recent change that they've become a home to yibbling .


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 Post subject: Re: Moving all the fic off the CBB
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 17:18 
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Ariel - agree that all the fic going will make differences but the CBB does belong to Liss so if this is what she chooses it's up to her. For myself I'll stick to SDL for reading, although much of the pleasure will be gone with the lack of immediate comments, and doubt I'll bother with CBB as I've never found it particularly friendly elsewhere but more a group for those who 'fit' - guess I'd have been Joan Baker at the CS!

JB - it's not the yibble I'll miss, agree that much of that is more recent, but will miss the friendliness of people guessing what's coming etc between updates. That's one of the things that drew me to registering rather than lurking as well as making it easy to read comments AND scroll back to the drabble post

The saddest thing will be if it results in fewer drabbles due to the length of posts - the requirement for chapters will make it harder for some drabblers to keep up with posting.

Also the lack of being able to know when drabbles have been updated is concerning - I really don't want emails for updates as I get enough email in a day as it is so am worried I'll end up just not bothering unless I REALLY like a drabble

I do find it amusing that we all love CS which was a school which was different to others and often led the way (at least in EBD's mind) for it's times and yet the CBB fiction is to simply follow other fanfic formats rather than have a different identity or style :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Moving all the fic off the CBB
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 17:21 
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clair wrote:
Also the lack of being able to know when drabbles have been updated is concerning - I really don't want emails for updates as I get enough email in a day as it is so am worried I'll end up just not bothering unless I REALLY like a drabble


Could you not use the RSS feed update? That way, you could look at updated feeds when you have time and it won't fill your in box.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving all the fic off the CBB
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 17:31 
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I don't even know what that is JB! I'm far from good with technology and only use what I must. If it goes to my computer though that wouldn't help as I usually read in breaks at work not home! The reason I rarely log in is because the work one won't let me - there's quite a lot it won't allow such as FB etc


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 Post subject: Re: Moving all the fic off the CBB
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 17:38 
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Catherine wrote:
As someone who's been around since almost the very beginning, I would just like to re-echo what Liss has said ... the board and fiction were two separate places and both thrived. In those days COT wasn't particularly popular and Gathering had yet to be thought of and so I think there will still be a huge pull to the CBB for people. There will still be the opportunity for new people to find us - they did then otherwise most of us wouldn't be here!

Actually, as I recall, the CBB really only took off as a community because the fiction entity had broken. With no new chapters to read, people gravitated to the only other outlet, and ended up redefining the term "drabble." It's a critical part of what made us a community. That and yibble....

I don't think the move will kill the community, though. At least I hope not!

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 Post subject: Re: Moving all the fic off the CBB
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 17:43 
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JB wrote:
I wouldn't, though, have said drabbles were the best place for yibble and it's a fairly recent change that they've become a home to yibbling .


This shows how out of date I am! I really wouldn't have thought that drabbles are an appropriate place for yibble. Comments from people who are reading is one thing, and probably always welcome, but I would have thought that COT and ETAF were much better places for yibble and for getting to know people - and they'll still be here.

clair wrote:
agree that all the fic going will make differences but the CBB does belong to Liss so if this is what she chooses it's up to her.


I think this is a really important point. The CBB is an important community for many of us. I've met several people here who have become close RL friends, and whom I would not have met otherwise. This wouldn't be a community were it not for the many people who find their way here and choose to stay. I discovered the CBB in 2003, and although I've had a couple of absences, including one that lasted three years, I've always come back. However, the CBB is not a democracy: it belongs to Liss, and the decision to separate fiction and discussion is one that she's perfectly entitled to make.

I'm not saying that it won't take some getting used to. Doubtless there will be some teething problems. But I'm sure there will be advantages too: we just don't know what they are yet. I think finding out could be quite exciting!

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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 18:53 
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ChubbyMonkey wrote:
Liss wrote:
Please bear in mind, those who are concerned about the CBB withering and dying, that it is entirely in your power to stop that happening.


It's not really, though, is it, when dictats are just handed down to us that this will be happening, without debate or discussion. This is what I am trying to do by asking, politely, that we might debate this, or be reassured that if it doesn't work other options, such as moving some or all fic back, would be considered.


My point, evidently missed, is that the "community" side of the CBB, if I may term it so, encompassing any of the fora that aren't for the posting of drabbles, grows or dies according to whether members post to it. If members find that, outside commenting on fic, they have nothing they wish to say, then there is clearly no need for the community side at all: whether it flourishes or dwindles to a couple of posts a month depends on the level of interest in its users.



On this note, can I just point out a slightly wearying pattern that has emerged over the years the CBB has been running. It goes like this:
1. Something needs changing - either for technical, aesthetic, or functional reasons, or because people think it's a good idea.
2. People find out about this.
3. OMG MASS PANIC. The board will never survive! Things will never be the same! Sweet Esmerelda, how will anyone cope?!
4. The change, whatever it is, takes place.
5. Things sort of seem to be OK after all.
6. Maybe, for some reason, that decision gets reversed a few years down the line.
7. People find out about this.
8. OMG MASS PANIC. The board will never survive! Things will never be the same! Sweet Esmerelda, how will anyone cope?!

I appreciate that some people are worried (though let's not lose sight of the fact that the majority of board members seem to be fairly unperturbed), but this change is going to happen.

A couple of other points to address:

1. Length - yes, some people may find it harder to post if they have to have a decent sized chunk of writing done. But you will get better structured, more readable fic out of it. If a writer can't wait till they've managed to write a chapter's worth of fic before posting, then their need for instant gratification far outweighs even mine.

2. Notifications on the SDL have been enabled. As JB pointed, people can also use the RSS feed or, and I know it'll be a terrible burden, they can bookmark the [url="http://sallydennylibrary.co.uk/browse.php?type=recent]recent updates[/url] page on the SDL.

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 Post subject: Re: Moving all the fic off the CBB
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 19:08 
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Liss, would it be possible to put a widget on the CBB to show the SDL RSS feed?

While I'll miss the drabble-as-conversation that we currently have, I do see the practical reasons for re-splitting the board. (With my webmaster hat on, anything that makes management easier is a Good Thing).

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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 19:09 
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Liss wrote:
A couple of other points to address:

1. Length - yes, some people may find it harder to post if they have to have a decent sized chunk of writing done. But you will get better structured, more readable fic out of it. If a writer can't wait till they've managed to write a chapter's worth of fic before posting, then their need for instant gratification far outweighs even mine.

2. Notifications on the SDL have been enabled. As JB pointed, people can also use the RSS feed or, and I know it'll be a terrible burden, they can bookmark the [url="http://sallydennylibrary.co.uk/browse.php?type=recent]recent updates[/url] page on the SDL.


I've occasionally wanted comments as I've been struggling with the next part - as have many others - it's not ALL about gratification you know! If you're not sure which way to go sometimes a comment will give you an idea

I did say that I didn't know what RSS was - your reply states to use but doesn't answer the question and I doubt I'm the only one who doesn't know, just the only one shameless enough to admit it! If you follow several stories then that extra email (I often check mine every three or four days rather than daily so get a lot in one go!) will just get annoying!

More constructively could I just point out that the black writing on blue background for story titles isn't particularly easy to read even with my 20/20 vision - is there any way of making the colours a little more friendly to the eye?


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 Post subject: Re: Moving all the fic off the CBB
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2011, 19:13 
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You're not alone Clair - I have absolutely no idea what RSS is, how it works and how to access it :)

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