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Old 01-18-2013, 07:12 PM   #1
ClockworkBanana
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Cherry picking comments

Not sure if this is the right board for this, feel free to move if not so.

Am I the only one annoyed by authors who delete every single bit of even slightly negative feedback?

I posted a comment on a (over three year old) story by a top author on this site. I said that I loved his other work but that this particular work was still good but not quite up to par with his previous work, and said that in this case I thought some character motivations weren't believable and I thought I explained my reasoning fairly well.

Within a day or so, my comment was deleted...despite the fact that it was on a story that was over three years old and the author has tons of different stories! I really lost a lot of respect for this author, especially since I put a lot of effort into the comment and thought I gave some pretty well thought out analysis.

I can understand why trolling comments should be deleted, or why you would want to delete something that just says "THIS STORY SUCKS!!!!!!", but it seems ridiculous to me that authors are allowed to delete every single comment they so desire, and thus some choose to delete every comment that isn't overwhelmingly positive (I mean, I still said the story was good and that he was an excellent author, I just had some criticism for parts of one story.)

Would it maybe be feasible to have some sort of situation where the author can choose to turn comments on or off, but if they choose to have comments turned on, they aren't allowed to cherrypick the comments themselves? (but obviously they and others can flag troll comments and ones that just say "THIS STORY SUCKS!!!" and have a mod look into it).
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:24 PM   #2
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The author is the moderator of posted comments and as such, makes the calls. Comments are for the benefit of the author, not the audience.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:05 PM   #3
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I agree with you. Personally I leave everything up there no matter how bad they are. In fact I get a kick out of the really insulting ones.

Now I know others disagree and do what they feel works for them.

I can see why someone might want to get rid of a "Your story is garbage and so are you" remarks" but it does annoy me when some one won;t leave up a simple, "It was a good story, but could have used a proof reader"

To me, this is pure arrogance and ego. They have no issues with "you're the best writer in the world, this is the best story on lit!" but heaven forbid everyone is not praising their amazing talent.

There is an author here who's stories get around 100 comments apiece and he removes anything remotely negative including my simple comment of "It was good, but not your usual standard."

If you're that thin skinned you can't handle public criticism even if its constructive you should stick to reading your stories to your friends and family

as to the OP's comment of leaving comments on, but not being able to cherry pick?

There are authors here who would want a "accept public comments, but only if they're glowing" option
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecraft68 View Post

I can see why someone might want to get rid of a "Your story is garbage and so are you" remarks"
So can I, but personally, I even leave those up. For one thing, they usually turn up in a story whose feedback is overwhelmingly positive, so the nasty comments reflect far worse on the person leaving the feedback, not on me. I tend to figure it's just sour grapes on their part.

As for the critical but not wholly negative feedback of the type described in the OP, I would definitely never delete that. Even if I don't like what the person is saying, it shows s/he did some serious thinking about my work, and I like that.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:13 AM   #5
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This is basically a reading site. It doesn't advertise itself as a critique site. The Web site gives the author free rein to accept or reject comments (while giving even "anonymous" the privilege of rating and commenting. So, it's the authors' call on what they accept and reject in the way of comments. It might be too bad that they can't accept/reject ratings too. The reads are free. Maybe readers should accept them as that and not go out of their way to "teach" what they think they know well enough to teach.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
This is basically a reading site. It doesn't advertise itself as a critique site. The Web site gives the author free rein to accept or reject comments (while giving even "anonymous" the privilege of rating and commenting. So, it's the authors' call on what they accept and reject in the way of comments. It might be too bad that they can't accept/reject ratings too. The reads are free. Maybe readers should accept them as that and not go out of their way to "teach" what they think they know well enough to teach.
You don;t have to be an editor or professional author to simply say whether you like or dislike a story and then add why.

This is just more of your pretentiousness.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by YDB95 View Post
So can I, but personally, I even leave those up. For one thing, they usually turn up in a story whose feedback is overwhelmingly positive, so the nasty comments reflect far worse on the person leaving the feedback, not on me. I tend to figure it's just sour grapes on their part.

As for the critical but not wholly negative feedback of the type described in the OP, I would definitely never delete that. Even if I don't like what the person is saying, it shows s/he did some serious thinking about my work, and I like that.
Excellent point! I know when I read even a "Mainstream book" I'll find myself thinking, "Man if I was Jack, I would have..." or "Wouldn't it have been even better if Jack did..."

and that shows the author got me giving a shit about "JacK"

When someone says, it was a good story, but they didn't think so and so should have done something or he would have done this instead it shows the person was doing more than reading with one hand. and that is what makes a story a success and makes me feel good as the author.

As for the really shit ones? I wear those as badges of honor

For example....

New Low
11/02/12 By: Anonymous
Lovecraft has hit rock bottom with this story. It REALLY sucks!
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:27 PM   #8
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:31 PM   #9
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I rarely delete comments..*****bably only 5-6 out of every 100. I leave up stuff like "ever heard of using grammar, spelling and punctuation you fuck tard!?" As long as I have at least one good one to counter balance it.


Edit to add that the word starred out was probably? Lol
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sethp View Post
I rarely delete comments..*****bably only 5-6 out of every 100. I leave up stuff like "ever heard of using grammar, spelling and punctuation you fuck tard!?" As long as I have at least one good one to counter balance it.


Edit to add that the word starred out was probably? Lol
Did you star the word out or did the system? I don't recall the system ever doing that.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:36 PM   #11
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Two separate questions here:

1) Should an author be so thin skinned as to delete slightly negative comments even if delivered politely and constructively? No. Hard to improve if you tell people you don't want their input on how you could.

2) Should the moderation system be changed to prevent this? No, the author is hurting himself and the risk of enabling trolls is worse than enabling prickly authors.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
Did you star the word out or did the system? I don't recall the system ever doing that.
The system... Let me try it again

Probably
..*****bably

So, if you put ... In front of probably, it gets the stars
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironiclaconic View Post
Two separate questions here:

1) Should an author be so thin skinned as to delete slightly negative comments even if delivered politely and constructively? No. Hard to improve if you tell people you don't want their input on how you could.

2) Should the moderation system be changed to prevent this? No, the author is hurting himself and the risk of enabling trolls is worse than enabling prickly authors.
Every author of course has the right to do as they choose. But seeing this is a free site most here write for fun or improvement and no one is ever going to improve if they can't take a simple comment like one I've gotten several times

"You need to know the difference between lay and lie" or "Their and they're are not interchangeable"

Those are legit remarks and tell you what, they made me look closer at my next stories.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:20 PM   #14
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I appreciate all the comments I get. Even the trolls. If they leave a comment, it means they thought about what I wrote for at least a second of their time.

So, I win, really.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sethp View Post
The system... Let me try it again

Probably
..*****bably

So, if you put ... In front of probably, it gets the stars
I got a legit PM the other day that was censored in the same way - IIRC the word was 'problem'. Wonder what's up with the filters?
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:14 PM   #16
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I posted a comment on a (over three year old) story by a top author on this site. I said that I loved his other work but that this particular work was still good but not quite up to par with his previous work, and said that in this case I thought some character motivations weren't believable and I thought I explained my reasoning fairly well.

Within a day or so, my comment was deleted...despite the fact that it was on a story that was over three years old and the author has tons of different stories! I really lost a lot of respect for this author, especially since I put a lot of effort into the comment and thought I gave some pretty well thought out analysis.

I can understand why trolling comments should be deleted, or why you would want to delete something that just says "THIS STORY SUCKS!!!!!!", but it seems ridiculous to me that authors are allowed to delete every single comment they so desire, and thus some choose to delete every comment that isn't overwhelmingly positive (I mean, I still said the story was good and that he was an excellent author, I just had some criticism for parts of one story.)

Would it maybe be feasible to have some sort of situation where the author can choose to turn comments on or off, but if they choose to have comments turned on, they aren't allowed to cherrypick the comments themselves? (but obviously they and others can flag troll comments and ones that just say "THIS STORY SUCKS!!!" and have a mod look into it).
I'm confused as to why this might bother a commenter so much. The comment was given and received; its purpose was satisfied. Objecting to its deletion and looking for a way to override the author's decision smacks of hubris. Want control? Write a story, one free of the flaws that prompted the comment.

Me? I manage my stories and their comments the way a business manages a brand. Disney doesn't let critiques of Mickey Mouse's motivations or sexual proclivities linger on its site. Neither do I.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:13 AM   #17
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The author is the moderator of posted comments and as such, makes the calls. Comments are for the benefit of the author, not the audience.
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Originally Posted by PacoFear View Post
I'm confused as to why this might bother a commenter so much. The comment was given and received; its purpose was satisfied.
Well, to me, personally, I disagree and think that if the comments are supposed to solely be for the author's benefit and no one else's than we would only have the "Feedback" option and not the "comment" option, like some other sites have. I personally really enjoy reading what other people think of a story after I myself have read it. And sometimes some of the most interesting ones are the ones that point out areas of improvement in an intelligent way.

And Paco, if the comment was "given and received; it's purpose was satisfied" than why don't you delete positive comments as well? They have also served their purpose. Or just turn comments off and only accept feedback?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoFear View Post
Objecting to its deletion and looking for a way to override the author's decision smacks of hubris. Want control? Write a story, one free of the flaws that prompted the comment.
As you are one of my favorite authors I am disappointed to see that you have the "if your feedback isn't 100% positive, write something better" attitude. Just because someone doesn't have the talent to create/perform at the same level doesn't mean that their opinions and feedback are invalid.

I think its fair for someone to say, for example, that Tom Brady had a disappointing performance (by his typically excellent standards) against the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday. Just because someone doesn't have the skills to play quarterback in the NFL at an elite level doesn't mean they are barred from making that assessment.

Likewise, if someone was to comment on one of your stories that they personally didn't find that particular story up to par with your typical (excellent) standards and expressed the reasons why in an intelligent manner, I don't think "Well why don't you write something better?" is an argument that dismisses their points.

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Me? I manage my stories and their comments the way a business manages a brand. Disney doesn't let critiques of Mickey Mouse's motivations or sexual proclivities linger on its site. Neither do I.
The difference is that Disney has no artistic integrity (at least when regarding Mickey Mouse and similar properties) and are using it only as a tool for marketing and profit. Trust me, I used to work for Disney, they have some talented and creative people working on certain projects for them but for the most part they are out only for the bottom line (especially the head honchos).

This site, I think, is a resource not only to share your stories but also a community to help hone them, and even though there's a lot of smut I think its also a place where real, engaging, interesting fiction can be found - one needs look no further than your own stories. And you aren't making money by posting stories here, so I'm not sure why the bottom line "brand management" stance needs to be taken.

And for me personally, I think even the very best at their craft should be willing to accept feedback in order to help them get even better. Even Pulitzer Prize winning writers still have editors. Michael Jordan was always constantly looking to improve and add new things to his game during his playing days even when it was clear that he was the best basketball player alive, and even of all time.

Likewise, I hope that you, despite your accomplishments, are still accepting of criticism and feedback in an effort to make yourself better constantly. The quest for constant self-improvement even when at the top of your craft is what separates the all-time elites from the "greats."

You say that feedback that contains any ounce of criticism has been accepted before it has been deleted, but it seems to me from your dismissive tone (and I could be wrong, I hope so) that whenever you see a comment that isn't pure adulteration and contains even a hint of constructive criticism you roll your eyes, delete it and dismiss it with the attitude of "Let's see you try better."

I hope I'm wrong (or if I'm right, that you change your tune) as I think you have potential to become a successful published author. But that won't come unless you are open to feedback and constructive criticism and using it to improve and hone your craft further.

Just my two cents.

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Old 01-23-2013, 09:23 AM   #18
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Well, to me, personally, I disagree and think that if the comments are supposed to solely be for the author's benefit and no one else's than we would only have the "Feedback" option and not the "comment" option, like some other sites have. I personally really enjoy reading what other people think of a story after I myself have read it. And sometimes some of the most interesting ones are the ones that point out areas of improvement in an intelligent way.
I agree with half of this. I like to see other readers' constructive criticism and have them read mine. It's interesting to learn how others took a story, especially if they saw flaws or good points that I missed.

But I don't think any of that that necessarily obliges the author to host that discussion. If I really want to post my reviews and have them safe from deletion, I can do it on my own blog, or on the forums here. Sure, fewer people will see them... but maybe that says something about how many people want to see my comments.

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Originally Posted by ClockworkBanana View Post
I think its fair for someone to say, for example, that Tom Brady had a disappointing performance (by his typically excellent standards) against the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday. Just because someone doesn't have the skills to play quarterback in the NFL at an elite level doesn't mean they are barred from making that assessment.
Absolutely not. They can make that assessment and post it on their blogs, or in a newspaper if they have a sports columnist gig. But are Tom Brady's team obliged to host that assessment on their own web pages?

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Originally Posted by ClockworkBanana View Post
And for me personally, I think even the very best at their craft should be willing to accept feedback in order to help them get even better.
Indeed. But not everybody here is aiming to become the Michael Jordan of porn. Some are content to write smut for fun, and enjoy hearing from the ones who like it, without any great desire to cater to the ones who don't. And that's fine too.

Even the ones who do want feedback don't necessarily want to be forced to host it on their story forever and ever.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:40 AM   #19
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I rarely delete feedback. I don't get much feedback and I value almost all of it, even if the feedback is very negative. Any response is usually better than no response at all. Some of the negative feedback has justification particularly if I put the story in the wrong category.

If I do delete feedback, the reasons are:

1. The feedback relates to an earlier version of the story, pointing out my errors that are now corrected.

2. The feedback is completely unrelated to the story, or my writing, and is a rant not directed at me.

Although I wouldn't delete it, I can understand authors who delete critical feedback once they have read it. Some are very sensitive about their work and any criticism, even well-written and well-intentioned criticism, can be painful to read.

I find it very difficult to leave feedback on other authors, unless I can be positive. If a story is really bad, or very poorly written, I will back-click without leaving a vote or comment. If there are typos or editorial problems I would prefer to send a PM, not leave my words in public. But some authors have got PMs turned-off. If they have, I don't comment.

But I see a parallel with theatre productions in the West End of London. Withing days of the first performance, large posters quote reviewers' opinions. The theatre never publicises the negative ones, but might cherry-pick a sentence or a few words even out of context - something like this:

"The lead actors produced a stunning display of artistic skill (in making a silk purse out of a sow's ear because the plot is ridiculous and the dialogue incredibly bad) Don't bother with this stinker."

Only the bolded words would appear on the poster outside the theatre.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:26 AM   #20
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Did the author actively solicit comment on the story in in the forum (and I don't mean just by not turning comments off)? If not, the author isn't under any obligtion to leave up any comment she/he doesn't want there. There's no such obligation either stated or implied on this Web site. On the contrary, the author is given the power to zap any comment he/she wishes to.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:27 PM   #21
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I guess I have a different opinion from some people since I work in journalism so I really think constructive criticism is absolutely key. Anyone who shuns any sort of negative feedback at all, even if well thought out and constructed, and has no interest in seeking outside opinions to improve themselves is considered a diva and doesn't last long. When I first started out at my college newspaper I was very defensive about the articles I wrote and the videos I made but I learned over time that it was critical.

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Absolutely not. They can make that assessment and post it on their blogs, or in a newspaper if they have a sports columnist gig. But are Tom Brady's team obliged to host that assessment on their own web pages?
Well for the most part when making that point I was responding to his general point of "If you don't like it, write something better free of said criticism" (not necessarily regarding posting it on said website). That comment seemed to imply (to me, hopefully I'm wrong) that he thought anyone who isn't talented enough to write something as well as he does has no business or right to share their opinion unless its 100% positive.

That being said, to your specific point, the Patriots website (as well as other official sports websites) has plenty of articles that are critical of the team when they lose, and they allow comments that are critical of the team as well.

For example:
http://blog.patriots.com/2013/01/19/...ns-5/#comments

Look at the top comment: "put ravens defense on brady and he will have a panic attack without xanax"

Other major journalism websites (New York Times, ESPN, etc) and most other content either turn comments off for certain articles, or allow all non-spam/troll comments to stand (even if critical of the article). The practice of allowing comments but only allowing the positive ones to stand and deleting anything with a hint of criticism or negative feedback is very rare.

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Indeed. But not everybody here is aiming to become the Michael Jordan of porn. Some are content to write smut for fun, and enjoy hearing from the ones who like it, without any great desire to cater to the ones who don't. And that's fine too.
For some random dude writing short stroker stories that would be one thing, but PacoFear is definitely someone with enough talent that he should be striving to reach elite and maybe published status, so I hope he's taking other people's opinions and feedback into account.

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Did the author actively solicit comment on the story in in the forum (and I don't mean just by not turning comments off)? If not, the author isn't under any obligtion to leave up any comment she/he doesn't want there. There's no such obligation either stated or implied on this Web site. On the contrary, the author is given the power to zap any comment he/she wishes to.
Yes, that is an accurate description of the current system, I'm just trying to raise a discussion as to whether that is the best system to use and have a debate about the concept in general.

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Old 01-23-2013, 04:52 PM   #22
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I guess I have a different opinion from some people since I work in journalism so I really think constructive criticism is absolutely key. . . .

Yes, that is an accurate description of the current system, I'm just trying to raise a discussion as to whether that is the best system to use and have a debate about the concept in general.
This Web site is set up as a reading Web site of free reads by amateur authors writing what they enjoy writing. So, yes, I think the current system is other than what you want. But it's not your Web site. You could certainly set up your own based on any criteria you wanted.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:12 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by ClockworkBanana View Post
I guess I have a different opinion from some people since I work in journalism so I really think constructive criticism is absolutely key. Anyone who shuns any sort of negative feedback at all, even if well thought out and constructed, and has no interest in seeking outside opinions to improve themselves is considered a diva and doesn't last long. When I first started out at my college newspaper I was very defensive about the articles I wrote and the videos I made but I learned over time that it was critical.
This is true if one wants to improve their writing. Not everyone here does, which can be a difficult lesson to learn. Some people just want to write for fun and may care about getting the basics right but not much else.

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Originally Posted by ClockworkBanana View Post
Other major journalism websites (New York Times, ESPN, etc) and most other content either turn comments off for certain articles, or allow all non-spam/troll comments to stand (even if critical of the article). The practice of allowing comments but only allowing the positive ones to stand and deleting anything with a hint of criticism or negative feedback is very rare.
But this is not a journalism website. It is a site set up to host fictional stories involving or about sex. An author can moderate the comments, or not, and allow them or not. It's up to the individual.

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Originally Posted by ClockworkBanana View Post
For some random dude writing short stroker stories that would be one thing, but PacoFear is definitely someone with enough talent that he should be striving to reach elite and maybe published status, so I hope he's taking other people's opinions and feedback into account.
It's good that you think so, but what if Paco doesn't care to reach elite status? What if he -- or anyone else -- simply enjoys writing at their level and are happy to keep it at that level, as a hobby? And as for the opinions and feedback, why should he consider them? It's not like this is peer review.

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Originally Posted by ClockworkBanana View Post
Yes, that is an accurate description of the current system, I'm just trying to raise a discussion as to whether that is the best system to use and have a debate about the concept in general.
I think the question of "best system" is irrelevant here. This is just a website that you can post to, or not. And comment on, or not. There are probably other sites out there more geared to criticizing stories, but Literotica isn't that one.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:38 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClockworkBanana View Post
I guess I have a different opinion from some people since I work in journalism so I really think constructive criticism is absolutely key. Anyone who shuns any sort of negative feedback at all, even if well thought out and constructed, and has no interest in seeking outside opinions to improve themselves is considered a diva and doesn't last long. When I first started out at my college newspaper I was very defensive about the articles I wrote and the videos I made but I learned over time that it was critical.
That's a good attitude to take to something that's a professional skill. But once you've received and learned from that negative feedback, where do you host it? Do you stick every criticism on the office wall?

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Originally Posted by ClockworkBanana View Post
Well for the most part when making that point I was responding to his general point of "If you don't like it, write something better free of said criticism" (not necessarily regarding posting it on said website). That comment seemed to imply (to me, hopefully I'm wrong) that he thought anyone who isn't talented enough to write something as well as he does has no business or right to share their opinion unless its 100% positive.
I didn't read that into it. I didn't see anything saying "haters can't comment", only that they shouldn't feel entitled to have their post stay up forever, and if they want more permanence they can get it the same way authors do. Many have done just that by posting writing advice in the How-To section, and those posts are far more effective than a comment tucked away somewhere.

But I'm going to nitpick on this since it's important: if he had said that people have no right to share their opinion here, he'd be 100% correct. This is a privately-owned site and nobody except the owners have the right to share bupkiss here. Ditto, the content that you mention on the Patriots website - they may well opt to host negative material, but there's no obligation for them to do so.

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Originally Posted by ClockworkBanana View Post
Other major journalism websites (New York Times, ESPN, etc) and most other content either turn comments off for certain articles, or allow all non-spam/troll comments to stand (even if critical of the article). The practice of allowing comments but only allowing the positive ones to stand and deleting anything with a hint of criticism or negative feedback is very rare.
It's uncommon, sure. But I suspect that's largely a commercial decision: close moderation is time-consuming and unlikely to pay for itself.

Remember also that people who write for NYT/ESPN/etc are getting paid for their work, which compensates for a lot of aggravation. On Literotica, interaction with readers is pretty much the only payoff for writers, so it becomes more important to ensure that that experience is enjoyable. And letting writers moderate their own comments is free.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:48 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Bramblethorn View Post
That's a good attitude to take to something that's a professional skill. But once you've received and learned from that negative feedback, where do you host it? Do you stick every criticism on the office wall?



I didn't read that into it. I didn't see anything saying "haters can't comment", only that they shouldn't feel entitled to have their post stay up forever, and if they want more permanence they can get it the same way authors do. Many have done just that by posting writing advice in the How-To section, and those posts are far more effective than a comment tucked away somewhere.

But I'm going to nitpick on this since it's important: if he had said that people have no right to share their opinion here, he'd be 100% correct. This is a privately-owned site and nobody except the owners have the right to share bupkiss here. Ditto, the content that you mention on the Patriots website - they may well opt to host negative material, but there's no obligation for them to do so.



It's uncommon, sure. But I suspect that's largely a commercial decision: close moderation is time-consuming and unlikely to pay for itself.

Remember also that people who write for NYT/ESPN/etc are getting paid for their work, which compensates for a lot of aggravation. On Literotica, interaction with readers is pretty much the only payoff for writers, so it becomes more important to ensure that that experience is enjoyable. And letting writers moderate their own comments is free.
I understand fully what you're saying here, but there is something to be said for a writer needing to grow at least a little bit of a skin.

I'm not speaking of ridiculously hateful comments, but when someone can;t handle "A pretty good story, but you might want to get a proof reader" I think that's pretty sad.

Its like those camps where every single kid has to be treated equally and get an award.
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