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Old 08-04-2018, 01:52 PM   #1
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Demise of the top lists

The top lists/Hall of Fame lists are being overtaken by chaptered stories, and I think that is a shame. The top lists should be place one can go to discover new and interesting works. However, as time goes on, more and more spots are being eaten up by chaptered stories. Celebrities top list has already been consumed, sci-fi isnít far behind.

Itís not that the chaptered stories arenít good, they clearly are. Chaptered stories appeal to readers who like them and then tend to vote them up. But by filling the top list with the same story it pushes out other stories. The worst thing about it is that, the way Literotica is structured, I see no way to fix it.
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Old 08-04-2018, 01:57 PM   #2
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I bopped out on looking at any lists here that permit a mixing of complete stories and chapters of stories some time ago.
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Old 08-04-2018, 02:48 PM   #3
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Chaptered stories have dominated the toplists as long as I've been here. It's nothing new.

Many of them do end up falling off eventually, because the later chapters, while higher scored, are lower voted, making them more vulnerable to any vote below 5 knocking them down.

It opens up slots for some one-shots to hit the Hall of Fame.

There are probably just more chaptered stories coming out now, skewing the natural attrition they suffer, because new ones are replacing those that fall off.
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Old 08-04-2018, 02:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astuffedshirt_perv View Post
The top lists/Hall of Fame lists are being overtaken by chaptered stories, and I think that is a shame. The top lists should be place one can go to discover new and interesting works. However, as time goes on, more and more spots are being eaten up by chaptered stories. Celebrities top list has already been consumed, sci-fi isnít far behind.

Itís not that the chaptered stories arenít good, they clearly are. Chaptered stories appeal to readers who like them and then tend to vote them up. But by filling the top list with the same story it pushes out other stories. The worst thing about it is that, the way Literotica is structured, I see no way to fix it.
Agreed, but it's been like this for a long time, and as you say not something that will change. You could of course use an average for the chapters of the series, but it's not straight forward when chapters can have different categories. There are ways to handle that too, but Literotica won't make any changes to its structure.
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Old 08-04-2018, 03:07 PM   #5
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Actually, the plan has always been to separate chaptered stories from single-shots once the new main pages are up and working correctly. Test the new design and functionality with author pages first. Move on to peripheral, but still frequently used user pages such as tags/search for a wider range of testing and feedback. Replace the critical infrastructure of the story pages, index, hubs, etc. Then finally move on to the remaining things such as the toplists.

Once that's all up and working with few hiccups, they can start adding the other planned features, such as point-n-click editing, the updated forum, dealing with chaptered vs. single shot, etc.

It's a two person operation ( with some hired guns specifically for the upgrade, I believe ) attempting to update a website that's been around since before the millenium LIVE without hampering the user experience of the million + visitors that come to the site daily.

It's a massive undertaking.

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Agreed, but it's been like this for a long time, and as you say not something that will change. You could of course use an average for the chapters of the series, but it's not straight forward when chapters can have different categories. There are ways to handle that too, but Literotica won't make any changes to its structure.
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Old 08-04-2018, 04:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RejectReality View Post
Chaptered stories have dominated the toplists as long as I've been here. It's nothing new.
I disagree, and think it is not only new but going to get inevitably worse. Granted there have always been chaptered stories in the top lists, but as time goes on the fans of those stories stick around to the final chapters, bumping up those scores, which then never go down. As more chaptered stories are published, their fans will continue to follow them to the end, giving the last chapters high scores that will put them in the top lists.

For example, in the celebrities section, the top 50 are all chaptered stories with hundreds of votes, #50 being rated 4.86 with over 200 votes. It is unlikely to ever go down, and also unlikely to ever be exceed by a one-off story.

By comparison, in 2009 the top rated story in Celebrities was only a 4.78 (admittedly also a chaptered story). #50 was only a 4.59, still a good score but wouldn't even make the top 250 today.
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Old 08-04-2018, 05:23 PM   #7
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I bet with a little searching, I can find a nearly identical post from 2009.

As a matter of fact, here's one of my own from 2008.

http://forum.literotica.com/showthread.php?t=628840

It's not universal, either. Look at Mature. Plenty of one-shots in the Hall of Fame. Anal, same deal. Erotic Couplings has many one-shots near the top. E&V. Fetish.

Just making my way down the category list, I see plenty of one shots holding places in the Hall of Fame. Looks pretty much the same as it did all those years ago. A story shouldn't be taking up multiple slots with multiple chapters, but they're not completely pushing out one-shots.

Maybe some categories are suffering, but overall, the picture looks much the same as it always has.

Quote:
Originally Posted by astuffedshirt_perv View Post
I disagree, and think it is not only new but going to get inevitably worse. Granted there have always been chaptered stories in the top lists, but as time goes on the fans of those stories stick around to the final chapters, bumping up those scores, which then never go down. As more chaptered stories are published, their fans will continue to follow them to the end, giving the last chapters high scores that will put them in the top lists.

For example, in the celebrities section, the top 50 are all chaptered stories with hundreds of votes, #50 being rated 4.86 with over 200 votes. It is unlikely to ever go down, and also unlikely to ever be exceed by a one-off story.

By comparison, in 2009 the top rated story in Celebrities was only a 4.78 (admittedly also a chaptered story). #50 was only a 4.59, still a good score but wouldn't even make the top 250 today.
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:42 PM   #8
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Amen, brother/sister. So far Iíve been a one-shot story author, so naturally I chafe at all the multi-chapter titles crowding out the top lists. I realize that wanting a separate list smacks of the same self-serving entitlement that musical artists display when complaining there should be more and more granular Grammy categories (e.g., Best Recording by an Alaskan Hip-Hop Duo).

However, I do have two stories coming up that probably should be split into two chapters each, if for no other reason than their challenging length (30K+ words). Neither are contest entries, so thereís no constraint there. Both have natural breaks that favor a chapter split, so I may take that route. (And, of course, Iíll have both chapters edited and ready to go before submitting the first one.)
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:58 PM   #9
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I want to be clear on this--I am NOT trying to troll you. Why is this a bad thing? If it keeps our established authors coming back and continuing strong storylines, I would want to see those stories atop the Hall of Fame.
I submit a lot of stories in I/T because I get a lot of requests for it. I know my one-shot stories have zero chance of hitting the Hall of Fame there, but those stories get thousands of views within hours of going live. Typically, that means 4-5 times as many views, favorites, and votes as the chaptered stories or stories in other categories.
I certainly don't begrudge the long-time authors of the site their places atop the Hall of Fame. They've earned it. Long, chaptered stories are tough to keep fresh and exciting. For the readers who faithfully follow those stories and characters, their high votes reflect their passion. I am all in favor of that passion.
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:10 PM   #10
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Completed stories and chapters of stories are not the same thing. They really should be handled separately. What has happened on Literotica is that the popularity/advantage of chapters in rankings encourages writers to write bloated, scattered, rambling, often abandoned series, which isn't doing the writers a bit of good in terms of writing, gives them a false sense of skills building, and cheapens the collection. Fine, if writers and readers want to do that, but it disadvantages actual stories--on a story site. To allow both to breathe, it would be best (but it's not going to happen) to separate them in the lists. Obviously this is realized to some degree by the Web site, as it has restricted its theme contests to actual, completed stories.

Because the top listings here include incomplete stories (chapters), I don't even look at the lists. There may be others who don't for the same reason.
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by LexxRuthless View Post
I want to be clear on this--I am NOT trying to troll you. Why is this a bad thing? If it keeps our established authors coming back and continuing strong storylines, I would want to see those stories atop the Hall of Fame.
I submit a lot of stories in I/T because I get a lot of requests for it. I know my one-shot stories have zero chance of hitting the Hall of Fame there, but those stories get thousands of views within hours of going live. Typically, that means 4-5 times as many views, favorites, and votes as the chaptered stories or stories in other categories.
I certainly don't begrudge the long-time authors of the site their places atop the Hall of Fame. They've earned it. Long, chaptered stories are tough to keep fresh and exciting. For the readers who faithfully follow those stories and characters, their high votes reflect their passion. I am all in favor of that passion.
The problem with it is that the score for Chapter 77 of a series does not reflect the opinion of the readership for a category; it reflects the increasingly small readership of a series as it goes from one chapter to another and weeds out the readers who aren't 100% on board with it. The score for a chapter in a series is in no way commensurate with the score for a stand-alone story. The data confirm this, over and over. As a series progresses, views drop and scores usually rise.

In Sci Fi, in particular, there are series with scores of chapters, even over a hundred chapters. But the readership dwindles from chapter to chapter. So an increasingly small percentage of the overall Sci Fi readership ends up deciding which stories are on the toplist. That doesn't seem right, and in particular it's not helpful for the readers, who are looking to toplists to find stories that are ranked high by a broad range of readers, not just by a cadre of hardy devotees of one author's 100+ chapter series.
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:18 PM   #12
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Good lord. I haven't frequented those categories. I clearly understand your point now.
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:21 PM   #13
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The problem with it is that the score for Chapter 77 of a series does not reflect the opinion of the readership for a category; it reflects the increasingly small readership of a series as it goes from one chapter to another and weeds out the readers who aren't 100% on board with it. The score for a chapter in a series is in no way commensurate with the score for a stand-alone story. The data confirm this, over and over. As a series progresses, views drop and scores usually rise.

In Sci Fi, in particular, there are series with scores of chapters, even over a hundred chapters. But the readership dwindles from chapter to chapter. So an increasingly small percentage of the overall Sci Fi readership ends up deciding which stories are on the toplist. That doesn't seem right, and in particular it's not helpful for the readers, who are looking to toplists to find stories that are ranked high by a broad range of readers, not just by a cadre of hardy devotees of one author's 100+ chapter series.
I guess that, when writing in LW and I&T, you get a different perspective on numbers, but it still takes more than 100 votes to be able to enter the top lists - I think it's quite a feat, to make that happen after 100+ chapter series. My highest scoring stories don't even get close to that number.
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:28 PM   #14
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... Why is this a bad thing? ...
Because if you're looking for a story to read, most of the time you wouldnít be interested in wading through multiple chapters that precede the installments that are on the top list. Yes, some authors write one page chapters that easily could have been submitted as a single story, but thatís not usually the case (from what little reading Iíve done of multi-chapter stories).

The Erotic Couplings top list (which is the category I typically write in) has only five stand-alone stories in the Top 50. Iíve read a lot of the multi-chapter stories but most donít pull me in enough to commit to staying with chapter after chapter, particularly if the instalments are intermittent over the months and years.

Nonetheless, I think props are deserved by the handful of authors that own the upper tier of the EC top list: BurntRedstone, FenellaAshworth, WifeWatchman.
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:34 PM   #15
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One solution to this problem is separating chapter and standalone lists, but the better solution probably is to have more in-depth and fine-grained search capabilities, giving readers the maximum flexibility and power to find the stories they want.

For example, story chapters could be tagged in some way, and readers would have the ability to search stories that are NOT tagged as chapters.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:00 PM   #16
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The problem with it is that the score for Chapter 77 of a series does not reflect the opinion of the readership for a category; it reflects the increasingly small readership of a series as it goes from one chapter to another and weeds out the readers who aren't 100% on board with it. The score for a chapter in a series is in no way commensurate with the score for a stand-alone story. The data confirm this, over and over. As a series progresses, views drop and scores usually rise.
This is also an issue with long single-shot stories. There are a few 50-page epics in those toplists, and I presume their scores get the same inflation as the chapter stories for the same reason. If anything those are a tougher problem since you can't even compare first-chapter stats to see how they started out.

Given enough data, it might be possible to estimate how length affects story ratings and adjust scores accordingly - e.g. "4.8 after 20 pages is equivalent to 4.6 for a 3-page story". Might also be possible to do something with categories, like correcting for the Loving Wives effect... but it would be a nontrivial project.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:09 PM   #17
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SF/Fantasy isn't even the worst. You have to get down to #21 on the Celeb & Fan Fiction list to find a story which isn't one more chapter of a particular 800k+ word Dragon Age fanfic. That's not what you're looking for? GTFO.

The #1 chapter/story has all of 213 votes; the most-voted-upon chapter in the top 10 has 219. The "top 10 stories" in the category can only manage to scrape up 32 comments between all of them.

That's just embarrassing.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:33 PM   #18
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I'm one of those jackasses that posts long series because that's what I prefer to write. I don't tend to clog up the works as when one of my stories gets on the front page, it gets show to the door pretty quickly!! I could probably pare my stories down and make them single chapter affairs but I hate to make someone commit to 20-30 pages of my dribble. I write what I myself would want to read. And as my readers comment, I have a short attention span.

Things are not perfect here. They've have the multi-part stories section, but ideally, it should expand to include a sub category for all the story categories on the site (Which should also include a bisexual category ). And separate voting.

But, I don't make the rules here, though. I wrote for many years on usenet and had a lot of stories posted on ASSTR. I also wrote a lot for Nifty. I think that Lit has been my favored experience since they have a budget and advertisers and I don't feel compelled monthly to kick in to keep the site live.


Just my opinion. I see and recognize all sides in this discussion.
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Old 08-06-2018, 10:30 PM   #19
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I'm one of those jackasses that posts long series because that's what I prefer to write. I don't tend to clog up the works as when one of my stories gets on the front page, it gets show to the door pretty quickly!! I could probably pare my stories down and make them single chapter affairs but I hate to make someone commit to 20-30 pages of my dribble. I write what I myself would want to read. And as my readers comment, I have a short attention span.

Things are not perfect here. They've have the multi-part stories section, but ideally, it should expand to include a sub category for all the story categories on the site (Which should also include a bisexual category ). And separate voting.

But, I don't make the rules here, though. I wrote for many years on usenet and had a lot of stories posted on ASSTR. I also wrote a lot for Nifty. I think that Lit has been my favored experience since they have a budget and advertisers and I don't feel compelled monthly to kick in to keep the site live.


Just my opinion. I see and recognize all sides in this discussion.
So, I would guess you also don't start posting any of your story until it's completely finished and you've assured that its a coherent, well-arced story where every word serves the storyline. Because otherwise you aren't really writing a story. But, good for you for making sure it's really a story before starting to post it.
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Old 08-06-2018, 10:31 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Valint View Post
SF/Fantasy isn't even the worst. You have to get down to #21 on the Celeb & Fan Fiction list to find a story which isn't one more chapter of a particular 800k+ word Dragon Age fanfic. That's not what you're looking for? GTFO.

The #1 chapter/story has all of 213 votes; the most-voted-upon chapter in the top 10 has 219. The "top 10 stories" in the category can only manage to scrape up 32 comments between all of them.

That's just embarrassing.
Just took a look and I find it quite fascinating.
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Old 08-06-2018, 11:16 PM   #21
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I'm one of those jackasses that posts long series because that's what I prefer to write. I don't tend to clog up the works as when one of my stories gets on the front page, it gets show to the door pretty quickly!! I could probably pare my stories down and make them single chapter affairs but I hate to make someone commit to 20-30 pages of my dribble. I write what I myself would want to read. And as my readers comment, I have a short attention span.

Things are not perfect here. They've have the multi-part stories section, but ideally, it should expand to include a sub category for all the story categories on the site (Which should also include a bisexual category ). And separate voting.

But, I don't make the rules here, though. I wrote for many years on usenet and had a lot of stories posted on ASSTR. I also wrote a lot for Nifty. I think that Lit has been my favored experience since they have a budget and advertisers and I don't feel compelled monthly to kick in to keep the site live.


Just my opinion. I see and recognize all sides in this discussion.
It's not your problem. If you want to write and post stories this way, you should. You're under no obligation to do differently. The problem is the site's, not yours.
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Old 08-06-2018, 11:33 PM   #22
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I've had top list stories as both chapters & singles (I've also had a flop or two and will again, I'm sure), but chapter stories seem to stay up longer since bombers have to hit multiple stories (so it seems). In fact, because of that I'm more willing to write a story that goes a few chapters rather than giving the people everything all at once in one big upload.
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Old 08-06-2018, 11:43 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Valint View Post
SF/Fantasy isn't even the worst. You have to get down to #21 on the Celeb & Fan Fiction list to find a story which isn't one more chapter of a particular 800k+ word Dragon Age fanfic. That's not what you're looking for? GTFO.

The #1 chapter/story has all of 213 votes; the most-voted-upon chapter in the top 10 has 219. The "top 10 stories" in the category can only manage to scrape up 32 comments between all of them.

That's just embarrassing.
*wanders over to check*

Oh wow. That's, uh, not ideal behaviour.

As a quick-and-dirty fix, seems like it'd make sense to restrict each serial to no more than one top-list slot per category, based on its best-scoring chapter in that category. It wouldn't solve the problem of score inflation, but at least it'd leave a bit more space for other entries.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:26 AM   #24
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Maybe the new interface will sort out the chapter stories from the one and dones. Of course authors can always write sequels and prequels under different title (as we have). How would those be treated?

The new Tags and searching may make the top lists irrelevant as far as getting traffic to your story. We have written some of each (long singles and short chapters) but all in I/T. The other categories are definitely a different exosphere.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:03 AM   #25
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So, I would guess you also don't start posting any of your story until it's completely finished and you've assured that its a coherent, well-arced story where every word serves the storyline. Because otherwise you aren't really writing a story. But, good for you for making sure it's really a story before starting to post it.
Ha no. Not hardly with regards to it being completely finished before itís posted. I usually have the next 2-3 chapters in progress though before I submit a new chapter in order to maintain continuity.
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