Quitting the Archive...

This has been a difficult decision, but it has to be done. I’m ready to tender my resignation as the fanfiction archive maintainer.

In the three years I have held the position, I have proven unable to accomplish a single update in a timely manner. Furthermore, the strain of my current job and class schedule, coupled with my own writing troubles, have further dampened my resolve. Finally, and most importantly, it simply isn’t fun anymore. I would much rather go back to simply being a writer than worry about keeping an archive up to date.

This will no doubt disappoint a lot of people. I made promises to help clean up the archive, and have not delivered on any of them. I have wasted three years of your lives and mine. The PHP project was sunk because of me. The archive has suffered numerous dead links and lost fics because of me. Additions to the archive were never fully added because of StarStorm, but also because I could never find them again. In the end, the time has come, I think, to pack up my bags and move on.

At the same time, another person has to take over. If there are no volunteers, I will continue my duties, and get the update out in August. Here are a list of your responsibilities:

  1. Maintaining a complete archive of all fanfiction on the website.
  2. Adding new fics both to the front page AND TO ANY CATEGORIES THEY BELONG TO, AS WELL AS INTO THE AUTHOR INDEX! glares at StarStorm
  3. Maintain correspondence with authors. They are our clients, and should be treated with respect.
  4. Proofread any submissions to the archive before accepting them.
  5. Above all else, succeed where I failed: keep a timely schedule of updates. This is vital to the success of the library.
  6. Stay on the forums. Encourage new writers while also htmlizing any fics. Make sure to post a “bring me your fics” topic a few weeks before the update.
  7. And remember, try to have fun. It’s a lot of work, but there is also a lot of enjoyment to be had.

So…that’s it. I’ll make it official once we have someone to keep the girl running. And now, I’ll just sit back and watch the site continue to decay and collapse…

How much time did a usual update take you?
How often do updates need to be done?

Maintain correspondence with authors.
Please elaborate on this.

Aw Gallo. Trust me man, I know what you’re going through when the fanfic work piles up and sits there glaring at you. If this is what you feel you have to do, I won’t try to stop you because if it’s just not fun anymore, it’s not worth your time. It’s not supposed to be a chore.

To answer your question, TrkJac, it’s not just taking in fics but also discussing with authors about their fics. There might be things that aren’t appropriate for the site, or maybe the fics need to be betaread, or there are facts wrong.
I recall one shining moment of “ARGH!!” when a (young) author had been writing a story as she went along, and was discussing future chapters with me. I won’t say what it was about, but it was a romance. Then one day, she sends me a mail where she says “Why didn’t you tell me that THIS [minor but important hidden plot point triggered by solving a puzzle in the game] happens to [main character in fic]?!”. Uhm, because it’s YOUR job to do the research and I didn’t even think about it?

BUT, that sounds rather negative. There’s also a lot of fun to be had with this correspondance, and the job as a fanfic maintainer. It’s just a question of what you do with it. During my time, I had a lot of interesting discussions with various authors.
There are some fics I feel I shouldn’t have let through quality control (none of those authors ever frequented the board, apart from two whose fics I removed later on), but I had fun while I worked. It does take an awful lot of time though, both to read the fics and then updating the archive, and you gotta be prepared for the fact that you’ll have games spoiled for you before you’ve ever played them. I knew Tidus was just a dream months before FFX was released in Sweden :stuck_out_tongue:

What it takes is commitment and a love for reading, and also writing fanfiction.

poses against the sunset

Gallo, I know you’re feeling down now but I remember thinking that you felt like a natural successor to me - you write a lot, and you love fanfiction. The workload was always too much for just one person when the archive was really popular, and now it may have trickled down but the work just piles up. I eventually burned myself out under it too, you know.
You love the archive, and the site, your bitterness now just proves that. No matter what you think you’ve accomplished or not, I still remember the days when we tortured Magus and Mox was just a mysterious guy in a black cloak, and I remember when this place boiled with weirdass stories and we were all writing that round robin crazy crossover.

Okay, why am I babbling about these glorious days of old when you’re feeling down right now? Sometime when you started as the fanfic maintainer, you said that you wanted to bring that back, I’m sure you specified that you wished to make it like it was when I was in full charge. What I want to say is that as I recall it those frequent updates of mine weren’t so frequent in my view (heh!) - but more importantly, it was never only me. It was you, Gallo, and Star, Val, Aliena, Glenton, KaiserVonAlmasy, Wil, LunarCry, Neb, Poke, and all the others writing and sharing stories and insanity. Like now.
Now the site itself might be stagnant, but the boards are still thriving. We’re not lacking discussions and stories, things have just changed a bit.

No matter what I have fond memories of this place, and I know you have to. The most important thing is that you care about the archive - you hung on for this long, you wanted to, you tried. Real life got in the way, you have a job and classes, it happens. One must prioritize those things sometimes. I still tip my hat to you, Gallo, or would if I had one.

Okay, I’m done scaring off interested peeps. throws up hands

I might be interested in taking a shot at maintaining the archive.

As far as enthusiasm for fanfiction goes, I’ve got more than enough, but I don’t really know where to even begin trying to understand how to handle the archives. (I mean, all I know about the archive updates is that they are supposed to be done, but sometimes they aren’t.)

What sort of things do I have to know in order to work with it? How does the update process work, at all, for starters?

If nothing else, I might at least be able to keep the archives from stopping completely until you find a more permanent replacement.
Unless I still want to, after learning how it works. Because, as I said, I know nothing about the archives, other than that it would suck if it died completely. :wink:

So about how many fics are we looking at per year/month?
Is there a time of year that you would consider busier than others?
How much time did you spend on the project per week? per month?

I read most of the fanfiction on the site/forum anyway and for some reason I actually enjoy coding so this looks like something that would be fun. Time is my main concern.

At the moment, there isn’t a lot of time required. We don’t get as many submissions as we used to, partly due to there not being any timely updates. There’ll probably be about three or four fics AT THE MOST for the time being. Likewise, there really isn’t a specific “busiest time.” The workload simply goes up and down from time to time.

Generally, getting all the fics htmlized and all that stuff isn’t very hard; however, it does take a long time. The most time-consuming part of the process is proofreading; that can take from a few minutes (if the thing is so godawfully horrid you want to kill yourself to escape the pain) to several hours (if the fic is extremely long). Besides that, you simply have to add the htmlized fic to the index pages it corresponds to, create a main page update, and done.

Sorry if I’m being too vague, but I never really clocked myself. I simply worked on the archive when I had the time and motivation. Just set aside probably about five to ten hours a week at the VERY most, and there should be enough time.

There’s also the fact that whoever wants to take over would have to be part of the staff, so if you aren’t we’ll have to discuss that in the staff forum.

That’s way less time than I was thinking. I’d be interested in at least trying it out for a little bit to see if it’s something that I could commit to. I’m not staff, though.

Alright, I’ll post about this is the staff forums in a little bit. We can get the ball rolling then.

Three years ain’t a bad stint, d. Reading the fanfics was one of the reasons I visited rpgc.

Anyway I can help out (proofreading, whatever) let me know- I’m reasonably competent with html too.