Below is a list of comment and observation in response to my question poem on how we should review others work.
The link for those whom may like to refer back
I had 16 Booksians respond which is by no mean enough to really canvas opinion but since Booksie is so restrictive in reaching all members it is all I have to work on. A forum for targeted subjects is really needed. If that was available and easily accessible this and many other subjects could be more fully debated. The idea of a forum area on Booksie is being explored by Lee Edward Neale. If you haven't commented there the please do so also.
Lee's link is http://www.booksie.com/editorial_and_opinion/essay/lee_edward_neale/we-love-booksie-but-(calls-for-user-feedback)
(this will be changed when Lee posts his next draft)
THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE CONTIBUTED
OK the comments (shortened of 'infill' text not directly related.)
i believe that usually when you comment if you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all. But the occasional small criticism is helpful for most writers to know what to work on.
I, for one, would rather have people comment on the ideas in my works and not on how they were written or how they could be written better. I don't object to a helpful comment like, "I really liked your story but I noted that you use the word softly a lot and you might want to mix it up more next time with other words that mean the same thing".
Some people I fear will be the type to say "I want editor style comments" thinking they will be reassured that their work is pretty ok, BUT when the comments come they may not be able to swallow the ideas and take the comments to much to heart.
Of course if you tell them you want tough editor type comments and can't handle them, then that is your own fault.
1. Writing style and editor type comments requested.
2. All comments welcome (you get what you get)
3. No comments on style or grammar please!
I imagine for novels people would like a different type of feedback as to the cohesion of the story, etc
1. Technical comments requested (Style, grammar etc)
2. General comment only please
3. Extreme critical comments on all aspects requested
4. General and technical comments please
5. No editor type comments. All other comments welcome
Since you can delete comments and ban users I don't think people have to worry anymore about abusive or mean comments.
How about a star system so you can rate how much you liked a poem/story?
Perhaps a simple checkbox when posting that says:
[ ] Request in depth comments on Style, grammar and content.
And a line will be added by Booksie after your summary that say:
This author requests critical comments on all aspects of this work, please provide feedback of this type.
I agree that Booksie could be more than it is now, as far as helping serious writers improve. And the more serious problem of writers leaving because they don't get reads in the first place is more difficult to address. There are many groups here, some that use Booksie as nothing more than a social forum, and groups like ours that share work and ideas and try to promote others who we find of a similar vein. A system like you suggest might be useful, I see that many who want serious criticism put that on their profile or in read requests, or in their summaries. Be handy to just have a box.
We could do the same thing by stating in our summaries what we wish for comments. As well as right before the work, because some don't read summaries.
I do think feedback encouraged is always a step in the right direction
My brain does not work on a level that could create a system such as you ask... but the ideas from xxxxxxx and xxxxxxx sound good to me :) I love this poem a lot because it is true... most people on this sit are pretty sweet... but i think every once and a while I have seen a comment that could really negatively affect a writer... also I think xxxxxx is right... maybe booksie could figure that one out too...
I think there should be a box to check if you want your writing to have "editor" type comments. I know I'm not the best writer in the world, I jump back and forth with past and present. I sometimes put in too many commas or have a sentence that could be worded differently. Not 100% sure if I want a "Star Rating", on a scale of 1-5. Maybe that's my passive-aggressive way of not wanting to know how bad I really am. (Am I a 1 or 2??)
If I were to add/change something about Booksie, there would be an easier way to private message someone. Nothing elaborate, just keeping it simple, and still keeping our anonymity.
I like the idea of a 'constructive criticism' box, it's a fine line (actually, it's like jumping a motorcycle over a small creek, and jumping the Grand Canyon!)between constructive, and spear-to-the-heart, b*****d-like, go-out-of-your-way to hurt comments. While negative comments hurt, I also don't like people who tell you they love a work, when in reality, they want to hurl in a bucket!
Commenting on others has been hard for me because I say too much. I am trying to practice "less is more." Perhaps knowing what the writer expects or wants would help me stay in bounds.
For me, comments from others are fine, whatever they are. At this point, my writing, in its style, and with or without faults, is compulsive, coming freely right now and a sheer pleasure for me. I haven't gotten negatives, so perhaps not the best to ask.
I would only ask you to include a "no special preferences" category. That works for someone like me.
I very much like and second xxxxx suggestion about having a direct private line to another Booksie writer. I would appreciate having such a feature available to me.
Another thought: can you ask for say, editorial input AND general feedback? Or if you ask for editorial input does that automatically leave out any other kind? Are writers looking for more substantive comments? No more just "nice" likes and supportive input?
Personally, I'm with xxxxxx on this one. Why not just put what you want in the summary?
I think you should put 'I like this stuff' (At times we need others to just say I like this stuff) in parentheses.
The last comment I have left in and my reply, though no use at all it was funny
just throw money :)
or a fish!
So there were the comments, I will now try to forward some ideas that, yes I am afraid may require further comments from you. If you could please keep them brief and on target.
The simple approach that requires no change in Booksie but perhaps a filtering through by word of mouth to each member to try to have it adopted by new members
Make it standard practice to indicate when you require comments that are above the usual level of politeness that in general we all practice. This should be highlighted in the summary area and at the top of the work. That way you can be explicit in what kind of comment you require.
The other alternative is as drop down list when posting that asks the write to consider what sort of comment they need and guides the reader to review accordingly.
It seems to me that the more options the better (within reason) and graded from 'light to 'firm' critique, this is the bit that really needs input to get the correct balance and meaning in the terminology. I have started with my suggestions and those put forward by others. I am looking for suggestions of how best to phrase the option and to have an even balance to covers most options.
- No special preferences
- Light critique only
- General comment only please, I only write for pleasure
- No editor type comments. All other comments welcome
- Editorial input AND general feedback
- Writing style and editorial type comments requested.
- Firm Critique please
- Don't hold back; tell it as you see it warts n all!
- Please send editorial type comments privately (this would require a private messaging system)
The drop down heading should contain protocol guidance.
Something like, 'The writer has asked comments to be given as describe below. Please be polite and only give critical comment if 'editorial' is selected. Only offer critique if you are willing to offer guidance and as well'
I had a couple of comments about a star rating system, how do you all feel about that?
Perhaps anonymous ratings based on different aspects of the work
Each aspect able to be grade by a selection box scaled 1-5 the mean being displayed as a quick reference to how others have perceived the different elements of the work.
i.e. If 3 people have read the work and graded Entertainment first person selects 2, second 4 and the third 3, then the rating of 3 would be displayed.
It of course would require the web designer to write a simple formula: So perhaps too much to ask for.
Even this option could be turned on an off by the writer by a simple tick box
'Grade my work by category' or something similar.
I would suggest your response is kept simple
Question 1. Do we require writers' guidance when commenting?
No, Keep things the way they are
Yes, but keep it simple, requests in summary and above the title of the work
Yes, Drop down list - If this is your option your suggestions for wording would help
Question 2. Would a optional star rating system be helpful?
No, keep thing the way they are
Yes - If this is your option your suggestions for aspects to be graded would help
Ohh, and please confirm if you WANT or DO NOT WANT your name included in the results of this survey in the spreadsheet I will pass on to Lee in due course
If the general consensus is for dropdown or any other change from what exists now, I do not believe these changes should be forced on anyone, so any change I proffer will be combined with a facility to opt in on out of the system. We all have different needs that vary from time to time. What I would like to achieve is a system that has a board scope and is changeable and versatile to suit all needs
Thank you for your participation, for this review to work and to reflect the wishes of the majority this post needs to reach as many active Booksies as possible, the most effective way is passing the link and request to read to all your friends. We are all more likely to read something on recommendation or request from someone with in our own circle. Much more effective than I posting blindly read requests all over Booksie. So come on folks…don't be slouches spread the word and hopefully we can shake the powers to be here in Booksie land and get some changes that are beneficial to all of its members
Peace and Contentment