In this Issue:
Letter from the Editor
The New Site is Live!
New Rankings for Staff and Members
Sunday Night Write-Off
It’s nearly 2002. Lit.Org has come a very long way since it’s creation.
Lit.Org started out as a web site hosted by a local isp on my home
account. It was called “The Alter of Ink” and was very much like what
you see at Lit.Org now, just not as advanced and only two or three
people submitting. That was in 1995-1996. On April 17th, 1997 I bought
Lit.Org and have been running it since. Though we’ve had periods were
real life got in the way, we still managed to keep her running. We also
had our share of down time. There were times when it was our fault and
others when it was beyond our control. We stand at the threshold of a
new year and we have much more planned than we can possibly get done. We
look forward to a great year in 2002 and hope you come along for the
ride. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy
Holiday. I wish you and your families a happy and prosperous new year.
This year hasn’t been without it’s own share of ups and downs. Some of
my favorite web sites closed down. Some of which was due to the
so-called dot.com fallout. Others were due to personal conflicts or a
change in distribution models. Most of those sites were young, even by
Internet standards. They just didn’t find their niche. Some of them will
rebound and be back stronger than ever. My point is I’m thankful that we
are still here serving up stories year after year. I too have thought of
closing the site down to pick up other interests, but because so many of
you participate in the site, because so many of you write me to tell me
you love the site and ask how you can help, Lit.Org remains. As long as
I’m the one running the show, Lit.Org will remain open and free to
everyone. Thanks to everyone who’s been there since the beginning and I
hope the rest of you stick around. There’s much more to come!
Chrispian H. Burks
Editor - Lit.Org
The Thought Café is a quiet corner of the internet where writers and
poets of all kinds can meet, discuss writing, post their work and
receive feedback. We have an archive of over 1,000 pieces, a weekly
online newsletter, a monthly writing exercise and lots of interesting
articles and features. We're very friendly and it's all free, and free
from commercial content so why not pour yourself a cup of coffee and
come and join us? See you soon at The Thought Café. www.thoughtcafe.com
Last time I told you I would have the new site up by January 1, 2002.
Well, there is just no way to make that happen. There is too much to get
done. The good news is, I got more done that I thought possible. Though
we won’t have all the features done by Jan 1, we do have the new site
ready, and it’s live even as I write this issue of the newsletter!
Thanks to everyone who sent in feedback. This change has streamlined the
way the site is navigated and how things are organized. At first glance,
it may seem like much of the navigation has been removed. We have
actually added navigation, not reduced it! Everything is just organized
much tighter. This new layout is also less daunting to new users. The
previous design was scaring off new members there was just too much
info to digest.
New features include a Beta Mailing list where you can send your stories
before you post them live to get feedback and improve your work prior to
posting it. It’s a great list to perfect your stories and build stories
with other writers. We have a few more lists coming down the pipe that
should be up soon!
We’ve also added the Newswire. This section is in early stages
development and we have the basic system in place. The Newswire will be
the latest news, announcements, and press releases from around the web.
The newswire is meant to help keep everyone up to date with a quick and
convenient tool. We will be adding feeds to the wire as we go along so
check it often!
Much of the sites redundant system items have been consolidated into
fewer pages. We’ve also improved the top, side and footer navigation to
be more relevant. We will continue to streamline this based on category
and which pages load.
We’ve improved the over all speed of the site as well. With fewer
database calls, considerably less html tables, page rendering has been
reduced to just a few seconds per page on most pages.
Look for more changes frequently. We’ve got tons planned including
expanding the profiles, advanced searching, sorting, themes,
personalized preferences, private and instant messages, who’s online,
subscribe to categories, authors, email updates on comments, and much
more. We are very excited and hope you enjoy all the new goodies!
If you’ve seen the new site, you’ll notice that strange titles are
appearing by people’s names. Some are what we call vanity titles. These
titles are gained by the number of posts you have. We have also
implemented a new ranking system for staff members.
Archon’s are the only people who can set Lit.Org policy or speak on
behalf of Lit.Org itself. Only Justin and Chrispian are Archon’s.
Magistrate’s are Moderators in both the Forums and in the Archive. They
are there to help post items, keep things on topic, and to help with
general maintenance of the site. They help maintain the sites structure
by helping to enforce the guidelines set forth in the faq.
Acolyte’s are our eyes, ears, and hands on the “street”. They let us
know of errors, send in bug reports, scour the web for great resources
and help spread the word about lit.org.
Guardian’s are Lit.Org Mentors. Many sites have a mentor program and our
site is getting so big that we must also adopt this type of program. A
Guardian’s role is to help other members use the site, improve their
skill and quite often run or judge some of our special events.
The reason these titles came about was because of one user. Parteepants
has been very active, very supportive and extremely helpful without
anyone asking him to do so. He took it upon himself to plan events, get
things going and just generally be a nice guy to have around the site. I
saw this as an opportunity to reward him with a “title” if you will,
considering he was already doing the work.
If you would like to apply for a staff title, we would love to have you.
The best way to do so is to get involved with the site. We’ll probably
ask you to join the staff!
Every Sunday night, I’ll be holding a writing competition called, “The
Write-Off.” It will feature two Lit.Org authors, keyboard to keyboard in
a test of their creative abilities. Each week the featured competitors
will be provided with the same story starter and they will have a
limited time (approx. 4 hours) to finish the story using about 1,000
words. Both stories will then be posted at lit.org to be rated by all
of our wonderful members.
This week’s featured competitors are Beckett Grey and Parteepants. Who
has the bigger story writing cajones? That is up to you to decide. Read
these stories during the week and rate them based on creativity, grammar
and story writing prowess.
Friday night the winner will be announced along with the next week’s
competitors. If you’re interested in flexing your literary muscles,
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The First Write-Off will be held Next Sunday, December 29th.
Help support Lit.Org authors. Visit the Lit.Org store and buy cool swag. The proceeds go to help support he writers of Lit.Org!
You'll look cool in front of all your friends. Go buy something today.
Visit the Lit.Org store
Tell your friends about Lit.Org. Every visitor you send us enters you in the pool for a free T-Shirt and Free book!
You don't have to do anything. Just fill out the form on our site and we'll take care of the rest. We'll announce
the winner in a few weeks!
Tell people about Lit.Org now!
Meet the members and staff of Lit.Org. Chat about everything
under the sun and let everyone get to know you. Visit the