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I'm excited about the new version of Lit.Org! Since I've been back at Lit I've been looking at the site with fresh eyes to get an idea of where we are and where we are headed. I also combed through years of old notes and looked at existing writing sites out there to see what others are doing. So I have a plan for the site and I've already started working on it.

First off, here are some details on what's happening. Most of you should know that Lit.org is currently powered by custom software that we wrote for the site specifically. When we build Lit.org there were very few software packages that did anything like what we wanted and they would have needed heavy customization to work. So we built our own and served us very well. But now the software is dated. There are other things I'd like to do and even making basic changes requires me to do major coding sometimes and this slows progress down on the site. So I've decided to move the software that powers the site from Vorpal to WordPress. I'm a professional WordPress developer and I've worked on over 700+ WordPress powered sites, so I know it very well. WP (WordPress) isn't perfect out of the box for what we need so I'm writing a plugin called "Vorpal 2.0" that will add all the features we need and I'll get into those in a minute. WP is easy to use and will give you much more control over your work with some style options and other formatting options I think you'll all love. The transition won't be perfect and I'm sure we'll have a hiccup or two but we'll fix any problems as we go.

As for the transition process, I'll outline that in detail as we get closer. But the basic plan is for me to build the beta site and once it's close enough for testing I'll import the existing users and content from Lit.Org into the new system. This should work for 99% of users and their content. We may have to manually move over a few due to certain conflicts (for example, if a username has an odd character that's not allowed in WordPress - these should be rare because Lit.org also uses a similar rule). When I import the current users the new system will send out a new password via email so you'll need to make sure you're email address is up to date before we make the move.

I'll be sending out an email to all users of the system a couple of times during this process as needed. I'll email the basic plan and any steps people have to take, along with reminders and updates along the way. I'll also post these updates on the site and our Facebook page. The process will be straight forward and simple but I'll keep people posted and we'll help anyone who has trouble.

As for what's changing specifically, this is where things are really exciting for me. I took a look around the site and I've talked to several current and former members and a few other writing friends asking what they needed in a writing site. The site has always been focused on writing and we plan on expanding on that to add forums to discuss broader topics, articles on writing from business to craft, a podcast, a blog and more to focus on some of the other aspects of writing besides the stories themselves. Speaking of the stories themselves, right now we have everything basically in one big pot. Some people are looking or very specific feedback, while others are looking for an audience and any feedback is fine and both are equally important to the site and to writers. The plan here is to make 2 sections for posting writings. One will be much like it is now. Simply post your work and let people post comments. The new type will be for Critiques only and the author will have the option of giving some instructions on what type of feedback they want. For example, you might post a fight scene from your book and ask if the combat works. Or you might post an article you're working on and you want to know if it's logical, makes sense and the grammar is ok. This are is about the writing and not the content. The Critique section will also work a bit different than the regular section in how they are shown etc, but more on that another time.

One last thing I want to touch on is Moderation. Lit.Org has always been moderated. When we switch to the new version, this will change. The way we moderate will move more in line with how it's done on bigger sites like Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, etc. Much like I have Lit.Org setup now, you'll be able to delete unwanted comments and critiques and control your own works as you see fit. We will still keep an eye out for rules violations such as posting spam or pornography etc. And when you run into trouble with something you can't handle on your own, we'll have report user, report posts, report comments and those types of tools so you can report an issue to a moderator who can help you out.

Now, over to you. What tools what you like to make you a better writer? What kind of changes or features would you like on the new site? We won't be able to use every suggestion and I know the new version may not be what everyone will want. My goal isn't to please everyone, but to make the best writing site I can with the resources I have available. I think change is exactly what the site needs now. A fresh start.

Make sure you Like us on Facebook. I'll be posting updates there also.

------
Chrispian H. Burks
Lit.Org Owner / Founder
Blog - Twitter - Facebook



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Comments

The following comments are for "New Version of Lit.Org Coming Soon!"
by Chrispian

Looking forward..
Chrispian,
sounds good..

( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: September 10, 2011 )

While change can be good ...
If this becomes a division of Facebook, I'm outta here.

( Posted by: Poeteye [Member] On: September 10, 2011 )

Division of facebook
lol. If we ever get approached by FB I'll let you know. I don't think we are even on their radar.

( Posted by: Chrispian [Admin] On: September 10, 2011 )

Re: Changes
Sounds good Chris...however...I see where the emphasis will primarily be on prose and fiction.

Will us poets just bwe an afterthought????????????

Inquiring minds want to know! lol

Bea

( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: September 11, 2011 )

hanges
Long overdue- looking forward to 21st Century changes of our beloved Lit.org.

my warmest
Bob-

( Posted by: TheRedCockRoach [Member] On: September 11, 2011 )

Thanks
Thanks everyone. I'm excited about what we'll be able to do once I have the new stuff done. Things like the thread, write off's and other unique sections like that will be so much easier to do. And we'll be able to give so much more back to the writers with stats, tools to promote your work and fun place to do it! I've been working on the code a bit this weekend and it's coming along. I'll post some screenshots later this week as it gets a little closer to user friendly.

Bea, no, no. Those were just examples. Poetry is by far the most popular section on the site and I'm sure it will always be popular. My plans for Poetry are the same as for all other content, that is you can submit it just for someone's reading pleasure or you can submit it to the critique section. Prose, Fiction, etc. will work the same way. The critique section will just have special rules because people posting there are asking for specific kinds of feedback on their work, regardless of the type, genre etc.

( Posted by: Chrispian [Admin] On: September 11, 2011 )

The Evolution of Lit
Sounds great boss, I'm on board...

( Posted by: HeRoCoMpLeX [Member] On: September 12, 2011 )

Wow
I just read this. I think the changes are awesome and long overdue. This has always been THE site for writers and writing on the net, and I'm glad it's being revamped.

Ochani

( Posted by: OchaniLele [Member] On: September 14, 2011 )

Hey Stuart!
Hi Stuart...great to see you haven't abandoned us ...we miss ya!

Chris...as for facebook not knowing we exist...ha ha...they are quaking in their boots now that you are on board again here!!! lol

Bea



( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: September 14, 2011 )

The only way left is up
Must have been a bit of work over the years Chrispian and mores the pity it's a bit dead at the minute.

I think if you glance sideways at CNN you will find the world is a bit of a confrontational place and pretty much X Rated.

To have a sort of quiet nook where peace and calm reigns is like going into a corner to curl up and die. Next stop OAPs home.

The place rocked and people got carried away in the rush.... at one time. I never really knew who was who but I was under the impression that once you had let go of the reigns it nose dived....

Not sure you will have much luck with majority of listed players. I tried a Roll Call and only a few responded. The WWW is of course a massive place...they could have gone anywhere.

Anyhow good luck with Lit.org. Hope that people at least have the conviction to leave the stuff they posted in place... not put up a white flag and run away.... Reminds me of young children taking their toys away if they cant play the game they want

I suppose even the "Brit" News of the World nosedived this year. I am still laughing CNN got Piers the potato man




( Posted by: Fairplay [Member] On: December 21, 2011 )





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