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Once again, my community has died. My online attentions have always been wavering, and I know that's a big part of things not really taking off, but I still want to do something here. So, past participants and interested parties, I'm opening up the discussion (again) to see what we can put together that will gain some momentum and have some staying power.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with Halflit, or has heard me babble about it but not very much, Halflit is, a domain I purchased a couple of years ago with the intent of creating a small, specialized, involved creative community online. The last burst of activity was on the forum, linked from that main page, but all of the literature contained in those pages is potentially obsolete pending feedback from interested parties.

My wish for Halflit is that it be an interesting and entertaining place for writers (and anyone, really, who has a healthy relationship with their imaginations) that is also a tool for members, providing inspiration and growth.

I would like to have all kinds of people involved in Halflit. Whatever your skill or craft is, however 'good' you think you are at it. If you're open to sharing a little or a lot of your work, receiving feedback and encouragement, and generally having company, I would love to hear what you have to say about the site's development and have you as a member.

Some things that are static: These are things that I feel strongly Halflit should be, the base of what I'd like to work off of.

Small. Relatively speaking. I want there to be community, certainly, so that if one person is gone for a few weeks or a few months it doesn't feel like suddenly there is nobody there. People are going to post at different times and with differing frequencies, some are going to be more regular than others. However, I'd like a manageable group, where people who are regular participants can expect to have a reasonably good idea who everyone else is (in the context of the community). If, once there is a regular rhythm, we undergo some kind of advertising to get the name out there in order to attract readers or new members, and there's an influx of total strangers flowing our way (rather than friends of friends et cetera), there will probably be some kind of community approval process. I have no interest in trying to establish 'facebook' for writers, even if the means WERE within my reach.

For original work. Fanfiction is a fine and good way to get creative juices flowing, work out ideas, have fun, and appreciate favored artwork. However, I would prefer Halflit remains focused on completely original material.

Only partially public. There will be parts of the site that are member's only so that people can feel free to post drafts of work they would like to have the option of publishing later. Yes, this is becoming less of an issue in the modern age and some sources of advice say that posting material online pre-publication is a good way to build a platform, HOWEVER, more markets than not that I've been looking at in the last year (SFF short story markets) stipulate that submitted material should not appear freely on the internet.

What about you? What do you want out of a community? What would make you want to keep coming back, being involved, and getting to know people there? What tools would you use?

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I still go once in a while and see if anyone's posted, but since no one responded to my post back in March (the last post on the forums, I think), I guess I just didn't feel like it would be worth it to post more.

For me, the main thing that would keep me coming back is response. Any (well, most) sort of response to what I post. If my posts are ignored by everyone else, I will have no reason to keep coming back. But that's what a community is about, right? People posting something and other people commenting on it. So I guess that's what would keep me there: the community.

Also, I liked the monthly challenges. :) I also think it might be fun to have weekly "writer's block" questions like they do on Livejournal. Hell, you could even take the questions from LJ and use those; I don't write them on LJ but I might in a smaller community like Halflit. More often, anyway.

Yeah, a big thing is getting the community to a point where it has enough momentum to keep people coming back and engaging, not only conversationally but also in critique. I have more to offer than just the forum and forum games, though, too, which I hope people keep in mind. Blogs, wikis, webspace, ftp access, community/collaborative projects that are beyond, or housed separately from, a more general forum from the Rookery... I hope this stuff will give people a little more impetus to want to be part of it, rather than Just Another Thing to check which will eventually lose attention to things like FB.

Whoa. I also love your icon.

I've given this some thought and can at the very least share what I've enjoyed in the past.
Since however I have not yet participated I am not sure what's appropriate.

I agree with the active membership aspect.
If even four or five people who post with some regularity choose to also respond to others' posts this is enough incentive for me.
Ideally though I prefer a balanced populous where there are both men and women, people my age and those both a little older and younger, plus varying styles of fiction.
I enjoy the monthly writing prompts.
I enjoy the weekly prompts as well.
I've had fun with the 50 - 100 word stories.
Love the continuing collaborative where one person posts a paragraph, then the next person picks up the story with a following paragraph, then the person after creates the next paragraph, and so on.
The character generator type game is also great; one person comes up with a few descriptive paragraphs then the next person picks up the same character to either continue or to transition to a completely different direction, and so on.
Of course I also enjoy the pbps and the shared stories in which there is greater length per post.
My most successful creative involvement was in a community where everything was to be posted in a narrative style, even nonfiction interactions.
Mmmm... word of the week is always fun; something to challenge both the vocabulary and the creativity.

As for original v fanfic. I am not really into fanfic but sometimes borrowed genre elements can make for great catalysis. Maybe not posting fanfic on site, but sometimes the brainstorming portions can be valuable.

What environments would you be most comfortable posting/interacting in? Would you prefer totally open-access readability, or a members restricted nucleus? Also, is there anything non-message board based that would be a useful tool for you? Halflit can, and I hope it will, be a lot more than a glorified EZBoard, which is why I'm paying for web space and a domain name, so I'm also looking for anything that people might find useful - now or in the future - that would set our community apart from more generalized 'social media' systems. I'd like to give people ways to start marketing themselves as writers, establishing a platform, and also getting experienced, constructive feedback from an established community where those conversations can be two-way.

I wish I could tell you that'd I'd be helpful and useful in this endeavor of yours but, I feel like I'm heading back to the solitary route. Best of luck on this round.


I know I seemed so enthused when you invited me for Halflit, but there's only so many crash-losses and move-losses and brain-losses I can handle when it comes to my works. Every time I start or continue a project, my work is lost in some manner. Papers get packed; files lost; disks scratched. Seriously, it's like a sign. A giant, ball-breaking, nerve-wracking sign.

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