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So, I made a survey asking various things related to the site. You can find it at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1TVhOsjYht499qsGhdHPRIP6xxi1veEtU7V-MmEyaK7c/viewform

What I hope to achieve with this thread is to get the link up in a site wide announcement with the blessing of a moderator, otherwise it will one: not reach enough people to be statistically significant and two: be obviously skewed towards people who visit /blue/.

The stated goals of the survey are:
1. Having concrete numbers would theoretically help us come up with a plan in our ongoing effort to bring in new readers.
2. Giving people who would otherwise never visit a meta thread in /blue/ a chance for input in the site.
3. Knowing for the sake of knowing. Aren't you curious? I sure am.
I'd have suggested making the "how many stories do you follow" an inclusive range sort of thing (like 1, 2-4, 5-9, 10+ etc.), instead of making people pick a very specific number. I know my number is probably inaccurate by at least one, but I can't be bothered to make sure I counted exactly correctly.
The "Please list the first story you ever read in the site and (optional) what attracted you about it." field needs to be larger than what you have right now if you want people to also say why they chose said story.

I agree with this. The number of stories I read at any one time varies, so I had to average out my answer to most closely reflect my normal levels of activity.

That being said, I applaud the fact someone has finally moved to be proactive in regards to the site's current state of affairs. Hope this gets noticed and stickied by the higher-ups.
Made both suggested changes and pestered an admin enough for him to put the link up. I'll post the pretty graphs and conclusions up in a few weeks.

Do those changes invalidate old responses?
Well, not quite exactly what I'd hoped for with the story number changes.

I think it's important to have a very specific option for "1", kind of like I suggested, as far as stories go. Because that means that those are people who aren't here for the site, but we could make them such.

But that's just my opinion.
Also, I did some more thinking, and this list of story number choices is really not any better than the last one. It's just the same, except with a gap of two. Still way too specific.

My suggestion is to tailor it to activity levels you expect. For example:
1 (for those who read only a single story on the site, and refuse to interact further)
2-3 (for those of low activity, but more than 1)
4-7 (for those of moderate activity)
8-12 (for those of high activity)
13+ (for those who do nothing but read)

The 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 are really no better than the original. You've got to figure out what you can actually do with the data, and the answer to that, right now, is "not much". Especially when you've got 1 lumped with 2.

You might even want to have an option for "0" for those faggots who don't read stories but come to /blue/. I can think of about three people on the IRC that fit that offhand.

So, in short: 0,1,2-3,4-7,8-12,13+. Or something like that. Just not this.
>You might even want to have an option for "0" for those faggots who don't read stories but come to /blue/. I can think of about three people on the IRC that fit that offhand.

Now who are they, I wonder?
That would be telling.
No, you don't have to take it again.

Making the previous change broke the graphs and I had to manually change people's answers to fit the range, which I could do because I was going from more specific to less specific. I can't do the opposite. And I don't think asking people to retake it is viable.

So it's less than ideal, but I think this range still works for our purpose.
And there is a category for no stories at all.
The ranges don't really give you all that much useful data. But welp, I tried.
I don't get how people don't know how many stories they are reading right now. It's a yes or no question applied to each story.
It gets fairly ambiguous when you have a bunch of stories that you'd read... except they haven't updated in a month or two. It's also a lot easier to forget about them.

But the fact that you are waiting for an update means you are reading the story. Perhaps, it is understandable if you've completely forgotten that a story exists, but otherwise once you've decided to follow a story you are "reading it" until you make the decision to stop or the story dies (considered dead, hiatus, what-have-you).
>>Having concrete numbers would theoretically help us come up with a plan in our ongoing effort to bring in new readers.

There was a post asking why so many other Touhou sites had such a bad opinion of THP a few months back. I still feel that >>14777 answered that question quite thoroughly. So why am I bringing that up?

Many people avoid THP due to those issues. Hell, even I avoid THP anymore due to that sort of shit, and until that is addressed, let alone fixed, you're not really going to get a lot of new readers and/or writers.
I've had pretty much the opposite experience. Since I've been here, THP has been consistently chilling out. The "rage threads" are probably one of the best things on the site. In fact, the most recent one hardly has any rage at all. But they serve an important purpose: somewhere to shit up that isn't an story/entire board. A relief valve of sorts.
To be fair, every touhou fan site vehemently despises every other touhou fan site. It's not something specific to us.
Why is that anyway? I never understood how, when, or why any of that came from.
Beats me. I wasn't here when it started, just here for the hatred. Though in fairness I've been to pooshlmer and... it's bad. Fall of Saigon bad.
Pooshlmer is terrible now, largely because the admin doesn't do anything anymore and has always refused to make people into moderators. So now it's nothing more than a breeding ground for trolls, with barely any real touhou content. However, years ago it used to be decent. Browsable, at least.

As for the hatred, /jp/ always hated motk and pooshlmer, largely in part of general elitism. At its prime, it certainly was better than Pooshlmer, and motk is full of morons and has a fucking retarded anti piracy rule. THP pretty much inherited those feelings during the split.

/jp/ hates THP because we were "kicked out". So we tend to view ourselves as too good for /jp/, while they prefer "too terrible for even /jp/".

I have no idea if motk actually hates any of the other fandoms, just that they're hated by everyone else. I don't pay even attention to it to really see any animosity.
I don't even know what motk stands for.
Maidens of the Kaleidoscope. Haven't been around that long, but it seems like some crappy politics happened (For one, the writer UD split of from there administration). Kinda tarnishes my otherwise slightly positive view of it.
Nowadays, they're a fairly productive place for discussing fandom, the games, fan games, and even things like character interpretation, which is a plus.

Also known as shrinemaiden.
Oh, okay. I knew of shrinemaiden, I just didn't know that motk was another name for that.
Pooshlmer is a good stop for fangames still... though you might have to dig through more shit.
Surprise surprise, stories from the latest round are already slowing down in updates in preparation for the inevitable. Here's looking at you, /sdm/ fairy story.
Ooops, I meant to post that in the rage thread.

Oh well, whatever.
Dude, it's only been five days since the last update of the fairy story. Most stories on this site take double the time or more to update. Have a little patience and don't go spreading the news of THP's apocalypse so soon, please.
A pattern is a pattern.
And the story has just updated as you spoke. Happy, now?
Of course they slowed down - that's how activism always works. As long as after the hype dies down they stick around everything is fine.
When are you planning on posting the results...Oh it's only been a week.
Aiming for the 22nd
Oho it's the 22nd. (By sheer coincidence, the first time I checked the thread was the appointed day.)
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Results: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1TVhOsjYht499qsGhdHPRIP6xxi1veEtU7V-MmEyaK7c/viewanalytics
Full answer spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArzxItYBSFzmdE1EbERaRE1qVE92MDN2elljTmMxV0E#gid=0

Here we have the results. My personal half assed thoughts in a short sentence so you don't have to bother looking at graphs if you don't want to. This one is just my perspective, obviously this is a group effort so share your thoughts if you have em.
I don't know if about 100 answers is enough data points, but hell, let's work with what we have.

Age: About what I expected apart from slightly more old men. This one was mostly for curiosity.

How long visiting: This one actually does prove something I thought wrong. The largest portions are between 3 and 2 and 2 and 1 years, meaning that the site has actually been attracting people along the years. I would have thought most of the reader base would have been here from the beginning.

Where they came from: TVTropes and 4chan share equal portions, with google searches making up the majority of the 'others' section. I didn't even know that could happen. Do you just google "touhou fanfiction"? I can't see that working. Since the site originated from 4chan, logically most of the more recent people would be from tvtropes. I see no issue with this.

Boards browsed: Whoops! The graph for this one doesn't help us much. Guess I fucked up. Anyway, most people check multiple boards. Or, most people that bothered to vote on this poll do.

Stories followed: 4 chucklefucks follow no stories. A small (24%) portion of people follow a boatload of stories while everyone else falls in a pretty curve centered at 3-4 stories. Interestingly, some people said they regularly visit more boards than their stated numbers of stories followed. I don't get it.

Vote/discussion: This one is more or less as expected as well. See, personally, I simply don't vote or discuss every single choice because often there's not much to discuss, or I don't care enough about a particular vote. A few people are making an effort to always vote or always vote and discuss, which is what we all should do. Also, a loot of people not even bothering to try discussing anything.
Really guys, discussion doesn't mean you have to work your brain. Just pick a thing in the update to talk about, anything that catches your attention. Speaking as a writer, voter comments help me direct a story and show more or less of a specific thing. Try and comment on stuff.

IRC: 'bout half and half. Not much to talk about here.

Important story factors: This one is bound to make at least one person mad. Isn't it funny that a fanfiction site specifically focused on "CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE" stories has readers that barely care about the interactivity part at all?

Genre: More or less even split between stuff. Less people like drama and romance. I guess pure romance really is pretty niche in the site.
Most of the people who put down others made it either "Don't care" or "a bit of everything".

Reader wants: Surprising absolutely nobody at all, people want completed stories over other things.

First story: This one was for curiosity's sake too. A lot of A Wizard is You. Go and read if you're interested, maybe you can draw a conclusion I failed to.

Who has written a story:
Here we come to the crux of the poll, what I think has been the most interesting and useful question.
A measly 16% of people that bothered to respond to the poll have not considered writing a story. I imagine that the category that stated that they have started a story is mostly composed of 'retired' writers now idling. But more importantly, only 31 out of the 84 people (that's 36%) that thought about starting a story went through with it.
Now, correct me if I am wrong, but more writers would mean people voting in more stories and more updates per day, which would attract more readers than a half-dead site. Simply put, more writers = more activity.
I can understand why so many people have thought about starting a story and didn't. Obviously it's a big commitment of free time and all and many people give up because of that, but I think a big part of it is that we don't help people start.

Allow me to illustrate this point. Say you are an aspiring writer. You have little to no experience writing anything creative, but you read all these cool stories and you want to contribute as well, to this site specifically. This is an attitude we'd want to foster, obvious. Where would you get started?
Right now, the answer is... nowhere. You don't know what the fuck you're doing. The only kind of writing resource connected to us is a random thread in /blue/ with half-baked and specific advice, which likely won't help you all that much if you are just starting to write, if you're even able to find it. But hey, let's say you're not discouraged by that. Taking note of your previous favorite stories and googling writing stuff on your own, you manage to write up an introductory post to your story. But what now? You don't just want to post it straight up without making sure it's at least passable due to performance anxiety, which is a factor for most people.
This is where your options are even more limited than before. It comes down to either having a good friend that knows something about writing and is also willing to evaluate your weird magical little girl fanfiction, which obviously isn't an option available to everyone, or going to the IRC. Let's say you're still not discouraged, but you don't have a writer friend. You log into the IRC and what do you find? A bunch of people talking about either video games or their personal problems. There's not one fucking word about stories or touhou as far as the eye can see. Even if you do take the jump and ask for help with your story, you'd be lucky to get anything, and if you do, then you go ahead and start your thp writing career.
So there. What the fuck do I want to say with all of this?

The barrier to start writing on the site is quite high. If we lower the barrier, we will get more writers and consequently more activity. I think this is the second easiest way to increase activity, after simple promotion.

I came up with one proposal to accomplish this. Interestingly, one surveyee wrote up the exact same idea independently from me on the comment section after I thought this up.
It's quite simple. The idea is to make a new "writer's workshop" board.
The purpose of the board is self-explanatory. Here's some examples of what would go in it:
Posting a scrap for open critique anonymously without having to commit to a story.
Posting plot ideas for discussion, building upon and sharing as a community.
General writer's resources and advice threads.

Having an easy way to get tips on getting started writing and writing in general anonymously would make it hugely easier to start a story. I speak from experience on this one.
I would also suggest removing /blue/ and transferring all /blue/ material to /gensokyo/(mostly metathreads and misc. site stuff) if this was done, since nobody wants to see the number of boards go up.

Okay, I think that's about as much as I'm willing to write up in one sitting. Here's some notable comments. You can read all of them if you want to in the link at the start of the post.

>site navigation is a bit hard. Please put a link to storyboard on the front page. If possible, also put a hard link to all the boards on the news page. If I get to the site through direct link, It's hard to get to read a story.
Would be true, in my opinion. Needs some bigger links.

>Being a lurker for about a year now, I believe that the community should try to be a little more forgiving of errors. Of course, they're not relentless, but sometimes seeing the ferocity with which they attack some writers makes me doubt how much I actually want to write a story, despite me having three ideas for stories. But that may be my imagination telling me that "ANONYMOUS IZ BADD HURRDURR". Also, I do have a desire to vote on stories. I'm not entirely content on being simply a reader as the question above implies. I'm just not very pleased with the idea of getting flamed because of a bad vote or something. Otherwise, I believe that you all have a nice thing going on here. Keep up the good work.
Disagree with 'attacking writer' point, agree with 'attacking voter' point. I honestly have not seen any writer being attacked unless their writing was REALLY bad, in which case they were informed, more or less politely, or they were huge assholes. On the other hand, people need to stop going crazy because some guy forgot to sage or used a ^^. Really guys, a pointer to the /gensokyo/ thread is enough.

>Seriously, keep up the good work. Been visiting for a while now, and I plan to continue doing so in the future. I'd like to ask if it's possible to make it more mobile friendly, though. It's annoying coming back to the frontpage whenever I take a 5 minute break from reading on the go.
I don't know how easy a mobile thing would be to implement, but there you go.

>Throughout the site's lifespan, it's had one major, persistent problem - a lack of drive for quality. Most of the populace, both writers and readers (and admins!), have aimed for an attitude of "eh, take it easy, if someone enjoys it, that's enough, right?" As a result, the writing on this site has been stagnant. The average quality hasn't improved since ... maybe ever. Things like RaAN and HY's stories are still held up as legends, years after they stopped and their creators vanished, not because they're amazing timeless classics but because nobody's ever gone "Hey, I want to write something as good as or better than this" and put in the effort to do so. Oh, sure, there've been a few more great stories over the years, like The Game or Glasnost's stuff or Favors Owed right now. But one good story a year, give or take, is still kind of a sad rate, and it seems like nobody wants to do better. The last question here was about the archive, with "yes I've read most stories there" as an answer - as if that's somehow preferable?! Why would anyone WANT to read most of the stories in the archives when most of them are terrible? I wonder if this survey might be the start of a change? It certainly indicates some desire to improve, so I guess I'll soapbox it up. The site's priorities need to change in some big ways. Encourage excellence and honest criticism. Reward stories with a lot of quality and effort. Maybe sticky some threads now and then, or let (known, respected, quality) authors embed music for their threads. Make an actual devoted writing workshop and/or critique board or IRC room or both. Maybe have periodic contests with actual prizes at stake (and free critique for those who don't win), and use an actual judging panel instead of popular vote. Most of all, the site needs to move away from an attitude of democracy and towards an attitude of meritocracy. Quality breeds quality, improvement breeds improvement (and Ditto breeds everything). This will be unpopular and probably has a low chance of happening, but if you actually want better writing, better reading, and a less toxic community, that's what has to happen. The 4chan/reddit model might be beloved by idealists, but it only works on sites like those, with a huge user base and broad enough subject range to actually *consistently* hit some diamonds in the rough. On a site like THP it just gives you... a lot of rough. "Anon" does not know jack shit about writing, and that needs to be taken to heart, all opinions are NOT equally worthy or valid. Ok soapbox over. Good luck in the future.
This guy has some valid points, but... lofty goals, I suppose? Some of what he proposes is out of reach. I fully agree that there's not enough criticism. I feel like I'm the only one trying to improve or trying to get others to improve sometimes. In my story thread, I post something to the effect of "TELL ME IF SOMETHING IS WRONG!!" in every update, but there's nothing. Last time someone tried contests or any mod-stuff like that, faggot IRC drama queens made a huge stink about it and tried to fuck things up for no reason though, so I don't know if that would work. Will think of some way to encourage people to criticize stories later (or you do it). Also I think this is YAF.

>I personally think the site needs a fraction of authors with the POV that votes are suggestions, and they have the final say. The author simply knows and thinks more about the story and characters than the readers have seen, and democracies are emergently short term thinkers. Long form stories must be planned in the long term, which is the realm of dictatorship, not mass opinion. Take a look at some of the votes in Stove's RTD in Eientei as an example.
Valid (and somewhat popular) opinion. I have no strong feelings one way or the other.

>I've been more active. I stopped voting and taking parts in discussion when I got banned. Before that, I was on all boards, and was following roughly ten stories, voting on everyone of them.
Poor hartmann, if only he wasn't a dick.

>There seems to be a bit of a pressure nowadays to make the stories fully-fleshed out, making updates a bit sporadic, It could be from people getting older.. or having less free time but updates used to be consistent that there would be an update every 1-3 days at minimum if you followed a couple of stories. Now to hit that you'd possibly have to follow at least 5. Compared to the short but multiple per day updates of old.. or multiple walls per day in the case of HY or Fell its a bit of a contrast. If you want to find that shit nowadays you have to find quest threads on /tg/ [I've heard of spacebattles after some of their writers decided to pop up here, never checked it out though] Also, because of that said pressure... Its a bit intimidating for new blood to jump in, especially those without prior writing experience at all, A lot of the alive-veteran writefags right now are on break too [Owen, YAF, Fell, of the top of my head.. HY maybe?] which leads board activity to be a little slow. Maybe a Bi-Monthly or Quarterly writing contest of sorts could spruce up activity? The last one with the Vet and Amateur categories called up a few lurkers from the woodworks, and I think at least one is now running a story [That being meiling guy] just a quiet lurker that grew up with this site saying words, hope it helps.
Someone else's opinion to corroborate my point of more writers = more activity.

>Readers should discuss more. Anon seems very reluctant to even say a word, when he is unsure or lost about the plot. Even a pure question post is good if it is organized and shows some thought: it can serve to elighten the readers and give a guide to the writer on what the readers are confused about. A dedicated stories ideas/concepts thread would be great. You see echos of people's ideas in various threads. It would be nice to see what has been done and what hasn't really.
Agreed, as mentioned previously.

>It would be great if the story list finally got the auto updater, and if it was possible for authors to tag characters in a story. Getting a separate feed for each thread would be nice, though I imagine resource consuming.
Yep. Pipe dream, I 'spose, but a tag system would help a lot. We don't happen to have any enthusiastic young coders, so this has to be shelved for a while.

Anyway, that's about it for now. I'm tired so I'll give this shit a more careful look later.
>Honestly, you should ignore everything that I say. I'm a person afraid of posting on an anonymous board even though I know that the authors would be glad to hear they have another reader.

There are a lot of people like this in the *chans, didn't know we had one here. HEY I LOVE YOU, NOT GAY.

>lion sux
Best comment ever.

I visit the /at/ board quite a lot despite not actually following any stories from it anymore. Ever since I abandoned "doing better" I've been on the look out for the next good pornography story.
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>Also I think this is YAF.
I didn't vote, but I see now that I should have.

>Romance - 11 - 11%
89% too few of you.

>more writers = more activity
>veteran writers on break
I'm not writing another god damn story. You do it. Get off your arse and make me a Youmu or Futo story. Come on. Don't make me come over there.
Rule No.1 of fanfiction: If you want something specific done, it's best to do it yourself.

>A few people are making an effort to always vote or always vote and discuss, which is what we all should do.

[x] DoN’t TeLL me WhaT to Do!

>The idea is to make a new "writer's workshop" board. I would also suggest removing /blue/ and transferring all /blue/ material to /gensokyo/.

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>I would also suggest removing /blue/ and transferring all /blue/ material to /gensokyo/(mostly metathreads and misc. site stuff) if this was done, since nobody wants to see the number of boards go up.

Well, I suggested cutting back on /shorts/ for a general non-CYOA stories. Although if there's enough interest (from actual writers, mind you), a completely new board should be made.

I'm trying, shit's hard.

...a general non-CYOA stories board*
Clearly not the best example for a hoping writer. Not that I spend much time on proofing post, but still.
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>I would also suggest removing /blue/ and transferring all /blue/ material to /gensokyo/(mostly metathreads and misc. site stuff) if this was done, since nobody wants to see the number of boards go up.

Pic related.

/gensokyo/ is for announcements, out-of-site discussion about the fandom and fan works, and the recommendations thread where it can sit without too much chatter. It's a board that should move slowly without much disturbance, kinda like a meta-sticky for the whole board.

/blue/ is for trolling, drama, rage, and metastuff. It's a fun, fastmoving playground, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Now I'm not overly attached to /blue/ as the board name, but I don't want to see the content in the two boards be merged, really. Two completely different flavors.

>Last time someone tried contests or any mod-stuff like that, faggot IRC drama queens made a huge stink about it and tried to fuck things up for no reason though, so I don't know if that would work.

The last thing I remember was the writeathon, and I thought that was a relatively successful endeavor. As a constant IRC lurker/troll, I don't remember any stink surrounding that one.

>writer's workshop board

There is the writing advice thread for general discussion. I'm not sure how much traffic a "written by newbies" board would generate... but I know I'd personally frequent it to give some guidance/advice/much needed votes to new blood.
So, CS background here. I ironically know little about html, java script, php and their related technologies, being more focused towards research so someone with a better understanding might be able to elaborate or explain than I could.

>Mobile friendly.
Mate, if I had a solution, I'd tell you.
Here's what I do know. The page you get when you send a GET post to www.touhou-project.com is actually pretty plain. There's two main components, the side navigation bar with links to various boards, and a content frame. If you don't right click, open link in a new tab/new window, then everything you ever see on THP is only rendered in the content frame. That's why you will almost always see that side Nav Bar. It hasn't ever disappeared. Anyways, Nav bar on left, then a content frame taking up the rest of window.
It's percent fixed which means it auto-resizes to the size of your window, or monitor in the case of a mobile phone.
ANYWAYS. Because of the set up, the site keeps the nav bar on a phone, which makes the already small screen real estate even smaller and makes scrolling around a pain. Removing the bar (Right click, open in new tab/new window) makes the page take up the whole space, but the text is annoyingly small and there's no wrapping or resizing to a readable level a la m.4chan.org

The quickest and easiest fix I can think of is to remove the nav bar for mobile devices and I do believe there is so javascript or php snippets to help with that. Except that brings about the problem of breaking the front page because there are no board links on the main page, only stories, boards, and the nav bar.
If we were to go hard core, then someone would need to redo the CSS to be more similar to the current m.4chan.org
I've ripped the raw source code from them before and I can pastebin if it anyone asks. No, I have no idea how it works.

Oh, there's also the idea of a site specific reader app for the App Store or Google Play. Here's the issue, I doubt Apple would approve an App for this site and it costs money to keep the app in the store. As for Google, they don't give a fuck and we can put it up for Android.
Here's why I'm loathe for this idea, recreating all the functions of this site in Java or Objective C will take a one man team two+ months. There's a shit ton of work and a lot to do. Niggah, you have to take the raw HTML code from the server that the phone requests, parse it and extract the posts, image urls, user names etc. etc. and then parse and edit each post for bbcode mark up, before arranging the layout and displaying it to the user. Don't even suggest trying to render the raw HTML into a webview or I will slap your shit (It's slow as balls). No matter what happens, the user base is going to get a half-baked piece of work that will lack a huge chunk of the functionality of the main site and will be slow with noticeable lag.In other words, it's going to be the equivalent of a turd from fanfiction.net It would be much, much more preferable, and faster in every way, to make the site HTML5 compatible and take advantage of its features, but I'm not sure if Kusaba X has been made HTML5 compatible or if the amount of work modifying the source code of Kusaba makes its worth it.

>site navigation is a bit hard. Please put a link to storyboard on the front page. If possible, also put a hard link to all the boards on the news page. If I get to the site through direct link, It's hard to get to read a story.
I know it's tradition from 4chan to have the boards tiling across the top of a story page, but can we try a picker as another option? It's far more noticeable on the Photon CSS (The green one that every new user sees).
Also, is there anyway to force the Nav bar onto the story and board pages at all times? That bar be useful. Just ideas and fixes. Take it with a large grain of salt.
Oh, on the front page, is it possible to set up a table of links to the boards, again like 4chan. Mootles has done a good job with the layout of his site

>Story updater.
I know nothing about how the updater works or its structure (It's php of some sort) but I'm willing to take a look and see if I can do anything.

Wow. I ramble.
I surf THP on my phone, avoiding the navbar by pointing not to touhou-project.com, but to touhou-project.com/<insertboardnamehere>. That way you get full functionality without the navbar. Hell, I can't remember the last time I actually saw the navbar.
I like the main page. The "Recently update" section is nice.
Also, I *know* the text resizing is possible as is re-lay out of page elements with javascript. In theory at least.
>Written by newbies

You mean a good deal of /th/'s stuff? That board attracts newbies like flies to shit.
Am I the only who noticed that, after that thread about the recent inactivity of the site, and the references in TV Tropes we saw a considerable increase in traffic?

Since when is THP in TV Tropes anyway?
There's fanfic recommendation stuff on tvtropes. And THP gets mentioned there.
Aww crap.
I need to throw some stories up.
We've had some real good ones of late.
Gotta start somewhere. And we might get those jewels that are "new blood, and actually interested in improving".
Not sure how much I can really contribute to the discussion considering been here for less than a week, but I think that the opinion of someone completely new to the site could help a bit.

There's been a few folk saying that /gensokyo/ isn't an 'obvious' place for information, but I've got to disagree. After reading a few archive stories, I decided that I wanted to stick around. Being under "General Touhou/General Discussion", I figured that /gensokyo/ would be an apt place to get some info and it certainly was.

With regards to the intimidation of new writers, I'm not sure why this is really an issue. I think that anyone who is jumping into an anonymous message board with the intent of throwing up some fanfiction is going to have a bit of a thick skin anyway, at least speaking from personal experience.

I feel that the simplest thing to do would be to throw caution to the wind and simply advertise wherever we can. Certainly, there will be a drop in story quality for a while in addition to an increase of scrap threads, but I think that even if one person joins the site and intends to either improve their own writing or even looking to contribute to a thread, I think that it would have been a success.

Again, not sure how much I really contributed to this and I realise that I may be being overly optimistic but it's just my two cents.
The main clash is gonna to be between those unused to the imageboard format and the hostility of the locals. Additionally, if we can somewhat control the initial reactions to sub-par quality, we should be golden.
you'd be surprised as the typical newbie writer is a terribly need person with very thin skin.
Yes, I also enjoy making sweeping generalizations with zero basis in reality.
>sweeping generalizations
They sure are, but
>zero basis in reality
Not so much. Speaking as an author who thought he had tough skin when starting out, 'needy' didn't even begin to describe my state once my story lost its new-blood popularity. I didn't even have to deal with anybody slamming my story, just a slower death from lack of interest.

I used to criticize what I saw as 'whiny' authors, but now I can only empathize with their position. Sure, I worked through my down period, but not everybody can do so.

My anecdote might not mean much to you, and polling other writefags might not mean much to you, but the heaps of bloody story-corpses this site has generated would like to have word as well.
I might have been overly wide sweeping with my remarks, but the basis is in experience of seeing various stories die on /th/ in droves and faster than stories in other boards.

And I knew such a writer who went through something similar (wrote on /th/ was stunned it wasn't as popular as he expected, had problems with it), took a while to help him through it but while newbies may see "Freedom" and "Tons of readers" in /th/, they don't see the cluttered nature, the few exceptional stories raising the bar and the dregs dragging down expectations otherwise.

If there was a way of better preparing new writers for the realities of writing on /th/, ti might help in both having better longer lasting stories on /th/ and/or convincing them to write on other boards.
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Colour me controversial, but I dare say wanting your creation to be appreciated is a natural state of mind. This is especially prominent within the area of writing: a medium whose realisation ultimately occurs in the mind of the reader who, well, reads it, as opposed to other forms of creative outlet that allow the creator himself to gauge the effects of his work (say, constructing an RC plane model that goes exceptionally fast). The thing with writing is the author has no realistic way of grading his own achievements; nor can he measure the success of his written word by self-analysis alone. To put something down in words means to ready it to be comprehended by another human being; conceivably, the author is incapable of surmising how that comprehension will progress, as the end-message (scene, story, theme, etc.) is already present in his own mind. The formation of this message we try to convey is what interests us, and only with third-party review can we measure the degree to which our particular work has succeeded in passing on the intended message.

What this means is that writers, more than other craftsmen (and don’t you dare call writing an art – it’s a craft), are dependent on their receivers’ interpretation and opinion. The problem is people who mistake this feedback for attention and/or adoration. It is a slippery slope down to the Valley of Pandering. Or Valley of Depression, if the third-party response should turn out to be absent. Those who focus on that response alone will quickly find a reader is a fickle thing; and who would depend on a fickle creature for maintaining one’s own ego? A fool, a teenager, or a case of mental problems.

This doesn’t mean we should forget the response part completely and focus on honing our message-conveying skills, though. A balance is best struck here; I, for one, do not deny that I would love more feedback to whatever latest piece I post here (like, y’know, THAT thing THERE, you know the one), but I also confess that in large part what I write is fed to my own entertainment. Of course, too acute a leaning to this side would mean egotism and self-masturbatory fantasy, just like the other meant pandering; but with a nice balance, you can be satisfied with your own writing, satisfy others with your writing, and derive satisfaction from the enjoyment of others of your writing. And that’s the synergy so rare that we have established for ourselves here on THP.
>don’t you dare call writing an art – it’s a craft
Not that I necessarily disagree, but what makes you think this way? Is it simply the amount of time and effort, along with the iterative process, that a writer should be putting in or something else?
Constraints. Writing is much more constrained than any other classic form of artistic expression. From its very foundations, writing is always moderated by a number of looser or stricter guidelines and rulesets. At the very basic level: grammar. At the more advanced stages: style, mood, etc. At the utmost level: register, tropes, conventions of the genre. Writing is simply too “set” a form to be called an art in my opinion.

There have, of course, been attempts to “liberate” this form from its restraints; the entire artistic movement of modernism (in the area of literature) was an attempt at that. You will find, however, that while the current literary climate’s critics recognise the value of the works from that period, no critic worth his salt would encourage continuing the tradition of that period. This is because while modernist authors did, indeed, “liberate” literature from its classic constraints (again referring to the elements abovementioned), the effect was detrimental for the end-receiver of those pieces. From Virginia “FUCKING NUTS” Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse,” which is merely difficult to read, to JayJay’s “Finnegan’s Wake” (of which critics have since agreed that the fucking thing is incomprehensible), fiction written outside of the set literary conventions merely muddied the waters for the reader. And, tell me, what is the point of writing a story if it can’t be comprehended by your reader?

All of this can be brought down to the underlying level of the nature of language and communication, but this is a topic I am best not inquired about, as I have not only a keen interest in it, but a multitude of strong opinions as well; either way, in my view, writing is too constricted a medium to be considered truly artful. Like a good craftsman forging a blade, or building a table out of wooden planks, a writer has to remember and abide many rules that, in a manner of speaking, restrict his artistic freedom. No more, no less.

>Constraints. Writing is much more constrained than any other classic form of artistic expression.

The same can be said about any other form of artistic expression. In music, you have a set number of notes for a given instrument, a set number of standard accords. In painting, you have a set number of colors, a set number of brushes, canvas textures, styles, techniques. In sculpture, a set number of materials, and constraints they dictate.

By the same reasoning Michelangelo’s David is not a work of art, just a well-crafted naked marble dude.
I'd say writing is an art. Disregarding all that "X isn't True Art" bull crap, it seems simple as far as I can define it. I'd define a craft as something practical, usually something that aims to physically improve our lives. Art meanwhile, I'd define as something less material, something that aims to make people think or feel. It comes down to the Why rather than the How.
I think that, like you said, the discussion itself is meaningless: everyone has their own definition of 'art' and I couldn't care less about labels.
Per example, I heard that art is done for its own sake and if its creator is worrying about popularity, then he's more of a performer than an artist.
I missed the survey but I like this site.
Stick around, keep voting, and maybe even try writing.
Or come on IRC. It forms a connection to the site that makes it harder to break away.
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