Forum / The Joys and Pitfalls of "Favs" and "Stars" Icons. The Subjectivity and the Arbitrariness.

  • Erika-byrne-ludwig.thumb
    Erika Byrne-Ludwig
    Jun 15, 12:32am

    Think of a rock, not just the concrete piece but what it evokes in you. To me it's probably
    durability, strength, ancientness, etc. To you, many different images.

    It's the same with the above-mentioned icons.

    With regards to Fictionaut, I can see the importance of icons if one desires one's piece of writing to be ranked in the "recommended stories" column.

    My preference would be towards no ranking at all, no favs, no stars, just a simple comment expressing one's own opinion. Icons of appreciation can possibly lead to disappointment, sometimes more so than words.

    What a "star" means to me: one single star in the comment box can barely be seen. Consequently, I tend to put 3 down. Their meaning: I like, I enjoyed, and the likes. (Fictionaut's Terms and Conditions don't discuss the value of each.) If I decide to put a "fav", then its meaning would be: I love, I thoroughly enjoyed, and the likes - superlatives, if you know what I mean.

    This is just my humble opinion ... What is yours?

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    Rachna K.
    Jun 15, 01:19am

    Thank you Erika for sharing your thoughts.

    I have gotten into the habit of adding a fav and a comment together. I don't remember putting either of them separately.

    If there is even a single line or a few words that make the connection, I go for a fav and a comment.

    Having said that, however, I do appreciate when I see your fav on my piece of writing, because it's like you said, you loved it. Also, unlike my way, you have gone an extra mile in specifying how much the piece spoke to you.

    Just my humble opinion.

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    Charlotte Hamrick
    Jun 15, 01:35am

    I think favs mean different things to different people. For me, if I feel compelled to comment I'll also fav. If the piece moved me in a big way, I'll fav 2 or 3 stars. When I read here, it's as a reader, not a wtriter. I read emotionally, not critically. Maybe that's the wrong approach, but it's mine.

    Thanks for bringing this up, Erika.

  • Erika-byrne-ludwig.thumb
    Erika Byrne-Ludwig
    Jun 15, 02:31am

    Rachna and Charlotte

    Thank you for your thoughts on the topic above.

    We all follow our individual routines and I can see you've clearly given it much thought.

    It seems that most fictionauters are probably ok with the status quo. I certainly am not advocating dispensing with the icons since many are comfortable with them.

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    RW Spryszak
    Jun 15, 03:32am

    I read every new story that comes up. But I don't comment or "fave" because there are writers here who submit work to my small press, and I have to keep neutral.

  • Erika-byrne-ludwig.thumb
    Erika Byrne-Ludwig
    Jun 15, 03:46am

    RW Spryszak

    Fair enough. I appreciate your reply.

  • Mugshotme_(3).thumb
    Mathew Paust
    Jun 15, 05:27pm

    I published this in the forum in February:

    The original sin was installing a democratic process to approximate an appearance of meritocracy in an unsupervised literary community. It is our good fortune that Common Sense hath shown us the way to absolve ourselves of this sin of good intentions by assuring us that our greater society is as mendacious in its conceit that the good ultimately rises, as does cream in the unhomogenized bottle of milk, to the top. We've learned to withhold rolling our eyes at this promise until the cameras and voice recorders have been switched off. Then, in the eerie oblivion of electronic disinterest, verily we say unto one other what we really see.

    Here on Fictionaut we see a three-way segregation among the Artistic Idealists, the Pragmatic Realists, and the Unmitigated Indifferencists. Not to worry, I shan't reveal peronalities! (Altho I shall willy nilly employ the forbidden exclamation mark to tease the eyebrows of those unconsciously struggling to freeze their facial muscles whilst pretending to ignore the notions contained herein.)

    Of the three archetypes, I most admire—envy, even—the Unmitigated Indifferencists, that tiny segment of artists beholden only to themselves and, in certain rare instances, to sensibilities frighteningly similar to their own. Emily would be proud.

    The other two types are not so pure, corrupted as we are by the currency of...well, currency. A fave is, after all, a proxy of exchange. The more experienced 'nauters award faves to assert or sustain their superior judgment, certifying merit they see in those with equal experience or who show promise. Those of us lower in the hierarchy are more apt to distribute faves as favors amongst ourselves in the interest of gaining higher visibility with promotion to the “recommended reading” feed, which is arbitrated by an anonymous, hidden administrator. This is not to suggest we see on Fictionaut the kind of vicious competitiveness barely hidden in government or its corporate sponsors. Nor is this a suggestion that we suppress our own, less distinguished, perceptions of quality to avoid derision as hypocrites or “fave whores.”

    Nor should the fave brouhaha overshadow the true communal value of Fictionaut, which is the comment aspect. I and I'm sure most of us learn and appreciate, more than simply a fave, the thoughtful comment on a piece whether or not it's accompanied by an advancing number in the fave column.

    Don't get me wrong. I have yet to refuse a fave from anyone, nor can imagine a scenario in which I would even wish to, nor, in fact, have I any idea if refusal is even possible. And make no mistake, call me a whore or a mercenary or anything else you may wish, this is a promise: you fave one of mine, and, unless I find you or your post signally repugnant, I will reciprocate!

    One last notion, one that's been nagging me from some subconscious chamber to the extent it now must be released to the light of open thought: The fourth archetype. The Literalist. You know the type. The Literalist takes rules at face value, something rather odd to find in a community that celebrates creativity.

    Nonetheless we have Literalists among us. These poor souls take the word “favorite” at its primary definition, the superlative, the most preferred or best. What terrible heart-wrenching decisions they must make. How to pick more than one “best” without some qualification, some grading criteria to keep from resembling one of the other, impure practitioners of meritization. Oh, the horror, the horror...

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