MY WEB SITE PARTIAL THESIS PROPOSAL: Story-Idol
Introduction and Aims
Note: please read the page on copyright and generic usage at your convenience.
Background of the Story-Idol.com system and its description
This report documents a project that is a psychologically-motivated support web site (tool/environment), as I've determined for a THESIS Proposal of a web site that helps authors develop their prose. The general idea being that psychological methods are employed to aid the creation and usability of such a tool.There are many writers web sites where writers showcase their prose (or poetry). These sites often facilitate a comment feedback system much like reply messages on a forum. For a quick look at some screen shots of the most popular of these sites in Europe (if not the world) have a look at: UK leading writer sites.
My project has seen the development of a prototype (and incomplete) system called the Story-Idol.com web site (just referred to as Story-Idol). It has been designed to the level by which it can be used to demonstrate the concept of how I would like to present a system designed for Writers, Critics, and Readers, at a global level. It is required by the client to provide a support mechanism to aid Writers, Critics, and Readers facilitating the creation of original prose on a Global Level. The Critics are there to review and comment on the Writers' work (and can be Writers themselves—which is more than likely). Thus the Writers gain important criticisms from the Critics. The Readers can be Writers as well as Critics, and the Readers give the Writers incentive to write. If Readers make comments on Writers then they do so as Critics.
The Agents, Editors, and Publishers are those who the ultimately successful Writers in this system hope to impress and utilize the services of. So my system is aimed at preparing writers for publication through showcasing feedback and education. This message is implied at the top of every page (look above you now). Prose and reviews and comments will be of varying levels of ability and depth and my hope is that the system can be further developed to highlight this fact and make it more useful to the writers.
There are sites that attempt the above but all are problematic. Possibly the problem is that the critical mass just is not high enough. This might be remedied by implementing a financial incentive. Or a better basic design. Reviews and criticisms (comments) are difficult to judge because they are of a uniform type. They can be meaningless garbage. They can be brilliantly constructive. In truth, artists make lousy critics. My simple overriding aim is to provide a writers web site that develops a writer and prepares them for publication attempts.
Also I wish to achieve this by making it a financial concern and make it as usable as possible applying the knowledge I have gained in all my past post graduate study. Of course, more importantly, one could well argue, by introducing a financial carrot and the powerful and honest metric of money, I have employed more deeper levels of psychology (but really I am just using common sense). I aim to do this by introducing a competitive monthly (paid for) scheme that places writers in a league based on a weighed formula summing downloads, reads, and reviews made and received. The user pays monthly. They receive a share of the pot based on the total number of writers who have paid into the scheme. This will be fun, competitive, motivational, exciting, and lots of other things—but it will, importantly, provide a metric by which an author can judge his worth! If this scheme was running by any other web site (that was huge) I'd enter in to it. I believe there are too many writer web sites that do not generate enough activity, and at an intelligent level, to aid a writer towards their goal of being published. I set off with the notion in the back of my mind that the site is to be, eventually a professional one, adhering to the following usability goals: (Preece, Rogers and Sharp 2002)