Sign in to follow this  
ApolloImperium

Happy New Year!

Recommended Posts

I’ve been pondering this news post since before Christmas and what I would say as we head into our 10th year here at AFF. As I’ve thought back about our history a few things come to mind. Bear with me as I wax nostalgic. Some of you may remember Ayla, the founder of our beloved AdultFanFiction.Net. I’ve tried to get in touch with her over the last few months, but haven’t been able to find her/get in touch with her. Even still, I know she would be so proud to see AFF entering its 10th year! In September of 2001, she began a small Buffy archive over on Geocities, but when FanFiction.Net killed mature content in one fell swoop, Ayla saw and filled the void. September 13th, 2002 AdultFanFiction.Net was registered and there starts our history as we know it.

Ayla tried to keep up with the ever going membership and demands, but it quickly outgrew what she was able to handle and myself along with a few others were brought in to help moderate the site. I’ve always been an excellent manager and quickly became the head moderator, so when Ayla got to the point in 2005 that she was no longer able to keep up with the site, she handed ownership over to myself and another moderator. And such starts my history with the site. Despite my own life issues preventing me from being here for several years, over the past 16 months, I’ve had the honor of leading the site again. I’d like to thank everyone for their support and I look forward to an amazing 2012 with you all! On to the news!

A quick summary of what is included in this month’s edition:

  • Through out 2012, AFF will undergo a complete code rewrite, adding a lot of new features and options! Read below to see what's in store!
  • We currently have a PayPal balance of $589.03 after January’s hosting costs have been paid, donations are always welcome though!
  • AFF has a new Logo for 2012! Head to the archive to check it out!
  • If your registration date changes, read on to know why
  • Get an email with your login information? You weren't hacked, DemonGoddess explains why below
  • Some additional information about AFF's proof of age requirements you should be aware of
  • Archive Moderation and Clean-up status

Over the last year I know I’ve mentioned updates to the code and new features, but you haven’t seen much other than the Rich Text Editor for story uploads. As you may remember from my news post last January, our Archive is a rework of our original Storyline code, updated, patched and MacGyver’d to hell and back. When Manta started digging in to implement the new search, she realized that there was no way to integrate it and get some of the other features that we want put into the archive. That meant that the code had to be re-written from the ground up.

Since we are rewriting the code, this actually gives us a good bit more flexibility in our changes, upgrades and additions! The old and new code for the most part will be running side by side until we complete the re-write, at which time everything will be on the new code. We will be rolling the changes out over the next year, starting with the new registration procedures and profile in February and expanding from there. Some of the other items you will see in 2012 include: Skinning options so you can pick your color scheme, awards, better navigation through story listings, improvements on the submission and editing systems, new search tools that will include searching the description and an Author/Member search.

When the various changes are rolled out, I will detail the changes and how they will affect you. Please keep in mind that feedback from the users is going to be key during this process. I know that we won’t be able to please everyone, as the saying goes, you can please some of the people some of the time and all of the people none of the time; however, when you provide feedback on the changes, please make sure it is constructive and contains workable content. Of course, we won’t complain about the ‘I LOVE this!’ comments, but if you are going to say that you don’t like it, please make sure that you let us know what you don’t like and why. Example: ‘I don’t like the new profile because of x. It doesn’t help with y.’ etc. Like I said, constructive feedback please.

So what are you going to be seeing in February? The main thing is the new registration and profiles. In regards to registration, we will now be requiring that users input their birthday and provide a working email. Much like the forum does now, we will send a validation link to the email provided that a user must click before being able to use the site. With these changes, an email can only be used once, so this will cut back on duplicate registration. As a reminder, if you have multiple accounts with the same email address, you must contact us before the change happens or you may find yourself unable to access the site.

Along with the registration changes, it will impact current users log in experience. When you log in for the first time, the system will check to ensure that you have all the required information such as a birthday and valid working email. A verification link will be sent with the first log in to ensure that the email provided is indeed a working one. You can help make this process easier by checking your profile now to ensure that the data is all there now!

All new registration will be using the new profile immediately; however existing users at the time of change will be able to access both the old and new profiles until we make the full break with the old code. I recommend making the full switch to the new profile as soon as possible so you can make use of the new features! These new features will include a more user friendly recommended reading list, a system to list what you are currently reading, favorite author listings so that you can keep track of them without having to bookmark them in your browser, a global profile so that all stories are shown without having to jump between subdomains, avatar linking instead of uploads and an area to show awards and honors.

Now, as I talk about the upgrade, let me also say that this isn’t coming cheap. Despite Manta giving AFF a 75% discount, the upgrade is still going to cost us $1500 USD total, so anything you can contribute is very much appreciated. We do currently have a balance of $589.03 in PayPal, but please remember a site isn’t free to run and we are all volunteers. If you have any money that you care spare for the site, we do appreciate it. You can either donate directly through PayPal or if you would like something back for your money, you can also donate by purchasing items from our Cafepress Store. All items have a $3.00 markup on them. As always, if you are looking for a specific item with one of this year’s designs on it and don’t see it, just let me know and I’ll get it added for you if Cafepress has it!

You may have noticed, as of today our logo has changed. The new logo was designed by Adelphus for our 2012 logo contest commemorating 10 years of serving the Fan Fiction community.

If you notice a change in your registration date, please know there are two reasons this may happen. First off, if you decided to register before your 18th birthday, when it is discovered, your registration date is changed to reflect your 18th birthday and anything you posted prior to turning 18 is deleted from the archive to comply with legal requirements. The other reason is if you have duplicate accounts and we merge them. When an account is merged, the oldest accounts creation date is reflected.

Have you gotten an email recently containing your log in information without requesting one? Again, this is a result of the merge process when combining duplicate accounts. Don’t worry, your information hasn’t been hacked, we simply send so you know what information you need to use post merge.

Now, let’s talk about our age verification procedure. We have our own methods that we use to determine a member’s age; however on occasions it may not be clear so AFF might ask that you provide proof of age if we suspect you are underage. Please note, we aren’t doing this to be mean, or to harass you, or any other crazy reason you may come up with – We are doing it to ensure that you are of the correct legal age to be accessing this site in an effort to stop legal issues before they happen. All AFF requires is a valid form of ID that has your picture and birthday on it, accompanied by a picture of you holding said ID. Users are welcome to use a photo editing program to black out any personally identifying information other than the date of birth. It is, of course, your option to decline to provide this, however, please know that failure to comply with our request does mean that you are subject to deletion.

It’s been a very busy couple of months, so we haven’t had an opportunity to work on the Clean-Up project, but as always our moderators have been busy so check out where we are 2008 to now.

Thank you so much for taking the time to review the news and of course if you have any questions, please let us know!

Happy writing,

Apollo & DemonGoddess061

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i do have a question about the id verification. i am indeed over 18 (i was born in 89) but the picture thing, how long do we have to get that in? i aint able to get to a camera until i see my family, and have my sister take a picture of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Happy New Year Apollo & DemonGoddess061! Just wanted to wish you best of luck with the code rewrite. I'm working on a "refactoring" of PaperDemon so we'll be getting improved user interface, speed improvements, and new features in the coming year.

Not sure if it interests you, but if you want to be able to process MS Word file uploads and convert them to HTML, you can use this handy script. It's free. However, i don't think it works with newest versions of MS Word (docx files). But your users can always save their documents in an older format.

http://wvware.sourceforge.net/

If you need detailed PHP code on how to integrate with this, let me know. I'd be happy to share. You can email me at bogusred@paperdemon.com.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we still allowed the html upload, that would be handy. But, we've got CKEditor integrated and it imports the word files via copy/paste in a popup and parses out the garbage while retaining the formatting. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations on the 10 years! I'm author #159 and have been with the site since the beginning, when fanfiction.net made their sudden change. I've enjoyed the website up until now and I can't wait to see the changes! You all have done such a good job, so thank you for keeping this website going^^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am glad to hear that you are going to be updating the search functions of AFF. The present one always gives me fits.

I do have a question about the search upgrade. There are times when I am trying to find stories or chapters within a story that contain a specific word, phrase, or act. On some sites I can do that by just pasting the site address into the "Search within a site or domain:" box in Google Advanced Search and then enter my search terms in to the appropriate search box and get the results I am looking for. That does not work with AFF however. So, will the new search feature allow for the ability to search the full text of the stories in addition to Title, Author, and Summery?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope, still no chapter search. With a database that's 8GB, and that mostly chapter data, that would be too much of a strain on the database itself, and slow things down tremendously.

You'll be able to search members, story summaries and titles.

The reason search with google does not work is because of the age verification form. What we've done for now, is relocated it, so when you first visit, it shows up when you click a chapter. That way, this should hopefully open things up for the indexers to work more effectively within the archive.

Given that the database and archive is split, when wanting to search an original story, you need to be in the original subdomain for that search. Same for any other of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest DarthMeow504

One thing I would very much love to see is a better way for authors to communicate and interface with readers. For example, right now I have a review on one of my stories that asks me questions and I can't answer himher because I have no other means of contact beyond replying in the review section and that is prohibited. Perhaps a way to give threaded replies to a review, or a means of sending a private message to a reader? I hate being unable to reply to the reader, but last time i tried I got my story hidden and had to delete everything. People just don't use the forums even when a direct link is provided them. Please help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure what you mean by everything, but as a point of reference - In the future just correct the problem, let us know that you did and it will be unhidden.

As for a way to communicate with readers, that currently isn't something we have planned in this upgrade, however because the code will be customized and not patched, it will actually make it easier for us to add features in the future due to our programmer working with her own code. My biggest recommendation though is to use for forums for review replies and what not. If it's a one shot, make the topic in advance and put it in the story to let readers know where to find responses. If it is a multiple chapter story, post it each chapter and let them know you have replied to reviews from ReaderX, ReaderY and ReaderZ. You can have author's notes, so long as they stay under 600 words.

The other thing to keep in mind is that just because a person doesn't respond back on a topic, doesn't mean that they didn't read it. To pull a topic at random - There are 9 posts (all by the author) but over 200 views. It's just like views vs reviews on the archive side - People may read and not review.

Encourage discussion both in an AN as well as when you post the replies in the forum. Some of the most successful review reply threads I've seen the author doesn't just post answers or thank their readers, they ask questions or phrase things in such a manner that opens things up for discussion. Just somethings to keep in mind, but please know we hear the request and you may see it at some point in the future, just not this go around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest use2b2t2

This is great and I am very excited about it all. If you need help as a Moderator I would be willing to help if allowed the chance. You do suh fine work here and I want to pay back. As for money I think you will see a nice donation when my bonus comes in a few months. Thanks for everything that you do.

Mare

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you in advance Mare!! All of our moderators start out as part of our clean up crew as an evaluation period, so if that would interest you, please email DemonGoddess and myself at admin@adult-fanfiction.org so we can talk further offline :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LadyKannah3695

Hello! I had a few questions/suggestions. I was curious about the verification procedures. We will be required, I assume, to provide the same name/birthday on the "Age Verification" page whenever we enter the site? I am a little nervous about using my full name. Up until now I had used my first name and last initial in the "electronic signature" section. Is that alright? I also wanted to make sure I was reading the post correctly. Every user will be sent a NEW verification code in their email? Or will this only apply to new/registering users?

My suggestion is the same as an earlier user. I think that a private-messaging system and the ability to reply directly to reviews (like on fanfiction.net) would be fabulous! We could exchange a lot more constructive criticism and maybe users would find betas easier or even people to exchange requests/trades with! How fun! <3

Good luck with the new set-up and layout. I love this site. Erotic writing has been a big part of my life for a long time and though I made the (stupid) mistake of joining when I was underage I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to re-enter this fabulous community to enjoy it once again now that I am a legal adult.

Thanks for your time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LadyKannah,

When it comes to the electronic signature, the concept is that even though you are signing electronically that it holds no less validity than a signature on a piece of paper and should be treated as such. It's similar to the idea that one can just sign with an 'x' on a legal document, it is in no way any less valid than a person signing a full name. So whether you use your full name, initials, etc, please understand that you are entering into a legally binding agreement stating that you are at least 18 years old and providing your accurate birthday.

As for the verification code, when users switch over to the new users panel, they will be required to ensure all information is correct and filled in, which at that point will send a verification link, not code to the email provided. This ensures that all active users are providing a valid and working email address.

In regards to your suggestion, I refer you to my statements above to the previous user.

Thanks for taking the time to read our news and comment!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest DSX

This age identification worries me a bit. So to browse this site I will have to give you my full name and picture? I must say though having to say that yes I am over 18 every time I enter a new section was really tedious and annoying, but whatever that is what cookies are good for right? Other than that part, the rest looks good. Especially that part about tracking authors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DSX - If you were to re-read, if there is a suspicion that you are not at least 18 and we are unable to verify your age through our normal methods, then we ask that you send us a copy of a photo ID with all information blocked out except for your birthday and a picture of you holding said photo id.

...however on occasions it may not be clear so AFF might ask that you provide proof of age if we suspect you are underage. Please note, we aren’t doing this to be mean, or to harass you, or any other crazy reason you may come up with – We are doing it to ensure that you are of the correct legal age to be accessing this site in an effort to stop legal issues before they happen. All AFF requires is a valid form of ID that has your picture and birthday on it, accompanied by a picture of you holding said ID. Users are welcome to use a photo editing program to black out any personally identifying information other than the date of birth. It is, of course, your option to decline to provide this, however, please know that failure to comply with our request does mean that you are subject to deletion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest DSX

Well that certainly sounds better. What 'normal methods' are there to check age? Short of showing my face and ID, I am happy to help you. You could always do what this other site I heard about do, show an image of a VCR/record/betaMax and ask them to ID it :)

By the way, is the asking if I am over eighteen every time I enter a new sub-section normal. Thank you for answering and have a Happy New Year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LSR

I was hoping one of the features that would be something like uploading custom user avatars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this