tentaclesock: (Default)
[personal profile] tentaclesock
First of all, all authors whose names were previously hidden have been revealed...all five of them. But before this exchange closes for the time being, I have some matters to address.

This is not an apology but an explanation: You all probably wonder why the reveals were delayed three weeks past the original date. Well, the answer comes from indecision and lack of experience. The first delay was simply because my computer had problems that needed fixing, and I had no other computer access. When the trouble was resolved, I was all ready to reveal the submissions...except I had a family obligation that necessitated my not staying up until midnight (as I thought exchange moderators were supposed to do). So, figuring that the participants would rather have extra time to tinker with their fics than receive their gifts any sooner than later, I delayed the reveals deadline again. Now, you would think that that delay would be the end of it, and it would have been—if not for one detail.

I have never understood the point of anon periods. With Yuletide, the concept makes some amount of sense, given that the exchange is a kind of Secret Santa swap, but in all other cases, leaving the writers anonymous for an extended period of time fulfills no useful function, to my way of thinking. So, for most of this exchange's duration, I left the "[t]his collection is anonymous" box unchecked. The exchange had a low number of participants to begin with, so I didn't think revealing the authors at the same time as the stories would cause any problems.

However, toward the end of the exchange, I began to second-guess myself. Popular opinion appeared to tilt in favor of anon periods, and yet such a feature still did not seem at all necessary to me. So, once again prioritizing editing time over timely receiving of gifts—I would like to stress that I thought participants would care more about the former than the latter—I delayed the reveals again to make up my mind about what I should do. Obviously, I could have just created a delay of a day or two—but I also operated under the assumption that fic collections had to open on what would be, for the moderators at least, weekends. (Allowing for all time zones at once is not possible, but I figured that most participants lived in roughly the same hemisphere, though of course I could be wrong about that as well.) Finally, I chose to go ahead and make the collection anonymous at more or less the last minute. We all know how that turned out.

According to the reply that the AO3 support team sent me, making a collection anonymous partway through does not retroactively hide the user names of people who have already submitted to that collection. In other words, if I wanted to make the collection anonymous, I should have done it from the beginning.

Well, there you have it. If you do not want to participate in future iterations of this fest, I understand. Even if we have fewer participants, though, I still want to run the exchange again—but this time, I think I have a better idea of how to do it.

Changes that I intend to make for next year:

  • Co-moderation, if anyone offers. Someone who far outpaces me in communication (which should not be very hard) would do the trick.
  • Community posts on a fairly regular basis: check-ins, announcements, discussions about
    topics tangentially related to the exchange.
  • An instruction that anyone who wants to contact me should send a PM, not an e-mail. I had forgotten how easy it is for me to overlook an individual e-mail in my inbox, especially if I'm completely unfamiliar with the name of the sender. Leaving that aside, sometimes e-mails just get lost or don't make it to my inbox (as I discovered rather frighteningly this past winter). If you send me a PM, though, I'm bound to see it.
  • Less polling of the audience with regards to what directions the exchange should take. In my inexperience, I relied too heavily on guidance from others—whether or not to have an anon period, whether or not to even create a journal in the first place, etc. I wanted to satisfy everyone from the outset, but...well, you know the Aesop's fable.
  • A proper anon period.

    Elements that will remain the same:
  • The exchange will still be for fantasy and science fiction literature. No comics, movies, video games, TV series, games, or media tie-ins, though you might be able to use a movie's, TV show's, or game's parallel book canon, as long as the books are a separate continuity.
  • The exchange will probably open at roughly the same time as it did this year (late April).
  • Anonymous commenting will still be turned off to prevent spam. Do you remember what happened to some Journalfen pages (before what happened to all the Journalfen pages happened, that is)?

Thanks to everyone who participated, especially those of you who wrote treats and did advertising for the exchange!
tentaclesock: (Default)
[personal profile] tentaclesock
The collection is finally open.

Before I say anything else, I would like to apologize for all the delays. The first was caused by something going awry with my computer, the second by a familial obligation, and the third by...well, my own indecision and lack of exchange-moderating experience. And, of course, I aggravated the situation by accidentally setting the reveal time for today at twelve a.m. instead of 11:59 p.m. (though that was an honest mistake). Worse, for some reason, the fics ended up not being anonymous—I swear to God I did not intend for that to happen; I did check the box next to "[t]his collection is anonymous," just the AO3 FAQ tells you—but all but five of the works have the writers' names attached. What I should have done, I think, was open the collection on the seventh (or the fifteenth) but leave the participants anonymous until the fifteenth (or the twenty-first). My idea was that although people would have to wait longer than they expected to read their gifts, the participants would have more time to edit their work, and I wanted to err on the side of benefiting the writers most. You all must be frustrated with me, and I swear not to do anything like that again.

With some reservations, I do intend to run the exchange next year. While I cannot promise that nothing will go awry, I am seriously considering soliciting a co-moderator, someone who knows how to communicate with people and can counter my flakiness. Is anyone interested? This experience has taught me that while I may have the enthusiasm of an exchange moderator, I was wrong to try to run the entire fest alone. Or maybe I should just do what the originator of the Fandom Growth Exchange did and hand over the reins to someone who knows better what they're doing; I might be best suited to signing up for other people's exchanges instead.

Thank you for your patience and for participating (if you participated), and may you all enjoy your gifts.

I'm deeply sorry.


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White Dwarf Rabbit Hole: The SFF Literature Fic Ex

August 2015

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