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ADMIN - finding stories by category

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  • Marta
    Hey guys, I hope you are all enjoying the MEFA review season. Over the next few weeks I d like to talk about ways to find stories to vote for. With 600+
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 26, 2010
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      Hey guys,

      I hope you are all enjoying the MEFA review season. Over the next few
      weeks I'd like to talk about ways to find stories to vote for. With
      600+ nominations it is helpful to know how to pull up one type of
      story or another, and just like any site, it sometimes takes some
      practice to figure out how to do everything the MEFA site is capable
      of.

      This week? We're talking about how to find stories based on the
      category and subcategory they are competing in.

      (Btw - I often use story interchangeably with nomination. Not
      technically accurate, I know. These strategies can be used for poetry
      and non-fiction as well.)

      *************************************************

      Method #1 - The Search Filters

      This is the best way to find stories in the same subcategory for most
      people because it guarantees you have the most up-to-date information.
      To do this:

      1. Log in to www.mefawards.net/MEFA2010/
      2. Click the "Stories" link at the top of the page.
      3. If you don't see it, click the "Show Filter" link.
      4. Click the "Clear All Filters" button.
      5. Select the appropriate item from the Main Category drop-down list
      and click "Display Selected Nominations."
      6. Select the appropriate item from the SubCategory list and click
      "Display Selected Nominations."

      This will show you all the stories in the subcategory (assuming you
      haven't told the website to skim them). You can tell whether you voted
      for them or not by looking in the right-hand column. You will see a
      link to enter a new review if you haven't yet voted, or a link to edit
      an existing review if you have. (If you're the author you won't see
      any link.)

      You may also opt to use the other filters. For instance, you could use
      the filter to display stories set in Gondor, or featuring Thingol. But
      that will only bring up stories that are *both* in the selected
      subcategoy, *and* meet that other criteria. And remember, the website
      holds on to whatever you select. If you choose a character you'll need
      to clear that choice before you use the filter again, or you may not
      find everything you're looking for.


      *************************************************

      Method #2 - The Check Ballot

      Back in July, I posted a series of check ballots to these lists. The
      final check ballot shows how things were categorized at that point.
      And only a few stories have moved around since then, when a WIP was
      finished. So it's a little out of date. But some people who are less
      comfortable with the website find it easier to work with.

      1. Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MEFAwards/
      2. Click on "Files."
      3. Click on "2010 Categorization."

      (LJ members, you should be able to find this same list in the old posts.)

      This will display a heading for each subcategory, and then it will
      list the stories competing there. Halfway through the line it will
      display a number in parentheses. That's the story ID #. To pull up the
      story:

      1. Go to http://www.mefawards.net/MEFA2010/ and log in.
      2. Click the "Stories" link at the top of the page.
      3. Type that number, followed by the # sign into the "Search" bar and
      click the "Search" button.

      In most cases that will bring up the story for you. If you have been
      searching for other stories you may need to click the "Clear All
      Filters" button before Step 3. But unless you've told the website to
      skip that story at some point, this should bring up the story you're
      looking for. You can then find all the story information, read the
      story and vote for it.

      ********************************

      Why This Matters

      You may be wondering right now why you would want to look up all the
      stories in a certain subcategory. This will depend a lot on how you
      use the MEFAs. Here are just a few reasons:

      1. The MEFAs are a competition. We like to think of ourselves as a
      giant feedback-generating machine, which is well and good, but we are
      a contest with winners, too. So it's important to keep that in mind
      when writing a review, and for some people that means knowing what a
      story is competing against. Other people take a broader view and just
      review set amounts of points based on how much they liked a story
      without thinking about its specific category (that's my approach), but
      a lot of people consider the category and subcategory when deciding
      how to vote.

      2. Subcategories help break up the awards into manageable chunks.
      Maybe you feel weird voting for a story without knowing if it's better
      or worse than the pieces it's competing against, but you don't have
      the time to read all the stories competing. You're not alone! By
      pulling up a subcategory you can limit yourself to ten or so stories,
      and by reading them (or deciding not to read them), you can make a
      real competition to the awards. Some people feel better knowing
      they've considered all the stories competing against each other.

      3. Subcategories are reader-friendly.Volunteers have put some thought
      into these groupings, and so you know they have something in common.
      Perhaps the groupings aren't perfect in every case, but they're a
      place to start. Does a certain character, subgenre, setting, etc.
      interest you? Find a subcategory built around it and go to town.

      4. And finally, a practical concern. You may want to avoid voting in
      subcategories you are competing in. Some authors don't care, but if
      you do, pulling up the subcategory is a quick way to see what
      subcategories you're competing in, and which ones you aren't. The
      check-ballot method is actually even quicker.

      Whatever your reasons, now you know how to find stories by their
      category or subcategory. I hope it helps you in your reviewing.

      *************************

      Want more info?

      --- How do I find a story to vote for?
      http://www.mefawards.net/MEFA2010/index.php?page=FAQvoting#vot_15
      --- What are main categories?
      http://www.mefawards.net/MEFA2010/index.php?page=FAQcategories#cat_8
      --- What are optional subcategories?
      http://www.mefawards.net/MEFA2010/index.php?page=FAQcategories#cat_5

      **************************

      P.S. - Don't forget, Annmarwalk is posting reviews to Yahoo and LJ.
      Join up at the [mefas] LJ or the [mefa-reviews] Yahoo group, to see
      the reviews on your friends list or email inbox.

      **************************

      Yours,

      Marta
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