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[ADMIN] Finding Stories on the MEFA website

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  • Marta
    Hey guys, Nominations for the 2011 awards close tonight. That means nearly all the stories poems, etc. that will be competing in this year s awards have been
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30, 2011
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      Hey guys,

      Nominations for the 2011 awards close tonight. That means nearly all
      the stories poems, etc. that will be competing in this year's awards
      have been nominated. By next week, all the nominations that *aren't*
      competing will be withdrawn from the MEFA website.

      In short, it's time to get reviewing.

      The MEFA website helps you find stories to vote for. All of these are
      available off of our list of stories. To get to this page, just log in
      to the MEFA website and then select the "Browse 2011 Nominations" link
      from the Nominations menu. This will bring up a randomized list of the
      nominations, displayed twenty-five nominations at a time. You can just
      start browsing to find the ones you like - or you can use the filter
      options available.

      To open up the filter just click on the bar that says "Nomination
      Filter." From here you just select the options you want to display and
      click the "submit" option, and this will display all the nominations
      that meet those requirements. One big difference from previous years
      is something called the "Genres, Races, Times" menu. In the past, if
      you selected (say) Hobbits for your story but it didn't end up
      competing there, we still offered a way to find it. Readers selected
      "Hobbits" from the GRT menu and it pulled up all the stories that had
      selected Hobbits as any category choice, no matter where they ended up
      competing.

      With the new website, Aranel developed a nifty way to do this in
      conjunction with the character listings. Basically, to pick a
      character you first pick a race (e.g. Hobbits) Then you can narrow
      that down to a sub-groups (e.g., Bagginses, Boffins, Bolgers, etc.),
      and then to a specific individual. You can go as specific or as
      general as you want. Searching for just Hobbits will bring up all the
      nominations where an author chose any of the hobbit characters to
      describe that work. You can do the same thing with time periods.
      That's not *quite* the same as the old GRT menu, but it's close enough
      that we decided not to offer that other menu option. It's a pretty
      rare story that is about a certain race but doesn't pick a character
      from that race.

      Genres are a little different. They don't break down like Races and
      Times do. So if you want to find (say) all the Horror stories, or all
      the Romances, we do offer a Genres menu to do this. This *does* pull
      off of the category selection, so filtering for Mystery will show all
      the entries that selected Mystery as any of the category choices. This
      is different from "subgenres," btw. Subgenres are descriptions like
      "Vignette," "Angst" or "Family" and they can apply to nominations that
      fit in any of the different genre categories. Authors choose the
      subgenres in the same place they choose what characters and canonical
      events describe their story.

      Another filter that is different than before is the "Reviews" filter.
      That still lets you find stories you have/haven't reviewed, or that
      have received two or less reviews in total. But in the past you could
      also access your skip and wish lists from that menu. Instead, we now
      have links directly to them, directly below the filter. If you don't
      know what those are, don't worry; I'll talk more about them in a
      future admin post.

      One thing you have to watch about the filter is that it only displays
      pieces that meet all of the options listed. So selecting Mysteries as
      the Genre and Second Age as time period will only display nominations
      that (a) selected Mystery as a category choice AND (b) selected a
      Second Age event. Throw in a length requirement and an author name and
      you could get a very small list indeed - perhaps no nominations at
      all. You may in fact want all of those things, but maybe not. I
      personally recommend clicking "Clear Filter" before you start a new
      search, to make sure you cleared out your last search.

      Once you find the stories you are interested in, it's time to read
      them. Simply click the "Read the Nomination" link. On the off-chance
      that the link doesn't load you can also click the "Alternate Location"
      link to read it. This will open up in a new tab or window, depending
      on your browser. When done reading it, just close the window. Then
      click the little pencil icon by the nomination to enter a vote for it.
      This will take you to a page where you can type a review of it. The
      review is then scored based on length (more characters = more points),
      and the author gets that number of points available. The nomination
      will eventually be assigned a category and subcategory, and the
      stories with the most point in their respective subcategory. And your
      comments will be made available to all site users (including the
      author) so it's a great way to share recommendations.

      Do mind the log-in window, though. You stay logged in for two hours.
      If it's a particularly long story or you are taking a long time to
      review it, you may run up against that window. If you time out while
      reading a story, that's not such a big deal - just log in again and
      find the story you were reading when you're ready to vote for it. If
      you time out while writing your review, that's a bigger problem
      because the website won't save your review unless you're logged in. I
      personally copy the review to the clipboard (highlight all the text,
      then type control-C) before submitting it. That way, if anything goes
      wrong, I can paste in what I wrote. Some people prefer to type their
      reviews in a Word Processor and just paste in their review to the
      webpage when they're ready. Other people just keep an eagle eye on the
      countdown and save often as a "draft" review. You might develop your
      own system. But whatever you do, do be mindful of it.

      Happy reviewing!

      Marta
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