Splitting Big Closet

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This is just another example of Erin trying to do her best for the numpties out there.

I see only one positive for the bifurcation of this site and that is to split away the definite adult stories from those that are non-offensive. This would possibly allow younger readers to become involved, but that would have inherent issues of its own.

Regardless of how tasteful or inoffensive the stories may be, the parents of said youths, may take offence at the content, despite the prose containing zero sex, zero foul language and zero fetishistic content.

This leaves those of adult age.

The problem is, that no matter how diligent Erin and her awesome staff are, someone, somewhere will always find something offensive in something.

Some people find the idea of TG stories offensive anyway, so there would be no pleasing them.

So where does the line get drawn and how long has Erin got to hold the hands of those who are quick to take offence?

How long is it going to be before people who enter this site of their own free will, take responsibility for their actions and realise that the idea of a TG site in and of itself is to many, offensive?

If you don't like the possible content - don't enter in the first place.

How long is it going to be before someone learns to stop reading if they don't like something rather than berating the author for their choice of styles, content or whatever?

To Erin I say:

You can't please everyone, so don't even try.

You have a wonderful site here, but it seems to be marred by a few who feel that their whims, fancies and frailties are not catered for to the letter and these people have been known to lash out in comments and PM's at the authors.

People who come here do so at their own risk. They should know what they're getting themselves into before they even start reading and if the material they start to read doesn't appeal

STOP BLOODY READING

It's not rocket science.

The tastes of people is already catered for to the nth degree with the keywords and so forth, so it angers me when authors are slammed for their prose.

It angers me too when I read that Erin is trying desperately to cater for all tastes - in my opinion, a fools errand.

Take responsibility for yourselves - don't put the onus on someone who already works too hard to provide something that is available nowhere else on the internet.

Nuff said.

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reading or not

i don't often write on the site but as someone who reads alot of the stories on this site i have to say.
ERIN don't change a thing.if the people who complain about the content of this site had there way there wouldn't be a site .i think from a readers point of view you have some amazing authors out thre,one thing i can't get over is that someone would actually attack verbally one of the authors i wish that author well and i am sorry that the had to go through that.

nikki

Please, Please Me -- Like I "Pleas" You

To Erin I say:

You can't please everyone, so don't even try.

Erin tries to please everyone, fully aware she can't do it. That is part of the charm of BC.

Splitting the contents into offensive and non-offensive material (that's what those labels mean to many people) is a slippery slope. HOWEVER -- there are so many slippery slopes involved in operating BC I'm quite confident Erin can negotiate one more.

I quit posting on FM some time before it quit on us (temporarily quit on us?). The reason I quit posting is I didn't want to ever be accused of posting on a pornographic site. I suppose that's just one more silly vestige of my TG life. A good share of the general public would probably grade each and every story on this site as "pornographic", because they think anything with adult content is pornography. That's not right, not remotely right, but it is how it is. I once rewrite "Peaches" as a non-TG story. Even though I took out everything I thought made it TG I was told by one literary agent that it would be "banned" because of the ideas it involved.

I don't like having my stories posted next to "one-handed fiction", but then the call over the last day for all sorts of lines to be drawn. Someone even suggested anything that involved "forced fem" be relegated to the "offensive" pile.

How about this -- anything with a protagonist under the age of fourteen should be put in the "offensive" pile because there is a large group of authors who will not read that material and finds it unseemly? Or, anything with diapers, or anything that involves age-regression to an age before fourteen.

That sounds silly doesn't it? Those are the decisions Erin will have to make.

I wish you luck Erin. I think you will encounter great resistence because about half of the authors here are looking for someone to fight with -- and you will become their latest sparring partner. We TG authors are all wounded doves trying to find oursleves through our writing. Like any wounded animal we're just a little pissed off and quite willing to attack when we think we have been provoked.

My suggestion -- create a simpler site, establish abitrary criteria, communicate it to all authors and allow them to move their material if they wish. But -- make the new site like the old BC with the less offensive material. Make the old site simpler.

You won't be able to contact all the authors. If my stories were "moved" to an "offensive" story site without my agreement I would feel violated. I would feel as if Erin had stepped on the "agreement" we made years ago when I posted them.

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

By the way, John Lennon was screwing around with "pleas" and "please" in his lyric. He was a sick puppy who the press allowed every opportunity to hide his true self.

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Why is all this active mangement needed?

I think the original poster made a valid point in that its simple not possible to make everyone happy. Its just never going to happen so there no point trying. And the argument that reading or taking in any media content comes with person responsibility is compelling. If you watch a horror flick and you have nightmares it your fault. Same can be said if you read a story with a tag like force fem in it. And you know it will offend you then it your own fault not the authors nor the content providers.

Plus splitting up the site seems somewhat unnecessary far to much work and energy for little benefit since the same people who aren't taking there own person responsibility will still complain about being offend about something.

The only thing I can think of that might be worth this much effort which might have a side effect of stopping some of this would be something like profile filters on accounts that allow the user to filter out content with specific tags along with highlighting others on the active page. But that is likely to be a lot of work and only worth wild for general user content management with a fringe benefit of allowing a type of self censorship. But that still in the end won't ever take the place of person responsibility.

Not being a geek

I am a mostly a happy camper here and fully support what she wants to do. People who don't pay money to use this site have no reason to complain.

My only complaint is that I can't seem to get a spanking here. :(

Gwen

Fun.jpg

joannebarbarella's picture

Consider Yourself Spanked, Gwen

There, you see. It's easy. BC is now an S&M site. There's no need to split off a hardcore offspring. Every now and again I go trawling through the All-time Popular Content here and pick a story at random that has maybe 5000+ reads and, guess what? Many of them are forced-femme of the "worst" kind and some have BDSM and torture and all sorts of horrors, and these are among the most popular tales on the site.
So let's not be hypocrites. It's here if you want it and if you don't want it don't read it. Do you have half a brain? Erin, you own the site and you can do what you like, but you're already catering to 99% of the potential clientele out here. Why waste your valuable time for that lousy 1% who will up sticks and go as soon as something perverted enough to please them comes along somewhere else.
That's my $10's worth (Ah! Inflation)
Joanne

Isn't that what the "tags" are for?

I must say, that even though I don't read many of the stories on this site, at least I look at the tags attached to the stories so I know what I'm getting into. Duuhhh! It's not a catch-all, but at least those tags help me to know what kind of content may be in the story.

Soooo...what I'm really trying to say is...If you can't read or understand the tags, then don't read. If the author fails to put a tag on the story, then shame on them.

As Forrest Gump would say, That's all I got to say about that.

Cya 'round,
Paula

Failure to identify

Authors deliberately not using the keywords seems to be a problem. There are two stories up right now, their accompaning illustration does warn the reader what they are probably about; reading the keywords certainly doesn't. But given the nature of this site, there is no way to compell cooperation, so if the content of a story that hasn't been properly tagged upsets a reader the author had better be willing to accept the complaint without throwing a hissy fit.

Yuri!

Yuri!

Agreed - to a point

I agree in principle that the author should state that there might be content that some may find disturbing, but further than that I feel that this tagging business has already gone too far.

Sometimes tagging can give the game away and whilst it's not always a viable excuse, it is down to the author to decide.

People here are very particular about what they read and some subjects can be potentially disturbing - I appreciate that, but when one buys a book from the bookshop or takes one from the library, it's not always clear from the cover or the synopsis what the content is going to be, is it?

There is an old book by Frisco Hitt called A Coffin Full of Dreams, which is about mercenaries on the Congo. It stated in the synopsis that it was about a schoolteacher who joins a bunch of mercenaries during the sixties war on the Congo, but nowhere did it state that it would contain the graphically written horrors and atrocities it did, so why should you expect stories here to give you a blow by blow account of their contents - which happens nowhere else in literature?

This business of tagging or not tagging, is an argument that has been raging for some time and there's no clear answer, but once again, I point at the nature of the site. It's a TG fiction site and therefore some lines of 'good taste' are bound to be crossed. As I said in the original post, some people think TG literature is blasphemous or worse to begin with, so that line has already been left well behind, hasn't it?

I currently write for another site whose only real stipulation is differentiating between something that is suitable for all and that which isn't. There is a tag for genre, a tag for things that may have violent content and another for minors doing things perhaps they shouldn't, but other than that, there's very little compared to here.

Once again, I say it's down to YOU, the reader to take responsibility and stop reading when you encounter things you don't like.

And if you didn't like it, just leave it there, rather than giving the author a hard time.

It's not their fault that you don't like stuff is it?

Erin's picture

Categories and Tagging

The concept of accurate tagging and categories on internet fiction comes out of early fiction sites mostly being about fetishes. No one really wants to read about someone else's fetishes. Some TG writing is fetishistic and some isn't. BigCloset is for both kinds. Just because a story is about fetishes, doesn't mean it's automatically X or higher.

Authors who are writing fetishistic TG fiction should use the appropriate categories here but there is no enforcement. I will correct the rating sometimes and I will add a CAUTION sometimes but otherwise, I and my editors don't mess with the categories unless we are asked to or are posting for someone else. It's really up to the author.

Readers who want to object to the categories given a story really should do so privately but I won't automatically remove such complaints from the comments. I will if asked or if the complaint violates other commenting rules, of course.

In my view, tags and categories are there to help authors attract their chosen audience. Warning readers away is only secondary to that purpose.

Hugs,
Erin

= Give everyone the benefit of the doubt because certainty is a fragile thing that can be shattered by one overlooked fact.

= Give everyone the benefit of the doubt because certainty is a fragile thing that can be shattered by one overlooked fact.

Angel's picture

Failure to identify - Response -

I can see your point Yuri if a person is brand new to this genre and to a point this site. What surprises me are those long time members that already know the styles of writing of the popular authors still complain about missing key words and themes.

To me that is just plain silly because they already know they don't like their writing! To prove my point is simple but a bit time consuming. Just go to the authors page(s) and click on any with more than just a few comments and you'll always find the same people complaining about the same things! Why are they reading the story in the first place?

I'll tell you, they target certain authors and certain stories using certain key words and themes as their guide. It's a catch 22 here, they see the key words that bother them and they click on the story and leave a scathing comment. They see a story without many key words and themes, they click on the story and complain in their comment!

I mean even after they reach a point in the story they knew was going to bother them, they write...

"I couldn't finish reading this story and I was appalled..."

The one thing they all have in common is that NOT ONE leaves a positive anything in their comment. The comment they leave is 100% negative.

Like it has been said, you can't please everybody, but some go out of their way to be displeased and they do it on purpose!

If you don't believe me check it out for yourselves. It is a time consuming endeavor and that's not counting the ones that have been removed either by the commenter themselves or the admins.

I would like to add that I have ended my crusade against moralizing. It doesn't do anyone any good, it doesn't change anyone's mind, and it does cause more harm than good. To that end some here should be very happy and I do not want to be the one to cause disharmony at this wonderful site.

The Big Closet Classic site is my birthplace and Erin was the one who gave me my start and confidence enough to keep me writing even after I was slam dunked more than once by readers and other writers that dislike my style(s) of writing.

I promise you that I will label any new stories that contain diapering in the title section as "This is another of Angel's "Bottom Wipers!" since that label was coined right here by a reader and commenter. I found it very funny and I use it often enough.

Angel

"Be Your-Self, So Easy to Say, So Hard to Live!"

"Be Your-Self, So Easy to Say, So Hard to Live!"

Tags - Omnibus response

Let me start off by saying that I make no judgment calls about the author and stories I used as examples. They just happened to be on the front page where everybody who cared to could see for themselves.

I also thing that, in spite of Erin's statement that avoidance is a secondary use for keywords, I believe for the average reader it has equal weight to finding stories. To expand on that facet, which is also mentioned, I ask "How do new readers find old stories?". For every story that is on the home page will sooner or later be off the home page. A new reader might stumble across a story by accident, maybe they see it referred to by somebody else or it is recommended to them. Or they might just take a random jump and see what is behind author A's name.

But what I do is a do a keyword search, looking for stories in categories I like. Now, if somebody likes the type of story I used as an example, are they going to find these stories by doing a keyword search? Not likely, because they don't have the correct keywords. So, no matter how well-written a story is, if somebody is searching for a diaper story they won't find these by doing a keyword search. To my mind, that automatically places these stories at a disadvantage.

I've never bought into the bookstore analogy, that is only valid if you buy books solely by the cover. I don't, and I personally don't know anybody who does. When I'm looking for some new books to buy, I may be attracted by the title or the illustration, but before that book goes out the door with me I have taken the time to read several parts of it, to see if it is my type of story. I guess I'm old-fashioned, but spot-reading a story on the computer just isn't the same as spot-reading a physical book. I just can't get the 'flavor' of a story online in that manner. So proper keywords and a semi-decent synopsis is a big help to me online.

Neither do I buy the idea that accurate tagging spoils the story. If a half-dozen keywords can accurately reveal the story, then I'd suspect it's not much of a story in the first place. I read the stories I like more than once, obviously knowing what is going to happen the second or third time around doesn't stop me from enjoying the story. A well-written story doesn't have a shelf-life, nor an expiration date. I've read "Samantha" by Sarah Lynn Morgan at least 8 times. I know how it ends but I continue to reread it anyway, and I still tear-up at all the dramatic moments.

Angel, your comment reminds me of the old joke about the maiden lady that lived out in the country. A creek ran along the back edge of her property and the boys in the area liked to go skinny-dipping on those long, hot summer days. Well, the lady was offended and called the sheriff. "Every time I look out my kitchen window I see those boys and it's indecent!"

So the sheriff tells the boys they need to move on down the creek a ways. But two or three days later she is back on the phone, "I still see those boys out there naked when I look out my upstairs bedroom window." So the sheriff has another talk with the boys and tells them to move way down the creek.

But three days later the lady is back on the phone to the sheriff. "When I look out the attic window with a pair of binoculars I can still see those boys . . ."

What can I say? This can be a win-win for everybody, the readers and the authors, each getting what they want. But I still maintain that not using accurate keywords in the end is a disservice to the reader, both now and later.

Yuri!

Yuri!

Erin's picture

Ah, well

No disagreement with anything you said. But it remains that the only person who can take responsibility for tagging the story is the author, that's how it is here and in my view, how it should be.

There are alternatives. Someone could read every story and take responsibility for accurate tagging. I'm not doing it and I'm not delegating it to anyone, so that's out. I could set up community tagging where readers could add tags to stories, drupal actually has a way to do that. Having seen what happened with a multi-level voting system, I'm not doing that, either.

Author-controlled tags may not be perfect but they are the only way that is both practical and as fair to the author and reader both as can be. Yes, bad tagging is less than ideal from the POV of readers but since the authors own the stories, if they take as much authority over tags as they have over the story, then it will work as well as can be expected.

Anything else more fair to authors and readers would place enormous burdens on myself and other editors. We'd have to get agreements from authors, we'd have to establish standards, etc. Besides the actual labor. And would it satisfy more people than the current system. Perhaps. Maybe 15% more. More likely about 3% more satisfaction all around.

I know for an experiential fact that it would not end the discussion about just what is and is not an adequate or appropriate amount of tagging. :)

Hugs,
Erin

= Give everyone the benefit of the doubt because certainty is a fragile thing that can be shattered by one overlooked fact.

= Give everyone the benefit of the doubt because certainty is a fragile thing that can be shattered by one overlooked fact.

Never suggested that

I'm not sure how the idea that management here should take on the task of tagging stories came up, I didn't say that. In fact, I said nothing that can even be misunderstood as saying that. My discussion is for the authors, who are after all the ones who are responsible for tagging their stories. As I said, it can be a win-win for readers and authors; the readers finding the stories they want to read, and the authors reaching the people who will appreciate what they wrote. Isn't that better than being vague and getting readers who don't like a story and say so?

And it shouldn't require adding, but I will anyway: all comments - public or private - should be made in a respectful manner. Even if you don't agree with what the other person says and think it's b**s***. You may think you are amazingly droll and witty, but the person on the other end is not going to get that. What they get is that they are being attacked.

Yuri!

Yuri!

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