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Msg# 6735

Re: categorization; was: RE: Re: points and various voting matters Posted by Marta Layton January 14, 2006 - 11:36:34 Topic ID# 6735
> Message: 2
> Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 17:55:51 -0600
> From: "Ainaechoiriel" <mefaadmin@earthlink.net>
> Subject: RE: Re: points and various voting matters (sulriel)
>
> <snippage>
> If it's a feeling of "it's unfair because of the subcategories" they
> are in,
> well, that's the biggest issue facing these awards: categorization.
> Maybe
> in ASC they have it easier, except for the one person insufficiently
> reluctant to do it: the Administrator assigns the categories. Though,
> admitedly, she has the support of the headers the authors used and
> thus the
> category suggestions pulled from those headers by the SOS maintainers.
>
> But then some peole can still quibble about which category she put
> them in.
> I think having th authors choose their categories is best, but subcats
> are
> harder . We can't have 75 or 120 story categories so they have to be
> broken
> up. What is the best way to do that? And that is our biggest issue.
>

I don't want to let the authors choose the subcategory. Besides being
*way* too hard, logistics-wise, it would make the whole process too
contentious.

One idea I had toyed with was allowing authors to request that a story
be moved if they really thought it didn't belong in a subcategory. We
wouldn't have to tell them what other stories were in a certain
sub-category; we could send an email something like:

****

Greetings Author,

The volunteers working with the MEFAs are organising the nominations
into the categories and sub-categories that will determine what stories
will be competing against which other stories.

Your story [title] was nominated in Drama, and we intend to place it in
the sub-category [sub-category]. If you do not feel this is a good fit
for your story, we can move it to any of the following subcategories
within the Drama category:

[list of eligible sub-categories]

[repeat above for every category author has stories entered in]

If you would like to move your story to a different subcategory please
reply back to this email as soon as possible. We will move stories only
if they will not make the sub-category they are moving out of or into
inviable, so the sooner you reply, the better the chance we will be
able to accommodate your request.

******

Let's say Fourth Age has the subcategories

(no subcat) (6 stories)
Ithilien (5 stories)
Valinor (13 stories)
Drabble (9 stories)
Poetry (5 stories)
Vignette (9 stories)

And I have a story nominated. Not sure what subcategories will be
available I mark both Ithilien and Vignette as possible subcategories.
My story gets placed in Ithilien but I want to move it to Vignette.
That's a problem: if we move a story out of Ithilien, Ithilien only has
four entries and so is inviable. Therefore I can't request that change.
If, however, the situation was changed and my story was in Vignette and
I wanted to move it to Ithilien, the admins could make this move
because that would leave Vignette with 8 stories and Ithilien with 6 --
both viable.

New scenario: My story is in the (no subcat) subcategory and I want to
move it into Valinor. Someone else emails in first and asks that their
story (also in (no subcat)) be moved to Vignette, so at the time I
email in (no subcat) had 5 entries. Moving another one out would make
(no subcat) inviable, so we have to say no.

Obviously you have to move into another *eligible* subcat. You can't
move from Drabble to Ithilien, but if there were two drabbles subcats
(i.e., Shire Drabbles and Gondor Drabbles) you could move from one to
the other if you liked.

I know at one time we were talking about having a maximum size for a
subcat -- 15 stories -- so that every subcat would have at least 5 and
no more than 15 stories. I think this is a really good idea,
personally, but am not sure if it was ever officially decided. Anyway,
if we are going with this the moving from one sub-cat to another would
work both ways: if a move would bump a subcat over 15 stories, then we
won't allow that move either.

Marta

Msg# 6736

categorization Posted by Kathy January 14, 2006 - 14:11:02 Topic ID# 6735
Hi Marta,

--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>
> I don't want to let the authors choose the subcategory. Besides
being
> *way* too hard, logistics-wise, it would make the whole process too
> contentious.
>
> One idea I had toyed with was allowing authors to request that a
story
> be moved if they really thought it didn't belong in a subcategory.
We
> wouldn't have to tell them what other stories were in a certain
> sub-category; we could send an email something like:
>
> ****
>
> Greetings Author,
>
> The volunteers working with the MEFAs are organising the
nominations
> into the categories and sub-categories that will determine what
stories
> will be competing against which other stories.
>
> Your story [title] was nominated in Drama, and we intend to place
it in
> the sub-category [sub-category]. If you do not feel this is a good
fit
> for your story, we can move it to any of the following
subcategories
> within the Drama category:
>
> [list of eligible sub-categories]
>
> [repeat above for every category author has stories entered in]
>
> If you would like to move your story to a different subcategory
please
> reply back to this email as soon as possible. We will move stories
only
> if they will not make the sub-category they are moving out of or
into
> inviable, so the sooner you reply, the better the chance we will be
> able to accommodate your request.
>
> ******
>
> Let's say Fourth Age has the subcategories
>
> (no subcat) (6 stories)
> Ithilien (5 stories)
> Valinor (13 stories)
> Drabble (9 stories)
> Poetry (5 stories)
> Vignette (9 stories)
>
> And I have a story nominated. Not sure what subcategories will be
> available I mark both Ithilien and Vignette as possible
subcategories.
> My story gets placed in Ithilien but I want to move it to Vignette.
> That's a problem: if we move a story out of Ithilien, Ithilien only
has
> four entries and so is inviable. Therefore I can't request that
change.
> If, however, the situation was changed and my story was in Vignette
and
> I wanted to move it to Ithilien, the admins could make this move
> because that would leave Vignette with 8 stories and Ithilien with
6 --
> both viable.
>
> New scenario: My story is in the (no subcat) subcategory and I want
to
> move it into Valinor. Someone else emails in first and asks that
their
> story (also in (no subcat)) be moved to Vignette, so at the time I
> email in (no subcat) had 5 entries. Moving another one out would
make
> (no subcat) inviable, so we have to say no.
>
> Obviously you have to move into another *eligible* subcat. You
can't
> move from Drabble to Ithilien, but if there were two drabbles
subcats
> (i.e., Shire Drabbles and Gondor Drabbles) you could move from one
to
> the other if you liked.
>
> I know at one time we were talking about having a maximum size for
a
> subcat -- 15 stories -- so that every subcat would have at least 5
and
> no more than 15 stories. I think this is a really good idea,
> personally, but am not sure if it was ever officially decided.
Anyway,
> if we are going with this the moving from one sub-cat to another
would
> work both ways: if a move would bump a subcat over 15 stories, then
we
> won't allow that move either.


As a volunteer categorizer last year (as you were too, of course), I
see both pros and cons to this idea:

Pro: It would help address the problem of authors saying after the
fact, "Had I know there would be subcategory x, I would have
suggested it on my nominating form."

Con: Until all authors replied to the proposed email, you would not
be able to determine which subcats were inviable, as they would be in
a state of flux. To use your first example, at the same time that one
author is asking that her story be moved out of Ithilien, thus making
the subcat inviable, three others might be requesting that their
stories be moved *into* Ithilien. This could result in crazy-making,
11th-hour reshuffling for the categorizers...not a pleasant prospect!
At the very least, you'd have to set a deadline for all such
requests. But even then, you'd have authors complaining that they
didn't get the email, etc.

So I don't know...I'd want to hear from some of the other
categorizers about this one.

Kathy (Inkling)

Msg# 6742

Re: categorization; was: RE: Re: points and various voting matters Posted by Ainaechoiriel January 14, 2006 - 23:49:08 Topic ID# 6735
The idea has merit but I see two problems that would have to be worked out.
One you already mentions: viablity.

The second though is bigger: time. We definitely couldn't say "as soon as
possible". There would HAVE to be a deadline. Look at the effort it already
takes to get an author to approve a nomination. And then if they did reply,
the time for swapping those stories around and keeping viability.

--Ainaechoiriel
MEFA Admin and Founder

"This evil cannot be concealed by the power of the Elves," Elrond said, "for
it is Windows-compatible, and freeware at that." --H.F.

http://gabrielle.sytes.net/mefa The Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Blog: http://www.ainaechoiriel.blogspot.com



> -----Original Message-----
> From: MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com
> [mailto:MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Marta Layton
> Sent: Saturday, January 14, 2006 11:43 AM
> To: MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: Re: [MEFAwards] categorization; was: RE: Re: points
> and various voting matters
>
> > Message: 2
> > Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 17:55:51 -0600
> > From: "Ainaechoiriel" <mefaadmin@earthlink.net>
> > Subject: RE: Re: points and various voting matters (sulriel)
> >
> > <snippage>
> > If it's a feeling of "it's unfair because of the
> subcategories" they
> > are in, well, that's the biggest issue facing these awards:
> > categorization.
> > Maybe
> > in ASC they have it easier, except for the one person
> insufficiently
> > reluctant to do it: the Administrator assigns the
> categories. Though,
> > admitedly, she has the support of the headers the authors used and
> > thus the category suggestions pulled from those headers by the SOS
> > maintainers.
> >
> > But then some peole can still quibble about which category she put
> > them in.
> > I think having th authors choose their categories is best,
> but subcats
> > are harder . We can't have 75 or 120 story categories so
> they have to
> > be broken up. What is the best way to do that? And that is our
> > biggest issue.
> >
>
> I don't want to let the authors choose the subcategory. Besides being
> *way* too hard, logistics-wise, it would make the whole process too
> contentious.
>
> One idea I had toyed with was allowing authors to request
> that a story
> be moved if they really thought it didn't belong in a subcategory. We
> wouldn't have to tell them what other stories were in a certain
> sub-category; we could send an email something like:
>
> ****
>
> Greetings Author,
>
> The volunteers working with the MEFAs are organising the nominations
> into the categories and sub-categories that will determine
> what stories
> will be competing against which other stories.
>
> Your story [title] was nominated in Drama, and we intend to
> place it in
> the sub-category [sub-category]. If you do not feel this is a
> good fit
> for your story, we can move it to any of the following subcategories
> within the Drama category:
>
> [list of eligible sub-categories]
>
> [repeat above for every category author has stories entered in]
>
> If you would like to move your story to a different
> subcategory please
> reply back to this email as soon as possible. We will move
> stories only
> if they will not make the sub-category they are moving out of or into
> inviable, so the sooner you reply, the better the chance we will be
> able to accommodate your request.
>
> ******
>
> Let's say Fourth Age has the subcategories
>
> (no subcat) (6 stories)
> Ithilien (5 stories)
> Valinor (13 stories)
> Drabble (9 stories)
> Poetry (5 stories)
> Vignette (9 stories)
>
> And I have a story nominated. Not sure what subcategories will be
> available I mark both Ithilien and Vignette as possible
> subcategories.
> My story gets placed in Ithilien but I want to move it to Vignette.
> That's a problem: if we move a story out of Ithilien,
> Ithilien only has
> four entries and so is inviable. Therefore I can't request
> that change.
> If, however, the situation was changed and my story was in
> Vignette and
> I wanted to move it to Ithilien, the admins could make this move
> because that would leave Vignette with 8 stories and Ithilien
> with 6 --
> both viable.
>
> New scenario: My story is in the (no subcat) subcategory and
> I want to
> move it into Valinor. Someone else emails in first and asks
> that their
> story (also in (no subcat)) be moved to Vignette, so at the time I
> email in (no subcat) had 5 entries. Moving another one out would make
> (no subcat) inviable, so we have to say no.
>
> Obviously you have to move into another *eligible* subcat. You can't
> move from Drabble to Ithilien, but if there were two drabbles subcats
> (i.e., Shire Drabbles and Gondor Drabbles) you could move from one to
> the other if you liked.
>
> I know at one time we were talking about having a maximum size for a
> subcat -- 15 stories -- so that every subcat would have at
> least 5 and
> no more than 15 stories. I think this is a really good idea,
> personally, but am not sure if it was ever officially
> decided. Anyway,
> if we are going with this the moving from one sub-cat to
> another would
> work both ways: if a move would bump a subcat over 15
> stories, then we
> won't allow that move either.
>
> Marta
>
>
>
>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>

Msg# 6747

Re: categorization Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard January 15, 2006 - 6:14:00 Topic ID# 6735
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy" <inkling-tcbs@s...> wrote:
<snip>
> As a volunteer categorizer last year (as you were too, of course), I
> see both pros and cons to this idea:
>
> Pro: It would help address the problem of authors saying after the
> fact, "Had I know there would be subcategory x, I would have
> suggested it on my nominating form."

We can catch this in the new form right? Along with good liaison
instructions?

> Con: Until all authors replied to the proposed email, you would not
> be able to determine which subcats were inviable, as they would be
> in a state of flux. To use your first example, at the same time that
> one author is asking that her story be moved out of Ithilien, thus
> making the subcat inviable, three others might be requesting that
> their stories be moved *into* Ithilien. This could result in
> crazy-making, 11th-hour reshuffling for the categorizers...not a
> pleasant prospect!

No it isn't. I rather see a small team working closely on this
together. This same team can also decide to graduate stories *after*
categorising is done. So many ideas, I wish I had more energy :-/

> So I don't know...I'd want to hear from some of the other
> categorizers about this one.

The problem with categorising wasn't so much in subcategories, but
shifting stories from deliberately chosen main categories to a less
favoured one without consulting the author about it. To me, imho.

The thing is, and I knew I was very much aware of this as a liaison
nd categoriser, is that it was or could be clearly told that the
chosen sub-categories would or might lead to a story placed in a
subcategory when needed. At that moment we asked the author to have a
good look at both main categories and subcategories. Maybe it wasn't
explained to the author that well (maybe given the time pressure), so
it should be emphasised in the new form this year that the input and
final approval the author gives upon accepting the nomination: that is it.

I did had big issues this year with moving stories from the main 1st
category to a 3rd chosen category (where in my experience an author
said, oh a third, well let's do that one then, just to comply with the
reuqest to complete the nomination), because the categoriser thought
it would fit better there, ignoring the wish of an author. I strongly
do believe such changes should be communicated with the author first.

I have so many ideas how things can be improved behind the scenes for
the categorisers, especially in organising and giving better
instruction on the how to, to assure uniformity, but this bouncing
baby of mine is keeping me in bed most of the day now that we slowly
approach my due date.

This team can also tackle issues like race/places: Rohan: romance or
Romance: rohan..., decide on graduating categories: just as long if
they work closely together. I knew not knowing my fellow categorisers
that well *kept* me from saying things, it felt a bit uncomfortable to
do so, everyone worked so hard on it and you come back at them saying
your piece. In the end categorisers sought each other out, I at least
chatted with a fellow categoriser about it and that felt really good,
since there weren't clear instructions on it: at least you had that.
Now that I do know volunteers of last year a bit more, I would have
approached things differently (hindsight I know). Since we don't know
how many people will volunteer this year, I think it would be smart to
appoint a core group of people who will do it next year. Rolling up
the sleeves, thinking about the system in advance and maybe during
nomination season, keep an eye on which categories will be popular and
which ones not (this way you can signal things on time). I do believe
it also works very well that for the volunteers who will do the first
phase of categorising, that they know someone is around to ask
questions too, especially when someone is new to it. This year it
really felt like a plunge in the dark... but I still do believe we did
a good job. :c)

Rhapsody
(yeah count me in on at least the categorising thing, to iron that
out, write instructions and such)

Msg# 6750

Re: categorization; was: RE: Re: points and various voting matters Posted by Marta Layton January 15, 2006 - 16:12:19 Topic ID# 6735
> Message: 12
> Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2006 23:48:34 -0600
> From: "Ainaechoiriel" <mefaadmin@earthlink.net>
> Subject: RE: categorization; was: RE: Re: points and various voting
> matters
>
> The idea has merit but I see two problems that would have to be worked
> out.
> One you already mentions: viablity.
>

See my above reply to Kathy.

> The second though is bigger: time. We definitely couldn't say "as
> soon as
> possible". There would HAVE to be a deadline. Look at the effort it
> already
> takes to get an author to approve a nomination. And then if they did
> reply,
> the time for swapping those stories around and keeping viability.
>

A deadline wouldn't be a problem, and I think it could be a short one
-- 3-5 days should be sufficient IMO. But this brings up another issue.

I think we may want to reconsider the "check ballot" season. For one,
we may want to break it down further into things like a period to
finalise all the nominations, a period to create subcategories, a
"swap" period during which authors are contacted and can request their
story be moved to a new subcategory, and a check ballot period when we
post things to this list and get people to check them for any errors.
It could be longer than what we currently allow. Personally I don't see
the rush since we have the website and people can start voting on
everything except authors reviews as soon as a story is nominated.

And I think it would help things immensely if we had a smaller group,
maybe five tops, who each would do more categories. This would mean
more work but it also would require less people, and I think we'd have
less communications issues and we'd be able to do this more
effectively. Just my $.02, of course.

Marta

Msg# 6751

Re: categorization Posted by Marta Layton January 15, 2006 - 16:19:14 Topic ID# 6735
> Message: 6
> Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2006 20:10:58 -0000
> From: "Kathy" <inkling-tcbs@sbcglobal.net>
> Subject: categorization
>
> Hi Marta,
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>>
>> I don't want to let the authors choose the subcategory. Besides
> being
>> *way* too hard, logistics-wise, it would make the whole process too
>> contentious.
>>
>> One idea I had toyed with was allowing authors to request that a
> story
>> be moved if they really thought it didn't belong in a subcategory.
> We
>> wouldn't have to tell them what other stories were in a certain
>> sub-category; we could send an email something like:
>>
>> <snip email for space>
>>
>> Let's say Fourth Age has the subcategories
>>
>> (no subcat) (6 stories)
>> Ithilien (5 stories)
>> Valinor (13 stories)
>> Drabble (9 stories)
>> Poetry (5 stories)
>> Vignette (9 stories)
>>
>> And I have a story nominated. Not sure what subcategories will be
>> available I mark both Ithilien and Vignette as possible
> subcategories.
>> My story gets placed in Ithilien but I want to move it to Vignette.
>> That's a problem: if we move a story out of Ithilien, Ithilien only
> has
>> four entries and so is inviable. Therefore I can't request that
> change.
>> If, however, the situation was changed and my story was in Vignette
> and
>> I wanted to move it to Ithilien, the admins could make this move
>> because that would leave Vignette with 8 stories and Ithilien with
> 6 --
>> both viable.
>>
>> New scenario: My story is in the (no subcat) subcategory and I want
> to
>> move it into Valinor. Someone else emails in first and asks that
> their
>> story (also in (no subcat)) be moved to Vignette, so at the time I
>> email in (no subcat) had 5 entries. Moving another one out would
> make
>> (no subcat) inviable, so we have to say no.
>>
>> Obviously you have to move into another *eligible* subcat. You
> can't
>> move from Drabble to Ithilien, but if there were two drabbles
> subcats
>> (i.e., Shire Drabbles and Gondor Drabbles) you could move from one
> to
>> the other if you liked.
>>
>> I know at one time we were talking about having a maximum size for
> a
>> subcat -- 15 stories -- so that every subcat would have at least 5
> and
>> no more than 15 stories. I think this is a really good idea,
>> personally, but am not sure if it was ever officially decided.
> Anyway,
>> if we are going with this the moving from one sub-cat to another
> would
>> work both ways: if a move would bump a subcat over 15 stories, then
> we
>> won't allow that move either.
>
>
> As a volunteer categorizer last year (as you were too, of course), I
> see both pros and cons to this idea:
>

I saw both pros and cons, too. Actually I was a bit cautious about
recommending it for that reason. So I reserve the right to change my
mind on all this.

> Pro: It would help address the problem of authors saying after the
> fact, "Had I know there would be subcategory x, I would have
> suggested it on my nominating form."
>

Exactly. I can think of some other reasons for this, but that's
definitely the main one.

> Con: Until all authors replied to the proposed email, you would not
> be able to determine which subcats were inviable, as they would be in
> a state of flux. To use your first example, at the same time that one
> author is asking that her story be moved out of Ithilien, thus making
> the subcat inviable, three others might be requesting that their
> stories be moved *into* Ithilien. This could result in crazy-making,
> 11th-hour reshuffling for the categorizers...not a pleasant prospect!
> At the very least, you'd have to set a deadline for all such
> requests. But even then, you'd have authors complaining that they
> didn't get the email, etc.
>

Well, remember that these are authors that someone (their liaisons)
have previously checked. I suppose if we wanted to, we could tell them
to be on the lookout for an email within a certain timeframe when we
talk to them during nomination season.

To answer your other question -- I don't think we'd really be in a
state of flux. If I ask to move my story out of a subcat and such a
move would make that subcat inviable, then whoever is categorising that
category would have to email back and say that someone else requested
to move first, and so we couldn't move their story. This really is on a
first come, first sserve basis. As categorisors, we can also aim to
have categories of between 7 and 12 stories to give more flexibility
here. And we can encourage the authors not to request moves unless it's
a real need.

Remember that these categories will be based on the information the
author is providing in their categorisation form. The author, not the
nominator. So I don't think it will be a question of a story being
placed in a bad versus a good subcat, but an adequate vs. a better
subcat.

Just my $.02, of course. I don't pretend that this isn't a potential
problem, I just think it's less of a problem than having authors
wishing they could move and having no recourse at all.

Marta

Msg# 6753

categorization; was: RE: Re: points and various voting matters Posted by Kathy January 15, 2006 - 20:40:46 Topic ID# 6735
Hi Marta,

I like your suggestions for breaking down check ballot season,
especially allowing more time for catezorizing.

Kathy


--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>
> A deadline wouldn't be a problem, and I think it could be a short
one
> -- 3-5 days should be sufficient IMO. But this brings up another
issue.
>
> I think we may want to reconsider the "check ballot" season. For
one,
> we may want to break it down further into things like a period to
> finalise all the nominations, a period to create subcategories, a
> "swap" period during which authors are contacted and can request
their
> story be moved to a new subcategory, and a check ballot period when
we
> post things to this list and get people to check them for any
errors.
> It could be longer than what we currently allow. Personally I don't
see
> the rush since we have the website and people can start voting on
> everything except authors reviews as soon as a story is nominated.
>
> And I think it would help things immensely if we had a smaller
group,
> maybe five tops, who each would do more categories. This would mean
> more work but it also would require less people, and I think we'd
have
> less communications issues and we'd be able to do this more
> effectively. Just my $.02, of course.
>
> Marta
>

Msg# 6756

Re: categorization Posted by Marta Layton January 18, 2006 - 23:01:33 Topic ID# 6735
Hi Rhapsody,

> Message: 1
> Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2006 12:13:33 -0000
> From: "rhapsody_the_bard" <rhapsody74@gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: categorization
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy" <inkling-tcbs@s...> wrote:
> <snip>
>> As a volunteer categorizer last year (as you were too, of course), I
>> see both pros and cons to this idea:
>>
>> Pro: It would help address the problem of authors saying after the
>> fact, "Had I know there would be subcategory x, I would have
>> suggested it on my nominating form."
>
> We can catch this in the new form right? Along with good liaison
> instructions?
>

The problem is that the form doesn't prioritize situations. I might
write a humor piece, a metafic about Faramir, and I think that it
really belongs in a metafic subcategory -- but not knowing whether this
will be available, I will fill out the form and note that it's set in
Gondor and features Faramir. So there might be a metafic subcategory
but this piece gets put in Gondor.

My feeling is that if a story can be moved from one sub-cat to another
without affecting the viability of a sub-cat, that's not a bad thing.
It may be outweighed by the amount of work, of course.

>> Con: Until all authors replied to the proposed email, you would not
>> be able to determine which subcats were inviable, as they would be
>> in a state of flux. To use your first example, at the same time that
>> one author is asking that her story be moved out of Ithilien, thus
>> making the subcat inviable, three others might be requesting that
>> their stories be moved *into* Ithilien. This could result in
>> crazy-making, 11th-hour reshuffling for the categorizers...not a
>> pleasant prospect!
>
> No it isn't. I rather see a small team working closely on this
> together. This same team can also decide to graduate stories *after*
> categorising is done. So many ideas, I wish I had more energy :-/
>

I agree with you here about the smaller team. But as for the eleventh
hour reshuffling... that just won't happen. All of the subcategories
are based on information the author provides. So whatever subcategory
it ends up, if it's derived from this information, that sub-category is
a good one. There just might be a better one. So an author can request
that a story be moved and we will honour that request if we can. But if
we can't, we'll just have to say "sorry, we can't do that" and the
author is still in a subcategory they requested, just not their
favourite -- it's analogous to the story being placed in their second
choice category.

> I did had big issues this year with moving stories from the main 1st
> category to a 3rd chosen category (where in my experience an author
> said, oh a third, well let's do that one then, just to comply with the
> reuqest to complete the nomination), because the categoriser thought
> it would fit better there, ignoring the wish of an author. I strongly
> do believe such changes should be communicated with the author first.
>

I wasn't crazy about this. In theory I'd be fine with saying that we
have to let an author know we're placing their story in its third
choice and give them a chance to suggest something else, but this would
run into the same problems you're seeing with the sub-cat shuffling I'm
suggesting. Perhaps the easiest solution would be to only require
first- and second-choice categories, and if neither of those work go
back to the author. Not sure how feasible that is, though.

It seems like discussion on this has pretty well died down. Should we
have a poll on it?

Marta

Msg# 6757

Re: categorization/changing subcategories Posted by Kathy January 19, 2006 - 0:29:43 Topic ID# 6735
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:

> It seems like discussion on this has pretty well died down. Should
> we have a poll on it?

The question being, should authors be allowed to request a new
subcategory if they don't like the one they're assigned? To clarify
further what's being proposed, are you seeing this only as an option
to move OUT of a subcategory, or also the option to request a move
INTO a specific new subcat? If the latter, I can foresee situations
where everyone wants to move into a "popular" subcat, and wonder how
that would be handled: first come, first served?

Given the lack of discussion, I find myself wondering how big of a
problem this actually was last year. Marta, did you propose this
because you heard a lot of complaints about subcat assignments? I
know there was a fair amount of confusion about subcats generally,
and how to choose subcat suggestions for the nominating form, but
were there many authors who were unhappy with the subcats they were
assigned?

Perhaps rather than a poll, this is an issue that should be decided
by the categorizers once they have signed on this year, since they
are the ones who would be the most affected by this proposal? Anyone
else have an opinion on this?

Kathy (Inkling)

Msg# 6759

Re: categorization/changing subcategories Posted by sulriel January 19, 2006 - 7:56:21 Topic ID# 6735
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com,
Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>
> > It seems like discussion on this has pretty well died down. Should
> > we have a poll on it?
>
> The question being, should authors be allowed to request a new
> subcategory if they don't like the one they're assigned? <<snipped>>
> Given the lack of discussion, I find myself wondering how big of a
> problem this actually was last year. Marta, did you propose this
> because you heard a lot of complaints about subcat assignments?

I've stayed out of this thread because I didn't help cagetogorize last
year and don't plan to this year. - but knowing human nature, it
seems that you are setting up the categorizes for an awful lot more
work, and setting up potential for conflict with the authors.

of those I nominated, I was somewhat unhappy with where some ended up
last year - but I trust that the categorizes did the best they could -
and of course, all turned out well in the end.

I think if the authors are allowed to list/approve possible subcates
when they approve the nomination, those suggestions should be used in
order of preference and 'that should be that'.

I can't imagine the amount of work involved in trying to move
nominations around once the categories have already been set. ... even
something as simple as trying to verify the time stamp on an email to
see which of two request should be honor has to take into account
world time zones, - do you use the time it says it was sent or the
time it was recved by the liason? What if one gets lost, stories are
moved, and then the the *real* first request can't be honored. .. are
the others moved back ... ???

Sulriel (not asking for trouble, just seeing a lot of potential)

Msg# 6760

Re: categorization/changing subcategories Posted by aelfwina@cableone.net January 19, 2006 - 13:03:16 Topic ID# 6735
I think that the authors should be allowed to list a limited number of
possible sub-categories (maybe more than three, maybe five), and their order
of preference. But I think it should be made clear at the outset that these
preferences are subject to the vagaries of sub-category viability, and that
if it does not land in the preferred sub-category *that's it*. I
categorized last year, and I know a bit more about it now than I did
then--we don't need to set up more work or worry for those doing the
sub-categorization. (I know I often stressed over where to place a story.)
If an author *strongly* objects to a sub-category, that should be taken in a
case-by-case basis by one of the admins, and the author should have the
option of withdrawing the story. I know this sounds a little strict, but I
think with a drop-down list of sub-categories this year, rather than the
categorizer simply making them up as she goes there should be far less
trouble on that score--that's one of the reasons that an author would have
said "Oh, I didn't know there was one of *those*!" when such a sub-category
did not even exist before.

I suggest that while we are still in post-mortem mode, and before Anthony
gets busy setting up next year's site, that the MEFA staff list asks
categorizers to brainstorm possible sub-categories for such a drop-down
list, so as to get as wide a selection as possible. Offering "other" as an
option is good, but if we have a good selection, it should not have to be
used very often.

Just me.
Dreamflower

Msg# 6761

Re: categorization/changing subcategories Posted by Kathy January 19, 2006 - 14:24:41 Topic ID# 6735
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, <aelfwina@c...> wrote:
>
> I think that the authors should be allowed to list a limited
number of
> possible sub-categories (maybe more than three, maybe five), and
their order
> of preference. But I think it should be made clear at the outset
that these
> preferences are subject to the vagaries of sub-category viability,
and that
> if it does not land in the preferred sub-category *that's it*. I
> categorized last year, and I know a bit more about it now than I
did
> then--we don't need to set up more work or worry for those doing
the
> sub-categorization. (I know I often stressed over where to place a
story.)
> If an author *strongly* objects to a sub-category, that should be
taken in a
> case-by-case basis by one of the admins, and the author should have
the
> option of withdrawing the story. I know this sounds a little
strict, but I
> think with a drop-down list of sub-categories this year, rather
than the
> categorizer simply making them up as she goes there should be far
less
> trouble on that score--that's one of the reasons that an author
would have
> said "Oh, I didn't know there was one of *those*!" when such a sub-
category
> did not even exist before.
>
> I suggest that while we are still in post-mortem mode, and before
Anthony
> gets busy setting up next year's site, that the MEFA staff list
asks
> categorizers to brainstorm possible sub-categories for such a drop-
down
> list, so as to get as wide a selection as possible.
Offering "other" as an
> option is good, but if we have a good selection, it should not have
to be
> used very often.
>
> Just me.
> Dreamflower

This all makes sense to me...the more I think about it, and hear
others' thoughts, the less I like the idea of allowing subcat
transfer requests. Why don't we wait and see how things go with the
new info we're providing on subcats this year?

Dreamflower, re: the drop-down idea, there may be too many subcat
possibilities for a workable drop-down menu, but IIRC the new form
will link to a complete list of all subcats that have been used in
the first two years of the MEFAs (Dwim or Marta, is that correct?)
But the result should be pretty much what you have in mind: providing
more guidance to authors in suggesting subcats.

Kathy (Inkling)

Msg# 6762

Re: categorization/changing subcategories Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard January 19, 2006 - 16:51:59 Topic ID# 6735
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, <aelfwina@c...> wrote:
>
> I think that the authors should be allowed to list a limited number
> of possible sub-categories (maybe more than three, maybe five), and
> their order of preference. But I think it should be made clear at
> the outset that these preferences are subject to the vagaries of
> sub-category viability, and that if it does not land in the
> preferred sub-category *that's it*.

I completely agree. That was also the message a liason (as instructed
) passed on when authors asked the questions about selecting the
*main* categories. The first one they chose, that would be the first
one to run in, in case that category would not have enough stories to
compete, then the second option would be used..... That is how it was
instructed to me and how I explained it to the authors. The
subcategories had to be selected in case a main category had so many
stories in it... it would be chopped up in smaller parts.

The form and author liaison instructions should cover this for this
year. I know many questions were asked by the laison last year on the
staff list, so a wish from me is clearly liaison instructions for this
year. To achieve uniformity and a piece of guidance. We can make use
of the lessons learnt of the past year.

> I categorized last year, and I know a bit more about it now than I
> did then--we don't need to set up more work or worry for those doing
> the sub-categorization. (I know I often stressed over where to place
> a story.)

That wasn't an issue at all as far as I can remember. Besides
labelling poetry as drinking songs. We need to list that as a sub
category so that an author can choose themselves instead of the
categoriser. The categoriser, in principle shouldn't be looking so
closely to a story at all, the basic info provided should be enough so
that a categoriser doesn't start to interpreter things. The moment
this happens, you loose all transparency and try to explain that.
Author provides the info, knows their material the best: it should be
enough.

> If an author *strongly* objects to a sub-category, that should be
> taken in a case-by-case basis by one of the admins, and the author
> should have the option of withdrawing the story. I know this sounds
> a little strict, but I think with a drop-down list of
> sub-categories this year, rather than the categorizer simply making
> them up as she goes there should be far less trouble on that
> score--that's one of the reasons that an author would have
> said "Oh, I didn't know there was one of *those*!" when such a
> sub-category did not even exist before.

LOL yes. But I am wondering how many complaints about a wrongly chosen
sub categories there were. It was all in the author's hands to provide
them to begin with.

> I suggest that while we are still in post-mortem mode, and before
> Anthony gets busy setting up next year's site, that the MEFA staff
> list asks categorizers to brainstorm possible sub-categories for
> such a drop-down list, so as to get as wide a selection as possible.
> Offering "other" as an option is good, but if we have a good
> selection, it should not have to be used very often.

Yups, makes sense to me :)The past two years should give a nice overview.

Rhapsody

Msg# 6763

Re: categorization/changing subcategories Posted by Marta Layton January 22, 2006 - 0:09:33 Topic ID# 6735
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 06:26:48 -0000
> From: "Kathy" <inkling-tcbs@sbcglobal.net>
> Subject: Re: categorization/changing subcategories
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>
>> It seems like discussion on this has pretty well died down. Should
>> we have a poll on it?
>
> The question being, should authors be allowed to request a new
> subcategory if they don't like the one they're assigned?

Yes, that's what I was suggesting.

> To clarify
> further what's being proposed, are you seeing this only as an option
> to move OUT of a subcategory, or also the option to request a move
> INTO a specific new subcat?

Well, I would certainly think people could request to be moved into a
certain subcategory. After all, the subcategory their story was placed
in is based on informamtion the author provided, so they shouldn't be
put into a *bad* subcategory - there may just be a better one.

> If the latter, I can foresee situations
> where everyone wants to move into a "popular" subcat, and wonder how
> that would be handled: first come, first served?
>

Definitely first come first serve. And I think we can cut down on this
by not releasing the names of the other stories in the sub-cat. You'd
be requesting a move solely on whether you thought a sub-cat fit your
story - not on the potential competition.

> Given the lack of discussion, I find myself wondering how big of a
> problem this actually was last year. Marta, did you propose this
> because you heard a lot of complaints about subcat assignments? I
> know there was a fair amount of confusion about subcats generally,
> and how to choose subcat suggestions for the nominating form, but
> were there many authors who were unhappy with the subcats they were
> assigned?
>

Yes, there were quite a few. I think there were around half a dozen
stories that I heard of from friends. I think this will be helped
greatly by the new nomination form, maybe even so much that we won't
have a problem. I don't know, that's impossible to predict.

My other motivation for propositng thios was that I think it would take
the potential blame off categorisers for creating categories that were
"unfair". If one ended up being more competitive than another, it's
just the luck of the drew.

> Perhaps rather than a poll, this is an issue that should be decided
> by the categorizers once they have signed on this year, since they
> are the ones who would be the most affected by this proposal? Anyone
> else have an opinion on this?
>

I'm fine with that.

Cheers,
Marta


*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6764

Re: categorization/changing subcategories Posted by Marta Layton January 22, 2006 - 19:58:06 Topic ID# 6735
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 13:55:00 -0000
> From: "sulriel" <Sulriel@htcomp.net>
> Subject: Re: categorization/changing subcategories
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com,
> Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>>
>>> It seems like discussion on this has pretty well died down. Should
>>> we have a poll on it?
>>
>> The question being, should authors be allowed to request a new
>> subcategory if they don't like the one they're assigned? <<snipped>>
>> Given the lack of discussion, I find myself wondering how big of a
>> problem this actually was last year. Marta, did you propose this
>> because you heard a lot of complaints about subcat assignments?
>
> I've stayed out of this thread because I didn't help cagetogorize last
> year and don't plan to this year. - but knowing human nature, it
> seems that you are setting up the categorizes for an awful lot more
> work, and setting up potential for conflict with the authors.
>
> of those I nominated, I was somewhat unhappy with where some ended up
> last year - but I trust that the categorizes did the best they could -
> and of course, all turned out well in the end.
>
> I think if the authors are allowed to list/approve possible subcates
> when they approve the nomination, those suggestions should be used in
> order of preference and 'that should be that'.

> I can't imagine the amount of work involved in trying to move
> nominations around once the categories have already been set. ... even
> something as simple as trying to verify the time stamp on an email to
> see which of two request should be honor has to take into account
> world time zones, - do you use the time it says it was sent or the
> time it was recved by the liason? What if one gets lost, stories are
> moved, and then the the *real* first request can't be honored. .. are
> the others moved back ... ???
>

If there isn't a problem, I don't want to try to fix it. This seems
like it could be good, but after seeing what everyone else is saying
I'm not sure the good outweighs the increase in work. There were a lot
of wrinkles in how categorising went this year, and maybe we don't need
to change much there if we could help it.

This has me wondering, though... Dwim's proposed form (still in the
files) doesn't rank the potential subcategories. If someone has a
strong preference they could mention it to the liaison and the liaisson
could make a note of it. But this makes me wonder whether we should
rank sub-categories, too, like we rank categories. I don't think so --
it would be a logistical nightmare because the range of choices is
exponentially larger than with subcategories -- but I'm not sure how
else to address this problem, if it is one.

My gut? It's not a huge problem, and I think our current categorisation
scheme (without allowing ranking of categories) is the best bet we have
for next year.

Marta

Msg# 6765

Re: categorization/changing subcategories Posted by Marta Layton January 22, 2006 - 20:56:11 Topic ID# 6735
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 08:37:55 -0600
> From: <aelfwina@cableone.net>
> Subject: Re: Re: categorization/changing subcategories
>
> I think that the authors should be allowed to list a limited number of
> possible sub-categories (maybe more than three, maybe five), and their
> order
> of preference. But I think it should be made clear at the outset that
> these
> preferences are subject to the vagaries of sub-category viability, and
> that
> if it does not land in the preferred sub-category *that's it*. I
> categorized last year, and I know a bit more about it now than I did
> then--we don't need to set up more work or worry for those doing the
> sub-categorization. (I know I often stressed over where to place a
> story.)
> If an author *strongly* objects to a sub-category, that should be
> taken in a
> case-by-case basis by one of the admins, and the author should have the
> option of withdrawing the story. I know this sounds a little strict,
> but I
> think with a drop-down list of sub-categories this year, rather than
> the
> categorizer simply making them up as she goes there should be far less
> trouble on that score--that's one of the reasons that an author would
> have
> said "Oh, I didn't know there was one of *those*!" when such a
> sub-category
> did not even exist before.
>
> I suggest that while we are still in post-mortem mode, and before
> Anthony
> gets busy setting up next year's site, that the MEFA staff list asks
> categorizers to brainstorm possible sub-categories for such a drop-down
> list, so as to get as wide a selection as possible. Offering "other"
> as an
> option is good, but if we have a good selection, it should not have to
> be
> used very often.
>
> Just me.
> Dreamflower
>

Hi Dreamflower,

Can you access the files section of the website? Dwimordene came up
with a form that I think we'll be using. I'll include the pertinent
section for subcategories in case you can't.

Anyway, the way we're looking at doing it now, the author provides
things like a list of characters, major events it's set around, etc. --
it guides the author through providing some information that provides
subcategories, and it also provides a way to filter stories so you can
find all the stories, for example, involving Pippin. What you're
suggesting would be a pretty radical step back to how we did things
last year, with just a freeform "suggest-a-subcat" field. There was a
lot of confusion with what exactly people were supposed to use. I
really think the file as we have it now will work a lot better.

The biggest problem is it doesn't give a way to rank the subcats. I
wouldn't mind having a way to mark a certain sub-cat as your first
choice or even second choice sub-cat, but I don't want to go too far
away from what we already have.

Marta
*****

SUBCATEGORIES

Please fill in the following information./[Please select the following
from the drop-down lists provided or, if necessary, input the required
information in the "Other" textbox.] Your answers to these questions
will help MEFA categorizers place your story into a <link FAQ
explanation of...>subcategory</link>, subject to subcategory viability
rules. If you do NOT want your story to compete in a subcategory based
on the answer to a particular question (if, for example, your story is
set in Rohan but you do not want this to be its subcategory), OR if
answering a question would serve as a spoiler to your story (e.g.,
entering your story into subcategory "Bilbo" derived from question 2
would give away who the narrator was, when keeping that information
hidden for a time was important to your plot), please check the box
"Decline to answer."

1. Where does your story primarily take place, or about which place
does your story revolve (e.g., Gondolin, Houses of Healing, Beleriand,
Rohan, The Angle, The Shire, Angband etc.)? Please limit yourself to
four or fewer main places.

Check box: Decline to answer

2. Who are your *main* characters, in order of priority? (Acknowledged
groups such as "Fellowship", "Ringbearers", "Feanorians", etc., also
useful here.) Please limit yourself to *four or fewer* main
characters/groups of characters.

Check box: Decline to answer

3. Which time periods *NOT* listed above does the story primarily take
place in/focus on (e.g., Pre-quest, Time of Trees, War of the Ring,
etc.)? Please limit yourself to four or fewer times.

Check box: Decline to answer

4. If your story is based on filmed versions of Tolkien's work, which
film/set of films is it based on?

Check box: Decline to answer

5. Is there a major canonical event around which your story revolves
(e.g., Akallabeth, destruction of Sirion, making of Khazad-dm, Battle
of Unnumbered Tears, etc.)? Please limit yourself to four or fewer
events.

Check box: Decline to answer

6. Is there a particular subgenre or form commonly used in fandom or
film/literature that you think is applicable to and a good description
of your story that isn't represented above (e.g., metafic, noir,
pastische, filk, etc.)?

Check box: Decline to answer

7. If your story is a poem, what is its form (e.g., haiku, tanka,
terzanelle, sonnet, free verse etc.)?

Check box: Decline to answer

8. If your story is non-fiction, what is its main topic?

Check box: Decline to answer

9. If your story is non-fiction, is it an essay (offering
interpretation) or an article (research article meant to assist others
by gathering and presenting useful facts, but without offering an
interpretation)?

Check box: Decline to answer


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6766

Re: categorization/changing subcategories Posted by Marta Layton January 22, 2006 - 21:03:41 Topic ID# 6735
> Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 20:23:31 -0000
> From: "Kathy" <inkling-tcbs@sbcglobal.net>
> Subject: Re: categorization/changing subcategories
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, <aelfwina@c...> wrote:
>>
>> I think that the authors should be allowed to list a limited
> number of
>> possible sub-categories (maybe more than three, maybe five), and
> their order
>> of preference. But I think it should be made clear at the outset
> that these
>> preferences are subject to the vagaries of sub-category viability,
> and that
>> if it does not land in the preferred sub-category *that's it*. I
>> categorized last year, and I know a bit more about it now than I
> did
>> then--we don't need to set up more work or worry for those doing
> the
>> sub-categorization. (I know I often stressed over where to place a
> story.)
>> If an author *strongly* objects to a sub-category, that should be
> taken in a
>> case-by-case basis by one of the admins, and the author should have
> the
>> option of withdrawing the story. I know this sounds a little
> strict, but I
>> think with a drop-down list of sub-categories this year, rather
> than the
>> categorizer simply making them up as she goes there should be far
> less
>> trouble on that score--that's one of the reasons that an author
> would have
>> said "Oh, I didn't know there was one of *those*!" when such a sub-
> category
>> did not even exist before.
>>
>> I suggest that while we are still in post-mortem mode, and before
> Anthony
>> gets busy setting up next year's site, that the MEFA staff list
> asks
>> categorizers to brainstorm possible sub-categories for such a drop-
> down
>> list, so as to get as wide a selection as possible.
> Offering "other" as an
>> option is good, but if we have a good selection, it should not have
> to be
>> used very often.
>>
>> Just me.
>> Dreamflower
>
> This all makes sense to me...the more I think about it, and hear
> others' thoughts, the less I like the idea of allowing subcat
> transfer requests. Why don't we wait and see how things go with the
> new info we're providing on subcats this year?
>
> Dreamflower, re: the drop-down idea, there may be too many subcat
> possibilities for a workable drop-down menu, but IIRC the new form
> will link to a complete list of all subcats that have been used in
> the first two years of the MEFAs (Dwim or Marta, is that correct?)
> But the result should be pretty much what you have in mind: providing
> more guidance to authors in suggesting subcats.
>
> Kathy (Inkling)
>

I honestly can't remember. I know there's a list of all the past
sub-catsin the categories and subcategories FAQ, and that's linked to,
but I can't remember if it links directly to the list. But that
shouldn't be so hard to do, if we want to.

Marta

Msg# 6768

Re: categorization/changing subcategories Posted by Ainaechoiriel January 22, 2006 - 23:45:15 Topic ID# 6735
Just one thought: What are the consequences for author if they "decline to
answer" everything? Will they remain in General? The consequences should
probably be stated.

--Ainaechoiriel
MEFA Admin and Founder

"This evil cannot be concealed by the power of the Elves," Elrond said, "for
it is Windows-compatible, and freeware at that." --H.F.

http://gabrielle.sytes.net/mefa The Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Blog: http://www.ainaechoiriel.blogspot.com



> -----Original Message-----
> From: MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com
> [mailto:MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Marta Layton
> Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2006 8:56 PM
> To: MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: Re: [MEFAwards] Re: Re: categorization/changing subcategories
>
> > Message: 2
> > Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 08:37:55 -0600
> > From: <aelfwina@cableone.net>
> > Subject: Re: Re: categorization/changing subcategories
> >
> > I think that the authors should be allowed to list a
> limited number
> > of possible sub-categories (maybe more than three, maybe five), and
> > their order of preference. But I think it should be made
> clear at the
> > outset that these preferences are subject to the vagaries of
> > sub-category viability, and that if it does not land in the
> preferred
> > sub-category *that's it*. I categorized last year, and I
> know a bit
> > more about it now than I did then--we don't need to set up
> more work
> > or worry for those doing the sub-categorization. (I know I often
> > stressed over where to place a
> > story.)
> > If an author *strongly* objects to a sub-category, that should be
> > taken in a case-by-case basis by one of the admins, and the author
> > should have the option of withdrawing the story. I know
> this sounds a
> > little strict, but I think with a drop-down list of sub-categories
> > this year, rather than the categorizer simply making them up as she
> > goes there should be far less trouble on that score--that's
> one of the
> > reasons that an author would have said "Oh, I didn't know there was
> > one of *those*!" when such a sub-category did not even exist before.
> >
> > I suggest that while we are still in post-mortem mode, and before
> > Anthony gets busy setting up next year's site, that the MEFA staff
> > list asks categorizers to brainstorm possible
> sub-categories for such
> > a drop-down list, so as to get as wide a selection as possible.
> > Offering "other"
> > as an
> > option is good, but if we have a good selection, it should
> not have to
> > be used very often.
> >
> > Just me.
> > Dreamflower
> >
>
> Hi Dreamflower,
>
> Can you access the files section of the website? Dwimordene
> came up with a form that I think we'll be using. I'll include
> the pertinent section for subcategories in case you can't.
>
> Anyway, the way we're looking at doing it now, the author
> provides things like a list of characters, major events it's
> set around, etc. -- it guides the author through providing
> some information that provides subcategories, and it also
> provides a way to filter stories so you can find all the
> stories, for example, involving Pippin. What you're
> suggesting would be a pretty radical step back to how we did
> things last year, with just a freeform "suggest-a-subcat"
> field. There was a lot of confusion with what exactly people
> were supposed to use. I really think the file as we have it
> now will work a lot better.
>
> The biggest problem is it doesn't give a way to rank the
> subcats. I wouldn't mind having a way to mark a certain
> sub-cat as your first choice or even second choice sub-cat,
> but I don't want to go too far away from what we already have.
>
> Marta
> *****
>
> SUBCATEGORIES
>
> Please fill in the following information./[Please select the
> following from the drop-down lists provided or, if necessary,
> input the required information in the "Other" textbox.] Your
> answers to these questions will help MEFA categorizers place
> your story into a <link FAQ explanation
> of...>subcategory</link>, subject to subcategory viability
> rules. If you do NOT want your story to compete in a
> subcategory based on the answer to a particular question (if,
> for example, your story is set in Rohan but you do not want
> this to be its subcategory), OR if answering a question would
> serve as a spoiler to your story (e.g., entering your story
> into subcategory "Bilbo" derived from question 2 would give
> away who the narrator was, when keeping that information
> hidden for a time was important to your plot), please check
> the box "Decline to answer."
>
> 1. Where does your story primarily take place, or about which
> place does your story revolve (e.g., Gondolin, Houses of
> Healing, Beleriand, Rohan, The Angle, The Shire, Angband
> etc.)? Please limit yourself to four or fewer main places.
>
> Check box: Decline to answer
>
> 2. Who are your *main* characters, in order of priority?
> (Acknowledged groups such as "Fellowship", "Ringbearers",
> "Feanorians", etc., also useful here.) Please limit yourself
> to *four or fewer* main characters/groups of characters.
>
> Check box: Decline to answer
>
> 3. Which time periods *NOT* listed above does the story
> primarily take place in/focus on (e.g., Pre-quest, Time of
> Trees, War of the Ring, etc.)? Please limit yourself to four
> or fewer times.
>
> Check box: Decline to answer
>
> 4. If your story is based on filmed versions of Tolkien's
> work, which film/set of films is it based on?
>
> Check box: Decline to answer
>
> 5. Is there a major canonical event around which your story
> revolves (e.g., Akallabeth, destruction of Sirion, making of
> Khazad-dm, Battle of Unnumbered Tears, etc.)? Please limit
> yourself to four or fewer events.
>
> Check box: Decline to answer
>
> 6. Is there a particular subgenre or form commonly used in
> fandom or film/literature that you think is applicable to and
> a good description of your story that isn't represented above
> (e.g., metafic, noir, pastische, filk, etc.)?
>
> Check box: Decline to answer
>
> 7. If your story is a poem, what is its form (e.g., haiku,
> tanka, terzanelle, sonnet, free verse etc.)?
>
> Check box: Decline to answer
>
> 8. If your story is non-fiction, what is its main topic?
>
> Check box: Decline to answer
>
> 9. If your story is non-fiction, is it an essay (offering
> interpretation) or an article (research article meant to
> assist others by gathering and presenting useful facts, but
> without offering an interpretation)?
>
> Check box: Decline to answer
>
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>
>
>
>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>

Msg# 6769

Re: categorization/changing subcategories Posted by Marta Layton January 23, 2006 - 6:16:31 Topic ID# 6735
> Message: 5
> Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2006 23:43:13 -0600
> From: "Ainaechoiriel" <mefaadmin@earthlink.net>
> Subject: RE: Re: Re: categorization/changing subcategories
>
> Just one thought: What are the consequences for author if they
> "decline to
> answer" everything? Will they remain in General? The consequences
> should
> probably be stated.
>

I guess they'd have to. Hadn't thought of that. And I don't think
that's the end of the world (suggesting subcats was optional at least
in 2004 -- can't remember about 2005) but you're right, it probably is
something that needs to be made clear.

If I was an author liaison and my author filled out the form but
checked "decline to answer" for all the subcat stuff, I'd probably ask
them to make sure they meant to do that.

Marta