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Msg# 8368

Helpful Info: Story Search Filters and How to Use Them Posted by aure\_enteluva November 01, 2007 - 11:04:57 Topic ID# 8368
Hey guys,

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to try to post once a
week about various issues that some people have a hard time with. I've
been a bit scattered so I kept forgetting to do it.

I'll try to do this semi-regularly from now until the end of the
awards (just two more months!) so if you have any topics you think it
would be useful for me to post about in the future, just let me know.

So, without further adieu....

One of the most common question I hear about these awards is how to
find a story to vote for. Sometimes people have heard a specific story
was nominated and want to vote for it. Other times they want to see
all the stories of a certain subgenre, or involving a certain
character, or competing in a certain subcategory. Whatever the case,
you can find this information from our list of nominated stories.

First, go to http://www.mefawards.net/MEFA2007/ and log in. Then click
the "Browse Nominated Stories" list. This will show you all of the
stories nominated, twenty-five stories at a time, except for the ones
that you have previously told the site to skip. (More on that below.)

If you are looking for a specific story, you can do a search for the
title name. Scroll down to just above where the first story is
displayed, and you'll see a search bar. Type in a phrase, and the
website will search for those words in the title, authors' name, and
summary. So while you may get more stories than just the one you're
looking for, searching for the title *will* bring up the one you're
looking for.

Even better: if you know the story ID number, do a search for that
number, followed by the pound sign. For instance, "318#" will bring up
story #318, "Fire and Ice" by NeumeIndil.

Next, let's say you want to show a group of stories. To do this you
need filters.

First display the filters if they aren't already showing. To do this,
click the Show Filter" link. (If you don't see it, it means the
filters are already showing.)

Now, before you do anything else: if you've already searched for a
story (like entering 318#), you need to clear the prior search out.
Otherwise the website will look for things that match what you
searched for before and what you're currently searching. To clear out
the old search click the "Clear All Filters" button.

Now you're ready to do your new search. Look at the list of filters.
There are several options that you can choose from.

* STORY TYPE lets you display all the entries of a certain type
(fixed-length ficlet, poetry, full-length finished story,
work-in-progress, or non-fiction).

* AUTHOR lets you select an author's name and display all of the
stories by that author. For co-authored stories, you'll need to select
that particular co-author group to see the story.

* MAIN CATEGORY and SUBCATEGORY let you see all of the stories in a
specific main category or in a specific subcategory.

* REVIEW STATUS lets you see all of the stories you have entered a
certain type of review for, have not reviewed, have put on your skip
or wish list (see below), or where no one has yet reviewed those stories.

* LENGTH lets you display the stories that have a certain length (True
Drabble, Other FLF, FLF Series, Other Ficlet, Short Story, Medium
Length, Novel)

* GENRE, RACE, TIME CHOICE lets you display all of the stories whose
authors selected a certain main category as their first, second, or
third choice. So selecting Hobbits will pick up the story with Races:
Hobbits as its second-choice category, that ended up in Late Third Age.

* CHARACTER, SETTING, SUB-GENRE, and CANONICAL EVENT list several
characters, etc., that authors could choose from. Selecting one of
these options shows all the stories where the author selected that
item on the form about their stories so you can find just stories
set in the Shire, or just stories featuring Haldir.

Filters are a little tricky, because if you decide to use more than
one filter, it only displays stories meeting *all* of the filters. So
let's say you select the length novels and character Merry and
Genre/Race/Time Fourth Age, thinking these are all things you enjoy
and would be happy to read. But if you do this, you'll only see
stories that meet all three requirements. Which may be what you want,
but if you'd be happy to read a novel about Merry that's not
necessarily set in the Fourth Age, you'd miss it. If you want to see
the stories that meet any of your filter choices you should select the
first one, look at those stories, click the "Clear All Filters"
button, and repeat the process for the second group of stories you'd
like to look at.

Now, before I end this note, let me explain something about skip and
wish lists. I mentioned them above. Over on the right side of the
screen you'll see links to "Skip" or "Wish" a story. These are lists
that help you tell the website what stories to show you by default. I
probably need to do a whole post just on these two features, since
some people do seem to struggle with them.

But for now I'll just mention that if you've told the site to skip a
certain story it won't show up if you do any of the above searches.
You can display it by selecting "Skip" from the "Review Status" filter
if you do this, it will show all of the Skip stories. If you select
this review status plus some other filter (or if you select Skip and
do a keyword search), it will show skipped stories that also meet the
other criteria you select.

And so now you have a group of stories to look at. Click the title and
it will open the story in another window. Then you can read it, close
that window and come back and vote for a story. When you're ready to
vote, just click the "Enter New Vote" link to the right of the story -
again, this will open a new window into which you can enter your vote,
and when you've previewed and submitted it you can close that window
and come back to the list of stories.

I think that's enough information for one go! If you have any
questions about this (or anything else) please ask. And if you have
something you'd like to see me do a post on in the future, let me know
so I can do a future post on it.

Marta
(MEFA Admin)

Msg# 8369

Re: Helpful Info: Story Search Filters and How to Use Them Posted by Bonnie L. Sherrell November 01, 2007 - 14:03:51 Topic ID# 8368
One thing I'd like to be able to do is to choose a particular page.
I'm not skipping many stories this year, so have done a pageful of
reviews and then go "next" for the next page. However, as I'm now on
page 16 I'm having to go to 3, 5, 7.... That takes time and is rather
frustrating when I'm on the desktop rather than the laptop as the
desktop has a slower processor and less memory. Anyway to allow us to
choose a particular page to go to?
Bonnie L. Sherrell
Teacher at Large

"Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends." LOTR

"Don't go where I can't follow."

I mourn for this nation.

Msg# 8370

Re: Helpful Info: Story Search Filters and How to Use Them Posted by Marta Layton November 01, 2007 - 14:46:17 Topic ID# 8368
Hi Bonnie,

I can't offer an "official" site feature, but I've noticed that you can
manipulate the link to get to pages near the middle. The page for any
page after the first page is something like

http://www.mefawards.net/MEFA2007/index.php?page=storiesBrowse&navbar_page=[#]

(if you filter, there will be other stuff but you'll still see the
navbar_page part of the URL)

Anyway, I noticed that after the first page it displays the number of
pages after the first page. So if you want to go to your sixteenth page,
you could change the [#] to 15. In general take one away from the page
you're trying to get to and change the [#] to it.

I'm pretty sure this will work. Play around with it.

Marta

Bonnie L. Sherrell wrote:
>
>
> One thing I'd like to be able to do is to choose a particular page.
> I'm not skipping many stories this year, so have done a pageful of
> reviews and then go "next" for the next page. However, as I'm now on
> page 16 I'm having to go to 3, 5, 7.... That takes time and is rather
> frustrating when I'm on the desktop rather than the laptop as the
> desktop has a slower processor and less memory. Anyway to allow us to
> choose a particular page to go to?
> Bonnie L. Sherrell
> Teacher at Large
>

Msg# 8371

Re: Helpful Info: Story Search Filters and How to Use Them Posted by Bonnie L. Sherrell November 01, 2007 - 17:26:18 Topic ID# 8368
Now that is very helpful, Marta. I will do that, then. On the desktop
last night I just went to the last page to begin working backwards, as
it were, as that was easy to get to. But this will help a good deal.
Bonnie L. Sherrell
Teacher at Large

"Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends." LOTR

"Don't go where I can't follow."

I mourn for this nation.

Msg# 8372

Re: Helpful Info: Story Search Filters and How to Use Them Posted by Liz Warren November 01, 2007 - 17:48:04 Topic ID# 8368
Hi Bonnie

A couple of other things you can do:

* In the filter, under "Review Status", select "Have Not Reviewed". That
will "hide" all the stories you have reviewed so far, meaning the ones
you haven't reviewed will appear on earlier pages.

* In the drop down box on the right hand side just under the filter, you
can change how many stories are displayed on each page. The default is
25, but you can show 50, 100, 250, 500 or "all" stories on the one page.
(Obviously it will take a little longer for the page to appear if you
display more stories.)

We'll look into a "go to page #" link for next year (I've seen it done
on other sites, so I certainly know it's possible!).

HTH

Tanaqui

Bonnie L. Sherrell wrote:
>
>
> Now that is very helpful, Marta. I will do that, then. On the desktop
> last night I just went to the last page to begin working backwards, as
> it were, as that was easy to get to. But this will help a good deal.
> Bonnie L. Sherrell
> Teacher at Large
>
> "Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the
> very wise cannot see all ends." LOTR
>
> "Don't go where I can't follow."
>
> I mourn for this nation.
>
>
>
>
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