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Msg# 8897

ADMIN - Searching for Stories to Read Posted by May 29, 2008 - 15:41:23 Topic ID# 8897
Hey guys,

It's Thursday, so time for another educational email from me about the
awards. This week I'm going to talk about finding the story you'd like
to review. Because there are currently 477 stories nominated, so it's
easy to miss a story you'd like to read in all that.

First, let me repeat advice that I've heard from many people involved in
these awards: VOTE EARLY and VOTE OFTEN. As I said there's 477 stories
nominated already, and that number is likely to grow because people
still have more than two weeks to nominate stories. You're not expected
to read every story or vote for every story you read - but you can get
to a lot more if you start reading now and continue plugging away at it
throughout the awards. You'll also have the time to read longer stories
if you choose to do so.

Now on to the ways to find those stories to read. Because our web
developers have given you some pretty powerful tools to use.



If you know a certain story you would like to vote for and you know the
ID # it has on the MEFA website you can find it easily. While logged to
the MEFA2008 website, click on the "Stories" link at the top of any
page. Once the "List of Nominations" page loads, enter the ID number
followed by the # sign into the search bar and click search.

If you know the title but not the ID number, you can search for that
using the search bar. This will return any stories with those words in
the title, author's name, or summary, so you will need to pick the right



Now, maybe you want to find stories about your favorite character, or
set around a certain event, etc. - in other words, you want to find
*new* stories you've never heard of. This is where the filters come in.
The filters are a set of drop-down menus that allow you to find certain
types of stories.

To find the filters, log in to the MEFA2008 website and click the
"Stories" link at the top of the page. Now click the "Show Filter" link,
and you'll see a series of dropdown lists that you can use. For a
rundown of what the various filters do, see

But basically, if there is a question for it on the nomination form, you
can probably use the filters to bring up all the stories whose authors
selected that nomination.

The filters also provide an easy way to find the stories that you've
already reviewed. Select the appropriate status off the "Review Status"
filter, and this will bring up all the stories where you've entered that
type of review. So if you know you entered a draft review that you'd
like to edit, but can't remember the exact title of the story, use this
filter to display all of the stories for which you've entered draft reviews.

The "Genre, Race, Time Choice" is another very powerful filter. When an
author is selecting what category they want their story in, they select
three category choices. Obviously it can only compete in one. But maybe
you want to find all the stories that involve hobbits, or are Alternate
Universe stories, even if the story didn't end up in that category. The
GRT filter is a good way to find all the pieces that selected a certain
main category as one of their choices. You won't find *all* the stories
involving hobbits this way (some authors might have selected two genres
and one time category, and skipped over races entirely, for example).
But you will find most of them.

One last thing about filters: you are allowed to select from more than
one filter at a time - for instance, you could select "Pippin" from the
characters and "Gondor" from the settings. But be careful about doing
this. If you select more than one filter at a time, it will only display
pieces that selected *both* those options. Also, the filters are
"sticky," meaning that when you reload the page it remembers what
filters you selected. So you always want to make sure you clear out your
previous filter choices before selecting new ones. You can do this by
clicking the "Clear All Filters" button at the bottom of the list of



Quick links are new this year. You can see them below the filters but
above the first story listing. There are clickable links to "Places,"
"Characters," "Events," "Subgenre", "Story Length," or "Source." Click
on one, and it will show you a list of all the options of that type.

For instance, click "Characters." This will show you a list of all the
characters that authors could choose from when filling out their story
form. There's also a number to show how many stories have selected that
option. Click on the character name, and it will bring up all the
stories featuring that character, just like you'd see on the main story
list. You can even enter reviews from this page and add stories to your
skip or wish list.

If you change your mind and decide you'd like to look at a different
character, you can hide these stories by clicking on the character name
again, then clicking on the new character name you'd like to display.
(You can display more than one character at a time if you like, but some
people prefer to only display one character's story at a time.)

The other quick-links work the same way. If you'd prefer to look at,
say, all the stories with a certain setting, or of a certain length,
then click the "Stories" link at the top of the page and then choose the
quick-link you'd like.

I'm really excited about quick links because they show you very simply
how many stories are available with a certain character, or setting, or
whatever. They're less powerful than the filter list, but I think for
some members it will provide a very nice tool for narrowing down the
list of stories.



Another new feature this year is the randomly-selected story. Every time
you visit the Home Page, a new story will be displayed, selected
randomly from the stories you haven't reviewed yet. So if you're not
sure what exactly you'd like to read, this might be a good place to
start. See if that randomly-selected story sparks your interest.



Also, don't forget that you don't *have* to use any of these tools. If
you prefer, you can just look at the full list of nominated stories, and
start reading every story that interests you from the top of the list.
The stories are displayed in a different order to each member, so you
won't be unfairly benefiting some authors more than others.


I think that's it. If you have trouble

Msg# 8898

Re: ADMIN - Searching for Stories to Read Posted by aure\_enteluva May 29, 2008 - 15:54:52 Topic ID# 8897
Hey guys,

Oops! I hit send too soon.


> I think that's it. If you have trouble

I meant to say:

"I think that's it. If you have trouble please feel free to ask for
help here.