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3 hours ago, Myr said:

Stories 2.3.0.  Enhanced Metrics for stories.  I think it was @William King that requested more statistics for authors.  I've raised the priority on this.  The intention will be to provide authors with a better understanding of what people are reading.  We're still working on the details.  Feel free to weigh in, understanding that there are limitations.

My only question with this is, what sort of information will be given?

 

Example: XX number of readers of SciFi for time period YY. Or something else?

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I'm still working out what it will be.  The system has some tools we can leverage.

For example...

image.png We can see in real time where users are on the site.  It usually looks like this.  Most people are reading stories.

 

We also have some general stats like this:

image.png  These are some general stats on new stories/chapters/reivews/ Story comments and Chapter comments.

 

The stats I'm thinking of will be for authors, not really public, that will show the story views for them for the last week, last month,  sort of thing.  "views" captures total people reading.  reactions/likes captures members reading and reacting to a story.  Perhaps we make some sort of calculation?  I'm not sure.

These show reactions:

image.pngimage.pngimage.pngimage.png

 

While the later ones are useful to note as what stories stand the test of time, they aren't good at knowing what the current audience is enjoying.

 

For the public, I'm thinking of a "Now Trending" sort of page that shows the most popular stories in the last 24 hours maybe?

What information would you find useful?

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38 minutes ago, Myr said:

What information would you find useful?

For me, what I would like to see is:

 

1. Most read genre for a set time period. It could be the same as above, Week, Month, Year, All Time.

2. Something that shows Views vrs Reactions and/or Comments for site overall, and personal.

3. Most active Tags. Both Author use of, and Reader views of.

 

For me, again, I feel these would aid me in future stories. From experience I saw that my sappy love stories, set in a modern drama be favored over my SciFi stories. I would love to know if that is something more universal on the site, or if it's just me. For tags, as we can use up to 6, I would love to see how many stories are under a tag w/o having to look it up as a search function, and how often those tags are read by Readers on the site. For instance, is "Military" more read over "Incest."

 

Again, it's part curiosity, and part what sort of stories are going over with readers.

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2 hours ago, Myr said:

For the public, I'm thinking of a "Now Trending" sort of page that shows the most popular stories in the last 24 hours maybe?

What information would you find useful?

 

I don't think that a most hits in the last 24 hours is a good metric to post. I think there is a way to represent trending stories, but it would be a complicated piece of programming. I would look at a book over a month, I would count the initial hits, those being the ones that (perhaps) occur within 7 days of publication. Then I would look at subsequent hits on the same chapter after 7 days - the theory being that if there were more than the odd extra hit following the first 7 days, it is because people are talking about the book and coming to read it. I would then look at the next 2 or 3 chapters to see if the number of hits was steady or dropping.

 

This suggestion is complicated, it requires an algorithm, and it requires you having access to read and analyse the raw data. I really don't expect you to implement this - it's too much to do. I worked for years in the statistics section of a large national business, I know a bit about analising raw data, but we had highly qualified (and highly paid) mathematicians and statisticians to come up with the algorithms.

 

My point - a bit long winded - is that simple numbers, most hits in 24 hours, don't add value, they might even detract, so I would avoid them for the public. Any numbers for authors I am sure would be welcome. In the latter case you could provide what is easy to provide to authors and ask them subsequently what was useful - no need to create too much extra work, just what is readily available to extract and present.

 

Thanks for listening.

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7 hours ago, BHopper2 said:

1. Most read genre for a set time period. It could be the same as above, Week, Month, Year, All Time.

2. Something that shows Views vrs Reactions and/or Comments for site overall, and personal.

3. Most active Tags. Both Author use of, and Reader views of.

  1. Would something like the pie chart above work to show which genre is most active in a given time period?
  2. From a technical standpoint, anything having to do with reactions is heavy lifting for the server.  Those snap shots shown above of the reaction counts are updated sporadically.  I'm having to balance usefulness versus server resource cost.  (for the technically minded, Story Views are tracked via a database table that only has stories.  Reactions are tracked for everything on site.  To query reactions, you have A LOT more data to sort through, which has a cost of time and processing power.  We have to minimize that to keep the site moving running smoothly).  We should be to show a views to comments metric though.  Maybe a comments per 100 views ratio to keep the number from being too depressing.  (remember, most readers (views) on site are not members and cannot comment)
  3. We should be able to put together some Tag statistics. 
    1. Perhaps a Pie chart of the top 15 tags?
    2. Tag list sorted by usage? (ie, over all, what tags are the most used)
    3. Tags used by stories updated in the last week?
    4. Tags sorted by most read stories in the last week?  (This would be a complex query that we couldn't run often.)
8 hours ago, BHopper2 said:

From experience I saw that my sappy love stories, set in a modern drama be favored over my SciFi stories. I would love to know if that is something more universal on the site, or if it's just me.

This is definitely universal everywhere.  Sci-Fi/Fantasy has long had this problem:

 

If you look at most of my short stories, you see some variation of "I don't usually read (Sci-Fi/Fantasy), but... " 

Science Fiction and Fantasy are leaps into the unknown.  Not everyone is into that. :)

 

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5 hours ago, William King said:

I worked for years in the statistics section of a large national business, I know a bit about analising raw data, but we had highly qualified (and highly paid) mathematicians and statisticians to come up with the algorithms.

 

This explains a lot about where you are coming from I think.  And it explains in large part the communication issue we seem to have.  To give you some of my background. I'm an engineer.  I have a Bachelors and two Masters of Science degrees.  And I have been making my way here with Gay Authors for 15 years now.  It took me quite awhile to understand that most people's eyes glaze over when I get into the gritty details on things.  Most human beings have no idea at all what statistical significance is.   They wouldn't know a confidence level if they tripped over it.  Even with full access to the data set, which we would have, we can't fully trust it.  We have tools in place to prevent gaming the system, but they aren't foolproof.  I have learned through forced experience that there is a place called 'good enough'.  It doesn't fit all the math rules of statistics or hold up business scrutiny, but it is good enough.  Most people don't care about the details anyway.  I've learned to deal with this in order to make GA work.  I think you are still in corporate-mode where the numbers and confidence in them 'matter'.

 

The issue that I'm trying to fix, to be clear is this one:  Google Analytics tells me we've had over 1,000,000 pageviews on stories in the last 30 days.  However, there is no easy way to extract what they are looking at.  And by easy, I mean automated so I'm not wasting hours of time I don't have to pull out a few datapoints.  I want to understand what people are reading.  I want to understand what people are commenting on.  I want to understand what people are reacting to.  Authors want this too.  (Though, there is a danger of running down the path of 'contemporary romance with men in uniforms' is most popular so, that is all I will write.  That being said... if that's the most popular, then commissioning a story of that type for Premium Content makes the most sense, since it would have the widest appeal).  Authors also want to know what readers are doing.  The vast majority of people don't comment or review or react.  The just read.  So the best we can do is look at what gets read and compare it.  I should be able to extract say Guests read X.  Members read Y.  I care as I would like to get Guests to become Members (and members to become Premium Members).  I think most authors only care insomuch as they want the acknowledgement that people like what they are reading.  Does it matter to authors whether that person is a member or not?  Beyond the actual comments must come from members.

 

6 hours ago, William King said:

I would count the initial hits, those being the ones that (perhaps) occur within 7 days of publication. Then I would look at subsequent hits on the same chapter after 7 day

This part of it should be easy enough.  I have to have some discussion with the programmer over records though.  We'd have to be consolidating the raw data on a fairly regular basis before the database blew up in our face.  One issue that would make it messy though is whether a new chapter got posted.  Each time you post a new chapter, in theory, the first chapter would get a look.  Most of the total views data shows this already.  Chapter 1's have the most views and drop from there.  Those might be I read the first chapter and it didn't hook me.  Or I read the first chapter, liked it and added it my list to read later.  Or I read the first chapter, got interrupted and forgot to go back or so many other things. 

 

Assume blue sky.  What do you think would be useful data for you as an author?  Please break it down on how you'd think you'd get it.  Please try to keep the data items in groups so they can be addressed.  IE: I would like this information from Tags (A, B, C, D).  I'd like Views by chapter 7 days after publication and 7 days after that.  Maybe as a bar chart?

 

 

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@Myr First of all, I think your approach has pretty much nailed it. What I mean is - keep it simple. The separate member v guest views is important, you need to try to get guests to become members and members to become premium members (I have some views on that too, but it's a different topic).

 

I would like a bar chart or line graph of views by chapter. Really anything you can provide easily is a bonus, you made me smile about corporate mode, because you are right, I do think about confidence levels and it didn't occur to me that people wouldn't know what they are, lol.

 

I would like the same data that you want: who is reading what. 

31 minutes ago, Myr said:

I want to understand what people are reading.  I want to understand what people are commenting on.  I want to understand what people are reacting to

 

I guess my background immediately shouts at me I want the demographics - I don't know if you have a big enough membership to do that, but it would be interesting to know what the teenager is reading compared to other age groups. It would equally be interesting to know what the premium members are reading outside of premium content, because these are the people willing to pay. I also realise some of this information is 'commercially sensetive'. You don't want to be giving away information that could help you make money.

 

In short I would be happy with whatever you are able to provide and I would think that everybody else would be too, perhaps I'm assuming too much, but the more we talk the more I appreciate your situation. You might want to give authors data about their own stories, but reserve some of the global stats as private. 

 

If you arrive at some method of highlighting trending books, a book of the month, or first, second, third "top read" books, I think that would do something for everybody, authors (if they don't get jealous - get ready for questions on why you chose that book), readers, because it helps in choosing a good book to read, the website, because it looks good, attracts people. Perhaps it could be a book of the month by genre?

 

Hope this helps, I can't be any more specific, I really don't think you want to collect a huge list of "I want this."

 

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4 hours ago, Myr said:
  1. Would something like the pie chart above work to show which genre is most active in a given time period?
  2. From a technical standpoint, anything having to do with reactions is heavy lifting for the server.  Those snap shots shown above of the reaction counts are updated sporadically.  I'm having to balance usefulness versus server resource cost.  (for the technically minded, Story Views are tracked via a database table that only has stories.  Reactions are tracked for everything on site.  To query reactions, you have A LOT more data to sort through, which has a cost of time and processing power.  We have to minimize that to keep the site moving running smoothly).  We should be to show a views to comments metric though.  Maybe a comments per 100 views ratio to keep the number from being too depressing.  (remember, most readers (views) on site are not members and cannot comment)
  3. We should be able to put together some Tag statistics. 
    1. Perhaps a Pie chart of the top 15 tags?
    2. Tag list sorted by usage? (ie, over all, what tags are the most used)
    3. Tags used by stories updated in the last week?
    4. Tags sorted by most read stories in the last week?  (This would be a complex query that we couldn't run often.)

1. I think that would great.

2. :blushing: I honestly forgot about that. For some reason I felt that those not signed in, didn't count towards the total.

3. Thanks. It's curiostity as I said before, and also like seeing what sort of trends Authors/Readers are Reading and Writing.

3.1. I feel this would be perfect.

3.2. This is the curiosity one for me. I know, I can go to stories, and do an advance search by tag to get some.

3.3. That would be great to see.

3.4. Another curiosity one; however, if it is very complex, then I would rather not see it, and have resources used elsewhere.

 

Thank you Myr for the response, and for listing what we can and can not do.

 

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So when we started, we had a lot of tools built in and with User Interface design, it has to be simple as possible.  Studies have all shown that most people get button paralysis if you give them too many options.  Microsoft, who spends tens of millions a year on User Interface design discovered that year after year, the top 10 most requested features for Word were already in the software, people just couldn't find it.  This is what led to that Ribbon Interface that you see all over their stuff these days.

Any way.  I set up a page for Story Tags that uses already existing software options.  This page is open to everyone, of course, but it is not linked into the system right now.

https://www.gayauthors.org/storyoptions/storytags/

@BHopper2 what do you think?

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Well, I've sent my first draft specs off to be reviewed for the Stories 2.2 update.  This is the one that focuses on simplifying the search interface.  In theory, when we're in the queue for the programmer, this update should go fairly quickly as it is mostly cosmetic.

I'm going to use a sorting/filter method very similar to the activity stream:

https://www.gayauthors.org/discover/74/

when you click on those different boxes at the top, you have some very powerful sorting and filtering tools.  I'm combining that with one box of "quick" searches where it applies some defaults.  like "Newest completed Stories" or "Most Reviewed Stories" etc.

This should eliminate the weird conflicts we're bumping into and making it easy.  The same method will also be applied to the people listings (Authors, editors, beta readers, reviewers, etc)   https://www.gayauthors.org/stories/top/prolificr/ (and yes I know it's not listing the username)

 

And to the Series listing, which is the simplest of the bunch.  https://www.gayauthors.org/stories/top/longestseries/

 

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The advanced search is working again. Tested with complete fantasy stories with word count greater than 20,000.

 

It appears the failure is caused by something periodic. As the upgrade process where cache is refreshed is what fixed it. Not a code change.  This helps narrow the root cause of the problem. 

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On 9/19/2017 at 7:48 PM, Myr said:

And to the Series listing, which is the simplest of the bunch.  https://www.gayauthors.org/stories/top/longestseries/

Myr, first off, excellent work on all this that you've showed us! On the Longest Series, above, I noticed it's going by word count, and not the number of "stories/books" in the series. Is there a way to do either/or? I have no preference either way, but wanted to ask.

 

EDIT: Never mind, answered my own question when i saw the Sort By link. :blushing:

Edited by BHopper2
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@BHopper2 I've sent the specs out on this stuff and it included making that sorting option more... in your face.   It is kind of hiding down there.

image.png

The intention is to have a box like this above all content everywhere in stories.  It'll look different for Story Listings (including on an Author's page so you can sort a prolific author's work), People listings (Authors, Editors, Reviewers), and Series Listing.

 

I'm hoping this style of interface helps.  If you go to the Activity Stream.. you can make your own stream for your own content if you want.  It's really easy to do.  You can then use it as an RSS feed if you're into those.

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Would there be any possibility to incorporate something like markdown (in the input filter?), or do you think there just wouldn't ever be a significant case for it?  The current filtering of basic formatting like bold and italics as well as the extraneous and problematic things generally means that I just don't use them.  Perhaps that just means I'm lazy.  Just a though.

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1 hour ago, Sam Wyer said:

Would there be any possibility to incorporate something like markdown (in the input filter?), or do you think there just wouldn't ever be a significant case for it?  The current filtering of basic formatting like bold and italics as well as the extraneous and problematic things generally means that I just don't use them.  Perhaps that just means I'm lazy.  Just a though.

I'm not sure what you are talking about. The editor does translate some code already.  BBcode.

This is the bracket i BBcode technique

 

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47 minutes ago, Myr said:

I'm not sure what you are talking about. The editor does translate some code already.  BBcode.

This is the bracket i BBcode technique

 

Oh, cool :) 

Markdown is a markup language like BBcode, which I didn't realise was already implemented

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Ah...  Technically, the editor handles marking things.  When you paste from Word, or whatever, it creates appropriate html code.  Or to be honest, it makes its best guess.  The more complicated you make it, the more likely the editor is to mess it up.  Processing power also plays a role, which is why complicated pastes on mobile devices tend to blow up or not process correctly.

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