The Beat Goes on XX

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The following is an email I just received from a  former prospective new user.   After she said she was uninterested in engaging her commenters I decided to give her a little dig and she responded to that dig.  My response is in the comment thread:

 

I repeat: you know nothing about me.  My blog is under construction, it’s completion delayed because I’ve been focused in other directions.  The blog is not how I share my material. At this point in time I am utilizing it just to keep a record of my posts, and to provide a URL – in time I intend to link it to my FB page.

 

A thousand people receive my postings via email, and among those thousand are many (such as Shirlee) who share it further.  And so in total many thousands see my material – which aims to inform.  I get considerable communication from the readers of my posts – and when those who share my posts with others receive comments they pass them on. There is a lot of activity.  I take the time to answer their many questions because they are in the main very serious people.

 

You imagine that you did me some huge favor because three people responded to my post when you put it up.  I will tell you that I looked at the level of communication in those responses and was really not impressed.  Some of it was insulting.  I am missing NOTHING by not being involved with Writer Beat.  It is strange that you are so caught up in your own sense of importance that you imagine you are offering something I cannot afford to pass on. 

 

What I find difficult to tolerate are people like you who refuse to accept my answer, when I graciously decline participation. I’m not sure who you imagine you are, to tell me what I should be doing.  If you had been smart you would have responded graciously in kind, saying you understood and perhaps at some other time when I am less pressed I might want to participate. That would have kept the door open and left me feeling positive towards you. But you had to harangue me, and criticize me – and so you have lost me irrevocably. 

 

There is something for you to learn from this, but I doubt you will learn anything.  There is not point in your responding further.

Comments

Autumn Cote Added Nov 8, 2017 - 2:36pm
Anonymous,
One of the reasons I started Writer Beat was because of the lack of dialogue I witnessed throughout the blogosphere.  There are simply way too many blogs, some of which are very well-written, that receive no comment activity.  In conjunction with lack of comment activity is also probably lack of readers.  Because your blog had no comment activity, you’re the prime example of the type of person I thought would love a site like Writer Beat. 
 
I suspect you’re just being defensive and the truth is that you outside of a Facebook post where family and friends chime in, nobody is reading your work*.  For the record, it’s nothing to be defensive about, it’s hard to find readers that aren’t already in your social network.  The way I look at it, Writer Beat does the hard part so people like you can focus on the joy of writing.  I guess I thought wrong. 
 
*If I’m wrong, I apologize, Writer Beat isn’t meant for you and I’m sorry to have wasted your time. 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 8, 2017 - 3:11pm
I would cut out the second paragraph. "I suspect you're just being defensive...".
Is the first email your reaction to the email in the article?
 
I think after the email in the article I would have let her go. It is possible that a blog has some thousand readers and no comments. If I look at larger blogs, I sometimes see about 5 regular commentars when the blog has a hundred thousand clicks per month.
 
An American example would be pamelageller.com. She had 2.7 million viewers past month. Most articles only gather about five comments. And they are always the same morons.
 
So it is possible that she has the experience that she describes and WB wouldn't be an addition for her.
 
BTW Writerbeat had a steap rise in viewers from about 20,000 in previous months to 85,000 in September. October fell back to 55,000. Has anybody a clue why that is? I don't see much more views per post.
Autumn Cote Added Nov 8, 2017 - 3:24pm
I spared you all the back and forth and just provided her last email.  What prompted anonymous to write her email was the following email I wrote:
 
I know you keep a blog that get almost no comment activity and Writer Beat provided you comment activity. For whatever it's worth, your behavior is similar to a lot of people I bump into in the blogosphere.  It's like people enjoy talking to a wall.
 
You bring up an interesting point about the disconnect between page views and comments.  I can always tell when one of our users has juiced his or her articles with bullshit page-views and when those page-views are real.  People that get real page-views / readers average around 1 comment for every 7 page-views. 
 
I have no idea why our traffic is so choppy like that. 
Simply Jews Added Nov 8, 2017 - 3:35pm
For some reason on personal blogs people tend to be shy to leave comments. I get more via email than any other way. 
And I am afraid that no one yet figured out the mystery of reader's behavior on the timescale. 
Dave Volek Added Nov 8, 2017 - 3:53pm
Just for fun, I went to pamelageller.com. This blog is not discussing things in an open forum. It is about preaching to the converted. Alternative viewpoints are not welcome. 
 
If this blog is getting 2.7 viewers per month (which could be inflated), I would say that Writer's Beat has even a greater importance on the internet.
 
I went to my communities on Google+ this week. Lots of writers putting stuff up there, but not many comments. Maybe I should cross-post a few of my articles there to see if anything sticks.
 
I would say the writer in BEAT XX is someone who does not like criticism of any kind. She is looking for her own choir. And I would not be surprised she can find it.
Ian Thorpe Added Nov 8, 2017 - 4:21pm
You know something Autumn, it's really boring when you go on about comments. The point you are missing is there's a big disparity between the number of comments and the number of people who comment. I just checked a thread here on WB with 60 comments and only fifteen names in the thread. So quite a lot of the hit total is just duplicate visits.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 8, 2017 - 4:27pm
Dave: WB has no influence. I gave you the numbers. Geller does not have so many views each months. The numbers are the numbers. There is nothing 'inflated'.
 
I really have no idea why internet traffic oscillates so much. Did we have a lot of newbies in September?
 
Very few come to stay. Have you guys noticed that Yoder (the native American) has gone? He was a big contributor and left without notice. His account is gone. I'm happy about Maureen, Neil and Snoopy (Simply Jews). It looks like they enjoy it and on top of it all: they are sane!
Ian Thorpe Added Nov 8, 2017 - 4:30pm
Benjamin, yes I have more than a clue and if Autumn hadn't just bored the pants of me with her preaching about comments and pissed me off by her dismissive response to offers of help from me and others, I'd not only tell what I did but also how to maintain that level of traffic and extend it from the front page down the directory tree.
How do I know such stuff? Well thirty years in Information Technology and involvement in internetworking from the earliest days (DECNET, Xnet etc.) might have something to do with it.

Autumn, here's a CLUE: Writers want to be read, the only feedback that means anything to a writer is "We accept your submission, here's a cheque."
Autumn Cote Added Nov 8, 2017 - 4:41pm
Dave Volek,
I’ll know Writer Beat will have made it when more people alert their social network (Google+, Facebook, Twitter) to one’s activity on Writer Beat.  Cross-posting doesn’t do anything for Writer Beat outside of prove Writer Beat is a superior platform to those other sites for attracting comment activity. 
 
Benjamin,
Yoder asked to be removed a while back.  I didn’t put up too much of a fight.  With any website you’re going to lose users over time.  The trick is gaining more than you lose, which Writer Beat has clearly done.  We did not have a lot of newbies in September. 
 
Ian Thrope,
I get the fact 60 comments might only translate to 15 names in a comment thread.  In the case of anonymous, that’s 15 more names than she was able to attract and reason to use Writer Beat again.    
 
I’m not dismissive of offers to help and I don’t have the money to write checks for submissions. 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 8, 2017 - 4:45pm
Ian: This is interesting. I thought very early that the traffic of this site is unusually low given the content we put out. I think that Autumn didn't want to be dismissive about your suggestions. She says that she is not a techie at all (her brother is). It is very likely that she simply did not understand the importance of your suggestion.
 
Do you really want to get paid? I don't.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 8, 2017 - 5:07pm
So without Ian's magic traffic will slip back to 20,000 views per months.
It is really hard to guess what he could have done without access to the WB server. I mean it affected only the front page in the first place (and the views per article as a dripple down). So it had nothing to do with RSS. I thought for a moment that we are not indexed with Google. But I just checked and we are. Once registered with google it would remain. The thing Ian did, does not carry itself on.
I still think we need RSS....hm..I have no clue.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 8, 2017 - 5:28pm
Neil Lock Added Nov 8, 2017 - 5:29pm
Benjamin: Thank you for your kind words about me. I obviously appear more sane than I am!
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 8, 2017 - 5:55pm
Please, everybody ignore my link. I did not even read it before I dropped it. The page is receiving mock RSS-like signals. It's not about sending. Sorry. But that is also easy.
One explanation for Ian's mirical is that he used something like this web spider thing, generated an RSS feed on a proxy (feedity?) and sent it with a link to the main page (rather than to the articles).
 
Some names are:
FeedBurner
FeedCat (for free)
FeedBlitz ($1.49 per month if we don't offer email subscription which we don't)
 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 8, 2017 - 6:04pm
Neil: Before I make a fool of myself. You are an IT guy, aren't you? Do you have an idea how we can attract more traffic?

 
 
 
Neil Lock Added Nov 8, 2017 - 7:36pm
Benjamin: My answers to your questions, in order, are yes and no. I spent the early part of my career developing, and managing the development of, bespoke software. The last 10 years or so I've spent mostly doing testing and QA. Marketing isn't my pigeon.
Dave Volek Added Nov 8, 2017 - 8:09pm
Benjamin:
 
I think they are very few websites that have any influence. People gravitate to websites that validate their own position. Even though these websites are popular, people are not changing opinions. "Internet democracy" doesn't appear to be working from my perspective.
 
Autumn
Other than my two sons, I have very little influence in life online or offline. And as I have become older, I have become more introverted. Most social conversation is quite trivial these days and my perspectives are not welcome. Here is a conversation I had with Fred a few months ago:
 
Fred: Can you believe these auto manufacturers charging me $60,000 for new truck? Where do they get off on ripping us off for so much?
Dave: Don't buy the truck.
Conversation: Over.
 
Anyways, I will put out an advert for Facebook tonight and see if any of my 85 friends come this way. 
 
 
 
   
wsucram15 Added Nov 8, 2017 - 8:11pm
I just promoted Writer Beat, even though its on both pages I do use, everyday.
 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 8, 2017 - 8:48pm
My internet search pretty much finds that RSS is still mentioned quite often as an advice to improve traffic. Anyway, it won't harm to have it. The three names I wrote in my earlier post are either completely for free or it is $1.49 per month.
 
I would use FeedBurner. It's run by google. So I guess they are feeding some of their own services already with it. It doesn't cost a penny and i'm sure Autumn's brother would not mind to take the 30 minutes or so to install it.
Arrbyy Added Nov 8, 2017 - 10:17pm
Hmm. This is interesting. Autum is persistent, but then again, If you're going to do something, follow through. Right? I have never had the urge to tell Autumn that she's haranguing me.
 
But I have pointed out to her my problem with WB. The conversations aren't threaded. And this isn't an information source, except incidentally (stuff found in the posts and comments). It's... a coffee shop where regulars pop in and talk, or not. And that's okay I guess, except that in my case, I am busy. I also blog and I do a lot of reading around, on top of the book reading I do. Nothing in means nothing out. To put it another way, Nothing but cat pictures (etc) in means nothing out.
Dave Volek Added Nov 8, 2017 - 10:38pm
Autumn:
I put a call to my 85 friends on my personal FB, 140 FB supporters of Tiered Democratic Governance, and 25 FB supporters of Dave Volek Publishing. We shall soon see.
PaganTeaPartier Added Nov 8, 2017 - 10:51pm
Well I don't really have much to offer but a unique perspective.
 
However I'm enjoying the engaging discussions, and I'm grateful for having received Autum's invitation.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 8, 2017 - 11:15pm
Dave: That's very kind, but the difference between our usual 20,000 views and September's 85,000 views is 65,000. Even your 250 friends, no matter how committed they are, won't do the trick Ian did.
 
There is, of course, also other advice on the web on how to improve traffic, e.g. create more internal links to lift the website on the search results. I could imagine e.g. a widget in the comment editor that would make it easier to link to the user's earlier articles or to other WB articles (a quick search). But that is complicated and I think not of big value at the moment.
 
The thing that can easily be changed is the addition of an RSS feed.
 
Arrbyy: Don't feel pressure with WB. You can ignore Autumn's 'dormant account' emails. They are just an excuse to promote our articles.
 
Ian: I'm sure Autumn makes an exception for you if you don't want to comment on other people's articles anymore. I understand that she tries to create some community spirit and I'm fine with it. If you don't like it, it would be okay, I guess. Your articles and - if you want - your expertise on helping us out with technical inspirations are surely more contribution than we can hope for. It would be appreciated from the entire community.
Thomas Napers Added Nov 9, 2017 - 2:34am
Benjamin - What's an RSS feed?  Whatever it is, I've never seen one or used one and see little benefit of adding the feature to this site.  
 
Autumn - Certainly you have some money to spend, otherwise this site wouldn't exist.  My advice is to pay people to advertise their own articles across their social network accounts. 
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Nov 9, 2017 - 3:43am
As I mentioned before, I tried to get my contacts from LI and FB on WB, but it didn't work because most of my contacts are either German or French speaking......
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 9, 2017 - 3:49am
Napers:
a) You certainly used RSS without your knowledge
b) If you don't know anything, why don't you use google?
c) If you don't care to use google, which is fine, why don't you stay out of the debate?
d) If you have something substantial to object, let us know!
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Nov 9, 2017 - 6:09am
I never use news feeds. Would take too much of my time to delete the stuff LOL
Autumn Cote Added Nov 9, 2017 - 9:08am
Arrbyy,
Threaded comments makes it more difficult for there to be a group discussion.  I can appreciate the need for them when a comment string is greater than 50, but anything under 50 and in my humble opinion the un-threaded format works best.  Seeing that most comment strings are less than 50 here, I think the un-threaded format is a better fit.  You say one of the reasons you don’t spend much time here is because you’re busy.  If you don’t mind me asking, when killing time on the internet, what site do you prefer over Writer Beat?
 
Benjamin,
One of the problems in asking this community for suggestions is that if I don’t follow through on those suggestions one could get insulted.  I think that clearly happened with Ian and I don’t know how to repair things.  As for the RSS feed, I may not know technical stuff but I do know what stuff I use when online and a RSS feed is not on the list.  I wonder, outside of you, does anyone in this discussion use an RSS feed?
 
To all,
I appreciate all of your efforts to bring more attention to this site.
Gone Away Added Nov 9, 2017 - 9:18am
Well, there is an old saying...'You can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't do both.'
 
For me, I like only to participate in blogs sporadically, either reading or writing. I am motivated by time, inclination and thinking I have something that might be relevant or useful to say. All of those constraints in that order. Do I care if I have readers? Depends really. Maybe.

Here, people cannot post unless they read and comment on other posts. On other blogs I see likes from people whom I cannot even comprehend liking my writing. Most of it is a ploy to get people to follow you.
Like other social media, we assume because we have a thousand followers (or whatever number), they are actually interested in what we have to say....nah, they just want you to follow them back.
 
I read something or write something because I'm interested. That's it. My opinion likely means very little to others.
Dave Volek Added Nov 9, 2017 - 9:34am
Autumn
 
One of the challenges of being in management is that a manager gets lots of suggestions to improve things, but lacks the resources to implement them--or perhaps the manager has a better view of the bigger picture and can see the suggestions will not work at all. Either way, the manager ends up looking bad. People who have not managed before don't get that. 
 
As of this morning, I got 3 likes for my WB post on FB. No comments, no shares. We can probably double that number before this FB post is no longer front and center on other walls. While you might learn something from this, I should say that I don't have a lot of credibility with my "community". Family, friends, and colleagues think I'm nuts for writing a book.
 
The internet is a strange beast. Many people are ticked off with government. Yet when they click on a google ad about a possible alternative system of government---and see they might have read more than a paragraph---they tune out rather quickly. My "bounce rate" for my google ads is at least 99%.
 
I have other inventions that I have tried to market with google and FB ads: Similar results. We could say that I'm doing something wrong with my ad design or landing pages. But I've tried different things and nothing sticks. I think I will need an online marketing budget of $100,000 to make something stick in people minds. 
 
Marketing on the internet is tough!
 
 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 9, 2017 - 10:19am
all: Ian has proven that he can at least quadruple our traffic without anyone of you even noticing (and yet you are all wailing). I'm sure he knows how to get views straight to the articles as he says.
 
I don't know if he used RSS for the trick, but it doesn't hurt.
 
Autumn: I think I have to take away some fear.
 
1) If RSS has an issue, the rest of your system is not affected. It will just be as it is now.
2) You all have used RSS many times. Whenever you go to a website that is regularly updated with information from a different place you probably use RSS.
3) It runs in the background. The users who don't want to use it don't take note of it.
4) It does not even cost a dime!
5) The downside: 
Note: point five is a joke
 
I don't ask the community, only Ian, who has proven that he knows what he is doing (it could be something different from RSS or multiple things). It is more likely to insult Ian if we don't listen to his suggestions than if you "don't follow through" (you will; your brother will take only a few minutes to install a software on your server if it is the RSS thing).
 
There is a huge difference between 20,000 and 85,000 views. There is even a bigger difference if the traffic hits our articles directly.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 9, 2017 - 10:22am
BTW this is the ONLY blog I have ever seen that does not have an RSS feed. Is everbody else so wrong?
Even A Broken Clock Added Nov 9, 2017 - 11:09am
Autumn, I get my pay when people tell me that I have a good post that is well written. It's even better when it comes from someone that I know from participating in WB who does not agree with my political view.
 
It is amazing to me the amount of work that you do to find and solicit new writers. I would not have the patience. Thanks for keeping this going.
Simply Jews Added Nov 9, 2017 - 11:15am
I think, Benjamin, that RSS feeds in their current form are less popular than a few years ago. I (for instance) am not checking any, just going through my bloglist when I have time.
Although, some blogging platforms offer more convenient ways to subscribe to the updates - without using some frightening acronyms like RSS.
 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 9, 2017 - 11:25am
All blogs and media outlets use RSS. Whatever other tools there are they can be added as well. LATER. Let's make one step. It literally does not cost a penny. I bet the other tools use very similar feeds.
 
I damn the people who called the thing RSS. If they only called it 'updater' or 'data clock' or whatever sounds easy, we wouldn't even talk.
Simply Jews Added Nov 9, 2017 - 1:04pm
That true.
Autumn Cote Added Nov 9, 2017 - 2:20pm
Colettebytes,
Who wouldn’t want readers that posts to a public forum like Writer Beat?  I agree with what you say about social media followers and activity.  So much of it is phony.  In my biased opinion, very little of Writer Beat is phony. 
 
Benjamin,
Everything I do costs money.  To add the RSS feed I would need issue a work order and our website development company would then charge me for their time.  My brother is in the process of moving Writer Beat into a totally different platform and potentially hiring a new company.  So no matter what we eventually do in terms of changes, it will have to occur after that all happens.  Perhaps the new platform will already have a RSS feed on it.  Would you kindly direct me to a blog you like that uses an RSS feed?
 
Even a Broken Clock,
Part of the fun for me is finding new people willing to give Writer Beat a shot.  It also gives me something to do while I’m bored at work.  To the extent anyone reading this has free time, why not try to find people too.  If you’re successful, I’d love to hear the pitch.
 
Dave Volek,
Despite what Ian and others may think of me, I know Writer Beat is providing many of you a lot of enjoyment.  That’s hugely rewarding to me.  I wish you luck in your efforts.
 
To all,
Another newbie in need of a comment:
http://writerbeat.com/articles/19451-Texas-massacre-used-by-left-to-push-gun-control
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 9, 2017 - 2:52pm
Autumn: If your brother moves us to a different platform it will most likely have an RSS feed built into it. But please remind him.
 
Would you kindly direct me to a blog you like that uses an RSS feed?
I'm not kidding: EVERY SINGLE ONE: townhall.com, dailywire, nytimes.com, jpost.com, my blog (and every wordpress blog), Simply Jews' blog (and every Blogger blog)....EVERY BLOG!
 
You probably want to see some application that uses them. There are gazillions. I bet there are a umpteen mobile apps alone that receive it. Here is a site that lists some android apps.
 
It is just an example. RSS is so universal it is EVERYWHERE on desktop and mobile applications.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 9, 2017 - 2:57pm
Autumn: sorry I look for an English-language site. I honestly did not notice that it was German.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 9, 2017 - 2:58pm
Here is Gizmodo with their favorite apps.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 9, 2017 - 3:17pm
Conincidentally I just visited a new site that has a very active short news feed.
The rolling news you see on the right is coming from RSS feeds. So it is on innumerous server, mobile and desktop applications.
Arrbyy Added Nov 9, 2017 - 5:45pm
Well Autumn, on threaded discussions, we are just going to have to disagree. Let them develop naturally and without inordinate oversight, would be my suggestion.
 
I've indicated that I spend my time on other sites and that I'm busy and that those are information sources. I think that was a better way to communicate my issue than actually listing all of the sites I visit. I blog and I have to constantly be taking in information (which involves comparing accounts and verification) and simply learning. And I'm leftwing, so obviously I'm not going to be spending any time on sites that are rightwing. (And I will point out that I'm constantly being disappointed by leftwing sites that turn out to be fake or compromised. 21st Century Wire just did some Camelot propaganda that disappointed me greatly.) A list of sites I do visit? Gosh. That's like listing all of the Wongs in the phone book, in New York.
 
Some, but not all, would be:
 
Consortium News
21st Century Wire
Axis Of Logic
Off Guardian
Canadian Dimension magazine
Black Agenda Report
CounterPunch
Dissident Voice
Truthdig
Mondoweiss
Russia Insider
The New Cold War: Ukraine And Beyond
Natalylie's Place | Natylie Baldwin
The Wall Will Fall | Vanessa Beeley
In Gaza | Eva Bartlett
The Rabbit Hole | Sarah Abed
Strategic Culture Foundation
The Real News Network
Christopher Black (New Eastern Outlook)
Craig Murray
Upside Down World
Toward Freedom
Gearóid Ó Colmáin
John Pilger
Dennis Howlett
Gregory Elich
Stephen Gowans | what's left
Yves Engler
Paul Robinson | Irrusianality
Nick Turse | Tom Dispatch
Nomi Prins
Nafeez Ahmed
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 9, 2017 - 8:21pm
And I'm leftwing, so obviously I'm not going to be spending any time on sites that are rightwing. 
 
Of course! Why read anything that might conflict with or disprove your beliefs. Know your enemy. Don't rely on a left writer's interpretation of what a right writer wrote. 
 
Arrbyy Added Nov 9, 2017 - 10:46pm
Jeffrey: Oh I see you folks plenty. My writers write about you all the time.
Arrbyy Added Nov 9, 2017 - 10:50pm
I should add that I don't regard the political Right as being the moral equivalent of the political (real) Left. I consider the Right to be evil.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 10, 2017 - 2:22am
Aarrbbyy, I'm neither left nor right. Or any other label you might choose.
 
As for evil, belief that either left or right lack or posses evil is more evil. 
 
Its all evil, it's all bullshit. DEM-GOP are mere factions of the only true power the corporations and their oligarch owners/bosses.
 
But hey, if you're happy its all good right? That's a rhetorical question.
 
Off you go now, mind the gap between train and platform. Bye.
Gone Away Added Nov 10, 2017 - 3:03am
Autumn, you asked why someone blogs if they don't want readers? You asked me because I am ambivilant on the subject.
I guess that I see blogging differently to most people. I have one that is intended to share day to day experiences with family and friends who want to follow my travels. They complain that I don't email or that they have no idea where I am... But ironically, they can't be bothered to type in the blog site address or become a follower so they are just giving lip service to the fact that they want me to do all the work.
I have become somewhat bored with social media except for my own satisfaction, joining in a debate or just acknowledging a friend's post. The idea that we can create a large interested following is false.
 
The world is false...people communicate through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram instead of face to face. Most of the stuff shared is just a revolving door of ideas that go nowhere. Sadly we are all guilty of proselytizing our beliefs and worldly knowledge, but few of us do anything constructive with it.
 
For me, sometimes reading a blog is enlightening, sometimes it is entertaining, but it never becomes the soap opera in my life that I must follow every minute because it is largely a time-wasting activity.
Autumn Cote Added Nov 10, 2017 - 4:32am
Benjamin,
Correct me if I’m wrong but an RSS feed would be a listing of articles on Writer Beat? What would cause one article to hit the feed and not another?  Aren’t we already displaying articles in a feed-like format?  Where would the feed go on the site?  As you ponder that last question, think about the relative value of the feed versus adding clutter to our simplistic format.
 
Arrbyy,
I agree with Jeffry, I’d much prefer a political discussion that doesn’t consist of like-minded people.  I’d also add that learning about the Right from the Left is entirely different than learning about the Right from the Right.  Based on your response, I’m not surprised Writer Beat isn’t one of your preferred websites.  After all, this is a place where you’ll find a highly diverse set of opinions.   As for threaded comments, I agree they should be threaded if the comment quantity is large.  No matter why or how much you use Writer Beat, I appreciate your activity greatly and hope to see more of you. 
 
Colettebytes,
Thanks for explaining.  Please keep in mind that all the people here are not communicating through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Perhaps they do when they click elsewhere, but for the time they’re here, what they write sounds pretty real to me. 
 
To all,
Another newbie in need of some feedback:
http://writerbeat.com/articles/19453-Wife-of-NFL-Player-Alleges-Raiders-Didn-rsquo-t-Block-for-David-Carr-Because-He-Opposed-Anthem-Protests
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Nov 10, 2017 - 4:33am
people communicate through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram instead of face to face
 
Hm. Not easy to see my friends in Africa, the UK, Germany, US, Aussie or Canada live for a beer whenever I'd like to......and without the net I wouldn't have those friends, actually. But WHEN I have the opportunity to go there I KNOW where to go...
 
Not everything is bad...,.
Gone Away Added Nov 10, 2017 - 4:51am
Stone Eater: Agreed, the internet connects us with our friends for instant messaging over long distances. And it is valuable for that. Some might even argue that it actually takes the place of the old (pre-internet) 'Pen Friend' idea to learn a bit about other people and places. Both are valuable ways to use the internet and some forms of social media.
 
I don't like the bullying aspect. I wouldn't engage with a person who is sounding off and being rude or arrogant in public. I am surprised at the number of times I find myself doing it on blog sites. People (including myself) hide behind anonymous pseudonyms as a form of protection from abuse. The internet has become a place where kids are bullied and preyed upon, where adults hurl abuse at one another or conversely find sympathizers for radical and often dangerous ideas.
I worry that society is losing its ability to be socially acceptable to one another one small byte at a time!
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 10, 2017 - 5:13am
Autumn: There are a) blogs that emit RSS (every blog but this) and b) some stuff that makes use of RSS.
 
On a) Nothing in the user experience of those users that don't care about RSS will be affected. It is invisible to them. So there is no clutter. BTW I bet that the installation is so simple that your brother just needs some minutes (with TeamViewer he could do it even from another city). There is no cost.
b) I gave some examples, but the list is endless.
...
I better go through your questions one by one:
 
Correct me if I’m wrong but an RSS feed would be a listing of articles on Writer Beat?
No, listing WriterBeat articles on a website is how a USER can use RSS. His visitors can come to us seeing one of our article intros on his website.
 
What would cause one article to hit the feed and not another?
RSS listens to a change on your website. You can decide what triggers an RSS message. Most sensible is the publication of a new article. Users usually combine feeds from various RSS sources and create their own personalized feed from it.
 
Aren’t we already displaying articles in a feed-like format?
No, we are not sending out anything. We are airtight.
 
Where would the feed go on the site?
People who visit WriterBeat don't see anything on the user interface. Software that receives RSS detects the feed automatically when users enter a website's URL.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 10, 2017 - 6:07am
Why do so many try to tell Autumn how to conduct her business? Do this that or the other thing. Don't do this that or the other thing. 
 
How about just accepting what she offers?
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Nov 10, 2017 - 6:54am
Right, Jeffry.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 10, 2017 - 7:28am
I don't know Stone, I have this protective reflex with Autumn. Lots of attacks on free speech across the internet lately. Who knows if all these "suggestions" aren't designed to curb the freedom here on WB. 
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Nov 10, 2017 - 8:00am
Jeffry
 
Possible. I mean when something is FREE one can't complain about minor stuff. Tips for improvement are ok, but it's up to the sysop if he wants to change something. Often applications are a bit shaky, and something that appears to be an improvement finally turns out to be something that destabilizes or raises new complaints by users afterwards...
 
...never change a running system ;-)
Ari Silverstein Added Nov 10, 2017 - 9:34am
Autumn,
RSS is essentially the same concept as liking something on Facebook.  When you click the “thumbs up” icon on Facebook, your Facebook feed will be populated with content from the person / entity you liked.  RSS essentially does the same thing but outside the Facebook world.  The problem is nobody uses it anymore, meaning I would waste any of your time or money adding it to Writer Beat.  By the way, I noticed your activity on Disqus and I really like the strategy. 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 10, 2017 - 10:22am
Thank you, Ari, for explaining it. Yes, it works in a way like the Facebook likes.
 
RSS is in decline in the same way Facebook is. Everybody claims that nobody is using it anymore when in fact the opposite is true. If anything the advance of the smartphone age can revive RSS. I don't see how Facebook can turn around in the long run. Anyway, they are two big fish in the pond that should not be missed.
Ari Silverstein Added Nov 10, 2017 - 10:31am
Benjamin: Facebook has a market cap of $518 billion dollars.  RSS is worth diddly.  So you couldn't be more wrong.  Here's an article that sums it up nicely.
 
 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 10, 2017 - 10:42am
Ari: RSS is a technology independent of a company. That's why it is so ubiquitous. Of course, you can't assign a market value to it.
 
Have yo read your article? It is confused. The headline makes a claim. The article does not substantiate it. The last words: "do use RSS. Do NOT use Facebook."
Autumn Cote Added Nov 10, 2017 - 1:11pm
Jeffry,
Writer Beat isn’t perfect and I’m interested in learning of what others would do to make it better.  I often get suggestions requesting increased moderation and I always dismiss those suggestions on account of my respect for free speech. 
 
Benjamin,
What you have suggested is much clearer now. I will take it under consideration.  I should let you know that I spend all my time recruiting people via Disqus these days.  Many thanks for the suggestion. 
Ian Thorpe Added Nov 10, 2017 - 4:20pm
Benjamin, I was otherwise engaged yesterday. Actually most of my writing is done for enjoyment - and I don't care if nobody comments, I look at page views and engagement rate (duration of each view.) This does not mean that somebody spent any time reading, they might be 'on my page' for an hour but only spend a few seconds with me before opening another tab. We can never know. So I look at the page view figure and hope that maybe 10% are actually reading. But I do get paid, it doesn't amount to much but the fact that someone is willing to pay me means more than any number of comments.
And it wasn't magic BTW but a very well known technique for maximising links, not RSS but quite similar in that it adds content so that every time a page is spidered there is new content to be indexed.
The effect should not disappear quickly I hope (who can predict anything on the web,) but will decline over time as the SEs are stimulated by new content and links. I was just showing what can be done when the focus is on generating traffic rather than generating comment.
 
Ian Thorpe Added Nov 10, 2017 - 4:44pm
Autumn, I know you're not going to be writing cheques for content and you couldn't afford my technical help (but a while ago it was offered for free because I have a nice income.) Personally I value a few thousand page views more highly than a few comments. It's pleasant enough to spend a little time in dialogue, but chatting can easily get in the way of writing.
As Benjamin says RSS would help, but your feed should include with links to the source page a few lines of text, search engines don't like links only.
And as you are stuck on comments, you should make the threads work for you, <div class="name"> is fine for styling but make each comment an addressable resource. <div class="name" id="comment-title"> makes it possible to address each comment from an external page so contributors can reference a comment, doing this gives an article a real whack up the scale.
What has been successful for me (but it would not work for a comment thread) is combining the above with a Kindle style active contents list and then building a page with many articles, sections and teasers. I create an addressable division as above and add an internal bookmark <a name="tag-name">. Then I put them in a contents table up the top <a href="#tagname">. After each division is a link back to contents. This enables a visitor to explore withing a page of twenty or more items, thus keeping them in my web. I don't provide any comment faciity.
Jeff Michka Added Nov 10, 2017 - 7:38pm
Capt Gilbert sez: Why do so many try to tell Autumn how to conduct her business? Do this that or the other thing. Don't do this that or the other thing. How about just accepting what she offers?-I think the answer is pretty simple: there are a lot of current and past IT types who always have an opinion on how a system, network or site should be run, at least according to them.  It's pure ego for the most part:"I got her to do what I Said for her to do..." Also there seems to be a prevailing ingratitude for what Autumn does or doesn't do with WB.  I DON'T THINK THE COMPLAINERS ARE PAYING ACCCESS FEES HERE.  I'm not, and don't think you are, either, Capt...a lot to be very thankful to Autumn about, and respected.  Think the complainers have missed all of that.  Just because the current Pres is Mr. & Mrs. "All About Me," doesn't men everyone else should be that way, too.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 10, 2017 - 10:25pm
I’m interested in learning of what others would do to make it better.
 
Of course, that's just smart. 
 
I'm on gab quite often and it's been under attack by infiltrators looking to spur activity that can get their free speech venue shut down even since they were forced to find another host. 
 
Now Franken wants to do away with the first amendment....
 
Too many people are too invested in zero dissent and quelling any form of "disobedience" from their narrow narrative. 
 
As always, thanks so much for what you provide
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 11, 2017 - 2:35am
Ian: Thank you so much for offering your ideas.
 
The addressability of a comment by an HTML tag is something that her brother certainly can take into account when he is moving WB to the platform.
 
I'm not sure if I understood the technique that you actually used. I was speculating about sending out an RSS feed from a proxy server because that was the only thing that came to my mind which wouldn't need you to have access to Autumn's server. There is probably plenty that can be done with Autumn's consent.
 
I think views, community growth and comment activity are connected.
 
I would say that at some point (not now) the comment requirement could be automated so people don't feel harangued. Upon publication of an article it can say 'Thank you for your submission. The article will be published after you have left two comments on the work of others. Please, make sure your comments are meaningful and longer than 200 characters.'
 
Of course, checking 'meaningful' is impossible, but a user can still be blocked when we see that he only leaves lorem ipsum kinda stuff.
 
Jeff+Jeff: My goodness, you are hostile for no reason. None of the suggestions are designed to shut you up. They are there to amplify your voice. And I don't need to have a psycho problem to help.
Autumn Cote Added Nov 11, 2017 - 5:37am
Ian,
I don’t follow what you’re suggesting be done.  For example, “<div class="name">” doesn’t mean anything to me.  One thing’s for sure, we have a fundamental disagreement on the importance of comments.  In my humble opinion page-views are not why most people come to Writer Beat.  You even admitted that page-views have a weak correlation to readers.  Do you agree that comments have a strong correlation to readers? 
 
As for our ability to pay for stuff, my brother is a millionaire.  For him Writer Beat is a rounding error and a way for us to communicate on a more regular basis.  However, should he be blown away with some idea and come away thinking it would lead to vastly increased traffic, I’m sure he would come up with the money.  At this stage, it’s safe to say he has almost no confidence in Writer Beat’s potential to be something more than a cost center.  It’s one of the reasons I hate making suggestions to him as all any of them do from his perspective is increase the amount of money he’s throwing away. 
 
Jeff,
I’m not looking for respect or thanks.  Knowing how much there is to choose from on the internet, the fact we even have a few people using this site on a regular basis provides me great personal fulfillment.
 
Benjamin,
I actually enjoy harassing participants that don’t comment on the work of others.  If there’s one thing I can’t stand about people in general is how selfish and arrogant they can be.  I’m sure what I do can be automated, but why automate something that I enjoy doing?
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 11, 2017 - 6:04am
Autumn: I actually enjoy harassing participants that don’t comment on the work of others. *lol*
 
I suggest we talk about one thing after the other. I think the RSS thing is a very small change with a big effect. The thing Ian added is another big plus. Maybe we discuss additional suggestions at a not too far future.
 
Just for explanation. The “<div class="name">” thing that Ian talks about is making our comments addressable by adding IDs. When you load an article you will always have the focus on top of the screen.
 
However, elements that have an ID can be focused immediately. So if you click on this link the page will load at the top of this comment section (because I found an ID there). If such an ID is added to each comment we could reference to a comment and to what was said during a discussion more easily. This also improves the visibility in search engine results. How we can utilize that is a topic of future discussions. I think we should do one thing at a time.
Autumn Cote Added Nov 11, 2017 - 6:26am
Benjamin,
Sounds good.  Correct me if I’m wrong but your idea is basically to have an RSS feed icon by every author’s name?  If a user clicks that icon they will then be alerted of new articles by that author in their RSS feed?  For an example of what I have in mind, see RSS icon at the top left of the link below:
 
http://blog.dilbert.com/2017/11/06/win-bigly-bonus-chapter/
Leroy Added Nov 11, 2017 - 6:29am
"I actually enjoy harassing participants that don’t comment on the work of others.  If there’s one thing I can’t stand about people in general is how selfish and arrogant they can be.  I’m sure what I do can be automated, but why automate something that I enjoy doing? "
 
I don't know if it was meant to be funny, but it gave me a good laugh to start my day, Autumn.  Thank you.  To each his or her own.
 
I really don't see the big deal with an RSS feed.  I used to use them extensively to provide content on my blog.  Still do to provide content although I no longer write articles.  I use it as a single website to pull up everything I am interested in on this particular subject.  But, I don't understand how it helps WB.  All you have to do is click on the WB link and you have a summary of stories much like an RSS feed, except that you can filter it.  If anyone wants an RSS feed, it can be created with 3rd party software without anyone's permission.  Before RSS feeds became so widespread, I used to do this to automate content.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 11, 2017 - 6:36am
Autumn: I think we all should share one feed. Scott Admas uses one RSS feed for his entire blog and we are one blog that should just have one feed, too. The user who receives RSS will be alerted to all new published articles.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 11, 2017 - 6:41am
Leroy: You are a geek who will find ways around. I'm talking about traffic. The average smartphone app user can have teasers to articles from New York Times, Wall Street Journal, WB and your blog on his phone app and quickly check what he wants to read. That's the thing.
Jeff Michka Added Nov 11, 2017 - 2:39pm
Atumn Cote sez: My goodness, you are hostile for no reason. None of the suggestions are designed to shut you up. They are there to amplify your voice. And I don't need to have a psycho problem to help.-I never said or thought "suggestions" were to shut anyone up.  Where does that even come from in context?  All I see is IT egos at play, telling you what you should do, and never respecting or even acknowleging what you've done.  I REALLY DON'T GET THE "psycho" thing.  Pick out and sublimated some user comments?  Despite the personal attacks here, I kinda resent the comment.  Frankly, I'd be more concerned about the egoists' mental health rather than mine, for no apparent reason.
Ian Thorpe Added Nov 11, 2017 - 2:56pm
Autumn, you have the <div class="name"> built into the comment form, will be applied to this when I hit Submit, as it is to every other comment. the 'class' parameter links a division to a set of style attributes defined in CSS (cascading style sheets - don't worry too much about what that is about) the "id" parameter is an identifier which enables an external link to find that point in the text, the 'a name' parameter is an anchor tag, an identifier for a link internal to the page to take the user to when clicked. 
It is a fact of life on the internet that there is a massive gap between page views and engagement rate and its very likely Writer Beat has a higher engagement rate than most sites, but that is probably because most of the traffic comes from within the community.
As for comments, they are not a measure of success at all, people get competitive and farm comments. And when a site grows to significant levels of traffic (say 1million a month) if it is getting pointless comments that contain no keywords relevant to the post it will be a candidate for a 'spam comments' penalty from Google. Then your content is delisted and you get negligable traffic.
If you really think comments are the be all and end all, why not go down the road Quora have taken and just post a question then let people go. The only control Quora seem to exercise (though I admit I have not looked very often) is that you don't see questions like "Boy X is four years old and has a rare, terminal disease. Can we get a thousand prayers for Boy X," and that kind of thing.
It's a minefield out there.
Ian Thorpe Added Nov 11, 2017 - 2:57pm
Benjamin, I'll get back and explain my traffic generating technique more fully. It's time to open the wine in England
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 11, 2017 - 3:06pm
Ian: I have explained your comment tag suggestion above in a more lay friendly way, I think.
 
For the comments. We all know that the requirement is only one comment shortly before publishing an article. It is actually not much to ask for. I would automate it at some point. So people feel less harassed and stay in the community. (also described above - I would add links to the comments above but they don't have an id attribute ;-)).
 
When it comes to the threat of google delisting that is a big concern anyway as Google becomes more and more politicized. If we host holocaust deniers (and I'm for it - because I value free speech above anything else), google is likely to penalize us at some point of growth. That makes ideas focused on search engine optimization less valuable.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 11, 2017 - 3:07pm
Ian: Enjoy the wine. You deserve it!
Utpal Patel Added Nov 11, 2017 - 11:31pm
I think one of the problems with techies and the rest of the world, is that techies don’t know how to simplify things.  For someone that’s not technical, Ian’s suggestions are like deciphering hieroglyphics and Ben needed Ari to translate what he was saying.  Even still, Ben doesn’t get it.  You want to incorporate RSS technology with Writer Beat, where do you want it?  How will it be implemented on Writer Beat?
 
If I may be so bold, Ben doesn’t want an RSS feed on Writer Beat.  He want’s other websites to display Writer Beat content via an RSS feed.  I suppose he wants an RSS icon prominently displayed near the Writer Beat logo.  He would then want you to spend time and effort deciding what content hits the RSS feed.  Keep in mind, none of it will have any value unless well-read bloggers decide to click on the Writer Beat RSS feed.  I don’t see that happening very often, meaning I don’t an RSS feed is worth the effort.  What’s next a Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Fark!, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and Email icon next to the seldomly used RSS icon?
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 12, 2017 - 1:35am
Patel:  I explained in many posts above that the thing is invisible for you. It does not affect you. So, no, you may not be bold and tell utter nonsense.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 12, 2017 - 1:54am
BTW Apart from Autumn who is the only one to decide here anything, could the others please do some basic research before they chime in or at least ask questions.
 
Instead all I hear is 'meh, I'm against it but I won't tell why', 'meh, I don't know that I use it', 'meh, Ben is a complainer driven by pure ego', 'meh, Ben wants just an icon'....just trash. BTW there should not be an RSS icon on WB, lets keep it invisible.
 
I don't mind attacks and I don't mind people being a bit wrong, but this combination of ignorance and attack mode is a bit disturbing. Ian, who knows a great deal more than I do, acknowledged that it may help. So could please people who want to address things that I say have the curtousy to ask polite questions or take some time out to check what I even talk about.
 
BTW I explained it VERY lay friendly, Patel, you simply choose not to read carefully.
Simply Jews Added Nov 12, 2017 - 4:08am
@Utpal,
 
"What’s next a Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Fark!, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and Email icon next to the seldomly used RSS icon?"
 
The irony, Utpal, is that these "icons" (they are more than just icons, in fact, but let's leave that alone for now) might help out with distribution of the blog articles, more hits (which is quite important to Autumn if not for everyone on this platform) and, in fact, are quite popular with most bloggers elsewhere. So your question might have hit the nail, you know...
Autumn Cote Added Nov 12, 2017 - 6:28am
On the RSS feed,
Many thanks to all for your input.  Let’s shelve the conversation for after the conversion. 
 
Ian,
Success for me is a website that people choose to use.  If it wasn’t for our healthy comment threads, I’m convinced none of you would be here.  The more people here, the easier it is to attract more people.  So anything we discuss in terms of improvements takes a back seat to the importance of comments and how to find people interested in making more comments.  If one day we have a problem with pointless comments or SPAM comments, I’m sure we’ll figure out a way to put an end to them. 
Ian Thorpe Added Nov 12, 2017 - 10:47am
Simply Jews you're right, all incoming links bring in more hits, everybody except Autum, who is fixated on comments, seems to understand that.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 12, 2017 - 11:11am
Before things boil over, I may weigh in once more.
 
I appreciate the nature of this site and the comment activity that comes with it. I understand that it is an important factor. This platform is very special and I belief in it. Nowhere else on the internet can people have run-ins with others who have such diverse views. Asking for some comment activity in return to publishing articles is vital to connecting people and to how this place works.
 
However, the number of views do matter. It is better correlated to reads than comment activity when views come in large numbers. The results will be less skewed by the number of people who only want to check the state of the discussion. Many of us (and I am one of them) want to reach readers first and foremost. I get into fights when I feel like it, but the reason why I'm here is to attract more readers to information or views that I believe are important in one way or another.
 
We should not destroy ourselves believing that we can't have both. Autumn can be focussed on getting interesting comments and discussions, and still we may find ways to grow the audience.
 
Ultimately it is connected. This site is damn cool. People do have unbridled, uncensored discussions that are attractive. We will have more people joining our discussions if we get more eyeballs. This in turn will grow the community. The site as such is not scalable at the moment and will die if technical advises are dismissed too easily. So I suggest that we keep listening to each other.
 
And I want to thank Autumn, Ian and really all the rest of you for your contritutions.
 
SJ, Patel and all: The articles feature a button on top with which one can share them on social media. Unfortunately it is hardly used at the moment.
Ian Thorpe Added Nov 12, 2017 - 11:21am
Autumn, the comment threads may be why some people in this community continue to use it, but it is a very small community and for a domain which has around 20k posts is seriously underperforming. And as has been pointed out further up the thread, you do seem to have problems retaining contributors, so obviously not many people are impressed with your approach.
And I get annoyed with the way you berate people like the writer your main article here refers to, just because they offer you a red pill.
I found it personally insulting when in one of your previous missives you said people are flattered because you have invited them to contribute. I can't speak for anyone else although I suspect quite a few feel, as I did when you contacted me and said you had posted one of my articles, that being aware of how difficult Google have made it for small, independent sites to maintain decent traffic levels we would like to support you. I was not flattered, I get asked a couple of times to contribute, usually it is just a one off but some sites seek an ongoing relationship. No big deal.
Your ship, your rules, as several people have noted. But if you can't see that running things your way is not helping the site grow, in fact it seems to be struggling, then there's no helping you.
I pulled a simple trick of using syndicated content on my many sites and thousands of pages to boost the domain, but I would think that spike in hits produced a corresponding spike in bounce rate (people who never look beyond the landing page). Get all active members to spend time giving the site inward links, our of blog posts and comment threads on blogs news sites. Huff Post and Breitbart - to reach across the spectrum - are enormously powerful sites and run lively comment threads, a link from a comment direct to a WB article will give a good boost. Links from sites like Medium and Minds are much less powerful but they add up.
It's up to you, do you want WB to succeed as you often say, or as your attitude to experienced content creators suggests, are you set on "teaching your grandmother to suck eggs?"
 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 12, 2017 - 11:55am
Ian:
Breitbart has so much comment activity that the inward link thing does not work that much. There are too many comments at once and people don't follow links there very often. When I joined in from time to time, I experienced it like serving. Linking to my own articles did have some meek effect. I had more success with sites that have medium traffic.
 
Yes, I also think the hits were bouncing off. After RSS, I would like to talk about twitter cards. I think that can create inward links when Twitter is added to the social media share button (or however the thing will look like on the new platform).
 
I took the candid 'flattery' comment with a grain of salt and did not feel offended. And let's not forget, Autumn, is a human as well! The letter above may not have been as calm and professional as it should have been, but we all have a bad hair day once in a while.
Ian Thorpe Added Nov 12, 2017 - 11:56am
Benjamin, I said I'd get back and explain the trick I used to boost traffic. It's quite simple to web savvy people really.
I've been on the web creating content since the last century and have thousands of posts, in my own domains, on wordpress, blogger, Authorsen, Wikinut, Scribed and elsewhere.
Up to about 2008 it was possible to design pages to have a 'long tail'. I had one post, a poem titled Casual Sex In New York that was posted in 2001 and was still getting over 500 reads (not views, but over 2 minutes on page) more than five years later.
Then Google started screwing up small sites and steering traffic towards the corporate pirates who could pay for traffic. And we had to change our approach or die. At my peak I had been getting around 20 - 25k page impressions a day, it dropped to between 5 and 7k before I stopped the rot by using content syndication using a server side include.
 
This is a brief description rather than a How To Do It article
The way I do it (not the only way by any means) is as a CGI command in the body of every page I want the content to appear in:
<p><!--#include file="filename.txt" --></p>

I make a daily log of my posts on various pages in html code but save as a .txt file, (if you can't do html, wordpress or blogger will do it for you, with the editor set to "Visual" or "Compose" enter and format your content. You will see your page as it will appear in browser windows. Now flip the editor to HTML and the blog engine will convert to html for you. Save that post as a .txt file

Upload the daily .txt file to the server and that content will appear in the specified location of any page.And as the "include" becomes part of the page, it is formatted by the browser and takes on the page's style.
 
Thus I can add new content to hundreds of pages with one action, in the case of WB it was a link to the top level domain.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 12, 2017 - 11:57am
...experienced it like surfing...
Ian Thorpe Added Nov 12, 2017 - 11:58am
BTW Benjamin, the wine, a St. Emilion, was delicious thanks.
Ian Thorpe Added Nov 12, 2017 - 12:11pm
Ben, when I look at stats on where my traffic is coming from it's very noticable that search traffic outweighs people following direct links. I wish it were different but that is generally acknowledged by webmasters as the status quo. Few people click on links, and if they do it is mostly links internal to the domain (another thing that does not happen on WB) So a link from a comment on one of the big sites will boost visibility and gather search traffic.
I find that when we share on facebook or a similar site there is an immediate response because search engine spiders are attracted by the new link. The 20 or so hits that register almost immediately are not quality traffic, they are only bots, but those have a cumulative effect.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 12, 2017 - 12:17pm
Thank you Ian for the explanation. I have no more time today and may come back to it later.
 
Autumn: I think we could also consider a mechanism that people can improve the position of their latest article if they share some other article on social media. At the moment likes make a big boost, comments boost a bit. Somehow using the social media sharing mechanism (at the moment the 'share' button on top of the articles) could also be rewarded.
Autumn Cote Added Nov 12, 2017 - 6:16pm
Simply Jews, Benjamin and Ian,
I agree, all incoming links are good.  However, I’m highly skeptical and jaded because the only new people Writer Beat attracts are those that receive some personal message from me.  I can count our users on one hand that have come here on their own.
 
Ian,
With a marketing budget of $0, I’d argue Writer Beat is over-performing.  My brother is amazed at how many long-time users we have and how long the average user spends on the site.  The fact some users drop-off is to be expected for any site, especially a social networking site with so few users to begin with. 
 
As for my tactics in getting people to come here, they are highly deceitful and I don’t blame anyone for being upset with me.  My latest Disqus strategy is the most deceitful of all.
 
Our disagreement on how this site should be operated, runs way deeper than ways to create incoming links.  I don’t have any love for authors that don’t comment on the work of others and will treat them harshly because I don’t want them here.  However, for authors that are likely to engage you in debate and defend what their work, I can think of no better place to comment than Writer Beat.  I can also think of no better place to submit articles if you don’t happen to be a well-known blogger or employed by a major media outlet.  That is Writer Beat’s niche and if there is one thing I’ve learned in my business career…exploit your niche.    
 
Benjamin,
Kindly let me know how you think the article sort order is determined?
 
To all,
Another newbie in need of some feedback:
http://writerbeat.com/articles/19473-Islam-more-cult-than-religion
Lynda Dietz Added Nov 12, 2017 - 11:11pm
For what it's worth, my lack of participation here (as a newbie) has nothing to do with the structure, the admin, or anything else (and Autumn, your reminder emails are not harrassment in any way). I'm simply swamped with work (day job and freelance copyediting) and blog maintenance. Only today have I posted my second article here, and the first one was well over a month ago. (Part of that is because my blog is more personal and therefore more likely to be uninteresting to many people here.)

I'm looking forward to being able to explore here more often, but my day job's busiest season lasts from now until mid-January, so my free time is limited. I've liked what I've found here.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 12, 2017 - 11:55pm
Autumn: With your invitation efforts the marketing budget spent had been huge and the site is underperforming.
Idea
What if people can earn the 'right' to like a post more than once (including their own posts)? Sharing an article on social media and leaving two comments could earn one a ... let's call it...a 'free beat'. Users could have budgets of 'free beats'. Instead of the caption 'like' the button could read 'promo beat'. Let's create incentives for people to share articles and comment on them.
Autumn Cote Added Nov 13, 2017 - 8:35am
Benjamin,
As it relates to performance, I don’t know how anybody can say for sure if Writer Beat is under- or over-performing, as it depends where each of our expectations lie.  I like the idea of giving bonus like-clicks (free-beats) for behavior I want to encourage. The way it works currently is that I occasionally give extra recommendations for deserving authors.  For example, I noticed that Eileen commented on the work of others and decided to pump up her articles’ visibility by recommending it a couple times.  I recommended your article as well.  The problem with the idea is that I would guess 80% of our users have no idea why the articles are sorted the way they are.  Accordingly, they would have no idea what to do with a free-beat. 
 
Lynda,
Please note, the second best way to draw more attention to your work is to comment on the work of others.  I know this to be true because if you do, I'll do everything in my power to draw more attention to your articles (there is a lot I can do and would like to do on your behalf). 
 
To all,
Another newbie in need of a comment:
http://writerbeat.com/articles/19483-Why-did-you-choose-your-religion-
 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 13, 2017 - 11:22am
Autumn: Believe me: we are grossly underperforming! It's absurd. But let me formulate it more nicely: This site has an enormous potential for growth.
 
I think a lot of tension could be avoided if you had an incentive system where you can encourage or discourage the community's behavior.
 
As for educating the user: I'm more optimistic. There are a couple of ways to achieve this. For example, we can see short messages with changing tips everytime we log in. They can get the ball across on many things like 'With regular comments on the work of others you can build up a following and make your own articles more popular' ..... something like this.
 
I think everybody but the newest users figured out that a click on the 'like' button improves the visibility of the articles. I'm quite optimistic there.
 
I would encourage social media sharing. It is a great way to draw attention to Writerbeat if we all do it (or those who can  -  I'm a bit restricted).
 
This is an idea that costs money, but is very promising. Ultimately your brother as a professional investor can see if it has some value as a business concept. 
 
If it hadn't been about the discussion about inward links, I wouldn't have hastened that suggestion because it is an investment. It serves at the moment as a reminder that inward links (such as social media sharing) is a big deal. It is not just about leaving a link on a forum. The method can be used at large scale.
 
So I'd say let's do the RSS thing first and we will pick up more ideas next thing.
 
BTW: Simply Jews has found out that he can't use Writerbeat on his Google Blogger bloglist because the thing updates with RSS impulses. So WB gets buried. Almost all of us use RSS through various tools and don't notice it.
Autumn Cote Added Nov 13, 2017 - 1:07pm
Benjamin,
It’s flattering that you think so highly of Writer Beat’s potential.  While this RSS thing hasn’t exactly got glowing endorsements from everyone on this thread, it’s something I will pursue following the conversion.
 
I think very few people are aware the “like” button improves visibility.  Based on that statement, I’m still not entirely convinced you understand how the articles are sorted. 
 
I encourage social media sharing, however it’s very rare that we land a new user that I didn’t personally contact and I’m sure people are sharing their Writer Beat articles on their social network accounts. 
 
To all,
Another newbie in need of some feedback:
http://writerbeat.com/articles/19488-Understanding-Trump
 
Ian Thorpe Added Nov 13, 2017 - 1:23pm
Autum, get real, with a marketing buget of $£ or €0 and only three regular contributors my two titles, which share a top level domain, manage to average between 250,000 and 300,000 a month. And that is without any comments but using the techniques described above and a couple of others to refresh content and links daily and keep people within the site.
As Benjamin says, this site is grossly under performing. With approaching 20k posts online and a reasonable level of activity I'd expect to see at least 2500 page views a day.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 13, 2017 - 2:14pm
Based on that statement, I’m still not entirely convinced you understand how the articles are sorted. 
Autumn, I can't look into your backend. Of course, I don't know the details of your scheduler. How would you know that people don't understand that the like button pushs the article up in the presentation order (of the following hour)? Of course, they do. I don't think they all push it because they think the number is decoration. I remember - long ago - that somebody even said that he had liked up articles to degrade an article which he hated. Of course, people understand it.
 
however it’s very rare that we land a new user that I didn’t personally contact
We are basically invisible. Of course you have no other experience so far. The social media button should trigger a reward. The servers of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc give feedbacks. When a user shares an article he should automatically be rewarded with something. Without human intervention.
 
Some of the misconceptions about this page really come from the incredibly low traffic. I share Ian's assessment that 20k articles normally create quite a buzz.
Nasty Added Nov 13, 2017 - 6:46pm
Ian Thorpe and Benjamin Goldstein.
Leave this site and Autumn the hell alone!
She has chosen to fill a niche market of outspoken highly opinionated people who have fled the market places you want WB to join. There is a plethora of websites that practice, and fail, all the high tech gimmickry you propose.
This is not a business site! This is a labor of love(LOL) that brings diverse (Some would say Perverse) people from all walks of life to a battle ground. And that is why they come. This is the only site I know of that provides instant, if short lived response.
If you want massive response, then go to the mass sites you refer. I do not belong to Facebook or Google because I hate authority and my every move being tracked.
I agree with you that this website is not meeting it's potential, but that is a good thing, if potential is mass production of fabricated reaction.
 
Autumn Cote Added Nov 14, 2017 - 3:04am
Ian,
The problem must be with my brother.  He sees very little potential in Writer Beat and because of that gives the site almost no effort.  As stated earlier, I’m for maximizing links and concede you have some good ideas for doing that.  However, I don't understand your suggestions, I do understand the suggestion of having a RSS feed.  If my brother was more involved, I imagine he would  pursue your suggestions.
 
Benjamin,
You don’t need to look at our back-end to see why the articles are sorted the way they are.  It’s a simple formula and highly transparent.  At the top of the page are two drop down menus.  The default homepage is “by recommendations for the past hour.”  After the site sorts the articles by that metric it moves to the next time period (for the past hour).  Seeing that you’re a highly technical person, I can only imagine what other people are assuming in terms of the sort order. 
 
This brings me to the subject of the recommend icon.  I know many (not all) people don’t know what it does because many long-time users of the site have never clicked it.  If a long-time user doesn’t know its power, of course the newbies have no idea.  
 
Nasty,
While I appreciate the defense, I can take of myself and have invited all to offer suggestions.  Furthermore, I don’t think its gimmickry that’s been proposed.  They are offering ideas to help boost traffic and with traffic should come users.  Converting those users into commenters and other traffic generators will always be my focus.  What would you prefer, a site with more people communicating or fewer? 
 
To all,
Another newbie in need of a comment:
http://writerbeat.com/articles/19496-Beware-of-a-Looming-Fiscal-Crisis-Something-Must-Snap-
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 14, 2017 - 11:11am
Autumn: The gist that a 'like' propels an article more to the top is arguably understood my a lot of people. I refrain from making technical recommendations to improve user savviness at the moment, but of course there are ways.
Tom C. Purcell Added Nov 14, 2017 - 12:11pm
It's time to fire "brother", Autumn.  If he thinks so lowly of WB than he's a dead weight.  Cut it loose.
Nasty Added Nov 14, 2017 - 1:23pm
Autumn.
My comment was to Ian and Benjamin. If I want a site with more people communicating, I will go to Niume, Medium, usmessageboard, smashwords or one of the free blog sites that you are thinking of imitating.
 
I did not comment to you because you have no management skill. SORRY, but your inconsistent application of rules, arbitrary deletion of contributors like John G, and lack of participation, is what keeps good writers from this site.
 
Your contribution to this site is best,  when it is least. Just keep recruiting and paying the bills.
 
Nasty Added Nov 14, 2017 - 1:28pm
P.S. Your Brother see's very little potential in YOU, not the site. But indulges your hobby.
He made you stop promoting the Nazi's, which is why Pussy Purcell doesn't like him.
Autumn Cote Added Nov 14, 2017 - 3:13pm
Tom,
My brother splits the cost 50/50 with me.  He also has been immensely helpful in getting the site built and tweaked to what it is today.  If it wasn’t for his guidance and money, I think I would have quit a while ago. 
 
Nasty,
You can go to those other sites, but I doubt you’ll get the same amount of comment activity/readers as what Writer Beat provided for you.  For example, your last article got 81 comments.  I disagree with the assertion that I’m inconsistent in the application of the rules or that John G was deleted unfairly.  He didn’t make me stop promoting pro-Nazi articles, I ultimately made the decision to do it myself.  We don’t have to like each other, I’m just happy you (and others) derive some enjoyment from Writer Beat and hope you continue to be a strong participant.  Not to worry, I’ll keep recruiting and paying the bills.   
 
To all,
Another newbie in need of a comment:
http://writerbeat.com/articles/19500-If-receiving-the-Eucharist-unworthily-
 
Nasty Added Nov 14, 2017 - 8:19pm
Autumn. I attract acclaim wherever I go! (LOL) What I like about WB is the instant response from your members.
 
I do wish you would replace the DELETE button with a MINIMIZE button so more people than the Author, can decide if a comment is inappropriate.
Jeff Michka Added Nov 15, 2017 - 4:47pm
Autumn Cote sez: He didn’t make me stop promoting pro-Nazi articles, I ultimately made the decision to do it myself.-However, Purcell's last stunt of using a Swastika the iron cross w same as an avatar was a little much.  Every place he'd commented turned into a nazi festival.  Thanks for not promoting nazi crap here.
Tom C. Purcell Added Nov 15, 2017 - 4:59pm
"Every place he'd commented turned into a Nazi festival."
 
Largely thanks to your obsessive cyberstalking of Purcell.
Jeff Michka Added Nov 15, 2017 - 6:26pm
Nazi Tom Purcell tries: Largely thanks to your obsessive cyberstalking of Purcell-Really?  You are just pumping "the big lie" crap.  Your Nazism is/was fair game.  So you amid the swastika crap was just getting back at people, Nazi garbage?
Melanie Jean Juneau Added Nov 17, 2017 - 1:11am
I have let myself become overwhelmed by writing articles and acting as the editor and chief of a website with over 60 authors and so lost the joy of commenting on other people's work. It is true, there is no better way to grow as a writer and to attract readers than to generously comment on other people's articles. Thank you, Autumn for inviting me here
Autumn Cote Added Nov 17, 2017 - 3:43am
Melanie,
If that's really how you feel, why aren't you commenting on the work of others?
Bill H. Added Nov 17, 2017 - 10:41am
Love this site, as it (so far) has a reasonable balance of opinions and most of the people show a good level of intelligence compared to other sites, where it is usually bash, degrade, insult, whine, and run.
Most of us out here don't expect those with different beliefs, ideas, or indoctrinations to agree or even consider differing opinions, but to me it gives an insight on what makes people with different opinions think the way that they do. Once in a while it takes a poke or jab to get the reasoning for one's opinion, but I find it as an interesting learning experience. It would be nice if the labeling or categorizing of people would cease, but this trait is increasing virtually everywhere these days.
Melanie Jean Juneau Added Nov 17, 2017 - 1:03pm
Autumn- just did last night here and on another article ("Why did you choose your religion?") - small steps
Melanie Jean Juneau Added Nov 17, 2017 - 1:07pm
Bill H.-  thank you for this insight which is so encouraging for me, new member
Autumn Cote Added Nov 17, 2017 - 2:29pm
Bill,
Many thanks for the compliments.  By the way, you’ve become one of my most valued participants.  I just sorted the database by the ratio of comments to articles and you’re right near the top at 276.  In terms of total comments since our inception, you’re in 14th place.  Many thanks!
 
Melanie,
My apologies, thank for a making a few comments.  I consider that level of commenting to be the bare minimum without violating the rules. It also doesn’t make sense given your previous comment about being generous with your comments and growing as a writer. 
 
To all,
Another newbie in need of more than a one sentence comment:
http://writerbeat.com/articles/19529-Those-that-kneel-for-the-National-Anthem-should-be-fired
Melanie Jean Juneau Added Nov 17, 2017 - 3:14pm
Autumn- it is all about SLOWLY rediscovering my first joy as a writer- interacting with other writers. And for this I thank you.

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