I've previously blogged about WriteOn, and even did a comparison with Figment and Wattpad. I also mentioned that this was really a recommendation of the site while it was in Beta, but as of March 11, the site has gone public. Now that almost 2 months have gone by, I thought it's time to provide an update.
Actually, I wanted to do this a month ago, but then school started and boom. All my time was gone.
Anyway, before I even start, here's a relevant post on Feedback. It's a relevant post because it affects how strongly I recommend WriteOn, but that's something that I'll be talking about later.
First off, let's talk about the obvious changes:
The site has undergone a revamp, and it's much, much brighter now. The notifications also disappear after you check them (unlike the past, where you were permanently "notified"), and they have numbers too. Author reads of their own story are no longer counted (this was a cause of much joy), and comment statistics are also included, so that uh, you can see how many comments other people have written, I guess.
A lot of new members have also come in, and they have really awesome stories with them. I'm really enjoying reading them.
But, and this is a big but, the tone of the site seems to be going downhill slowly. I talked about it on the Feedback post, but it's getting "risky" to give constructive criticism. Authors with thin-skin will call you a hater and/or naive/ignorant/stupid, and dog-piling has occurred.
I also don't think this is related, but I know at least one member who gave awesome, detailed feedback who left the site. She wasn't bullied, but she wasn't getting feedback back. There's another member who has stopped giving feedback because she was dog-piled on. That means that the quality of feedback is lower compared to the early-beta days.
The forum too, has gotten meaner, and that's thanks to one member. She speaks as though she won the Nobel Prize for Literature and Man Booker Prize and what have you, referencing her work constantly instead of, I don't know, Shakespeare or Austen or Twain. If you dare to disagree with her, you're an idiot. Oddly enough, she likes to rail against the Western Education she received, but somehow I'm the dumb one. A real puzzle, that one. But then again, I'm dumb.
My forum participation has basically gone down to threads where I "know" the posters and am pretty sure that divisive personalities won't be participating in.
The mods have stepped in once or twice (pretty much after the storm), but not enough to make me feel like this is an actively moderated community.
Does that mean WriteOn is doomed? Nah.
While I'm not going going to be recommending the site as wholeheartedly as I did before, it's still my writing site of choice because I've made the most friends there. I've found a small group of users whose opinions I trust and that's where most of my activity takes place. I will give feedback if asked, and I do reach out now and then, but for the most part, I'm just in my tiny little circle that I'm trying to slowly expand.
Just to be clear, there are a lot of awesome people on WriteOn. It's not the next Wattpad (yet), but tt's still a good community if you want feedback. I'm still hopeful that the small group bringing it down will either eventually get tired and quit, or that we'll be able to "block" users.