Author Survey Results

A few days back I ran a short survey to gather feedback on the current Drablr system and how things could be improved. The response has been great!

To get a better understanding of what Drablr members want from the site, I’m posting my comments on the survey results to Facebook so we can discuss them Drablr further.

User-friendly?

For the most part people seemed happy on this aspect, though there is definitely room for improvement.

Visually Appealing?

Bottom line; the site theme needs a refresh.

Ease of finding things?

On the whole, people are okay on this. There were suggestions for improvements, especially regarding Author/Drabble discovery, so some room for improvement.

What you like most about the site?

Many good responses on things like; a central place to post this form of writing, having an audience/community who are focused on this format, and the ease of getting these stories to that audience.

Very positive comments and whatever changes I do make to Drablr, I’ll do my best not to lose sight of them.

Changes and Feature Requests

  • Hyphens — There’s been requests for hyphenated words not to be split. The rules as stated in the original Drabble Project book are, “Hyphenated-words-are-argued-about.” With a self publishing system like Drablr, I had to make a choice on way or the other; I chose to split all hyphenated words. I don’t see any reason to change that.
  • Bugs/Annoyances — Yes there’s plenty of them, and I’ll try to fix them as soon as I can.
  • iOS/Android Apps — I’d love to have some apps, but I’ve never developed an app for either iOS or Android. Not only would I have to learn how to do that, each app itself could take months to develop. With only myself working on Drablr, and as a side-project, this is not likely to happen anytime soon. I’m happy for someone else build them, but as of yet, no one has been in touch.
  • Attach images/artwork to a drabble — Is there a big demand for this?
  • Other Features/Requests — Make the site look nicer. Categories/Tagging (horror, murder, poetry, etc.) Email notifications (on comments, followed authors). Save as “draft”. All of these suggestions are on my to-do list, so will be added to the site eventually.

Along with all these individual requests, there were two topics that lots of people commented on. These topics are large enough to warrant their own discussion, so I’ll be creating a separate Facebook post for each;

  • Voting — voting system needs a re-think. There were quite a number of concerns regarding how voting currently works, and for the most part I agree. Head over to the “Voting Discussion” for more on this.
  • Community — a better sense of community. The largest feedback was regarding how to build a better community. Without doubt it needs to be improved, but this is a complicated subject and will require more feedback on how best to do this. Go to the “Drablr Community Improvements” discussion for more on this.

More Readers

On a final note, I’d like to tackle the problem that Drablr lacks eyeballs, especially of non-authors. This is something I’ve been trying to improve, but I must confess, I am struggling with it.

Most sites like Drablr pay a lot of money to place ads on other websites, on Google and in offline publications.
For me, Drablr is only a side project (i.e. it makes no money), so I just don’t have the funds to pay for that kind of advertising.

So then, we have to take the organic approach.

Most people — most writers too — have never heard of a drabble, so a good start would be for all current authors to tell as many of their friends, family and online contacts as possible about Drablr. Get those people to sign up, and get them to talk about Drablr among their friends.

Considering that drabble writing has been around for more than thirty years, and it’s still an all but unknown form of writing, we’re just going to have to have a little patience, keep our fingers crossed, and hope that it hits the mainstream sooner rather than later.

…at least this time round we have the internet to help us get the word out.

Cheers,
Michael

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