this bytes

I’m hope you’ll all forgive the following whine – I just need to get it out!

I’m a little disappointed in myself over what’s going on at ChapterBytes. If you didn’t notice, I put the site on hiatus awhile ago. It was fun while, well, while it was fun. But it hasn’t been fun lately, for me anyway. It’s nothing about what’s been written, I love the writers and I love the story. But when I started the whole thing I didn’t think too much about the administration of it all. And the finding of new authors, and the promoting, and the stats, and all the stuff that doesn’t make it fun anymore. And I don’t know what to do about it.

I’ve had some grand plans for it. I bought a domain name, with ideas of self-hosting, and having multiple streams of storylines, and all sorts of cool stuff. Then suddenly those things overwhelmed me. At the same time I struggled with finding new authors to keep the current story going. I felt like I was constantly selling it, always asking for more writers. I almost dreaded a new chapter arriving in my inbox because that meant I had to get the next writer going and I never knew what their enthusiasm level would be. At the same time the logistics were killing my own enthusiasm.

So now I’m left with decisions. Do I let the current site just die where it is? Do I move everything over to the new domain and try again? Do I start fresh with a new “book” at the new site? Do I use the new domain for just my own writing?

Should change the whole concept into a writing carnival with links? I could set a topic or a first sentence or some other prompt each week and let people who want to participate write on their own sites instead?

The thing is – I put up that hiatus post a week ago and I’ve not had one single comment and only one private email. Does this mean hardly anyone really cares? That I can do whatever I want and it doesn’t matter? If it does matter to someone then I’ll feel bad if I screw it up, but if it doesn’t matter to anyone then I’m free – but disappointed. Clearly I’m conflicted.

I’ve also found it really odd that I’ve had two completely different readerships between these two sites. Only rarely has a regular of one crossed over to the other and stuck around. Well, readership is a strange thing in itself anyway, fickle, unpredictable, and apparently inversely proportional to number of comments. I suppose that’s a whole separate post of it’s own though.

I’m digressing. What I’m really doing is asking opinions here – what would you do if chapterbytes was yours? Not that I necessarily do what y’all tell me to, I’m just curious what you would do.


8 Responses to “this bytes”

  1. meg on November 14th, 2008 1:11 pm

    1. how’d you get the little twitter birdie to work? very cute.

    2. I care- but that seems like pressure- pressure I don’t deserve to apply as I’ve been too much of a wimp to jump in myself.

    3. I feel you- managing a group blog can be hassle-ific. But the result is pleasing to the audience… 🙂

    What feels good/write (ha)? It’s your baby- I hope it sticks around in any of the formats youve mentioned- I’ll keep reading… and maybe eventually participating…

    megs last blog post..36x365x120

  2. Mary Beth (Cats, Books, Life is Good) on November 14th, 2008 2:42 pm

    I love the idea of Chapter Bytes and had so much fun writing the chapter. I read every chapter when it comes out but I rarely comment on them so I’m one of the lurkers there. I think is a decision you ultimately will have to make as you are the one most deeply invested in it. I know that this time of the year sucks for me timewise, with the holidays, family birthdays, and everything else. Come January, things slow down a bit, so maybe waiting until then to make a final decision, as I can’t be the only one in this predicament. But know there are people, even if they don’t comment :{, who read and love your expirement.

    Mary Beth (Cats, Books, Life is Good)s last blog post..WHY BUY?

  3. Krista on November 14th, 2008 2:54 pm

    I liked reading over at ChapterBytes, I mostly followed it from when you posted about it here, but I was always very eager to read the updated chapters. I would be sad if it no longer existed. (I’m not saying that to pressure you though, please don’t feel that I mean it that way, just that I like it.)

    I wish that I was a better writer so I could help out and pitch in, but let’s just say that my previous English and Creative Writing teachers would tell you that would be a very bad idea!

    Kristas last blog post..Tiny Red Beer Sweater

  4. AndreAnna on November 14th, 2008 3:05 pm

    I read both here and there but just realized that I don’t have CB on my reader. I always depended on you to send links when it went up. Which I suppose isn’t very fair.

    That being said, I did enjoy reading the chapters but know how tough it can be to manage it all. I don’t think anyone would be upset if you had to stop.

    AndreAnnas last blog post..Jinx

  5. catnip on November 14th, 2008 3:12 pm

    Well. Maybe I was having a tantrum for nothing. I feel better already. 🙂 I don’t feel pressured by anyone, I’m actually very glad to know how much it’s appreciated.

    I do think I’ll wait until after the holidays to put anything new into motion, but that will give me time to think about exactly what to do.

    Thank you!!

  6. Desiree - Mother Musings on November 14th, 2008 6:47 pm

    I saw the original post about the hiatus & just figured that’s what needed to be for you & your life situation. I certainly don’t want to see it go away & I know the couple of non-blogging friends that I told about the site don’t want it to go away… esp. since the story isn’t done! They want to know what happens next and I know I do as well.

    What do you think about having previous authors, if interested, write new chapters rather than constantly searching for new authors?

    I can imagine that it takes a lot for you to put this all together! I appreciate your efforts!

    Thank you!

    Desiree – Mother Musingss last blog post..The Alphabet of Me

  7. ErinSlick on November 17th, 2008 4:41 pm

    I’ve been on a Low-fat Internet diet lately, just because I’ve had no time and I felt I should frolic with the humans in my life. I have to admit, I haven’t read the storyline in quite a while. I actually like the idea of giving a theme or a first line and letting people post to their own sites. Kinda like Thematic Photographic for words. Very cool.

    ErinSlicks last blog post..Pink Weights

  8. mumma boo on November 18th, 2008 8:34 am

    I saw the post about the hiatus and figured it was just because of the crazy time of year. I really enjoy the story and each author has done a great job of keeping the through-story going while at the same time adding their own twists. I look forward to each chapter. That being said, don’t pressure yourself if it’s not fun anymore. A break from it is a good thing – maybe you’ll feel re-energized after the craziness of the holidays is past.

    mumma boos last blog post..Not So Extreme Makeover

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