In a week filled with detours and advancement, the time has come to grab a cuppa and snuggle into a rocker. The wind has picked up, and the storm will arrive soon. Frank and Clyde are having a discussion. Let’s talk.
There are a number of the M3 Readers who have protested the failure to produce Friday Follies consistently over the course of the last two months. I shall be entirely frank.
With the workload I have and the ruthlessness of the hatemail these days, it is difficult for me to spin the stupidity. As with everything else I do, my level of commitment to a superior production necessarily means I shall not be producing something merely to put up another post.
This does not mean FF will be on the chopping block; however, it does mean until such time as there is appropriate content I shall spare my own mind and bloody eyeballs with the delete key.
Tomorrow, the rework of the software should be live. I may well be difficult to raise, as I will be doing all in my power to destroy it. In a Sadomasochistic dance of developer and user, we are striving to have a stable platform which will support all who come to use it.
I need to give a heartfelt thank you to all of those who have been providing feedback on the software. Your comments and suggestions are helping us build a better product.
Some people have questioned me openly about my delay based on software malfunctions. Their premise is I should go with something I know works, even if it will not do what I want it to do and if it requires additional software for me and the RP users.
MORE FRANKNESS: I absolutely will not “make do”. Only a select few in my inner circle have any idea how many hours have gone into the development of the RP site and the platform. To those disinterested parties who are neither partaking in the project now or planning to do so in the future, you are welcome to keep your opinions to yourself.
There is an overarching theme on M3 which disparages companies who fail to consider their end users when making corporate decisions. While I do not hold the opinion any company should attempt to kowtow to every customer request, I do consider delivering a stable product a non-negotiable. (Evidence both here and here.)
Right Turn, Clyde!
By a show of hands, who has ever fallen prey to a Catch-22? If you raised your hand, you are going to love what follows. If you did not, you may want to rethink keeping your hand down. No one here bites if you raise your hand, except when we ask, “Who wants to be bitten?”
The SIB correctly delivered some hatemail which contained personal manifestos. People are willing to tell me why they are not willing to visit RedmundPro or to engage with those who are currently on the boards. While arguably these could be Follies material, I am holding off for the moment.
The SIB has also coughed up some email it was certain was misaddressed. It was a series of concerned emails for my sanity and the amount of sleep I am not longer engaging. While this is not at all unusual, what was odd was the point of view the emails took.
We have long discussed the definitions of success and the myriad ways there are to gauge success. Mantra has had a say. Even Clyde has had some say on success. The main concern of my worried emailers was the lack of support to this venture.
Before the supportive get their knickers in a bunch, there are a number of people who are being tremendously supportive. While it may not be publicly evident, without them much of the work being completed now would still be in my to-do stack. To be perfectly frank, their public silence is not a convicting factor… for me.
It is a convicting factor for those who are onlookers. Of the more than 17,000 people who have been by the log in page for the RP forum, very few have ventured into the area. It looks as though there is no support. Let’s change my name to Frank: It is unsupportive.
One of the corporate decisions was to open the RP forum first for those who are developing books, trailers and audio for the launch palette. Some authors are there and very busy helping others. Some were content to send me a manuscript and do nothing else.
No, not wanting to help anyone else is not the convicting part, exactly.
By design, the forum is a logged in area only. I am not interested in having someone be a full time moderator to remove all the spammy comments from people who have “great informations about this topic”. It is set to members only. This theme continues to the main site. There will be a few areas open to the public, but the core of the site will be for those who choose to be part.
Contrary to popular belief, this is not unusual. On how many sites have you created an account? Let me just name the ones I have visited in the last 4 hours:
- Bank 1
- Bank 2
- Credit card
- Credit Union
- Go Daddy
What do all of these have in common? They have something I want. What else do they have in common (except RedmundPro)? Thousands and millions of users. What do they not have in common with RP? You cannot talk to the developer or owner when something is amiss.
The main reason the engagement is low is the hold outs are waiting to see if this will be a success. More than a dozen authors said they were not willing to launch because they wanted to see how successful everyone was going to be before they “risked” their manuscripts.
(You are welcomed to laugh. I have.)
The reasons have ranged from trust issues to vanity. How about some excerpts?
I have to see what they [the books] look like before I am willing to let you see my manuscript. You could mess it up, and all of my work would be lost.”
What good does it do to let you publish it when I could do it myself?”
My other books have only sold about 100 copies. [Two years in production.] You can’t possibly do better than that. If you do, I will think about it.”
The overall commonality of the emails was until I could prove I was going to be successful, the authors and writers were not willing to take a chance. The biggest hang up was with the guarantee of editing. Most were vain enough to believe what they wrote was sufficient without anyone “messing with it”. This includes those who sent me sample chapters with misspellings, little or bizarre punctuation and protracted use of grammatical errors. Said chapters were excerpted from manuscripts declared “ready for press”.
So, if we grant them they want to go with someone proven, how do we go about the proving when few to none are willing to “risk” even becoming a member of the site to see how it works?
In a rare turn of events, I am going to withhold my opinion. Instead, I am going to give you the floor.
Until next time,
I hope you are having a restful weekend. From credit ratings to publishers, how do you build a reputation when seemingly no one will give you a chance? Is it possible writers believe a WIP folder inhabitant is better than a book? When do you make the change in profession from writer to author?