Feedback: "Writing Community" E-mail

Hi Dabble crew,

Just a quick bit of feedback on the “new Writing Community” e-mail that went out from Robert:

  • Not jazzed about a vague email and sign-up page with no details on what I’m signing up for and some very big promises being made (“new kind of online writing community”). It feels spammy, especially if this ends up trying to push some sort of co-working system or social network with costs involved.

  • I have no idea if the new community has anything to do with Dabble Writer, and it would’ve been good to know the link or reasoning for why this was sent out to the Dabble mailing list.

  • Having the sign-up page be on a non-‘Dabblewriter dot com’ domain is also not adding to my trust.

  • The naming feels odd given that this forum is currently called the Community (in the page title attribute), and most of the features listed on that page could be done through forum software - except the collab writing feature which feels like it’ll be a Dabble feature?

I’d be interesting in hearing from other Dabblers - I’m sick with the dreaded Covid so I might just be grumpier than usual, hah.

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Hey @Emma, you make some good points. Let me respond in more detail than you may appreciate. :smile:

This forum/community was created at the request of our writers because they wanted to be able to rub virtual shoulders with other Dabble members. It’s been a great place to chat about writing and Dabble and plot grid and to share excerpts.

We see an amazing opportunity to really double-down on the community, and as Dabble has grown, we have the ability to do so. We have some big plans for this community, which we haven’t shared publicly yet, but I will share them with you as part of our existing active community. I hope you will be excited about the change and direction we are going, and I’d love your feedback as well.

More Writers, Separate Name

We want to open the community up to all writers, not just Dabblers, so that you have more friends to chat story with. We will have some Dabble spaces to chat about plot grid, new features, and Dabble-specific topics, but we are focusing this new community on all things writing to provide more value to you and to the community.

We are giving this community a different name (Story Craft Cafe) so that all writers can feel at home there. We don’t want those who aren’t using Dabble to feel like this space isn’t for them.

More Spaces

We are adding a lot more spaces to chat. We will have genre spaces so Romance authors can ask their peers about increasing romantic tension over the entire book, Sci-Fi authors can discuss world building off of existing known physics principles, and Fantasy authors can discuss magic systems. We will have spaces on different aspects of story so folks can chat about Plotting, Editing, and Self-publishing. We hope to have a very active and vibrant community with lots going on.

Events

We are planning events, bringing in famous authors to discuss various topics of interest to the community. I don’t want to spoil anything yet, but these are authors whose names you’ve likely heard before. We’re working on virtual conferences, regular single-day conferences and a longer annual conference, with big-name speakers and activities. We are planning writing contests and writing prompts and virtual write-ins and writing sprints. Events to instruct, inspire, share, and motivate.

Writing Groups

An important part of many writers’ journeys is their writing group. A small 4-6 writer group that meets regularly to share their writing, give feedback and advice, and encourage each other in their journeys. We want to help support this small unit by giving them a space within the community to chat and meet over video. We’d also like to see if we can matchmake groups who need writers with writers who need groups to help these smaller groups thrive.

Circle

In order to support all these objectives, we need new software. We are going to use Circle for this community. It is much more than a forum and provides realtime group chat, group video, event support, and a mobile app.

Free for All

This new community will be free, just like this one. Because it is a new community and one for all writers, we won’t be tying login with Dabble. Should you choose to participate, you’ll create a new account for Story Craft Cafe. We may have future opportunities to link your account to Dabble, and we will definitely have some sharing features in the near future for you to share a chapter or scene from Dabble with the community (hint, we have a feature release getting ready to debut next month).

What will happen to this community?

We are putting a lot of effort and investment into this new community and believe it will be a better experience than this current one. We would have just expanded this one if the forum software did everything we wanted. We will leave this one open for the short-term, but we think most people will jump on over and this will become a ghost town, so I anticipate we will close it down in a few months or so.

There are some great posts here that have been super helpful to many. The plotting grid use-cases come to mind. I encourage you to bring your posts like that over to the new community in the next few months so they may benefit people there as they have here.

I’m really sorry if this new community is too much for your tastes. I know some like the small feel of a little group. I’m hoping you’ll be able to find your tribe within the larger group between writing group support and more focused spaces. We will still have the Dabble spaces there. I realize change can be hard too, but we are looking forward to providing more value to you as a writer and believe this is the path forward in that regard.

I’m also sorry if the email and sign-up page came off as spammy. We wanted to tease about the community first before unveiling it completely. This may not have been executed as well as we envisioned. :slight_smile:

And lastly, I’m sorry you’ve got Covid. I hope you get well soon. Best wishes in recovery, and hopefully you’ll have an exciting and vibrant new community to look forward to when you’re back on your feet. Mark your calendars for April 1st. (no joke, and all the other April Fools quips you can think up) :smile:

Lastly, I’d like to introduce @Grace_Thieme to you. She is our community manager and will be working with moderators and everyone else to help with questions, transition things smoothly, and ensure the new community is an amazing experience for all involved.

I’m really excited for this new community. I think you all will love it. I hope we can deliver on that. Let me know your thoughts!

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