A look through hazy memories at WdC.
|This is a dust-addled look back on 10 years of Writing.com... or, more accurately, on what it looked like 10 years ago, as Stories.com...
10 years ago, this site, the one you're reading this on right now, was a simpler site. There was no rich-man badges (Merit Badges), Gift Points came from people who paid money to the site, and there was 4 ranks of people; you had people who had an account, and nothing in it, who's portfolio icon was a faint outline... you had the 'free' account writers, people like myself who bare the black portfolio and don't put anything but piece(s) of work into the site. There were the premiums, with their pretty yellow boxes, who threw money at the site because they had it spare, and they wanted to support it; I got started here as a senior in high school, so I had no moneys. Then, there is the staff, with their bold red portfolio icons, who uphold the rules. This is all there was in the olde days, as it were.
Those of us who paid nothing, got 15 items. Shortly before the freebie crunch, we got folders too. Those that paid, got more. Then, Stories became Writing, partly to "catch up with the times" as they weren't just about stories, but all sorts of expression of the written word. Then, the freebie crunch happened, where the bean counters and the admins got together and went "Gosh, look at all these people not giving us money and the amount of space their files are taking up. Wouldn't it be nice if we did something about it?"
And then, they did. 15 became 4. Folders became 0. And if you kept your portfolio above the 4, they were gone put all the rest of the items that were above that 4 count into limbo where no one could see them. I had almost a full count, so I pulled the majority of my pieces off the site, because I was going to lose most of them anyway. And then I sat idle. With a full account, and with the twisted backstab to the old members of the site, I dusted my hands of the site. Every couple of months, I was getting a reminder that it had been an increasing amount of time since I last logged in (at the time of this submission, I had just got one, stating 18 months since last visit), and to wish my account a happy birthday when that rolled around. Since the freebie crunch, we of the unpaid get 10 submissions again... not quite what we got 10 years ago, but not as bad as when they crippled the black boxes and put in the other kinds of paid accounts.
And back on paid accounts, there is a point that rubs raw with at least myself. The only way to enter official contests on the site, is to have a paid account through the time that the contest ends. It tells me that they only care about money, not the writing, as if they cared more about the words, they'd let the free share their voices... would probably flood the inbox of the contest runner, too, if they went from the likely small handful of people entering, to the veritable deluge of entries, of various qualities, that would go in.
So, as I blow the year-and-a-half dust from my login register, and the even longer dust from my account submissions with this quasi review/rant hybrid monstrosity, I shall continue to watch, and may copy some of my depressed poetry from my FurAffinity account over to here, so people can tell me what they think of my 'emo reflections' as they are.