Please evaluate the usefulness of SYS to avoid wasting people's time


#1

Moin.

Over the years on various platforms, I’ve seen one thing when it comes to content sharing: Dedicated self-promotion categories/channels/communities/clubs/… are not used by content consumers whatsoever. Instead, it’s mostly creators who dump their link and leave. This leads to a situation that’s a bit like you’re a plumber at the world plumbing conference going around asking others if they have leaks you can fix: Your customers simply won’t be found in this location. Your audience isn’t there.

I suspect it’s the same story for the share your story boards. After all, this site is called wattpadwriters, not wattpadreaders.

With that in mind, I’d like to ask someone with access to more advanced statistics to look at the link click-through-rate on these boards (if these stats don’t exist, enable them for a couple weeks in Google Analytics) and make a decision based on that.

If it turns out that, indeed, nobody reads those boards with the intention of finding a new story to read, please change the boards or shut them down, because even if writers would like a place to self-promote, encouraging them to spend a lot of time walking towards a dead end is not nice, to say the least. Some ideas what can be done instead in the SYS boards:

  • feedback requests. There is a “I give feedback” board, but an “I want feedback” board can be beneficial, too, because a single critic only is going to have their one and only own opinion. I’ve found that these boards need some quality control, so rules like “you must ask for specific feedback, not just ‘is this good?’” or “you must give feedback on at least 2 threads and link them before you post your own feedback request” may be necessary.
  • (self-)analysis threads: Discussion of which literary devices are being used with what effect in a certain story and whether or not that makes them good or bad.

#2

PLEASE DON’T GET RID OF THIS TAG WP! THIS SYS HAS ACTUALLY GOTTEN ME FEEDBACK AND READS.


#3

The question is: How much? Compared to the stories you didn’t post there, how many more reads and comments do you get from SYS?

Again, I’m not saying “SYS is bad, remove it”, I’m saying “experience has shown that this type of board doesn’t tend to perform too well, it may be better with some changes”.


#4

The topics created by mods under SYS don’t work well. However, the topics created by users asking people for specific books DO WORK. I have gotten amazing dedicated readers through this method. @madelinetucker123 is one of them. I have gotten more readers through the users because they have actual users looking for works to read. It’s really nice. Writers have a higher chance of getting seen under the user created threads than they do under mod created ones. We promote our story to even one person and we grow continuously. One becomes two, and three and it all depends on their followers, friends, and those followers and friends seeing the reading lists and activity of that one person you offered your story too. I have gotten many readers this way. And the girl I mentioned, Madeline, she has also checked out another book of mine. That’s even more amazing. The user created threads are very useful.


#5

I’d have to disagree with you on this statement on the SYS threads. When I first posted onto it, I got a huge amount of reads in the span of a week.

I have also created many threads over the span of a couple months to discover some other stories that I won’t be able to discover if I was only on WP and I’m glad I discovered those because it helped my writing tremendously. cough cough @FantasybkLover and @LostNeverland4 XD I don’t think it should be taken down just because the majority doesn’t get recognized for their marketing on the SYS threads. I think it’s the way their book is packaged and how they market onto the SYS threads that’s probably not making it successful to some writers out there.


#6

flips hair sarcastically yes, I know

but seriously, thanks XD


#7

I’m someone who does hit up SYS once in a while, not to post their own stories, but to browse other people’s. I don’t read a lot of works on there, but I have read a few stories start to finish, voted, commented, etc. I’ve specifically told authors I found their work via SYS.

I think you bring up valid points, @LeoWattenberg, but I do wanna comment on

After all, this site is called wattpadwriters, not wattpadreaders.

I’ve always advocated people branch outside of the clubs if they want to build a reader base - a large one, that is - because I agree, this is an area dominated by writers rather than a full audience. That said, wattpad writers and wattpad readers aren’t mutually exclusive, so SYS isn’t useless. It’s not going to subtract my reads if I post my work there, so it doesn’t hurt to try. In the meantime, I can branch out and do other things in the clubs and outside of the clubs that will bring in more reads. That’s always the mindset I’ve adopted.

So I don’t think it’s the design of the SYS that’s the true problem, more so the mindset if someone goes in there and thinks, “Okay, I can definitely get more reads posting here!” and putting all their eggs in one basket.


#8

It’s true that it doesn’t hurt you in small doses, because it just does nothing. But I’ve seen creators (on YouTube anyways) spend upwards of an hour per day just promoting their stuff in all places where they haven’t gotten banned yet (ie, in poorly moderated or self-promotion forums), all for one or two dozen views.

If these people would take this hour to work on their content in any sort of meaningful way, or by coming up with an actual marketing strategy that’s closer to “research which audience may want to look at my content” than “spam anything with the word ‘story’ in it”, they’d have much better content and marketing, and at the end of the day, more success.

And this is why I’m skeptical about the value SYS is delivering, because it just is a link dump that does very little to encourage any reader to read anything in it. The request-a-story section obviously is different, as it actually is catered towards readers and not just writers.

Of course, Wattpad isn’t YouTube and probably doesn’t have millions of dollars invested in machine learning search+discovery engines, so it is quite possible that encouraging self-promotion isn’t harmful here because the wattpad S+D sucks so much that a larger fraction of the userbase comes to the forums to see what’s new in the promotion threads. But this is exactly why I’m asking for a performance review on it, to see whether it being there is a thing that actually makes sense for the creators, or whether it’s just a thing that got implemented because enough people wanted to share their stories with more people and this is one of the cheapest placebos to make.


#9

I think we’re in agreement and saying the same thing in different ways, lol. The slight difference is, I’ve been accepting of the fact that SYS does little to nothing because I know there are other, more effective ways to market one’s work, whereas I get the impression you want to evaluate stats and improve on the “it does little to nothing” aspect of SYS - which is fair, and what I can get on. I’d like to see if there is data that can be acquired on its effectiveness.

But, my point from above still stands that - as someone who is a writer and reader and uses the clubs - I am one of those weirdos who goes to SYS to actually read stories once in a blue moon. I’d agree that doesn’t impact much of the story’s success, but I love to make an author’s day by reading their work and reviewing, even if I only give them a handful of more reads.


#10

Personally I don’t think Wattpad HQ would delete the SYS threads even if it was proven they don’t help writers at all. The SYS threads have to exist if only so that the mods have somewhere to point the spammers who post about their books in inappropriate threads. ¯\_(ﭢ)_/¯


#11

Wow, I did not know this. I guess I’m remembering how things used to be with the SYS threads, which those were filled with a bunch of spam.
After reading this, I had to go post my stories on the reader request threads.