fiction files redux discussion

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About Us > meet dewey -- the original fiction files index

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message 1: by Maureen, mo-nemclature (new)

Maureen (modusa) | 683 comments Mod
hey everybody:

michael pointed out a link to dewey would be useful so that we have quick reference to our old posts and topics.

please find it here: www.myspace.com/fictionfilesindex


message 2: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
it would be even more helpful if i'd get it up to date...


message 3: by Michael, the Olddad (new)

Michael (olddad) | 255 comments Mod

Dewey is actually the index to the v2 Fiction Files (after MySpace dropped the group's home page somehow). I know as well as anyone, that the original v1 Fiction Files is where the magic happened. We're still living that one.

Index to Original (2006-2007) Fiction Files


message 4: by Jonathan, the skipper (new)

Jonathan | 609 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "
Dewey is actually the index to the v2 Fiction Files (after MySpace dropped the group's home page somehow). I know as well as anyone, that the original v1 Fiction Files is where the magic happene..."


. . . isn't it strange? . . . going back there is sorta like being at an archeological dig . . . how are all those posts still there? . . .


message 5: by Michael, the Olddad (last edited Mar 29, 2009 11:40AM) (new)

Michael (olddad) | 255 comments Mod
Jonathan wrote: "Michael wrote: "
Dewey is actually the index to the v2 Fiction Files (after MySpace dropped the group's home page somehow). I know as well as anyone, that the original v1 Fiction Files is where th..."


I was actually back in there recently (Melissa, 17, is studying Phil 101 and I was trying to find some of the "bonus feature" Will Miller essays you did for us on Backspace) and it is inspiring what went on in there. Not to denegrate what we have now, but MAN something was def cooking back in late 2006 - first half of 2007. Real golden age. It had me thinking, is there any way possible to grab this off of the internets so that we could edit it, format it, and friggin publish it?! Then, should we publish the threads in chronological order to get the feel for the excitement and hurry of what was being posted?

mm




message 6: by Jonathan, the skipper (new)

Jonathan | 609 comments Mod
Jonathan wrote: "Michael wrote: "
Dewey is actually the index to the v2 Fiction Files (after MySpace dropped the group's home page somehow). I know as well as anyone, that the original v1 Fiction Files is where th..."


. . . if someone wants to spearhead such a project (ie act as editor), i'm sure i could get a few indie publishers to look at it . . . it really would be a great resource . . .


message 7: by Dan, deadpan man (new)

Dan | 641 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Jonathan wrote: "Michael wrote: "
Dewey is actually the index to the v2 Fiction Files (after MySpace dropped the group's home page somehow). I know as well as anyone, that the original v1 Fiction..."


So you are talking about Backspace, not the old Files, right? I think it would be really easy to compile and edit the various posts from there. I would be interested in helping piece something together.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

I am really interestedin working on a solidcopy ofbackspace. Iwas hopeing Matija would look into it withme. But also some kind of hard copy of both ff versions. Also I was pondering something along the lines of "Fiction Files Companion books.

Fiction Files Companion to... Clock by Nick Hemsly.

We could make these really cool copies of all the discussions with the Authors.


message 9: by Michael, the Olddad (new)

Michael (olddad) | 255 comments Mod
Margaret wrote: "I am really interestedin working on a solidcopy ofbackspace. Iwas hopeing Matija would look into it withme. But also some kind of hard copy of both ff versions. Also I was pondering something along..."

I am thinking both FF groups and Backspace. What I think we would need to do is create a program to go through each page (each topic, each post) and download the content to a consolidated database. We should be able to capture the content, author, date, etc. from the HTML. I don't know if MySpace would appreciate it. Shel; your thoughts?




message 10: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
Hm.

Well, the way I would do it were I on the inside of MySpace is to do what our team of developers at About very technically used to call (are you ready?) sucking it down and chewing it up. (Which makes no anatomical sense whatsoever.)

Given that each page is created on their side, delivered dynamically, and there is no way to only pull the posts themselves out en masse for each topic, it seems like we'd have to save down each page and then run a search and replace to strip out all the myspace code and make it digestible HTML for us.

I'm sure that's cron job + S&R code on the downloaded content, but I've never seen something like that done client side. So that's why I'm thinking we'd have to get the pages then run it through.

I know that their posts are all free form text fields which has a lot to do with why they were never all that searchable. But that is because they were using cold fusion. Nearly any other database has more muscle and the ability to index open text fields. We should be able to fix that.

Then we'd have to tag that baby up by author, topic, date, and if we're ambitious we'd metatag the shit out of it so that we could find things quickly. We could use Dewey for the taxonomy and use search strings for links in on more general things like writers.

That's how I'd do it.


message 11: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
(And of course, I'd be happy to help in any way I'm needed.

But I can't write a cron job or S&R. Nor do I have a machine that could do the job in less than a week.)


message 12: by Lauren, Cream Cheese Angel (new)

Lauren Soderberg | 80 comments Mod
Ew, if we're publishing Backspace shtuff, please leave out my teenage angst ridden fiddle faddle. Thank you.

I reread them a few months ago and wanted to vomit all over. You were all (well, mostly) much to indulgent with me. I will grow up to be soft skinned and whiny.


message 13: by Jonathan, the skipper (new)

Jonathan | 609 comments Mod
Shel wrote: "Hm.

Well, the way I would do it were I on the inside of MySpace is to do what our team of developers at About very technically used to call (are you ready?) sucking it down and chewing it up. (Whi..."


. . .man, shel, i don't know what any of it means, but you sure are a smart cookie with this technology stuff . . .


message 14: by Michael, the Olddad (new)

Michael (olddad) | 255 comments Mod
Shel wrote: "Hm.

Well, the way I would do it were I on the inside of MySpace is to do what our team of developers at About very technically used to call (are you ready?) sucking it down and chewing it up. (Whi..."


I take your point about getting a static copy (e.g., er, "sucking" it down). From there it would be gravy. And yes, text index the entire puppy. My question: what would Rupert think of us doing that? Doesn't he own the entire content of Fiction Files?
mm




message 15: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
OK. Who is Rupert?

You mean Murdoch?

Please. I can take him.

Thanks, JE for the kind words. ::curtsy:: I like to think I still know a thing or two...

Michael -- could you do this? It would just have to be systematic. Maybe starting chronologically from the earliest days and spending a month or two pulling it down. I could do it too -- we'd have to divvy up the threads and maybe have an FTP site where I could upload the pages, agree on file formats, etc. We'd have to figure out how much chronology matters.

Tagging it up - I may need some help... Actually, if we get the schema right we may not need a ton of work on the raw content after the fact.



message 16: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
Michael, in regards to your question about ownership of the material, I think we'd actually be fine.
http://www.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuse...
(see section 6, Proprietary Rights in Content on MySpace.) Although each individual contributor would have to give permission, I believe

As to the usefulness/value of said project, I'm not sure. I think we'd really want to talk it out before we commited a huge amount of time or resources to it.




message 17: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
Time/resources...if I were actually doing this at work, I'd schedule it out like this, assuming there were two people working on it full time (this may have some steps people don't take any more).

1. one week to suck down content, one more week to agree on database design (which can really only be done once content is in hand)
2. two weeks to write, test and run the code on said content.
3. two weeks to clean up anything that needed it, run more scripts if necessary,
4. maybe another week to do taxonomic work, which at that point should be a breeze because both parties would understand the data really well (concurrently, hosting and site design would have to be done - something super simple, clean and fast)
5. one week to load it all up on a site
6. one week for alpha testing
7. one week for beta (opening it up to community)
8. then, done.

There are a few things that make this somewhat simple, as a project. Once the initial grunt labor is done, we have a brilliant programmer who will write bulletproof code, plus two people who understand schemas and how to build a good database. Also, we're talking about a finite amount of content to which we (probably) won't add - it will be a searchable archive.

Since this is more a volunteer project I would double the time allotments, because both Michael and I have kids, jobs, etc.

To me, the main argument for putting in the effort is the (legit) concern that eventually the content would be lost if MySpace decides to make changes, or delete groups that are inactive, or gets sold to some other property and jettisons stuff. I think that's a truly valid concern - if you look at the direction the service is taking to focus on music, videos and getting married on MySpace. Content-wise, the service has totally jumped the shark.


message 18: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
i'm not sure that's enough time, shel, considering the really huge amount of content. Around 50,000 posts on about 3000 threads.

At any rate, if we are just talking about capturing it electronically and hosting it someplace other than myspace, and if we can somehow preserve the conversational format, I'm all for it. But I thought MM was actually talking about publishing it on paper. We'd really have to sift through it and figure out what's redundant, what's worth capturing, how do decide what's worth capturing, etc. I get a little exhausted just thinking about it.


message 19: by Patrick, The Special School Bus Rider (new)

Patrick (horrorshow) | 269 comments Mod
Hopefully, you would be willing to overlook the part where the moderator yelled at me for whining about not being able to pimp my book, or win friends without people sending me computer virus through myspace messages, and having it ended up with me being laughed off that thread.

I called that event my own personal Vietnam.


message 20: by Dan, deadpan man (new)

Dan | 641 comments Mod
Patrick wrote: "I called that event my own personal Vietnam. "


That's funny, though a little bit sad.

I actually have no recollection of these events.


message 21: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 25, 2009 03:58PM) (new)

Patrick wrote: "Hopefully, you would be willing to overlook the part where the moderator yelled at me for whining about not being able to pimp my book, or win friends without people sending me computer virus throu..."

Oh, I think if you participate in any of these Net groups, eventually you'll have a Waterloo or Vietnam experience. I still mentally cringe when I think of the cyber-mauling I received from a musicologist several years ago. That erudite fucking pig! Yeah, I was mauled by a PIG!!!




message 22: by Dan, deadpan man (new)

Dan | 641 comments Mod
Adrian wrote: "Patrick wrote: "Hopefully, you would be willing to overlook the part where the moderator yelled at me for whining about not being able to pimp my book, or win friends without people sending me comp..."

Hopefully you didn't catch the pig flu during the mauling.


message 23: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
That's swine flu, Dan. SWINE flu.


message 24: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
pig flu or swine flu. they both just really lack the elegance of avian influenza.


message 25: by João (new)

João Camilo (jcamilo) | 259 comments the Tuna Cold will certainly be more deadly....


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