A ser­vice aimed at teas­ing out “mean­ing­ful sto­ries” from its users. The main tool for this seems to be an ever-grow­ing list of cat­e­go­rized ques­tions, such as this, from the cat­e­go­ry Life: “What life lessons would you tell your 13 year old self if you had the opportunity?”

As Dave Win­er not­ed, Medi­um does con­tent cat­e­go­riza­tion upside down: “Instead of adding a cat­e­go­ry to a post, you add a post to a cat­e­go­ry.” He means col­lec­tion in Medi­um-speak, but you get the idea: Top­ic tri­umphs over author. Medi­um doesn’t want you to read some­thing because of who wrote it; Medi­um wants you to read some­thing because of what it’s about. And because of the implic­it promise that Medi­um = quality.

13 ways of look­ing at Medi­um, the new blogging/sharing/discovery plat­form from @ev and Obvi­ous » Nie­man Jour­nal­ism Lab

Blog­ging for its rel­e­vance to project SAKE, where I am also strug­gling with find­ing alter­na­tive orga­ni­za­tion­al schemes for con­tri­bu­tions from play­ers. A stream metaphor seems wrong. Also, we real­ly want to incen­tivize qual­i­ty over quan­ti­ty (or fre­quen­cy) of posts. Medi­um might have got­ten a few things right, there.

Anoth­er SAKE ref­er­ence point — Nation­al Nov­el Writ­ing Month is an annu­al writ­ing chal­lenge. It isn’t about the qual­i­ty of the writ­ing, it’s sim­ply about get­ting to 50.000 words in 30 days. I guess a large part of the fun comes from the knowl­edge that many oth­ers are doing the same thing as you are. 

If you can cut through the chest-beat­ing and infight­ing, the Forge forums con­tain a lot of inter­est­ing ideas on the work­ings of table­top RPGs. For exam­ple, here’s Ron Edwards (a con­tro­ver­sial but high­ly influ­en­tial fig­ure in the indie RPG scene) talk­ing about the var­i­ous kinds of con­trol play­ers and game mas­ters can have over a game’s storyworld:

  • Con­tent author­i­ty — over what we’re call­ing back-sto­ry, e.g. whether Sam is a KGB mole, or which NPC is boink­ing whom 
  • Plot author­i­ty — over crux-points in the knowl­edge base at the table — now is the time for a rev­e­la­tion! — typ­i­cal­ly, reveal­ing con­tent, although notice it can apply to play­er-char­ac­ters’ mate­r­i­al as well as GM mate­r­i­al — and look out, because with­in this author­i­ty lies the remark­able pit­fall of want­i­ng (for instances) rev­e­la­tions and reac­tions to apply pre­cise­ly to play­ers as they do to characters 
  • Sit­u­a­tion­al author­i­ty — over who’s there, what’s going on — scene fram­ing would be the most rel­e­vant and obvi­ous tech­nique-exam­ple, or phras­es like “That’s when I show up!” from a player 
  • Nar­ra­tional author­i­ty — how it hap­pens, what hap­pens — I’m sug­gest­ing here that this is best under­stood as a fea­ture of res­o­lu­tion (includ­ing the entire­ty of IIEE), and not to mis­take it for describ­ing what the cas­tle looks like, for instance; I also sug­gest it’s far more shared in appli­ca­tion than most role-play­ers realize

A clever web-based tool for mak­ing inter­ac­tive sto­ries. That is to say: sto­ries with branch­ing paths. Although there are some options for rudi­men­ta­ry log­ic, which I imag­ine might enable exper­i­ments that diverge from the typ­i­cal Choose-Your-Own-Adven­ture mold.

A col­lab­o­ra­tive sto­ry­telling site that encour­ages users to write short bits of fic­tion. Oth­ers can react to those sto­ries with sequels or (the neat­est part I think) pre­quels. There is also the pos­si­bil­i­ty of post­ing chal­lenges, which are just that — chal­lenges to users to write some­thing accord­ing to some kind of theme or oth­er constraints.

An inter­est­ing exam­ple of a play-by-post (aka forum) RPG that is heav­i­ly slant­ed towards sto­ry­telling. This means: no expe­ri­ence points, skill checks and that sort of thing. In stead, it fea­tures mechan­ics (some quite clever) that con­trol who gets to say what about the sto­ry­world. Points are award­ed for par­tic­i­pa­tion in sto­ries, which in turn can be spent on describ­ing new cre­ations. It is, how­ev­er, heav­i­ly reliant on game mas­ter over­sight, as not all rules are ful­ly described.