Archive for July, 2005

Story Tags Feature On Literotica

Saturday, July 23rd, 2005

Many of you have already seen the Story Tags feature we have launched (currently in BETA) on Lit. We have always used a keywords system to help readers find stories via search, but this update takes that feature one step further. Literotica is inching closer to having 100,000+ submissions published and the pace of submissions continues to increase with each passing year. That is great news, of course, but it also brings some challenges. When a reader visits the site, how does she or he find what they are looking for?

We have always used story categories, and we will continue to add more of those when we feel that it is justified and/or when we get enough requests (and stories that fit into the requested category). However, the number of categories will always be limited, and many stories fit into multiple categories. What to do?

Search is a great way to find specific stories, but it doesn’t allow browsing and it requires the reader to figure out each search term. There must be something better?

We hope that “something better” will be the Story Tags feature. It allows authors to add tags to their stories, and then readers can click on those tags to find other stories that share those tags. You could look at it as a way to add unlimited, user-generated categories, to the site. Some other story sites use story codes, ASSTR for example, where the author tells you MMM/f, Fdom, preg whatever. But those tags are generally a large set of pre-set acronyms/terms that both authors and readers need to know in advance. That system is interesting and has worked well over the years in usenet, but like categories, it is somewhat limited. We are hoping that the Literotica Story Tags feature will go beyond the old systems because the authors themselves are the ones creating the tags.

We are still in the beta phase of this feature, so I’m sure there will be more changes and tweaking, and the Story Tags Portal has not been re-designed from it’s ugly testing-phase look yet, but in the long run, we think this feature will help readers to find the stories they are interested in. Thanks to everyone who has worked to help make this feature a reality and to those who have sent feedback to help improve it already.

Two Democrats Launch Attacks On Free Speech

Saturday, July 23rd, 2005

It’s been a while since I updated, so I wanted to make a quick comment on recent free speech issues. In the last few weeks, two Democrats have joined the usual right wing suspects in launching attacks on the free speech rights of the American people:

Hillary Clinton: Hillary has been on a rampage lately against video games made for teens that can be modified to show boobs. She has taken on the roll of one of the leaders of the anti-GTA forces in the government, saying stupid things about games and the gaming industry that she probably doesn’t even understand – like most politicians. Politicians don’t seem to understand that many video games are sold to adults and some parents don’t mind their teens seeing R rated movie content. The content of the game has always had killing and violence, but since there might be a few tits as well, now all of these nanny-state religious fanatics (and Hillary) want the game banned.

Hillary might not know this, but I’ve heard that a piece of paper can be modified to show boobs too with a pencil. Perhaps Hillary will have another attack when she finds out about hentai – all cartoons are supposed to be for children, right?

Blanche Lincoln: This congresswoman from Arkansas wins the idiot of the week prize. She wants two do two unconstitutional things with a single bill. Lincoln wants to add a 25% tax to any websites that sell adult content. As has been pointed out by many already, that would be taxing free speech based on the content of the speech. If the government doesn’t like you being critical of their policies, they can just make a 250% tax on any movie, music, or book that is critical of government policies according to Blanche Lincoln.

Secondly, Lincoln revives the several-times-struck-down-by-the-supreme-court-already idea of making adult websites block content to everyone who is under 18 by using “special software”, which of course doesn’t exist. Maybe she is hoping the Supreme Court with a new justice will change their mind after ruling on this issue several times already, or maybe she just doesn’t like free speech. Either way, her proposals are blatantly unconstitutional and hopefully the rest of congress won’t waste taxpayer money trying to take away your rights when they should be defending them. The way things have been going lately with the U.S. government, don’t count on it. When they aren’t wasting time on stupid issues, it seems they’re probably working on ways to take away your rights.

These are just two of the recent stories that caught my eye. I’m sure there are plenty more. It’s usually the religious extremists that are pushing censorship and attacking the constitution, but this week we’ve got two Democrats. I don’t care what party or belief system you have, free speech means free speech. If you don’t support it, you are not supporting the constitution or a free society wherever you live.

Have a great weekend!