Writscrib

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Website
Name: Writscrib
Owner/Maintainer:
Dates: ? 2017 - August 30 2018
Type: social networking/microblogging
Fandom: Pan-fandom/original work
URL: https://writscrib.com/
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Writscribs2.jpg
Writscribs1.jpg

Writscrib was a microblogging platform aiming to be a better alternative to Tumblr for artists and writers.

The main differences emphasized by Writscrib's developers were that:

  • content posted had to be creative in nature
  • strict no-harassment, no-hate policy
  • you could "tip" creators whose works you liked with a small amount of real money that could then be withdrawn by the creator.

Pitches

Brandon: First Campaign

By Brandon: accompanying video:
Social networks these days are hostile. There's no denying that: passive-aggressive comments, alienating rhetoric, and an ocean of competition make these essential spaces a nightmare to navigate. On top of that, the social networks themselves scrape your data: you are the product, the advertisers are their customers. WritScrib wants to bring three key features to social networking: Tipping creators, creating communities, and protecting user data. [1]

WritScrib, LLC is excited to announce their recent launch of an Indiegogo campaign for WritScrib, a new social media platform tailored to users that gives creators the opportunity to earn money for their posts. WritScrib plans to bring three key features to social networking: tipping creators, creating communities, and protecting user data.

“With the way that social media currently works, everyone is competing in a wide ocean of talent to be seen,” the team explained, “WritScrib creates smaller pools organically by letting users create their own groups and communities to compete in.”

This social network was purposely built to be different from existing social networks that foster a hostile environment for users with passive-aggressive comments and alienating rhetoric. In addition, WritScrib is committed to setting itself apart from social networks that scrape users’ data for the benefit of advertisers, turning loyal users into a commodity.

WritScrib was made for users who want a creator and community-focused social network that also gives niche businesses a chance to a chance to compete. Forget throwing a bunch of money at ads only to barely get noticed amongst a sea of competitors. This unique platform was made to change the status quo, not repeat what has been done countless times before.

Some of the other great features that users can expect from WritScrib are: unlockable badges, feature-rich blogging, pages for professionals, groups for communities, activity feed filters, user made gifts, chips for tipping creators, and robust privacy settings. With the help of backers, the team also plans to add additional features like site-wide color themes, pseudonyms, and blacklisting.

“We’re dedicated to bringing back some of the old school internet community sensibilities without sacrificing modern functionality,” said the creator.

In exchange for pledging to the project, backers can gain access to a variety of rewards including a Grab Bag with a WritScrib t-shirt, emoji stickers, a button, and a special “backer” badge for $30, a custom site badge for $50, and more. Backers can also pledge $50 for add space reservation (reserved for users only) or $100 for a Bundle with a permanent golden username, a t-shirt, and a hat. [2]

Indiegogo project: "$17,115 USD raised by 1105 backers, 114% of $15,000 flexible goal." [3]

Rutland: Second Campaign

By Rutland: accompanying video:

Have you been struggling to amass a Patreon following? Are commissions barely trickling in? Is Youtube's ad revenue slowing down?

WritScrib can help!

WritScrib is combining the classic art of busking (street performances that rely on small donations from passers-by) with the gaming idea of micro-transactions. Users can buy Chips, then Chip-In on posts that they like. Once you've earned a minimum amount of Chips, you can sell them back to the site and make a tidy profit! [4]

Indiegogo project: "$7,760 USD raised by 152 backers, 12% of $60,000, flexible goal." [5]

Failure to Launch

On July 31, 2018, it was announced that Writscrib would close down due to a severe lack of funds and declining user activity.

It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the closure of WritScrib. With current revenue and user usage (both registration and activity) declining, we could see the writing on the wall.

We have been pursuing alternative funding sources for months, but sadly, none of these alternative sources have panned out. We entertained the thought of adding a donation option to maintain server costs, but realized that such a thing would only serve as a band-aid. If we had hit $30,000 on this campaign, we would have been able to continue onward and deliver the exact site that people wanted (and then a conversation about donations would have been quite possible).

We pushed the content filtering update in the hopes that this would reinvigorate the userbase. Instead, numbers continued to decline. This, in turn, made it more difficult to convince funding sources that we were trending in a positive way, which in turn made it tougher to attempt to secure additional funds for development.

As much as we want to continue the site, there simply is not enough interest or revenue. The site is running at a $600+ deficit every month, which is not sustainable in the long-run. For these reasons, we are pulling the plug.[6]

Writscrib shut down on August 30, 2018.

Perspectives

I’m really gonna miss WritScrib. It was so refreshing to have an art sharing website I actually WANTED to post on. DA these days feels so much more like a chore than anything.

With WritSCrib, my art actually got ATTENTION. I got thumbs up and comments. It was a LOT more than what my art on DA gets, despite my long presence there and my large following base. If it isn’t fandom related, I’m lucky to get a single fav. Dont’ get me wrong, I make art because I love to. But I also love getting feedback that other people are enjoying what I’m making. It makes me happy. Writscrib was that kind of place. I ended up meeting a person there that also loved gnomes like I do and even drew Pippi with their gnome character!!! It was such a wonderful surprise and it made me so happy!!! WritScrib had that kind of community that felt LEGIT. It felt like we were all there for the same purpose of creating. It felt like the mods were APART of the community, instead of just being these faceless overlords. The website was appealing to go on; the colors were such a nice palette and it was enjoyable and made me feel happy as opposed to DA’s palette which feels undersaturated and gray. I dont really know what the point of this post is except to just express my sadness that WritScib is going. I’m going to miss my time there. It’s going to seem strange not going to to check my notification every day anymore. The only other place wher emy art got that attention is instagram, but posting my art on insta is a pain because half the time it’s too long and i have to crop half of it out.

It was fun while it lasted. [7]

I fucking love this, every time a dumpster fire happens relating to a crowdfunding project its always W-WELL IF YOU GUYS ACUTALLY CARED ENOUGH/W-WELL IF YOU GUYS ACTUALLY PLEDGED.

Maybe next time give us more than ideas, Maybe next time give better PR.

Maybe next time don’t make random tumblr people that donate admins or mods or whatever. Perhaps it wasnt the fault of the people who decided to take their money elsewhere, perhaps it was the fault of a trash concept executed terribly. Rip in pepperochino dont come back[8]

my opinion on writscrib is as follows:

-the mod does seem like a good person who wants to do good

-I don’t think they can achieve their goals though, their goals are fucking high

-I really do not like the group of people who are rallying behind it and are attacking any sort of person who raises issue with how the site may be run, if this group is going to be the main community on writscrib then that site will be toxic, just, toxic in a different way then tumblr

-my hopes are nonexistent[9]

Comments About the Site's Closure on Pillowfort

Pillowfort, another site created as a Tumblr alternative, has a page of August 2018 fan comments regarding the site's closure.

Some excerpts, all from WritScrib just folded ; archive link:

[Magess]:

WritScrib just folded

I don't know how many were aware, but WritScrib has been developing a site very similar to PF over the same period of time and basically was the "main competitor" in my mind as a tumblr alternative. They were more focused on creators being able to get paid for their work, much like Imzy's plans.

They just announced closing up shop.

Having that userbase here would be quite beneficial.

[battlecities]:

holy shit I was actually just going to sign up for an account this afternoon and take a poke around. I'm checking their social media accounts and the writscrib twitter seems to have been deleted, and the tumblr has on the thing where you have to login to see their posts.

there's a post on the writscrib tumblr announcing the closure and talking about their funding issues if anyone wants to check that out. damn.

[Magess]:

I heard from a friend last week that it seemed likely, and she showed me a screenshot from their Discord today.

I had an account. Supported their first Indiegogo. The site was very slick-looking in terms of the interface. Moreso than here, it felt built on modern frameworks, and I think PF should take some queues from how WritScrib looks.

[image embedded]

But I also found it very confusing. Like you had a Status and a Blog and you could update either one through entirely different interfaces. If you wanted to post a story you needed to use the Blog and it was a deemphasized part of the interface. You actually can't do it from the part of the interface shown above.

I know it's very vulturish to go there and post about here, especially because none of those people can get access right now. But maybe those of us who are going to get a bunch of codes with our pledges can offer that people ask us for one?

[Porcupine]:

I think that was one reason for Imzy's quick downfall - it was just too confusing. I tried to use it, I WANTED it to be the next big thing, but I just didn't get it. Once they gave you a personal blog/thing it was a bit better (WHY wasn't that a part of it from the start?), but I still never really figured out their whole "neighborhood" thing.

I hope that PF doesn't have that problem. I know some people have trouble understanding communities, but I think for the most part it's similar enough to both Tumblr and LJ that most people who come here have something familiar to latch onto as they figure out the rest of the site.

[alotofspiders]:

I JUST came here from WS's closing. (I got lucky and got an invite for here during maybe the last wave that just happened?) WS absolutely was confusing to navigate compared to here. But I think I liked the writ(e)scrib(ble) / creative intention it had which is why I chose that one.

(For PF I think I like how it looks a lot but I don't really remember how to get started from nothing on social media sites. I like that the groups/communities are already implemented now that i look closer !! I hope you all have better luck!)

[peoriapeoriarhetoria]:

Neighborhoods? That sounds like geocities!

But yes, someone that can consider all the angles should figure out how to bring aboard those that clearly wanted an alternative...

[subject13]:

i loved imzy. i didn't really have any idea how it worked, either, but i still enjoyed it lol. i wasn't surprised it went under, though :/

[Hallie]:

honestly i tried to jump to that ship a few months back, but the whole 'every user on your feed' was so offputting that i never got deep enough to figure out the rest of it (especially because i was in the midst of blocking every other user on tumblr).

if i see writscrib peeps about, i will offer o7

[Magess]:

I do wonder if maybe it was just bad timing to have two very very similar tumblr alternatives trying to launch simultaneously, splitting the available userbase. These things need critical mass. Consolidation might make it possible to get it off the ground.

[battlecities]:

Ohh yeah that was one of the appeals to me, it looked so much more professional than Pillowfort, which still has a sort of "just out of the wireframe" feel to it currently. Pillowfort (unfortunately) looks quite amateurish.

I'm sad to see it go though, especially as I think it was a really interesting idea. And while it's pretty bad timing to have two Tumblr alternatives launch in roughly the same time frame, I'm kind of surprised that it didn't keep up it's userbase flow given that it seems like it's quite different to Pillowfort in terms of it's goals (i.e. something about artists and getting paid).

But I also found it very confusing. Like you had a Status and a Blog and you could update either one through entirely different interfaces. If you wanted to post a story you needed to use the Blog and it was a deemphasized part of the interface. You actually can't do it from the part of the interface shown above.

Oof, that sucks. And I can see how that would drive people away. At least Pillowfort is relatively intuitive, though there's likely a larger learning curve re: communities for those who aren't used to Forum style communication (the lack of key functionalities in Discussions doesn't help either, though given that the site is in a closed beta, fair enough).

[Magess]:

I'm kind of surprised that it didn't keep up it's userbase flow given that it seems like it's quite different to Pillowfort in terms of it's goals (i.e. something about artists and getting paid).

That's true. But there's also a lot of resistance to that idea. Much moreso for written work than for art. There's a very large contingent of "it's morally wrong to pay for fanfic" even when the original media wasn't writing, therefore obviously not something someone might mistake for the original. Imzy certainly got that kind of backlash from people who were angry that users might send each other money.

[Arcturus]:

Honestly, I got onto WritScrib months ago and swiftly abandoned it because the site was so hard to navigate and control. I came to Pillowfort half expecting the same deal only to breathe an enormous sigh of relief when it was so intuitive and navigable. The difference to me is night and day.

((Also god the WS colors bothered me. Why the ancient deviantart greygreen? Blurgh.))

[BizarreKitten]:

As someone who backed both WritScrib IndieGoGo campaigns I am kind of disappointed that it ended this way.

That said, I feel significantly more at home here on Pillowfort. It's a lot easier to navigate, has much more of a Tumblr-style feel to WritScrib's Facebook-y interface.

From what I could tell on the Discord, though, a lot of the people on there were worried about whether the community here would have that same supportive, welcoming feel that WritScrib had, and about the ToS and the (lack of) content policy. The latter of which I have my own reservations about as well, which is part of the reason I haven't posted any of my own stuff on here yet.

[Magess]:

It might be worth using the Contact box to tell staff about your concerns over the ToS and lack of content policy. I'm not sure site creators weight that stuff as heavily as they should versus new features. I mean who traditionally reads the ToS of anything? And they know how they want things to be and how they plan to react to certain situations, so their good intentions likely don't feel like something that needs to be spelled out, which isn't the user perspective at all.

[BizarreKitten]:

Using the Contact form was the first thing I did after after not fining anything on the site itself. Unfortunately, the only answer I received was that it's something they're planning to revisit.

(I have included a screenshot of the email here [10], and if anyone needs a more accessible version, let me know and I will make one)

[x-tricks]:

There's a big post on this community about problematic content (underage/pedophillic fictional works) already. Feelings run high on issues around disturbing/problematic (but not illegal) content. It sounds like Staff is going to look at working with a lawyer on these issues and they were advised to also chat with the staff from Archive of Our Own, who have been wrestling with these issues for years. I like the site so far (though I'm having a few problems navigating it), though I'm a little startled that the staff don't seem to have thought much about the particular pitfalls of fandom - when they're talking about how they want to replicate good things from LJ and also encourage content creators to come here.

[Arcturus]:

Given their statements to Gita Jackson of Kotaku, I don't agree at all about them having not given it much thought. The reason I'm backing Pillowfort and that I joined is because their stances against callout culture and fandom toxicity. Without outright saying "ay yo anti bullshit isn't welcome here" they've made themselves pretty clear to me personally.

[BizarreKitten]:

Thank you for letting me know where to look for that post! I ended up reading through the majority of it was glad to see that the discussion was handled maturely, for the most part.

(And it turns out I emailed staff around the time that whole discussion was going on without knowing about it, which probably explains why it took so long to get a reply)

That said, I'll still be waiting anxiously to find out where exactly the line in the sand will be drawn, and how much I will have to worry about dissatisfied users attempting to take matters into their own hands.

[MaudeLovesYou]:

It seemed alright at first, but I wasn't convinced the pay feature would work that well. Hopefully, this site will do better. I like it here. Wish I could edit my blog more. Maybe not like Tumblr levels of flexibility, but at least on par with Twitter or Blogspot.

References

  1. WritScrib: A Social Network For Creators Looking for a social network tailored to you? Want to earn some money on posts? Try WritScrib!, project owner: Brandon (not dated)
  2. WritScrib: Innovative Social Network for Creators Seeks Funding on Indiegogo; archive is (not dated)
  3. WritScrib: Online Busking for Creative Minds
  4. WritScrib: Online Busking for Creative Minds, project owner: Rutland (not dated)
  5. WritScrib: A Social Network For Creators Looking for a social network tailored to you? Want to earn some money on posts? Try WritScrib!
  6. IndieGoGo Update, July 31 2018
  7. Post by Kitty, July 31 2018
  8. Post by Dan, July 31 2018
  9. Post by azuremessenger, July 24 2017
  10. archive link

External Links