'and then...

  • the different branches of Arithmetic - -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.' (A Mock Turtle regards his schooldays.) A weblog on books, media and writing by Genevieve Tucker.

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November 08, 2008

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Hi Genevieve! I spotted your post in our RSS subscriptions. Meet At The Gate isn't really a social network (based on MySpace and Facebook as social networks) - we are just trying to bring the best content together by writers around the world, and giving everyone a space to interact/converse. So it's social, but it's not MySpace, I suppose. I (personally) like to think of it as a cultural 'zine for the 21st century.

We actually tell our authors about the site and encourage them to send us their thoughts. As you noted, some of the Gateposts are archive material, because we thought it would be a complete waste to not make all that content freely available on the web.

I take your point about the navigation, though. As you are aware, the site is still in beta and we are working on new and improved features. I do hope you stick with us!

(Tor also has a great site that integrates social media. Check it out. It's http://www.tor.com/ - we're not affiliated in any way.)

Thanks for your comment, and your visit, Andrea. Can I ask you to bear with me while I gently tease out the rather crude points I have made up there.

I agree that I have commented in the first instance that 'the publisher's public face' is integrated into a social network site.
And you are quite right, my choice of the word 'network' is a lazy.

It is quite hard to see at a glance where Canongate does its publishing business on this site, given that it has a different (though catchy) name.

However your home page features a visually attractive discussion space with some social media components, comments and posting facilities rather than a straightforward blog, cluster of blogs, or social networking site with individual pages for members and so forth.

I'll bear that in mind when comparing it to other publishers' websites.
(Is there a moderating process governing posting from registered members, by the way?)

While I wonder if the average user would immediately see clearly what's happening here, I'm sure they'd have a good look around to see what's different and why, which is part of your plan, I'm sure. Thanks again for coming by, and I'll draw attention to your comment in the body of my post.

Our philosophy, if I may use such a lofty word, is that people don't really visit publisher's websites (unless you're Penguin or someone like that). So our goal with pretty much everything public-facing is to make it so much more than an online catalogue of books.

Moderating: Yes, all posts go into moderation to make sure it fits with our site mission (A site for the culturally curious).

We are actually continually discussing the site and how it's works for the public, so your comments are valuable to us (I just sounded like a call centre queue there, sorry).

Not at all. And I'm happy to give feedback any time. (I meant to say that a while back, and forgot.)

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