So, about PayPal
I promised a post explaining the thinking behind the submissions page (incidentally, I’ve always found the language of “submission” with regard to writing a little odd–but I do like the big-brotherish title of the “Submit to the OpenFiction Project” page). I’ve felt a little odd about including the submission page, especially given that I’ll be surprised if I get any submissions. There were a couple of reasons I went ahead and included it anyway.
First, I was looking at what technologies had become easy enough that any bonehead could use them in an open sharing environment, and it’s clear PayPal is one of those technologies. It took me maybe an hour, including the page coding, to get the submissions page set up. So as a technology experiment, it demonstrates that it’s not hard or costly to do.
Second, I wanted some control on contact from site users. I’m kind of an easy-going person, and know that if I started getting e-mails from users asking, “Would you mind letting me know what you think of this exercise/story?” I’d be likely to respond. For my own sanity, and the peace of my household, I needed to set some sort of limit on this kind of thing, so this gives me a clear boundary for myself. It also provides the possibility for me of keeping my fiction instruction skills honed to some level. Realistically, if I were ever to get a significant number of requests for feedback, I’d have to rope some colleagues into taking on some of it–tOFP fellows?
Third, sustainability is going to be an ongoing issue for any project such as this. The hosting costs for the project are actually really minimal, but there are a number of things I don’t have time to do, but could conceivably shop out should I have the money to do so–improvements in coding, accessibility, improved images, a wiki craftbook, etc. Any submissions (or donations) income would provide funds for this.
So, for all of these reasons together, I decided to go ahead with the page. Early on, it is one of the more visited pages, though I’ve not received any feedback on it one way or another.