DISCUSSION: New Users Stories Section Needs Improvement

After seeing the 99% of the “New Users Stories” is trash thread, I started thinking about how I never really seen or heard about that shelf all that much for some time. I completely forgot about its existence until yesterday when I checked under the Stories We Love category. I scrolled down, and I saw the section. Needless to say, I didn’t click on any of the stories because they didn’t really attract me, and I noticed at least one of the stories had “Don’t Read” in its description. Today, @TheTalkingLlamma made this awesome feature suggestions thread involving the User Stories tab in the app.

I found the suggestion to be quite refreshing because it help build more recognition for stories. The thing that I realized though was the description of the shelf. For the most part, it sounds pretty nice with talking about how you can discover the next big hit in brand new stories from the community. It sounds great showcasing new stories and new authors to the broad view of the Episode community. Maybe a story could get recognition for its awesome work and the amount of time the author put in.

The problem, at least for me, is the last sentence of “Episode has not reviewed the content or quality of these stories.”. This spells red flags for me, and it gives off bad vibes. Stories that haven’t even been checked to make sure they follow the guidelines and have decent quality are being showcased through this shelf, effectively covering other new stories that have been reviewed.

I’ll list my main issues with how the shelf is organized. Keep in mind this is just my opinion.

My Opinion
  1. I think they should be showing new stories that have been reviewed by the Episode team under this shelf. It would lead people to stories that have been checked and approved by the staff, helping to boost their recognition. Having stories that haven’t been touched wastes the potential of giving other writers who deserve just as much attention for their stories that Episode deemed to be following guidelines.

  2. It doesn’t look all that organized. Every time I look at this shelf, I notice how often the stories shift around. They change often, and the number of stories shown aren’t consistent.

  3. Llama’s suggestion is pretty good. Imagine being able to nominate a story for being the week’s best in your opinion. It encourages more interactivity towards new stories, and it displays the stories that are most loved by the community that week.

  4. I think there should be an easier way to access genres, but that’s something that’s more broad than just the shelf.

I’m curious about everyone’s opinion about the shelf, and I would love to see if anybody has any suggestions on how the shelf could be improved more.

Discover Section Thread Suggestion by TheTalkingLlamma

19 Likes

If a shelf were ever to be created, it should be reviewed first. But I understand it is absurd for Episode to review each and every new story that comes out.

4 Likes

I understand that too. Since there’s so many stories being made and published, it can be a burden on people like Tyler to consistently check every story. I just think it would be better if the shelf had reviewed stories, mainly to ensure it’s been approved, and there’s no potentially disturbing material that gets exposed to people who don’t want to see stuff like that.

2 Likes

My issue with this shelf has never really been about the fact that the stories aren’t reviewed, but with the fact that there’s only 3-5 stories ever shown… and that those 3-5 stories say either “DO NOT READ”, “TEST”, “DISCONTINUED” or that they’re just in another language. I really don’t understand how the shelf is, like, calculated anymore? I actually used to browse that shelf to look for new stories to read often, and I did find quite a few good ones. So I know it’s possible to not have trashy stories there. But I think it’s been about a year since I found anything that’s been half decent… and I just don’t understand what happened. Why is something that’s apparently just been published already discontinued? Imo, the shelf could just show all the stories that have been published within the last 24 hours and it would be a fair middle ground

17 Likes

Gurl, I browse that section every month or so, and the stories are absolute shit and they always say “Discontinued” or “Don’t read” LIKE SIS NO F OFF IMA READ :roll_eyes:. And the covers, I’m so sorry what the…goodbye. I have yeeted into the world of Peter Parker. :)) none of em are goodbyeisaidwhatisaid.

2 Likes

And some of them don’t even have COVERS ffs

1 Like

:skull::skull:LMAO RIGHT or sum are just horrible cropped pictures from Pinterest-

That’s a pretty understandable position. The amount of stories like that flood the shelf sometimes. That’s kind of my issue too. How are they putting some of these stories on the shelf? I can easily search up stuff that involves keywords like “Don’t read” or “Discontinued”, and I think it hurts the shelf in the long run. That’s why I kind of thought more so about a story needing to be reviewed first, but I see your point. The massive amount of these kinds of stories, and the fact they stay on the app for a long time bogs things down.

4 Likes

I think there could be some straight up gems in the shelf, but the stigma towards the shelf might make some people turn away from it. What are some ways that you think Episode could do to help improve the shelf and give more recognition to new stories?

3 Likes

I guess, I don’t really think of it as a shelf though. For me, it’s more of a section in the app that we call a shelf for the sake of summarising it easily, but it’s not the same as being “featured” on a shelf either. But you’re right in that now it has a stigma. In my gut, I’m sure there is somehow a glitch that causes it to be full of spammy stories.

Imo, expanding it to at least 50 stories will be a massive help. That is, if the start putting legitimate stories on it :confused:

7 Likes

I think that would be helpful. It might also be very good if there was more varieties in genres to showcase all genres on the app. There’s some hidden gems, and some of the most creative people have made awesome stories for contests, but they might not be entirely considered because of retention rates. Would it make sense to have something that recognizes people who didn’t win by displaying their stories on the New User Stories section for longer? Like have the whole section show stories for longer or do something like a rising story?

Sorry for any confusion.

2 Likes

Keep in mind that some users might not have all that much experience or know what to do. I can understand if you might think a story’s plot is poor, but in regards to the directing, not everyone’s going to quickly learn the ropes of it. I find it kind of counterproductive to really judge them entirely like other stories that aren’t from new users. I would keep in mind they’re someone new to Episode, and they’re trying things out.

Although, I do have to admit if they’re using covers off of Pinterest, that’s not okay. I’d also judge it if it says that it’s discontinued. So I can see your point.

If you could improve the section, how would you?

I do agree with your opinion. It really saddens me to see that section. The stories shown aren’t being reviewed at all, which makes readers not to even look at it.
From that, no one will ever look at that section.

They should show a proper stories; maybe they can show some brand new stories for a week, and it will be nicer if they categorise them in genre as well.

1 Like

That’s what I was thinking that too. There’s kind of mixture of stories, and the number isn’t entirely consistent. So, if you went to refresh the app, the section will shift, showing new stories. There’s no real chance you’ll see the same story for long.

1 Like

Bump

Bump!

1 Like

Does someone know how this section actually works ? :rofl: I never see any of my friends newly published stories on there and I was wondering how the few stories are “selected” :thinking: if someone could enlighten me?
This section used to be pretty cool for new authors / stories to get a good start but now … eh

1 Like

Lol yesterday I had the story “Liplock” on my shelf which is definitely not new and has over 6m reads :rofl: :woman_shrugging:t3:
I think it’s supposed to be random and stories that are brand new/first time published? But it doesn’t always work that way lol

3 Likes

I released my story a couple days ago and have yet to see it on the new stories list… but I’ve seen several that are like “episode 66 out now!” The whole new stories section, to me, is a joke. It has like 4 slots.

I feel like they should put a new stories section on the genre tabs so that new stories show in that genre’s section. [Ex: a new romance is published, when you click the romance tab- theres a full section of new stories separate from the other lists]. I feel like that would make it easier for new stories to get recognition and it would make the app more organized.

6 Likes

Bump