The OF Blog: Tor's new site: Very early impressions

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tor's new site: Very early impressions

A couple of days ago, the revamped site launched as a combination online story hoster, a blog central of sorts for various writers and industry professionals, and with the beginnings of a sort of social networking among its users.

Reactions have been interesting, especially this one, where there's a bit of a heated debate about the site's merits. I haven't had the time to do more than register (see if you can guess my screen name ;)) and browse a bit, but it seems to be to be a place that'll thrive or fail based on the willingness of everyday SF/F fans to communicate and to be part of a community setting. The blog entries so far are suitable for an opening weekend, but it'll be interesting to see if there'll be much in the way of pointed discussions regarding the usual topics surrounding awards, spec fic as a "ghetto," or racial attitudes among authors and fans, just to name a few hot topics of the past couple of weeks. Likewise, it'll be interesting to see how Tor approaches the marketing of the short stories, as I suspect it'll first be mostly "name" authors to drive readers to keep coming back to the site, with newer authors slowly being integrated into the site. I could be wrong on this, but I suspect this is the basic model.

Anyone else have anything they want to share in regards to their impressions of this new site?


Neth said...

about the site - I'll wait and see how it turns out. It has potential to be pretty great, to be rather average, or to flop completely. We'll see.

As for McCalmont's post...Scalzi is ripping him to shreads and McCalmont doesn't have a clue that it's happening. I read that and I'm amused in a rather sick way to see McCalmont dig his grave deeper and deeper while thinking he's making intelligent points.

Lsrry said...

Yeah, that's a trainwreck to read. I can understand skepticism, but...yeah. I too am curious to see how the site will be 2 months from now, when the initial rush has subsided.

Gabe said...

Yeah, I'm curious to see how engaged they (and Suvudu, to be honest) will be with the rest of the spec fic community. If they're smart, they'll dive in with both feet, and participate fully with the blog discussion.

To do otherwise in today's climate would be asinine, as many corporate "canned" blogs and websites have discovered.

I'm sure I'll be posting some more indepth thoughts eventually.

Lsrry said...

I need to look around at Suvudu more, but one thing I noticed about their site that I haven't seen at Tor's is that there is a blogroll (and it was nice to see that Robert got added for FBC), which makes it seem that Suvudu might be taking a different, more low-key approach than Tor is. Time will tell which, if one/both survive, shall be the more popular. And yes, canned discussion is ultimately unfulfilling.

Joe said...

I like the stories, I like Klima's blog, I like the idea of the site.

We'll see how I feel about the site as it goes forward.

Decent start, though.

In general I like McCalmont, and I do agree that Tor's site could have been huge a few years back and defined part of the online industry and community, but it still has potential to be a good site, draw in visitors, help out lesser name writers, and oh yeah, make them money.

Lsrry said...

Yeah, it'll be interesting to see how fans and authors alike react to this. When I have more time, I'll add the site to my Blogroll, so I'll remember to visit it more than once a blue moon. Hopefully, the beginning will be very modest compared to its maturity.

Liviu said...

I agree with Mr. McCalmont that after all the buzz the Tor site is just another forgettable place and I have no intention of visiting it too much.

Mr. Scalzi whom I though a decent guy shows as a corporate hack in those exchanges. A big disappointment in some ways, but I think that blogging success tends to make one arrogant after a while as we see it repeatedly

Lsrry said...

As I implied above, I saw their exchange as a trainwreck more than anything else. I'm skeptical to a degree, because it's all contingent on what follows after. Right now, I would imagine for a site like that to work, it would need not just big-name authors paving the way for lesser-known ones, but for "independent" voices to be heard beside the more prominent, industry-connected ones.

Fish Monkey said...

It seems like a nice enough site. What struck me though was a very organized-looking slew of blog posts promoting the site. Sure, I expect marketing; but it was... I don't know, a turn off. This is of course just my impression and I don't expect anyone to share it, but it felt like a very deliberate whisper campaign.

Lsrry said...

While I didn't quite notice it as much, perhaps because I half-expected it, it is interesting to see that, now that you've pointed it out to me, Kathy.

Again, shall be interesting to see what the coming months bring, as this either can be a good thing or a bad.

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