The New Direction for Literature!
The volunteer literature gallery moderators have been sitting on this announcement for several months, and we finally have the green light from the dA administration to shine the spotlight on the future direction of the Literature Gallery!
May I present dAlta, "deviant Alternate literature & text arena", which will be an external site created solely for text-based deviations. No longer will our writers submit their poetry and prose to deviantART.com. Instead, everything will be posted to an external, affiliated sister-site called dAlta.
(Of course, we're hoping to shorten the acronym before the final launch that will appear with dA version 8. All suggestions are welcome in comments below.)
What is dAlta?
This new site will contain much-longed-for literature elements such as gallery-like pages called "portfolios" for sharing writing with parents and friends, an integrated text processor instead of muro, and blocked emotes in our single writing chatroom.
We are especially excited about the text processor, Turo, as it offers an integrated, automatic "help" function that offers synonym suggestions and the option to change nouns and verbs into more emotionally effective ones, using an algorithm to scan the poetry from the "most popular" section on the site for ideas. We are still testing this feature, but the results so far have been very promising. It'll be a great way for beginning writers to find their way as they craft marketable poetry and prose.
On Publishing and Authors:
The dA administration has offered to partner dAlta with large name publishers such as Random Room, Harlequeen, and Barber Collins. After long consideration, however, we realized that with the advent of e-publishing and the decline of the publishing industry, we would be wasting the time of our dAlters. Instead of contacts in the publishing industry, we will offer you the unique opportunity to "publish" your poetry and stories on the site in your very own personal profile portfolios.
What we have done, however, is contacted several published authors and invited them to participate in events in our new site. Because the talks are still under way, we are not allowed to mention them by name, but I will say that one of the authors we've been lucky enough to convince to join the site in the role of an administrator has been a recent phenomena in the teen paranormal romance section.
We are thrilled to have her, and I know we can all learn so much from her experience.
So how does this work? The Migration to dAlta:
The biggest concern for all writers, of course, will be the migration to dAlta. We have been busy discussing the issue with the other alpha testers and with the dA administration. The dA staff have kindly offered to wait for writers to request that their galleries be moved, or to duplicate accounts (so writers would have one on dA and one on dAlta), but we feel this will only create confusion. Instead, we have pressed for a simpler solution. All members whose accounts have ever contained even a single text-based deviation will have their dA accounts deactivated and will be directed to create one at dAlta for a small subscription fee of 10$ per month.
We realize there may be some who are uncertain about such a clean cut, but we know that it will simply serve as a wonderful impetus for dAlta writers to create more to fill their now empty galleries. Your llama badge stats will, of course, be migrated with your account, though they will appear in a slightly altered form: ie, "super pencil" and "wizard pen".
A New Focus On Community
In an attempt to encourage community involvement in maintaining the new site's policies, we will also be implementing an innovative system of bans and suspensions. Each registered member will be able to vote any other member a thumbs up or thumbs down. Twenty such thumbs down will suspend the account for a week. Fifty will result in a permanent ban. A similar system will be used in the new dAlta forums.
A word from an Alpha tester:
"I was one of the lucky few selected to alpha test dAlta, and I have to say, I'm excited! I've often thought that a literature community entirely segregated from the art portion of this website would really let us writers hone our craft in peace. I'm especially excited by the Turo feature; my poetry too often relies on obscure allusion and imagery, and this will really help me move past that and start creating accessible literature for a mass market--which, after all, is every poet's goal. I hope you will join me in congratulating our three wonderful GMs who, by making this possible, have ushered in a new dawn for writers in association with deviantART!" - zebrazebrazebra, dAlta Alpha Tester
A Sneak Peek:
We're working tirelessly behind the scenes to create a better Literature community, and we are honored to be among the three Literature Gallery Moderators who have the chance to see this long-awaited change take place and offer our input in the creation of the brand new site every step of the way.
I would like to invite you to ask questions, but because of the nature of the project and the desire of the administration to iron out all the kinks before the unveiling, please understand we simply may not be able to offer concrete answers -- at least not at this time. We'll do our best, of course.
However, if you too want to be part of this project as an Alpha tester (aka "Literature April Literary Alpha Legion Admin"), please send a note with the subject line of LALALA and your community credentials to CRLiterature as soon as possible. We are always looking for more input, and you too can be a Featured Officer of Literature on the new site!
"Alpha testing this has been more exciting than a game of quidditch without broomsticks. I think I will pity anyone who passes up this chance to be a Featured Officer of Literature!" - BeccaJS, dAlta Alpha Tester
[04/02/2011] More information about the change can be found here. Please read this journal before commenting!
[04/05/2011] This was a joke for April Fools, 2011.