New look for Teaspoon coming in late December!
During the weekend of December 28, we're going to switch Teaspoon's skin over to the beta skin we released earlier this year. We don't anticipate any downtime as part of this switchover, but obviously, will keep you all updated in the unlikely event something goes wrong.
What this means for you if you're still using the current "bluepurple" skin: we will be removing this skin entirely. It isn't responsive – that is, it doesn't scale smoothly from desktop monitor size down to phone screens – and we can't address lingering display issues in the beta "neospoon" skin until bluepurple is removed. That said, we have a responsive version of bluepurple ready to go! So if you prefer the current design to the new one, you'll still be able to switch to something that looks very similar to it. (It's got the same layout as neospoon, but uses bluepurple's color scheme and familiar crossed spoon/sonic screwdriver background.)
Any questions? Contact us at email@example.com.
Announcing our new, mobile-friendly beta design!
A Teaspoon And An Open Mind now has a new, mobile-friendly beta design! Because this is still a beta, it's not enabled by default, but it's easy to set it up on your account by selecting the "neospoon" skin from the Skins dropdown in Account > Edit Personal Information. Click any link on the site after you've changed skins, and the beta design will be enabled.
For more information about the beta, as well as known issues and how to submit bugs and questions, see the announcement post on our LiveJournal community.
Class added to category list
A category and characters for the new Doctor Who spinoff show, Class, is now available for any authors wishing to post stories for it.
Help is back! Also, Calufrax needs reccers.
Our help address is working again, so feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org (the address in our footer) if you need our assistance.
Also, our recommendations community, Calufrax, is looking for volunteers to recommend stories! You'll have two weeks to recommend 4-10 stories, and your picks will show up on Teaspoon's home page. To volunteer, visit our sign-up post.
Help email address temporarily unavailable
For some reason, our help email forwarding isn't working. We're looking into the problem, but if you've sent us a message since July 19 and haven't heard back from us, that's why. For now, please contact us at whofic on Gmail, and we'll post an update when the usual email address in the footer is working again.
New Twelfth Doctor category
Since we've started to receive stories featuring the Twelfth Doctor, we've added a category for that era. Enjoy!
IMPORTANT: harassment on Teaspoon
If you receive a note from a Teaspoon user that asks whether they can talk to you, please send this member's username and a copy of their note to the Teaspoon mod team at email@example.com. While some of these notes may be legitimate, others may be from a notorious troll who harassed at least one of our members earlier this year. Please do not respond directly to such notes until you've heard back from the mod team about whether it's likely to be for real.
Calufrax, Teaspoon's reccing comm, is seeking reccers
Calufrax, the reccing community for A Teaspoon And An Open Mind, is looking for more reccers. All you need is 4-7 stories on Teaspoon you love that are well-written, don't all include exactly the same pairing (though they don't all have to be different), and don't involve character bashing. Then join the comm, if you're not already a member, and sign up here. (Not a LiveJournal member? Sign up for a free account.)
Age of consent setting
There is now an "age of consent" setting under "Edit Personal Information" which will remove the pop-up warning when you view a story flagged as adult.
Spoilers in summaries
Spoilers in fic summaries are allowed once the episode has aired in the UK. However, with episodes in several other countries running close behind the UK schedule, some Teaspoon readers prefer not to be spoiled, so you may wish to consider that when writing your summaries.
Number of Daily Submissions
Recently, the site has become inundated with authors uploading a great number of chapters at one time. While we appreciate every submission from our authors, validation time and access for all other authors is affected. As of now, we ask you to please not upload more than ten chapters a day, and no more than a total of 20,000 words per day. Thank you!
Since people have started to submit fiction featuring the 11th Doctor, a category for him has been created.
A couple of changes have been made to the software running on this site (for more information check here). As always, please let us know at the help address if you encounter any bugs.
Please be sure to read our Submission Guidelines, and check your submission for grammar, spelling and line breaks.
Last night's technical difficulty has been fixed and uploading/editing should now be working as normal. See this post for a list of the stories that were affected by the bug - these will have to be resubmitted. Thank you very much for your patience.
We're having issues with recently submitted fics appearing to have no text. We're working to fix this - until it's resolved, please hold off on submitting new stories or chapters as they'll probably have to be rejected and resubmitted. Apologies for the inconvenience.
There's been a change to our main page with the addition of Featured Stories. These are stories that have been recced on our LiveJournal community calufrax. You can still see the newest stories on the Most Recent page.
There was some confusion over the classifications gen, het, slash, femslash and mixed being included under warnings, so they have now been moved to 'genres' and are searchable under this category. All stories already on the archive have had their information updated. Please use these genres when uploading fic as it makes it easier for people to find the kind of stories they want to read; if your story has no romance then it falls under 'gen'. 'Series' and 'standalone' have also been added to the genre list.
Final Change of Mod Team
Although Sam and I had planned to leave at the same time, it took a bit more time to transfer actual ownership of the site to the new mod team. As I leave, I would like to thank the new mod team for their hard work and effort to this site and say that I fully support the changes and am looking forward to staying on as an author. Thanks for a great four years. - warinbabylon
Submission Guidelines update
As part of the Teaspoons's reorganisation, the Submission Guidelines have been revised. All authors should familiarise themselves with the new guidelines.
Terms of Service Update
The Terms of Service for the site have been updated in order to clarify the site's policies.
Please make sure you spare a minute to read them.
New Rating Added
Due to user concerns, we've added a third story rating, 'Teen,' so you may now rate your story as 'All Ages', 'Teen' or 'Adult'. We hope this solves the problem of the grey area between All Ages and Adult.
This addition has not affected what any stories are currently rated as.
In order to reduce the confusion we've had with the multiple ratings, the ratings system has been simplified to All Ages and Adult. For graphic violence or graphic sex, the story should be rated Adult. Anything else, All Ages.
This change has affected a great many of our stories, so authors should check their profiles and update their story ratings as required.
IMPORTANT: all submissions are now on moderation
All submissions to the archive are now on moderation. In order for your fic to be accepted, it should follow the new rules concerning summaries.
For all fiction already submitted to the archive, authors have fourteen days to adjust their summaries, after which they may be edited by a moderator.
A good summary means more readers. It should be short, to the point and entice a potential reader into clicking on your story. In order for your story to be accepted to the Teaspoon, your summary must adhere to the following rules:
- keep it short. No more than a couple of sentences, a paragraph at most.
- acknowledgements/disclaimers/dedications and so on should be put in the Author's Notes section.
- do not beg for reviews.
- there should be no spelling errors; it's only a couple of sentences. Use a capital letter at the beginning of each sentence and a full stop at the end.
- keep it about the story. Sugar, daydreams and other such inspirations, if they must be mentioned, should be kept to the Author's Notes.
For examples of good summaries, please take a look here, here or here.
IMPORTANT: Changes to the site
In order to improve the site for both our readers and our writers, several changes will be taking place on the site over the course of the next few weeks. Please keep a lookout for news updates.
The following changes are effective immediately:
- the Teaspoon will no longer provide a facility for archiving essays. Blogging sites provide a much more suitable place to discuss your thoughts on Doctor Who and we wish to concentrate on being a fic archive. All users have fourteen days to archive their essays/reviews for essays, if they wish. After January 19th the category will be deleted. Until then the category is locked.
- the Tens section is being removed.
- round robins can no longer be posted. All users have fourteen days to archive their Round Robins/Round Robin reviews if they wish. After January 19th the category will be deleted. Round Robins still in the archive may be deleted.
- the thumbs up/down rating system has been removed.
Thank you to everyone who volunteered! We now have a new team of mods who'll be helping oversee some significant changes to the site over the next couple of weeks to make the Teaspoon a better place for both our readers and our writers.
We're also seeing one of our long-term mods, who has been with us from the very beginning, step down: Samantha Wilkinson has been an integral part of the team for over four years and has done a fabulous job during her time here. And we'd like to thank her for her dedication to the site and all her hard work here over the years.
Looking for new mods
We're looking for volunteers to help run Teaspoon. Primarily you'd be answering help emails and enforcing the guidelines and perhaps writing documentation. You'd also get a say in setting policy and making changes to the site. No technical knowledge is necessary, but an appreciation of the importance of good grammar is. If you do have some technical or graphical know-how, however, and are interested in helping out with site design, coding, or in some other way, we'd love to take advantage of your skills. If you're interested, please email us at the help address. Please let us know what username you post under at the site. Thanks!
PLEASE take another look at the Submission Guidelines
After reading through the last 100 or so stories, I note many members may not have looked at the site's Submission Guidelines (located here: http://www.whofic.com/guidelines.php)
In particular, it would be appreciated if writers would pay careful attention to the information relating to spelling and grammar.
REMINDER! New Round Robin policy goes into effect today
See the news item below for an explanation of the new policy. Old round robins will not be deleted unless they are updated. Anyone who persistently updates old round robins will first be warned, then banned if they continue in this behavior.
IMPORTANT! New Round Robin policy!
In fanfiction circles, a round robin has traditionally been a story written by several authors, with one writing the first chapter, another the next, and so on until the story is finished. The essential element is that all of the authors are working on the same story. On Teaspoon, we've seen the definition stretched to include anagrams, what-ifs, ficlets, favorites, and a whole host of other things. While we recognize that these are fun for the participants and appreciate that people are enjoying the site, we'd like to refocus the site to be strictly the story and essay archive it was originally intended to be. Teaspoon simply isn't set up to be a discussion forum, and it doesn't perform that function well.
Starting March 1st, any round robin that doesn't follow the format above will be deleted. We will be monitoring them to make sure they follow the rule. We will not be going through the archive and deleting old round robins, although their originators are certainly welcome to do so. However, if someone posts a new chapter/entry to a non-compliant round robin after March 1st, the whole thing will be deleted.
If we find that people are continuing to inappropriately use the round robin function, we will disable it.
We're sorry to do this, but the round robins have simply become too high a percentage of the posts on the site. There are plenty of Doctor Who discussion fora out there; we'd like to focus on being an archive.
Thank you for your understanding.
Category for Sarah Jane Adventures added
We've created a new category for stories featuring characters from the Sarah Jane Adventures spin-off series.
Reminder: Content Guidelines
Could I just remind everyone that excessive quoting of song lyrics (or 'songfics') are not allowed on the site.
We have achieved the annual cost of running the site. Thank you for everyone who contributed and here's to another year!
As you may have noticed, there is a donation button on the front page. The recent service upgrade has increased our costs 4 fold. Although it is not a requirement for usage of the site, I humbly ask for donations to help keep this site up. We'll pull down
the button when we reach near our operating expenses.
If anyone has any further questions on the operating of the site or on the costs of the site, please don't hesitate to ask.
The site was down for two days due to us exceeding our usage contract with our webhost. We have upgraded to another account. We realize that this will take time to propogate across the Net...please have patience and as always, please report problems as you have them and we will do our upmost to rectify them. We apologize for the downtime.
Torchwood Category Added
Just in time for the premiere, a Torchwood category has been added to the site. The five new characters we know about so far have been added both to the Torchwood category and the Multi-Era category for any Doctor Who/Torchwood cross-overs.
Please note that Hotmail is currently either not accepting emails from us or is junking them. You may find therefore that you will not get password emails or review notifications.
We're back up at a new web host! Please let us know at the help address if you run into any problems using the site.
Updated to 2.0.7
In a marathon session I've updated eFiction on this site to 2.0.7, so please let us know at the help address if you see any problems. Thanks! :)
Due to some recent security holes discovered in efiction, I've patched some of the files. Please let us know if you run into any problems on the site by emailing the help address.
Self-promotion and off-topic postings
While we understand people's concerns about their stories being lost in in all the activity on Teaspoon, we're going to have to ask that advertising of one's fic and requests for reviews be kept off the site. Teaspoon gets enough traffic as it is. If more people started this practice, it would become even more cluttered. You are encouraged to post news about upcoming stories in your author profile where readers who are interested in your work can find out what you're planning.
We appreciate everyone's enthusiasm for the site and for Doctor Who fanfic, but Teaspoon is designed for archiving stories and essays and isn't really set up for discussion about fanfic or writing.
Thank you for your cooperation.
SQL and Database errors
A number of you have reported seeing various SQL error messages on the site. These are due to a cap that our host imposes on the number of queries per user against a databse. We've tried to get around it by spreading the load across a number of different "superusers." Alden has just increased the number of superusers, which should hopefully eliminate the errors. We'll be monitoring the situation to see if this proves effective over the long term.
Thank you to the people who emailed us with specific error messages; it's very helpful. If anyone sees error messages in the future, please email us at the help address with the text of the message.
It has come to my attention that there is some confusion about our plagiarism policy that I would like to clear up. We will delete the account of anyone who passes off another's work as their own. It does not matter if the other person in question is a fellow fanfiction writer, a published author, a public figure or anyone else. If you quote someone else's words, you must credit them. Changing some of the text, altering words, and/or inserting different characters' names in does not make the writing sufficiently original.
If someone has quoted material without attribution and has not lost their account, this does not mean that we condone the theft. It is more likely that we either missed the story or didn't recognize that the passage(s) in question wasn't original.
Fanfiction is a grey area in which we use situations and characters belonging to other people to write our own stories. This does not ever give us permission to take credit for someone else's work. For instance, you'll notice that at the bottom of each page on the site, we make clear that Doctor Who and its associated properties belong to the BBC.
If you recognize that an author is using someone else's work, please email the help address. This author is defrauding their readers and the original writer.
We will be updating the help section with an expanded version of our plagiarism policy. If you have any questions, please email us before posting. We will not give second chances when it comes to this issue.
Problems jumping to chapters and others -- FIXED!
Last night we applied a couple of bug fix patches to the site, and as I'm sure you've noticed, there have been some unintentional side-effects. We've have two issues reported so far: the category links have disappeared off the front page and readers are no longer able to jump to chapters after the first one.
We are working on both these issues. I don't currently have an estimate as to when they'll be fixed, but it will be as soon as we can, work and other committments permitting.
There are a couple of temporary work-arounds people can use. To get to the categories for the different Doctors, simply click on the Categories link at the top of the page.
For the chapters issue, at the top of each story there's a printer icon followed by links for either Chapter or Story. If you click on Story, you will see a plain text output of the entire story, with links at the top so you can jump to a specific chapter.
While neither of these are optimal solutions, we hope that you will bear with this as we fix these bugs. Let us know if you encounter any additional problems. Please include specific error messages and examples so as to give us the most information possible.
Guidelines for Reviews
The site has been updated with a Terms of Service document that outlines our policy for what constitues an acceptable review and what constitutues a flame. The ToS includes links to examples of acceptable and unacceptable behavior and can be accessed via the link at the bottom of each page of the site.
If you feel that a review someone has left is in violation of these terms, email the admins at firstname.lastname@example.org or post to the LiveJournal community whofic. Do NOT follow up to any News Item with your complaint. There is no guarantee that an admin will see it.
As a brief summary: any reviews or responses to reviews that contain personal attacks on another poster are unacceptable. Criticial or negative reviews should give reasons for the criticism and suggestions for improvement. Reviews along the lines of "This sucks" are hurtful without giving the author any useful pointers. Authors should be willing to accept constructive criticism without becoming defensive and attacking the reviewer.
News Items NOT for Reporting Issues
Please do not use the comment section of previous news items to report new issues. This makes it very difficult for us to keep track of comments or concerns. If you have a question or something to report, email us at the help address at the bottom of the page, or, if you have an LJ account, post to the whofic community. Thank you.
Reminder: Conduct on this Site
As we are updating several things, a conduct guideline will also be created.
One thing to remember in the interim: Comments on a story are for comments on the story, not personal attacks on other reviews or reviewers. This is not its purpose.
Attacked by hacker
We were attacked by a hacker this morning who left some malicious code on our site. The code attempted to download the "loadadv412" spyware/virus from another web site. If you visited the site today and saw errors or anything odd at the top of the page, you should be sure to scan your system with anti-spyware and anti-virus software.
Our apologies that this has happened. We are working to ensure it doesn't happen again.
Edit: I have plugged the hole. I've also determined that the code the hacker was badly written and could not have infected anyone's computer at any rate.
Explanation of Upgrade
We were notified that eFiction 1.1 contained a gaping security hole whereby someone could steal the usernames and passwords of everyone on the site. We decided that security concerns necessitated an upgrade sooner rather than later. We appreciate your criticisms and concerns and will be working to address them. Unfortunately, this won't happen overnight, but as we better understand the new system, and as new modifications come out, we will make sure to update the site to best meet your needs.
The eFiction software running on this site has been upgraded. If you spot any irregularities, please send an email to the help address listed at the bottom of the page giving details. Thanks!
IMPORTANT: Changes to Content Guidelines
We have added a new section to the Help area clarifying what types of postings are allowed on the site. Please make sure that you read this information as we will delete stories that don't meet these guidelines. Here is a quick summary:
Allowed: fanfiction, essays, filks.
Not Allowed: transcripts; song lyrics; quotes from the show; promotion of or links to other sites; re-posts of other people's writing, even if credited.
Essentially, we expect that anything you submit be your own work, with allowance given to quotations used to make a point in a larger work. While we appreciate your enthusiasm for this site, there are many places on the Internet for general discussion of Doctor Who. We would like to maintain Teaspoon's focus on fan-written material.
If you have already posted something that doesn't meet the new guidelines, we ask that you take it down from the site.
If you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
Please take a moment to check that the email address you have set for your account is current and valid. Some of the email addresses are currently bouncing.
Anonymous Reviewing disabled
I have disabled anonymous reviewing temporarily due to the amount of abuse this feature is getting. Please contact us (see the news item below) if you receive any flame reviews.
Apparently there was a misunderstanding with the removal of reviews. Apologies. If you have problems with flames or repeat reviews, please write firstname.lastname@example.org. However, this is to only remove flames and repeat reviews, not differences in opinions or constructive criticism.
A gentle reminder
Just a gentle reminder that flaming is not tolerated on this archive. Thanks! Keep writing, keep reading.
The Teaspoon has several LiveJournal communities.
whofic - News, announcements about stories, comments from writers and readers, and more are all welcome here.
dw100 - A very active drabble challenge community; new challenges are posted every Saturday.
dwfiction - An all-purpose Who fic forum for longer stories.