Worldbuilding will be one year old on September 16, 2015. We've got a great community here and lots of great content, so if any bunch of people could come up with fun ideas for how to celebrate our first birthday, it'd be this community. :-)


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    $\begingroup$ Graduate out of community beta? $\endgroup$ – cobaltduck Aug 27 '15 at 15:12

How about a "share a glimpse into your world" week?

If you've asked questions here it's probably because you have a project -- maybe a full-on novel/game/script/etc you're in the midst of, or maybe a more early-stage idea. Either way, would people be willing to share a (non-contract-voiding, non-copyright-constrained) bit of what you're doing? A drabble (very short writing), a scene, a short story, a setting description, a sketch or painting... something that shows a little bit of what you're doing with your worlds?

If people like this we'll figure out how to do it in a way that's consistent with site structure. I'm envisioning a meta post with links to material elsewhere, so you can host (and control) it yourself. If you don't post it directly on SE then it's not subject to the CC-BY-SA license, which has been relevant over on Writers with some "share your work" projects. But I'm open to other ideas for structuring it, too.

There's been a lot of discussion in comments (thanks!) about implementation. If we could get a BlogOverflow blog that'd be great, but SE might not allow it (see the linked post). If not, and given that the content might vary widely -- short text pieces, hundred-page reference documents, drawings, videos, things I haven't thought of -- I think people should post their material wherever it makes sense and we'll make a nice meta post with links to all of it. That way it can be on your blog, in a Google doc, a GitHub repository, a Vimeo link... whatever works best for you. The downside is that it's harder for users here to provide feedback (since it won't be posted here), so I'd encourage you to do it somewhere that allows people to comment, but that's up to you.

Followup: Post links to your work on this meta post. This is a staging area, not the final collection; someone will later take all this and make a blog post and/or meta post to tie it all together.

  • $\begingroup$ While I think it would be a great experience to expose each other to completed worlds (rather than question-centric snippets), I have to wonder how quickly this would get out of hand. I'm working on my tenth world at the moment; it's 140 pages of 10-point font and still growing. Not to mention, how would we handle the feedback? $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Aug 24 '15 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre I was thinking more of sharing than critiquing, and it would be up to each person to decide how much or how little to share. If you want to share your 140-page description you could, or you might decide to excerpt a part of it that you're particularly proud of or that this site especially helped you with. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Aug 24 '15 at 16:17
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    $\begingroup$ We're all human around here (...maybe?) and we're all worldbuilders. I would think there would be feedback, both positive and negative, to anything posted. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Aug 24 '15 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ Sure, and I'll post mine (whatever it is) on my blog where comments are enabled. If people are posting in places where that doesn't work, like sharing a Google doc, we can probably come up with something. These are implementation details; let's find out if people like the "share some of your work" idea first. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Aug 24 '15 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ I really like this idea! It'd also be really cool to see how our answers have been integrated into worlds. Maybe we could have people optionally tag different parts of their worlds that were influenced by specific questions? $\endgroup$ – Martin_xs6 Aug 24 '15 at 16:51
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    $\begingroup$ As @vincent mentioned we have been sorta slacking on use of the blog, this may be an opportunity to kick start things. $\endgroup$ – James Aug 24 '15 at 17:55
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    $\begingroup$ I like this idea. It'll give me a reason to organize and formalize my work. Right now, all I have are a few hundred sketches and a bunch of ideas. $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Aug 24 '15 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ The main thing is how to store it. They technically wouldn't be questions, and they wouldn't be answers to an on-topic question. We would have to place them some where else probably. $\endgroup$ – PyRulez Aug 24 '15 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ I'm thinking we either use blogoverflow or gitHub. $\endgroup$ – PyRulez Aug 25 '15 at 11:26
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    $\begingroup$ Blogoverflow is the SE blog site, which is currently not allowing sites to create new blogs. (See my request to change that.) Another project here used GitHub and failed to gain traction; the barrier to entry seems too high. If we do this, I think "post it anywhere you want, and we'll make a meta post with all the links" is best (unless we get a blog). $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Aug 25 '15 at 12:46
  • $\begingroup$ I have been dieing to know what all of these questions are for. For feedback, couldn't we use the comments on the answer containing the link? $\endgroup$ – evankh Aug 31 '15 at 3:21

Relaunch the blog

This answer is a compendium of other answers. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

To celebrate our first year, we will re-launch the blog and make several posts during the month of September to kick it off. We'd like to see posts from lots of people. The new blog site should make that a lot easier. Please think about how you'd like to participate.

Topics/themes that have been suggested include:

I'd like to see posts in September from lots of users, both one-offs (no ongoing commitment) and first posts in series. Want to write a series of articles over the next year on map-making? Designing ecosystems? Zombies? Time-travel? Alien biology? Now's a great time to start.

If you're interested, have ideas, contributions or feedback, or want to be added to the blog, drop into the blog chatroom and let us know.


What if we made our own world (or part of a world) together?

We could do a top-down design of whatever it is by having people propose and vote on different ideas, starting at the '5000 ft. view'. Then, we would dig deeper and more specific with more polls or questions. People could even propose and vote on what we will design.

We could even have different people in charge of different sections of the design, so it doesn't burden one person too much. (Maybe if your idea gets voted for, you get put in charge of makings polls and managing everything for the next level of the design?)

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    $\begingroup$ I've lost track of the link but there was an effort to create a shared world a while back...anyone have that handy? $\endgroup$ – James Aug 24 '15 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ That'd be cool to see! Any idea what happened to it? Did people just lose interest? $\endgroup$ – Martin_xs6 Aug 24 '15 at 17:58
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    $\begingroup$ Not sure...I would suggest swinging by chat and asking there...I feel like @ArtofCode was running with it but he may have just been working on the blog, can't recall. $\endgroup$ – James Aug 24 '15 at 18:06
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    $\begingroup$ I really like this idea. One of my earliest writing experiences was with free-form text-based role-playing, where everyone gets to take turns building a story. Doing it on the world level would be even better, because then we could all write our own stories within it. $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Aug 24 '15 at 18:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Martin_xs6 James was one (out of 6 or 7) users "active" in the project. That he forgot about it is a good indication of the state of the project But it could still be resurrected a second time if enough people get to participate. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Aug 24 '15 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ It's probably this but I'm not sure since it was moved a couple of times: github.com/Worldbuilding-Workshop $\endgroup$ – Vincent Aug 24 '15 at 19:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Vincent Yeah, I guess we can just see how much interest there is. If the last one died out, maybe this one would too.. :/ Maybe if we could keep it short, we'd be able to finish something without the project tapering out.. $\endgroup$ – Martin_xs6 Aug 24 '15 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin_xs6 I took up being the project coordinator, but interest did sort of die out $\endgroup$ – ArtOfCode Aug 26 '15 at 0:36

Let's celebrate memorable questions and answers!

It seems that Stack Overflow did something similar to this: highlighting some of the more memorable (though not necessarily most viewed or most upvoted) posts we've seen throughout the past year.

Users who want to participate could post short blurbs as answers to a meta post that describe a post that they felt was clever/funny/brilliant/extremely helpful/awesome, especially if that post didn't get many views or votes (though the point is not to garner the post more of those, just more accolades).

I don't think folks would get swag for participating, but I shouldn't speak for Stack Exchange. . .



Let's look at the past year in numbers, using graphics. General activity of the site over the year and how it's comparing with other sites.

We could also have different analysis like:

  • what is the best time to post a question in term of views and participation.

  • Can we correlate up-votes with certain days of the week?

  • What make popular question well, popular (I'm mostly thinking about the subjects of questions or the vocabulary used).

  • Do short questions get more attention that longer ones?

I realize that it's not always about Worldbuilding per see but that would be interesting nevertheless.

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    $\begingroup$ That would be cool! SEDE ninjas: ready, set, go. :-) $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Sep 4 '15 at 13:02

I'm thinking we could post something on the blog or maybe a post on meta: Best questions for a specific topic.

More specifically, best questions: Dictator edition

It's not meant to be taken too seriously but do you think that the formulation could be offensive for some people?

  • $\begingroup$ There is just one point that need to be considered. There aren't any great question without great answers. So just selecting the best question without consideration to (at least) one answer is probably unfair. $\endgroup$ – clem steredenn Aug 25 '15 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ @bilbo_pingouin The best content then? : The best questions of "x" with the best answers of "x". They go together. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Aug 27 '15 at 3:55
  • $\begingroup$ Isn't that what voting on questions (and answers) is supposed to be all about already? $\endgroup$ – user Aug 27 '15 at 7:45
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling maybe but they could be regrouped by thematic with only some of the best (we have a lot of questions) $\endgroup$ – Vincent Aug 27 '15 at 13:45

Perhaps we could hand out a Birthday Contributor Badge. (Can we even make custom badges? Maybe a prerogative of diamond moderators.)

I'm thinking something like:

Gold badge --> Contributed for 9 or more months during the inaugural year.

Silver Badge --> Contributed for 6 or more months during the inaugural year.

Bronze Badge --> Contributed for 3 or more months during the inaugural year.

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    $\begingroup$ We can't make SE badges (there's a request on MSE for per-site custom badges, BTW), but there's no reason somebody couldn't put together a list by hand on meta. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Aug 24 '15 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio That's unfortunate. I'd have thought that would be a given, since a lot of sites on the SE don't have overlapping areas. But I suppose the badges are mostly about asking/answering/editing questions and answers... $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Aug 24 '15 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ The badges are baked into the SE engine; they're the same on all sites -- Nice Answer, Civic Duty, Notable Question, etc. This also means that some of them are easier to get on some sites than others; on a small site Nice Question/Answer is an accomplishment and Great is unheard-of, and on other sites people are swimming in 'em. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Aug 24 '15 at 16:19

I like the idea of sharing parts of our stories, but I'd like to suggest something a little bit different: short stories on demand.

It can go like this:

The person with the highest reputation on the site (or a moderator, or the first signed person... just pick someone to start) gives the topic as a question on meta, and people write their stories about that subject as answers.

After some time, for example 24 hours, the person with highest score is declared as winner and gets to suggest next topic (we can close the question for a few hours before declaring a winner to give a chance to those who contributed last minute).

The point is to write quickly, choose the winner, move on to next topic.

We can have as many iterations as we want to.


Topics can be introduced in several ways:

  1. Describing what the story is about
  2. Describing a character
  3. Providing title, the first line or the last line

And here is a crazy idea (probably not doable thanks to copyright laws, but cool nonetheless): we could compile the winning stories in a popular e-book format and donate it to some foundation to help it rise money for their noble cause. My type would be Electronic Frontier Foundation, because they would know how to handle it best and they do a lot for us regarding out rights online, so we kinda owe them.

  • $\begingroup$ Similar: Writers has a weekly writing challenge, coordinated in chat: somebody throws out a topic, everybody writes for ten minutes, sharing happens. No scoring, but fun and kind of random. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Sep 2 '15 at 0:22
  • $\begingroup$ How exactly would that coordination look? It may be a good idea, but I just can't see how can this be done effectively. In my experience most good ideas like the ones we discuss here are killed by problems with communication. In my version everyone works on their own, so there is little coordination overhead, rules are simple, and the only thing you have to do as moderator (I assume it will be your job to organize the whole thing, since you seem to be in charge around here) is to create a tag and signal the winner "Hey, your turn to post the topic". $\endgroup$ – Darth Hunterix Sep 2 '15 at 5:40
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry if that was confusing; I was providing information, not making a suggestion. The "coordination" on Writers consists of a designated time (Tuesdays at 17:00 UTC, currently) when people who are interested gather in the site's chat room. One of the people there proposes a topic and people go off and write. It's not a shared writing project or anything like that. As for who picks, it's pretty informal -- who hasn't in a while? Does anybody have a particular desire to do so this week? Etc. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Sep 2 '15 at 13:06
  • $\begingroup$ I see. I'm sorry for the misunderstanding. $\endgroup$ – Darth Hunterix Sep 2 '15 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, no need to apologize! $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Sep 2 '15 at 14:02

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