To Write to me, simply send mail to: Webmaster@ThePoeticLink.com I read all of your comments and suggestions... don't be shy!
News Entry Date: 9/25/2001 9:08pm
Hi Guys, it has been some time since our last newsletter. I am sorry for the delay but world events have thrown many things into chaos as you all know. I regret to inform you that we (The Poetic Link) also appear to be deeply affected by the disasters of September 11th. I would never have guessed that the things they did that day, could affect a poetry site. But if people are not spending money and supporting the things they used to support, I can see how it can quickly turn sour here for us as well as elsewhere. As of this moment The Poetic Link's bank account is lower then it has ever been in 3 years. I have just finished buying supplies for the Anthologies 2, 3, & 4 and they are all printed. My next task is to send them off to the bookbinder so that I can send them out to the few people who have ordered them. We only have about 16 orders for Anthologies so we are well below the minimum order of 40 books that I need to have the bookbinder do for me. In other words The Poetic Link will be loosing a significant amount of money on the Anthologies unless some more orders start pouring in. I make very little profit on them so that I can keep costs low for all of you who wish to order them. So I will do my best to conserve money and cut corners... but the bottom line is this guys: We need support if you want this place to continue operating. The tragedies of September 11 hit at a very bad time, because of expenses I needed to put out on supplies and yearly renewal fees for the site. I would hate to see something like this wonderful place that you have all built, go away just because of lack of funds. Please do what you can... if you can. Many people are donating to the Red Cross, either money, or blood... and that is a wonderful thing. If you might also like to help a place that has perhaps given you comfort, knowledge or needed support in the past, please consider donating to The Poetic Link or helping to support us by buying Anthologies and Submission Credits. Without all of you, this place can not continue to exist. If you care to help, the links are as follows: Donations: http://ThePoeticLink.com/sales/donations Anthology Purchases: http://ThePoeticLink.com/sales/anthologies Submission Credit Purchases: http://ThePoeticLink.com/pl/buy_credits.php3 Thank You, -Chris
Click HERE to return to ThePoeticLink.com Database Page!News Entry Date: 8/25/2001 11:34am
Hello everyone! It has been a very long time since our last newsletter. I have been busy lately with a lot of things around home. One of the very nice things that I have been busy with, are The Poetic Link Anthologies!!! I have finally started printing them. I plan on the anthologies going to the bookbinder in 2 weeks so you should be able to receive these well before Christmas -They make wonderful gifts! I currently have 10 orders for anthologies, so I will be very happy to finally fill these orders along with any new orders that come in. Funds are very low at The Poetic Link so I ask each of you to please consider buying some anthologies. We currently have 4 different Anthologies available: March 2000 through March 2001. Anthologies come out every quarter and they are all listed, with pictures and descriptions at: http://ThePoeticLink.com/sales/anthologies As school begins in the fall, hopefully things will pick back up for us. Summertime is always slow at The Poetic Link, and this summer was no exception. I am however, encouraged by the volume that we DID DO this summer, it should indicate a BOOMING fall and Winter with a flurry of activity! (no pun intended *grin*) So guys, we're still here, the Forum is doing wonderfully and it's time to get out your old poetry and start writing again. If you wish to participate in the conversations at the forum, please visit http://ThePoeticLink.com/forum Take Care everyone and I look forward to a beautiful fall with all of you. -Chris
Click HERE to return to ThePoeticLink.com Database Page!News Entry Date: 7/14/2001 9:54pm
Hello Everyone, I just got done a very nice update to the system. As most of you are aware, the poem ratings are now visible for older poems. Well as of tonight, the Critique Scores are now visible as well. This means that people will be able to see exactly how the different poets rated them on older critiques. I have done this to help alleviate any problems that used to exist with some people sabotaging scores. I hope that this new information helps us to all score more honestly knowing that unjustified scores are going to be detected. I have also just installed a very nice algorithm that uses a Critiquers "Last Month" score as their critiquer rating during their "Locked Period" at the beginning of each month. This older rating is ONLY used if was above 5. As soon as the Critiquer "Unlocks" their current rating... that current rating is used for the rest of the month. This update was implemented to allow our STRONG Critics to have power immediately at the start of each month. It will allow us to QUICKLY build poem strength (rating reliability) on poems submitted even at the beginning of the month now. I think you will all be very happy with this upgrade. :) --To the good critiquers, go the spoils! OK... now for a more sour note! I have received reports of 3 (yes three) groups of critiquers who have been cheating by creating a bogus account and using that account to scan through all of the poems to reveal the names of those poets. Then the names were reported back to the group and certain poets were either entirely ignored and not critiqued at all by these individuals... or they had their scores sabotaged. Let this serve as fair warning! I have written a program to detect this type of cheating now. It is a very easy situation to detect from within the system so if you were part of one of these 3 groups who were doing this or something similar, I suggest that you stop immediately. I am not pointing any fingers at this time so if you are NOT doing anything like this... you have absolutely NOTHING to worry about. Blind critiques are in place on TPL to provide a fair and level playing field for all poets. It is nearly impossible for anyone critiquing normally, to ALWAYS avoid a particular poet's work unless they are cheating in the manner described above, OR unless that particular poet NEVER varies their style. Since most poets vary their style (even if just a bit) you should eventually run into one of their poems and critique it or click the button to "Not Critique" that poem. The point is... choosing to Not critique a poem is a perfectly acceptable practice. But ONLY if that decision is based on the content of the poem and not based on the author! ...Why? Because no person should ever know who the author was until AFTER they critique the poem. -Chris
Click HERE to return to ThePoeticLink.com Database Page!News Entry Date: 7/8/2001 9:24pm
Hi guys, I was writing to let you know that there are going to be some more updates coming this week. I am going to be revealing the ratings that the critiquers receive from the poets, and I am going to be making that rating blind now ...just like rating a poem is now blind. The critiquer's name will be revealed after the rating is received from the poet and a personal comment will be optional after that name is revealed. Now, on another very important topic! --PEACE has finally been declared. Husein (a psychometrician (extreme number guy)) and I spoke on the phone for nearly 90 minutes the other day and we discussed many aspects of the rating system that is in place on The Poetic Link. As many of you may already know, the rating system on TPL was pretty much under attack for the past month. That battle finally ended Saturday about 1pm :) The conclusion of my discussion with Husein was that the system is as reliable as we can make it at this point. We both agreed that NO Rating System is perfect. Both his system proposal and my currently running system have their strong points and their drawbacks. So at this time there will be no re-coding or re-writing of the current rating system. I will continue to upgrade and improve upon the system and Husein and I will both be examining the numbers offline over the next 2 months. The changes that are coming, should make all of you very happy, so I encourage each of you to "Dive Back In!" If you were one of the people who was "holding your breath" waiting for the outcome of this small battle between Husein and myself, you can now breathe again. :) Husein will be posting something on the Forum to validate what I am saying here now, but I can safely say that the battle is finally laid to rest! I am once again, encouraging everyone to use the Forum ...if you are looking for interaction, that is definitely the place to be :) http://ThePoeticLink.com/forum --in case you misplaced the link to it. Take Care guys! Stay tuned, as the updates keep coming in. -Chris
Click HERE to return to ThePoeticLink.com Database Page!News Entry Date: 7/3/2001 6:47pm
Hi Everyone, Well tonight I am working on some more wonderful updates. I have now made it possible for you to view your older poem critiques and actually SEE the scores that you received from each individual critiquer! --Yes you heard correctly. Any poem that is not in an Active contest month, can be viewed in this manner. To view your poems just LOG IN, then click "View Your Poems" from the Registered Member's menu. Please keep in mind that we purge all critiques and critique replies older then 100 days. This is to keep things running smoothly. So you can view all of your older critiques that are up to 100 days old now! :) I hope you all enjoy this new feature and use it often. Please do not spam me with messages about "so and so" rated me low or whatever. The past is over and we can only look to fix the future. Now that this new feature is in place I hope it becomes a STRONG Deterrent to any critic who tries to sabotage someone's poem. Their scheming will become evident in short order so fair warning to all :) --Critique Fairly! If you bash someone's ratings for no reason, you will now be found out. This is a violation of the site policies and you can be banned from this site for it. Once again... the past is the past; so from this day forward, unfair scores will now carry consequences. I will be looking to add a few more features to things over the next week. The Forum is bubbling with activity and I have added a new feature to identify new messages X hours old so you can enter how long it was since you last visited, and view only those new messages. http://ThePoeticLink.com/forum is the address for our Forum! Take Care guys and look for more updates coming soon.
Click HERE to return to ThePoeticLink.com Database Page!News Entry Date: 6/26/2001 11:26pm
Hello Everyone! The new FREE Poem Submission Update has been fully applied as of this evening 11pm EST. You should now be able to take full advantage of FREELY Posting your poetry on The Poetic Link. Just click on the Submit Poem link for more information. It will show you the requirements :) I hope that this will generate a lot more interest for us so please ...PLEASE spread the word to everyone you know. We now accept FREE Poetry Submissions! This is by far the largest change that I have made to the site in a very long time! - I need your help guys, so please talk to friends, talk to schools, talk to the media if you have connections. We are making history here. There are nearly 8,000 of you on our Newsletter Distribution List so we must be doing something right here at The Poetic Link. I have really been keeping quiet all these months, waiting to get things perfected to the point where I feel we can open up to the masses. Well, with this last update I think we are 1 large step closer to doing that. Please help me out if you are able to do so. OK Lots of great changes are rolling out. The FORUM is doing wonderfully, I need to write some scripts to help people find the newer messages in an easier way. So many messages are going onto the forum that it is getting daunting to find things now :) --These are good problems. I am very tired now so I will be going to bed in a moment, but tomorrow or Thursday I will try to put out some more information on the newest updates and coming attractions. Yes there is still more to come :) -Chris
Click HERE to return to ThePoeticLink.com Database Page!News Entry Date: 6/25/2001 11:07pm
Hi guys. Well I have over 1/2 of the new scripts in. I thought I could do this in one evening but I was mistaken. There were a lot more programs to update then I had realized. So I wanted to let you all know that it is coming along well. I hope to have the FREE Submission Update online tomorrow but I won't hold my breath. We had company over tonight, so I had little time to work on things :( At any rate, the Forum is going well and I encourage all of you to please check it out http://ThePoeticLink.com/forum You guys have been wonderful and I hope that you can stick with us ...I can guarantee that you will not be sorry. The site is undergoing some wonderful new changes and I want everyone to enjoy themselves. The new FREE Submission Update will allow you to receive 1 Free Poetry Submission EVERY DAY, provided you meet 2 criteria. 1. You must have a critiquer rating of 5 2. You must have done 7 critiques each day for 2 days in a row. This means that if you just do 7 critiques every day ...you could earn 1 FREE Poem Submission Each and Every day that you come here. -Provided you maintain at least a critiquer rating of 5. I do reserve the right to change these requirements if needed, but I think they should be pretty good just how they are. So guys, do your 7 critiques today and tomorrow. Hopefully by tomorrow, I will have the update online, and you can start cashing in your FREE Submissions :) These submission credits can not be given away or saved up, but they are freely given to you if you meet those 2 simple requirements. I hope that you all love this new idea as much as I do. Please pass the word to your friends and family. Please also, start doing your 7 critiques a day. We desperately need more critiques in the system ...so now you have a great excuse to do it! :) -Chris
Click HERE to return to ThePoeticLink.com Database Page!News Entry Date: 6/24/2001 12:21pm
Hi guys... well I have been working hard on some wonderful new updates to the system. I will start installing these new updates today but could use some help testing them. If you are interested in being one of the first people to see the new updates or if you would just like to help me out, please e-mail me with your phone number and the time you would be available today. I just might call you :) Please do not be disappointed if I don't call, it just means I had enough help from some others. I mostly need volunteers who critique regularly. Now for the new additions that I have made or will be making today. 1. Poem Strength now shows on your View All of Your Poems Screen. 2. Critiquer Rating will be removed from the "Critique a Poem Screen". No more restrictions on critiquing. 3. FREE Poem Submissions will now be installed. The free submissions will be earned by doing critiques (I will elaborate more on this later). --Yes you heard correctly 100% FREE Poem Submissions will now be available! -WOW! 4. Winners List now uses 100% historical data. Never again will the winners list have a problem with reflecting live data or cause a problem with my forgetting to update the historical data. It will even remind us when I need to populate the historical data. 5. View all of your Poems screen has been adjusted to show only 2 decimal places in some areas, to make more room for the new column. 6. The new FORUM is in place and very active. I have waited until now to announce it because I was testing the program. It appears to be working well, so please use the new FORUM :) It is found in the menu at the top of the main page. If I forgot something, I will add it in a new newsletter. Please e-mail me if you wish to help with the update. -Enjoy the new updates! :)
Click HERE to return to ThePoeticLink.com Database Page!News Entry Date: 6/19/2001 8:17am
Hello Everyone, last week from the 8th to the 10th the Winners List was showing incorrect information as you will likely recall. This was due to an error on my part. For that mistake I am very sorry. Even thought I would like to be perfect with regard to maintaining this site... it is not always possible. I am however, doing my very best to always provide a true and honest environment for you to all enjoy. Did any of you look at the Winner's list on one of those 2 days, and notice that the prizes were blank? It seems that several people do not believe me when I told them that this was the case. So fellow poets, I put the question out to you in the hopes that I will be proven correct. If you noticed that the prizes were BLANK for those 2 days, please submit a public comment attesting to this fact, so that others can see that I was telling the truth. I have never had to resort to something like this before, but it may be the only way to convince certain individuals that what I say is true. -Now, if you would like to know how this mistake happened... read on. I messed up, plain and simple. For that I am sorry. Each month I must run a small one-line routine that takes the LIVE prize data, and populates the historical database. This is done so that each and every month has its own prizes recorded. Say for instance, I want to give 500 dollar prizes next month. I simply populate the live prizes with the new 500 dollar information. The previous months however, still reflect their PROPER prizes that were distributed. Without this historical prize database, there would be no distinction between past and present prizes. They would all show as 500 dollars or whatever the LIVE prizes are set to. This would be bad. So if during May sometime, I had simply remembered to press that button to populate the historical database, none of this would have happened. But because that database was not populated, the very moment May was finished and switched from the LIVE stats to the Historical stats... the bad information showed up. Why? Because there was no historical prize data. You see, along with this prize data is also the Poem Strength restrictions. Poem Strength is necessary because without it, the system would be open to abuse. Only poems with a poem strength above a certain limit show up on the Winners List. Take poem strength away, and John Doe could have 5 or 6 of his friends all come on the system to rate his poem high ...and he could take the top prize. Poem strength prevents this by means of adding together the SUM of critiquer ratings of those who have critiqued your poem. So since John Doe's friends would all have a critiquer rating of a mere 1... he would only have a poem strength of say 5 or 6 on his poem. He would not have his poem displayed on the winners list. The downside of Poem Strength is that it can sometimes unjustly prevent a valid poem from displaying. This is no fault of the Poem Strength rating... It is solely a problem of not enough critiques being given across the entire system. That dear friends, has been my struggle for the past 4 months or so. I have been wracking my brain to come up with a way to get more SOLID critiques in the system. LOTS MORE! --Well I have finally come up with the solution. The simplicity and beauty of it even surprise me. I will start coding this update tonight and fill you in with the details in a few days. I am positive that you will ALL love the solution. I will say only that this new solution solves 3 HUGE problems in 1 shot. You will have to stay tuned to find out the specifics, since I will start coding the update tonight! So now that I have talked your eyes off... I want to say one last time, that I am sorry for the mess on the 8 - 10th of this month. It was a simple mistake, one that I would be happy to display for any of you. In fact I was on the phone just last night with a member and temporarily deleted the May Prize History for him to see what happens. He refreshed the Winners List and saw the exact stats that were displayed on the 8th - 10th. I then re-populated the May prize history and the Winners List showed the correct data as it is displaying now. If any of you would like to have this demonstration performed for you, I will be happy to accommodate you this evening after 5pm EST. 717-653-9916 is my number. Please be online with TPL when you call me, and I can do the demo for you in a matter of 3 minutes or less. There is no smoke and mirrors here folks, it was just an honest mistake. My only saving grace was the fact that No Prizes were displayed during these 2 days. Had prizes displayed, I would have stood by them and awarded those prizes along with the ones showing now. But all that the list showed those 2 days, was people's names listed along with their poem rankings. That list had no poem strength restrictions. No Prizes were listed and therefore no prizes will be awarded for that incorrect list. I hope that some of you out there at least took note of the missing prize information. If you did, please post a public comment so that others can know that I am speaking the truth. I will be adjusting the Winners List code to fix this problem for the future. It will not display any information even for the live month, when the historical data is not populated. This will cause a flurry of e-mails from you guys, asking me to populate the historical data, which I will do immediately upon receiving the mails. The point is... we will catch the problem at the beginning of the new months, rather than at the ending. :) There is one thing I can always promise each and every one of you. I can promise you that you have come to a place without corruption or slippery dealings. I can promise this because I am the sole person maintaining this place. If I were part of a company with several other people... I could never be sure that someone was not manipulating things. For that reason, I choose to do it alone, because I know that it is done honestly and with integrity. Hopefully the public comments later today will prove that fact to still ring true to all of you. Beyond that, there is nothing more that I can say or do other than to say I am sorry that this happened.
Click HERE to return to ThePoeticLink.com Database Page!News Entry Date: 6/17/2001 12:08pm
Hello everyone. Several days ago someone reported to me that the Winner's List had changed with regard to the Poet Standings. I received about 6 more reports of this over the next few days. With that many people reporting the incident, I knew that there must be something wrong. I started checking through the logs and finally discovered the problem. If you were one of the people who looked at the winners list from the 8th to the 10th of June, you would have noticed that the order was indeed different from what it shows now. The important part that no one mentioned or perhaps noticed... was that there were no PRIZES listed during those 2 days. This tidbit of extra information would have revealed the problem to me right away, but as it was I finally found it. The fact that no prizes were listed for those 2 days meant that the Historical Prize database had not been updated with May's information. You see, there is a live set of prize variables that can be changed any time during the month, if changes are required. Then, there is the historical prize database... this database holds all of the past prizes in it, going back to the inception of the database in March 1999. Every month at Midnight the 7th, the prizes roll over from the Live numbers to the historical numbers. The problem with May was that I failed to update the historical database. I have always remembered to do this during each and every month, but I suppose I was bound to forget it at some point. For this reason, the May Winners List, that moments before, had prizes in it and poem strength and critiquing requirements enforced... suddenly switched to having no prizes listed and no requirements enforced. So from 12am the 8th until sometime on the 10th, when I ran the historical update... the Winners List was messed up. OK... the point of all of this is to be perfectly sure that none of you misunderstand that there were no bugs or calculation errors in the system. In fact the winners list from 11:59pm on the 7th should match perfectly with the winners list now. It was only a small time for less than 48 hours, that the wrong information was displayed. Further, there were NO PRIZES displayed during this time. So at NO time was any of the incorrect information telling people that they won something that they did not win. It was merely reporting incorrect placement since no restrictions were being enforced for that short time. The bottom line is this. The Winners List is 100% correct right now and the prize notifications that went out on the 10th were all CORRECT! I have come up with a way to prevent this problem in the future so I will make an upgrade to the system ASAP. It will just revert to the LIVE numbers if no historical data is available. That will save me in the future, if I ever forget to run the update again. Lastly, I have also come up with a way that help to more evenly distribute the strong critics across the entire spectrum of poets. This will give everyone a much more even "Poem Strength" rating. This will fix the problem where sometimes a poem that you have with a higher rating, does not make the winners list. Poem strength is in place to prevent abuse, but the downside is, if you don't have enough on a particular poem... that poem can fail to list on the winners board. This update should help to even out the poem strength distribution by pulling the strong critics to the poems that require more poem strength. I am sorry for the long newsletter guys, but it is always important to me that you fully understand updates and upgrades that I will be performing. I don't ever claim to be perfect, but I can guarantee you that you will never find a webmaster more dedicated to achieving perfection than I am. I am constantly working to make your lives here better. I can guarantee you will not find that level of dedication, coupled with a site of this caliber anywhere else. Thank you all for taking the time to read this. Please e-mail me if you have any questions or call me 717-653-9916.
Click HERE to return to ThePoeticLink.com Database Page!Displaying News 41 to 50 out of 175 Total News.