Author Topic: Gagged Utopia  (Read 1085 times)

Offline willGP

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Gagged Utopia
« on: January 24, 2022, 01:52:35 AM »
Does anyone know what has happened to Gagged Utopia?  It has been over a month since I have been able to log on to its web site.

Offline icy

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Re: Gagged Utopia
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2022, 08:27:54 AM »
I asked the same question on boundforum. Gaggedutopia answered it there. Here is a link to the topic at boundforum.

https://www.boundforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&p=918141#p918141

I wanted to add a screenshot, but it doesn't work. So here's his answer copied from there:

Quote
I have not decided what I am going to do with the site. Due to the outdated code and database requirements, hosting is far more expensive than it should be. The amount of time needed to rebuild the site into a modern language and use a different database is too much of a commitment for me to make for the foreseeable future.

I have not made a final decision, but for the foreseeable future, the site will be down.

Offline T.H.

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Re: Gagged Utopia
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2022, 05:00:06 PM »
Thanks for sharing this info, icy.

Offline SHRIKEE

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Re: Gagged Utopia
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2022, 09:54:04 PM »
Every time I read posts like this - I'm thinking I could make and host a story website... Easy.
If people are willing to donate a $ or 2 for upkeep and perhaps someone (or a few) want to help moderating...

Maybe I should?

Kind of to keep the stories going, but also as a bit of a 'expand your horizons' kind of thing and learn something new with a different kind of of website.

Offline jakbird

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Re: Gagged Utopia
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2022, 10:10:54 PM »
Like most things in life it looks easy until you actually try to make it happen.  First off, all the other sites are free, so begging for donations isn't going to get you very far.  Then there's the amount of time needed to maintain a website.  How do you keep out spam and plagiarism?  Who sets the standards for content and editing?  Who spends hours and hours going through the slushpile searching for what's legible, much less interesting?  That's assuming you can attract quality stories in the first place.

Issues aside, what would you do differently than what's available now?  What would set apart your website, make it an attractive destination week after week?  Gromet has high standards, but not a huge readership.  Literotica has a large audience, but has annoying and often arbitrary rules on content, plus there are whole sections with, well, let's say "way out on the fringe of good taste" content that's banned at many other sites.
Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide

Offline SHRIKEE

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Re: Gagged Utopia
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2022, 10:31:11 PM »
Well with utopiastories on shaky ground and I saw some posts yesterday that this site is struggling a bit with upkeep and interest. (Can't find the link now).

As for the 'new' site and the easy aspect, I'm more considering the technical side of it. I've created and manage several websites.

The idea is to make a somewhat basic but functional website that hosts the stories. Figure out a bit of structure so people can find stuff and not get lost.
Categories, tags... It's not that hard if you reduce the idea to "just a bunch of pages" - as that's what they're essentially are.
This site, Gromets plaza, and Utopiastories are not highly complex either. Just article style websites with pages.
The only real gimmick they have that I have no solution for (right now) is the dynamic tag cloud filter thing and perhaps the 'stories a-e' and 'author' page grouping that most sub sites have.

Maintaining/moderating it I don't know about - as in, not for this kind of website. But I've managed websites, minecraft servers and such and know that that will cost a lot of time potentially. That said, moderation new content is probably more time consuming than I expect. But that's where a volunteer or two comes in, plus once you figure out the workflow and what's happening a lot can be automated (think of spam filters and such).

So yes I sort of know what I'd be getting into, and no, I'm not saying I'm doing it.
Just testing the waters for now.

Offline teanndaorsa

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Re: Gagged Utopia
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2022, 03:21:48 AM »
For sure the technical model that underpins the site is fairly simple, deliberately so. The story code handling and searching isn't all that complex once you see the meat of it. I also suspect its nuances might surprise you, particularly in respect to things like multi-part stories, story categorisation and other niggles that make it not quite so clean. And that's before you even get into the merits of static vs database-driven sites or the other core technical decisions. It's an interesting challenge, and if I retired from my day job tomorrow I'd almost certainly use the extra free time to build something I thought would be a really strong foundation, both for this site and others.

But as Jack points out, what matters is how you differentiate the site from every other site. Let's say I did find a pocket watch that could stop time and used it to do that rewrite, how would it change what the site offers? Slightly less friction in editing and publishing; the ability to easily share stories between multiple categories; more efficient serving that you'd hope would lead to a reduction in hosting costs. What wouldn't it change? Anything about dealing with the authors, or the affiliates. Anything about the site designs, layouts or non-story content. Anything about content moderation or shaping the content to the audience. Those are challenges that all the existing sites tackle, in different ways, and I would say their approaches to those challenges define their nature.

I'm pretty technical, so I'm always looking for automation that might help, but I can tell you that the remaining stuff which could be automated better, if I had time to invest, constitutes at most maybe 5% of the effort I put into the site. And while it's nice to think there would be volunteers out there that could take some of the rest of the work off my hands, that mostly just transforms it into volunteer-management work instead. And it is work, for sure, so if you're asking a volunteer to do it, there has to be something to motivate them; love for a good kinky story only goes so far. Because as Jack points out, if they don't volunteer, it's not like these stories just won't get out there. So I think a strategy based on hoping volunteers will appear is what you'd really need to test the waters on.

All that said, as I've said elsewhere, honestly I would be glad to see more story sites. I don't see that as competition. There are many under-served niches, and any site that attempts to serve all will likely end up serving none. All I ask for is that there be some sort of succession / failure planning in place, for what happens to the site, its authors & readers, if the investment of time and resources into keeping it running dries up.

I don't think the community needs a better Literotica, or Plaza. I think it needs a place for hosting the dark and gritty kink stories the Plaza won't take; a place for scripts for producers to make better porn movies; a place for that really extreme clown sex roleplay stuff. Places that the maintainers can get behind, that volunteers will flock to, because now their niche will be served. And if those niche sites die out due to lack of interest, because they can't find volunteers to take over the running of it when the original maker tires or disappears, then that should be from natural selection, rather than because they grew unsustainably big as a solo venture.

Offline teanndaorsa

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Re: Gagged Utopia
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2022, 03:24:59 AM »
It's also worth reiterating here for anyone that didn't go back to check, utopiastories.com was brought back, in read-only form, to preserve the content, but isn't taking any new submissions.

Offline jakbird

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Re: Gagged Utopia
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2022, 01:14:38 PM »
Okay, I'm as open-minded as the next reader, but clowns?  I'll say it if no one else will: That's just sick...
Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide

 

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