Connecting with the Wizzley Community

by JoHarrington

Wizzley writers are not little islands entire of themselves, we're part of a wider community of authors. Learn how you can help create a buzz around our website.

When I first joined Wizzley, there were hardly any articles. All of the authors knew each other by name, because there weren't that many of us.

Yet it was also a great time to write here. Enthusiasm was all. Veteran writers would lead us in mini-competitions to get this place moving. Official competitions were plentiful and everyone joined in. Editor's Choices rained like confetti, and the forum was filled with chatter.

Over the next couple of years, I've watched the website grow much bigger, but the buzz appears to have become more muted. Let's make some noise.

Why Wizzley Authors Want to Work Together

You can have the best profile known to humanity, but it can be even better if you're not writing in a waste-ground!

A large website like Wizzley relies on people working together to fill its categories and sub-categories. Over time, these articles build up to create a massive resource for our readers, plus an income for the authors.

But first we have to get there.

Even the most cursory look at the new pages will tell us that articles are coming thick and fast here. They cover loads of different topics too. The mix makes me smile every time I glance at it.

Each and every Wizzley page represents another opportunity for a reader to find our website. They may come to read one article, but veer off into another, and another.

In that regard, our fellow authors became one powerful marketing stream for our own work.

Back when I first began writing here, this was very clearly understood. There were whole forum threads about whether it was better to write where everyone else was writing, or to trample free through the fresh virgin snow of new categories.

The conversations were inconclusive, but they made for a great buzz, especially since we were all experimenting like mad to prove our points.

Articles are always key, for ourselves and for Wizzley. Encouraging others to write more is as important now, as it was at the beginning. I recall very well the moment when I went from 'Wizzley is a nice site' to 'Wow! I'm enthusiastic about being here!'  It was Humagaia in the forum urging us all to get to 100 posts.

I felt like I was part of something bigger. I would read the forum, get all excited, knock out an article or three, then report back on my progress.

Those are the articles which I'm now earning income on.  It all most definitely paid off.

The Latest Articles on Wizzley

These are hot off the press, unmoderated and brand new. Anything catching your interest here?
A poem about the challenges that come with being a parent today. (by StevenHelmer)
I purchased a box of this mix at one of our local grocery stores. Read to find out what I thought of it. (by StevenHelmer)
A poem about keeping your faith even when everything seems to be going wrong. (by StevenHelmer)

Writing Complementary Wizzley Articles

One of the places most buzzing on Wizzley right now is the history section. Especially in the vicinity of the 15th and 16th centuries.

Image: King Henry VIIIAingham69 is producing some brilliantly in-depth articles on the Tudor Period.  Her histories weave around each other, a story here tying in with another there. They are fascinating to read and a true boon for Wizzley.

They also complement the articles that Kathleen Duffy, Wisefool, Frank Beswick and I are writing in the Middle Ages. After all, a single day in Leicestershire was enough to flip that era into the Tudor Period. It's entirely possible that I may tell the beginning of one person's story, which Aingham69 picks up later in their lives.

While each one of us may be working for our own livelihoods, we're also working together. Our mutual interest in the period naturally leads to comments. Our key-words crop up in each other's article search words.

Readers coming to learn about Mary Boleyn from Aingham will find my discussion of the Battle of Flodden. And vice versa. While I'm reading one of her articles, I may be inspired to write about something related too.

It works so beautifully, but it can't be the only place in Wizzley where this is happening.  It's merely the one I know about.

Where On Wizzley is Buzzing Right Now?

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Check out these categories, there's lots going on:
RubyHelenRose on 09/05/2013

I am so excited about the growth, yet haven't quite lighted the fire to keep me going here, thanks for this article doing that.

Commenting on Other Authors' Work

Page rank depends upon likes, comments and other interaction. If you never interact than you're not part of the community.

Image: Wizzley Front PageWho's sick to death of the Wizzley home page looking like a mirror of my profile?  *raises hand* 

At the time of writing, 12 of the 18 articles on the front page were written by me. That's not right by anyone's reckoning.

There's only one way to boost the work of other people. That's to interact with their articles. While you're on there commenting and getting involved, their page rank is rising.

Suddenly the 'popular' page looks more representative of the whole of Wizzley. More of those wonderful articles listed in the 'new' pages make it all of the way.

This really is where the Wizzley community needs to kick in. We tend to see those articles first, when the big push to the front page is actually going on.

If each of us make an effort to comment on at least one other author's work per day, then the connections will grow.  It's easy to see where conversations are already taking place.  Either check out the 'latest comments' or the 'buzzing pages' lists.

Better still, haunt the 'new pages' list and see what brand new conversations you can spark.

The prize is getting a Wizzley home page which acts as our shop window. Which displays for our readers the full breadth of articles and topics on offer here. Which encourages those readers to keep coming back for more.

My challenge to you is to keep me from dominating that page. Reckon that, by working together, it can be accomplished?

Wizzley Articles Worth an Editor's Choice Award

There's an argument to say that the more important Wizzley shop window display is the Editor's Choice page. This is the one most likely to be shown to readers alighting on our front page for the first time.

While checking through the new articles, there will occasionally be one which really impresses you.

It's definitely worth telling the Wizzley team about it. While not guaranteed, there's undoubtedly a large percentage of articles on the Knock Your Socks Off forum, which end up with Editor's Choice Awards.

Where Would You Most Like to See a Buzz on Wizzley?

Latest Topics in the Knock Your Socks Off Forum

It is rare that I run across articles regarding Google that teach me something useful, just because I have read them all or so I thought. TilenHrovatic has written som...
Candy Dorsey (candy47) commented recently on Angela Johnson's article on Flowering Weeds, and I got to take a lot at it as well. It's a very useful resource, with grea...
Frank Beswick wrote a beautiful article on the Naledi hominids: https://wizzley.com/thinking-about-naledi/

Participate in the Wizzley Forum

This is where we really come together as a community to chat about life, the universe and Wizzley.

Image: ConversationI love the Wizzley forum. It was my classroom, when I first began writing on line.

It was the place where veteran writers encouraged us newbies into persevering.

It was the place where inspiration could be found in the way of suggestions, competitions and highlighting certain categories.

It was the place where we could be silly, devising daft games like Wizzley battleships.

It was the place where new Wizzley authors came to say hello, and we'd all shuffle along the cyber table to let them in.

It was the place where new opportunities could be aired, picked over and discussed. Or tools of the trade were displayed for us to examine.

It was the place where writers asked questions, and gained answers, from the team behind Wizzley (very important for those of us from a certain writing platform, where the silence destroyed the site).

But sometimes, these days, I can practically see the tumbleweed rolling through. Where did all the chatter go?  Or am I being too harsh?  This is the area which I would personally love to see buzzing again. I intend to do my bit there.  Anyone ready to join me?

Join in the Competitions and Other Initiatives

There used to be loads of these. They dropped off through lack of interest and the onset of apathy.

Image: CompetitionWhen I joined Wizzley in 2011, one competition led to another. People rushed to write articles about Christmas or Valentine's Day, or whatever else was the theme.

I remember stepping well out of my comfort zone in topics, desperately looking for something to write, which hadn't already been covered by somebody else.

Again, those were articles which are still paying their way now. It was worth the push to write them. Even more so as they inspired other articles, until I had quite a collection.  (One of my perennially highest earning articles was originally submitted as part of a Wizzley competition.)

But as the months went on, fewer people joined in the competitions, until they simply stopped. Apathy most definitely set in.

Do we want such things back again?  They certainly motivated writers and earned us decent money.  If so, then we'll have to not only let the Wizzley team know that, but participate when the competitions come.

In truth, I thought they'd given up on such things entirely, until I happened to notice that the on-going Wizzley Weddings push is still being updated. An article which I wrote last week is listed there.

Wizzley Competitions or Not?

We have to establish interest before we could begin to grin meaningfully at the Wizzley team. It's them with egg on their faces, if they launch something which flops.

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Yes! I want Wizzley competitions!
MBC on 09/03/2014

These help stimulate writing for me. But sometimes I wonder if they create too much in one niche or topic.

Holistic_Health on 09/12/2013

I need motivation, but it has to be something attainable. Competitions that I could reasonably see myself winning at are good.

AlexandriaIngham on 09/06/2013

Having competitions would really help to push me to write more. Although it doesn't need to be a competition as such; just some type of challenge.

RubyHelenRose on 09/05/2013

Or some kind of challenging prompt...This is a great challenge anyway.

How to Connect with the Wizzley Community

I've covered a lot of ground, so here is a simple check list of things to do, in order to create a buzz within Wizzley.
  • Write more articles and encourage others to write articles
  • Write articles for categories which are already buzzing; or create your own buzz in brand new categories
  • Interact with said articles - commenting, liking, promoting them via social networking
  • Introduce yourself on the forum, then stay to chat with us all
  • Recommend articles in Knock Your Socks Off
  • Write an article for Wizzley Weddings

 

Updated: 04/11/2014, JoHarrington
 
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How Do You Participate in the Wizzley Community?


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JoHarrington on 09/05/2014

Never, ever enough hours in the day!

WordChazer on 09/04/2014

And I still haven't written that article...! I need a superpower of not sleeping, next time anyone is doling out powers to the deserving. Thanks for the reminder, MBC and Jo.

JoHarrington on 09/04/2014

They're an easy lot to connect with. By which I mean 'we'! Welcome to Wizzley. <3

MBC on 09/03/2014

Today's my first day, came from the now defunct Squidoo. Looking forward to connecting with the community here.

JoHarrington on 02/05/2014

Instead of explaining it to me alone, why not write a Wizzley article about it? It could run alongside this one: http://wizzley.com/twitterfeed/ And I'll link to it too. It would help people decide which is the best for them. :D

But yes, tomorrow - or any day that you're not frazzled - is fine!

WordChazer on 02/05/2014

Jo, can I come back to you tomorrow with comments and further links here and by im or email? Gremln works quite well with Twitter and bit.ly links to my mind, and I'd love to explain it to you in detail because my clients seem to like the detail too. But right now my laptop is busting to update itself and will log me out soon if I don't let it Do Its Stuff. Better take my befrazzled brain to bed and let the techy be tech, I think.

JoHarrington on 02/05/2014

I added some more, so make my Twitterfeed 57 individual streams, all live. :D

{{{{hugs}}}} Re your bad day. Though I hope you haven't copyrighted OMGhasslecrap. That is a great word, which deserves to be in the OED!

Ah! Thanks for the tip regarding Gremlin. It sounds like it works in much the same way as Twitterfeed, but I like the notion of setting the time. I'll have to check it out.

WordChazer on 02/05/2014

Not capable of doing anything much more numerically, literally or anything else tonight. What started out a good day has led to altogether too much expense and OMGhasslecrap for my poor brain's liking. I'd better get writing as soon as I can tomorrow morning... is all I'll say :-/ Thank God for Wizzley!). By the way for Twitter, if you sign up to Gremln you can assign your wizzles bitl.ly links, schedule them and count the clicks. I use that option for several feeds for both my clients and privately so that I can work out which time of day and title/subject pulls the most readers.

JoHarrington on 02/05/2014

I've just counted - literally (or should that be numerically...?), I have the calculator open. I've got 54 Twitterfeeds going, all with #Wizzley, and the majority pointing to whole categories, not just my own stuff.

Accomplished. Yes, I am. :D Thank you for your Tweeting too. We're getting the word out!

WordChazer on 02/05/2014

I already use a #wizzley hashtag on my Twitter posts (yes, I know, not written in a while, patience, I'm working on it...). I'm no use on Fartblot but very happy to tweet incessantly.


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