On Our Minds
Update on the Open Doors option.
I have heard back from two very helpful moderators of that system. It's a bit of a mixed bag.
On the one hand, they can give HASA as a community a collection where all of the stories can be gathered in one location. This would keep HASA as an archive together. The downside, and it's a big one, is that they do not have any way to programmatically import HASA into their system. Each story here would have to be copied manually. They did acknowledge that HASA is a significantly larger archive than had imported before.
The admins at HASA, well, we're about five people now, and that is simply beyond our reach to do it ourselves. I know that there are a lot of people who would be happy to move their own stuff and help with moving others' stories.
The big question is this - Should it even be attempted? Should members try to move HASA as a collection to another location (which will not function the way the site presently does) to keep stories together? If there was an automated way to do this, I'd say yes, it should be tried. Relying on manual copies of @ 6,500 stories and over 30,000 individual chapters might be too much. That would take a rate of @ 75 stories per day, every day, through the end of the year if it began the first full week of October.
I know people have been copying works already to other archives (Which is great - keep it up!) and I've had inquiries about adding some admins to salvage old stories whose authors are no longer engaged in the fandom.
My own opinion is that stories should be in as many archives as the author has the time and the energy to post to. More exposure is better to gain readers, and more locations is better to reduce hosting risk.
Birthday folks: Is your birthday in October and you would be delighted by a little story gift from your fellow HASA members? Then state your request here in this thread. To collect your birthday cards in one place, you can create a birthday workshop story.
Authors: Let yourselves get inspired by the suggestions - a chance to be creative and to make a fellow HASA member happy at the same time! Just like the recipients, you can collect the stories you've written in a birthday workshop story.
And don't forget to add your birthday cards to the 2014 Birthday Cards Challenge.
Here's a short recap on how to do that:
- Add each birthday present as a chapter in your story, using the story name (and the birthday recipient if there is room) as the story chapter. If you can't fit the person's name into the chapter title, just include it as the first opening line in the chapter.
- Be sure you give each chapter a number and set the status to public so everyone can read it!
- Since most birthday card stories are pretty short, you might include the birthday recipient's wish for what kind of story she wanted. Paste it from the forum.
- In your story summary, you can list out who you've written stories for if you like.
- It's up to you on the order you want to give your chapters - Alphabetical by recipient, order by month chronologically, newest first, etc.
In case you need help or have a comment, question or suggestion, please post it here or send me an e-mail - I'll do my best to help.
The response to the news of HASA's retirement has been amazing and humbling. A few of you have reduced me to tears with your touching stories about the site and what it means to you.
One message has been clear - save the Research Library. I hear you, so do the rest of the admins, and we're moving forward. Keep an eye out for requests for data entry and quality checking, hopefully by some time in October.
Sadly, I have heard nothing back, not even a automated message, from Open Doors. That may not be an option for saving the entire archive, though it does seem to be a nice place for individual authors to post their stuff.
Finally, if you are interested in helping track down authors and get permission to copy stories to other archives, please pipe up. We have ways to allow non-authors to act as administrators and save stories out as long as the authors agree for their work to be transferred.
Please do reach out to authors you know who may not be active in the fandom anymore and let them know what's up. I'm glad you like the visuals on the site, though I have to thank/blame Nath for much of the aesthetic qualities. She has done much of the imagery and helped define the color scheme.
You've seen some of the behind the scenes adventures with Orchard, so you we're working hard on getting things running. I'm almost ready to try publishing a test of the site just to see what's involved.
Thanks for all you're doing to save the Research Library -- not to mention all you've done these past years to keep HASA going in spite of all the difficulties! I'm trying to contact some people I know who have been active at HASA in the past as writers and readers but have dropped off the radar of late, so that they will know of this impending change. A lot of my own stories are archived elsewhere, so I have less to do for saving my own works, though I think HASA has the most up to date versions.
One of the things I will miss most about HASA is the pleasant layout. I have loved the color scheme and the layout and the ease of use of the archive the most of all the places I post my stories. Thanks again for that consistency over the years!
This thread (and more if needed) is for comment on shutting down HASA.
To reiterate, the driving force behind this decision is server security. I can't go into detail about our security issues in an open venue, so here's what I can say. We've been hacked in the recent past, the services on the server have been used for nefarious purposes, there are ISPs out there who have blacklisted our site and IP due to the problems that have happened. I get email bounce-backs every week due to the blacklisting. The database is (for now) secure, which means your personal information is secure.
This is not a money issue, though funding does enter into it. I'm currently paying most hosting costs out of my own pocket, which I can carry. If all that was needed was hosting fees, there are donors who would help foot the bill. The problem is technical and security retrofitting, which would involve new hardware, new server software and then a total overhaul of the application code for HASA itself. This is several hundred hours of work. I don't have that time and the cost to hire someone to do it at current rates is six figures.
At the suggestion of several people, I have sent an email to the Open Doors project to see what possible archive move options might be. I will report back what I find out.
I'm working with an open source product called Orchard CMS to see if it will support the Research Library portion of HASA. It's a little iffy, but it looks like the basic data can be supported, and then better presentations can be developed. In many ways, it's a much better technical platform than what I was able to build for HASA. It's not a good one for a major story archive, though it would probably be pretty good for an individual author's stories.