Author Asks

Since I heard that Martin was planning on setting up author profile pages in a future update, I’d like to express my interest in including an “ask” feature in it like tumblr (used to?) have. It could be a good way for readers to get directly in touch with an author, and for an author to share info about setting characters, or details of their work.
Hopefully it wouldn’t be entirely RP requests. I hope authors could specify on their page what questions they are comfortable responding to.

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I think adding that sort of thing to the stories part of the site would just duplicate the existing functionality of these forums and our Discord server. From what Martin’s said, I think it’s more likely that the author profile will simply include methods of how to reach them. Or is there something special about Asks that I’m unaware of? TBH, I’d never even heard of them until now, as I didn’t use Tumblr much.

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I’m with @RobinHood70 on this one, I’m not sure what it would add. How do you picture it working?

The drawback of using these forums to reach out to authors is that the DM feature appears a bit rudimentary (I don’t know if anyone widely uses it here, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong).
Say you wanted to get in touch with a specific author. You need to access the forums and attempt to find them in the long list of registered users (something that might be difficult for authors like me with spaces in their GSS name who have to use underscores here).
Conversely, on discord most DMs I receive are unsolicited RP requests that I tend to ignore as a matter of course, but find annoying. I would appreciate being able to specify what questions I’d like to receive (queries about story, character, and setting) and which I would not like to receive (RP requests) in an author bio. One thing that I like about the tumblr feature is that asks can either be private or public (the latter can serve as a response to FAQs).
Overall, I think it would be nice if the author bio update could include a private/anonymous way of getting in touch with authors that didn’t involve a third party client or anything like that, like a question submission box. Of course, it’s all up to Martin and I appreciate the time and effort he puts in to make this site great either way.


Most of the problems can be resolved by putting a direct link into the author’s or user’s profile on the main site to that user’s mail function in the forum. I just have to integrate the systems tighter.

To implement a fully functional private messaging system is a crazy amount of work and considering the fact that about 1 million people have implemented the same thing before me, I think it would really be a waste of time. So I’d rather spend the time and energy to improve the integration of the forum into main site.

What about a comment section at the bottom of the author profile page, same as at the bottom of a story? That would allow others to see the asks and the author to respond to them if they want to? I find the interaction on the site itself with comments to be the most direct and to trigger the most conversation with the most people.

That’s another possible idea. Not sure if it would get used or not. It might! Or might not lol

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FetLife has a similar facility on people’s profiles, if you’re looking to compare it with something already in existence. It doesn’t get used much, but sometimes. For better or worse, it does tend to get the “first” mentality of people being proud to be the first to “pop your wall cherry”, to use the popular phrase there.

A public pinboard, like @MonsterMash62 is suggesting, would be doable. But it would be open for everyone to read. So not really suitable to exchange email addresses or anything else private.

But yes, I’d add that.

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