Jump to content

Short Story Vending Machines


Recommended Posts

Greetings, all. 

I joined Waymarking last year. Now that I have the hang of posting waymarks etc - I wanted to now expand into the realm of creating a new category. There's a lot of good ideas out there. And one thing that has caught my attention of late are the short story vending machines put out by Short Edition, and soon perhaps other companies as well. It's a wonderful concept for both writers and readers alike. They're great for public squares and libraries. 

I have created a group for the endeavor, but I figured I'd come here for your advice before putting it live. I've never made a category before. I have, however, seen a few get declined. Since the feedback is not public - are there any pitfalls that might get one declined? Any particular things that make a category great? I'd appreciate any help you guys could provide. 

Read more about the machines here: https://short-edition.com/en/p/short-story-dispenser

The group link: https://www.Waymarking.com/groups/details.aspx?f=1&guid=01bcb751-596a-4cc4-9a7e-eeb36ed1d699

 

Update: Added description, instruction, and parameters. 

Description:

Our aim is to find and waymark the various "Short Story Vending Machines" where short stories and flash fiction are printed for easy consumption.
Expanded Description:
Stories are meant to be shared. And with the short story vending machine - this becomes a little bit easier. Pioneered by "Short Edition," these machines have begun popping up worldwide. Initially a French phenomenon, they have now sprouted up in most major cities. Their native habitat is typically bookshops, libraries, and universities. Though, their novelty has seen them spread to more and more diverse locations. Readers can choose one of three options, based on length. They can choose between 1 minute, 3 minute, and 5 minute reads. Short story vending machines will accept any such device which prints a physical piece of literature for someone to read. They do not have to specifically be Short Edition machines. Kiosks and electronic readers will not be accepted. The concept with these is a printed story that readers can enjoy on the go.

short_edition

Interested in posting one? Chances are you might live close to one if you're in one of the counties the trend has expanded to. These include France, the UK, the US - and more!

Here is a handy map!

Instructions for Posting a Short Story Vending Machines Waymark:
Short Story Vending Machines will accept any physical device in a public location which provides short literature on a printed sheet, often like a receipt.

These can be by Short Edition, or independent. Take a picture of the device in its posted location. Give people a sense of where to find it. The primary image must be of the machine. Extra images are appreciated including things such as the backlit display. A minimum of two images is required - but extra won't hurt!

Waymarks must be submitted in English or with an English translation. Long descriptions are required and should have at least three sentences about the location and machine.

Name format should follow "Location - Town, State/Province/Country"

Example: Hodgepodge Books - Pageville, VT
Instructions for Visiting a Waymark in this Category:
Take a picture of the machine. If possible, describe your experience at the location. (Optional) If you received a story - the genre, author, summary. Anything you find interesting! Like the authors, feel free to tell us a story with your words. If not, as always - pictures are worth a thousand words.

 

Edited by Wolfen32
added category description
Link to post

. 😁

On 2/15/2021 at 5:35 PM, Wolfen32 said:

Since the feedback is not public

To feedback is public while voting is still going on. Once voting closes you can no longer view comments. 

Edited by Max and 99
Link to post
21 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

Yah! There are two near me!

Sweet! Maybe you can help us log some. Is there anything specific about the way a category is written that will get it accepted or rejected?

  • Surprised 1
Link to post

From the little I know, and what is on the web site, it looks like a good candidate. Available in international locations, but not overly represented. Hopefully, it will catch on and become a bit more prevalent. The idea is interesting, and would be a good find.

I've never made a new category, nor am I an officer in any, so I can't help on the write-up. I would suggest checking out the newest categories to see how they are written, see if you can "borrow" any phrases, etc.

Link to post
14 hours ago, Wolfen32 said:

are there any pitfalls that might get one declined?

 

Yes, but you already avoided one of them. It is to NOT discuss it in the forums. :) 

 

Some hints:

  • It's good to have officers of different continents.
  • The officers should be experienced waymarkers with a good reputation. 
  • Photos in the description are nice (especially if the topic isn't crystal clear)
  • I recommend to write down the description and post it in the forums. This way you have a lot of proof-readers and the others can recommend to add/delete this or that, before sending it to peer review.

As far as the idea: Some will not like it, because it is "commercial". Some will not like it, because it is not interesting enough, but then again this is very subjective. For example: At first I was not fascinated by "Advertising Columns", but if the posters just post interesting waymarks, even Advertising Columns of various shapes in different countries or with a special feature can make an interesting category.

 

Here in Austria, we don't have any "Short Edition" vending machines, but we used to have "Märchen-Automaten" (fairy tale vending machines). The history behind it: Ferry Ebert was a famous person in the vending machines business in Austria. He was the first person who sold condoms in vending machines, then it was PEZ and other candy and at the end of his carreer he sold fairy tales that he had written himself. I don't think that they are still around, but if your category will allow other text selling machines, I think that this will be an interesting category.

Edited by PISA-caching
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
2 minutes ago, PISA-caching said:

Here in Austria, we don't have any "Short Edition" vending machines, but we used to have "Märchen-Automaten" (fairy tale vending machines).

I would think those are similar enough to be included in the category. What an interesting story. 

Link to post

As PISA-caching suggests

 

Quote

I recommend to write down the description and post it in the forums. This way you have a lot of proof-readers and the others can recommend to add/delete this or that, before sending it to peer review.

 

It can help to iron out any misconceptions with language, as what is English to some, can mean something different to someone translating it to their own language!

 

Link to post

Well, Wolfen32, you appear to be experiencing a pretty nice reception so far, definitely a plus with regard to the potential success of your proposal.

PISA-caching, above, has covered much of what you need to know to get you started.

However, I'll add that it will be necessary to specify in your category description precisely what is demanded of submissions to your category in terms of number of photos, amount of textual information provided by the submitter, etc.

In order to learn methods of layout for your category description, I suggest that you peruse this category description, as well as this one. They'll give you a starting point in terms of how to put together a description, what to include in terms of requirements, etc.

 

I notice that you've not availed yourself of HTML and CSS in your Waymarks to date. Should you not be at least somewhat conversant in those, I suggest that you contact myself or PISA-caching for assistance. The use of HTML and/or CSS has become essentially obligatory in the creation of respectable category descriptions, allowing the inclusion of images, links, highlighting, emphasis, typeface choice, lists, tables, etc.

 

Good luck with this proposal. I do hope it is successful.

 

BTW, I've never seen a "Short Edition" vending machine - didn't even know such things existed until reading your proposal. That doesn't mean, though, that I consider it any less a worthwhile addition to the game.

 

Keith

 

Edited by ScroogieII
  • Funny 1
Link to post
23 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

And get good officers to help you. Get rid of the ones whose profile specifically states that they're here to stank up Waymarking. Sooner rather than later. 

 

Further to my note to you, Wolfen32, I add 99's comment.

Link to post
23 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

And get good officers to help you. Get rid of the ones whose profile specifically states that they're here to stank up Waymarking. Sooner rather than later. 

I can't for the life of me figure out who you might be referring to

 

  • Funny 1
Link to post
3 hours ago, vulture1957 said:

I can't for the life of me figure out who you might be referring to

 

 

Just wish I could help you out here, Lee.

Do you suppose she may be referring to a vegetarian? Naw - that seems a bit far-fetched.

Possibly she refers to an individual deeply ensconced within the bowels of a huge metropolitan complex. Statistically likely, yet it doesn't ring true.

Any chance she's thinking of a person with no political convictions whatever? Of late these have become few and far between, so we'll cast that one off, as well.

 

Sorry I couldn't be of more help, Lee. I'll ponder more on the issue.

 

Keith

Edited by ScroogieII
Link to post

Evening - so let's get this thread back on track a moment. Thanks for the tips so far. I'll give them thought as I move forward and reach out again if I have more questions. Sorry if it's a bit slow at times. Thanks again.

Link to post

Two more things you will probably need: Patience and flexibility. Sometimes the discussions in the forums can be quite long (patience) and with every necessary change of the description it might become something different to what you initiately wanted to do (flexibility). When I created the Chronograms category, the discussion was pretty short, but with Feeding the Animals there was a bit more discussion and I dropped one of my other ideas, because the discussion was getting too long and driving my idea in a different direction to what I was thinking of.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
On 2/16/2021 at 2:52 PM, Max and 99 said:

I would think those are similar enough to be included in the category. What an interesting story. 

 

After some research I learned that the initial "vending" machines offers the stories for free, while the fairy tales I mentioned did cost (if I remember correctly) 10 Schillings (today around 1 Euro). So, it will be a key issue, whether you do or don't allow machines that sell literature, which will also exclude vending machines that sell books. On the other hand there are book vending machines, that offer books pratically for free, f.e. https://www.boredpanda.com/school-installs-free-books-vending-machine/

Link to post

I have added a description and other things like instructions for new waymarks, logging, and parameters. 

I would very much appreciate feedback on this before it goes to peer review. 

 

On 2/16/2021 at 5:09 PM, ScroogieII said:

I notice that you've not availed yourself of HTML and CSS in your Waymarks to date. Should you not be at least somewhat conversant in those, I suggest that you contact myself or PISA-caching for assistance. The use of HTML and/or CSS has become essentially obligatory in the creation of respectable category descriptions, allowing the inclusion of images, links, highlighting, emphasis, typeface choice, lists, tables, etc.

 

I do not have much experience there. If you want to peruse my current draft - I would appreciate any tweaks you have for CSS/HTML integration. I do very much like the look of those example categories - but it's a touch out of my experience. I would love your help! Thank you so much.

Link to post

A few comments...

1. Kiosks are not accepted. I need a little help understanding how this relates to the category.

2. I think the photograph requirements should be explained a little bit better. two photos are required: one of the machine and of the machine and it's surrounding area. 

3. I think the minimum sentences should be in the waymarker's own words. Any quoted material from another source or from text on the machine is extra. 

Just some thoughts.

Link to post
3 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

A few comments...

1. Kiosks are not accepted. I need a little help understanding how this relates to the category.

2. I think the photograph requirements should be explained a little bit better. two photos are required: one of the machine and of the machine and it's surrounding area. 

3. I think the minimum sentences should be in the waymarker's own words. Any quoted material from another source or from text on the machine is extra. 

Just some thoughts.


1) To differentiate from services like e-book kiosks where you purchase books through online retailers. ones you might see at bookstores etc to buy Amazon books. 
2)  I've added this, please let me know if that helps: "One of the machine itself, and one with a broader view, including a portion of its location."
3) Thanks! I'll fix that now. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to post

Written as is, there is absolutely no visit requirement that will add to the waymark. 

"Take a photo" isn't enough. The photo needs to be uploaded with the visit log. 

"If possible, describe your experience". This sentence just screams "ignore me".

 

 

  • Funny 1
Link to post
16 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

Written as is, there is absolutely no visit requirement that will add to the waymark. 

"Take a photo" isn't enough. The photo needs to be uploaded with the visit log. 

"If possible, describe your experience". This sentence just screams "ignore me".

 

 

Okay. So - other than adding that the picture be included with the visit log, what wording would you feel it needs? 
The experience should be optional I feel. As in essence the photo is the "log" and other details are appreciated, but not mandatory. Hence, "if possible". 

But I'm open to improvements. Just not super clear on what your solution might be. If you could expound on that it would be superlative. 

Link to post
2 hours ago, Wolfen32 said:

Okay. So - other than adding that the picture be included with the visit log, what wording would you feel it needs? 

None.

If you want the experience to be optional, then I don't think any other wording change is necessary.

Link to post
1 hour ago, Max and 99 said:

None.

If you want the experience to be optional, then I don't think any other wording change is necessary.

Sweet - so overall how do you feel about it as written? 

Are there any improvements before this goes to peer review?

Link to post
13 minutes ago, Wolfen32 said:

Sweet - so overall how do you feel about it as written? 

Are there any improvements before this goes to peer review?

Since I've never seen one of these machines, it's hard to know what I would add to the description, if anything.

I think the description looks good.

 

Note: I just read that the ones near me were on a rotating basis to different locations. I hope that one day I can still locate one.

Link to post
2 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

Note: I just read that the ones near me were on a rotating basis to different locations. I hope that one day I can still locate one.


They are? That's interesting. Never heard of that. Is there a Moving Targets category? XD

Link to post

The description doesn't say whether vending machines that sell stories (for money - like the machines I mentioned above) will be accepted or not.

 

I'm not a native English speaking person, and therefore this (maybe theoretical) question: If the category would not allow machines, that sell stories for money, should it then be called "Short Story Dispensing Machines" or is it a vending machine even if the stories are for free?

Edited by PISA-caching
Link to post
On 2/21/2021 at 10:28 PM, Max and 99 said:

What steps are you taking to find that?  Thanks.

 

My way is to click on "Newest Groups" on the right side. There you will find a link to the Group "Short Storytellers" and also the category "Short Story Vending Machines".

Link to post
On 2/23/2021 at 6:52 PM, PISA-caching said:

The description doesn't say whether vending machines that sell stories (for money - like the machines I mentioned above) will be accepted or not.

 

I'm not a native English speaking person, and therefore this (maybe theoretical) question: If the category would not allow machines, that sell stories for money, should it then be called "Short Story Dispensing Machines" or is it a vending machine even if the stories are for free?

My intent is to allow them regardless of whether they are free or not. The main distinctions are 
It's a physical machine
It vends short stories (fiction, poetry, flash)

The reason the price part is flexible is because them being free is unique to the short edition machines. Limiting it to only free may unnecessarily exclude potential waymarks that do charge a small fee. That would be a shame. As long as it's in the same spirit, the category is specific enough that there ought not to be much confusion. Where any grey areas arise, that determination would be easy to make on a case by case basis. 

I can rewrite it so that the pricing question is made clear. Thanks. In regards to the name - I would say Vending still works. specifically to be inclusive to the above question. when you say vending machine - one typically imagines an item for a price. but not necessarily. dispensing would work if we were ONLY going to accept the free ones. this is a rather niche but interesting concept, so there's little need to arbitrarily exclude something if it meets the criteria of the category. 

I see these in a similar vein to the art-o-mats. Fee, or not - it's vending/dispensing media. Rather than visual art, this come sin the form of literature. Price or no price - the spirit is the same. I hope that clarifies things. If not, I'm always a post or email away. 

Link to post

This all look not bad to me. A niche category, hard to find in some areas, but still global. This makes icon hunting more fun.

 

I am just a bit concerned about permanence. Is this maybe just a short living hype? What can we do to prevent another Yellow Arrow Lookup zombie?

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
3 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

I did my part to help expand the category. 

I wrote to our local library system and told them this would be such a fun thing to have. 

Thank you. So with that fixed, I've added the price as a required variable. And I appreciate you spreading the word. They are very great devices. 

Is there anything else that could be tweaked, or is the general consensus that this is ready for peer review?

Link to post
9 hours ago, pmaupin said:

It's gonna be hard to go through. The pity is that most of the negative votes are cast by waymarkers who have not expressed themselves on the forum. I know I'm going to alienate a lot of people. It's like that.

hence my bewilderment. some either seem off the mark or come without such input here. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
12 hours ago, Wolfen32 said:

some either seem off the mark or come without such input here. 

 

Rather than trying to point out "some either seem off the mark"  as a rationalization for the "Deny" votes, you should be wondering why the obvious was not addressed here. I read the entire thread and not once was the issues of, Not permanent, not global in sufficient numbers so there is a  prevalence issue. 

 

The obvious question is "Why didn't I post?" 

You will soon figure it out for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by T0SHEA
Wrong word - Corrected
  • Upvote 1
  • Surprised 1
  • Love 1
Link to post
6 minutes ago, T0SHEA said:

 

Rather than trying to point out "some either seem off the mark"  as a rationalization for the "Deny" votes, you should be wondering why the oblivious was not addressed here. I read the entire thread and not once was the issues of, Not permanent, not global in sufficient numbers so there is a  prevalence issue. 

 

The oblivious question is "Why didn't I post?" 

You will soon figure it out for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

Listen. You're not going to come into my thread and call me oblivious. That's uncalled for. Let's keep this constructive and not personal. 
Saying "you will find out soon enough" instead of actually being helpful is not kosher. Sorry. I don't have to take that. Your justifications for not voicing your feelings on the forum are your own - but it's fair to make an observation that some of these could have been brought to the forum thread. Sorry - not trying to be rude. Your post just came off as a bit snarky and unnecessary. We are all here to help each other, and the game of Waymarking. 

To the best of my understanding though, the majority do seem permanent. And more prevalent than other categories. So may be a bit subjective there. The cases of some moving I'm not aware of so would need in the field help with that to determine, like any waymark submission, if it meets the guidelines. But as a whole this doesn't seem to be the majority? The ones I've seen are permanent installations. I'd say they're global, but I started last year so the cut off for what is considered global may be a line I'm not familiar with yet. I'm always open to learning, since again it seems one of those subjective things. 

If you have feedback such as that, I welcome you to join us here the next time. We'll hear it out. Even if it's to disagree. It's all for the betterment of the game. I hope you can agree. 

  • Upvote 5
  • Surprised 1
Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...