For those who are unaware or have never counted them, Vocal has 48 communities available for writers to post their work in. The most popular of these by far are Poetry with 40,097 writers and Fiction with 31,637 writers. These numbers come from Vocal’s website and I’m sure they fluctuate from week to week, possibly day to day. These two groups generate most stories published on the site. What I found fascinating is how many Top Stories these two communities garner in a thirty-day period.
I wanted to be as accurate as possible using the information available to me. Pulling up the Top Story page of the website, I counted each story for the last thirty days, recording which community the story belonged to. It took a little time, but I feel my findings are worth sharing.
The Vocal Judges awarded three hundred-three Top Stories according to my count. Fiction and Poetry each received eighty-five awards totaling one hundred seventy. That leaves one hundred thirty-three awards to be divided among the remaining forty-six communities. Horror was the next productive, with twenty-two, followed by Writers with seventeen and Chapters with twelve. That leaves eighty- two awards to be shared among forty-three communities. Doing the math, it would be easy to assume that each remaining group received approximately two awards each over the last thirty days. This is not the case.
Let me start with Wheel. This was a community that I received one of my first Top Story awards in a little over two years ago. Over the last two years, the creators posting in Wheels have garnered a total of eight Top Stories. The last one was four months ago and the one before that was nine months. With stats like that, it would be easy to assume writers don’t post in this community very often, not the case. I looked at the posts and found a steady stream of stories, not like poets or fiction, but several per day. It’s obvious to me that if you want people to read your work, posting a story in a community that has only been awarded eight Top Stories in two years is not the place to be.
Wheel is not the only community that is suffering a Top Story drought. 01 has received no recognition in three months. This is another place I was fortunate to have won a Top Story two years ago. It has performed better than Wheel over the past two years, with twenty-eight authors receiving recognition. Nevertheless, it is far short of some others. By far, the worst- performing community is Blush. The last Top Story that the group received was nine months ago, and before that, it was eleven months. Writers are posting regularly; they’re just not being recognized. The rest of the low performers are Filthy, History, Interview, Men, Pride, Proof, Serve, Styled, Chain, Trader, and Potent which hasn’t received a Top Story in over a year.
All these communities have similar characteristics. They are all geared to special interests, unlike Fiction and Poets. Each community averages one to two thousand writers, producing stories that are around double their numbers. None of these communities are left dormant without posts for weeks at a time. There are some communities that would have made the list, but they have received a Top Story within the last thirty days. Vocal members are interested in them.
By now, you’re probably wondering why I took the time to research all this. The answer is simple. I feel every community should have their work recognized and the numbers don’t show that happening. Eighty-five Top Stories in one community and zero in another are far from equitable. It would be more encouraging to the writers if someone designated monthly awards for each community. We all know how a Top Story designation boosts our readership. It may also boost the community’s participation.
Okay, it’s time to get off my soapbox. I only have one more question to ponder: what community should I post this in so people will read it? It can’t be Fiction or Poet.
About the Creator
I have spent most of my life traveling the US and abroad. Now it's time to create what I hope are interesting fictional stories.
I have 2 books on Amazon, Mitigating Circumstances and Short Stories for Open Minds.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Zero grammar & spelling mistakes
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Original narrative & well developed characters