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My Vocal Experience So Far: Pros and Cons

by Joy Nelson about a year ago in product review
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Vocal Is Awesome in Some Ways... and Lacking in Others

Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA from Pexels

Before I started publishing on Vocal, I had seen advertisements for it on various social media platforms, and I had even visited the site a few times. However, I quickly forgot about it because, well, I didn’t have the mental space to think about hopping onto yet another writing platform. But I finally decided to give Vocal a try. I’ve been here for just over a month, and I have developed some definite opinions about Vocal. There are plenty of good things to say… and a few negative as well.

What I Love about Vocal

Some of the best things about Vocal:

Concept

The concept of Vocal is downright awesome. It’s a platform where anyone can share (almost) anything. Plus, unlike other popular websites for writings, Vocal doesn’t bombard us with continual advertisements that turn any sort of reading into an optical obstacle course.

Moderators (Mostly) Ensure Quality Content

I love that must have to meet minimum standards of quality before they’re approved. This means that almost anything we read on Vocal has some degree of richness to it. I say almost because subjectivity is the name of the game in writing. Something that I view as being “meh” quality could be exactly what someone else needs to read to brighten their day, inspire a career change, or get in their daily chuckles. I’m also pickier than the next guy about grammar and punctuation (comma splices are the worst — they also happen to be everywhere).

Quick Edit

Need I say more? We are all victims of the occasional typo, and Quick Edit allows us to make minor changes with going through the drama of resubmitting. Plus, it takes some of the load off of our dear moderators’ shoulders.

The Opportunity to Make a Little Money

If I posted my writing on my own personal blog, I wouldn’t make a dime off of it without having to paper ads all over my site or push affiliate products. But here on Vocal, I can make a little coin simply by sharing my thoughts with the world. Of course, “little” is the key word here. I haven’t yet earned enough from my reads to even dream of buying a Starbucks latte. But maybe someday.

What I Don’t Love about Vocal

As great as Vocal is, there is still room for improvement.

Limited Opportunities for Engagement

It would be great to have a way to connect with fellow creators and leave encouraging comments on content. Of course, a comments feature would create a bucketload more work for moderators, unless Vocal decides to allow people to be as mean as they are on YouTube (which I hope doesn’t happen).

Posting Stories Could Be Easier

I like that Vocal requires a featured image for each story… but let’s get real. No one wants to go hunting for a stock image (or sifting through their camera roll) every time they publish something, especially if having an image isn’t particularly important for the story at hand. It would be awesome if Vocal curated a small collection of stock images for us to just slap on our stories.

It’s Difficult to Grow an Audience

Having a way for creators to connect with each other would definitely help with this one. Things like forums, open discussions about various topics, and maybe even live writing challenges could be huge. Just an idea (I say as I shrug).

Misclassification of Stories

I realize the moderators can move stories out of the communities that they were first submitted to if they think another category fits better… but sometimes they miss the mark. For example, one of my stories that has nothing to do with politics ended up with The Swamp. But I suppose that some people could misconstrue it for being about politics, given that the topic was related to immigration.

Barring of Religious Stances

Vocal prohibits content that takes a religious stand. This is problematic religion is an undeniable part of being human. I’m not saying we should be allowed to post sermons, but I would like to be able to mention my beliefs in the context of my stories without being afraid that my content would be rejected.

My Verdict on Vocal

Vocal is a baby in the creative space. I’m confident that better days are ahead, but I hope that Vocal never loses what makes it so great now.

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Joy Nelson

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