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Vocal - some observations and suggestions

Three months since my first post and even longer as a reader.

By Bozhan BozhkovPublished 7 months ago 4 min read
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I've been a member of Vocal for a short period of time, yet it has been three months since I published my inaugural article. In that piece, I shared memories that shed light on the perspective of someone who lived behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, offering a unique viewpoint compared to most Vocal users:

Today, I wish to share some observations and suggestions, marking three months since my initial Vocal post.

From the very beginning, I delved into reading Vocal posts. I discovered this remarkable platform and was amazed by the opportunity it provides to access a diverse range of materials from various fields. These pieces are crafted by talented people hailing from different corners of the world. While there is an immense amount of content scattered across the vast expanse of the internet, Vocal aggregates such materials in one centralized place, conveniently organized by topic. The "Top Stories" category ensures a level of excellence, yet there are instances where numerous high-quality articles miss inclusion in this category, despite matching or exceeding the quality of its content. However, I'll return to this topic later.

After discovering Vocal, I was captivated by the diverse array of quality prose available – I encountered fantasy stories that rival those gracing the bookshelves in my own home. I continue to unearth hidden gems in this literary trove. The platform also hosts impeccably crafted historical articles, thought-provoking political analyses, enlightening technical and popular scientific pieces, and even practical information relevant to my field of work. These are only the fields that resonate most with my interests.

One of the compelling reasons that keeps me engaged with Vocal and exploring its digital repository is the chance to assess and improve my writing prowess in comparison to that of numerous other non-professional authors. (Certainly, I am aware that there are also seasoned professionals who contribute to Vocal.)

Having gathered my courage to embark on writing within the Vocal community, three months later I decided to share my thoughts and suggestions.

Let's delve into these materials that reside beyond the realm of the "Top Stories" category. Here, you'll uncover a vast assortment of articles—many of remarkable quality, and yet, intermingled with an assortment of, let's say, less conventional content. By this, I'm alluding to the pieces devoid of that creative spark, the passion for writing, and the signs of inspiration. For a while, I wrestled with questions about the authors behind such posts and their motivations, until I stumbled upon a YouTube clip that shed light on this phenomenon. In fact, I soon discovered a plethora of similar clips, where influencers divulge strategies for monetizing content on Vocal. I took the time to peruse a few of these videos, and their collective wisdom boiled down to a common mantra: write extensively, accumulate substantial readership. In pursuit of this high volume, they proffer guidance on the art of reworking others' content, rendering it distinct enough to evade detection as duplications.

As to the moral quandaries of this approach, I leave that discussion for another time. The focal point of this discourse is distinct.

It centers on the unique opportunity that Vocal furnishes to authors, allowing them to be discovered by their prospective readership, while simultaneously granting readers the means to unearth authors aligned with their interests.

The article by KJ Aartila meticulously dissects the pros and cons of these newfound options, as adeptly showcased in this link:

I also contributed my thoughts in the comment section, likening this feature to wandering through a bookstore—a scenario where you might inadvertently pass by a book that would have deeply resonated with you. However, upon reflection, this analogy falls somewhat short. In an actual bookstore, books remain steadfastly in their designated places for extended periods. You can frequent the store on numerous occasions, progressively increasing your chances of encountering that book you've been seeking. Conversely, in the realm of Vocal, the narrative undergoes a different trajectory. Once a composition is unveiled, the influx of fresh posts rapidly engulfs it, leading it to subside into obscurity in short order. True, you can navigate through earlier entries, yet the reality remains that if a post isn't noticed promptly after its release, it swiftly fades into oblivion.

On this juncture, I'd like to present two suggestions. I'm well aware that the Vocal team comprises seasoned professionals who are consistently devoted to enhancing the system. Their expertise undoubtedly surpasses mine, yet I'm inclined to share my insights, modest as they may be.

To begin, I propose the creation of two novel sections where posts from varying dates are presented through a randomized selection mechanism. Not only from the "Latest Stories" category, but also from the “Top Stories”.

My second suggestion involves the process of publishing a story. Currently, authors are constrained by a limited selection of keywords. In my view, a more advantageous approach would be to grant authors the freedom to designate their own keywords or hashtags. This would significantly enhance the reader experience, facilitating the discovery of content aligned with their specific interests.

I extend my gratitude to all who have perused my article, and I hold hope that it sparks further inspiration within you to contribute your suggestions for refining our cherished platform.

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About the Creator

Bozhan Bozhkov

Hi, dear readers. I'm Bulgarian. I used to be a physicist, that's my education, but now I work as a network administrator. For many years, I have been writing a blog, and have also written several fairy tales and short stories, and a novel.

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  • Novel Allen6 months ago

    This article highlights many observations which I have made myself, only presented much more eloquently than I could have said them myself. Let us see if we can get your voice heard, have you checked out the Vocal 'Raise your voice' section in Resources.

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