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FAQ – Exploring writeups.org

WORG is fairly large.

It’s not *ginormous*. But if you decide to read one entry a day, well, see you in 25 years or so. Since new entries will get published as you proceed.

As it happens, there are a number of tools to help you discover stuff. Discovering stuff is good.

1/ Text search engine

The classic, basic means to explore a website. Though with smartphones it’s not as prevalent as it was in Ye Olden Dayes.

If you have a distinctive search term, it’s a powerful means of exploration. Searching for “Thing” isn’t going to be *that* helpful. Whereas searching for “Darkforce” isn’t a bad way to find all characters with Darkforce powers.


2/ Random entries button

The random button isn’t a button. It’s a curiosity test.

It’s not meant to be hit over and again until you see something you like and recognise. The intended use is for readers to check the first thing that seems vaguely interesting. Rather than reproduce the DJ’s curse.

(The DJ’s curse is that a crowd always wants to hear the tunes they already like. Rather than discover things.)

If you’re really bored, or tired, or migrainous or whatever it’s also the most low-effort way to read stuff on WORG.


3/ Categories & facets

This is the stuff in the left-hand column of the search pages.

Most people are familiar with these from big shopping sites like Amazon.com. And there’s a help page on the search page.

The point is to make thematic lists of stuff. The simplest way to do that is to hit one category, such as Movies → Older Movies.

Or you can cross two themes, for instance to make a list of Marvel heroes. Or a list of very high-powered movie characters.

This system is mostly intended to help gamemasters looking to populate a TTRPG scenario. But it’s also fine for curious and/or bored readers. C’mon, nobody’s actually going to read the bullshit report you’re supposed to write. Just procrastinate on WORG.


4/ Tags

The tags are listed and explained on this page. Odds are some of them are of interest for you.

They’re a mix of utilitarian (“I need a brick type for this scenario”) and general interest (“I want to read about French characters”).

One advantage of tags is to bring up stuff you might not have thought about otherwise.

One series of tags has been deployed throughout (almost) the entire site. A second series is beginning its deployment in 2022, but it’ll take years.

(Tags unfortunately acquired a bullshit aura during the “Web 2.0” heydays. They were a means to have randos badly organise your #content for free. That’s not the case here – we use a controlled vocab approach).


5/ Team profiles

These are categorised as Role: Organisation Or Team.

At first these profiles were written because we needed a place to do TTRPG stats for their resources.

But over time they became more like base camps. You read ’em before you set out to read the profiles for the members. They provide :

  • Lists of members, since most readers don’t know every roster by heart.
  • A recap of shared history and concepts, so it doesn’t get repeated in every member’s entry.

So you can pick a team, read the team profile, and then trek through the members’ profiles.

As with… most everything on WORG, we add team entries when the occasion arises. There isn’t yet a systematic coverage of major teams, such as the Avengers, because we have no sense of priorities.


6/ Related entries on writeups.org

It’s a section in most profiles, near the end and just above the game stats.

These are generated by a free algorithm. Sometimes its recommendations are eerily on-target, sometimes it’s more of a “mmmm…” moment. But overall it’s not half-bad, though it seems to favour shorter articles.

I hesitated to have this. Because I *despise* Taboola and the like. And there aren’t too many ways to make such a feature not look Taboola-like at first glance.

But it often provides useful links that would make sense. Especially if you’re not familiar with the character, their team-mates, their villains, etc..


7/ Homepage and entry footers

The homepage goes from the most recent to the least recent entry, and it’s paginated at the bottom. So you can leaf through the entire site this way. I can see some people preferring this approach.

The same order is used in the links at the very bottom of each entry. I doubt most readers use these with any regularity. They’re more to help search engines map the site. But heh, if you did read an entry from soup to nuts and have no special idea what to do next…


8/ Social networks

Just kidding.