Thursday, July 8, 2010

Crazy Idea -- A Database for Writers

I was going to write my standard Steampunk Books post this week on The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia (it's awesomely surreal, you totally need to read it), but I got another one of my whack-job ideas instead and I wanted to run it past you all.

I've spent a whole mess of time over the past year filling Free the Princess with information I felt was useful in regards to writing, research methods, and various Steampunk and historically-aimed pieces. I know for a fact that there are similar writers' blogs out there who have edifying their readership as one of their blog aims (yes I'm looking at you Gary,  Stephanie, and Amalia); however, I see a problem with this. We're all basically working in our own little corners of the Internet, with no one place that a writer looking for information may be able to find it.

So my Crazy Idea (TM) is to create a sort of article database where anyone who wants to can search through a catalog of articles related to a whole mess of things. This can be original articles written for the database, or something linking to your blog from there. Whichever avenue you want -- it doesn't really matter to me.

This will eventually (I hope) spin off into sub-sites for different genres. Like historical fiction, mystery, commercial, etc. I plan to launch at least the Steampunk version underneath my Doctor Fantastique's Show of Wonders brand (oh, I haven't talked about my zine here yet? How silly of me. Go here for submission guidelines -- there's still slots open for Issue One and I'm actively hunting for writers to fill Issue Two).

Anyway, what you do think about my database idea? Like it? Hate it? Let me know!


Julie Musil said...!!!! *confetti rains down on Julie*

I saw your blog on Cynthia Reese's. I've never heard of steam punk. I'm absolutely showing my age!

Harry Markov said...

I am in. I run posts, thought not very regularly at the time being, on good online resources for writers and such.

I would love to participate, when you get to know me. :)

Stephanie Thornton said...

Hmmm... I know I would love a one-stop shop for all things historical. A database is a great idea!

Matthew Delman said...

Julie -- Welcome!! *throws confetti* For being follower 100, you get the satisfaction of knowing you pushed FtP intro triple digits! (crappy prize I know, but it's all I got).

Harry -- Any participation is fine by me, sir.

Stephanie (I mean, Supreme Dictator) -- Thanks for the vote of confidence!

Andrew Rosenberg said...

You mean....Wikipedia?

Matthew Delman said...

Andrew -- Sort of. It's not a new idea, I'll admit, but the base conceit with Wikipedia is that once you put up the content it becomes possible for anyone (within reason) to edit it. This database wouldn't have that capability; it'd be an aggregator similar to Yahoo in that there are categories you can drill down into without having to know too many specifics.

An example chain would be something like History > Ancient > Greece > Athens > Whichever blogger covers it (Gary Corby in this case).

Susan R. Mills said...

Excellent idea!

Susan R. Mills said...

Excellent idea!

Harry Markov said...

Sweet. :) Thanks.