News | 24th March | We are secure

We are secure

Posted on 24th of March.

It is a special day today! We have finally upgraded the platform from HTTP to HTTPS. In simple terms, the data on The Artifice is now secure via SSL. SSL is the backbone of a secure Internet and it protects your sensitive information as it travels across the world’s computer networks.

Not only that. Having a secure site will improve our search engine ranking. This means more readers will discover your articles!

The only difference in the website URL is: (OLD) (NEW)

When you visit the old URL, it will simply redirect to the new one.

The App Market

Posted on 16th of June.

Out of popular request, we are finally making a presence on the mobile and tablet app market. While the platform has already been properly optimised for all devices and screen resolutions, breaking into the app market will cater for further growth in readership.

Today, we launch the free The Artifice app for iOS (App Store) and Android (Play Store).

The first version of the app is essentially a browser replicate (or a “web app”). In the coming future, we aim to upgrade it into a fully functional native app with push notifications (get notified of new articles/topics) and other useful features.

You can help to get the app ranked better in the app store search results by downloading the app and leaving a 5-star review. We encourage you to perform this quick step that will essentially give your writing more exposure!

Each site on The Artifice network has its own app.

The Artifice: App Store (iOS), Play Store (Android).

Animefice: App Store (iOS), Play Store (Android).

Gamefice: App Store (iOS), Play Store (Android).

Screenfice: App Store (iOS), Play Store (Android).

The Artifice Network

Posted on 8th of May.

We are expanding! Today, we launch a number of platforms that will operate under The Artifice network of sites.

The Artifice will continue to serve as the main platform for long-form writing. We are proud of what The Artifice has become and the role it has played in publishing intellectual and reflective writing.

The network currently consists of:

Animefice covers the latest Anime news and Manga news.

Gamefice covers the latest Game news.

Screenfice covers the latest Film news and TV news.

These sites publish micro-form content and mainly focus on community interaction and collaboration. You can share and discuss the latest news, reviews, previews, and much like The Artifice, posts are processed and maintained by the community.

You accumulate points and advance through a series of levels, each of which grants access to new abilities. Once the system learns to trust you, you will be able to manage everything to a level of an administrator.

There are tons of features and complex ideas that have been simplified. The best way to acquaint yourself with how it works is to throw yourself into the mix. Create one account to access all the sister-sites.

The user list of The Artifice and the new sites will remain separate because we believe a majority of the users on the new sites will primarily engage with micro-form content.

Create an account today before your username is taken!

This is the first public version of the sites so some bugs may appear. While the sites publish micro-form content, we have had numerous requests to add a short-form feature (around 300 words) and this is definitely something that is coming up in the near future.

Feel free to give us your feedback!

The Tides are formed

Posted on 17th of September.

The summer holiday has ended and this means we will have a flux of user registrations. We have taken this into account and adjusted and improved a couple of areas:

  • The tags system has been improved. An article, topic, or tide, will be distributed on the relevant tag pages, where it will live with other entries that share the same tag. This way, tags will help your entry find its right audience. For example, view the Historical Fiction page.
  • The category pages are now listing articles, topics, and tides.
  • The “How often you should contribute” frequency rule has changed. You are free to contribute whenever you want! User accounts will never be deactivated due to lack of activity. However, to keep the platform running, we recommend everyone to participate in any area of the platform at least once per month.
  • There have been some changes to the ratio algorithm. Writers will never be required to submit tide entries to improve their ratio score. However, users who submit tides will be encouraged to participate in all areas of the platform.

You might be wondering, what in the world is Tides?

Tides entries are interesting content published outside of the platform. The stream of content is curated by you, our community. Entries of value are upvoted. Through voting, and other ways of interacting with a tide entry, you determine what tides rise to the top and receive most exposure.

Tides is an experimental feature that is mostly targeted to new users who are yet to discover our great writing community. For this beta release, we have opened submissions for Anime and Manga posts. If things goes well, we will open submissions for all categories.

You are welcome to post content published on your own blog.

We only have one important rule. When submitting a tide, in the description field, do not reuse sentences, structures, or phrases that is already written in the source article. Make sure it is fresh and unique content that is written exclusively for this platform.

Just like topics and articles, everything is processed and maintained by you. You can process other users’ tides once you have successfully submitted 1 of your own tides.

We do not know how Tides will be received by our community and while we have great ideas of where we want the platform to go from here, it is something we will tackle once can see things in action.

For the moment, what we can predict is a great rise in user registrations which is exactly what we need right now!

Topics Editors

Posted on 30th of July.

Topic entries are no longer approved by moderators and admins, it is all processed by you, just like the rest of the platform.

You can process other users’ topics once you have successfully submitted 1 of your own topics. Topics that are pending have two editorial buttons:

Approve: if you believe the topic is ready for publication, hit this button.

Reject: if there are any changes needed prior to publication, hit reject button and make a note about it.

A topic is published as soon as it receives 3 complete votes (approvals and rejection entries that are marked as fixed).

You can find your way to the pending topics listing via the top bar menu. Try it out today!

Private Messages

Posted on 4th of July.

Today, we introduce the reworked Private Messaging system. It is minimalistic just like the rest of the new interface, and at the same time, it is feature rich and works really smooth.

Please clear your browser cache and refresh the page. Without this, the PM system will likely not appear and function correctly for you.

To give it a test run, feel free to send a test message to this dummy user.

Unfortunately, your old messages will not transfer to the new system. You can still access your old messages. We will completely remove the old PM system in a few days so please save your messages if needed.

To send a PM to a user, navigate to their author bio and click the PM button, or hit any of the (pm) links which you may come across.

In the near future, we are planning to add a “New Message” page where you will be able to easily search and select users to message.

If you experience any difficulties with the new PM system, shoot us a message or leave a post in the Newsdesk.

Minimalism and beyond

Posted on 16th of May.

The complete redesign of The Artifice is here! Every single area of the platform have been redesign and, in most cases, reimagined. Your content is placed in the center and everything else is set to its very minimum. We have followed all suggestions from writers and readers and we believe the result is nothing short of great.

Some files may be cached in your browser. Please refresh the browser and ideally clear your browser cache.

Pages remaining to upgrade:

The PM system. The private messaging system will be coded from scratch to improve structure and performance.

Post editing screen. In the future, we aim to remake the editor so all editing happens on the front-end (preview mode). This way, you will see how your article will look as you create it.

There is no need to list all changes, we will allow you to delve in and explore. Please take a few moments and familiarize yourself with the new interface. This is not only a redesign but countless of requested features have been implemented.

All areas are now properly connected. For example, this is how a published topic entry looks like. Open that article and navigate to the author badge for a full list of contributors.

There will definitely be things not working or areas that needs improvement. The only way for us to find and fix everything will be with your help. Please let us know if you find any issues. Maybe it is difficult to navigate to a particular page, or maybe a paragraph in your article is not displaying well… let us know via a post in the Newsdesk!

And don’t forgot to test run us on your tablet or phone browser, we look beautiful there.


Posted on 8th of March.

The most requested feature we have received is a working notification system that logs your latest activity and helps you to keep track of everything. We have attempting to code such feature for years and after some sweat and tears, we are happy to announce the beta release of our new notification system!

You can access it via the top-bar. Here is some of what it tracks for you:

– Your article is published
– Your article is highlighted

– New comment on your article
– New reply to your comment (on any article)

– Your article has a new revision
– A user has approved your article
– A user left a comment on a revision posted on your article
– A user left a comment on your revision
– A user upvoted your revision
– Your revision is marked as fixed by article author

– You have earned a new badge

– Admins can send out site-wide announcements

– A user replied to your post

– Your topic has received a new helpful note
– Your topic has been grabbed
– Your topic has been approved
– Your topic has been upvoted
– Your topic has been featured
– Your topic has been marked as Theme of the Month
– Your note has been upvoted

New submissions:
The system checks your top three most published categories (for articles and topics) and subscribes you to them. Whenever there are new published articles, pending articles, and topics published in any of these categories, you will receive a notification.

For the time being, your activity log is limited to 15 entries. Old entries are not saved. We are aiming to upgrade this eventually and store all logs.

We have almost covered every action we could think of. The only ones that are not possible are to push out a notification to:
– A user who left a comment to a revision entry and that is NOT the revision-author or article-author. You will not be subscribed to the revision entry.
– A user who left a helpful note to a topic. You will not be subscribed to others’ topics.

Other than those scenarios, we could add notifications to anything. Please let us know if you have any requests. We are open to all ideas!

You will receive an email alert for some of the important notifications. Email notification settings can be adjusted via your profile edit page.

This is the very first beta release so we expect a bug or two. This is where we need you. If you find anything not working as it should, or if you did not receive a notification when you should, please let us know via a post in the Newsdesk.

We have put marketing on the side for this term to focus primarily on important enhancements. This has resulted in a relatively low amount of article submissions. We will resume marketing in full swing mid-April. You can help to keep the community alive via article submissions.

Next, it is time to delve into a front-site redesign…

Topics and the future

Posted on 22nd of February.

Our model of the writing process is divided into three major processed: Planning, Writing, and Reviewing. We aim to encourage collaboration between writers on each phase.

To help you to find a good topic to explore, we have added a new feature called Topics. With this feature, you can explore writer submitted topics and you can make your own submissions. Even unregistered users will be able to submit topics soon.

Topics will be a central part of publishing here, just like the revisions system.

With Topics, we introduce 2 new stats that affect your ratio score:

  • Total topics suggested
  • Topic helpful notes

Helpful notes are simply useful notes you can leave to any topic if you know anything that could contribute to the writing process for the topic grabber.

The ratio score algorithm has been upgraded. Using a graph diagram, it displays what steps you will need to do to maintain a good ratio. With the introduction of the Topics feature, we are aware of how our most active users’ ratio will drop massively. Do not be alarmed; there is no rush to stabilize your score. The new algorithm is mainly designed to encourage new users to contribute on all areas of the platform.

The Newsdesk has been completely reworked and is now running on a far better system. Unfortunately, all previously posted messages could not be migrated to the new system.

In the next few months, we are sacrificing time on marketing and will focus instead on improving and enhancing the platform. While our traffic remains stable, we will see a drop of new registrations and article submissions.

That may not sound appealing, but we believe this is an essential approach to make the platform grow in the long term. Some of what we have planned:

– Notifications: Similar to how the Facebook activity log works, we are adding a notifications feature where you can track any interaction with your activity.

– Front-site redesign: For some time now, we have been planning a complete redesign of the front site. More info about this will be posted in the Newsdesk soon.

– Topics: We will bring the Topics system to the front-site as well. This will allow unregistered users to explore suggested topics and contribute (once registered). With this approach, we expect a great increase in user registrations.

– Citing: The new citing system will function similar to how citing works when editing Wikipedia articles.

On top of this, we will continue to add useful features, improve current ones, reintroduce the Theme of the Month and Article of the Month events, and host another Moderator Elections.

Once we have implemented the new features, we will aim for growth. You can help us to prepare for all of this by keeping the community alive via article, topic, and revision submissions.

With all major upgrades like this, we expect bugs and issues to appear. If you find anything not working as it should or if you have any suggestions, please let us know via a post in the Newsdesk.

Badges and awards

Posted on 14th of November.

Working closely with the newly assigned moderators, we have added a badge system.

You can accumulate badges for various types of accomplishments. Learn more about how this works and the types of badges you can earn here.

In the near future, talented writers can earn an Article of the month badge. We are also planning on hosting an event to award users who have submitted the greatest content of the year.

We are performing upgrades regularly. You can keep up with the latest via our Newsdesk posts.

Moderators, democracy, and algorithms

Posted on 7th of September.

Around the end of October and onwards, we are expecting a storm of new writers joining. Far more than we have had so far. During the next three terms, our aim is to publish more content regularly but still maintain the high quality.

Some of what we plan to release are:

* Community Moderators.
Community Moderators will be the highest rank a user can achieve. Moderators will be elected through popular vote. We will hold a few elections per year to determine who these moderators will be.

* Revision formatting options.
Community editors will be able to format terms bold and style quotes.

* Writers page.
The Writers page will list all users using an algorithm that highlight quality contributions.

* Writing category.
The Writing category will be open for submissions. This category is for writing related topics only.

* Core functions upgrade.
We will upgrade WordPress to the latest version, which brings some changes to the post page.

* Reddit Subreddit.
We will open a subreddit on Reddit that focus on intellectually stimulating posts and discussions about the art forms we cover here.

* Auto-publishing.
Articles will be auto-published once reaching full score.

* Guide will be reworked.

* Revisions preview.
Community editors will be able to read all posted revision entries and make their own revision on the same page.

If production goes according to plan, then we will complete and release all of the above within four weeks.

We will need to make many important decisions in the coming days. Most of which will be discussed in the Newsdesk. Please be a part of it and help us to prepare for the growth we are expecting.

Power to the users

Posted on 11th of April.

In our quest to make this platform managed by the users, we have performed major upgrades to the Community Editor tool. Some of which include:

Revision voting: Your revision entries can now be up or down voted by other community editors. Whenever a revision entry is upvoted, the revision-author will receive 1 point. The voting system has been added to encourage users to provide great feedback to their fellow writers and to have their efforts recognised. Note that only the article and revision author can see the list of upvoters and the list of downvoters is only available to admins.

We encourage all writers to support each others work by casting votes as often as possible.

Reject a submission: You can now reject a submission by selecting the “Reject” reason when you make a revision entry. This is the only revision type an author cannot mark as fixed. You should definitely make a rejection entry if you believe the topic of the article does not belong on this platform or if the overall quality is extremely poor.

Auto-publishing: Currently, an Editor must manually hit the publish button. With this exciting feature, pending articles will be auto-published whenever they reach a full score. This means that articles will be publishing at any time of the day.

This is why it is important you “reject” a post if you believe it does not belong here to stop this post from being published (via the author marking all of their revision entries as fixed).

This feature is currently disabled and will be enabled when we break out of beta mode.

Revision comment template: Once you have made two successful revision entries, you will unlock a drop-down list of commonly shared feedback points that you can easily insert into your revision comment.

Next, we will be working on a notifications system that will be placed on the top-bar and will provide you with your latest user activities (such as whenever a user replies to your comment or if you have received a new revision entry…).

Additionally, we have plans to perform major changes to the front-end pages like a complete interface overhaul. We will share more information about these changes soon.

If you come across any bugs or anything not working as it should, please contact us.

The new system is live

Posted on 6th of December.

Throughout the past couple of months, we have been working on an innovative approach to the editorial process where you, the writers, have the power to process articles. Moreso, each and every area in the backend have been upgraded.

Also, many areas and features have been removed. To learn more about this and all other changes, please read through the updated guidelines thoroughly.

We have implemented a system for the trial process of new writers. If you are yet to submit your first article, you will notice changes to your user account when you login. Just follow the instructions to pass the trial. You will need to publish three articles to become a full member of our writing community. You will then gain editorial privileges.

There is also a new rule detailing how regularly you should publish (depending on your Rank).

We have just opened registrations for a while to bring in a few dozen new writers to test the system. If everything goes well, in February, we will bring in thousands of writers (1000s of pending writer applications) and leave registrations open with an aim for growth.

We will be closing down the private Facebook group because once the group exceeds a large number of members, we will lose administrative control over it (blame Facebook!). To solve this, we have just opened a new fan page dedicated to the writers. Please go here and Like it:
Please do not forget to tick the “Get Notifications” option.

You will only receive a notification whenever we post important community information. You will also have the chance to help us make important decisions about the future of the platform.

If you find any issues with the new system, please help us to fix it by informing us about it.

Re-imagining the editorial process

Posted on 27th of September.

We are currently re-imagining the editorial process to encourage a lot more interaction between writers. We have come up with a very strong concept that will give you more control to manage the platform.

Expect many changes in the next few months with some features removed and other features added. We aim to have all these upgrades completed prior to letting the next generation of writers join in. Hopefully, everything should be ready by November/early-December. Note that we will be going from a few hundreds of writers to many thousand. It will be very crowded here.

If you have any feature requests or have any suggestions for the editorial workflow, please let us know. More information will be posted.

Growth and exposure

Posted on 27th of May.

The time has come for us to add more writers to our team. If you have been following the quick update notes, then you know that we have been performing major upgrades to our server and to all areas of the platform.

You may have come across various new features. Noticeably, the new Ratio system. We believe in the mentality that you should provide feedback to your fellow writers as much as publishing your own articles.

We decided to release this particular feature now because we will be bringing in more writer. This mean a lot more content will be published where you can select to comment on topics that are in your area of interest.

We have processed thousands of writer applications and we will be sending out login details to a great number of applicants in the next coming days. While we are finished with upgrading our server and optimising it, there may be a possibility that we will experience minor server issues when we have a wave of new writers engaging with the platform.

There is a major difference between logged-in users (writers) and visitors. Visitors browse the front-end of the site and only view static versions of the articles. We can have thousands of visitors browsing the site simultaneously without any issues. However, logged-in users engage with the back-end where nothing is served statically. We cannot estimate how the server will perform with these many new writers. It will be a matter of trial and error.

We are breaking out of beta mode and will be adding new features to improve communication and collaboration between writers. One of these features is a forum system. Until then, out of request, we have opened a private Facebook group. Please go here and click on the “Join Group” button.

Once your request to join is accepted, please follow the 2 simple steps written in the description (click the About tab).

There have been major changes to the guidelines. Some of which include a new rule for review articles. Almost each section of the guide is updated. We highly recommend that you read through it all before posting your next article.

We would like to extend our gratitude to all current writers that have been with us from day one. Next, let us finally start to focus on growth and exposure!

Speed is everything

Posted on 11th of March.

We have completed optimising the platform for performance. There are too many adjustments to list, some include image compression (all uploaded images are compressed for quicker loading), CSS Sprites (stylesheet images combined into one), minify scripts (HTML, CSS, Javascript files are compressed and combined for performance), daily automatic database optimisation and repair, and finally caching.

What do all these technical terms mean? Let’s look at the performance. Prior to these adjustments, the quickest site loading time was around 9 seconds. At this moment, it circulates around 2 seconds! All performance tools gives the site a 90+ rating! Observe these screenshots: Test 1 and Test 2.

Actually, don’t take our word for it, try it yourself. Logout of the site, then browse around and see how quick the pages load.

We have deactivated the caching feature for logged-in users. Why? To answer this, we need to understand what caching means. Technically, it is a component that transparently stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster. A simple example of caching would be what your browser is doing right now. You go to a web page and your browser stores a copy of that page, so that when you next want that page it can come straight from the cache instead of the browser going off to fetch it again from the web site.

Similarly, we cache each page of the platform when it is created and display that page to the visitor. This means that if a page is updated, it will not display the updated version to the visitor until the cache has been purged. Therefore, to avoid any conflicts for content creation (like previewing an article), we have disabled caching (and some other optimisation features) for logged-in users.

We are finally finished with this particular stage of the beta. Like all technologies, it will need to be tested. We will monitor the performance in the coming weeks. Wishfully, all features will continue to work without issues.

We are reaching the final parts of the beta stage. Next, we will be expanding some of the empty areas of the platform, give more exposure to the site and slowly bring in more writers to the team. During this process, we will begin to open the doors to our Assisting Editor features. There may be a storm of new writers joining that could use the guidance of our regular writers.

There have been a number of questions regarding the addition of new badges. We will be adding a ton of new badges once everything is working and once we break out of the beta mode. Please continue to report any bugs or errors that you find. Unfortunately, the word count bug has not yet been resolved. We have moved it to the Known Bugs page until we find a solution.

Modifications all around the platform

Posted on 26th of January.

During the past weeks, we have modified countless of areas around the platform. This includes both the front-end and the back-end. Some of the highlights include:

Search Engine and Topic pages: Our old search feature was very inefficient and rarely gave relevant results. We have made drastic changes to it and it is now filled with useful features that will highlight search queries and display most relevant result at the top. In addition to this, if there is already a topic page for the search query, it will link you there. You can test this by searching for “Quentin Tarantino“. All topic pages are quite empty (like most other pages) and lists only the relevant articles. In the future, we plan to fill each topic page with various content. For instance, the “Quentin Tarantino” page could have Bio, Editorials, Top Articles/Authors etc… Topics will become a central source for readers to find articles that they are interested in and want to follow.

Notification system and Badges: The Badge system is finally integrated with the notification system (the box that lists your latest earned points). This means that you will receive a notification every time you receive a new badge. The reason of why there are a very limited amount of badges is because we were waiting for this integration before we filled the database with badges. Soon, you will find hundreds of badges that you can earn. For instance, if you post three articles tagged with “Batman”, you could earn the “Dark Knight” badge…

Assistant Editor system: We are almost finished with the Assistant Editor system. For a teaser, you can view an early version of the task box here. And completing those tasks results with your author profile being linked at that article like this.

We are expecting a guideline update shortly and we will release more platform update notes in a few weeks.

An upgrade and an increase of traffic

Posted on 20th of December.

This platform is powered by WordPress (content management system) and we performed an upgrade recently to the latest version. The content of this upgrade conflicted with a few of the features of The Artifice, in particular the point system. We have spent the past few days addressing each and every of these issues and they should all be resolved. In addition to this, there have been various modifications to improve the workflow, such as a feature that removes all double spaces after a period in an article (something that a few users have reported).

It appears that more readers are finding their way to The Artifice as we have had a large increase of traffic the past week. As we are approaching the end of the year, “Best of 2012” type of lists may be of interest. If you choose to write a best of list, we would strongly recommend that you narrow down your article idea to something that you can thoroughly cover and that attracts a more niche audience.

Countless of issues fixed

Posted on 3rd of December.

We have continued to fix countless of bugs and styling issues, some of which were reported by the writers. We encourage you to share any issues that you experience with The Artifice and also any suggestions that you have for the future development of the platform. The guidelines has been updated with essential notes about which size to select when inserting an image to your article. As 2012 is slowly coming to an end, we are steadily climbing our way out of beta mode and will soon be expanding each section of the platform.

10 days live

Posted on 17th of November.

We made it! After more than 100 bug and styling issues fixed, we are here 10 days after our initial beta launch! Various updates have been performed all around the platform, way too much to list. Some very essential updates have been made to the guidelines that you should read prior to submitting your next article. The Web Videos category still remains empty. There are a few topic ideas in the sandbox! Also, there will still remain a delay when approving articles that have been submitted for review. We are addressing styling related issues when reviewing articles and upgrading the platform accordingly.

The beta version of The Artifice platform goes live

Posted on 7th of November.

The beta launch is finally here! All writers need to read the guidelines before posting an article. Note that we are in beta stage, which means that some features of the platform may not function correctly. Also, some sections may be empty. These sections will be filled once content has been submitted for them. There will be modifications performed daily to make The Artifice go to the next stage. Thank you for your patience during this process.

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