At its core, The NOTION is a wiki, which contains articles about topics across four Categories:
- Beings — e.g., Humans, Elderbrin, ghosts, angels/demons, animals
- Places — e.g., Indigo, Satyrine, Fartown, The Wayne-O-Sphere
- Things — objects, like In’Kalia’s mask Haunt of the Woods, but also concepts: freedom, The Legacy, #Wucy.
- Events — e.g., The destruction of Mansard Cathedral, The Third Summoning of Auri Aloha
These pages can be created or edited by users with an account.
Oh, did I mention? There is one additional type of content page:
5. Editorial — This page can only be created or modified by NOTION staff, and is a playground for us to create. It doesn’t have to take the form of a newspaper editorial — it could be a short story, a poem, a piece of artwork, an in-world advertisement, a screenplay… These pieces will be carefully presented on the site, in a recognizably different format. Membership has its privileges. 🙂
Bits of content we will be creating for The NOTION take 3 different forms, ranging from very-short to very-long. This is great for a collaborative project, because of you want to be involved but are busy, you contribute by writing tweet-length tidbits, but if you want to dig in, you craft a thousand-word opus. Up to you.
Rumours (very short)
Rumours are tweet-length comments which can be appended to any article to add breadth or context. Unlike Briefs and Features, Rumours can be posted by anonymous visitors (though we will need a plan for moderating this to prevent bots, hate speech, or other ugliness).
Think: tweet, or headline.
Briefs (short to medium)
All article pages contain a Brief: a short summary, maybe 250 words, with only basic formatting (we’ll work out the details together). Briefs are intentionally quite short, so they are quick to create. At least initially, it will benefit the project more to create lots of pages quickly, rather than to have a few very detailed pages.
Only registered users, like yourselves, will be able to post Briefs or Features.
Think: article abstract, or the blurb on the back of a book.
Features (medium to long)
Any article (and therefore any Brief) can optionally have a Feature appended to add depth. A Feature is a full-length article, which may include complex formatting, inline images, etc.
Think: Wikipedia article
Which Type of NOTION Correspondent Are You?
The elements above (5 content types, 3 formats) can be combined together in different ways, to build out the body of our site. As you read those, which stood out to you? Are you most excited to dig in and write some serialized fan fiction? That’s an Editorial. Are you brimming with ideas for a dozen creepy twilight headlines, on all topics? Write some Rumours. Are you a bit more pragmatic, or a completionist? Do you want to listen to your favorite episode of Raven Wants What You Have, pour a drink, and and write charming summaries of all the characters and places which crop up in the show? Those are Briefs, which are the lifeblood of the site.
How It All Fits Together
The NOTION is really two things — a website (which will live at Zeros.Bar/TheNOTION), and a Twitter account (@The_NOTION).
The Twitter account will do a few things:
- Boost creative signals from the community, by retweeting fan artwork or tweets regarding #InvisibleSun. Stylistically, it will ‘report’ these things as though they were real events. Here’s a sample:
This post is promoting @xocorinthia’s artwork via retweet (always give attribution!), but couching the artwork in our own brand of SENSATIONAL MADNESS! I think there’s also something neat about bringing the surreal world of Satyrine to live by treating events from people’s tabletop stories as actual news. This is also important strategically, because it’s a way for creative folks in the IS community to find out about us — they may follow back to our Twitter account/site and read more.
B) Draw interest through promotion of the surreal. I love the idea that we could re/tweet any beautiful surrealistic image or artwork, but write it up as a headline: “ANTS INVADE the countryside as CLOCKS BEGIN MELTING — is TIME ENDING?”
C) Promote real-life news and events in the community (Again, always, in character):
D) Have fun building our own brand of weirdness and lore — either atop retweets or by writing our own content.
For the moment, I will manage the Twitter account — but in time I’m happy to grant access to a few of you who like doing this kind of work.
How Do I Contribute?
Write Tweets! You can either post tweets from your own Twitter account and include @The_NOTION_ (then I will retweet them), or you can send me tweets, and I can post them from the account. You are welcome to just send a text document or whatnot, but ultimately I will put them into the TWEETS tab of the spreadsheet we are all sharing — so if you are comfortable writing there, it will save me a step.
I am planning to work with the developers this weekend to start building a bare-bones prototype of the site — but it will be a while yet before we can actually start posting content there.
Nonetheless, this will serve as a guide for how to think about writing — and your work can be transferred once the site is functional.
The site structure (for content pages) is quite simple:
There are really only 4 primary types of content pages on the site:
- The Homepage
- Category homepages, with thematic names (So, “CELEBRITY” is a homepage which entirely features articles in the Beings category)
- List Pages (For instance, a list of all Articles in the game which feature Beings which are summonable, or Places which are Neighborhood Features). Some will be preset; other list pages can be created via filters.
- Article Pages (which will make up the vast majority of the content on the site)
By updating the 4 Homepages semi-regularly, we can give the sense of a constantly-changing News site. (Wikipedia updates its home page every day — we might shoot for 1x/week as a start).
Each of the 4 homepages (There may be a 5th for items, but I need to work that out) will follow the same basic structure, and will contain:
- A Feature article, pulled from the best work on our site — something with an image and a bit of depth to it. This can be a nicely completed article about a Being/Place/Thing/Event, or an Editorial (creative work, of any kind, by our staff).
- A section with a few Briefs, just interesting tidbits to pull you into the site
- A feed of recent Rumors, showing the comment, the article upon which it was based (if any), and the author (if not anonymous).
(This is basically exactly the format that Wikipedia uses on their homepage, though obviously they have a lot more stuff.)
Article Page Structure
Article pages will also follow a consistent format:
- Every Article contains a Brief (just a few hundred words on the topic.
- Next to the Brief is a Fact Box, with standardized info. All Beings, for example, might list Type (Demon), Summonable (Yes), Secret Name (if known)… etc. All PCs might have an additional block including their Character Sentence.
- In many cases, that’s all the page will have! And that’s fine. Some pages will also have a Feature, a long-form or in-depth article beneath.
- Finally, each page has a section where visitors can write Rumours. “Our party fought this demon and took off his left arm during the fight!”
- There is one special type of article page — a Canonical Page, which features a Being/Place/Thing/Event taken directly from Invisible Sun source materials. This will be a brief stub, just a sentence or two, with a page reference back to the original book. It will not be editable except by our staff, and will not contain a feature article. (Though it will allow Rumours). All of this is subject to change if MCG requests it, of course.
Editorial Page Structure
Editorial pages are ours to play with — there is really no set structure, but I intend them to be much cleaner than the other pages — no rumours, just your words and images, with an author block at the bottom. (Which can be tongue-in-cheek or include your actual contact info/etc, as you wish).