The Essential Typetrigger: What Won’t Change

As I think about what might change with Typetrigger in the coming months, I am also considering what should not change. Here are a few things, in no particular order, that I really consider fundamental to this tool and community. This is not a complete list, but some things that strike me as central this week.

Your Writing

Typetrigger is nothing without the writing that everyone has shared here. Rest assured, we will not be removing any of it in any updates. Whether you have written somewhat recently or way back when we started, you are in charge of deleting your stuff. I am considering the possibility down the line of making it easier to export your work in bulk in case you want a backup for peace of mind.

The Possibility of Anonymity

I started Typetrigger because I wanted a way to practice writing for an audience without putting my name out there or having to publicize my stuff amongst my friends. (That backfired entirely, of course, since I did write on TT under my real name and picture so that the community could understand that I am really invested). I think it is important that people be able to write without sharing too much about themselves, as long as they follow our community guidelines.

Minimalism

It’s time for a visual cleanup of Typetrigger, but the plan is to keep things basic. The focus should be on the writing, with few flashy distractions. This includes the basic social interactions: following (Reading) and liking. While I am thinking of more ways to facilitate discussion amongst writers who want to share thoughts on writing and reading practices, I will not add commenting to the site. I think it makes people more self-conscious and prone to explain their writing. I also am not interested in moderating comments or setting standards for what is appropriate to say. The direct message feature allows everyone to engage in longer conversation (with the option to block if need be). The point on Typetrigger is to get the words out and let them stand on their own. In this age of crazy and inscrutable newsfeed algorithms, I also plan to keep Typetrigger basic, with a priority on chronological display of the trigger responses of those writers who you follow. There might be some other interesting approaches for browsing other writing later on, but it’s not a priority.

What are your favorite features or aspects of Typetrigger? I know that Typetrigger has been a beloved and effective tool for many people but am not exactly what makes it so special for each of you. I would love to hear from you about what you don’t want to see change, as well as what features you’ve been quietly hoping for. Comment or drop a line via the contact form, or let me know on Twitter or Facebook.

Fix One: Longer Triggers

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The fixes are coming in and this one is the most exciting to me. This actually can’t be properly called a fix, since there was never anything broken. When we launched Typetrigger, for reasons I cannot remember (nor comprehend) we had a 17-character limit for triggers. I know, this makes zero sense, especially since we invite everyone to submit triggers of up to four words. The interesting options for four words in 17 characters or less (including spaces!) are quite limited—or my thinking is somewhat limited in creative approaches to that problem.

As of today, we have a lot more room to work with. Things may still look a little funky for a while as I think about cleaning up the interface a bit, so forgive me if the spacing strikes you as less than elegant. I think you will still enjoy the possibilities presented by a greater variety of creative writing prompts.

Other things that got fixed this week, which may not have been known issues to anyone: our sign up had quietly crashed, but now is fixed. If you are signing up and don’t see your account validation email, check your spam filter. We are still having problems with lots of notifications from us going to spam. We also had some crashes in some of the direct message accounts, including mine (Lily’s). If you wrote to me in the past couple of years and I didn’t reply, chances are something went wrong and I never got it.

More little things to come. But for now, Write Now!

Changes Big and Small

Hi. It’s Lily, the founder of Typetrigger. It’s been way too long. A lot has changed for me and for Ernie, my original TT partner, over the past eight years. Great stuff and terrible stuff, living stuff. We have had these things to tend to and neglected this project. This year we had to decide whether it was time to pull the plug on Typetrigger. We almost did.  Some stuff started crashing (I couldn’t access any of the direct messages anyone sent me) and it was time to get some technical fixes or just shut it down.  But I still occasionally get messages from users who ask what happened, who want to see this back up and running.

I looked at everything our community had put into Typetrigger over the years. It seemed like it might be worth a fix. People still write! And after a lot of excitement about endless features on social sites, a lot of us have come to appreciate a more limited set of tools that work well. So I decided to a bit more time and elbow grease into this. We are working now to fix some things that were broken. We might do more significant changes if we can get some community back to writing here. I would love to hear from you.