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  • E Sisters

    Stories about two sisters who are best friends, and rulers of Equestria
    6,514 words · 13,434 views  ·  1,299  ·  18
  • E Mortality Report

    Celestia writes a report to her queen about what she's learned from living among mortals.
    4,313 words · 18,259 views  ·  1,488  ·  27
  • E Experience

    Celestia is thousands of years old, and has experienced almost everything the world has to offer. But there's one ordinary thing she's never experienced.
    1,289 words · 4,128 views  ·  646  ·  15
  • E Big Mac Reads Something Purple

    Twilight asks Big MacIntosh to read to the Cutie Mark Crusaders while she runs an errand.
    3,720 words · 4,874 views  ·  408  ·  11
  • E The Magician and the Detective

    Has Holmes met his match, in either sense, in the travelling showpony Trixie?
    14,788 words · 5,203 views  ·  305  ·  9
  • T Bad Horse's Bedtime Stories for Impressionable Young Colts and Fillies

    Bad Horse retells bedtime stories to teach foals the real facts of life.
    2,641 words · 1,221 views  ·  240  ·  7
  • T Fluttershy's Night Out

    Fluttershy would like to be a tree. But she doesn't want to be an animal.
    7,936 words · 11,497 views  ·  477  ·  20 · sex
  • T Old friends

    Philomena is reborn after she dies. Ponies are reborn before they die. Kind of. A little. It's hard for a phoenix to understand.
    1,582 words · 1,532 views  ·  260  ·  9

Blog Posts336

  • Today
    @#& *&#$%#$% #$%$#%!!!

    After the recent site update, the list of users who favorited a story is NO LONGER AVAILABLE.

    That's a catastrophe for my recommendation system. With favorites by story, I could just pull the favorites on the top 1000 stories, and that provided enough data to bootstrap the system. More importantly, I could get the favorites off new stories as they come out.

    About a year ago, the site stopped giving you the full list and truncated it at the most-recent 200. That was pretty bad. It meant the lists were biased in unpredictable ways.

    But now, I have to get favorites from user's pages. That means that to have daily updates, instead of querying 100 new stories a day for a list of who favorited them, I'd have to query 100,000 user pages a day. I can't do that.

    I don't think my recommendation system can work anymore. Or, if it did, it wouldn't be able to recommend a story until a month or two after it came out.

    I can get crude estimates by taking the current user's list of favorites, finding a list of "similar" users, and querying the favorites off of them. But I don't think that will scale well.

    8 comments · 102 views
  • Wednesday
    Something Not Safe for Ghost

    53 comments · 471 views
  • Wednesday
    Everything I Needed To Know About Life, I Learned From Supervillains

    I wanted to refer to my reblog of "Everything I Needed To Know About Life, I Learned From Supervillains" in a PM to Causal Quill. But it looks like I never wrote it. Did I never post this before?

    Everything I Needed To Know About Life, I Learned From Supervillains

    is an awesome blog post by PJ Eby, author, self-improvement guru, & LessWrongian, on his blog, DirtSimple.org . I can't improve on it; I'll just quote part of it:

    In the movies, the villains typically:

    - Have a vision and goals, for how they'd like things to be in the future

    - Believe that they deserve -- and are capable of obtaining -- everything they want in life

    - Proactively seek the fulfillment of their goals, and persistently work towards achieving them

    - Are willing to plan and prepare for years, then execute that plan in a well-disciplined manner, having anticipated as many issues as possible, with well-thought out contingency plans

    - Are very willing to delegate most tasks to their staff of loyal, highly-motivated employees...  who they somehow managed to recruit, train, and persuade to follow along with their shared vision.

    Meanwhile, the heroes tend to:

    - Be reactive, rather then proactive -- they wait until something bad happens, then try to solve the problem afterwards

    - Be reactionary, rather than progressive -- they try to put things back the way they were, instead of changing them for the better

    - Rarely promote a shared vision, preferring to work alone or with only a partner or two...  who they don't trust with anything really important!

    - Rarely anticipate the possible failure modes of their plans, to the extent that they plan anything at all!

    - Use their talents and abilities rarely, for emergencies only, instead of keeping them in top condition or proactively using them to improve things

    - Not believe they personally deserve anything good out of life, or that things will ever get better for them

    ... I didn't really think all that much about it, until this past week.  It just seemed like an amusing, cynical observation about Hollywood: that movies are designed to make people feel better about their crappy lives, by allowing them to subconsciously identify with the "good" guys.

    ...

    But that was only because I didn't realize just how much this applied to me.

    Or that on the inside, I was still trying to be the hero.

    And that it was perhaps the single biggest source of pain in my entire life!

    ...

    What's good about being special?  "I'm better than everyone."  What's good about that?

    ...

    - If I'm a hero, I won't get hurt

    - If I'm a hero, it's okay that I'm alone or have few friends

    - If I'm a hero, it's okay that people look down on me, because that's just my secret identity

    - If I'm a hero, I'm strong on the inside, even if I seem weak on the outside

    - If I'm a hero, it's okay for me to strike at those who hurt others, the way they hurt me

    All in all, the superhero fantasy was more attractive to my 7-year-old self (the approximate age where these thoughts originated) than I'd ever realized.  And consciously, it had never even occurred to me that they were anything but idle daydreams and escape fantasies.

    I had no way of knowing that, when I adopted this superhero ideal, the following personality traits would come along with it:

    - If you're a hero, you're just strong and successful and equipped... automatically -- you don't have to practice or work out or really do anything at all to become successful (Impatience with details and implementation)

    - If you're a hero, you should never use your powers (talents and abilities) for any personal gain...  unless it's an emergency.  (Procrastination, not to mention failure to pursue non-work goals)

    - If you're a hero, it's your job to right wrongs...  not to make good things.  (Perfectionism!)

    - If you're a hero, it's your job to do the impossible, or at least the extraordinary...  so leave the ordinary things to ordinary people  (More perfectionism, not to mention elitism!)

    - If you're a hero, you have to rely on yourself...  so don't share your secrets with anyone, or expect anyone to be able to help you with your problems...  frankly, it's laughable that they'd be able to understand your issues, let alone help.  (Arrogance, closed-mindedness, and other a**holery)

    - If you're a hero, everything is serious business.  Deadly serious.  All the frickin' time.  You can enjoy other people being happy, but don't expect to have any free time that can't be interrupted for something more important.  (Recipe for struggle, suffering, and general life imbalance.)

    The post goes into more depth on how this subverted his attempts at self-improvement. I don't know if his course or books or whatever it is he's flogging are good, but I think this post is brilliant.

    28 comments · 284 views
  • Sunday
    I don't want to know...

    26 comments · 320 views
  • Sunday
    Fifty shades of marketing

    My question about "story views" reminded me...

    "Fifty Shades of Grey" was a spectacularly popular Twilight fan-fiction; it had over two million downloads online. The publishing giant Vintage Press saw that number and realized they had a hit on their hands. They filed off the Twilight serial numbers, put it in print, marketed it like hell, and now it's sold 60 million copies, satisfying a huge but previously unrealized market for bad BDSM chick-lit-porn.

    Part of that is true.

    Though the Twilight fandom was very large, it was still too small, I thought, for one story to have two million reads. A little searching and I found the original quote was "over two million hits". It was reported by Anne Jamison, author of "fic: Why Fan-Fiction is Taking Over the World". I emailed her and asked where that number came from. She replied,

    The "millions" numbers I had were not public; I had them from screenshots from various writers. The counts were from fanfiction.net which, for the Twilight fandom, remained the biggest hub--most if not all stories that were also posted at Twilighted.net and TWCS were also posted on ff.net. Ff.net tallies reads but doesn't--unlike Wattpad or AO3--make them public.

    But for all the sites, read or hit counts are for every time someone clicks on the story--so if they click through the front page to get to chapter 37, that's 2 reads.

    Fan-fiction is published one chapter at a time. "Fifty Shades of Grey" has 26 chapters, but when it was originally published on fanfiction.net as "Master of the Universe", it had over 100 chapters.  More digging by gwern showed that the story had over 40,000 reviews when it was on chapter 70. It had 37,000 reviews when it reached 2 million hits. So let's say it had 65 chapters when it reached 2 million hits on fanfiction.net.

    fanfiction.net adds 1 hit every time any page of the story is reloaded. If you go to chapter 1 and read all the way through to chapter 120 in one sitting, that's 120 hits. If you log in, see it updated, go to chapter 1, and then go from there to the new chapter, that's at least 239 hits to read the book. If you refresh the page, that's another hit. (I verified this myself by refreshing one chapter of one story of mine 3 times on fanfiction.net, checking the stats before and after.) If you read half of one chapter one day, and log in again and finish it the next, that's at least 2 hits. If you leave it in an open tab on your computer, that's 1 hit every time you open your browser. If you reread the story, the hits double. If you click on the story each day to see if it's updated, hits go way up.

    Two million hits on a 65-chapter story means a theoretical maximum of 2,000,000 / 65 = 30,769 readers had read it on fanfiction.net when that "two million" figure was reported. More likely, given re-readings, users who always go in through chapter 1, users who quit halfway through, browser refreshes, etc., perhaps 10,000 readers finished it on fanfiction.net, and let's say another 10,000 on other sites. That's about as many readers as finished My Roommate is a Vampire.

    What actually happened was that a fanfiction that had been read by at most a few tens of thousands of people was reported on in a way that misled publishers into thinking that it had millions of readers, when really, it just had a lot of chapters. So they put a major marketing campaign behind it, and sold tens of millions of copies.

    But was Fifty Shades of Grey really what people wanted? Or would the same thing have happened with almost any book they'd marketed as heavily?

    27 comments · 256 views
  • ...
 283
 10,251

Should the incredibly powerful and sexy new alicorn Dark Demon King Ravenblood Nightblade pursue his destiny as savior of Equestria? Or his love of interior design?

BASED ON AN ORIGINAL CHARACTER BY DEVICE HERETIC!!! This is my first alicron Mary Sue self-insert fic, so plz b nice. Maybe Ill write moar if ppl like it

First Published
6th Aug 2012
Last Modified
8th Oct 2012

Earlier today I wrote a nasty, unponylike rant on NTSTS's blog which claimed, among other things, that I work hard to write good stories.

This... isn't what I meant.

Wuten did a good reading of this.

This story owes something to Ga'arth, Klingon Fashion Designer, and Do'Raath, Klingon Barista: 333 434 1385 1745 2362 3798 3234 3229 2996.  Probably an apology.  And I'm gonna take this space to plug Georg's To Sleep, Perchance to Dream, because it's a good Luna story and only has 110 views.  Also JMac's Thweet Geniuth on ponyfictionarchive.

This is the most thrilling tale of interior decorating I've read today.

Seriously, this is a masterpiece. Far better than I could have done. Thank you for writing this, everything about it was perfect and I was laughing the whole time.

But you left so many unanswered questions. . . what shape coffee table will he buy? Should the curtains be off-white or cream? I demand a sequel. What's the proper etiquette for that? Oh yes. . .

MOAR! And I believe moustaches are somehow involved. :moustache::moustache:

Phil. More Phil. Phil is my new hero.

That is all.

You spelled Alicorn wrong in the description......just saying.

I didn't even notice the joke with Dan-Galf's name until my dyslexia kicked in and I read it as Gan-Dalf, hah!

Amazing work here sir. Here's hoping for a feature.

>>1039927

It's entirely possible it was intentional, since Alicron sounds much cooler than Alicorn and somebody who'd make a black & red Alicorn OC self insert character probably wouldn't know the difference

>>1039927

Apologies, I mean somebody who'd make and use a black&red Alicron (:rainbowkiss::rainbowlaugh:) OC self-insert character and use it straight faced without a hint of parody

Ok, now that I have actually read this story... I am now humbled, having felt the penmanship of a true master. I don't remember ever handing out an upvote to anybody ever before.... but now... that has changed. I never thought such a masterpiece could exist. You sir, deserve every praise I have to give.

:raritycry::pinkiesad2:

:facehoof: :facehoof: :facehoof: Dan galf, shadowhax :rainbowlaugh: :rainbowlaugh: Very entertaining

story indeed.

>>1032276 Thank you for telling me a fic like this one was in the works.

I probably never would've read it if it wasn't for you.

I like the story. Finally an OC story I enjoy:rainbowkiss:

EDIT:

Oh yeah. MOAR!!!!

This is terrible and you should feel terrible about it!

...

Now when your done feeling terrible, would you, like, write another? If it's not to much trouble?:twilightblush:

An excellent turn of self-insert parody!  Just a tad too short I suppose, wish we could have gone over the details a little more.

Still, 4 laughing Dashies out of 5!

:rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh:

Foal! Speak not of the Crimson Croissant so lightly! The byzantine folds of its paradoxical crust (So tender! And yet so flaky!) hide True Cosmic Power. And its filling? No mortal language, be it ever so subtle, can possibly explore it's, uh, oblique puissance which, by merely being, bends the world around it into new and delicious dimensions.

It also goes well with Obsidian Coffee.

>>1031659

Ouch. That rant...ooof...sharp edges on that thing.

@re: A Note Of Advice to People New To All Things Bad Horse

Hi! If you've enjoyed this parodic little tale, why not sample some other stories written by Bad Horse. Lots of great stuff. I especially recommend The Detective & The Magician which deserves more love. Twenty Minutes, likewise, is written brilliantly but I would under no circumstances read it just after this fic. The mood whiplash alone might kill you.

Saw the crappy OC picture in the feature - box.

All my wat:rainbowhuh:

Saw the title.

Ohhh... :rainbowlaugh:

RBDash47
Site Blogger

I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

>>1040421

That's the best place to throw up a little in!

Nothing against your fic or anything, but what the hell? Poultron raged when I wrote a story based on Wanderer D's blog post with a thunderous "NO."

Sadly, I expected something like this show up. I am amused. :rainbowlaugh:

>>1031659

If it is good to work hard to write good stories, is it not twice as good to work hard to write bad stories?

I read this... I laughed... I like.

:rainbowlaugh:

Oh man, this actually got written... I didn't think anybody was serious in that little discussion...

Wha- This was actually amazing :rainbowlaugh:

Finally a parody fic that doesn't just use the fact its a parody for bad writing.

Simply glorious! :pinkiecrazy:

I would expect no less from the Thoroughbred of Sin.

I loved it. Excellent Job. You Mr. Author Person have just Cleared the Stage! :pinkiehappy:

*Sends poet in place* Sheer, pure beauty.

>>1040421

What's that, RBDash47? You say you want me to post this on ponyfictionarchive.net? Sure thing!

>>1040473

Luck of the draw. midnightshadow approved this story.

BEFORE READING: Is this gonna be the pony version of My Immortal? -sigh- gonna give it a try anyway.

AFTER READING: :rainbowlaugh: LOL

Pre-read: This sounds awful. I'm pretty sure nopony is oblivious enough to write something that terrible, here's to hoping it's a parody.

Post-read: :eeyup: I laughed.

A parody that doesn't read like a parody at all...  :twilightsheepish: Thank you good sir!

I think I would have preferred Phil to have been named Background Pony.  Beyond that though...  I approve of this!

The traveler said angrily, "Do not speak to me as though I were a colt! I have climbed the heights of Mt. Varanus, I have ridden the wind on the backs of dragons, and I – "

Dammit, now I'm going to have to fave this. AGAINST MY WILL MIND YOU. :trixieshiftleft:

Bok

The sad thing is, I've seen actual OCs that look like that in other fics.

I...I don't know what's real anymore. :raritydespair:

This is the most riveting tale of a mary-sue alicorn, interior decorator, ever.

I got a bit of a Monty Python vibe from this, that was hilarious. :rainbowlaugh:  

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