Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day, Law Day, Lei Day. May 1st is a day of celebration no matter where you live. Some people dance around a maypole, some celebrate International Workers' Day, but in the U.S., we officially celebrate Law Day (who knew?). And in Hawaii, May 1st is Lei Day, a celebration of traditional Hawaiian culture. Apparently the distress call "mayday" has nothing to do with any May 1st holiday.

Announcements

Newsletter Hiatus

As you may have noticed, there was no newsletter last month. We've come to realize that a monthly newsletter may not be necessary (and some people may find it annoying, despite our best efforts to make it enjoyable). We've decided to move the Featured Fold and Featured Story announcements to our Twitter feed, so we can share great stories more effectively. Don't worry, the site isn't going anywhere and we'll still send a newsletter to inform you of important FoldingStory developments.

Featured Fold & Story

Member smoalne adds a touch of dark humor and Irish flair in this month's Featured Fold: "…had been coming out green as of late, but that was ok since st. patricks day was fast approaching. placing the lute on a nail by the staircase, she drags the bodies by their legs…" If you want to know how this green food fared in the Iron Chef competition, you have to read the whole story.

This month's Featured Story is either brilliant or you were just too lazy to think up more words. We think the former, but regardless, it's a fun read, so enjoy!

Site Activity as of May 1, 2012

  • 30,636 Folds
  • 4,194 Stories
  • 2,010 Finished Stories
  • 1,927 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Thanks for using FoldingStory!

Posted by geoff at 2:19 PM | 1 comment
Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's March already. The old adage in like a lion, out like a lamb, as they say. But the day we look forward to most is the 17th. That's right, St. Patty's Day — a day when everyone celebrates, the beer runs green, and everyone gets a wee bit o' love.

Not into getting wasted? That's cool. March also hosts Pi Day. If you can't guess which day of the month it is, you've probably already begun celebrating St. Patrick's Day.

Announcements

50,000+ Lines Liked

You really like each other. More than 50,000 lines have been liked since we launched. That's nothing to sneeze at. If you haven't visited FoldingStory in a while, now is a great time to come back, see all the great lines you've been missing, and find out if any of your lines made it to our Top Folds page.

Featured Fold & Story

Somewhere between a Stephen King story about a talking spider and a crash caused by NASA's failure to accommodate the Big Gulp, sensedatum slipped in this gem: "Except Neil Armstrong. That man could eat porridge, even 9 days in the pot. Once he got so hungry he ate those heat resistant tiles. This caused an issue on reentry and Houston…" You have to check out all the twists and turns to truly appreciate this fold.

There are really only two words that do justice to this story about Humpback the Clown: awesome sauce! If you haven't had the pleasure, read it now.

Site Activity as of February 3, 2012

  • 28,950 Folds
  • 3,927 Stories
  • 1,907 Finished Stories
  • 1,868 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Thanks for using FoldingStory!

Posted by geoff at 4:54 PM | 0 comments
Friday, February 3, 2012

February. The shortest month of the year (at least for now). A time for celebrating African American history, our presidents, and love. Haven't found that special someone to spend the rest of your life with? Until you do, you can share your love with us!

Announcements

Story Filtering Options

Ever wonder which stories finished in the last month, week, or day have received the most votes? Well, you don't have to wonder anymore, because it's now a filtering option on the Read page!

Love, Love, Love

In honor of Valentine's Day, we've scoured your folds and compiled a list of the most popular Valentine-related words. Without further ado:

  1. Love (873)
  2. Heart (283)
  3. Chocolate (128)
  4. Flowers (65)
  5. Romance (22)
  6. Amor (16)
  7. Valentine (8)
  8. Cupid (2)

Featured Fold & Story

buddyboy4711 plays with punctuation in this month's Featured Fold: "[?]-blocked. She uppercutted the floating ? Blocks to find her lost phone. The first one had foreign currency, and the second had an odd flower. But then she heard her ringtone in a…" Read the full story to see if she finds her phone before the Koopas get her.

What happens when a character realizes that they are part of a FoldingStory? Stories get eaten and the future of FoldingStory rests in the hands of Detective Manatee and Secret Agent Michael Scarn. Check out this month's Featured Story to see if they can prevail against the almighty TSA.

Site Activity as of February 3, 2012

  • 27,703 Folds
  • 3,742 Stories
  • 1,833 Finished Stories
  • 1,794 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Thanks for using FoldingStory!

Posted by geoff at 4:11 PM | 0 comments
Thursday, January 5, 2012

Last month got a little busy, what with the holidays, travel, and presents, and we didn't get around to sending out the monthly newsletter. But 2012 is a new year full of resolutions, forgiveness, and FoldingStory. So we hope you had a great holiday season and wish you the best in 2012!

Announcements

FoldingStory Milestones

We had a pretty incredible year at FoldingStory. We added search, created a flagging system, and implemented private messaging, just to name a few of the most popular new features in 2011. We also achieved some major milestones, including 1,750 members (more than 1,500 new members last year alone), almost 27,000 folds, and over 1,770 finished stories. One user even illustrated and animated some stories. We just wanted to say thanks for enjoying FoldingStory and making 2011 such a success!

Featured Fold & Story

This month's Featured Fold comes from the tragic, and two dimensional, love story of of Sara and Flat Stanley: "…his bubbliness was flat as well. Flat Stanley's life became a downward spiral of coke lines and racy Euclidean magazines. Nothing could ever take his mind off the plane.…" Read the full story for more depth and perspective on the story.

Addiction can come in many forms, but when FoldingStory addicts get together the whole world is in danger. Check out this month's Featured Story, and join the road to recovery in the comments.

Site Activity as of January 6, 2012

  • 26,964 Folds
  • 3,646 Stories
  • 1,789 Finished Stories
  • 1,760 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Thanks for using FoldingStory!

Posted by geoff at 4:25 PM | 0 comments
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

We all know what time it is. It's time to give thanks, drum up your favorite loose attire, and eat like you know you can. That's right, this isn't our first rodeo. Luckily this year we've got some more interesting ways to lose the holiday weight. Now if that doesn't make your head spin, be sure to log in and fold some stories before the impending food coma sets in.

Announcements

Search This!

How did we live without being able to search the Internet for important things like this? That's why we've developed our very own nifty search tool to allow you to find finished stories containing any specific words or phrases of your choosing. This was one of the features that you've been asking for and we've been eager to get it working for you. Now you can write, fold, pass, and search.

FoldingStory Milestones

How many folds would it take to reach the moon if they were all stacked one on top of the other? As always, we have no idea. We're just stoked because this month we have officially surpassed 25,000 folds. Now go to FoldingStory and help us reach deep space!

Featured Fold & Story

While the golfing season comes to an end in most parts of the Northern Hemisphere, this month's Featured Fold has us daydreaming about hitting the links: "…winging the club at his head.' I didn't want to dirty my new Taylor Burner. It was great to finally be out on the golf course. With the weather unseasonably cold I was glad to…" Read the full story if you're not feeling too chilly yourself.

This month's Featured Story follows our folk hero Jared Manatee on a journey filled with nightmares, orange jumpsuits, and race cars traveling faster than the speed of light. Read about it here and try to keep the thundering in your own heart to a minimum.

Site Activity

  • 25,425 Folds
  • 3,417 Stories
  • 1,665 Finished Stories
  • 1,706 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Thanks for using FoldingStory!

Posted by noah at 11:56 AM | 4 comments
Monday, October 24, 2011

Ho Ho Ho, ahem, I mean Happy Halloween! While it’s not exactly Halloween yet, we thought we’d wish you a happy one now since just about every other website in the world will be doing so in the next week. We considered boycotting the trend, maybe even staging a protest, but who can resist the urge to express oneself through subtle and not-so-subtle pumpkin art? Or perhaps you don’t share our enthusiasm, which is fine because you will always be able to fold some stories to get your creative fix.

Announcements

ARE YOU SCARED YET?

The FoldingStory community can sometimes be a spooky place. Here’s a macabre list of top evil terms mentioned in our growing library of stories:

  1. Dead (295), Death (186), Died (131), Die (120)
  2. Blood (330), Bloody (53)
  3. Screamed (215), Screaming (77), Scream (59), Screams (28)
  4. Kill (168), Killed (108)
  5. Hell (260)
  6. Zombie (99), Zombies (74)
  7. Pain (121), Painful (33)
  8. Evil (141)
  9. Flesh (125)
  10. Monster (77), Monsters (23)

FoldingStory Milestones

We’ve got our eyes on a major FoldingStory milestone. As of right now, we are fewer than 300 folds away from a total of 25,000 folds since we started. Now go to FoldingStory and help us reach our new goal!

Featured Fold & Story

You hungry? Unless you’re from the hills of West Virginia, chances are you won’t be after reading this month’s Featured Fold (just kidding, we love hillbillies!): “…for bacon-wrapped squirrel-on-a-stick. The next recipe was a marmot gumbo. This must have been the point when Harley got dumped by Trixie & became a Carnan survivalist…Read the full story for some great food fiction & poetry.

This month’s Featured Story follows a 63-year-old fatalist, fugitive, pugilist, philatelist, and veteran as he heads back to elementary school. Read about his budding friendship with a narcoleptic prepubescent classmate.

Site Activity as of October 24, 2011

  • 24,711 Folds
  • 3,309 Stories
  • 1,618 Finished Stories
  • 1,645 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Posted by geoff at 10:18 AM | 1 comment
Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tired of all those pesky Facebook updates? Or are you just tired of people being tired of them? While we’d like to admit that we haven’t made any major updates to the site because it’s perfect the way it is, the truth is that we simply have been too busy worrying about our use of pronouns to improve our collective health. In the meantime, go fold some stories, be sure to eat right, and we promise we won’t give you anything to complain about.

Announcements

Speaking of Pronouns…

To give you an idea of the FoldingStory community’s use of pronouns, here is a quick rundown of the top first-person singular pronouns versus others.

First-person singular:

  1. I (15,247)
  2. Me (2,795)
  3. Mine (62)

Other top pronouns:

  1. He (11,341)
  2. It (8,750)
  3. That (7,606)
  4. His (7,174)
  5. She (5,839)
  6. Her (5,022)
  7. You (3,706)
  8. They (3,376)
  9. This (3,003)
  10. Him (2,375)

FoldingStory Milestones

Since we launched the voting feature we’ve seen a great deal of back slapping going on. This month we saw our first Folder reach 3,000 votes! Great job MoralEnd. Now do what’s right for your country and Rock the Vote on your favorite folds.

Featured Fold & Story

We don’t know what to say about this month’s Featured Fold except that we now want to grow mustaches and eat flamingo: “…blow a dandelion.’ He pushed past the hosts to the buffet where a feast of hazelnut stuffed flamingo tempted him as much as the ice-sculpture of Burt Reynolds nearby. ‘If only…” Read the full story to discover what else was going on at this block party (hint: Goldie Hawn look-alikes and a dance party with death).

This month’s Featured Story asks whether it’s possible to teach a bear to dance using the carcass of a nun and has a sweet cameo by none other than the Wyld Stallyns! Give it a read — and next time you look up at the night sky, you just might be looking at Sister Francesca.

Site Activity

  • 23,500 Folds
  • 3,162 Stories
  • 1,545 Finished Stories
  • 1,654 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Posted by noah at 5:38 PM | 0 comments
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

If you weren’t too busy assessing the damage from yesterday’s destruction, you might have been trying to avoid this guy. Or you live in traditionally shaky ground, in which case you might be pondering exactly what all the fuss is about. Now just relax, take one of those deep breaths people keep telling you to take, go to FoldingStory and write as many folds as you can before the end of the world actually happens…

Announcements

FOLDING YOUR INNER ANIMAL

Animals and pets are a part of life for our FoldingStory writers, as we’ve noticed a high percentage of stories on FoldingStory show off their animal side at least once. Here are the top ten animals mentioned on FoldingStory since May 2010: 1. Dog (436) 2. Cat (279) 3. Bear (161) 4. Fish (143) 5. Bird (134) 6. Chicken (125) 7. Horse (91) 8. Dragon (73) 9. Lion (68) and you can’t leave out 10. Manatee (67).

FOLDINGSTORY MILESTONES

FoldingStory has officially recorded over 20,000 folds and 3,000 total stories since we first started folding! We’ve also seen more than 100 flags from you letting us know about some unsavory folds. Thanks everyone! We are officially a group of creative geniuses with a knack for detective work. Keep it up, Gumshoe.

Featured Fold & Story

This month’s Featured Fold stays true to our animal theme, except were these animals or were they were-animals? You decide: “…with his suddenly bullish legs. ‘If were-frogs were were-tadpoles once,’ Manatee mused. ‘Were werewolves were-pups?’ But where were Waldo and the were-whales? These mysteries were…Read the full story to find out where Waldo is, where the were-whales are, and where we’re headed with this were-story.

This month’s Featured Story is a mouth-freshening popsicle away from being the world’s unhealthiest bucket list. Give it a read — and remember to think twice before bringing your car keys to the toilet.

Site Activity as of August 24, 2011

21,972 Folds
3,002 Stories
1,455 Finished Stories
1,569 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Thanks for using FoldingStory!

Posted by geoff at 10:04 PM | 0 comments
Friday, July 29, 2011

The FoldingStory Newsletter is evolving! Turns out, you love the Featured Fold & Story section, but don't care so much for the Announcements. Poof, it's gone. Oh, it'll make the occassional cameo if we have something really important to say, but we want to give you more of what you want and not waste your time with stuff you don't care as much about. Let us know what you think about the new format.

Featured Folds

xardesvives provides our first featured fold in Spanish: "Cuando abrió su ultraportátil, la imagen seguía allí, mirándole inquisitivamente desde el fondo de su escritorio, igual que un huésped que no acaba de irse…" And don't worry if you can't read Spanish, Chaz provides a nice translation.

Kengar is either talking about a mid-swim strip search or a very wet mugging: “He then swam down and took my socks off, ‘Dash it all’ I thought, my mother-in-Law’s Christmas present too? What’s he going to go for next, surely not my…

Our final featured fold was written by sundancer, who channels the poetry of Dr. Seuss to close out the story: "[a]n angry protest. Dr. Seuss declared, 'Sometimes the glory of a story is that it doesn't mean a thing. It's demeaning to suggest meaning in a word without an aim.'"

Featured Stories

Get the real story about "The Baked Bean Murders." It takes a fairy tale twist that turns up noses.

How can we not feature a story about an evil shopping cart, pyramids, beer, and feline stew?

Pregnant granny decides to liven things up with a game that's fun for the whole family - Russian Roulette!

Site Activity as of July 29, 2011

19,772 Folds
2,582 Stories
1,348 Finished Stories
1,383 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Thanks for using FoldingStory!

Posted by geoff at 2:59 PM | 3 comments
Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ah, June! School's out. The days are longer. The weather is beautiful — unless you live in Western Massachusetts where a tornado struck. Sometimes you don't realize the incredible magnitude of the various earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, erupting volcanoes, or other natural disasters until they strike home — like the tornado that touched down mere miles from where the FoldingStory Team grew up. There are numerous outstanding organizations that respond to these types of tragedies every day around the world. Please take a moment between folds and consider donating to a worthy cause that is helping those in need.

There is no doubt that the world is dangerous, but that's why we have FoldingStory. A place where we can forget about the natural disasters for a few minutes and write stories where limerick beginnings can have rhyme-fest endings.

Announcements

MORALEND TOPS 2,000 VOTES

With more than 2,000 votes received, MoralEnd has become the first FoldingStory Writing Fellow. Visit MoralEnd's profile, check out some Thunder Cat-style writing, and see if you can become the next resident fellow!

FOLDINGSTORY MILESTONES

FoldingStory has reached several important milestones this month. First, we've had over 1,000 new members sign up since the start of 2011 and our new goal is to get another 2,000 by year's end. So keep spreading the word! Second, we've eclipsed 18,000 folds. If you string all of those folds together on a single line, do you know how far that would reach? Neither do we, but we bet it's pretty far. Finally, there have been over 25,000 votes cast. We think that says a lot about the quality of the folds being written. Keep folding great lines and voting for others who do the same!

Featured Fold & Story

This month's featured fold is full of the love and promise proud parents have for their children: "…I hoped my baby would grow up to be a great mathematician like his vampire mommy or a great musician like his zombie-werewolf daddy. Maybe he'd take after…" Read the full story to find out who the young vampire-zombie-werewolf hybrid would take after.

You do not want to miss this month's Featured Story. It starts out with a bang, and flirts with becoming a romantic comedy, before explaining how a papal-phile with a sword goes about getting an audience with the Pope. Give it a read — you won't be disappointed.

Site Activity as of June 25, 2011

18,136 Folds
2,360 Stories
1,253 Finished Stories
1,320 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Thanks for using FoldingStory!

Posted by geoff at 8:56 PM | 2 comments
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May is a very special month for us at FoldingStory, and not only because it is Zombie Awareness Month. About this time last year we stopped talking about how awesome it would be to create FoldingStory and we got busy building it out. It’s now one year later and we couldn’t be more excited to see how much fun people are having with it. Keep folding those stories!

Announcements

HUNGRY FOR POWER? NEW FEATURE: FLAGGING CONTENT

After spending a good deal of time dealing with evil trolls who take an insane amount of strange pleasure from folding obscene or unintelligible lines, we’ve decided to invoke your help with this problem. Now when you see an offensive line, you can now flag it by clicking on the flag icon next to each available line. If there are enough flags from our users, we will remove the line and remind the user about the rules.

WE LIKE YOU, EVEN IF YOU DON’T LIKE US

While we don’t expect you to name your children in honor of our website, we are constantly vying for your affection. Even if there’s no other incentive than to show us you care, head over to Facebook, “like” us, and maybe post a comment on our wall to tell us how much!

INDIEGAMES BROWSER PICK

Last month FoldingStory was featured as an Indiegames.com browser pick. Check out the article.

IS FOLDINGSTORY A VIDEO GAME? 

Gamezone.com author David Sanchez offers his insights into exactly what category FoldingStory falls into. We think this is a futile exercise, as FoldingStory must be in its own category. Check out David’s article and let us know what you think.

Featured Fold & Story

This month’s Featured Fold was submitted by BadAxel, who helped save a story from inside of a hippo with this line: “…It was actually pretty nice in there. I set up a time share with Jed and Frank, a nice gay couple from Yorkshire. Sure the stomach acid got in the way every now and then, but…” You have to see where this goes next: read the full story. Want to check out more great folds and see how yours stack up? Check out our Top Folds page.

An exploration into the dark world of self-mutilation, brain transplants gone awry, and (of course) controversial music videos sparkle in this month’s Featured Story, “Sally Temple was always so self-conscious about her sixth finger…

Site Activity as of May 18, 2011

16,120 Folds
2,090 Stories
1,106 Finished Stories
1,195 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Thanks for using FoldingStory!

Posted by dan at 10:45 PM | 1 comment
Saturday, April 23, 2011

The FoldingStory universe saw some pretty dramatic growth last week, due in no small part to several positive reviews that were posted on Thursday. A “Browser Pick” at IndieGames.com, Michael Rose wrote:

I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it at first…[h]owever, once you get properly into it, there’s plenty of fun to be had.

Be careful, Michael, you might just get addicted. Read the whole post.

David Sanchez of GameZone.com enjoyed the casual nature of gameplay and had this to say:

FoldingStory isn’t a traditional video game. In a way, you could argue that it isn’t a video game at all. But because of its growing community, emphasis on multiplayer collaboration, and inclusion of a leaderboard, it certainly feels like one.

Read the entire piece and let us know what do you think about our little “offbeat game.” Is it a game? A distraction? A waste of time? A luminous vision for the future of gaming?

Posted by geoff at 8:01 AM | 0 comments
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Picture this: It’s April. It’s probably raining outside and you’ve just finished your taxes. There’s strife in the Middle East, natural disasters abound, it’s still snowing in Chicago, and this Big Bird tribute to Jim Henson is still getting you down…OK now cheer up everyone! It’s springtime, this new time–lapse movie is awesome, and FoldingStory has your prescription for winter’s hangover: Write. Fold. Pass. Repeat.

Announcements

WHO NEEDS THE GYM? FOLDINGSTORY GEAR MAKES YOU LOOK BETTER

Here at FoldingStory we don’t pretend to know anything about how to dress, but we think our latest foray into the world of apparel has sent shock waves through the fashion universe. Check out the blog post to see for yourself and receive instructions on how to get your hands on your own FoldingStory gear. Don’t forget to send us pictures!

NEW FEATURE: STORY THEMES

In the next week or so, you’ll have the option to set a theme for your story that everyone folding after you will see. Now you can keep the story centered on things like specific locations, animals, your ex-girlfriend, celebrity cooking stars, ancient languages, or purple polka dots. The more creative, the better, so stay tuned.

TIPS ON GETTING VOTES

What makes a good fold? Stop pulling out your hair when the time limit is reached and you’ve got nothing. Read our blog post and improve your score!

THE SIX SIDES OF WRITER’S BLOCK

Have you been stalked by this six-sided monster? Check out the blog post.

Featured Fold & Story

This month’s Featured Fold was submitted by Davodd, who reminds us to respect our elders: “…usually dressed as one of the Golden Girls - which somehow - made the rice taste better. On the other hand, the MSG had the nasty side effect of making us…” If you’re not too hungry at this point, read the full story. Want to check out more great folds and see how yours stack up? Check out our Top Folds page.

Perhaps an inspiration for our latest new feature, a great set of folds seems to keep its theme consistent in this month’s Featured Story, “While normally it is difficult for me to begin writing, today was different…

Site Activity as of April 20, 2011

11,922 Folds
1,689 Stories
699 Finished Stories
898 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Thanks for using FoldingStory!

Posted by geoff at 6:14 PM | 2 comments
Monday, April 4, 2011

Mark Twain, one of the (if not the) greatest American writer’s of all time, was brilliant beyond his unique storytelling ability. Here are several of his more inspirational quotes:

  • “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
  • “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
  • “When angry, count to four. When very angry, swear.”
  • “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first.”
  • “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.”

Check out Henri Junttila’s article for a few more and her ideas about how these quotes can help change your life. That is, assuming you want to change your life. Otherwise, just enjoy the quotes.

Posted by geoff at 8:40 AM | 0 comments
Friday, April 1, 2011

I stumbled across this rather interesting piece about idleness.

It is a confusing concept, though, and to find that pure and valid strain, it would help to say what it is not. Idleness is not inertness, for example. Inertness is immobile, inattentive, somehow lacking potential. Neither is idleness quite laziness, for it does not convey disinclination. It is not torpor, or acedia—the so-called Demon of Noontide—nor is it any form of passive resistance, for these require an engagement of the will, and idleness is manifestly not about that. Gandhi was not promulgating idleness, nor was Bartleby the scrivener exhibiting it when he owned that he would “prefer not to.” Nor are we talking about the purged consciousness that Zen would aspire to, or any spiritually influenced condition: idleness is not prayer, meditation, or contemplation, though it may carry tonal shadings of some of these states.

It is the soul’s first habitat, the original self ambushed—cross-sectioned—in its state of nature, before it has been stirred to make a plan, to direct itself toward something.

Idleness is also a necessary precursor to creativity. Only when they could stop running from predators, or hunting and gathering food long enough to enjoy a few minutes of respite, did ancient cave dwellers turn to wall paintings. You don’t see an abundance of art, written, painted, sculpted or otherwise, coming from the lower classes of a society (slaves, serfs, servants) because they were too busy working to survive. Look to any society and you will see creativity flourish when citizens can indulge in idle time.

Posted by geoff at 7:30 AM | 0 comments
Thursday, March 31, 2011

A writer’s voice is often difficult to define, but Victor Lavalle and Amy Minton have a great dialogue on the meaning of narrative voice. Amy often relies on this quote to describe what she means by voice (which, it seems to this writer, also accurately describes sex, love, food, friendship and about a million other things):

“If you have it, you don’t need it. If you need it, you don’t have it. If you have it, you need more of it. If you have more of it, you don’t need less of it… The point is, if you’ve never had any of it, ever, people just seem to know.”

Victor’s definition is much more simple and to the point: voice is personality.

If you’ve ever wondered about your voice as a writer, read the entire piece. You won’t be disappointed.

Posted by geoff at 8:35 AM | 0 comments
Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Miss Good on Paper has some great advice for aspiring writers: write, read, and live. Well, the first one is pretty obvious - I mean you can’t spell writer without write, right? Reading is also essential, but if you’re anything like me, you have to be careful. Once I start a book, nothing else gets done (including writing) until I’ve read it cover-to-cover. Lastly, you have to live. I mean, really, who has ever heard of an author who wrote a single word after (s)he was dead? If you don’t live, you can’t write.

OK, I’ll admit, that was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the advice is solid. I think the first thing you have to do (whether you want to be a writer or not) is live. The writing will come later, for most people. There are those few (bastards) who can experience a moment, or event, and know immediately how to put it into words. For the rest of us, live while you can and write in your spare time. Trust me, you’ll be happier and the words will flow more freely than a drunk at five cent beer night.

Posted by geoff at 8:15 AM | 0 comments
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sometimes a story just catches your eye, like this one about the six-sided writer’s block - “a small cube-shaped creature that can fit in the palm of your hand, which shows up on a writer’s doorstep after it smells the tasty prose inside…” As the author notes, it is important to know all six sides if you ever want to get rid of the little bugger:

  • Hypnotic eyes that distract you from writing
  • Dancing feet that force your hands from their task
  • Flatulence that smells of your favorite foods
  • Freezing temps that make you want to crawl up somewhere cozy
  • Music that gets stuck in your head
  • ESP that causes others to interrupt you when you finally get on track

Of course, once you identify it, you’ll need a book and a butterfly net to actually rid yourself of the fella’. A must read if you’ve ever had (or are currently experiencing) a writer’s block of your own.

Posted by geoff at 7:00 PM | 0 comments
Monday, March 28, 2011

Don’t get thrown by the name of her blog, “Business Administration Degree,” Molly Cunningham has some great advice for ways to help prime your creative pump:

  • Do something different
  • Write about something new
  • Take a break from writing

We’d like to add a fourth tip: Do something fun. Not only will it take your mind off your work, but the physio-chemical changes in your brain will help you think differently. Now what are you waiting for? Get out of your chair and do something - FoldingStory will still be here to capture all of your brilliant folds when you get back!

Posted by geoff at 8:58 AM | 0 comments
Sunday, March 27, 2011

OK so many of our FoldingStory fans have been hesitant to get in and start folding because they’re afraid that they aren’t clever enough to put together a line that people like.  I’ll admit, everyone on the FoldingStory team shares this fear.  Our avid users have shown surprising creative endurance, and while it probably comes natural to them, we think there are some strategies that you can use to generate ideas on the fly and earn some points.

Since we launched the site we’ve been keeping track of all the votes that our users have made on each fold, and by analyzing the top folds here is what we’ve found:

1. So this guy walks into a bar…

Most of the top folds are in that category because they are funny.  We’re not talking stupid funny either, we’re talking REALLY stupid funny.  The zanier the better, trust me. 

2. Get me a paper clip, a stick of gum, and some tinfoil…

Action folds make up almost as much as the funny folds. In some cases there are funny action folds, and these are my personal favorites.  If you can move the story along with some block-buster special effects, you’ll find yourself on that leaderboard.

3. It was the best of folds, it was the worst of folds…

Sometimes starting new stories can be your ticket to FoldingStory stardom.  These are often easier than you think.  Try something that happened to you that day, or perhaps start the story at the middle or end of a situation to get the Memento effect.

4. Tap into your inner Thomas Hardy...

A great fold is only as good as its previous folder’s set up.  While we’re not against ending a fold with a period, most of the best folds are open-ended gems that add something wild or creative to the story and then

5. Suppress the desire to write one-liners…

Most of the top folds include more than just a quick hit-and-run, often times using up as many characters as you can from the number of available ones in each fold.

Tell us what you think make up the best folds.  We’d love to hear from you!

Posted by dan at 3:50 PM | 2 comments
Friday, March 25, 2011

J. Timothy King has some great tips on getting (and receiving) feedback:

  1. Get a fresh perspective on your writing.
  2. Feedback must be offered as a means to help the writer improve their writing.
  3. Sandwich your feedback with the bad and the good.
  4. Be mindful of who you allow access to your work.

Great advice for authors and editors of all stripes. And those are just the highlights - check out the whole article for a more in-depth discussion on feedback.

Posted by geoff at 7:57 AM | 0 comments
Thursday, March 24, 2011

M.J. Rose has an interesting article on self publishing your work. Prompted by Barry Eisler’s decision to turn down a $500,000 deal to publish his next novel himself, Rose discusses her experience in 1998 and how the industry, and perception, has changed since then.

On a somewhat related note, have you heard of Amanda Hocking? She is the self published author who is making a killing selling her novels for less than $5 each online. I think we’re in the wrong business.

Posted by geoff at 8:54 AM | 0 comments
Wednesday, March 23, 2011

FoldingStory T-ShirtAlthough we typically spend no more than a few hours a month thinking about clothes, we came together and decided that it was time to pair fashion with FoldingStory to create a new line of Social Storytelling gear that we could collectively wear to look good while folding lines.  Since fulfilling our own orders, we decided to create a CafePress store so that you could order your own. 

OK, we’re not saying that you need to look any better than you already do, but if you ask us, it feels good to write when you look as good as you do wearing this stuff.

DIRECTIONS

Before visiting the store, keep this in mind:  We have four different designs on the third-party site and CafePress gave us no option to pair our logo designs with specific colors…so if you don’t see anything on the T-Shirt preview, you must manually choose a darker or lighter color (or a different logo from the left column) to make sure the shirt looks normal.  Otherwise you might end up with a plain white t-shirt with a white FoldingStory logo (this happened to one of us, don’t let it happen to you).

Here is the web address for the site:  http://www.cafepress.com/FoldingStory

Choose a logo from the “Shop By Design” menu, then choose what gear you want and what color you want it to be.  Let us know if you have any suggestions for T-Shirt designs and we’d be happy to add more designs.

Also, if you purchase a shirt, take a picture and send it info@foldingstory.com.  As long as you’re wearing more than just the t-shirt, we’ll post it on the blog!

Enjoy!

Posted by dan at 8:35 PM | 0 comments
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

We at FoldingStory don’t usually read the Economist and seldom understand what they’re talking about when we do, but this article on gaming really hit home for us:

“[Computer games] help fulfil [sic] human needs. Simple online games…played between friends on Facebook, can help sate the desire for companionship among atomised young people. Collaborative multiplayer games cater to the need to feel part of a group.”

And when they force you to think creatively rather than just pointing and clicking, games have an even greater impact.

Posted by geoff at 6:54 PM | 0 comments
Monday, March 21, 2011

ShawGuides has a fairly extensive list of writing workshops across the globe. From Hamilton, NY (have to give a shout out to my alma mater) to Ireland, Italy, and Ghana, these workshops offer a unique opportunity to leave the rest of the world behind and focus on your writing. And if there’s an Internet connection, you can invite some new friends to join you on FoldingStory.

Oh, and here’s a creativity workshop if you need to exercise that part of your brain.

Posted by geoff at 7:18 PM | 0 comments
Thursday, March 17, 2011

Writermag.com is offering free access to all of their content for one week only. From noon on March 17, until midnight on March 24 you can access all of their paid content, including articles from The Writer magazine. Visit WriterMag.com to get in on the all the good freebies until the promotion ends.

Posted by geoff at 5:23 PM | 0 comments
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Ides of March are upon us. Last month FoldingStory was picked up by ReadWriteWeb and TheNextWeb and was featured in a news feed along with stories about Apple, Baidu, Google, Twitter, and Firefox. So keep folding those stories, you're in good company!

Announcements

A FOLDINGSTORY LESSON PLAN

We’ve received several requests from forward-thinking teachers who would like to integrate social storytelling into the classroom, and we were delighted when blogger/educator Kristian Still experimented using FoldingStory with his year 10 English Functional Skills class. He wrote up a great step-by-step guide and conclusion for trying this in your own classrooms. If you’ve tried this in your classroom please let us know how it went, we would love to hear from you!

A NEW MILESTONE

We’re pleased to announce that in the last month NixonBlack was the first user to reach 1,000 folds and also 1,000 votes! We would also like to give a shout out to MoralEnd for being the only other user to reach this level.

WORD COUNT TRENDS

Inspired by the number of folds adding up, we decided to take a look into the expanding FoldingStory universe to see if we could find something of sociological value in the words used by all of you folders. In time we hope to uncover some interesting trends, but for now here’s a revealing look at the top 10 most referenced proper nouns used since we launched the site last October: 1. Christmas (51 folds) 2. Jesus (27) 3. George (25) 4. Jackson (24) 4. Jack (24) 6. Santa (23) 7. Sarah (21) 8. Bob (20) 9. China (19) 9. Starbucks (19)

1,000 USERS OR BUST

We’ve found that the more diverse the authors of a story, the more interesting the final stories turn out to be. Therefore, in an effort to keep the collective ideas flowing and the stories as fresh as possible, we’re currently on a push to break the threshold of 1,000 FoldingStory users. So please be sure to tell your friends and share with the rest of the world how much fun we’re having over here at FoldingStory! Use the links at the bottom of the page to Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter.

Featured Fold & Story

This month’s Featured Fold was submitted by MoralEnd, whose “Waxen Queen” offers her royal subjects no explanation: “…and performed ‘Rent’ in Spanish. Her Edict demanded that the still life perform all theater works in Spanish because, well…she was the ‘Waxen Queen,’ she didn’t need reasons…” Unless you’re too busy conducting still life Spanish theatre yourself, read the full story here. Want to check out more great folds and see how yours stack up? Check out our Top Folds page.

Proctologists, penguins, and naked strangers conspire to keep up with the Joneses in this month’s Featured Story, “This world’s remaining strange mysteries exist among the nooks and crannies of civilization…

Site Activity as of March 16, 2011

10,426 Folds
1,512 Stories
597 Finished Stories
824 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Thanks for using FoldingStory!

Posted by dan at 7:13 PM | 2 comments
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February 16th might be the most insignificant day in an otherwise very important month. After some light research, we’ve learned that on this day in 1859, The French Government passed a law to set the A-note above middle C to a frequency of 435 Hz, and more recently, in 1996 Shaquille O’Neal made his only successful 3 point shot in his illustrious NBA career. Although we don’t pretend to hold a candle to either the standardization of musical pitch or the pinnacle moment of Shaq’s career, what FoldingStory did today will overshadow all other February 16th events. That’s right – today we’ve released several new features that will change the face of FoldingStory without affecting game play. Interested? Read on to see what’s new.

Announcements

FROM FRIENDS TO FOLLOWERS

We’ve noticed that our members are a friendly bunch, and for this reason we’ve enhanced the "friends" feature so that you can now follow each others’ posts directly from your own home page. If you’ve ever used Twitter you will feel at home with this setup, as users can choose to follow your folds at will. However, if you are feeling a bit sheepish around a few people, you have the option to block specific members from following your folds.

HOME PAGE

Based on our new social model we have updated the home page (formerly the "Dashboard" page). We kept the "Recent Activity" functionality and divided the page into two sections: Open Folds and Finished Folds. Within each section you can display folds by anyone on FoldingStory, by those members you are following, or by just you. Additionally, these sections update automatically as people add folds, so you don’t even need to refresh the page to view the latest content.

PROFILE PAGE

We admit the profile pages were a bit lacking, but no longer! You can now tell others a little about yourself, including your "writing style." Additionally, we revamped the layout of the profile pages so that you can see who is following whom.

PRIVATE MESSAGES

A lot of people have started using the comments section to communicate. While we are all for open communication, attempting to be clever for the general public can sometimes be exhausting. Therefore, we created a system for sending private messages to those in your network. You’ll notice when you hover over the "Account" link at the top right of the page that a drop-down now appears. Click on "Messages" to view and compose messages.

IS FOLDINGSTORY ONE OF YOUR FAVES?

This week FoldingStory was featured on AllMyFaves.com. Please help us out by reading the post and then "Like" us using the Facebook button at the bottom. Each Like we receive helps increase our chances of being a Weekly Fave!

SHOUT OUT FROM ACROSS THE POND

Like proud parents, we can’t help but share with you this tidbit from the UK (skip to pg. 31). The Metro in London ran a story about us in mid-January. To our knowledge, this is the first time FoldingStory has been featured in a print publication. This is pretty amazing to us. Thank you for enjoying FoldingStory so much and for spreading the word to others!

Featured Fold & Story

This month’s Featured Fold was submitted by CBethM, who took drama to a new level with, "the flames rising from what had been his rental car, a sensible compact he’d picked up only hours ago at the airport. His mind raced. How was he going to explain this to…" Great fold, CBethM! Before the flames get you, check out the full story. Want to check out more great folds and see how yours stack up? Check out our Top Folds page.

Be sure to finish whatever you’re eating before reading this month’s Featured Story: "Hi, I’m fat and addicted to oxycontin. Strange because most drug people are thin…"

Site Activity as of February 16, 2011

7,565 Folds
1,181 Stories
387 Finished Stories
613 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Thanks for using FoldingStory!

Posted by dan at 11:18 PM | 2 comments
Saturday, January 15, 2011

It’s been quite a month. There was a late surge of activity in December and we finished 2010 with 232 members. Not too shabby considering we’ve had another 100+ members join in the first two weeks of 2011! Things are really starting to ramp up, so keep spreading the word.

We’ve also seen FoldingStory really begin to blossom as a community. There have been a number of amazing stories and lines, new friendships have started forming, and NixonBlack even suggested we host a FoldCon so users can meet in person. Wow! To hear such a positive response less than 12 months after we started this site is really inspiring. We love that you love FoldingStory and we’ll keep working to make it better.

Announcements

COMING (REALLY) SOON

We’re putting the final touches on some of the new features we teased in last month’s newsletter. We were hoping they’d be ready by now but you know how it is with the holidays, the families, the cheer. We’re really excited about these new features and we think they will help make the site easier to use and bring the FoldingStory community even closer together.

24,000 PAGE VIEWS IN DECEMBER

Are you serious? That is awesome. There’s not much else to say about it. Thanks for visiting, and visiting, and visiting!

COMMUNITY FEEDBACK

We’d like to thank those of you who have taken the time to email us with suggestions for the site, to inform us of stuff that isn’t working properly, or to alert us when trolls are lurking about. We love folding stories with you, but between programming and testing, sometimes we don’t get to fold as often as we’d like. We really count on your emails for feedback about the folding experience, so please keep them coming.

Featured Fold & Story

This month’s Featured Fold was submitted by kenobi, who channeled the late, great Leslie Nielsen and capped off the story nicely with, “…to know how to handle this crate. ‘Everybody buckle up and put your head between your legs.’ I flipped a couple of important looking switches. ‘And don’t call me Shirley.’” Well done kenobi! Surely you’ll want to read the full story. Want to check out more great folds and see how yours stack up? Check out our Top Folds page.

If you thought a dead cell phone battery was the worst part of your day, this month’s Featured Story proves otherwise. Check out “If ever there was a time to use his cell phone, this was it…

Site Activity as of January 15, 2011

4,589 Folds
743 Stories
202 Finished Stories
365 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Thanks for using FoldingStory!

Posted by geoff at 3:49 PM | 2 comments
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Think FoldingStory has what it takes to be a killer startup? Vote for us on killerstartups.com and help us make it to this month’s Top 10 startups. Here’s how they describe us:

All aspiring narrators out there, this is the site that will keep you entertained this evening. Folding Story is a group storytelling game whose rules and dynamics will put your creativity to the limit… The results will be more or less stellar, but nobody could deny they are going to be tons of fun. And that is all that should matter, in the end.

Thanks and keep on folding!

Posted by geoff at 7:39 PM | 0 comments
Saturday, December 18, 2010

Here at FoldingStory we’re headed into the holiday season in high spirits. The website has really come to life this month, and the stories are getting better and better with each new user that signs up. The team at FoldingStory wishes everyone a happy and safe holiday and reminds you to fold some stories with your family and loved ones!

Announcements

COMING SOON

While we all know that folding stories with everyone on the site is a great experience, we’ve been toying with the idea of integrating your social network into the site so you can easily write, fold, and pass with your friends. Stay tuned in the coming months for some interesting changes to the “friends” and “profile” features, which we think will complement the site well. In the meantime, we can all enjoy the company of perfect strangers.

FOLDING MILESTONES

This month we saw the number of lines folded increase dramatically. When we hit 1,000 folds we blogged about it. Now that we’ve surpassed 2,500 we’re going to wait until 10,000 folds until we boast about it again. Wait, did we just boast?

TWITTER @FOLDINGSTORY

In the spirit of being social, we’ve decided to start tweeting a little. If you’ve got a hankerin’ for tweeting, please follow us and mention @foldingstory to your followers! We’d really appreciate it.

FOLDINGSTORY BLOG

Haven’t checked out our blog yet? Go there to find up-to-date news and feature releases. Let us know if you have any blogging topics you’d be interested in!

Featured Fold & Story

This month’s Top Fold was submitted by Euphorium, who wrote, “a sort of gameshow in which she, the contestant, would be twisted into various unladylike positions while he, the host, flirted with the audience, mouthing the right answers.” Read the full story. Nice work, Euphorium. Less than a week old and your fold is this month’s favorite. Let’s see some more folds! You can view the latest top folds on our Top Folds page.

This month’s Top Story starts out with heartbreak, then takes a turn for the worse! Check out “Broken inside, thats what she said as she walked out on me…

Site Activity as of December 18, 2010

2,529 Folds
387 Stories
113 Finished Stories
169 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Thanks for using FoldingStory!

Posted by geoff at 10:17 PM | 0 comments
Thursday, December 9, 2010

Look at that - we got our first news story! We’ve been tweeted about several times (what, you’re not following us yet?), but this is the first legit article. And, we even made the front page of the University of San Francisco School of Business and Professional Studies website.

Recently, there have also been several very flattering blog posts about FoldingStory. The first one was from paper tastebuds, a blog run by the extremely talented calligrapher, and good friend, Bryn. The second was a post by the esteemed author M.J. Rose on her Buzz, Balls & Hype blog. The third was by Christine Texeira (a blogger at the Richard Hugo House) who suggested using FoldingStory as a way “to have a little more fun with writing, and with other people” after last month’s NaNoWriMo.

Finally, the Cape Girardeau Storytelling Festival posted this amazing review on their Facebook page:

If you don’t sign up for FoldingStory, we’re not sure what’s wrong with you. Coolest, funnest social story app we’ve ever seen! Create a quick account instantly and start “folding.”

 
We’re thrilled to hear that people are enjoying the site, and we’re especially excited to be part of a resurgence in online social gaming that brings people together in ways that traditional social networks do not. 

Please take a moment to tell us what you think!

Posted by geoff at 5:24 PM | 0 comments
Thursday, November 25, 2010

What are we thankful for today? For one, reaching our first major milestone. At 11:17am EST Isalith wrote our 1,000th fold!

We couldn’t be more excited. It seems like just yesterday we folded our first story. After that it wasn’t long until lebreeze became our first user and Legendaryman became the first non-founder to fold a line. In no time we finished our first full story and the rest is history.

Congratulations, Happy Thanksgiving, and keep folding — 10,000 folds will be here before you know it!

Posted by geoff at 9:06 AM | 0 comments
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We’re back again this month with a few updates. We’ve added some new features and made some tweaks to the site but our main focus right now is getting some more people to use this thing! That’s where you, our loyal friends, come in. Please take a second to post a story you like to your Facebook or Twitter pages, or simply get out there and tell people about this awesome new game!

Announcements

Increased Character Limit

Some of you experienced mild bouts of claustrophobia and sudden panic attacks with the old character limits and timer. We value your health and well-being, and that’s why we’ve increased the character limit to 180 characters and the time limit to four minutes. Rest easy everyone.

Story Length Set To 10 Folds

Despite the best efforts of our team of engineers, we’ve realized that in real life it is literally impossible to fold a sheet of paper 20 times. Five folds of fun, however, just seems too short-lived. We decided to compromise and set all stories to 10 folds, which feels just right to us. Fold some stories and tell us what you think!

Recent Activity

Ever wondered where your lines go after you’re done writing? We’ve developed an activity feed that shows you exactly who has added to your lines, who has made comments, and who likes your lines. Check it out on the Dashboard!

Featured Fold & Story

This month’s Top Fold was submitted by Chew116, who wrote “[If only he could] see how I was really living. The lies, the deceit, he would probably stay in that dumpster.” Read the full story. Nice work, Chew116. You can view the latest top folds on our Top Folds page.

This month’s Top Story was finished three days ago and is already leading the pack! Check out “I put on my mask. I took a deep breath…

Site Activity as of November 11, 2010

928 Folds
119 Stories
49 Finished Stories
123 Members

Be sure to Like us on our Facebook page and follow us on our Twitter feed!

Thanks for using FoldingStory!

Posted by noah at 9:17 PM | 0 comments
Thursday, November 11, 2010

The key to a successful foldingstory is creativity, diversity and collaborative spontaneity. No one wants to fold the same story with the same people over and over again, right? Here’s a few ways you can help get the word out:

Anything we’re missing? Send suggestions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Posted by geoff at 3:32 PM | 0 comments
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hello readers, writers, authors and friends - and welcome to the FoldingStory blog!

I guess it makes sense to explain why we have the FoldingStory blog. First things first, right? Well, the fact of the matter is that we have lots of irons in the fire right now and we want to keep you informed about what’s going on, introduce you to new features and let you know how you can get more involved. I’ll save the details for future posts, but rest assured we are constantly working to improve FoldingStory and make it the kind of website you tell your grand-kids about one day.

Another reason for the blog is that we want to chronicle our adventure creating FoldingStory. To give you a very brief history, FoldingStory is the brainchild of four friends from elementary school. It was conceived in late February, 2010, and before you knew it we were buying domain names and burning the midnight oil. In October, after months of programming new features and fine tuning, we finally sent our first monthly newsletter and started introducing FoldingStory to people beyond our circle of friends and family.

Well, that’s our story up to this point. Thanks and come back soon for another exciting installment of the FoldingStory blog!

Posted by geoff at 11:25 AM | 0 comments