I Need a Parrot has been 'mine' for so long now that a lot of people don't necessarily know that it used to be run by someone else. kaz814 to be precise. When I took it over (with smileawhile who still manages not to hate me for the number of times I've said "Yes, but why does it work?") I stayed with the format Kaz had set up to ease users into the new site. That included the category listings which were (and are) primarily ship based.
Maybe it's because I tend to be a gen writer (although I read a lot of shipper fic), but the categories are starting to feel like they don't fit anymore. If I'm honest I've always kinda felt that way. The suggestion was made a while ago to mirror the ship categories with a 'buddy' category (take a for instance, naol's Roman Holiday focuses on Xander and Spike but not in a relationship - if there was a 'buddy' category for Xander&Spike then it would be tailor-made for it.) While this may seem like a good idea (two sets of categories one for ships and the mirror for buddies) it would lead to a huge number of categories.
And then there's the ensemble fics, the ones where the genre becomes as important as the characters, the others that just don't quite fit in a pairing (romantic or not).
Where do they go?
That's an awful lot of categories for a site which doesn't quite 'fit' a lot of the time so... in an ideal world, what categories would you have? Would they mirror the WKA fic categories for example, are they okay as they are, should I give the more popular crossovers their own category, should I create a 'yet another hallowe'en story' category? And so on...
I've been working on this over my tea break and using the WKA nomination categories, I've come up with this list of possible new categories for the site:
Academically Dangerous Stories set during the High School years – seasons 1-3
Where Do We Go From Here? Stories set after the end of the show – after season seven
Mbuna Fish Stories featuring Xander’s exploits in Africa – referenced in Damage
World Without Shrimp Stories set in alternate universes.
Bad-ass vamp Stories featuring Xander as a vampire (either Wish!Verse stories or others)
Crazy Whirligig of Fun Comedy stories.
Guess Who Just Got Mean? Dark Xander stories. (Not just dark stories featuring Xander)
Ludicrous & Far Too Breakable Angst stories.
Flying Buttress of Support Ensemble stories featuring Xander.
I Like the Quiet Stories featuring Xander on his own.
How? What? How? Stories which cross over the boundaries of fandom. One might call them… crossovers. :)
Yanni CD & a Bottle of Chianti Romance stories. (Both het and slash)
Viking in the Sack pr0n. (Both het and slash)
What I could then do is add the pairings to the selectable character list so that people can still avoid/look for the ones they want to read. Or I could have subcategories within all of the above giving with the pairings. What d'you think? Oh - and I'd need an apropriate name for fics set seasons 4-7 suggestions?
Edited To Add I've created a poll to see what you guys think about the possible changes. Please cast your vote here