We need the wider community's position on this long-standing matter before making a decision on how best to resolve it.  Thanks!

[01 Jul] - Community poll | Posting limit? (HOLD)


01 July


Hi everyone,


At the current moment, there are no specific rules concerning posting behavior on our site.  There is a general limit of 5 poems/hr for everyone (for server performance control).


However, there's a long-standing matter we occasionally come up against whenever new members arrive (not their fault; they don't know).  They're often understandably very eager to share their works, and so end up inadvertently 'flooding' the main public lists of posts on the Home page and Today's Texts page with their poems. 


This has for effect of saturating the space and bumping other authors' work out of view very quickly.


We know when this kind of situation occurs, it makes a lot of people unhappy.  It's been expressed to us many times by quite a few members that this behavior is primarily received as an excessive one and as a lack of consideration for others.


As most of you know, we're not crazy on imposing blanket rules just to cater for a few.  We always hope people will make their own good judgement and in time naturally suss how the vast majority on the site isn't posting their works in that manner -- even if the site has been designed by the original creator to allow serial postings.


But since we don't make our community's flow explicitly clear anywhere -- except for a gently suggestive newcomer's tip box displayed on the Write Text page for 2 weeks -- we feel it's time to outline specifications about the community's preferences as concerns this particular recurring matter in order to put in place a resolution.  At the moment, our hands are a little tied to say anything without having any specific rule or established consensus in existence.


We'd like to know your thoughts or suggestions to help us determine the best way to resolve this kind of situation.  PoetBay is your space and it's really important to us that whatever we put in place reflects your ethos and wishes as a community.  Our hope here is to check the wider community's current pulse, so to speak, about this kind of occurrence before making any decision.



What is your position on this matter?


Should there only be a rule on excessive postings to facilitate

the handling of the few instances when they happen?


Should there be a more restricted hourly posting limit?




Should there be a daily posting limit?

If so, what would be a reasonable limit in your view?



Thanks for your participation!  We highly value your input as we rely on it to make these types of decisions for PoetBay.




PS:  Public comments, private messages, and emails are all welcome.  And as customary, we'll be taking the take time to fully consider all feedback as well as figure out our best options, and we'll be posting the result of the poll once concluded.  

Words by Editorial Team The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2021-07-02 at 00:00

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Alan J Ripley The PoetBay support member heart!
Hi Isabelle
Three to me would seem to be,
The magical number in poetry.
Alan J Ripley

Ngoc Nguyen The PoetBay support member heart!
I would go along with a daily limit of three poems. If the adjustment suits all or most members, then we make it permanent. If not, then we tweak it once more. Simple as that.

Griffonner The PoetBay support member heart!
I would go for a daily limit. Three being enough, I feel.

Ooh yes; three is the magic number :>)

Hans Bump
I’m in favor of three a day. Poems that is
In deep appreciation of all my fellow writers!!

Steven Riddle

I really, really like your suggestion because it addresses those of us who aren’t particularly concerned about whether or not they ever show up on the front page—we just want to do our thing. Probably not many of us—but we can post them and look at them and have them up for anyone who is interested without interfering with the running list. I think different members use the site toward different ends and the end I’m aiming for isn’t to show up on the “leader board” a dozen times, but to be able to look at the poem in a different way and perhaps received constructive feedback from whomever wants to comb through the backlog.

Hope that may happen in the future, because it sounds to me like an ideal state. One can continue to post as one wills without unduly disturbing the ranks of those who don’t want to see your name a dozen times. (Which by the way, I don’t want to see my name a dozen times in the list either. A point we all can agree upon.)

Thank you for the thoughtful suggestion.

Isabelle, hello again!

Within a single post, authors are (and should be!) free to post however many poems they like. But they should know that it is the posts of "manageable" length that are more readily read in their entirety.

The excess that I worry about has more to do with number of posts per day. We want to avoid the Tobias situation (that fellow who posted, sans blague, eighty times a day).

But even when one posts less vigorously than Tobias, it can be problematic. If as few as three authors are posting, say, seven times daily (which hasn't happened; I'm just thinking hypothetically), such a situation could lead to the more reticent voices being crowded out, as it were.

Whatever is decided, a per-diem limit of much fewer than 120 posts would seem sagacious, prudent, and fair. Five per day is my suggestion.

Peace and light

Steven Riddle
Perhaps the Today’s Texts page could feature only the list of authors who have posted that day with a link to their page. It would serve the purpose of allowing one to linger on an ephemeral list a bit longer (all things are passing, nothing is permanent) while also not inhibiting those who have a different notion about how and what to post.

I think this may be close to what was recommended below, but I can’t read the previous comments and have already forgotten the details (as I noted, all things are passing. LOL)

Later: on second thought, the first suggestion seems more in line with the mission of Poetbay—but harder to actually code and facilitate. But if you’re working on coding anyway, this might be a good state to work toward—allowing complete freedom for the poets without the distraction of worrying about being on or subverting others on a list. Thanks to Mr. Burch!

Editorial Team The PoetBay support member heart!
This is the newcomer's tip box which appears at the top of the Text Editor (Write Text page) for 2 weeks on all new accounts :

Newcomer's tips --

In order to fully enjoy PoetBay, we recommend that you :

- Do not publish too many poems at a time. By doing so, you run the risk of not giving the PoetBay community the chance to read and appreciate your poetry.

- Take the time to comment other members' poetry. This will help to ensure a better sharing experience for you on PoetBay.

As I said, it's suggestive, not very direct on how the community views excessive postings. I'm hoping with your input, I'll be able to make it clearer.


PS: You'd think the welcome message would cover things, but unfortunately, it's rare the new members who read it! I chose the Write Text page 'cause everyone has to go there to publish their poems.

Editorial Team The PoetBay support member heart!
PPS: The questions on limits are the suggestions we always receive from members when this particular matter occurs. We want to verify with the wider community how they view that suggestion.

This helps us to decide which direction to go as far as our programming plans are concerned to find the best solution.


Hi, Isabelle,

Thank you for the invitation to give comment on this matter, and of course, thank you again for the wonderful work you and the team do to offer this site to everyone.

I would say that I tend to be against the restraint of art in any of its manifestations but I do fully understand the predicament the bay faces with multiple posts.

Creativity is a flowing stream that sometimes meets a dam or dyke. When that does occur, once past the obstruction the stream will flow stronger for a little bit before calming again. Such is the mind of a writer, or in this instance, the poet.

I sometimes can post texts 2 or 3 at a time and other times can go for weeks (as the previous weeks have proved) without posting at all. So, I guess I play catch up and post if and when I have a text or more that I think worthy of being read.

Having said that, I do feel that in recent times there has been a marked increase in "surge" postings and this undoubtedly has some effect on those others that have posted only to find their contribution(s) relegated from the front page of todays texts. So, like all good things, there does have to be a modicum of regulation and perhaps a daily limit is now a requirement. I personally would prefer that if there is to be a limit then it should be 3 texts per designated period.
For those that think this is rather tight then I would if I may proffer some thoughts: Every one of us experiences the dreaded writers block and would honestly wish we had something in reserve to work on and present for critical viewing. BY limiting the number of posts per hour or day, then that means we DO have something for another day. Just my nickels worth as it were (-:


Christopher Fernie The PoetBay support member heart!
Dear Isabelle,

Thank you for inviting views on the thorny issue of over-indulgence in self-expression! PoetBay is, in my expereince of creative websites, one of the most,if not the most, liberal publishers of online creative writing, and leads the field in encouraging and welcoming writers from a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds.

As one who has had more rejection letters from publishers of poetry than hot dinners (I just love salads!), I know how life-affirming it is to be able to submit my work without it being subjected to any editorial judgement or criticism, save for scrutiny in respect of social media responsiblity and standards of decency, etc.

With equality of access comes the challenge of self-criticism: how much of one's work is worthy of ANY form of publication? I have written many poems that have not been shared on PoetBay because I myself have not deemed them to be good enough for such dissemination. And I have been guilty of posting trite and feeble pieces which, in hindsight, should not have been sent in the first place.

Self-criticism is q very good place to begin the process of curbing the understanable urge to be seen and heard on platforms like PoetBay. But for some writers, it can also be a terrible millstone, one which prevents them from having the self-belief to share their work, especially if they regard themselves as novices, I know how I would feel if I joined PoetBay as a 'greenhorn' and found myself competing with the heavyweights of the site, those very fine poets who on opening the first page, so to speak, are seen to dominate PoetBay by their sheer volume of work. I would feel intimidated by such a daily deluge, and perhaps put off posting my humble offering for fear of it being 'lost' in the sea of multiple musings by one or two members!

Perhaps the objective of controlling input might be achieved by a more nuanced approach using a library system of filtering or streaming?

For example, I have also been guilty of failing to use the Haiku Page when submitting that genre of work, and from now on will do so, with a view to freeing up space elsewhere. Perhaps members could be reminded of the availability and suitability of dedicated pages?

Apart from promoting existing facilities, I think there is a need to differentiate between a member's previously published poems which are new to PoetBay and a member's new poems which are being published on PoetBay for the first time. PoetBay is extremely generous when allowing hitherto published works being republished on its site: we both know how strict other publishers are when considering poems for publication.

By all means, embrace poetry old and new, but I think if members' work could be placed in different sections of the PoetBay library, as it were, it would enable the browsing visitor to seek out old published poems or unpublished new poems.

I am sorry to be so long-winded about this important editorial matter, but hope you will find my comments useful.

With all good wishes to you and the family,


Steven Riddle

Comment deleted; we thought a member had left the site; fortunately we were wrong :>)

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
I'm not in favor of any limits. Though I sometimes find it annoying when writers bombard us with poems presented separately, or single submissions consisting of innumerable works, I remember how I felt, years ago, when I was invited to join a site for a select few poets, and then was told that I was writing too much. I left the site. If you think that someone is writing excessively, you can skip some of their submissions.

Isabelle, for what it's worth, members of Coo & Co are not remotely upset by this. But if some sort of change is required, we are in agreement with Tommo :>)

Also, if new members aren't aware, perhaps the information could be added to the welcome message from the Editorial Team?

All Good Things,
Coo & Co :>)

As Poetbay is a shared space, I would support a daily posting limit of somewhere between three and five. (Leaning strongly toward three.) And as a writer or poet can include several small pieces on a single post, the curb should not seem draconian.