Friday, July 25, 2008

Victoria Strauss -- FieldReport True Life Stories: Update

In a previous post, I discussed author-unfriendly submission and contest terms at FieldReport.com, a site that encourages writers to submit true stories from their own lives for others to read, review, and rate. Among other things, FieldReport required contest winners to give up their copyrights, and also claimed rights in any derivative works based on winners' entries.

Update: FieldReport is sending contest winners agreements to sign, with an email that claims that changes have been made to the Submission Agreement "in favor of our authors. Instead of assigning all rights you just do a license."

In fact, however, little has changed. The agreement requires writers to "license on an exclusive basis all rights, title and interest, including copyrights, in and to the FieldReport to Publisher" (my emphasis). To be honest, I'm not clear on whether one can license copyright--copyright itself, that is, as opposed to assigning it, or licensing specific rights from the bundle of rights that comprises copyright (any IP lawyers, please feel free to weigh in). But it seems clear to me that FieldReport's intent hasn't changed: they still want possession of winners' copyrights. What's more, winners must agree to indemnify and defend FieldReport against claims of copyright violation or libel.

Do the FieldReport folks really believe that they have changed the bottom line for contest winners? Or are they, perhaps, hoping that winners who read the email won't carefully read the agreement? Interestingly, although the original contest rules on FieldReport's website clearly stated that a surrender of copyright was required, the rules have been revised since my previous post--and the copyright transfer is no longer mentioned.

The Submission Agreement has also been revised, and while I wouldn't go as far as saying that it now favors authors, some provisions have been made less sweeping. Most notably, the licensing terms have loosened a bit. FieldReport now claims exclusive rights to submitted articles and stories, plus exclusive rights to any modified or derivative works, for 18 months or 6.5 years from the date of submission, depending how much money a work earns in prizes and compensation. Thereafter, exclusivity expires and FieldReport claims no rights to derivative or modified works (as it did before). However, FieldReport still permanently retains nonexclusive rights to the original content, and writers must still pay a 25% commission to FieldReport if they sell or license the work elsewhere.

In other changes, FieldReport has added a Grand Prize category, for which all winners of its Qualifying Contests (like the one that just concluded) are eligible. Prize: $250,000 (yes, all those zeroes are in the right place).

So where will the money come from? There are Google ads on the site, but that hardly seems adequate to fund so much prize money. There must be investors...and oh yes, there's this: FRBooks. "Choose your favorite FieldReports from the site, the top Fieldreports, or create a book of your own FieldReports for you, your friends or your family. Choose a special interest and make a collection. You write the introduction. You choose the book cover. FRBooks will publish it for you and send it." Per the Submission Agreement, writers are compensated for such use of their material.

I have to say that this is a pretty cool concept. It also puts the licensing requirements into better perspective. The fact remains, however, that contest winners must, to all intents and purposes, surrender copyright--something they now won't discover until after they have won a prize. And there's the claim on derivative works, and that 25% commission.

I just hope that writers who are drawn to the site by the big money prize possibilities are taking a little extra time to read the fine print.

20 comments:

C.E. Petit said...

Yes, I suppose one could license the entire copyright; I just don't see much, if any, direct advantage in doing so, unless there is some tax issue that I don't comprehend. It wouldn't even do any good in a bankruptcy context unless the license was nontransferable... and, as describe in Victoria's post, every interest is definitely transferable.

Licenses generally make the most sense when less than all of something is being transferred, or whatever is being transferred is on a nonexclusive basis.

FieldReport said...

Hi Victoria,

I will admit that FieldReport was asking for a lot of trust in its contributors during our beta period, so your doubts about us back in June were probably understandable—if it had been me, I might have had some of the same concerns. But FieldReport has proved itself in a number of ways since then, and I'm glad you are recognizing some of them in your post above.

Just recently, FieldReport sent out $40,000 in prize money (in cash) to the winners of our beta contest. This included $22,000 to a mail carrier in Portland who wrote the highest-rated FieldReport on the site plus a second story that won in its category. We also gave category awards to professional writers like best-selling novelist Laura Fraser, anthology editor and essayist Shari MacDonald Strong, and New York Times “Habitat” columnist Stephen P. Williams. We were proud of the outcome of our test, as it showed that our community is taking our ranking system seriously and the site is working well as an “engine” for recognizing great writing talent—independent of popularity or writing industry contacts.

Our beta test was such as success that we recently announced the FieldReport Prize for Experiential Writing, to be given out on December 1, 2008—which at $250,000, is the largest prize we know of for a single piece of writing in the world. We’ve also announced a $25,000 teen scholarship to be given out on the same date. We would hate for you and your readers to miss out on the potential of this because they didn’t understand what we are about.

To understand FieldReport, you need to understand that we're a complete departure traditional writing contests. Our goal is to create a new entertainment medium on the web that will excite serious readers (of which there are millions out there) as much as YouTube excites video hounds. The last I read, there were over twelve million active bloggers—and is there any reliable way for you and me to find the best of what they’re writing? Not really.

With its high profile prizes and the reliability of its ranking system, FieldReport has the potential to become something like an American Idol of written content on the web, and the first place people go to access content a little deeper than the standard web fare. This is an idea that our investors are fired up about, and they’ve put their money where their mouths are. We love the idea that great new writers will be able to rise into the public eye in just weeks through FieldReport, through a proven system that recognizes true quality, without years of struggling to get past the traditional gatekeepers of the publishing industry.

Another thing we are striving to create is a truly open publishing marketplace for the written word where old-style literary connections are not a requirement of success. During our beta contest, we were playing close to the vest on this, so when you looked at our beta submission agreement expecting to find something appropriate to a simple contest, I can see why you were surprised. If you “readjust your spectacles” to see it as a publishing agreement, I think you’ll understand it better.

Now that we have launched to the public, our agreement has been updated based on focus groups we conducted, and based on other comments—of which yours was one. FieldReport no longer takes copyright to any work submitted, and the exclusivity period for the license you grant on submission extends only for 18 months, unless you make more than $2,500 during that time on the piece you submitted. We are giving all of our beta authors the courtesy of allowing them to choose either our original agreement or the revised one.

I want to state clearly that there are choices to make when you submit to FieldReport, and it may not be the best place for everything you write. But these are rational choices that every author should make based on many factors, including the publicity value inherent in our system, potential prizes and profits to be gained, and other options in the market for selling personal essays (sadly limited, to be frank). I hope that as you watch us grow, you’ll become a supporter of what we’re trying to do for writers, and for the publishing marketplace in general.

If you’d like any further information, or verification of our July 1 prizes, feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to help.

Best regards,

Will Petty, CEO
FieldReport

Dave Kuzminski said...

While I'm willing to wait and see how events develop among FieldReport and writers before reaching an opinion, I feel that one statement isn't exactly correct. What FieldReport is doing is trying to make a profit. There's nothing wrong with that, either. What Writer Beware is doing is trying to help authors and the publishing marketplace in general.

Victoria Strauss said...

I'm remiss in posting this, but I've been on vacation.

I've corresponded with FieldReport CEO Will Petty, who left a comment above, just to be sure that I properly understand what he said. He assured me that no future contest winners will be required to surrender or license their copyrights, and that winners of the beta contest (the one that closed July 1, for which agreements and checks are currently being sent out) will be offered the option of signing an agreement under the revised rules. I am very pleased to learn that FieldReport is stepping back from its rights grab, and allowing contest winners to retain copyright.

He also explained the 25% commission due to FieldReport if you sell your own work: "The reason we ask for a commission from authors if they sell the work themselves is that we feel many author sales will actually come about because of the site."

Frankly, I'm skeptical. The focus of FieldReport is unique, and the insta-book idea is really nifty--but the site itself is one of many like it. There are numerous content aggregation sites that employ ranking systems of various kinds, and also offer prizes or compensation for contributors. I suspect that potential buyers of content won't see much, if any, difference between a high rank on FieldReport and a high rank on Associated Content or Helium or any of the many others--which is to say, they very likely will not care. If a FieldReport contributor is able to re-sell his or her work, I think that this will much more likely be based on the work's merit than on the fact that it appeared on FieldReport. I therefore feel that paying a commission to FieldReport is unwarranted--as is FieldReport's claim on derivative works produced during the exclusivity period.

Most of FieldReport's contributors, most likely, will not care about the things I've highlighted in my two posts. Despite the professional writers mentioned in Mr. Petty's comment, I'd imagine that large numbers of FieldReport contributors will be non-writers, and for these folks, the picky points about licensing, copyrights, and exclusivity will not be important. But even if they aren't concerned that the terms they're agreeing to are fair, I am. I also know that writers, even relatively savvy ones, can be very bad about carefully reading and considering the fine print.

Anonymous said...

Hi Victoria, I am one of the Field Report category winners, I am unhappy about the licensing agreement and I am still waiting to hear back from them re this issue before returning the signed agreement. Specifically I want to know 1. whether I am free to use the material in other works (i.e. the content as opposed to the verbatim text) and 2. why field report want any rights other than publishing rights. I have been strongly advised not to return the agreement until these issues are resolved, and I would very much apprecviate it if someone from fled report could get back to me!

FieldReport said...

Dear Anonymous, I'm happy to have a chance to explain the derivative works aspects of FieldReport's submission agreement to you, and even happier to have a chance to do so in a public forum, as I think there have been a lot of misunderstandings about what the agreement means.

FieldReport is not just a content aggregator, we are a publisher, and so our submission agreement is really an agreement to let us promote your work and represent you in the sale of it to others. Though it has changed significantly since our beta period, at its heart the agreement is related more to agreements in the publishing industry than to agreements you might be used to seeing on the web.

First, of all, you need to know that NOTHING in the current submission agreement limits you from using your material in other new works. However, if you produced those works during certain exclusivity periods, you would have to pay FieldReport a commission of 25% on any sales.

When you first submit an entry into the FieldReport contest, you are creating an initial exclusivity period of 18 months. In effect, you are giving FieldReport a chance at being your marketing partner for the work you've produced, and any derivatives, and you get royalties and license fees as given in the submission agreement during that time. Since your work is eligible to win FieldReport contests for about a year from submission, this 18 month period makes a lot of sense, and we think it's fair.

If you receive at least $2,500 in royalties, license fees, and contest winnings for an individual work during the first 18 months, then the exclusivity period extends for 5 more years. In effect, you are saying that by earning you $2,500 for the work, FieldReport has done a good job as your marketing partner, and it makes sense for the agreement to be extended based on those good results.

After these exclusivity periods have expired, you are free to create derivative works with no involvement by FieldReport, no compensation to FieldReport, and no strings attached.

You asked why FieldReport would want any rights other than publishing rights, and the answer to this is pretty straightforward. We are creating a business that puts considerable resources into promoting writers and giving new talent a chance to be recognized, outside of traditional publishing channels. As we offer the largest prize in the world for a single piece of writing, there is significant potential for writers to become noticed through our site, and many people have started to call us the American Idol of writing on the web. In return for the promotion we offer to our writers, we ask for a partnership in selling the work we promote, in all of its varying forms. It is our hope that this will be a win-win situation for both our writers and for us.

I noticed in Victoria's most recent comments on this forum, she speculated that in the long run, FieldReport will be of more interest no non-writers than to writers, and that these people wouldn't care so much about our submission agreement. I have to say that I would be disappointed if this were to be our future. We set out to make FieldReport a great site for both professional writers AND the general public, and are committed to ensuring that our submission agreement really is a win-win situation for everyone. This is why you've seen that agreement evolving, and why it will probably continue to evolve. Our commitment to our writers is also why we've promised that anyone submitting to us can always decide to take advantage of our most current agreements, regardless of what they signified their acceptance to at the original time of submission.

I welcome any comments or suggestions from writers sent either to williampetty@fieldreport.com or posted on this forum.

Will Petty, CEO
FieldReport

Victoria Strauss said...

Will, I really appreciate your comments and explanations here--I think this dialogue is very helpful. Thank you.

I still have trouble, however, with the 25% commission. Speaking as a professional writer, I hope to make money not just from selling my work, but from re-selling it. I have an agent who takes 15% of my book sales, but I get 100% of my article and short fiction sales, and if I re-sell an article or story (most likely at the substantially lower rates available for reprints) I want to keep 100% of that money as well. While FieldReport is a marketing partner in the sense that it sells and/or licenses its writers' work to others, I remain skeptical that it will be a marketing partner in the sense of helping me sell my work to others--either directly, in the manner of an agent, or indirectly, as a publishing credit.

Why am I skeptical that a high ranking or a contest win on FieldReport will impress content buyers--i.e., editors or others to whom I might want to re-sell my article? As I noted before, FieldReport is unique in focus, but not in concept. There are many content aggregation websites that use a proprietary ranking system to supposedly enable the best articles to rise to the top. But there's ample evidence that these ranking systems don't work or can be gamed (for instance, look at the lousy quality of many of the high-ranked articles on Helium.com). If FieldReport's ranking system is different--if it really does identify quality and resist cheating (and mind you, I have little faith in the "wisdom of crowds" idea in which such systems are sourced), how will it make this clear, in order to distinguish itself from the mass of other content aggregation sites that don't identify quality or resist cheating?

As for the contests--a big-money prize may get a contest noticed, but a contest's prestige doesn't rest on the prize amount, but rather on the rigorousness of the judging process and the quality of the winners. Will the FieldReport system consistently select winning articles of high quality? Only time will tell.

Bottom line--as a professional writer, I doubt I'd be interested in submitting work to a market that did not guarantee payment (large prizes notwithstanding) and encumbered me with a 25% commission for re-sales. The commission, by the way, doesn't just apply if I re-sell the article, but if I license any rights in it, "or otherwise exploit the content in any manner." I suspect that other professional writers will feel similarly, which is why I think that FieldReport's participants will mainly be non-professionals.

Anonymous said...

I am one of the category winners from the Field Report beta period. I do write professionally, but I write mostly educational curriculum. Field Report gives me an opportunity to expand my writing. I get to tell a non-fiction short story, great fun compared to writing curriculum, let me hasten to say!

While I understand what you are saying about Field Report attracting non-professional writers, I don't totally agree. True, a postal worker with innate writing talent won $22,000, but isn't it great that she didn't HAVE to be a professional writer to do it? But please consider that there are professionals from many other aspects of the writing industry that are enjoying putting their abilities to the test in a new genre. Please don't assume that we are non-professionals. Obviously, there were winners who are authors of news columns and books. But it's also interesting to note that many of the category winners are professionals - those who write the stories and essays, but also those of us who pen the copy for advertising, or write curriculum, or tediously edit articles by day. I see Field Report as an intriguing opportunity to stretch myself as a writer - way beyond what my job would ever allow. And as a professional writer, I review and rate with certain standards in mind. If a story is full of grammatical and spelling errors, it affects the "packaging" of even the greatest story line. Those that have risen to the top so far have been solid pieces of writing.

I also want to add that I received my check... the one for $1000. As a freelancer, I've been cheated a time or two - paid less or not paid at all. And as for those that I was paid, I've published magazine articles for $250 and I've sold stories for $350. I've received thousands of dollars for hundreds of curriculum pages and for the children's book that I wrote for a major publisher. But never have I received $1000 for a single piece of work that was between 400 and 2000 words. I know that there are those who do, but my point is that Field Report puts that within reach. While some aspects of the contractual agreements may make some skeptical about "this or that", the bottom line is that they DID pay, just like they said they would. From my vantage point, I see a whole lot of positives that outweigh any "this or that". Sure, they may be working out some kinks; but all in all, I am very pleased with Field Report and I think they are off to a great start.
Thanks so much for letting me offer my comments,
EE

FieldReport said...

Wow, I didn't realize this forum was so widely read; I guess I'll have to be more careful about what I say from now on;) I'm grateful to EE for jumping to FieldReport's defense in her comment above. This was completely unsolicited, by the way.

Victoria, I too have appreciated this exchange. At its best, a process like this can be a way for a new company like ours to learn from its interest groups and make itself better, and I hope you've seen this spirit at work in the major changes we've made to the submission agreement since your initial post back in June, and also in my efforts to explain the agreement in clearer terms.

As a professional, I know you are used to agreements like this, and I'm sure you understand that not everything in every agreement will be ideal from all perspectives. The real goal is to craft a compromise that is workable and FAIR for both parties.

The issue of fairness is a big one for us at FieldReport. When we originally set out to create the world's largest writing contest, our team decided to make FAIRNESS our highest company value, as we realized we'd get nowhere if people didn't perceive our contests as fair. As time has passed, we've come to see that FAIRNESS applies to more than our contests. It's an important test of everything we do, and especially our submission agreement.

Though I know that FieldReport will never be the best place for EVERYTHING an author writes, I would like for a professional like you to be able to make the simple statement: "The FieldReport submission agreement is generally fair, and for certain things an author writes, FieldReport can be a useful resource."

In your recent post, you state pretty clearly that your remaining issue with the fairness of FieldReport's submission agreement comes down to the 25% commission our authors are required to provide on self-sales of their work--and I think you have made a pretty compelling case. As FieldReport's CEO, I may think that our contest and ranking systems will create a great marketplace for your work, but I haven't proved it yet.

So my question to you is this: if FieldReport were to remove the 25% commission on author self-sales, would you be able to make the statement I put in quotation marks above? I ask this because I'm willing to go to bat for this change, with our investors and with our team here, but I also have some doubts--which I hope you will sympathize with. I have already told you what I think a process of dialogue like this can be at its best. But at its worst, it can be a never-ending losing battle, and I'm really hoping this isn't one of those.

Best,

Will (the CEO)

Victoria Strauss said...

Will, please forgive me for taking so long to respond to your comment--I have things set up so that I get an email alert whenever comments are added to the blog, but somehow I missed this one.

So my question to you is this: if FieldReport were to remove the 25% commission on author self-sales, would you be able to make the statement I put in quotation marks above?

I think it would be wonderful if you were to remove the commission on author self-sales, and it would go a long way toward making the submission agreement a fair one.

However, I'm afraid I also have trouble with the fact that FieldReport retains non-exclusive rights to content after the 18-month or 6.5-year exclusivity period has expired--specifically, that it retains the right to create derivative works based on the content. FieldReport might thus, conceivably, be in competition with the author of the content, who him/herself might want to create derivative works.

How likely is it that this would ever happen? Probably, not very likely. But articles do turn into books or movies--so one never knows. I hate to be a hair-splitter, as I must seem to be with all these arcane contract minutiae--but even with the 25% commission gone, I'm afraid I'd still have reservations about FieldReport's submission agreement.

Sorry. I do appreciate the changes FieldReport has already made, and your openness to discussion.

Anonymous said...

Another shoddy site is helium.com. You can write an article and then they can regret it for any reason and not even give you a legitimate reason why. Sites like them and associated content that claim that they are going to pay you are full of it!

Murr Brewster said...

I appreciate that you, Victoria, and others are looking out for writers' best interests. I have perused many a site for just such information as you provide. I am not a professional writer, but I would dispute that all good writers are professionals. Many may prefer to separate their avocations from their vocations. I have tried to wedge my own way into the published world, sending query letters to indifferent agents. Without a pedigree I have been consigned to the slush pile. My writing has not been rejected--no one has asked to see it--but I guess I have, because of my lack of published work.

Still, I believe I can write, and I know I can read submission agreements, and so I sent in several essays to FieldReport with a clear eye. In the judgment of other writer/members, I did a good job. You could judge for yourself, because, glory be, it's hanging out there on FieldReport.com for all to see. If it should happen that the greater population comes to think my output is worth reading, I will have only FieldReport to thank for it, because I have not been able to get attention for my work in other ways. I would add that the people at FR are helpful and responsive to my every inquiry. This is a very valuable resource for writers like me.

There are enough discouraged writers out there who will be further dissuaded from trying their luck because of your words. I can't help but hope you might ease up a bit, especially if you really don't want to be a hair-splitter. I would think some kind of endorsement should not be such a difficult thing to make, with appropriate caveats for the few folks who might conceivably be in the "not very likely" predicament of competing with FieldReport for their own content.

I did read your earlier posts, in which you even doubted that there was real money involved. Thank you for quelling the competition! My check cashed just fine.

FieldReport said...

Hi Victoria,

Today FieldReport introduced significant changes to our submission agreement. Not only do they address ALL of the concerns in your comment of August 8, but they address an additional concern that some of our members had brought to us regarding personal memoirs. I'm including the text of a letter that went out to our members today, as I think this explains the changes best.

I am sure that these changes will help FieldReport move ahead as a writers' community, and I want to thank you for your dialogue in this forum, which helped point the way to them.

Best regards,

Will (the CEO)
FieldReport

Here is the text of the letter:

Dear FieldReport Member,

We are extremely pleased to announce significant, writer-friendly changes to our submission agreement. These changes came out of many discussions with our members and others (not to mention the usual tortuous process with the lawyers). In a nutshell, here's what you will see if you look at the new agreement on the site:

1. As before, you grant FieldReport a provisional basket of rights on your contest entry for a period of 18 months from submission. Most of those rights now expire unless you make at least $5,000 on your submission during that 18-month period. If you make $5,000 or more during the first 18 months, those rights STILL expire, it just takes longer (5 more years if you make from $5,000 to $100,000, or 14 more years if you make $100,000 or more). In our previous agreement, the financial threshold was much lower for extending the initial basket of rights, and even after the initial rights expired, more rights remained with FieldReport. Now they go back to you.

2. After the expiration date above, you can independently sell your work or license it to anyone else without payment obligations or commissions to FieldReport. Also, FieldReport has no right to create derivative works based on your content after that time. The 25% commission on author self-sales from the original agreement has been completely eliminated.

3. At any time, you can use your work as a chapter in a personal memoir or autobiography without any obligation to FieldReport. This specific change was made to address the fears of some authors that, by submitting one life episode to us, they would lose control of their entire personal memoir. We never intended this to be the case and we've now specifically disavowed it in the submission agreement.

Don't worry if you've already submitted to FieldReport under the old agreement. As is our policy, you can choose to be covered either by the agreement you submitted under, or under the current one.

In additional news, we're announcing a new Silver Prize of $4,000 to be awarded to the site's highest-ranking FieldReport, provided it has not been a previous Silver Prize or Beta Contest Grand Prize winner (sorry about that, Murr). Silver Prizes will be awarded on October 1, November 1 and December 1 of this year the same dates as our bronze category prizes and since the Silver Prize winner will inevitably be a category winner, this person's winnings will total at least $5,000.

Obviously, it's your enthusiasm and our own good feelings about FieldReport's progress that have made it possible for us to introduce these changes. With well over 1,000 entries in our current contest and many thousands of pageviews per day, we are well on our way to creating what one blogger has called 'the world's largest writing group.' We can't thank you enough for being a part of it.

Best and good luck,

Will Petty (the CEO)
www.fieldreport.com

P.S. You won't see the new Silver Prize reflected on the site yet as the programming is still being polished up, but we wanted you to know about it ASAP so you can watch for it soon. Also, don't forget the current contest deadline of September 15.

Mona Rigdon said...

My problem with fieldreport is that I can't get a response to a question about their position on what my rights are. I have a contract to return before October 31, and I can't get a response. I don't want to create an adversarial relationship with fieldreport, but I have seen no money and am not likely to at this point, from my submission to fieldreport. My first chance at having something published in print for the "A Cup of Comfort" series, and I can't even get a response. I would even give them 25% of my measley $100.00 pay for allowing it! I don't want to take money from fieldreport, but I am trying to promote myself and my writing. I submitted the story to the print publisher first. They have now accepted, just later than they originally indicated they would let us know. It would be nice to get a response. I figure if Mr. Petty reads this forum rather than his emails, maybe I can get a response.

Mona Rigdon

Mona Rigdon said...

Evidently, there was a problem with their email at some point, as both Will Petty and James Harrison both replied to my email that I sent this morning quite promptly. They have given me the go ahead to publish my work in the series with their blessing and informed me that I could keep all the proceeds. Mr. Petty seems like he is very interested in making this site work, and in being fair to authors. Thank you guys, for the swift response today, and for your blessing. I will let you know when the story is published.

Anonymous said...

hi
i can nnot get any response to simple queries from fieldreport-such as why I can't upload from word into the body of the submission box although they say there is a button at the bottom of said box.I can't see one.

FieldReport said...

Hi Anonymous,

Here is a simple way to solve your problem: Select the entire contents of the word document and choose COPY. QUIT Word--this will eliminate from your copied selection all of the unusual invisible characters that word puts into any document. Now PASTE into the FieldReport write window. That should do it.

Good Luck,

Will Petty, FieldReport

Anonymous said...

Dear Will Petty (CEO of Field Report), I have been having problems with the Field Report Webpage for the past week. Whenever I try to access a story, even my own, I receive a message saying "Sorry we have a problem and we'll be looking into it shortly."
What is the problem and when will it be resolved? How will lack of access to reviewing stories affect the rating system used to determine contest winners? It has been a frustrating experience so far and I request that the problem be resolved immediately. Thanks.

FieldReport said...

Dear Anonymous,

Sorry for the problems you've experienced.

FieldReport's user volumes have recently grown more than we expected, which has caused the system to behave unpredictablly over the past couple weeks. This is not a simple problem, and has required that we do some reprogramming in our database system.

Despite this, I want you to know that this does not affect the integrity of the data you have stored on the site. Everything is still there in the database; it's just displaying slowly and unpredictably right now.

Our programmers have been working almost non-stop to get things untangled, and we HOPE that within a couple of days we will be back to normal.

We'll be sending our users a letter about this issue next week.

Will

Victoria Strauss said...

Please see my most recent update on FieldReport.