Scribophile.com is very rewarding. Scribophile is a writer’s community, and my early experiences with it have been very positive. Here is how it works. You read the works of other writers in the community, and write reviews. By doing this you earn karma points, and the more words you write in your review, the more karma points you get (.01 Karma point per word). To post a piece of your own writing costs 5 karma points. You can post a piece of some length but about 3,000 words is the site’s sensible recommendation. This is because when you want to earn some karma you have to pick a piece to read, and you are not going to read a 10,000 word piece if you can get the same karma for reading 3,000 words. The site is free, although there are some nice perks to buying the premium membership (like being able to save your critique and come back to it later, or being able to have more than two works up at a time). The design of the site is very well thought out, and the creators seem to have been successful in creating a very positive experience for their users. I am sure that this, and any site will attract its share of unhelpful, unkind people, but so far (based on a very small sample) the community seems to be very warm and have a genuine desire to help each other. Indeed, there are enticements for pro-social behavior (I wish my elementary school was run like this!).
Based on my early experiences, the community is certainly talented. Several of the pieces I have read have been great reads, and writing the reviews has been an enjoyable experience. There is a social networking layer to it as well (scratchpad notes serving as a wall of sorts) and I could imagine spending a lot of time on this site. the community might even to some extent, for me, replace facebook. There also seems to be an active forum but I haven’t checked it out yet.
The best part about it is that I can finally stop harassing my friends and family to read my stuff (so it’s really a gift for everyone). Thus far the feedback I have received has been very useful, and I fully anticipate my writing skill improving—and is that what it is all about anyway?