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  #51    
Old May 18th, 2010 (06:22 PM).
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Maybe we should focus on things one at a time... say addressing that problem about making this section friendly-looking to newbies rather than seeming elitist and whatnot
To make this section friendly, we simply have to be friendly. We should be polite and not lash out when someone comes along with a different opinion. As long as we do that, I don’t think we’ll have further trouble.

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(and along with that more discussion on the FFL -what WOULD it be aimed to be like? What would people want in an FFL that they would enjoy and also newcomers would feel at home in as well?) Maybe we should rebegin the ffl by first defining what is its aim/purpose and what would be allowed/encouraged within it.
I think the FFL should be designed to discuss writing and only writing. People can use the thread to ask questions, whether regular or bold. Obviously, we should close the current FFL to make way for the new one, and really, I think that specific thread is one of the reasons newbies don’t post in there. It’s, like, one thousand pages of discussion and anyone would be intimidated just looking at it.

About the beta thread thing, here’s my thoughts on it.

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The more detailed your summery of your idea, the better.
The first ‘your’ in that sentence seems off. It’s look better if you used ‘the’, instead. Also, Dictionary.com assures me that it’s ‘summary’, not ‘summery’.

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First thing you should probably consider is to not rush your plotting – it applies to writing, and shouldn’t apply to your plotting.
I think you mean ‘should’.

… Yeah, the only problems I could find were spelling mistakes that are probably already outdated. Though, I don’t think ‘How to come up with Plot’ and ‘Plotting Itself’ are redundant since I see the former as an introduction, the main idea, while the latter is going over the smaller details.
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  #52    
Old May 19th, 2010 (12:30 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Dagzar:
I think the FFL should be designed to discuss writing and only writing. People can use the thread to ask questions, whether regular or bold. Obviously, we should close the current FFL to make way for the new one, and really, I think that specific thread is one of the reasons newbies don’t post in there. It’s, like, one thousand pages of discussion and anyone would be intimidated just looking at it.
I don't think the length of the thread is the issue. I mean, back when I came here as a newbie, it wasn't that much shorter, and that holds true for many of you. Why did you originally post in it and become a part of the community? It never was entirely about writing, and it hasn't been a short thread since forever. While agree that we might want to restart the whole thread, that's not what will fix the issue of elitist FFL.

For one, I think bold topics shouldn't be allowed, at least not in the format they have been seen so far. They give way too much room for ignoring newbies, enforce concentrating on just the question and your own answer, and don't really ever bring anything new to the table. They used to work, back a long time ago, when they weren't the only means of conversation in the FFL. They were there just to make the question clearer. Lately, it's been just bold topic after bold topic after bold topic with a side dish of general randomness. For me, it never was the inside-y randomness that kept me away from the thread that was my favourite place in the internet not too long ago, it was the influx of bold topics.

That's not a discussion, guys. It doesn't create a warm atmosphere. It creates an atmosphere in which you're not required to read every post, leading to everyone reading only the posts of their pals or people they know. It creates an atmosphere in which igniting a real conversation looks troublesome and seems like it would break the normal pace. It creates an atmosphere that is just no welcoming at all. That is why I stopped posting in the thread, and I wasn't even a newbie.

It's attitudes that need to change, not rules. I don't really like the idea of outright banning bold topics because they can be used well and be very useful, but when it comes down to it, they are a big part of why the problem was born in the first place. Thus, it's not really the rules that created the issue; it's the attitudes. Attitudes need to change. A lot of you have already mentioned that's the case, but I've yet to see anyone take any kind of action with regards to this.

We're all equal, dammit. No matter how long you've been writing or how good your grammar is, we're all equal. Someone might be a better writer than someone else, but that's not what's important. Everyone's opinions should have the same value. That just hasn't hold true here for a long time, even if it should. And that is also why I'm against emblems.

Quote:
… Yeah, the only problems I could find were spelling mistakes that are probably already outdated. Though, I don’t think ‘How to come up with Plot’ and ‘Plotting Itself’ are redundant since I see the former as an introduction, the main idea, while the latter is going over the smaller details.
They're also different, in my opinion: coming up with the basics of the plot is a different process than sewing the plot into something that doesn't have holes in every turn. One can happen in nanoseconds, while the other always invariably needs a lot of time to be successful. Also, I believe most people who wander into writing already have a plot of some sort thought up, but they might not have sewn all the holes out of it just yet. So, yes, I think the two should be kept separate. You could explain this issue in the thread, also, to make it clearer why there are two almost redundant-sounding sections in it.
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  #53    
Old May 19th, 2010 (01:36 PM).
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So what? We either outright ban bold topics, or we keep bold topics. If we ban them, then more in-depth discussions can take place that require reading of every post. If we keep them, then new members don't feel out of place or feel that there's a gap (because what if the discussion is on something that not all beginning writers know, and so not all people can join in).

One reason why I liked the bold topics is because they gave a way for people to join in. They [tried to] encompass everyone, from the experienced "veterans" to the brand-spanking-new members who don't know anyone.

It's just that bold topics were used as a way for people to sneak in with on-topic posts mixed in with silly random posts. And since there were no rules for the FFL, and since the moderator had no idea what was going on because no one believes in communication, things spiraled out of control.

Honestly, I'm all for restarting the FFL. With a new thread that has clear rules and a defined purpose, I can keep control of this. (I'm saying "I" because I'm planning on staying here as moderator until the day I die.) The current FFL started off as a place for announcements about new stories/chapters and then evolved to what we have now: a floundering mutation of nature. If it starts off clean, then it can remain clean.

We need an attitude adjustment. That I agree with. But we can't just say "Change your attitudes!" without some guidance as to how. And keeping someway for the new members to join in helps, whether that's with bold topics or something else entirely.
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  #54    
Old May 21st, 2010 (07:40 AM).
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You know, it seems to me that if we're going to argue back and forth about the very, very basics (what purpose bold topics serve, what the definition of open and friendly is, that sort of thing), maybe we're not the best people to ask. I mean, we're already biased enough as it is; vets will probably look at the system and either say it works because it always has or it doesn't because of nostalgia goggles. So, maybe it might be better to ask the kids posting in the main forum why they don't come to the FFL (other than the construction). Maybe even show them a page from a couple months ago and ask them if they would join in on something like that and why or why not.

Because, really, the entire question hinges on the opinion of those kids, not us. We could try changing to make things better, but without knowing what one half -- the half we're trying to attract in the first place -- is thinking, we'll probably argue ourselves into a circle again like we're doing right now.

So, yeah. How about some of us (and not just one person, either, 'cause we're trying to be friendly and open and all) try to drop those people a few VMs to get their opinions?
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  #55    
Old May 21st, 2010 (01:22 PM).
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I'll volunteer myself for that job. And do some other things that will hopefully attract those in the main forum over to these threads.
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  #56    
Old May 23rd, 2010 (06:50 AM).
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Val brings up a good point. We can speculate all we want on what the New Kids will think of this or that, but the fact of the matter is we're all used to it by now and trying to get into the heads of the New Kids could come out with some extremely varied results. I don't know if I want to do that job myself (it seems sort of like VM/PM advertising, which is one of my pet peeves), though... sorry. XD
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Old May 25th, 2010 (09:50 PM).
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I put up an announcement to try and get people to notice this thread. Even those members who post only in Poetry. But the announcement failed, so if we actually want things to happen, it's going to have to get drastic.

Which means that we might have to lean towards the annoyance side and drag those precious new members screaming and kicking into this thread to get their opinions on things. VMs and PMs might have to be sent out.

I also think that another thing that might help is all you wonderful veterans not being around. Some of you might actually be busy, and that's fully understandable, but I'm not following the reasoning behind the fact that the FFL got many posts when things were fun, but helping out this section to not die is something people shy away from.

So, for right now, the focus is going to be getting the opinions on those new people who haven't seen this thread for whatever reason. We need to show them that their opinion matters in this, so that they will post. How do we get them to come here?

Who's with me in bothering the people? I volunteer because apparently my life is over.
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  #58    
Old May 26th, 2010 (04:48 AM). Edited May 26th, 2010 by bobandbill.
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I'm in - bothering people is fun. =P Leastways I'll bug when I have time for it.

I also propose a sig campaign of sorts - sure announcement didn't work out but if a number of us promote the heck out of this thread then hopefully at least one person will wander in here... =/ Surely an old man dancing is attention grabbing for someone!

(Also cheers for more feedback on the thread - I'll get back to that sometime).
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Old May 26th, 2010 (10:46 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Astinus:
I put up an announcement to try and get people to notice this thread. Even those members who post only in Poetry. But the announcement failed, so if we actually want things to happen, it's going to have to get drastic.

Reading does'nt appeal to some pepole, and those who write stories enjoy what they do. Maybe they are reading the stories, but they're just to shy to admit it. And those who possibly have a enjoyable story might keep to themesleves. This is a problem in my class, the shy kid in the corner in the room that no one likes becuase of whatever has a story that would turn even my head.



I'll get a story out there, but will it be read?
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  #60    
Old May 26th, 2010 (02:54 PM).
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Hm, bugging the new kids. I'll just save you the trouble, shall I? :P

Anyway. I haven't been around all that long, so I don't know much about... whatever you guys seem to think is going on, much like Breezy said in an earlier post. From what I gather after reading this thread and skimming the FFL and wherever else you've been discussing this, these are the core issues you are currently trying to address, details of any shiny new revamps aside:

1. The number and quality of fanfic reviews. Many stories are not getting reviews, and those reviews that are given are generally not of a very high quality. You're looking for an incentive that will encourage more frequent reviews, and possibly a way to improve the quality and usefulness of these reviews.

2. The running of the Fanfiction Lounge. First, it is a bazillion pages long and so supposedly looks scary to us poor little newblings. Second, apparently you are all prone to going horribly off-topic, ostensibly defeating the purpose of a "Fanfiction" Lounge intended for discussing, well, fanfiction. Third, um... something about "bold topics", I think? I can make an educated guess as to what you guys mean when you say that, though I'm not entirely sure what they are or what problems you're having with them.

3. New people don't seem to read the rules/stickies, resulting in rampant mistakes. Self-explanatory.

And all of this talk about emblems, story-format rules threads and other stuff is essentially what you're tossing around as the solutions to these three basic problems. Am I right? Did I miss something?

I guess what I'm saying is that, as a new person, I'm not entirely sure what sort of input I can give without a more thorough understanding of the alleged situation; I'd just like to make it absolutely clear before I say something stupid that you guys have already thought of or whatever. I'm sure you're all tired of repeating yourselves, but... is that the gist of what's going on?
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Old May 26th, 2010 (08:07 PM).
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Pretty much.

1.) We're looking to see what could get people to review, and review in what means "constructive". There's a guide in the works that explains what a constructive review is (to fit in with that random rule that says "all reviews must be constructive) to help people along.

There were just questions as to whether or not it would be beneficial to hand out rewards to those who review, to get more reviewers.

So I guess it's like what Kipher asked. If someone posts a story, will it be read? And how can we get people to post reviews that make people want to post?

But I guess the answer to that is what someone is looking for when posting their story.

2.) Yeah, the FFL lost the FF part because things became terribly crazy in there. (That's what prompted this change, actually.) No one was really talking about fanfiction. It was mostly posts that had inside jokes in them, so the entire thread was closed off to only a select few who understood the jokes. What the thread should be is a place where anyone can join in and discuss any aspect of fanfiction.

Bold topics are essentially questions that people ask, and are placed in bold font to make it easy to see them and to separate question from answer. I'm not sure when that tradition started.

Mine and An-chan's post show the positives and cons of bold topics.

3. Yeup.

As a new person, the things you can tell us is what would make someone new review, join the discussions in the FFL, and what draws your eyes to the rules/stickies. Whatever you have to say, we'll hear it.

And we are going in circles right now. That's why we need outside opinions to change things.
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Old May 27th, 2010 (01:35 PM).
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That does clarify it, thanks. Now, let's see... I still have to think a little bit about the first two points, but here are my thoughts so far on the sticky/rules problem (convenient tl;dr at the end, for those of you wise enough to fear the Ungodly Walls of Text I am capable of churning out):

I can't really say what would make me want to read a rules thread because I simply always have. I've understood ever since my first forum experience years ago that forums have rules, that sometimes different sections have additional rules, and that those rules should be read first and respected from that point on. It just seems like common sense to me. That said, judging by the general stupidity that occurs on all forums, it apparently isn't common sense to everyone.

So now you're looking for a way to make sure that these rules are not missed by anyone (or, at least, not missed by as many people). Annoying pop-ups, pairing newbies up with veterans, redesigning the rules so that they're more entertaining, etc.... you've suggested a lot of stuff, and a lot of those ideas do sound as though they have merit or could potentially sway a few members.

The thing is, though, you can't do anything to ensure that people will read what you need them to. You all know that you're not capable of forcing anyone to do anything, and that even if you did manage to find some way to force redirects to the rules or whatever, you can't make them pay attention to it or take it to heart. You've already decided that such redirects aren't possible for Astinus to pull off without getting the admins to jury-rig something anyway, and that it's just going to make FF&W look more uptight and intimidating than the rest of the board if you do. In the end, the whole thing seems like a bit of a lost cause.

So my suggestion is this: stop trying so hard. People like me who expect there to be rules to follow will find the rules and follow them, unless those rules aren't clearly marked in which case I'd hope that they'd know to find a mod or a veteran and ask.

In fact, I'd argue that shuffling titles around or reformatting the rules or other stickies so that they resemble a story would only add further confusion. I could probably figure out that a sticky thread titled "Astinus's Adventures in the Rules Region" or whatever was something I should pay attention to, and I probably would click it out of curiosity, but I would come to the forum expecting to see "Fanfiction & Writing Rules" and all it would really do is throw me off for a moment. For someone who is legitimately newer to the concept and wouldn't expect there to be additional rules, well, I'm not sure it would help them much, either. Again, just "Rules Thread" is a lot more direct and to the point than an attempt to be witty.

And for those people so oblivious or trollish that they just ignore sticky threads anyway... as Breezy and a few others have said, what's ultimately going to be so different about the new threads that you can guarantee you'll get those people to read them? If I skim past stickies and jump straight to the fanfics below, is it really going to matter that the title I skim past is "Adventures in Rules Region" instead of "Rules Thread"? I just don't think curiosity is going to net quite as many new rules-readers as some of you seem to be banking on.

I mean, you guys seem like you're having a lot of fun with the story-based rules thread idea, and I don't want to discourage you from doing it at all--I just think that clarity and directness will serve you better in the long run. It'd be a lot simpler if you just had a standard rules thread that outlined the guidelines and consequences for breaking them in a concise, upfront manner, and then provided the story thread as supplemental material that could potentially drive it home, or maybe serve as additional entertainment that might be a lighter refresher after said standard rules.

And if, after all that effort you put into being clear and concise, people still fail to follow the rules... well, that's their problem, not yours. The ignorance of others is no reason to tear your hair out over potential redesigns and "WHY THEY NOT READ THREAD". Newbies are newbies and idiots are idiots. Someone suggested giving out warnings or infractions for people who don't read the rules, and I guess most of you seem to think that it sounds harsh, but in the end these people are not following the rules. When you do not follow the rules you get into trouble. Perhaps handing out an actual infraction, especially a permanent one, is too much, but I hardly think it's harsh to just tell someone "hey, it doesn't look like you read the rules and I suggest you do so before continuing".

Keep the rules short, sweet and clear. Make it obvious what people need to read before attempting to contribute. The first time that someone fails to do so and it seems to be a legitimate mistake, just give them a little nudge in the right direction--a post in the offending thread or perhaps a quick PM/VM, maybe with a link to the rules in case they somehow managed to miss it. Make sure that it's clear exactly what they did wrong, too. I understand that it can get annoying after the million-and-fifth person has made the same mistake again, and the temptation to be snarky or just out-and-out lock the thread or infract them is great--I see it all the time on a forum I mod at--but it honestly doesn't help. What if the person made a genuine mistake and didn't realize that one million and four people made it before them? Snapping at them or locking their thread off the bat just sends a confusing message and makes you look that much scarier. (I'm not sure how often that actually happens here and don't mean to call anyone out, but just in case.)

If they make a mistake a second time after being told directly that they should pay attention to the stickies, though, or if what they're doing appears to be deliberate, then I would be all in favor of more drastic action. When it comes to something as simple and obvious as reading a rules thread, you don't need more than a single second chance. You're either intelligent enough to take the hint and shape up, or you're stupid enough that you need to get out and stop disrupting things.

In the case of my forum I am restructuring the rules, but only because I feel it's actually necessary. The stringent requirements the other mods and I had for that section were just plain stupid, and while people do need to learn to read the rules it will be simpler in the long run if we just clean them up. In FF&W's case, on the other hand, I don't feel that any sort of drastic rules overhaul is necessary at all. I for one don't object to a single rule you've already outlined, nor do I think that the way those rules are presented is at all unclear or confusing. Rewrite them a little bit if you want, but don't turn the thread into something so foreign and unexpected that it throws people off.

If you want to go to the admins about making it more visible, see if there's a hack or something that will make the rules thread always appear as though it is unread, or at least let you use bold formatting or something in the title. The admin of the board I mod at has posted rules in most of her forums, and even after reading those threads the title always appears in boldface. This probably wouldn't be much of an issue if PC didn't have it set so that all unread threads are marked as read after your session expires, because then it would genuinely appear unread to anyone who hadn't viewed it, but the setting is what it is and so I guess you'd need to find a way to work around that. Alternatively, keeping the rules, or at least a link to/mention of them, in a permanent announcement could help as well. Sure, announcements don't appear as unread threads and that is annoying, but at least it's something that is visually separated from the main mass of other threads and so has a chance of standing out just long enough to catch someone's attention.

As for other sticky threads... again, I really just think that clarity is key. Most of them probably aren't as necessary for enjoying the FF&W experience as the rules are, so I'd argue that some of them don't need to be as visible (though you'd obviously want to cut down on unnecessary duplicate threads). It would probably help some to reduce the number of sticky threads to the absolute minimum (not sure how hard this will be) so that the amount of OMG IMPORTANTS information doesn't look so intimidating. Keeping the links to important/helpful threads and resources in the rules is a good idea, and a unified resources thread, as has been suggested, probably wouldn't go amiss either.

tl;dr: Don't worry about trying to guess at what makes a rules thread "interesting" to new people. Rules threads are not meant to be entertaining, however fun it might be. They are meant to provide clear guidance to new or confused members, and that original goal should not be lost. The best thing you can do to help people understand is to give them what they know and make its meaning as immediate as possible. That's what anyone intelligent would expect, and if they're too dumb to notice that then it's their problem. They shouldn't need more than a single gentle nudge to get their act together.

(Incidentally, this is probably the longest post you will ever see me make here. actually write fanfiction what is this "actually write fanfiction" of which you speak)
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Old May 27th, 2010 (09:57 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Delusions of Originality:
Newbies are newbies and idiots are idiots. Someone suggested giving out warnings or infractions for people who don't read the rules, and I guess most of you seem to think that it sounds harsh, but in the end these people are not following the rules.
I'm actually having trouble finding where this was suggested. I do remember that another suggestion to make people read the rules was to have a phrase that's mentioned only in the rule thread that has to be added to the person's thread in some way. That idea was quickly shot down.

The two rules that people tend to break the most in this section are the "all fanfics must be readable" and "post constructive criticism". This is where this topic got distracted because it was determined that there's no clear definition as to what "readable" and "constructive" means.

That's all discussed here, so you can see what has been said on that matter already.

Quote:
What if the person made a genuine mistake and didn't realize that one million and four people made it before them? Snapping at them or locking their thread off the bat just sends a confusing message and makes you look that much scarier. (I'm not sure how often that actually happens here and don't mean to call anyone out, but just in case.)
That, I think, is a problem. Right now, the way it goes is that if someone posts a fic that isn't readable/is a badly-written script fic (example of both here), it gets out-right closed with me pointing out that it says in the rules something against the thread, and maybe offering a bit of help.

So what there probably needs to be is an idea as to how to enforce the rules without scaring new members who might not know better away. Fanfiction isn't a black and white matter. So how can we enforce those rules without making people afraid to post their stories or reviews?


Quote:
If you want to go to the admins about making it more visible, see if there's a hack or something that will make the rules thread always appear as though it is unread, or at least let you use bold formatting or something in the title.
If this idea could work, I can ask if the hack could be implemented. Only because it does keep the rules thread title more distinct than other threads, since the rules thread doesn't get new posts.

Thanks a lot for posting, btw. This'll help.
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Old May 28th, 2010 (04:46 PM).
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Screw work

This is probably going off on a tangent, but I really can’t see anything that I can add on the matter of stickies that Delusions hasn’t.

Quote:
I also think that another thing that might help is all you wonderful veterans not being around. Some of you might actually be busy, and that's fully understandable, but I'm not following the reasoning behind the fact that the FFL got many posts when things were fun, but helping out this section to not die is something people shy away from.
I’m going to step in and ask for a while, who would you define as a veteran. This has bearing on what I’m about to propose. I can see some of us are busy with IRL work seeing as this is the middle of the year and all –or maybe we’re really just slacking.

Anyway, I’ve been mulling over what Jax said in regards to mice and cheese or something along those lines and it got me to wondering if what we really need to stop us all going off on a tangent in the FFL and start reviewing in the F&W is for our so called veterans to get some work done to encourage newbies. I mean, we’ve been sitting here constantly bringing up the solution of a MASSIVE OVERHAUL in current member mentality –I’ve been guilty of this too if I recall correctly—or finding a method to get members to inherently not act cliquey in social threads, but no one has really come up with an implementable solution to this problem rather than mention it in passing. For instance, has anyone actually studied SPPf to find out why it’s so successful –so to speak, because I haven’t been to Serebii-- in comparison to F&W? Anyway, I’m proposing that once everything’s settled, as in everyone or a sizeable majority of us aren’t off doing IRL work, then we might actually want to start on this massive overhaul, so to speak. I mean, a shiny new FFL with clear guidelines is nice and all, but what really determines how a non-trolling noob behaves is how people who post before him act. It really doesn’t matter how clearly you state, “No going off on a tangent” as one of the rules in the first post if the vets don’t abide those rules. Particularly when a thread like that reaches forty posts or so, people start to ignore the first, guideline post. Also, the whole issue on asking the new kids on what they feel is the matter with the FFL will work, no arguments there, but even if we did find out why they’d post in the first place, who’s going to act on it if the vets don’t?

The same with reviews. We keep telling each other to do reviews, but we don’t actually do that many/enough to begin with. It seems hypocritical till we take into consideration that most of us have lives and RL work to attend to so now we’re trying to encourage newbs to also do more reviews or at least do better ones. This, to me, kind of feels like we’re passing the ‘problem baton’ really. As with the mouse analogy, if the vets actually started reviewing, hopefully sometime in the next two months or at least during the summer (winter to our friends down south) holidays, it could act as a kick start to the activity in the F&W in general. What we need is a barrage of daily, consistent reviews to get people to think, “hey, maybe I can do that too”. Right now, the scattered (Good) reviews that receive praise from the active community don’t cancel out the horrible one-liners that seem so rampant as of late. One more thing we might want to consider is, ‘what makes reviewing fun in the first place’ and if the childlike mentality of PC is ready to act mature in the F&W forums. That last part is unavoidable seeing as this is a Pokémon Community (and rep was disabled due to that), but veterans might, as stated earlier, be able to change that by maintaining PC’s F&W status quo at a high level.

On another note, I think it’s ironic that the very definition of the infinitive of ‘lounge’ in ‘Fanfiction Lounge’ is to pass time idly or to act in a relaxed manner… That however, is besides the point.

What I’m actually worried about here is the many different uses of the lounge that seem to be flying about as of late. In this thread and in the FFL itself. An-Chan touched upon this, but she was talking about bold-topics in general so I’m not really sure if what I say has any bearing here but here goes.

In my own perspective, I’m neither a newbie, seeing as I’ve been here too long to be one, nor a veteran, since I haven’t been here long enough to be considered one. However, one thing I noticed was that the lounge, apart from the general randomness or friendly discussions befitting of the DCC, is that it basically acted as a ‘Quick Q&A thread’ for fanfiction –since most questions don’t qualify for their own threads. A few people have said that we should just start the FFL anew and generally be less jerk-like to newbs who venture in for writing tips. This then creates the atmosphere where we don’t blow off newbs who want info on writing and everyone’s happy. Right? Not really since then we have what I just said, a ‘Quick Q&A thread’ with possibly some discussion and that doesn’t create a friendly atmosphere, just a mechanical, semi-competitive one. On the matter of discussion, we could have a lounge where we abolish bold topics and just have long-winded discussions on the mechanics of literature, but this tends to turn off newbies because they’ll be scared away by the lengthy discussions and not to mention that without bold topics to clarify the topic, vets just love going ADD all over the place.

Basically, a compromise is in order. Any suggestions as to whether we want a bold topic Q&A thread, which is somewhat mechanical and unfriendly, or a non-bold topic lounge that requires the reading of every post and tends to turn cliquey? I’m open to alternate suggestions too.
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Old May 28th, 2010 (07:37 PM). Edited May 28th, 2010 by JX Valentine.
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Quote originally posted by Mizan de la Plume Kuro:
I’m going to step in and ask for a while, who would you define as a veteran.
Anyone who felt enough at home in the FFL (before it went silent for these past few months) to consider themselves to be part of the FFL family. As in, in on the in-jokes, a regular there, that sort of thing.

Quote:
is for our so called veterans to get some work done to encourage newbies.
Um, yeah. That's what I've been saying from the beginning, basically: that we need to get people to review. Hence why I keep asking why the regulars/vets/what-have-you aren't reviewing and what would make them review. (That was the whole reason behind the emblems idea, if you recall.)

In other words, basically, the reason why the project keeps flailing is this. Someone points out there's a problem and asks how it might be fixed. Said someone might even throw in suggestions. Everyone else misses the point of the suggestions/questions and aims straight for throwing in suggestions on the projects while going further and further away from the reason why we're trying to change things in the first place.

...And then someone else comes along and points out the problems again as if we didn't already know what the problems were, and we start back at square one.

I don't mean to be biting or anything, but it's been a few months since these threads and this discussion's started. Where have we gone, exactly? Nowhere because we keep forgetting the main point of the project.

Quote:
For instance, has anyone actually studied SPPf to find out why it’s so successful –so to speak, because I haven’t been to Serebii-- in comparison to F&W?
*raises hand... and then raises Breezy's hand for her 'cause she's from SPPf*

Basically, from what I can tell, the forums over at SPPf are divided into two categories:

1. Story forums (including a separate one for non-Pokemon fic).
2. Discussion forum.

The discussion forum has no FFL. Instead, all discussion ends up on separate threads, so you're forced to be on-topic anyway or risk getting your thread closed. (There's even a special thread for the discussion of story ideas, but it's only for that.)

So, because there's no clique thread in the writer's lounge, people who end up in there are actually there for the writing. They're there to trade tips, read, review, and post. They're not there to hang out and tell each other about their day.

In other words, the difference between SPPf and this place is that SPPf has a writing community. PC's writing forum just sort of misses the point and ends up being a general community, even though we've got another place for that.

That and, again, people feel compelled to review more, in part because SPPf touts itself as being a community with high standards in terms of writing (which is true) and in part because, again, the people who are there are there for the writing.

As for the mouse and cookie stuff, yeah, we know this already, so I'll just fast forward.

Quote:
The same with reviews. We keep telling each other to do reviews, but we don’t actually do that many/enough to begin with.
You do have a good point here, although the main problem (and one of the major reasons why PMR got started) is that any effort a single person does in changing this doesn't really help unless we all do it. In other words, aside from RL work, the reason why I just didn't blitz-review this place is the fact that I have no idea if it'd do any good if no one else blitz-reviews the place with me.

In other words, the main question PMR is trying to ask is why isn't our activity directed towards the parts of the forum that actually matters, and how do we get it to go there? As in, how do we get people to get off their rears and actually connect with each other instead of just sitting around like we had at the beginning of the year?

Quote:
On another note, I think it’s ironic that the very definition of the infinitive of ‘lounge’ in ‘Fanfiction Lounge’ is to pass time idly or to act in a relaxed manner… That however, is besides the point.
Indeed it is.

tl;dr, yes, Mizan, you kinda pointed out... the exact point the project was trying to say for months. That being said, because we keep on saying the same things over and over again (i.e., you're not alone in the "we're missing the point and/or restating the project's goal/Jax's original rant" boat), I've decided to end this series of wallbangers and come out with some clear things about the project:

1. Yes, our main concern is about communication. The main goal of PMR is figuring out how to get the older members of the board to connect with the newer members.

2. Yes, I do believe we can make things work by example, but we need to get the older members to do something. That's where the main weakness of this community lies, and that's what these projects have been trying to target.

3. No, we're not doing the rules-story thing. We've decided it wouldn't work.

4. If nothing's done in a month, mod powers or no, I'm going to start going around to regulars' profiles and beating them with sticks to get them to review.

Furthermore, I've never really posted my thoughts on what would work and what wouldn't. I've mostly been pointing out faults, asking questions, and compiling ideas that you've been coming up with. Because, seriously, we need to get something done, I figure I'm just going to say it right now.

FFL
Here's a thought. Why not close the FFL? Seriously. As I've said before, there's been forums out there that have gotten along just fine without them. SPPf, for example, just has discussions about writing in separate threads. Even if we get minor questions here and there, we at least make full use of the fact that the Writer's Lounge is -- gasp -- a forum and something that can't actually be hurt by repetitiveness now and then. (God knows the actual FFL suffered from that now and then. Oh, bold topics. You and your tendency to ask the same questions over and over again on occasion.) If their question's been answered, we can just politely point them to the search function.

Point is, how do we get rid of a clique atmosphere and all this dead-end arguing about whether or not we should have bold topics in the FFL? By not having the FFL. Sure, if we feel the need to have a casual place for writing-related discussion or a simple questions kind of place, we can make a thread for that later, but why don't we just create threads we've already worked out and that we definitely need for the time being, you know?

Will it hurt the community atmosphere? Probably not any more than the crap that went on in the FFL. People will at least be encouraged to actually post threads and look at something other than a single thread in the writing forums, and we'd be forced to connect with authors by getting out in the main forum and commenting on what they have to say.


Standards

As I've said repeatedly, the regulars need to review to define what the forum standards are. I'm thinking maybe we should forget the reviewing guide and just see how it goes for now. Or, I can just write the guidelines right now, and they can be these:

1. You're there to help the author by offering honest feedback to their work.
1a. i.e. Point out specific parts of their story you liked or didn't like. Also, don't be a jerk. Snark is not a proper way to review.

2. Reviews don't have to be constructive criticism all the way through. Likewise, they don't have to rip apart a story line by line. A review can be as short as a paragraph as long as you point out specific parts of a story and say what you thought about them.

3. In other words, one-liner reviews aren't much, especially if you just say, "I like it! Please write more!" That doesn't help the author because it says you couldn't pay attention to what's going on in the story.

4. Look up your stuff before commenting on it. Google is your friend. Use it before pointing out stuff that doesn't look right. (This includes alternate spellings or just general fact-checking.)
4a. For that matter, you don't have to capitalize Pokémon names that serve as common nouns (e.g., the pikachu). You just have to be consistent with your capitalization rules.

5. Writers, be courteous to your reviewers. They took the time to wade through your crap, so please don't call their review crap. Listen carefully to what they're trying to say. Think about it. Try their suggestions. Don't blow them off. That means you're not open to criticism, and if you're posting in an open forum for people you've never met, it can be assumed that you are, by default, looking for criticism. In other words, if you blow off a reviewer, respond with hostility, or act condescendingly to your audience, WTF are you doing posting your work on a forum?

6. Proofread before posting. It makes your reviewers less likely to want to strangle your kittens.
6a. There are no exceptions to this rule. You're writing. Play by grammatical rules. Bending the rules all over the place and then trying to say that you're being artistic about them just makes you look like you were too lazy to proofread.
6b. The above rule also applies to canon, characterization, et cetera. Just because it's fiction doesn't necessarily mean you can get away with murder. If your audience points out it doesn't work, chances are, it doesn't work.

And probably a few other things that I can't remember right now.


Rules

They're fine as-is. The only shady one might be the aforementioned standards one, but I'm leaving that discussion open.

Speaking of open discussions, again, just leave the rules open. The more frequently people post questions about the rules to the thread, the more we can just define things that way/keep the thread marked unread so people would actually be more likely to stumble across it.


Regulars' Activity

This is the core problem we were having. The problem that the emblems were supposed to solve, the vet-newbie mentoring thing was supposed to solve, and so on and so forth. Clearly, no one can figure out how to go about solving it.

I've tossed around ideas that don't involve me stalking your profiles and threatening your kittens and ideas that don't involve a NaReWriMo thing happening. Honestly, I've got nothing. Likewise, I know that if I go out there and review, you lot will be sitting around in here. Yes, Mizan, it's lovely that you pointed out the problems again and that you're giving us a pep talk, but you haven't really pointed out any way to actually encourage us to do what you're saying instead of sit around and be hypocritical again, which is really what we keep doing and which is why I don't even know about this project anymore.

Point is, we've considered emblems. We've considered mentoring programs. We've considered reviewing contests. We've even considered just telling people to review. If we want the community to change, it's really got to be a community effort.

The only thing I've got left is one last incentive idea. It's not a contest or a personal challenge. It's just a request that everyone submit one review a day for one month. We could start in June, and yes, I'm just asking for one review. Considering what I've said earlier about reviews, this shouldn't be too difficult, so don't whine at me that you don't want to do it. If you've got enough time to post in these kinds of threads, you've got enough time to sit down and read someone's four-page chapter to say something to them.


Stickies

Screw it. Nobody cares. Let's just do the standards-by-example method like we've been talking about. The rules should stay, of course, because some people are sane. I just think we need to keep the sticky count to a minimum and divert our attention to the meat of the community. As evidenced by the announcement Astinus made, it'd be more effective if we actually walked out and sat down with newbies.


Or in even shorter terms:

1. No more FFL. The Writer's Lounge is our discussion place.
2. Fewer stickies.
3. Rules are left as-is but are opened to let the thread become a discussion thread. (This also means we don't have to go to the admins to install a script. It's an easier solution to looking for hacks or asking the PC admins to create one for us.)
4. Regulars enforce the rules through example, thereby establishing a set of standards.
5. Don't be stupid when it comes to reviewing. (See above abridged guide.)
6. Submit one review a day for a month. Don't make Jax break out the kitten bat.

There. There's things we can do. Unless you've got a really good reason for objecting to them, how about we stop screwing around and actually try some of these ideas to see how they work? At the very worst, we'll just be back here to create a thread we need on the fly.
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Old May 28th, 2010 (07:52 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Astinus:
The two rules that people tend to break the most in this section are the "all fanfics must be readable" and "post constructive criticism". This is where this topic got distracted because it was determined that there's no clear definition as to what "readable" and "constructive" means.

That's all discussed here, so you can see what has been said on that matter already.

...

That, I think, is a problem. Right now, the way it goes is that if someone posts a fic that isn't readable/is a badly-written script fic (example of both here), it gets out-right closed with me pointing out that it says in the rules something against the thread, and maybe offering a bit of help.

So what there probably needs to be is an idea as to how to enforce the rules without scaring new members who might not know better away. Fanfiction isn't a black and white matter. So how can we enforce those rules without making people afraid to post their stories or reviews?
As long as the posts explaining the rulebreaking are calm enough, I'm not sure there's anything wrong with that (save for maybe not locking the thread from the outset and giving the author a shot at cleaning it up before deciding to do that... isn't that what that Revision Bin thing was for, by the way?).

I have to say, though, I do find those rules a little... unusual. None of the other forums I've seen have any actual rules about the quality of posted works or the fact that all comments must be constructive, though PC is the first large-scale forum I've decided to be properly active on so it might be more common than I realize. Where I come from authors who post unreadable badfic usually just get advice about how to improve from people who know what they're talking about. One-liners or short comments are allowed as long as the people who make them aren't dumb enough to claim that they're constructive criticism when they clearly aren't. Such things are discouraged, yeah, but no one gets warned just because they posted "I really like it!" or gets their thread locked because there are no line breaks between their paragraphs. I usually don't see fic threads get locked unless a fight breaks out between the author and the reviewers--this invariably happens because the author is in fact terrible in the first place, but that's not the direct reason for the lock. I wonder if people coming from other forums just aren't accustomed to that sort of response?

That said, if it's in the rules then it's in the rules and people should still abide by what the rules say, however different it may or may not be (again, I wouldn't know). And they're definitely good rules if you need to have them, because I know I certainly appreciate concrit more than "post moar yay", so I don't have a problem with them. So I suppose it just comes back to making sure the rules are read, and... wow it's pretty easy to go in circles, isn't it? :/

...I have no idea whether that actually moved the discussion forward at all but! My two cents, I guess.

EDIT: Aahahaha it actually took so long for me to write the above that Jax's post "ninja'd" me by twenty minutes. ><; Gah I hate that and uh let me read it now.
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Old May 28th, 2010 (08:15 PM). Edited May 28th, 2010 by JX Valentine.
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Quote originally posted by Delusions of Originality:
As long as the posts explaining the rulebreaking are calm enough, I'm not sure there's anything wrong with that (save for maybe not locking the thread from the outset and giving the author a shot at cleaning it up before deciding to do that... isn't that what that Revision Bin thing was for, by the way?).
Side note, but we actually stopped using the Revision Bin ages ago because the people who got their stories sent to it ended up crying. (I'm not sure why that wasn't taken out when Pokemon Fan Fiction and Other Fan Fiction got merged either, but hey.)

Or some of them, anyway. Basically, yeah, it was kinda an elitist thing to do, so we decided to just go about the entire help-people-by-reviewing-them-in-the-main-forum shindig. Also, it meant Asty had less to worry about anyway. I mean, if we used that thing, she'd have to comb through all those stories by herself and figure out what needs to be sent there and what doesn't.

Other than that, I actually agree that maybe we should stop trying so hard (because we haven't gotten anywhere these past months in our attempts to actually try anyway). You also come from an interesting forum.

So, here's my thoughts. We could keep the rules as-is, but we could say Asty doesn't have to lock unless it's breaking a rule that's explicitly defined in the rules already. Other than that, we could just stick to the standards-shaped-by-advice thing you've brought up. It encourages a writing community's spirit, doesn't chase away newbies, and means less work for Asty. Or, in shorter terms, pretty much yes to that "if it's in the rules, then Asty can close, but if not, just leave it to the people who gently say you're doing it wrong" sentiment. If we get a troll out of it, then eh. We could just use the post report button to get Asty to take care of it. No big deal there, probably.

As for the prevalence of rules, yeah, a lot of bigger communities are like that. The no-script rule, for example, really is a standard (on most Pokémon fic boards, at least, as well as Fanfiction.net) because of how something like that tends to be seen as an option for authors to throw together a story in five minutes without much effort.

In general, the reason why rules like these exist here and not elsewhere is because it's easier to run smaller communities. Smaller communities either have everyone pitching in to shape the community or get away with defining what the board's standards are just by what little fic gets on it. Bigger places like these end up with general rules because without them and without a community working together to help incoming authors out, standards fluctuate wildly. That's all that's really behind that. *shrug*
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Old May 28th, 2010 (08:43 PM).
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Oh, no, I wasn't suggesting reusing the Revision Bin; I'd already seen comments about ditching it entirely anyway. I was more curious than anything.

It's really more the concept of all the fics having to adhere to a standard in the first place that's a little foreign to me (and apparently just me *shrug*). Given that the standards are more or less "make your fic readable" there's nothing unreasonable about that, but... I guess what I'm wondering is how you're differentiating between deliberate lack of effort and actual inexperience. If someone craps out something terrible in five minutes and expects to be taken seriously, well, no. But if they really just didn't know any better... no, it isn't up to the standard yet, but they're looking for advice to bring it up to the standard given enough time, and that doesn't necessarily deserve a lock in my book. Everyone has to start somewhere, and the term "standard", in my head, seems to imply some sort of cutoff where you have to be this good to enter. Maybe it's just the terminology I'm taking issue with, feh.

Which basically echoes some of what you said, so. I think it's overall a little more welcoming with just the polite advice for completely newbish authors.

grawr I'm tired and probably shouldn't post until I can be coherent. Oh well.
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Old May 28th, 2010 (08:59 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Delusions of Originality:
grawr I'm tired and probably shouldn't post until I can be coherent. Oh well.
You're actually hitting on one of the most major and overlooked issues when it comes to thinking about this kind of thing, so don't worry too much about sleep. Or, you know, worry but not about whether or not you're being coherent.

Anyway, my answer to that is basically we'll have to risk it at first because you're right. We won't know until we see more of the author. If the author snaps back at a gentle push (an actual gentle push, even, not the analytical stuff) and/or if the author shows absolutely no interest in improving, we could probably call troll then. (Alternatively, if the author is writing about Ash selling his Pikachu for crack or something equally ridiculous, that's probably a troll, too.) But other than that, we should probably just assume the "didn't know any better" route and review it accordingly, yeah.
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Old May 28th, 2010 (09:48 PM).
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Quote:
FFL
Here's a thought. Why not close the FFL? Seriously. As I've said before, there's been forums out there that have gotten along just fine without them. SPPf, for example, just has discussions about writing in separate threads. Even if we get minor questions here and there, we at least make full use of the fact that the Writer's Lounge is -- gasp -- a forum and something that can't actually be hurt by repetitiveness now and then. (God knows the actual FFL suffered from that now and then. Oh, bold topics. You and your tendency to ask the same questions over and over again on occasion.) If their question's been answered, we can just politely point them to the search function.

Point is, how do we get rid of a clique atmosphere and all this dead-end arguing about whether or not we should have bold topics in the FFL? By not having the FFL. Sure, if we feel the need to have a casual place for writing-related discussion or a simple questions kind of place, we can make a thread for that later, but why don't we just create threads we've already worked out and that we definitely need for the time being, you know?

Will it hurt the community atmosphere? Probably not any more than the crap that went on in the FFL. People will at least be encouraged to actually post threads and look at something other than a single thread in the writing forums, and we'd be forced to connect with authors by getting out in the main forum and commenting on what they have to say.
...hav to say this actually seems like a very good idea and hey why not? At any rate one can be made later if we want, but the current one is being 'eh' now, and certainly basically how the problems began as well. FLL was fun and all when it was good...but not so when it got cliquey. =x


h, I'll just be lazy and instead of quoting too much say I like those written up standards as they basically cover it all, I'v said what little could really need changing imo in the rules thread (and leaving them open won't be bad or anything imo). Also yes to having them permanently bold or something if that is possible - I quite like that idea.

Quote:
The only thing I've got left is one last incentive idea. It's not a contest or a personal challenge. It's just a request that everyone submit one review a day for one month. We could start in June, and yes, I'm just asking for one review. Considering what I've said earlier about reviews, this shouldn't be too difficult, so don't whine at me that you don't want to do it. If you've got enough time to post in these kinds of threads, you've got enough time to sit down and read someone's four-page chapter to say something to them.
I think this would probably be the best way actually - contests and such would be better suited when an improvement is made.
Quote:
Stickies

Screw it. Nobody cares. Let's just do the standards-by-example method like we've been talking about. The rules should stay, of course, because some people are sane. I just think we need to keep the sticky count to a minimum and divert our attention to the meat of the community. As evidenced by the announcement Astinus made, it'd be more effective if we actually walked out and sat down with newbies.
Agreed, although what would we keep in the writing lounge (.g. the beta readers thread, etc)? No ffl would be one less though.

I agree with the action over yapping sentimentality. =D
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Old May 28th, 2010 (11:23 PM).
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Quote:
For instance, has anyone actually studied SPPf to find out why it’s so successful –so to speak, because I haven’t been to Serebii-- in comparison to F&W?
Jax pretty much said it for me: We're really focused on the writing aspect. Yeah, it doesn't leave much room for joking around (SPPf's community is known as being too stringent, I think?), but it sets everyone, veteran or newbie, on equal ground. Or the line between the new and veteran is more blurred. If you're new over there, you still have a fighting chance that by posting in a thread, someone who is known on the forum will see your posts. SPPf doesn't really have anything like the FFL. Our "writer's lounge" (called the author's cafe over there) consists of threads that have to do with writing, and responses to those threads focus/relate back to the original post. If there is funny business, it's not the majority of the post.

We also usually have someone who is a decent/known/veteran reviewer circulating the forum. I myself usually take the time to sit down and review a few stories every few days. Nothing too drastic or headache inducing. Even if they're not super detailed reviews, it still shows a new member that someone is interested in their work or interested in helping them improve.

Pretty much, SPPf can be summed up in having threads that everyone can respond to and having a decent reviewer circle the main forum every now and then to set an example and to show new members that there are people interested in reading new stories.

You also don't have to review blitz the heck out of your forum either. Building a reputation for a forum takes awhile, so it's more about being consistent and having a veteran name circulate the main forum for awhile to show that yes, a known member is interested in the rest of the community.

As for guides ... I don't know. SPPf doesn't really have any, and we seem to do okay on quality because we do have decent fics as examples and decent reviewers out there (yar, the whole setting the example thing again). We do have a sticky (Advice for Aspiring Authors) that has vague guidelines and tips. It's also open so other members can post in their own writing tips without having to create their own thread. Guides are helpful, though, past the reviewer's advice and if the author wants to know more about something.

There ye go. Not sure if that info was any helpful but ... yeah.
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Old May 29th, 2010 (10:54 AM).
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Quickie response, but:

Quote originally posted by bobandbill:
Agreed, although what would we keep in the writing lounge (.g. the beta readers thread, etc)? No ffl would be one less though.
Beta Reader thread, definitely.

Maybe even a plot bunny thread if we really want to go the SPPf route (to avoid having people go "lol wut about my story idea" and nothing else), although this is optional. It'd be useful to discuss story ideas, get feedback, and stir up inspiration (especially if we add in that guide you wrote for it), but we could also just let kids create separate threads to encourage more discussion in WL as a whole.

Other than that, we could just create threads as we need them and, in the meantime, encourage people to ask questions about anything in WL. (Like if someone needs grammar advice, they could just create a thread to ask about it, for example.) If we feel that something would be better explained if we just wrote a full-on guide about it, then sure, we can sit down and do it later.
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Old May 29th, 2010 (01:22 PM). Edited May 29th, 2010 by Delusions of Originality.
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The way I see it, the number of stickies in a new/revamped forum is sort of like the number of actual forums on a new/revamped message board. Common advice given to new administrators is to keep the number of forums down to the absolute minimum--you don't need to separate a gaming forum out into twelve different subforums for each current console/system plus computer games and other technology, especially if that's not even the primary focus of your message board. It just looks cluttered and empty. A simple "Video Games" forum will usually suffice, and then if you notice that your board has a large number of PS3 players who get annoyed when their topics mix in with the general stuff, you can create a PS3 subforum for them at that point.

So yes, I agree that the Lounge should be kept largely open, not much more than the beta reader thread stickied at first. See if there's a demand for something before you jump the gun and create it when it might not be needed after all.
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Old May 29th, 2010 (09:11 PM).
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Yeah, I agree with holding back on guides for now and creating stickies if it seems necessary. Looking at your writer's lounge now, the threads mainly consist of "plot help" topics, so making a plot bunny/fic idea wouldn't be that useless. But even then, you don't really need it right away.

I would say keep the beta thread sticky, the rules thread (obviously), and that one thread that links to grammar guides. Leave the last one open, too, just in case someone needs a certain rule to be explained further.

Actually, I do have a question that's somewhat off topic. What happened to the Fanfiction of the Month thing? Is that no longer happening? I know there's an fanfiction archive for stories "that have been recognized to be outstanding" (is this for finished fics, btw, or just any story recognized to be well written?). Is it not used anymore, like the Revision Bin?
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Old May 30th, 2010 (08:00 AM).
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So I've decided I may as well give some of my opinions, as I'm getting a new laptop at the end of June and will therefore be able to write stories and reviews. Not good reviews, but reviews nonetheless.

I'm typing on an iPod, so if you guys don't mind me putting the issues in bold as opposed to quoting them, that would be nice. As it's really hard to deal with a touch keyboard while copying and pasting.

No more FFL. The Writer's Lounge is our discussion place.

This is a very nice idea. The FFL, I'd say, nearly killed the entire board because the argument was used by a lot of users that if they wanted to ask a question about writing, they could just throw it into a bold topic in the FFL instead of starting a thread. I was guilty of that, I'll admit. If you got rid of the FFL, it's possible the sub-forum would receive a lot of new threads based on what we would have discussed in the FFL. and yeah, I'm saying 'we' because it's okay to pretend it's still 2008.

And then, you know, it might also destroy the feeling of 'cliqueness' a lot of us having been feeling around this board for the last few months.

Fewer stickies.

Lots of stickies are daunting. Not a lot? Not daunting. It's all cool. All I can think of is the rules... I know a lot of you were talking about having an adventure story featuring Astinus in which one rule would be dealt with per chapter (Rekky: professional lurker), but honestly, I've gotta say I don't think it'd work. Sure it sounds great, and I'm sure everyone would have fun making it... But the newbies who aren't reading the stickies now? Giving them something much longer where they'll probably have to read 3 A4 pages' worth of words just to find one rule... am I the only one seeing a flaw with that? Just give the rules in quick bullet points. Everyone loves bullet points.

Regulars enforce the rules through example, thereby establishing a set of standards.

This is silly. Personally I'd expect everybody who's posting in this thread, looking for ways to innovate this forum, to be already doing this. And not because they have a duty but because that's what they do.

Don't be stupid when it comes to reviewing. (See above abridged guide.)

Keep JX Valentine's reviewing guide stickies, but move it to the main forum. It's more likely more people will pay attention to it then. I'd nominate the idea of handing out infractions to repeat offenders (people who keep posting one-liner reviews or just don't give constructive criticism at all), but I hate infractions with a passion so I'll refrain.

Submit one review a day for a month. Don't make Jax break out the kitten bat.

I highly doubt anyone could pull that off. Why not bring in the monthly prompt thing that we had going on ages ago? That was fun, and loads of people took part every month. More people write, more people review. It's a working system.

My fingers are starting to feel dull from all these electro-magnetic pulses so I'm going to stop typing now.
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