Lit discussion (continued from JC Suggestions thread)

Discussion in 'Communications' started by Master_Keralys, Dec 4, 2008.

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  1. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Hmm, what status quo are you referring to here? The EU? Or one of the forums?
  2. s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2006
    star 7
    I would consider myself a casual or non-canon knowing fan. Idk how or why we're actually trying to label everyone, but I don't remember lots of details so I tend to be surprised by a lot when I read books (even rereading books.) This means I don't usually catch when things don't line up and its a pretty bad non-line-up if I do catch it. However, I have posted in Lit since I started off here. There was only 1 user I ever felt talked down to me and things were dealt with.

    I frequently say things that could be considered non-intelligent and ask obvious questions sometimes. Granted I moved most of this off-forum so that I can sound smarter on-forum now, but I still do it occasionally.

    As a casual or non-canon knowing fan, I have NO desire to engage in these debates. That only means that I just don't post in all the threads. I'm ok with that. Sometimes I'll go in, post what I want to say, and ignore the thread for the rest of the time. I think if other users could let things go sometimes on all sides then the forum would be a better place. I have seen the moderators stepping in more and more lately to get people to drop certain off-topic discussions and have users back-off.

    I will admit to leaving Lit around August. I did not see the mods stepping up during that time, I discussed it with them about how I was not going to bother posting in a forum that was just completely full of complaints by people who hadn't even read the books. When a post goes "I haven't read this but...ARGH!!!!!!!" that bugs me. I will agree that there are some things that can be commented on without having read the book, but for the most part you need the context and you need to read it for yourself. I saw some spoilers and when I read that part I was like "Wow, that was nothing like how I imagined it when I first read the spoilers." That, right there it what ruined Lit for me. I came back recently because I was observing the mods doing what I stated above: getting conversations on topic, handing out bans for bad behavior, edits for flaming. A moderator, or four, can't catch everything.

    As a mod, I love when someone PM's me and says "Hey you might want to do something about this thread." I like when you guys are looking out for each other, but the way to do that it not to jump into the conversation and blast/flame the person who started it, but instead to bring it to the attention of the people who can edit things out and stop the behavior.

    Not having been here for 10 years, I have no idea how Lit used to be. My experience is only with the now. The EUC, however, has taken some of that lighthearted-non-complaining points of Lit that used to exist in Lit (from what I hear), but are now in the EUC. I'm not saying that you should have to change forums, but there is a place that exists on the boards where you can discuss this without having the incredibly full, in depth discussions. The EUC even gets their own book thread when a new book comes out (sometimes hosted by a Fan Club and sometimes a whole new thread.) Most of these discussions are character based or topic based and tend to only pertain to that particular book.

    That said, I don't want to see the guys who know canon silenced. I love having a place to ask questions and get answers. I don't think people shouldn't be allowed to complain. I do, however, think people shouldn't be allowed to complain who aren't reading these books. They're not spending any money and they're not spending any time reading the books, so I don't get why they're spending their time complaining about things. That's a personal opinion though and its something that I'll just never understand.

    Having some place to discuss the books is what keeps me at the JC.
  3. ChildOfWinds Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2001
    star 5
    Darth_Lex : There are plenty of fanficcers, for example, who happily engage in discussion of the books/comics, plots, storylines, characterizations, etc. over in Fanfic but won't post in the same discussions in Lit because of exactly this dynamic. If you're seriously interested in trying to figure out what might be dysfuncational about Lit, you need to start by acknowledging the possibility that there exists a very real, widely held perception that Lit is a predominantly negative place where criticism of the profic is far more welcome than positive contributions.

    I actually do know quite a few people who have either left the boards completely; only lurk; or don't post in Lit anymore or only on the rarest of occasions. However, they haven't left because of negative criticism of the profic. They've left either because the profic has disappointed them so much that they no longer read it, or they are afraid to post because they've had the experience of other posters being disrespectful of their opinions or making snarky comments like a couple we've seen on this thread. It's fine to disagree with a person's opinions about SW characters and events. However, when the poster himself/herself is attacked and/or is told that that his/her opinion has no merit whatsover, that's when feelings are hurt and people don't feel welcome to share their thoughts.

    So it's not so much the negative comments about the profic that pushes people away. I've found it's more the negative comments made against posters themselves that causes people to avoid posting in Lit.

  4. beccatoria Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2006
    star 4
    Speaking for myself, I haven't seen much of this.

    I'm not saying I haven't seen people behaving poorly in arguments over canon, it's just that it's usually about difference of interpretation rather than, "OMG I know more than you so I must be better than you AHAHAHA!"

    That's not a defence of that behaviour merely a comment on where I perceive a problem to be.

    I agree. But it's important for me to point out that my goal wasn't to insult fanfic merely to point out that perceptions differ, and that not every environment is suited to every poster and that that's okay.

    I am completely aware that every person who puts finger-to-keys to actually write a story about Star Wars puts as much if not more effort into their love of the franchise than I do and I would never want to suggest that such a person was in any way less "a fan." And I hope that I was careful in my original post not to say so. I did try to make it clear that I have the utmost respect for fan fiction as an endeavour and for the communities writers build, even if this particular community is not one I participate in.

    Yes, it's absolutely fair and I'm glad the question is being asked.

    I also think it's fair to examine the question from the other side and ask whether they don't feel comfortable in Lit because it's not the type of community they're looking for rather than immediately assuming that it's a problem with Lit.

    Many of the changes suggested here make me feel uncomfortable and worried. It's not all about me, so I don't expect everyone to fall in line and agree, but I can try to present my perspective, and I think it's worth noting that we may be at a point where shifting in either direction will leave a section of the Lit community unhappy.

    When faced with that situation, I'm not entirely sure what the solution would be, or even if there is one.

    Yes, I completely agree that it's clear a significant section of the forum believe there's a problem with Lit. As I've said in my previous posts, I have no problem discussing this or acknowledging that there are issues to be discussed.

    But I do think that the "there's nothing serious wrong," perspective (which I hold and which is different from, "nothing's wrong,") is a perspective that needs representation in that discussion because it represents a view within the community we want to improve.

    I still haven't really heard any concrete criticism that doesn't boil down to, "you guys are too negative," and I'm honestly not sure how you expect to change that if it really represents how people feel. Encourage more positive posting? Yes. Encourage mods to step in when people start being obnoxious and personal? Yes. Encourage mods to step in when people are posting off-topic? Yes. Make the atmosphere of the boards suddenly positive? Not so much. If people don't feel positive about the stuff they're hearing, even if every off-topic or "Oh here so-and-so goes again," post was deleted, the board would still feel critical.

    I absolutely support our mods in taking more proactive steps in modding and think that this will improve the atmosphere. But I remain convinced that the goal should be ke
  5. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    In regard to these 2 paras:

    For myself, I tend to end up posting on a book or story I haven't read only if the conversation has gone beyond requiring specific knowledge of the story in question, say people are throwing around philosophical terms or making general statements that are contestable. As I do agree how a story is done can be substantively different from a spoiler summary and can still impress you despite you knowing the resolution.

    I did have to call in a limited mod-strike shall we say on a thread a while back and it worked out quite well.
  6. Trip Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2003
    star 4
    Sorry.

    I honestly don't see what we're hoping to accomplish here, though, aside from letting disgruntled posters vent about their pet peeves.

    Look, I'll be blunt: this discussion crops up like clockwork every few months, and every time we all have fun talking merrily in circles and making vague complaints about "some posters" or "certain fans," and we wring our hands and fret over What's Gone So Terribly Wrong over the past two (or four or six or eight or ten) years in Lit, and then after maybe a week and god-knows-how-many-pages of griping and counter-griping and counter-counter-griping everyone gives up and the thread dies and maybe a half-dozen people vow that they'll try very very hard to be a better poster.

    Now, if I'm totally missing the point and this is supposed to be exactly what it looks like-- some sort of ritualistic airing-of-the-grievances that lets people get stuff off their chests-- then my bad, feel free to go back to the discussion and just ignore me.


    Look, Lit's not perfect, and it never will be. There's absolutely now way it can make everybody happy-- especially not in a place like Lit, which has regular or semi-regular posters from at least a dozen fandom 'subcultures.'

    Which, come to think of it, is fairly unique so far as fan-forums go, and is probably the main reason Lit's atmosphere is at times a bit contentious. Most Star Wars forums cater to a specific sort of fan; Lit, for better or worse, is sort of the crossroads of the online fandom. Tt's really the only place where you'll find both fandos and Saxtonites, for example, to say nothing of Bantam fans and RPGers and Wook folks and, yes, even VIPs. Which makes it the target of no small amount of derision, from all parties. I've read posts on TOS that speak of Lit as though it's some ghastly hellhole of rabid feces-throwing anti-fans... and then gone over to SDN and seen Lit derided as a haven for sycophantic fanboys who'd sooner die than speak unkindly of LFL.

    The truth, I think, lies somewhere in the middle.

    So, personally, so long as things are civil, discussions (mostly on-track), and overt trolls reigned in, I think Lit's mostly what you make of it. Don't get me wrong, I've got my own set of peeves-- some far more justified than others-- but aside from encouraging and participating in the discussions you care about and avoiding those you don't, what can you do?/>
  7. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    I certainly don't think it's one of those cases where everyone should just shrug or throw their hands up and walk away. There are quite a few posts in here, even from the mods, attributing most things that are problematic to the extremist POVs and/or those who exhibit extremist behaviors in stating them. I think the problem, as I see it, is more the exhibiting of extreme behaviors and the mods have already started working on that.

    If we come away with nothing else but another reminder that the Code should be followed and/or given more teeth, then we've made a step forward.

    IMO, Lit gets better, then one little thing happens in EU or canon, or specific areas of the fandom and it gets thrown right back where it was in terms of negativity in posting habits or tone, if you will. And let's be clear, there's a difference in negative opinions and negative posting habits. And that's what I'm addressing, and have been all along. And I believe a few others have tried to get that across, also.

    No one is saying change the rules, but moderate them more effectively. And from what I've seen the Lit mods have been open to this, so the conversation hasn't really been pointless or an exercise in futility. That only comes when they don't, and the problems are never addressed.
  8. Trip Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2003
    star 4
    Can you think of any specific examples that've thrown Lit back into overly negative territory?

    Because, if you're referring mostly to what I think you are-- i.e., "Lit's pretty chill until the next book by Ms Traviss comes out"-- then I actually agree that there may be some problems here than can be addressed.
  9. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    Yes, that's definitely one. And there is a contingency of people that can post on either side of that situation without it devolving into extremely negative posting habits. But like Dingo and I pointed out earlier, it's unfair to pile all of the negativity and results thereof on her, because she certainly had nothing to do with Randy Stradley leaving for a while, or other situations that have gone awry.

    Because I can name a few off the top of my head over the years:

    Chewie's death
    Han's characterization and his backstory
    The choosing of Mara over Callista
    Denning's characterization of Mara and Luke
    Luke's characterization in the NJO and DN
    Anakin Jrs' death
    Mara's death
    The Clone Wars cartoons vs the novels of pre-ROTS canon
    Legacy comics and the legacy of the LOTF era characters
    Jacen's characterization and ending
    Mara's percieved Retcon by Zahn


    Etc.

    Heck, I'll add the whole NJO and LOTF series and Del Rey to that...

    I think over the years, as LFL as come out with more stuff, the galaxy has gotten smaller, continuity is harder to keep tight, we keep trying to stuff things into continuity just because it has "Star Wars" on it, etc. it's come closer to the boiling point where fans either learn to armor up and take on the powers that be via the message board medium, or walk away in disgust, or deal with changes and pick out their battles and learn to express themselves the best they can without being obnoxious or extreme.

    I think it goes back to the more controversial things, and how we express our joy or loathing of them, or even concern and let that snowball over the whole forum.
  10. TKeira_Lea Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2002
    star 5
    becca: I still haven't really heard any concrete criticism that doesn't boil down to, "you guys are too negative," and I'm honestly not sure how you expect to change that if it really represents how people feel.

    Actually it's not about "you guys are too negative." Everyone is entitled to their opinion - negative, positive or otherwise ambivalent. And I certainly don't think people should be silenced. It's about redirection of tone and posting technique so that Lit isn't a place where fans address other fans to the point that posts are full of snarks and personal attacks. So what, people disagree but in Lit it's often personal.

    This could happen any number of ways -

    1) VIPs and mods consider that the masses will follow your example. They see wordy diatribes posted by VIPs on the woes of The Trials of Bombad Jedi, then they're all going to think that's how things go. They see mods engage in discussion with a dismissive tone, they're going to think that's okay. They see colors announce he/she will enjoy putting down the previous poster's theories, they will think this is a place where it's fun is to be had by smacking down others.
    2) Mods take some time to help redirect users who consistently derail topics. For instance, the perpetual snarker, you know the one who never really offers anything to the discussion, take him/her aside and say, 'you know, if that's all you have to add to this thrad maybe find a thread where you can participate.' Or for the rabid fan, you know the one that can't seem to stop obsessing on Jedi Master Bedathan Ebery-Wan, when he makes three posts in a row about his fancrush, steer the conversation back.
    3) Find a way to allow lovers of a topic to enjoy the topic and bashers to enjoy wallowing in their misery. And then protect those havens.

    Ultimately change starts from within, each poster remembering there is a face behind the counterpoint you're about to 'diss, whether it's another fan or the author of a book. Personally I find it disheartening that we don't have the interaction with authors and SW VIPs like there used to be. And there's a reason for that, it's called a lack of basic respect. Yet, many here just don't see that there's a problem...
  11. Trip Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2003
    star 4
    I agree-- she's certainly not personally responsible for reactions and behavior found in Lit-- but I think it is fair to say that the majority of the controversy in Lit surrounds Ms Traviss's work. Honestly: would we even be having this discussion if it weren't for Traviss-related issues?

    Please note that I'm genuinely looking for clarification here; it's much easier address specific things than it is vague feelings of negativity. I think people are often a bit vague because they understandably don't want to call anyone out or cause any more problems or whatever, but if you want to 'fix' anything, it's best to be specific. If we can all agree that 90% of the reasons posters are disgruntled with Lit is due to how folks there respond to Ms Traviss's work (whether positively or negatively), then that's a specific issue which I even have some thoughts on.

    Eh... I don't think Randy leaving (for awhile) or the incident that apparently prompted it was something to worry too much about.

    ETA: Sorry, roo, I missed your edit.

    Looking at the list of other hot topics, though, underscores another thing I've noticed-- people seem to be looking at the past with rose-tinted glasses. I'd completely forgotten about the Bria and Mara-related fights from way back; those got far nastier than any contemporary problems. And then there's always the purported death threats Salvatore got for killing Chewie, way back at the dawn of the JC; though nobody seems to remember the specifics, we've certainly come a long way from that sort of behavior.

    Speaking of which...

    People keep referring to the good ol' days, when VIPs posted in droves and people were nice and things were good.

    When was this, and how are our current VIP interactions worse off than they once were? If anything, I think we're as good on that front as we've ever been; the past couple years have seen John Ostrander, Jan Duursema, and John Jackson Miller-- to name the most prominent-- become (semi-)regular posters, to such an extent that John actually announced Legacy here, in Lit, before it was announced anywhere else. And, of course, Dan and Abel and Jason and Pabawan and all the other online oldbies still drop by on occasion, as do Randy and Jeremy and the other guys at Dark Horse, and even Matt Stover'll stop in to clarify something once in a blue moon.

    Honestly, I think we all forget about these guys sometimes because most of them aren't just VIPs-- they're actual members of the community, who post because they enjoy not only the interaction (well, seem to, anyway-- maybe they're all secretly masochists :p ) but because they're fellow fans of the franchise-- and not just the part of it that they're working on.
  12. Dingo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2001
    star 5
    I'm going to say something quickly before I run off to work, but hope to say more later this afternoon. I've got a notepad with points beside me (yes, I'm that sad) but haven't wanted to post continuously in the thread because it isn't just about what one or two people see as issues, and thus haven't wanted to dominate the discussion. And it is encouraging to see a lot of people wading in, and while not greatly appreciated, to see the exhibition of some of the behaviours that have been talked about so that it's out there.


    In regards to "the good olde days" that everyone seems to refer to, it's that period of time between 2000 and 2002 when every author would come here and post for at least 3-6 months around their book release. Hell, Kathy Tyers got so involved in the community for a good 6 months before she even let anyone really know who she was. Yes there was the death threats against Bob, but as I've always said over the years in regards to it, there's more that people don't know about the situation, and won't know for a couple of reasons. It wasn't all sunshine and lollipops for all the authors, but the worst thing that some of them had to deal with was getting swamped with PMs and questions in threads, not wondering whether they were going to be attacked for their writing. It is encouraging that more VIPs are starting to come back, but to me it is a little telling when you look at who it is that are making appearances.
  13. Trip Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2003
    star 4
    For this discussion to get anywhere, I think we need to quit dancing around things and be painfully blunt. I understand that calling people out isn't generally conducive to a friendly atmosphere, but buried hostility is, in my opinion, worse; it leads to misunderstandings and people generally talking right past one another.

    I don't know how feasible this is-- the mods would have to make the call one way or another-- but I'd advocate using this thread to constructively address using specific examples posters and behaviors which people feel is a problem. Obviously, this toes a fine line between constructive criticism and just unloading on somebody you don't like, but I think it's very necessary, otherwise stuff just continues to simmer under the surface.

    For example:

    Are you talking about Havac? Lex? Me? What behaviors specifically are you referring to?

    All parties involved are equally guilty in this, it should be noted, including myself; it's always "some posters", even when the connotations are positive. Like I said, it's understandable, given the nature of this site and etiquette in general, but it's not at all conducive to productive discussion.

    I'd even advocate creating a private forum, perhaps, where people might feel more comfortable and only folks who agree that they can handle direct criticism, but from what I understand this has been done in the past and didn't end well(?).
  14. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    What are the technical limitations of the boards?

    As while combining topics is a common feature on another board I post at, I'm not sure the option exists here.
  15. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 5
    Moderators and managers can remove and move threads, as well locking and unlocking them. That's pretty much it.

    ETA: Trip, that's not an entirely bad idea; it's now going under discussion. :)
  16. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    That doesn't give you a great deal of latitude really, does it?
  17. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    I'm not sure there was much the Mods could have done on that one. The thread in question was the kind that'd normally get Mod attention, either edited or locked. There was quite a bit of defence for the artist in question too.

    The one Q it raises for me is: Does Lit need 24-hour modding? If an obnoxious thread gets started at a time when most, if not all, of the Mods are either snoozing or working, so aren't yet able to whack it before trouble starts - does that mean there's a need for greater distribution of the modding with more Mods but from different timezones?
  18. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    No, we can't point to the situation that irritated Randy as the example, but it is indicative of a lot of the type of comments that lead to people reading enough of them and saying, "This place is just too negative."
  19. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    But isn't there is a psychological tendency to tag the negative more than the positive? I'm inclined to reckon you could show people 20 positive and 2 negative posts and it'd be the negative ones they'd latch onto and remember more easily.
  20. Lord_Hydronium Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 5
    Just to support this idea, Robimus posted a number of comments (without names, though) in the thread that spawned this one that he felt were over the line; and while I didn't really agree with his analysis, I thought it was very useful to get an idea of where he was coming from. The thing with vague comments is that people can read into them what they want, and all it's going to lead to are assumptions on their part as to what the other person is trying to say. For example, when Lex said he wanted threads without "complaining", I assumed that he meant any criticism; he then had to explain that he differentiated legitimate criticism and complaining. And honestly, I'm still not sure where he draws the line (and I'm not trying to target him here, just using him as an example)?it's a situation where examples would be very helpful.
  21. Bly Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2005
    star 4
    WARNING: The following post is somewhat disjointed, but it's the best I could come up with on short notice.:p

    Of course not. To the best of my knowledge, I'm the only guy in this thread who's seen this little fight from both sides: I was a rabid Fando for my first few years in Lit, and now...now I just don't care enough to complain. I like Traviss's characters, kark knows I felt kinda sad at the end of O66, and as for her decisions, well you can have your canon, and eat it, too. I know I can't be the only who's ignored O66 in favor of HOTM, but that option doesn't seem to have occurred to the more vocal posters on this board. Trip posted that "Lit's pretty chill until the next Traviss book comes out", and for the most part, that's true. Traviss and the bucketheads, Mandos and Clones both, seem to have become a lightning rod for the negativity in Lit, just take a look at what poster Sergeant_Dante has as his sig:

    It's because of dumbasses like this that Lit is the place it is today. And that sort of anger isn't as easily restrained to Ms. Traviss as Trip implies. Randy left over the vitriol slung at one of his artists; Denning received a ton of flak over Dark Nest; the new Clone Wars series seems to be cordially despised by a good number of the posters in Lit. The general attitude over in Lit is one of negativity. But there is simply no way, short of a "technique critique" thread like the one Trip is suggesting (which I support, BTW), to get people to change their posting habits; even then, whilst we might get them to be more polite when posting, we can't force them to love the EU.
  22. J_K_DART Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    Robimus:
    Glad you like the idea. I think if there's a dedicated thread for the author, though, it's possibly easier to monitor than the current nonsense, where comments fly thick and fast all over the place. One thread for the Mods to check on isn't half as bad as watching every thread for comments against the latest author to do something weird continuity-wise.

    Ben:
    How about posters being allowed to set 'house rules' for a thread in the opening post that acts as a minimum guidance for it?

    That's a very good idea. I know I've used it in the past, actually, by saying "this thread is for such-and-such, not so-and-so" - but that might've been on another forum. Of course, annoyingly, that stifles potential debates; but it also prevents discussions that may not have been so positive in the first place!

    Horsey:
    As a mod, I love when someone PM's me and says "Hey you might want to do something about this thread." I like when you guys are looking out for each other, but the way to do that it not to jump into the conversation and blast/flame the person who started it, but instead to bring it to the attention of the people who can edit things out and stop the behavior.

    Good point. This is something we, as posters, all need to take responsibility for. When a debate goes wrong, we need to flag it up rather than engage in it.

    Rhonderoo:
    And yet, in your list, it was discussions on Anakin's death that first drew me into the forum - because of the positive, debating atmosphere. Things didn't seem like they are now. Recently, I went through my first posts and first threads, just for a trip down memory lane, and a lot of them were on Anakin Solo threads - none of which were anything like recent reactions.

    Hmmm, respectfully, guys, bemoaning culture and specific examples doesn't do us much good for coming up with practical ideas, which would make this thread a lot more potentially useful.
  23. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    To cover some of the things that might have gotten lost in the shuffle:

    On the issue of multiple book-release threads: I don't think we need them, at least not officially. We already have a system in place that allows spoiler threads to spin off the main thread -- they just need moderator approval. I don't think the answer is to set up threads in advance for balkanized discussion, but instead to spin off a thread when one topic threatens to take over the entire discussion, or, alternatively, when someone has something they'd like to discuss that looks like it would get lost in the shuffle of a discussion thread that's churning along nicely on-topic. So I don't think we need a new system; we just need to exploit the system we have more fully.

    TKeira: A lot of times members come into the Lit forums and on page one you'll find fifteen threads that all lend toward topics for those disgruntled fans. That in and of itself can turn people around before they even dive into the discussions. Many of these disgruntled threads lie in the same vein, and I've often wondered why the mods don't combine topics.

    Again, this is something I'm not seeing. I'm not seeing a preponderance of "disgruntled" topics, especially not overlapping ones. They can flare up occasionally, but this isn't the preponderance of Lit's content. I can see why someone would feel, sometimes, like this is all there is, but the thread count really isn't dominated by disgruntled threads. And part of the problem here is that I see a lot of your and Lex's complaints coming from a highly skewed outside view of Lit. And outside views are certainly valuable, but we can't accept all their criticism as being inherently right because it's from outside any more than we can reject it all as being inherently wrong because it's from outside. So when I don't see fifteen disgruntled topics across the front page, I have to ask whether I'm missing something or whether you're missing something. And what I need, fundamentally, to figure that out is an explanation of what topics, exactly, are emblematic of "disgruntlement"? What kind of threads are you talking about? When have you seen these threads? Be specific; look at the front page of Lit right now and tell me what threads you see as being disgruntled. I can't help you if I don't know what you're talking about -- and if you want to argue that makes me part of the problem, well, I can hardly stop being part of the problem until I know what the problem is.

    KissMe: On the issue of people complaining, fanboy rants and arguments in the Lit Thread. I'm personally cautious of anything that limits posters being allowed to express their feelings (ie being required to read a book before commenting), but I can see how rants can be annoying. Maybe mods (and us users in general) can encourage (which is not the same as mandate) more use of the EUC and the already partisan threads there, where like-minded people can vent or praise without tempers flaring. Didn't there used to be an NJO/LotF Critics Thread? I don't know if I ever posted on it but I know there at least used to be a pretty active one. Is that still open, or can it be re-opened and encouraged?

    I think this is a solid suggestion to look at. I think there could be a lot of value in encouraging people who just want to express single-note praise or loathing to take it to a place that's designed to put like-minded people together, rather than expecting it to fly in a community that's ultimately about critical discussion. I think that's helpful not only for the "problem negativity" to be redirected, but also for the people who have a problem with excessive negativity. The sense I get from a lot of this criticism is that people want Lit to be a place where they can be positive without having to deal with negativity all the time, but the place that's designed for that is EUC. Lit isn't. It can work to be less negative, it can work to be more positive, but it's never going to be a place where fanboys don't argue. I have to agree with becca here: we need to focus on curbing e
  24. TKeira_Lea Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2002
    star 5
    Havac: Again, this is something I'm not seeing. I'm not seeing a preponderance of "disgruntled" topics, especially not overlapping ones. They can flare up occasionally, but this isn't the preponderance of Lit's content. I can see why someone would feel, sometimes, like this is all there is, but the thread count really isn't dominated by disgruntled threads.

    On this point, today I can't show you threads A-G that prove that this happens. If you go back to say the era of the last three releases of LotF or the time around when the last Traviss book came out...yeah, it was there.

    And part of the problem here is that I see a lot of your and Lex's complaints coming from a highly skewed outside view of Lit. And outside views are certainly valuable, but we can't accept all their criticism as being inherently right because it's from outside any more than we can reject it all as being inherently wrong because it's from outside.

    What exactly do you mean by outside? Because I'm genuinely confused. Do I not post enough in Lit to be considered inside? Are you suggesting that there is some magic number of posts that qualifies a member as inside and therefore their opinion must count? Or do you have some other vague checklist of qualifiers for inside versus outside? I'm not going to jump to conclusions because I'd like you to clarify your use of "outside" and then I'd like to respond.

    And what I need, fundamentally, to figure that out is an explanation of what topics, exactly, are emblematic of "disgruntlement"? What kind of threads are you talking about? When have you seen these threads?

    I'm going to have to get back to you on that one, but I will. Trust me.

    Shouldn't you as well consider the possibility that three Lit mods saying they don't see the problem maybe means there isn't one?

    Well yeah you can, but I'd suggest you look back through the history of TFN. There is more than one instance where issues have been raised by users in Comms and the mods and/or admin said they didn't see a problem. In the end, things proved that the mods and/or admin either hadn't listened or tried to see the problem through other users' eyes. So no, the argument, "I'm a mod; therefore I must be right" generally doesn't sway me to think my opinion must be wrong.
  25. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    He had something worse in his sig and was told to remove it. That's his responding protest. It doesn't bother me that it makes him look foolish.
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