Lit discussion (continued from JC Suggestions thread)

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

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  1. Dingo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2001
    star 5
    Given I have to start work early in the morning I should already be in bed, so this is more of a drive-by post than I prefer.

    Ms Lanna, while I personally appreciate the fact that there are more people saying that they have views that there are things that could be improved in Lit to make it a better forum and more welcoming to all fans (especially so I don't look like a lone voice in the wilderness), I have to echo the general gist of MK's last post or two. You have said what's bothering you about Lit, but it doesn't need to be repeated ad naseum and getting into a semantics or viewpoint debate with other users. The whole reason I even brought the discussion up in the first place was because of suggestions on things that could be done, and rightly MK has said more than once that it's useless getting into a complaint-fest and that if people want to add to the thread it should be in the vein of what other things can be done (by mods and users alike) to improve the atmosphere.

    MK, I do have a PM with your name on it about a few of the things, but like you and school-work I've been snowed under while acting as senior-of-department. Hopefully things will be quiet over the next couple of days at work that I can put it together.
  2. Trip Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2003
    star 4
    I see.

    Say, that's a nice icon you've got there. Rebel starbird, right?
  3. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 5
    Rob - yes, you're right of course; there are "non-serious" things going on in Lit. It would thus perhaps be more accurate to say that Lit is a place defined by the serious discussion that goes on there. That's what separates it from other boards. Is that perhaps a better way of phrasing it? And of course, you'll note that even the satire threads are pretty deeply rooted in the community's sense of deep discussion: they're much rarer, and function as relief from it, rather than a dominant theme for many threads. I don't think we actually disagree here. My point was that the characterizing feature of Lit as compared to other places is its potential for (actualized more often than not) serious discussion. [face_peace]

    MsLanna - I didn't respond in detail to your 12/18 post, just as I didn't respond in detail to either your or Ceillean's posts after that in detail. I responded to the gist of your post, because that seemed a better use of my time. :)

    Dingo - I look forward to the PM.

    Trip, while I appreciate the sentiment, and see what you're getting at, perhaps it would be better to take the conversation about the importance of continuity and objective reality to PMs? Thanks.

    I'll try and get together some of the information on what exactly we're doing in the next couple of days (though most of it you all already know, just we'll slowly have more and more details).

    As I said, we're always open to suggestions of how to improve. Repeating ad nauseum the same complaints won't fix anything however, so if we don't have any such suggestions, I think it's time to drop a few of the subjects and move forward.
  4. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    To me complaining that the Mindor thread isn't sufficiently book-focused when the book is not yet officially out seems to miss the point. Better the thread have some rather than no activity.

    As to the buying debate, that's actually opened up an interesting tangent on level of popularity of SW in countries - I'm quite certain it won't overstay its welcome either; but for those of us in the UK, with a release date of 22 Jan - posters are inevitably going to ask others where they got their copy and it's only goo manners to tip 'em off.

    As to posting in Lit, there's no rule that says you have to be frequent and consistent. My posting activity waxes and wanes considerably depending on what's going on, there's times when I post little because there's little of interest. I don't see that as an indication of the health of the forum.
  5. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    I'd agree, but I think the case for what is correct can be presented politely with facts. You've corrected me in the past like in the Dark Empire Thread or the Thread about Fett killing Jedi, and I thanked you for it.

    That said there are a ton of instances where Star Wars facts don't add up. Source Book A paints things one way while Source Book B goes the exact opposite route. That said I've run into a few folks in Lit who are never wrong, they have it all figured out, and if new sources like the New Essential Chronology or the Ultimate Star Wars Visual Guide contradict their view then those sources don't count. Thats what I'm looking at with the agree to disagree type stuff.

    People just have to move along. I'd like sources of canon to add up as well, but they don't always do so. State your case, have your opponent state their case, discuss in brief and move along. No need to proclaim "I'm so right and your so wrong" when the facts clearly don't add up.

  6. MsLanna Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2005
    star 6
    *thinks of better uses for her own time*
    [face_thinking]








    You know, I really miss that smiley that's waving goodbye. :(
  7. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    As I've been gone for a while, I'm joining the party a little late but I can offer some thoughts.

    My MAIN problem with the Literature Forum is not the discusssions, nor the collective posting habits -- but rather certain individuals who make the experience either unfun, dangerous or just mind-bogglingly insane. Some of these I can give examples for and some I can't (due to board rules), but I'll do my best.

    The people who make it unfun are those who are basically there to poop on parades, constantly, not as a schtick and just because they can. Someone like Trip is there and has a lot of issues with much of the current EU and is generally a wet-blanket BUT it's because he honestly believes that it seems (in most cases :p) or is very clear when he's fooling about as well as actually speaking up when he likes something. In the past, someone like vong333 would have been a good example of a true "wet blanket" in just negatively thread-crapping in most new product threads but even before I left that seemed to have been changing for a positive trend and I haven't seen anything to contradict that since I've been back. But that's generally one type of negative poster that could exist and, honestly, it's a hard one to deal with since there's usually no outright "rule" broken; it's more of a "detrimental to community" aspect (see also #3 below).

    The people who make it dangerous are the ones who are mostly gone. Advocating bashing an author's head in with a rock or suggesting that someone should have aborted them before being born is not only unacceptable but dangerous. From death threats on Bob Salvatore and Karen Traviss as well as threats of physical violence against the latter (with accompanying YouTube video of a Star Wars Galaxy scenario), that kind of thing should have no place in a discussion forum. I know this isn't tolerated by the mods and that it's cracked down upon when seen, I just want to bring it up here for folks from outside Lit who may not quite realize why it is we have to have a discussion like this every once in a while. Also, to my friends at sd.net who may read this and slag me some more: /wave

    The last group are the people who are mind-bogglingly insane with their posting. I don't mean McEwok-like conspiracy theories (which are bad if parroted as fact) or Excellence-like aphasia... I mean people who, on a discussion forum, don't understand concepts like "discussion" and "logic," though I will give them the benefit of the doubt on "forum." I am a strong-willed, strong-minded, very argumentative fellow (no, really!) but -- and here's the thing -- on non-subjective things if I am wrong (and it's been known to happen) I'll fess up, publicly, in the thread and say "Hey, I was wrong." It's called "conceding a point." And on the other side of the scale, we have the people who wouldn't know how to concede a point if they needed to poop it out after taking an Ex-Lax breakfast with a Metamucil chaser. Worse are the folks who combine that brilliant trait with the desire to change their argument (despite it being quoted in prior posts) when someone argues successfully against them. Considering it takes two people to have a discussion, if one side is unwilling to engage in a proper one... what's the point? What good can come of it? How is this conducive to a good environment on a discussion forum? And I would hazard a guess that in possibly some cases the users may not even realize they're doing it; probably not some combination of Darth Sidious and Lex Luthor masterminding a plot to destroy the Lit Forum, but more like Forrest Gump and just kinda there and not realizing it. Granted, that's me casting aspersion on motives again but I'm willing to try and give folks the benefit of the doubt again.

    ****************************************************

    Now, having said all of that, let me give some impressions of other smaller and probably not fixable things.


    1) The quality of the product (NOTE: excludes comics) has had a very serious downturn recently,
  8. s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2006
    star 7
    I agree with most of dp4m's points.

    Here's the deal though: How do you moderate someone who isn't breaking any rules? The negativity is what drives me away from Lit, but you've stated that some people are very negative but not breaking rules. I mean, everyone is allowed their own opinion. Is this just something we need to ride out until we get better material released? Do we need to crack down on the insane posters and reign them in a little? a lot?

    I think the current mod team has done wonders with the VIP's and in cracking down on attacks on VIP's. I know some people disagree with their methods, sometimes stopping threads before they actually reach that point, but I like the proactive nature where they're preventing those horrible comments from even appearing on the boards.
  9. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Well, let me rephrase if I was unclear: there's nothing inherently wrong with negativity. Hell, I was very negative about the NJO and most of LOTF, O66, etc. (and I would have been for MF were I here).

    But it's not continuous thread-crapping, it's not anti-Mara postings in every thread that merely mentioned her name. As I had mentioned, vong333 would have been a good example of someone who was continuously negative but he's done a real good job of turning it around it seems. It's where it's continously a problem, continuously just being negative, just thread-crapping where it gets into "detrimental to the community" bit. I know KW and Dingo agree with me on those concepts (even if I was late to that party, for which I owe Josh an apology :p)...

    There are rules and there are community. Both need preserving and nurturing and sometimes what is detrimental to one is not within the boundaries of the other.
  10. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Re: Negativity

    One of the defining traits of fans - of any description, not just SW or EU - is the unwillingness to simply quit it, to give up and walk away. In that sense, the football team metaphor is reasonably fitting: Some supporters support their team through years of rubbish results, lost potential, squandered players, they'll rant to their mates in the pub about it but give it up? Unthinkable!

    And so it is with the EU, the line 'if you don't like it stop reading' says to me that that poster has no clue where they are posting or the people they're talking to - because it is not and never will be that simple. Some people like to vent, maybe they go too far but that's the Mods call to make; for some it's representative of them clinging on to a habit that they are nearly reluctantly walking away from - but aren't happy about it.

    Finally, for all the talk about negativity, it tends to be clustered around a few key areas/topics. Outside of those areas, how much is there really?

    Re: Community

    This was, I think, to a degree, lacking but is slowly improving. One of the barriers to it is the idea that to be a SW fan you must like all elements A-E and if you don't, you're not a true fan. No, just no - it's a rubbish concept and always an incendiary one that accomplishes little, but I haven't seen this expressed in Lit for a while - which is excellent.

    At the same time there's a bit more experimentation going on, people posing Qs and posting threads and people are asking for advice on details and getting helpful answers which builds a sense of community and shared interest.

    If there's one cloud on the horizon, I'd say it'll be the inevitable post-Mindor crash as subsequent books are perceived as failing to match it.
  11. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    And so it is with the EU, the line 'if you don't like it stop reading' says to me that that poster has no clue where they are posting or the people they're talking to - because it is not and never will be that simple.


    But sometimes it is.

    To use that sports team example: I had a local sports team called the Anaheim Angels. I followed them since I was a child, through their pathetic years all the way up to their first ever World Series victory. The next year, the team was renamed "The Los Angeles Angels [of Anaheim]"--I felt like that was a slap in the face to the fans. They were trying to make more money, of course, and it was part of the team's new direction: but I couldn't stand it. Some fans told me that I was being disloyal, and that the team didn't exist for the fans but the other way around. Whatever, I disagreed.

    I could really say the same things about the EU. I stayed through NJO, and even past DN, but LotF just didn't do it for me. And while I will criticize it in private, I've refused to have anything to do with it otherwise. This includes complaining about it.

    Of course, if I'm silent, my voice won't get heard: but there are others who can do that better than I can, anyway. If a new EU product is good or interests me, I'll still buy it and talk about it. But I will not automatically buy any book or product just because it says "Star Wars" on the cover.

    But I still have the old EU to talk about. And there are the occasional interesting aspects of the old EU that get referenced in new material (although more often than not, LFL seems more interested in destroying the past than building up from it). So Lit's more of an antiquarian interest for me now, rather than the sort of cutting-edge posting I enjoyed during the NJO (and that people still did for LOTF and other new releases). A while ago, somebody called me a "one note poster" in Lit--that's only true insofar as I don't have many kind words about the current EU and no desire to discuss it as I still did during the NJO.

    I think there's room for both, though. There are a lot of people who love LOTF and although that's utterly incomprehensible to me, that's fine. Let them. I have no desire to tell them that they're misguided in their tastes, or anything of that sort. I do think it's valid to criticize the direction LFL and the EU has taken from an editorial/continuity perspective though, and I'd probably join in on those discussions if they didn't bore me so.
  12. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Maybe Jello, but it doesn't follow that just because there are some clear-cut cases that all cases should be treated so.

    I'd say the other reason I dislike that particular is the coded message it also tends to be used to send which is: Shut up and go away. Not: Find something you do like, or you should try story X. It's a dismissive and almost anti-discussion line, I've never really seen its use ever lead to anything beneficial or productive.
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