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Awards 2005 Summer Post-Awards Discussion

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by JadeSolo, Aug 15, 2005.

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  1. TKeira_Lea

    TKeira_Lea Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 10, 2002
    Wow, the discussion really took off last night. And I am very impressed by the enthusiasm and positive nature of the discussion. As opposed to a couple years ago, this is a pleasant change from days of bickering. Last night while this thread was blooming I was doing my thing at home, off boards, but I was thinking about the awards. Being as I am older (in terms of time on the boards) and have seen a few of these awards I wanted to bring up a few points.

    The first awards I had the pleasure of really participating in was the '03 SFFA. Not sure how many remember that one, but at the time all the eras competed together. Needless to say there was some drama which makes any drama after these latest awards look like friends punching each other in the arm playfully. Apparently (and I was around but blissfully unaware) the '02 WFFA were even worse so in the drama department. Needless to say, there were a lot of great changes made to avoid Teh Drama going forward. Some of those changes included splitting the eras, scrutinizing who counted the votes/ran the awards, and elimination of voting for one self.

    The '03 WFFA definitely went better than the previous two, and by the time the '04 SFFA rolled around we were pretty much into the format you see now. Most users were happy with the awards, save a group that wanted to change the eligibility rules. The debate was loud and fierce over the matter, but in the end it was decided to keep the status quo. Ultimately the '04 WFFA and the '05 SFFA have run on the same template developed over the course of the last couple years. Each time minor tweaks were implemented to make the awards better.

    To be perfectly honest, aside from the little bit of drama (and this was little) surrounding these awards, they ran like they were supposed to. There were lots of winners. Oldies won. Newbies won. Some people won multiple awards. Some people won one award. People dove in as volunteers and participants alike.

    Now I see a lot of enthusiasm and an influx of new ideas. The moddesses in particular are throwing ideas out there. And to all I say bravo! This is my concern though. It took the course of three or four awards to get things to a pretty great system. Aside from the timing of the awards I think they work great. Why change it then?

    Some of the changes being talked about are significant alterations, and with significant alterations comes significant drama. It will take multiple tries to get those right too. Do we really need that?

    These fanfic boards have been through a lot of changes in the last couple months. Many of them were painful and cut to the bone. Do we really need to change a whole bunch more? I know we have new mods and fresh blood which couples to make excitement and a desire to make a mark on the system. I just beg caution in light of all we (the fanfic board users) have been through.

    The awards are a fanfic establishment. They are a way of building community.

    Leave them the way they are.

    If people want OC awards ? and I've participated in them and think they are fabulous ? then let someone run them. But if we bring OC and angst and whatever else to the forefront as one of our two primary awards something will be lost. OC writers are a unique, wonderful niche. Suddenly we're going to see OCs by the likes of geo and Lex going up against OCs by Bulldog and NarundiJedi - the former being great canon writers who use OCs to fill their stories versus the latter who are established OC writers. I don?t' think anyone will argue the fact that the OC writers just don't have the following. We're once again back to a popularity race. In my mind the OC writers suffer for it and the true nature of the OC awards is lost.

    There was a suggestion for the angst awards, and I even suggested an MTV type awards. Truly I think those are fun and certainly can be run on a much smaller scale. Granted I think any awards show should be approved by mods and the mods should ensure that the voting, nomming and running of the awards are done imp
     
  2. geo3

    geo3 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2002
    I'm very glad to see the enthusiastic discussion here, but so many ideas are being thrown out that I'm becoming more and more confused! I can't really wade my way through all of the options at the moment, so I'd like to pick out a few points for comment:

    1. Less is more. Whatever we do, can we please keep it fairly straightforward and clear without a myriad of rules that people like me will never take the time to grasp? I mean, with the seemingly ever-expanding list of award categories it's already difficult enough to decide between "angst" and "drama," between "canon character and villain," etc. Stories inherently mix all this stuff up in different and exciting ways. I'm becoming faint with exhaustion just thinking about having to separate out OC's and angst in autumn, say, from drama and angst in spring...:p

    2. Number of awards ceremonies. Having said that, I think two awards programs annually are better than one are better on such a fast-moving, high-volume Board. I loved the idea of having one "serious" awards ceremony and one "fun" one along the lines of the MTV Awards, but that leads me to...

    3. Purpose. I've noticed that the words "award" and "reward" have been used interchangably in this discussion. This, along with the growing number of rules designed to share the spoils and make sure everyone goes home with a party favor, leads me to wonder about the purpose of the awards.

    The "fun" awards idea is pretty clear. But what about the so-called "serious" awrards? What does that actually mean? Are they "rewards" for hard work, or for finishing a story, or even for just showing up regularly? Or are they a competition of some kind which results in an "award"? And if they are a competition, is it a competition only for people who haven't won anything before, or is it more along the lines of "reader's choose the best (or their favs; whatever)on the Boards at this time, no holds barred"? I don't mind either way, honestly. I just think it gets muddled if the awards try to be all things to all people. Just let me know whether the animal has stripes or spots, and I'm there.

    4. Mod Sponsorship. I think this is an idea whose time has come. I gather these awards began as a user-driven volunteer activity without necessarily having the official imprimateur of the Forum Powers That Be. Well, like it or not, these bi-annual fanfic awards are a big deal now. They've become an institution. Mods, put on your Executive Producer's caps!

    5. Excited nominees.
    Let's make sure the advance publication of the "Rules of Etiquette" for the awards makes it clear that a hard mask of blase cynicism is required attire for all nominees, or there will be hand-slapping later. Make it clear that it's uncool to look excited... that it's uncool to BE excited. Stipulate that authors must never, EVER ask their loyal readers for ideas about their fav. bits for excerpts. Explain that being openly thrilled about a nomination or looking in any way as though you cared is a bannable offense. That oughtta fix it.

    P.S. That's irony, folks. In case it wasn't perfectly clear.

    6.Excerpts. As far as I'm concerned, the excerpts are THE BEST THING about the whole deal. I look forward to them avidly, and I read through every one with pleasure. I love getting this kind of convenient glimpse into what authors consider to be their best work, and I've read a lot of stories I wouldn't have found otherwise.

    7. Advertising. Believe it or not, there are a great many people who frequent these Boards who do not socialize in the Resource Forum. They read, and write, and then go on about their business. If it is deemed desirable that awareness of the awards be extended outside the small world of the RF (here I have to say tht I agree with GunraysLawyer that the increasing number of ties is due to increasing nmbers of award categories in a stable or shrinking voter pool), then sticky announcements on each of the Story Boards might help.

    Well, that's all I can think of for
     
  3. TKeira_Lea

    TKeira_Lea Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 10, 2002
    You said it far better than I ever could. =D=
     
  4. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    I agree with TKL that I would prefer to see the official fan fic awards stay as they are. Can we make small improvements here and there? Most definitely! I'd like to see the categories stay as they are (I liked the idea of having "best child" as opposed to "best female child and best male child").

    I prefer the author and story eligibility rules to stay as they are; I think they work.

    Mods sponsoring the awards? Yes, but... (and you KNEW there was a but) that would mean that the awards would have to be somewhat scheduled around our lives. I can make an effort to check in, but blocking off three days/nights of 6 hours in one short space of time is going to cause difficulties.

    Another issue with timing is that we always seem to schedule them for the US folks. Even though I'm in the US, I would mind staying up all night in order to both be in charge of that award ceremony and to give those in other areas a chance to have the awards at a decent hour. And here is where my fellow mods will kill ME!) To be blunt, I'd rather stay up all night than face the "stare of death" from an angry hubby on our anniversary! :p

    And I'd like to say thanks to all of the wonderful ideas and cooperative spirit I'm seeing here now. I woke up this morning and saw some really great things happening here and I was SO happy! [:D]
     
  5. rhonderoo

    rhonderoo Former Head Admin star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 2002
    Now I see a lot of enthusiasm and an influx of new ideas. The moddesses in particular are throwing ideas out there. And to all I say bravo! This is my concern though. It took the course of three or four awards to get things to a pretty great system. Aside from the timing of the awards I think they work great. Why change it then?

    I don't think we have to be concerned right now that anyone is going to go out and change anything immensely. We have some time before we start thinking about the next awards ceremony. Last night was mostly brainstorming, which is good for encouraging discussion, getting the creative juices flowing, and encouraging friendly debate. I'm also very proud of the productive and positive way ideas were being brought up. :) Good job, guys! =D=


    4. Mod Sponsorship. I think this is an idea whose time has come. I gather these awards began as a user-driven volunteer activity without necessarily having the official imprimateur of the Forum Powers That Be. Well, like it or not, these bi-annual fanfic awards are a big deal now. They've become an institution. Mods, put on your Executive Producer's caps!


    My preference would be to let someone who has done the awards or has experience with them to be the Executive Producer. I don't know how Jade, Leona, or Kim feel, but for myself - having not had the experience, I don't think my being a mod would make me a better candidate. Now, as far as everything else goes, I'm pretty sure we can sponsor and host, and post, etc. I'm all for that.

    And I agree with VaderLVR that we would have to keep it shorter and make our schedules fit. I'm willing to be more involved if we can get the time it take to complete them down, by half would be great. ;)
     
  6. Souderwan

    Souderwan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2005
    First off, let me say that I'm excited again!! Yay!! ;) Seeing the flow of ideas on this thread reminded me a lot of some of the best brain-storming sessions I've ever been a part of. :D Given my lack of experience here, I haven't contributed much, but I did have a thought.

    As excited as I was initially about the MODS taking part in the awards production, it occured to me that this could be bad too. I've read and voted for all 4 of the MODS at one point or another. Personally, I love their work and I expect that they'd be up for awards just about every time. Do you see the problem? They deserve their accolades for their work, too. But, can you imagine the drama that would ensue if rhonderoo swept the awards the first time the MODS were involve?

    I'm just suggesting that we think about controls to ensure that there is no possibility of the appearance of impropriety. I'm a Navy Officer. Apperance of Impropriety can destroy a career.

    FTR, I'm not implying that I think anyone would abuse her position at all. I'm just worried about how other people might interpret the award results.
     
  7. cdmcc

    cdmcc Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2005
    I don't see any huge problems with them as they are, having seen them for the first time.

    In terms of timezones it was a problem for me but I suppose the majority of people are from the U.S. so majority rules I say!

    The only slight niggle was the length of the things. Perhaps the actual awards thread could be reserved just for the announcements and the entertainment while there is another thread for responses. It was tricky keeping up because there was a new page every ten seconds!

    At least it's all proactive.
     
  8. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    I don't think we were suggesting that a mod REPLACE the host, just that she be "assigned" to be there for an entire ceremony to make sure things run smoothly. She (and we're all females so I'm using that pronoun) could do posting as well, but all of the vote counting, etc., would be done as it is now, by those not nominated for awards in that era.
     
  9. geo3

    geo3 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2002

    Exactly. That's why I used the term "Executive Producer," but maybe that's not the right model. How about a temporarily appointed "Awards Czar"? :p

    I take Souderwan's very good point about "The Appearance of Impropriety," but it makes me wonder whether that might be true of anyone who oversees the Awards as a whole, wether mod or appointee. So to get around that one, the Czar of the Writer's Board Awards would have to be a non-writer... now where does that take us?
     
  10. Phoenix_Reborn

    Phoenix_Reborn Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 23, 2003
    To any of the advid readers? There are lots of people on the board that don't write. And they'd probably have more time than writers to devote to the awards - time spent not writing.
     
  11. TKeira_Lea

    TKeira_Lea Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 10, 2002
    Definitely a bonus if a writer doesn't have to lose time writing :D I know there are tons of readers out there too. The trick would be to getting them interested...

    [face_thinking]
     
  12. rhonderoo

    rhonderoo Former Head Admin star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 2002
    This isn't a bad idea either! :) We mods should start keeping an eye out for host candidates. I'm not sure I know who would be classified as just a reader, myself. How do you guys feel about having some kind of application for host/hostesses that takes into account things like forum experience, time able to alot, awards experience, etc.? On this we could also have people let us know if they mostly read or write, but I would be hesitant to keep someone from participating simply because they write - the same as I would keeping someone from doing it simply because they are just a reader. Something to add in the mix when looking for good candidates at hosts and volunteers. :)
     
  13. geo3

    geo3 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Since the basic idea is merely to prevent any possible conflict of interest in a particular awards ceremony, it strikes me that anyone who doesn't have an eligable story during that Awards period, or who chooses for whatever reason not to participate in the Awards, ought to be eligable.

    EDIT: Give the "Awards Czar" colors for the duration of their service. That might bring a few people to the surface!
     
  14. rhonderoo

    rhonderoo Former Head Admin star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 2002
    I think ideally this would be the case. But with the extensive categories we have it may be hard to limit it to people who don't have a story in the awards at all. Maybe if a person is nominated in more than one category or something? [face_thinking]

    Edit: typos [face_blush]
     
  15. Souderwan

    Souderwan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2005
    I'm so happy we're addressing this issue! :D

    You all are brining up excellent ideas. If I might make a suggestion that might solve the issue:

    We need an "independent commission" to count votes and the like. The Awards can be handled by anybody who wants to. All we need is a well-publicized group of people who aren't up for any awards to do the physical counting. Votes/Noms would be sent to them and they would report the results to the Awards Czar on award night. As long as everybody knows how that system works, they certainly wouldn't be able to question the process.

    I'm sure there are better ideas. I guess what matters is that the process is clear-cut and above reproach.
     
  16. LadyPadme

    LadyPadme Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 26, 2002


    I've been sort of following this thread here and there, but just two cents to chime in about this last bit about vote counting.

    I think it's getting way too big and way too serious if we have to have a "well publicized group of people who aren't up for any awards to do the physical counting". These awards are supposed to be fun. These awards do not garner us any money, position, fame or anything except a nice sense of satisfaction in having a pat on the back for our hard work and maybe a line in our sigs. Price Waterhouse does not need to be involved in vote counting. I think as long as vote counters are distributed among the different eras and you have two or three people working independently as vote counters for each era it should be enough to ensure that there is fairness in counting. To have to be sure that each counter is up for no awards and is also interested in what is a lengthy and somewhat tedious process (yes, I've counted votes for these awards before :p) is just asking too much.
     
  17. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    I think it's getting way too big and way too serious if we have to have a "well publicized group of people who aren't up for any awards to do the physical counting". These awards are supposed to be fun. These awards do not garner us any money, position, fame or anything except a nice sense of satisfaction in having a pat on the back for our hard work and maybe a line in our sigs. Price Waterhouse does not need to be involved in vote counting.

    I have to say that I agree! This is fanfiction, not the Oscars, which would snag us some bucks! :D

    As it stands now, if you are nominated in an era you cannot count votes for that board. I think that is enough of a "security" measure.

    Even checking for socks is usually done on an "as-needed basis" meaning we don't usually check every voter to make sure a sock has not been used unless a vote counter has a suspicious vote. (cue the ominous music)

    I'd like to think the overwhelming majority of people here are honest! And so far, I think that assumption has proven correct. Yeah, yeah, I know what happens when you assume anything... :p

    Let's have some fun! [face_dancing]
     
  18. rhonderoo

    rhonderoo Former Head Admin star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 2002
    These awards are supposed to be fun. These awards do not garner us any money, position, fame or anything except a nice sense of satisfaction in having a pat on the back for our hard work and maybe a line in our sigs.

    Very well said, LP! :) =D=
     
  19. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Besides, we can't afford PWC, since we're not making any money off these stories. :p And my entire mod salary goes towards taxes and my Tax-Exempt Post Market Fund.
     
  20. YodaKenobi

    YodaKenobi VIP star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    May 27, 2003
    *YodaKenobi pulls the pockets out of his pants and shakes them until 2 cents fall out*


    First, thanks to the hosts and all the volunteers for all their hard work =D= You guys did a great job and the awards overall were a lot of fun.



    Making it one big ceremony? Not in favor of this :p I think it was that way the first one I attended and it wasn't as enjoyable. The awards are long enough as is and no one knows when to show up that way if they're just interested in one era.

    For the most part I like the awards the way they are. Twice a year and three different ceremonies works well, IMO :) I even like when we have them [face_whistling]

    Getting rid of the excerpts? No way. I'm sure there are people who do not read them, but I've always enjoyed them and read them for every awards.

    Changing the rules so past winners are ineligible? I think we went over this last year :p Making things unfair in the interest of fairness never works. As TKL said, every fic should get a fair shake at these.

    Keep the master list? If anything, this keeps a ton of people from nominating one story rather than being unfair to newbies...

    Campaigning? Yeah, not exactly the classiest thing to do, but let's remember that these are supposed to be fun, not all that serious. If anything, someone campaigning is less likely to get votes in my opinion. I probably wouldn't vote for them.

    OC awards and Angst awards? Dont really care...



    Obi_ew:I felt bad for the Beyond people. I popped in and out but was shocked when categories were skipped over and then just tossed out when it was brought to their attention. Then at the end it was like a mad rush to just get the thing over and done with. One suggestion may be to pick volunteers who aren't on the other side of the world to host at any rate. I wouldn't want to be up at 3am trying to run an awards.

    Yeah, it was a bit... odd, but I can't say it was a huge deal. I like the idea of having anyone interested in being host submitting their request to the mods though and letting them choose. Hopefully people who have been through the awards at least once.

    I felt bad for people who were given awards in that rush at the end. It really wasn't fair to them.




    Bale: 4. Only completed stories should be eligible for nomination
    While there are many WIP's that are fascinating and well written, I can see no justification for an unfinished work being eligible for an award. Otherwise, it's like the ROTS trailer being up for an award for best picture. It just doesn't make sense.


    I actually agree with this in large part and when I first came here couldn't believe WIP's were even eligible. How many of us have watched a movie or read a book that was great through the first half and then the ending sucked? You don't say "that was a great book" or "the first half should really have one an Oscar!" It doesn't make a lot of sense to do it with Fan Fic either.

    The problem is that with Fan Fic, I'm afraid we'd end up with a lot of viggies winning where a longer fic would, and that would be disappointing to me (that's not to say that there aren't viggies deserving of wins, but in large part, the fics that mean the most to me and stick with me are the epics).

    I was really glad to see two completed fics dominating in Beyond though (Oba's short story and TKL's super epic). I thought that was a good sign at least.





    Obi_ew: What happenes to the person who's writing an epic? Or someone with a series? Are those categories tossed out because they aren't complete? I've seen stories that are only half finished that are much better written than many complete fics. Why penalize them for not being done in order for a less deserving story to win? And how many fics are completed in a 6 month period or less? I just think limiting them that way would really cause a lot of lost interest in the awards.

    It's not impossible to complete an epic, and the story woul
     
  21. Arin_Atona

    Arin_Atona Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 10, 2004
    There is also more than one vote-counter, which makes it hard to cheat.
     
  22. CodeName_Targeter

    CodeName_Targeter Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Okay a few quick comments that may or may not make any sense right now: :p

    1. I think I said this before, but if the award socks were given VIP status, not only would the problem of OPPM be solved, but also, the posts would stand out because of the purty red name (or whatever color if the mods let the socks use colors)

    2. The way vote counting worked (at least for Saga) was that the hosts (who were automatically unable to win any awards in that era) counted all the votes and then we triple checked the votes. There's no need to bring in any other people. The whole awards process is complicated enough already.

    3. DUnno if we're still talking about fics winning awards and limits etc, but we already had this HUGE debate last year (I think it was last year.... yeah, it was...) and I think that how what ended up being decided then works fine.

    4. I do like the idea of having about an hour of entertainment before hand. However, I do think that there should still be some pieces scattered through out the program. And I think someone suggested just saying "And the award for Best ____ goes to:" and that being it. I really don't like that idea. If the hosts write out the whole ceremony before it actually occurs, and each award has a little, and I mean little, blurb before it, than I think that's perfectly fine. It's not like it's taking up anymore time in the ceremony due to copying and pasting.

    5. SOmething's supposed to go here, but I completely forgot what it was.... I'll think of it later....
     
  23. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    About the OPPM and excerpt posting - what if you split that up among two or three volunteers? That would be about 20 minutes for each person, which might be a lot easier than 60 or 80 minutes at one time for one person.
     
  24. Souderwan

    Souderwan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2005
    FTR, the suggestion came not out of concern for people cheating--why would anybody cheat on something like this? The suggestion was made to minimize potential post-award tension if we do indeed have the MODS run things. It was out of concern for people pointing at the MODS (who are likely to win several awards, as they are all excellent writers) and making stupid comments.

    You're right, though. It's supposed to be fun. But it only takes one or two people to destroy that for a winner. But...you MODS are grownups and can take it, I guess. :p

    And the real suggestion is that it's clear to everybody that no one could possibly cheat because [insert reason here] so that if somebody made the snide comment or took the random potshot, you could just point them to the link with the explanation and move on. No frustration. No anger. No two pages of posts bashing each other about the head.

    Fun can only be had if the environment supports it. From what I've gathered, things were really bad back in the day. Clearly the boards have come a long way, so maybe nothing needs to be done except to let time take care of everything. I just thought it was something we could think about since we were giving so much thought to the Awards process and so many people talked about minimizing/prevent drama. :)
     
  25. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrel Wrangler of Fun & Games star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2000

    Kill you? Why, I think it's great that you volunteer for something like that. LOL!

    I can see that most would prefer two shows. As wonderful as the entertainment was I can also see that cutting back on it would help shorten the ceremonies. I like the idea of a separate OC awards, but would this be three seperate era shows or one the encompasses all.

    I will admit to getting a bit confused on the discussion with angst/humore/OC and such. Sounds like what is being said is pulling plot device categories... angst/humor whatever, in order to shorten the awards, but keep them at twice a year. Then we're further splitting and adding categories to the specialty awards, which sounds like they will become as long as the usual ones?

    This is what I'm getting from the discussion, now I could be totally misinterpreting things... [face_worried]


    Hmmm, reading one a bit more...

    On the conflict of interest, in the past the host of each award were usually someone who did not have stories in that era. The counters, since there were more then one, weren't as regulated as there were others gong over the exact same tally.
     
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