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itsmeyouidiot
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PostSubject: Where has the community gone?   Wed May 09, 2012 4:25 pm

These days, the Forums really do seem to be almost dead compared to the time when I joined.

I often find myself wondering what happened to the formerly active community. For anyone that's still here, my question is: where'd everyone go? Is there another place where everyone went, or is the community actually dying out?
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Wed May 09, 2012 4:47 pm

I know a lot of people have left announcements saying that they didn't feel welcome anymore, and were leaving. I guess all the drama just got to people. I have to say, it wasn't hard to see this coming if you paid attention.

I myself have gone back to just lurking for the most part, seeing no real value in trying to join into discussions that only crumble into selfish bickering.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Wed May 09, 2012 4:58 pm

Well, the older and more experienced users took note of an influx of people who had ideas that didn't sit well with either the established canon or basic common sense when it comes to things such as physics and were essentially riddled with logical fallacies of every conceivable sort. After noting this phenomenon, attempts were made by some to set the ideas of others more in line with what was canonical and sensible so as to ensure consistency and quality within fan generated works of all sorts. For a while, that worked and the community was relatively fine save for the few flares of drama that occurred. But at least drama is indicative of some level of activity within a community, for it requires participants to transpire.

Now, things began to go truly south in terms of community size, quality, activity, and pretty much everything because it was increasingly made so that people who criticized others in order to try and maintain a degree of quality were demonized and told that what they were doing wasn't to happen any longer. Of course, compliance with that ultimately resulted in an overall downward trend in quality and, seeing what they enjoyed slowly devolving into something of substantially lessened value, the older members gradually began to leave, becoming alienated from a community they had loved and tried to serve in their own ways.

I sincerely believe also that the straw responsible for the outright breaking of the proverbial camel's back was Karbo's literal and explicit stating that Felarya isn't something to be taken seriously in his eyes. This alone caused some to up and leave outright, for the statement essentially caused the removal of any hope that people who adversely affected the community as a whole via their abysmal quality works could be set straight through any means, as they could defend themselves with the word of the prime authority himself.

Now, I apologize in advance if I'm misconstruing anything here, but to the best of my knowledge Karbo did issue a statement that was either literally or effectively that, and I can say in certainty that it did have the effect I mentioned, for I know the people who chose to leave as a result of it.

I think Felarya has progressively become more stagnant and smaller in terms of community because too much emphasis was placed upon the allowing of anyone to put forth anything they wished, regardless of how horrendously erroneous and flawed, which in turn served to make others believe that they were alright doing similar things and so on and so forth to the point that quality standards experienced a substantial overall drop.

Who wants to be around a place where hardly anything is intelligible and the majority of the persons they would be interacting with are perfectly alright with that?
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Wed May 09, 2012 5:06 pm

The older, experienced contributors have left or are inactive enough that they have left in all but name. Newbies are arriving, but there's no one to teach them. The forum community is like a shell with the insides scooped out.

There are reasons for this and they're not simple ones, but bringing them up would probably cause drama, since the administration has made it clear they don't want people knowing what happened and a lot of people don't really know, but will try to made wildly inaccurate guesses.

What W-3-K posted is a large aspect of that, but it's the not whole story.

Anyway, the fact that there's no "filling" in the community, no one to teach the newbies means that quality is declining because discussion and critique just aren't happening. This in turn discourages newbies who already have skills, because they don't want to be part of a community where skills are exploited and aren't appreciated.


Last edited by Anime-Junkie on Fri May 11, 2012 11:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Wed May 09, 2012 5:27 pm

I think saying that Felarya wasn't serious was to discourage elitism, really.

The older members of the community leaving certainly does have an impact, people just need to critique as best they can and not just say "yeah, that's good" or "yeah that's bad".

It was easy to keep up with the wiki if you were an older member, but its hard to read every aspect of it. People need to not be so hard on newbies who don't have it all down yet, while newbies need to make some kind of effort when they join.

Also, people tend to use the forum like a hook-up site, exchanging emails and then talking with each other outside the forum, which is encouraged, but I don't think, personally, that should be used in lieu of the forum itself. There's tons of people still, but I believe they all take part talking with each other in other areas. I mean its not a problem, at least when you talk in the appropriate place at the appropriate time.

Also, many newbies may be afraid to comment, and that may be one reason why it seems...deader. (I just made it a word. Cool )

Not to mention the chatbox used to be HIGHLY active, and that always makes the forum seem bustling Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Wed May 09, 2012 5:44 pm

At the risk of being dragged into another going-nowhere, thread-derailing argument, I really must go against my better judgment and speak up here.

Archmage_Bael wrote:
I think saying that Felarya wasn't serious was to discourage elitism, really.
Maybe I'm missing something, but I never really saw any elitism. Unless expecting people to use rational logic and take critique gracefully is elitist. I know there were concerns about being too hard on lesser writers, but that's preferable to the other extreme, is it not?

Archmage_Bael wrote:
It was easy to keep up with the wiki if you were an older member, but its hard to read every aspect of it. People need to not be so hard on newbies who don't have it all down yet, while newbies need to make some kind of effort when they join.
Is it really so hard to use the search function?

Archmage_Bael wrote:
Also, people tend to use the forum like a hook-up site, exchanging emails and then talking with each other outside the forum, which is encouraged, but I don't think, personally, that should be used in lieu of the forum itself. There's tons of people still, but I believe they all take part talking with each other in other areas. I mean its not a problem, at least when you talk in the appropriate place at the appropriate time.
I think it does help to discuss things away from prying eyes and thread-derailing malcontents. How often does a discussion actually move forward on the forum?

Archmage_Bael wrote:
Also, many newbies may be afraid to comment, and that may be one reason why it seems...deader. (I just made it a word. Cool )
I find myself doubting this greatly. I don't mean to ridicule you, but I cannot at all see where you'd draw that conclusion. Afraid of what? I've seen some terrible bios and stories, and instead of being told they need to improve, the authors were given a pat on the back and encouraged. That's the norm of this forum.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Wed May 09, 2012 5:52 pm

Felarya isn't a community project. Those who can't accept that will eventually decide to stop putting forth their precious time and effort into trying to help this world grow into something incredible and respectable. Those who really couldn't care less about anything other than getting their names into the wiki will stick around. Sorry, that last part's not entirely accurate. Some people will stick around for rp'ing and fun threads.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Wed May 09, 2012 5:57 pm

@MissVyra Now, if I get this straight, you're directing most of those at me, correct?

Because most of those I can just reply with "tell that to the newbies" or whatever.

As for the last one, people with terrible bios that post and refuse to change on other's critique is called "arrogance". A lot of people I know lurked for a while before they posted, yes? Case in point.

As for the elitism thing, MissVyra I suspect you are an older member, I never bothered to make sure, so there's my fault, but in case you did actually join this year, you'd be too new. In the previous case, then I'm guessing you didn't pay attention to other people's plights. I really don't want to name names here, so I'll leave it at that.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Wed May 09, 2012 6:02 pm


Quote :
Also, people tend to use the forum like a hook-up site, exchanging emails and then talking with each other outside the forum, which is encouraged, but I don't think, personally, that should be used in lieu of the forum itself. There's tons of people still, but I believe they all take part talking with each other in other areas. I mean its not a problem, at least when you talk in the appropriate place at the appropriate time.
Actually, there used to be frequent discussions on the forum.

Quote :
As for the last one, people with terrible bios that post and refuse to change on other's critique is called "arrogance". A lot of people I know lurked for a while before they posted, yes? Case in point.
Yes, but if you called new people out on arrogance or anything you were 'hostile' towards newbies.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Wed May 09, 2012 6:03 pm

Anime-Junkie wrote:

Quote :
As for the last one, people with terrible bios that post and refuse to change on other's critique is called "arrogance". A lot of people I know lurked for a while before they posted, yes? Case in point.
Yes, but if you called new people out on arrogance or anything you were 'hostile' towards newbies.

Also true.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Wed May 09, 2012 6:08 pm

Ah. As I'd suspected. My input is neither appreciated nor considered.

If you must know, I've been lurking on and off around this forum, and this community, for quite some time, since 2010. I loved a lot of the artwork and stories, but I'm not the most social person, I'm afraid. ^^ I figured I'd join after a while, though I've still been mostly lurking.

Are all new people to be of the same opinion?
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Wed May 09, 2012 6:14 pm

I don't really think we should be discussing this, since it will eventually get into detail and then be shut down, for the reason I said in my first post.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Wed May 09, 2012 6:25 pm

MissVyra I do appreciate your input, and AJ is right, we shouldn't be discussing this to the point where its in detail and events cause the thread to be locked. A large problem can also be because like people have said, valuable input and discussion is rare. Most of the time people bicker, and throw things back and forth, rarely agreeing with each other, and thus progress is never made...

Anyway, these are all reasons why people have been leaving. There's various little concerns people have about the community that just add up, and some people just can't take them. However, we cant let the older members leaving be cause for paralysis. We have to chug on. Eventually those newer members will learn the ropes, and become valuable members. It's circular, and a lot of the older members leaving? That's probably just a wave, or a generation. Things will pick up and drop every so often, we just need to have faith, and understand there are certain drawbacks to having a community our size or bigger. (especially one that's been going on for several years)

There's no better time to be a Felaryan than now. Remember, only YOU can prevent forest - er...uh...I mean... XD
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Wed May 09, 2012 6:33 pm

Oh. Yes, I've come to expect bickering and a disregard for civilized discussion, so please forgive me for jumping to the conclusion that your response was in the same vein. That was uncharacteristically presumptuous of me.

Actually, I think a phobia when it comes to publicly discussing the problems may be standing in the way of fixing them. I know there's heavy potential for argument and derailing, but isn't a forum for discussion? People will disagree. Instead of avoiding disagreement, we should be encouraging people to take disagreement civilly and coolly, and keep an open mind. You never know, maybe your opponent has some good points you never considered! And maybe those points could alter your own view. I know I've changed my mind before. There's nothing wrong with admitting you may not have considered everything. None of us are perfect. Not even me. ^.~

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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Wed May 09, 2012 7:08 pm

I sure hope the community isn't dying! I feel like I just got here...
Perhaps (this is me being optimistic) it's just undergoing a shift in membership and atmosphere. I've been in a few other communities where that happened, including IRL, not just online. Personally I haven't noticed a large or seriously damaging amount of bickering around here lately, and never have I seen it to the same degree as, for example, the Battleships Forever forum. It's actually been pretty welcoming and open-minded around here, which is why I've stayed so far. So if a lot of the old member base has left then I think it's up to those left behind, and those of us newer people who care about the community / universe, to keep this thing alive and move it along into the future.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 1:13 am

Every community has their peaks of activity. And this one is no different from others.

Yes, there have been dramas, some big ones, but what other community hasn't? Only big shock was that it reached levels I wouldn't expect from members of this forum and the dA group, but that's my personal opinion.

And you see, guys, if some of us, old-timers or not-so-old-timers, are quite out of the map isn't only because they've been pissed off: some also have other compromises outside the community. It would be nice if we had more time for Felarya, but life is life. I repeat myself with this crap, but really, it looks like some just remember the members that left because of drama or disagreements with Karbo or others...

So what if this community isn't in its best shape right now? Is it going to finally die? I don't know what will happen, but if some of you think of ways to not let that happen, you can begin to do it if you think you're ready.

Just please, no dramas.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 1:59 am

Anime-Junkie wrote:

There are reasons for this and they're not simple ones, but bringing them up would probably cause drama, since the administration has made it clear they don't want people knowing what happened and a lot of people don't really know, but will try to made wildly inaccurate guesses.
.

Hem I'd like to know where this one come from -__-
You can have your opinion on things and I respect that but I'd appreciate if you wouldn't go around and throw this kind of claim. That's simply not true at all.

W-3-K wrote:

I sincerely believe also that the straw responsible for the outright breaking of the proverbial camel's back was Karbo's literal and explicit stating that Felarya isn't something to be taken seriously in his eyes.

I stand by what I said in this thread ( http://felarya.forumotion.com/t3009-precisions-about-felarya ) Some people might have misunderstood it for me looking down on Felarya though, which is obviously totally wrong. Otherwise I wouldn't have invested thousands of hours in it and still continue to do so. It's just a question of balance. Felarya is meant as a recreation and a place to have fun, it's not meant as a super-serious setting where everything has to be pin-point accurate and those who stray a bit off path must be placated like they committed some sort of grave offense...
And lastly there is a world of difference between offering helpful criticism and bullying people for fun and kicks which was the problem here. The first is very welcome, the second will never be tolerated as long as I'm in charge..

For now the forums have indeed slowed down a lot with some members leaving for a variety of reasons. Does that means that Felarya is dying ? Nah. Like Feadraug says every communities in internet have their highs and lows. We are in a dimple for now but eventually things will stabilize and start picking up again.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 4:11 am

Parameciumkid; the community is indeed undergoing a shift in membership.
Older members are leaving and new are joining. But you must understand that this is not a fundamentally positive process. It can be good, bad or somewhere inbetween.

In this case it is bad. Why?
Well, the reason is simple; there is very little to no overlap between the older and newer members.

The way I see it, you can group members into the time period they joined the community.
There's people who were there from the beginning or joined pre-2009. This includes Darkstorm, Oldman, GREGOLE, Randomdude, Maniac Monkey, Feadraug, observer88, Feign, Malahite and many others.

I call this gen A

Next we have gen B:
2009 to late 2010. This includes Cauldronborn, JaetteTroll, Prof.Nekko, Jirokatsu, Asuroth, French snack, Asaenvolk, Archmage_Bael, Aisukaiki, buddha66667, etc.

Gen C is anyone who joined late 2010 onwards. Including Zhivago, parameciumkid, AzureJass, zersergathant, Bonazaigirl, Tango, walkingbyself, Rezec, etc.

There's a bit of overlap at the edges, but you get the idea.

I'm sure you're what relevance this has to anything.

As I'm sure you're aware, a lot of gen A has left or are inactive. Some, as Feadraug said, left/became inactive because they had to divert their attention to other things in life.
However, they still had enough time to pass on their knowledge and attitude to a fair portion gen B.
In general, I'd say a large portion of gen A left on good terms during the B time period. But as many of you may not know, in 2009 there was a bit of a flare up, some drama causing some members of gen A left. It brings to light that there are some problems in the community. FS and Timing2 are made mods here.

Somewhere between the beginning of 2010 and 2011 Karbo starts calling the forum hostile for no given reason other than tone, with no evidence presented (that I know of).

Fastforward to early 2011 and I decide to get some people to talk about problems in the community, the letter happens, is poorly taken by Karbo and FS.
A lot of key members of gen B are very disillusioned by the response to the letter. They start leaving and/or becomes progressively less active.
Mid 2011 and critique and critical discussion have been discouraged by Karbo's attitude towards the forum.

Now in 2012 we have a problem: The majority of the members are untutored. They don't have the base of older members to look towards for guidance or help. Critical discussion is rare and quality has declined. The atmosphere of the forum is no longer one of the critique and improvement; instead it more resembles dA.
Prospective, skilled members are deterred by the stagnation and lack of improvement.

On the dA side with have a similar story, except that prospective skilled members aren't always deterred as much (eg, oliveleaf). However, due to the atrophy of the forum and by extension the worldbuilding side of the Felarya community, inaccuracies and inconsistency is common. (More common than I'd otherwise expect at least).

Karbo wrote:
Anime-Junkie wrote:

There are reasons for this and they're not simple ones, but bringing them up would probably cause drama, since the administration has made it clear they don't want people knowing what happened and a lot of people don't really know, but will try to made wildly inaccurate guesses.
.

Hem I'd like to know where this one come from -__-
You can have your opinion on things and I respect that but I'd appreciate if you wouldn't go around and throw this kind of claim. That's simply not true at all.
I base my statement on the following facts:
All of the threads that were part of the 2009 events are deleted
The various 2011 threads were either deleted or have moved to the hidden moderator section, essentially hidden from the public eye.

Basically Karbo, you are reducing the events to hearsay and opinions, which can be denied because there's no evidence.

That is why I say that the administration clearly doesn't want people to know what happened. What other reason could there be for it?
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 4:24 am

Karbo wrote:

I stand by what I said in this thread ( http://felarya.forumotion.com/t3009-precisions-about-felarya ) Some people might have misunderstood it for me looking down on Felarya though, which is obviously totally wrong. Otherwise I wouldn't have invested thousands of hours in it and still continue to do so. It's just a question of balance. Felarya is meant as a recreation and a place to have fun, it's not meant as a super-serious setting where everything has to be pin-point accurate and those who stray a bit off path must be placated like they committed some sort of grave offense

Except for the fact that from my experience and that of others who regularly looked over new submissions both on the group page and the forum sections, it grew increasingly evident that imbalance was quite present, and not in the way you seem to be perceiving it to have been. People were not making small, negligible flaws, but rather producing outright objective bastardizations of the canon and affronts to basic logical thinking. I can appreciate a work that does not take itself highly seriously, I am equally capable of enjoying the company of an author who produces such things, but I find people of the sort that make aforementioned bastardizations intolerable, particularly because those seem to be the ones who are least graceful in their taking of criticism. In fact, people would often turn hostile against what was genuinely a sincere attempt at helping them. I am not saying that those doing the criticism are wholly innocent in the matter, but you don't seem to be taking into account the hostilities and complications presented by the attitudes of those receiving the criticisms.

There was no balance, there is not now, and there hardly ever was as far as I am capable of recalling. Furthermore, most instances of "Bullying for fun" did have some form of causation, if not all. I'm not saying that that was the right way in which to deal with it, I see it as quite the opposite, but not every critic was inherently chaotic evil or something.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 4:53 am

Anime-Junkie wrote:

I base my statement on the following facts:
All of the threads that were part of the 2009 events are deleted
The various 2011 threads were either deleted or have moved to the hidden moderator section, essentially hidden from the public eye.

Basically Karbo, you are reducing the events to hearsay and opinions, which can be denied because there's no evidence.
That is why I say that the administration clearly doesn't want people to know what happened. What other reason could there be for it?

Hum so you really think the threads are removed in order to cover the truth out there or something like that ?

Well no. I actually deleted the 2009 threads when I realized the forum was in the scope of the ED forum because of all that drama and attracted some very unwanted attention such as accounts created in order to spam and flood the forum with disgusting pictures. That's also the moment when I started to implement the current non-automatic subscription process. and I continued to apply the same approach since then.
There are people who literally feed of this kind of big juicy internet dramas and I don't want them here. I also believe they were not very healthy pieces anyway, full of flames, insults and rage.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 5:58 am

Well that makes sense. We certainly don't want ED poking their nose in here.
Even though it's not intentional, hiding those threads is a bit deceptive to newbies and it's not helpful to members trying to refresh our memory on what was said back then. There were valid, important points made.

You're correct in saying that they're not healthy threads; but then this isn't a healthy community.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 6:08 am

If we must discuss drama on this thread, which apparently we must, could we not make new drama in the meantime? The tone is getting far out of hand. This is a catch-up thread, not an argument thread.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 6:21 am

I apologize fully if I have not been as active as before. I was writing stories until I hit a GIGANTIC writer's block, and I just wanted to take a vacation from it. I also took a break from deviantart, which is why I don't see much of your deviations guys. I wrote about it in my journal on my page.

However, I'm more than willing to increase my time spent here if it'll help. I have alot of ideas that I'd like to submit, and I'm more than happy to give feedback to those who need it/want it. I just enjoy this place too much to go cold turkey.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 6:59 am

There will always be trouble even when a new generation takes the lead because people have the tendency to get attached to their ideas and the world of Felarya after putting so much effort into it, and then they face the frustrating fact that they don't have the power to control what happens in the world going forward. I realize that I'm that way; I can't put forth ideas without becoming too attached to them and Felarya. Yes, I admit it. I want greater control over the destiny of Felarya - meaning I want to see it flourish into something grand and brilliant - but I can't have that control because it's not my world.

I do cringe when I see some particular Felarya fics out there and I often find myself having to take a deep breath before commenting to keep from criticizing people harshly. There's so much that I want to change for what I believe is the better but once again I don't have that power. It's just part of the reason I've decided that I won't be contributing anymore ideas on the forums if and when I do show up in the future. I'm not leaving entirely, not at all. I just need to disconnect mentally and emotionally because this frustration is eating me up inside.

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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 8:28 am

You know, I have a feeling that a lot of the drama that drove away much of the community is derived from a single problem: people get too attached to ideas that won't work.

I had the same problem before in several other writing communites. I had some ideas that were absolutely horrible, and other members made it clear that they couldn't be improved without changing them into something entirely different.

In the end, I learned that some ideas simply aren't meant to be realized, they're meant to serve as an example of what not to do.

Heck, the legendary cartoonist Chuck Jones actually said something about this. To paraphrase: "everyone has a thousand bad ideas in them, best get them out as soon as possible."
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