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Anime-Junkie
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 8:52 am

Heavenless-star wrote:
There will always be trouble even when a new generation takes the lead
You make it sound like it's inevitable, something that would happen no matter what. I'm saying that it's not an inherently troublesome time, but it's not an inherently good time either. It's decided by other factors. The factors at this particular time have made it bad. It didn't have to be this way.

As for the rest; you're right in that's something we can't change directly. I think that Karbo needs to understand that people aren't going to let it be so much more "take" than "give."

itsmeyouidiot wrote:
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.
You've kind of got it right.
It's true that a lot of people left because they had an idea they liked but it really didn't work. However, these people were usually newbies who had not done the research.

It's really hard to say with any real accuracy "THIS thing is where the majority of the drama came from."

However, I can say that the following things were contributors:
  • The lack of practiced respect for accepted contributions and contributors.
  • Lack of communication to and from Karbo.
  • People being hot-headed and jumping to conclusions. On both sides.
  • Karbo's lack of leadership.
  • Unremedied Ignorance and complacency. On both sides.


itsmeyouidiot wrote:
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.
This is true. Some people get upset about that though.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 8:53 am

The community isn't dying. It's just in a lull because a lot of people on both sides of this issue insist on acting stupid.

The main problem with the community is that people keep going "Woe is me, we have a huge problem with the community." A lot of people seem to want some clear-cut fix for this to come out of discussion, and that isn't going to happen. This isn't a problem that can be fixed with words, it is one that requires action.

Instead of talking about how critique is discouraged, which has made people not want to give meaningful critiques... Give meaningful critique at every opportunity

Instead of talking about how bastardizations of canon are too common and they kill your desire to write... Write more canon-accurate stories yourself at every opportunity

Instead of talking about how the bad is drowning out the good... Make more good to drown out the bad

The biggest problem we have is that we insist on talking about this problem like we're all going to sit down one day and magically agree. This problem is something wrong with the base attitude of our community, and the only way to fix it is through work. The only way to fix it is to shove such a massive influx of good into it that the old attitude chokes and is replaced with something better. This goes for myself as well... but AJ, Warrior, Jeatte, Tango, Zion, Mr.N and everyone else who keeps talking about how bad the community has gotten without actually contributing anything, you're part of the problem. Stop talking, and instead do.

This is the kind of time when older members should lead. When we should stand against the tide and begin building a concrete wall of good for everyone to come and stand behind.

This is a problem that can only be fixed through consistent, motivated action. By caring again, by sharing again, by doing what we should have been doing all along, being a good example for everyone else. If the effort is genuine and consistent, and the quality of the contributions is good, they will bury the bad, and become the new norm. Same with general attitude. If more people are positive, accepting and give good critique and feedback, that will overpower the attitude currently infesting this community and become the new one.

TL;DR

Stop talking about the problems, and start actually doing something to fix them. The main reason things have gotten so bad is that the older members, and good contributors just gave up and let it happen, instead of trying to make things better. We did this to ourselves.

We wont' make things better by talking about them over and over for all eternity. We need a positive, motivated, consistent movement. A movement designed to encourage good-will and put out higher quality art, literature and critique. A movement to make the community better for everyone, and to help as many people as possible.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 9:08 am

Cliff, I'd like you to know that I believe your post, while good intentioned and meant to be a call to action, is actually quite insulting, grossly misinformed and has severe fallacies.

Even if those were absent, this isn't the thread for it.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 9:13 am

I know I'm no mod, but just giving out sort of a warning, if you two are going to go back and forth between each other, you may want to use PM's already.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 9:14 am

You're just proving my point.

In the time it took you to write that, you could have been starting to write a new idea, or a story, or critiquing something. Go do that next time. It would be more helpful to the community.

And... no, this IS actually the exact right place for my post. Every damned time I try to make this point, someone goes "you're misinformed" and "oh, this is the wrong place for it", well, fuck. That. I am TIRED of being ignored while you, karbo and everyone else drives this community into the gutter because you're too proud to see any point other than your own, and too proud to actually DROP this discussion long enough to go do something positive and productive for a change.

Tell me AJ. How much good has talking about fixing this problem actually done? All it has done is drag this out longer.

What do any of you have to lose by actually trying my idea out? By actually fucking listening to me for ONCE on this? Who knows, you might actually have some fun again.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 9:25 am

And people are proving my point. Emotions can run high when people believe they're right about something and everyone has their own opinion. There will always be problems because the source of it will never change. This cycle will repeat itself and then people will come and go; their will be a turn over as long as people are emotionally involved.

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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 9:26 am

Heavenless-star wrote:
And people are proving my point. Emotions can run high when people believe they're right about something and everyone has their own opinion. There will always be problems because the source of it will never change. This cycle will repeat itself and then people will come and go; their will be a turn over as long as people are emotionally involved.


Still proving my point.

Could have been drawing a comic instead of posting that, fairly defeatist, statement.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 9:27 am

Indeed, because there's no effective arbitrator to actually decide it and put a stop to the mess.
This thread was actually going pretty well up until now.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 9:30 am

Defeatist but true for me. I can't draw when things bother me this much. I can't draw or contribute ideas again until I disconnect somehow.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 9:32 am

Heavenless-star wrote:
Defeatist but true for me. I can't draw when things bother me this much. I can't draw or contribute ideas again until I disconnect somehow.

Then stop participating in this useless discussion.

Go and do something fun, and put out a comic, or a story or something. That benefits the community more.

That bad isn't going to hold it's own head underwater. We need to stack good ideas on top of it to hold it down.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 9:34 am

Siiiiigh.....we're going through this again?

I do agree that the forum as of late seems to be pretty dead, and I have to count myself about the many that are drifting away. AJ has asked me more than once why I do that, and this sort of situation is precisely WHY. The direction this community is taking is pretty much depressing for all the reasons you guys have already pointed out, and we can't seem to go for even a month without some sort of discussion and finger-pointing going on and making everyone mad at each other and even more people to leave. It's getting very negative nowadays and I can't help but stay away because it doesn't show signs of getting better anytime soon. Sorry if i'm being a pessimist but it's what I'm noticing, and all the complaints I hear do nothign to change that image

What Cliff said could be worded much less aggresively, but he's got a point. When is everyone going to drop all the stupid bias and just sit down and talk things? It's always complaints and complaints but nothing ever changes in the long run, and whatever improvement there is doesn't last long. Just because the older people are fleeing in masse doesn't mean we have to give up yet
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 9:41 am

Slimetoad wrote:
What Cliff said could be worded much less aggresively, but he's got a point. When is everyone going to drop all the stupid bias and just sit down and talk things? It's always complaints and complaints but nothing ever changes in the long run, and whatever improvement there is doesn't last long. Just because the older people are fleeing in masse doesn't mean we have to give up yet
Actually recently I have been talking to FrenchSnack, working through misunderstandings and finding out what each other really thinks. I felt that some real progress was made.
The new rules, Globfish and FS being made moderators on the Felarya group? That's due to a discussion between myself, FS and Karbo.

As I understand it; what Cliff/rcs619 is saying is that we shouldn't try to talk things through like we were beginning to do in the thread, but instead just try to ignore all the bad things and try to make good art, stories, etc to somehow overwhelm the mass of bad things.

This thread isn't about Cliff though. Let's get back to the topic at hand.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 9:51 am

Anime-Junkie wrote:
Actually recently I have been talking to FrenchSnack and Karbo recently and I felt that some real progress was made.
The new rules, Globfish and FS being made moderators on the Felarya group? That's due to a discussion between myself, FS and Karbo.

As I understand it; what Cliff is saying is that we shouldn't try to talk things through like we were beginning to do in the thread, but instead just try to ignore all the bad things and try to make good art, stories, etc to somehow overwhelm the mass of bad things.

Okay now that actually makes more sense. It's one thing to improve towards the better but we can't just do like nothing happened beforehand. Those kinda issues just can NOT be left unresolved, specially with all the shitstorm that's been happening in these last months. If we're to get this up and running again we need to talk things through and settle things. What point there is in a community when everyone is working together one moment and tearing each other's throats the next?
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 9:53 am

Exactly. Hence my point about this community not being healthy. If it just takes a spark to blow it up, there's far more problems than just a spark.

We have to understand the problems before we can devise solutions.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 9:56 am

Quote :
This thread isn't about Cliff though

Every thread is about Cliff

I'm not saying things should never be talked out, just that, with the current attitude in the community, it would likely amount to shit-all. Like always.

We've tried talking things out. Over, and over and over and over.

Change the attitude through positivity, productivity and good behavior, then maybe everyone can talk about it like sensible people again. Not that it would even matter at that point, since a more positive attitude, and more good contributions would solve all our problems anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 9:57 am

What Cliff is saying, AJ, is that we don't talk about the negatives at length like Zion, JT and Warrior are doing on such a frequent basis. What he's saying is that you work for improvement. That thing you did with French-Snack? Let's assume for a moment that there was no clusterfuck, no big drama, and everyone was all hunky-dory with each other. That would be discussing what you think would improve the place, not to fix what you believe is broken. That is a way to improve the quality of not only art and literature, but management of such. Bottom line, stop discussing how the place is falling apart and that we need to fix it, and instead discuss things that you believe will improve things as a whole.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 10:06 am

Shady wrote:
What Cliff is saying, AJ, is that we don't talk about the negatives at length like Zion, JT and Warrior are doing on such a frequent basis. What he's saying is that you work for improvement.
But I have been working for improvement.

rcs619 wrote:

I'm not saying things should never be talked out, just that, with the current attitude in the community, it would likely amount to shit-all. Like always.
Except that I just pointed out some evidence that it does get somewhere.

However; discussions with FS was in private chats and messages.
It seems that when this kind of thing is discussed out in the open it rapidly goes downhill.

This thread is essentially over.

If anyone wants more information on what I discussed with FS and what I've been doing, feel free to shoot me a PM (I'm sure FS could reply too though). You can probably help make things better in some way, even if it's just providing a new perspective.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 1:35 pm

Yikes.

Up until the end of page 2 it was going well. It progressed a lot while I was away.

There's a few left from group A that I see around quite a bit. Back when I was first joining the forum (I was part of the community before then, I just didn't know a forum existed because it was advertised poorly back then, I only found out via word of mouth XD) there were lots of members on the chatbox, I remember a lot of people being friendly - and a lot of people getting mad at /fish/ because they couldn't take his advice, and most of the time he was rather blunt.

I think if more of us older member used the chatbox more frequently, and offered our help to those newer members actively, like AJ does all the time then the newbies would get things together quicker, and the forum would seem more active. I've also offered my help many an occasion. Or tried.

To be honest, we do need to chill when getting into "discussions" like this. When you're wrong admit it, even if you're right, and others are wrong, admit you're wrong to stop things from escalating. What good is it to be right if it destroys the community? You gotta take a step back and look at how much things are worth. I'm tempted to make GO analogies, but no one would get those. Razz

So here's me speaking up.

Personally I'll be on a trip starting tomorrow until the end of May. However I would like to formally (if it wasn't inferred) pledge myself to help wherever it's needed. If any of the newer members want advice, I'll be only too happy to try and help.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 1:40 pm

itsmeyouidiot wrote:
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?

Well, what I'll say shall seem off topic with the current thread posts, but for my part I'm still around and Sapere Aude isn't going anywhere. Real life prevents me from working at anything more than a snail's pace as I work towards getting out of the military and reentering the civilian work force. Going for some interviews next week, and been doing workups since the end of last month. The whole Fukushima Dai-ichi thing caused a bit of a SNAFU for my current work community, which interned anything I had in progress as of last year and I just never got back around to it until recently.

It annoys me a little bit, but honestly it looks like some of the more extensive artwork commissioning plans I have in progress might be complete before Sapere Aude returns. At least on the positive side (in my opinion at least), when my story site returns it will no longer require user registration. It won't have feedback or comment or forum structures either; it'll just be a news blog for updates, the story, and something similar to a wiki / database style structure for all the side information. Instead of registration and login requirements, just a welcome disclaimer and the rest of the site is open to users but closed to search engines (to prevent index / follow of internal links). It'll be up to readers to police themselves on bookmarks / links, which is something I've written into the disclaimer. Working on making sure everything is legally set on my end - just in case.

The story itself is going to also see a major revision. I've revamped a lot of items and the beginning is actually going to start earlier and introduce other characters that I hope will make certain plot items have more sense later on, like the move to Felarya. And some of the technology items of the Authority. I also want to change the layout again, to add in 'short stories' - something I am calling Origins - which will basically be things I can write on the side of the main story that cover backstories of various characters to keep myself from getting bored or 'too locked in' and will allow me to remove the information from the biographies and build up more of the niche I'm creating in the universe. Some of the short stories might be 'one shots', and others might actually build up to 'mini series'. Guess I'll just see how it goes when I get there.



So as you can see, at least on my end, lots and lots of plans and zero time to implement them. Things should get better though by the end of the year, and whenever I do have openings available I've been using them to slowly build up the framework of the new website so that when I gear up for writing again I have nothing to worry about with coding or structure.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 3:58 pm

TheEntireDirectionOfThisThread.jpg wrote:
Spoiler:
 


"Stop contributing to useless discussion"

*Continues to contribute to something that they perceive, by their own admission, as useless

"X, Y, and Z are bad people who don't help"

*Ignore mountain of existing material indicative of the contrary

"Someone said something. Thus my point is proven"

*Begin endless cycle



We're done here.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 4:04 pm

I've been in a similar position to aethernavale, less than ideal real life circumstances combined with trying to do too much has led to almost no real productivity. I won't go into it but what is happening right now in my own life has left me deflated and demotivated even though my free time has actually increased. Being a keen rugby player I was able to express myself better on the pitch, over time my connection to Felarya was dropping to the point it was a case of 'out of sight , out of mind.' The rugby season is drawing to a close, so writing/drawing and my input into Felarya in general will hopefully rise in my personal pecking order.

I have been absent for a long time, and I hve forgotten many of the details which led to the 'major' out bursts of drama from however long past. I really don't care, that was then this is now, call it naive on my part but I am willing to come back and give things a fresh start. I've missed a lot, so it would be very unfair for me to return with the mindset or assumptions I held when I went awol. Likewise I can't really say if I think the community is on a downward spiral or not; I don't know enough about the present to make that call.

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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 7:47 pm

Newbie here, so I thought I could give my point of view and somehow help with this situation.
I've read about how quality started to decline and such because of poorly learnt lore and lack of important criticism. Well, if that's the case, maybe we (and I mean you, since I'm still a newbie) can do something to straighten this up.

First, I find good references to learn the lore important. From what I've seen, the lore of this world is quite large, and learning it without directions may prove a bit challenging to newcomers. If you would, for example, point out what articles from the wiki are the most important to learn the basic and intermediate rules and setting, recommend certain volumes of the manga as the most illustrative, and list those stories of the higher quality, then the newbies would have all they need to start learning the lore in the best of ways, and back it up with official or high quality stories that show what one would expect the world to be, and not some random story that only partially sticks to the general setting.
I specially recommend the important article listing and the quality story listing too, those would be really good sources.

And second, well, what most of you say you do, make some constructive criticism. Obviously, the person can take it or not, but maybe if the person is a jerk about its idea being right when it blatantly isn't something could be done. Dunno, I may come up with something later, some kind of warning or... well, I don't know.


Hope that helped, somehow.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Thu May 10, 2012 9:11 pm

Good advice really, it's like you're an established member already.
I personally agree with the philosophy that it is important for people contributing to learn the important lore about whatever ends up in their story. I make a point to know all the lore about a place when I include it, even when I'm just RPing. I actually spent a while poring over the Felarya map while participating in an RP recently so I could get some ideas of where to go for uh, RPing.
And if there's too much lore, I say don't bother. You only need to learn about whatever you want to use in your work, so the less detail and important things you include the less lore you need to learn. Want to have your character meet Crisis in the Giant Tree and go on an adventure through the Fairy Kingdom? Good freakin' luck learning all the backstories. Want to draw a seldom-seen small forest creature that lives in the largely unexplored far north, or just some random area that makes little difference to anyone? Practically no lore to read through at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Fri May 11, 2012 1:09 am

Talking about a beginners guide? It doesn't sound that bad. Something simple, yet informative for those new to Felarya who want to 'explore' it and don't know where to begin with. I don't know if this idea has ever been discussed before, but it's not a bad idea IMO.

Now the thing is: what is the best for a newbie when they come to the setting? Some of the newest members could point us what they want to learn first and then focus on that for future reference for newcomers.

Yes, I can see that, doing something productive to help the community instead of going into endless drama. Some positive thoughts won't kill us. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   Fri May 11, 2012 1:46 am

I'm not going to respond to what's been said, because sleeping dogs and all that, and some things are perhaps best discussed privately.

I'll just take this opportunity to make a few points and reminders.

While it's true that, for various reasons which I've gradually been coming to understand, some people have felt a little alienated from the community, which will hopefully be resolved through the reform regarding stories (see below), it is also true that there remains a healthy and growing core to the community, a group of quality writers and other quality contributors who have kept Felarya thriving, in good spirit and without drama. They mostly do so on dA rather than on the forum, though.

Critique of works which could do with improvement is beneficial, and those volunteer their time for such critique are contributing something valuable to the community. So long as the critique is friendly, constructive, and intended in a helpful spirit - which it usually is, but hasn't always been. (The poison of snarkiness and trolling, while now thankfully abated, at one point caused severe damage to the community.)

I believe that, where a problem is identified, constructive solutions need to be proposed. Which is why I proposed and implemented the idea of linking the wiki and its canon to stories, for a number of reasons laid out elsewhere. I also proposed, following talks with AJ, clear guidelines on inclusion of stories in the deviantArt group, which, as group co-moderator, I will soon be able to implement (as soon as a bug there is resolved).

Specifically, I proposed that, for a work to be included in the group, it should

[*] be of good quality,
[*] not blatantly contradict canon, and
[*] demonstrate a reasonably good understanding / appreciation of the setting.

To which I added that it should, imperatively, get permission for the use of characters and credit their owners, and credit the creator of any idea used in the story (places, animal species, etc...).

This will achieve what I've always advocated:

On the one hand, people remain free to write what they want. Karbo has always been clear on that, and it's not going to change. If people want to write "fanfic" that makes no sense, so be it. They should be politely invited to reconsider, and should be offered critique, but if they don't listen, they should be left to their own devices and quietly ignored. Because
a) there is no alternative; you can't make them stop writing, and hounding and persecuting them through trolling and savage attacks is both fundamentally unacceptable and deeply counter-productive in terms of the well-being of the community; and
b) most importantly, the dA group will now clearly be the showcase of the works that meet community standards and are recognised as adequate, acceptable representations of Felarya. If a writer wants his work to enter that body of recognised stories, that will imply following basic guidelines and accepting critique. Good works which correspond accurately to Felarya will be recognised, elevated to public attention, and hopefully, as has been said by others, drown out and marginalise the bad.

I think and hope this is a solution acceptable to all, which will encourage contributors to feel valued and address the overall points that have been raised.

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PostSubject: Re: Where has the community gone?   

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