Identity

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Identity

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:38 am

Well hello people.

It is never a good time to discuss the identity of yourself or bodies you are part of. It tends to end either with some sort of delusionary assessment or a realistically depressing picture. That said the Bolthole may be having an existential crisis of sorts so I figured it may be an idea to start batting ideas about under the mods' noses so that we can fake the appearence of a democratic mandate and force our vision down their stinking orange throats. (I presume their throats take after the colouring of their names on the Bolthole forums).

What brings me to reckon all these things I am reckoning?

The haps my friends, it is always the haps. By which I mean happenings and you can probably see a bit of evidence of haps having happed in the members only board. Which is partly why this is just on the about the bolthole board straight. Guests, lurkers and countrymen, the members only board gets little use, even I haven't introduced myself on the introduction thread, (I checked, I do pop up to talk but I never self introduce, I rely on the many cryptic (and not so cryptic) warnings made to others about me). So if you aren't a member, or are a member but have a habit of lurking rather than signing in and participating, sign up/log in and nose about for dirt and gossip and then participate here. This is your one, best chance at hijacking the bolthole for your own nefarius purposes but that can't happen unless you step up and make a loud noise.

Also read, Narry's amazing administrator thoughts, they're goregous and pretty much make this thread notionally redundant. We should all confrom to Narry's thoughts but this is a community so let us commune about it. I am a great believer that conversation and debate betters everything even if I am a conciencious objector to the debators lounge.

Essentially it is widely believed that a schism of sorts exists between the fans of GW/BL and the keen writers. Is that true? Does that reflect your views and how you interact with the community here? I am going old school and saying that this isn't a true schism or even a new one. Back when the Black Library had their own forums subsects existed. Some mostly wrote fanfiction, others mainly reviewed books. I mostly made immature jokes and amazed everyone by not being banned. Yet we all coexisted, and everyone bar me was an awesome person with cool ideas and regardless of what it was that you focussed on when devoting whatever time and energies you did to that forum, you knew there were others who'd appreciate your cool ideas and thus a community of mutual acceptance of awe and cool was formed. That forum went under and was reborn many times before we were left to fend for ourselves and formed the bolthole under the leadership of boltholers of legend that need no introduction. Real forum ending things happened and the community persisted because we appreciate and like each other and the cool awesome ideas that the cool awesome people here have.

True perhaps things have progressed, some of the fan fictioners are now aspiring writers and turning their mind to grander schemes than just fiction to be enjoyed on this site. Some of the fanboys have reached lulls in their fandom, it happens and GW (and to a lesser extent BL) aren't helping matters by producing great quality works at affordable prices. Personally I've been through many months of barely being able to finish any novel just because of real world shenanigans in my head. This hampers my ability to engage with some aspects of this site as wholeheartedly as I'd like but I love it here (and I love you personally reading this now).

It is natural for whatever passion that runs forefront of your mind to hold most of your enthusiasm and be the focus of your thoughts expressed here. We wouldn't be a community derived from fan culture if we were not capable of grand enthusiasm, the sort that would tear worlds assunder if used for evil. We're that powerful and that is great. But we all have our passions and they will all be awesome always. Because we're boltholers and that's all we're capable of. To that end I think the bloghole should do everything and more of it. I will endeavour to contribute everything and more to it. I think our facebook group should be capable of anything without censor or judgement. History will call facebook a great folly in the end anyway, we should be a major footnote in that folly. Yet whilst we are men and women of great passions our fires burn inconsistently. We all of us are forever assailed by the real world. This is scant escape for the life weary who aren't up to swimming against a tide of fevered passion. We all accept our passions because we are all excited by how awesome, thoughtful and creative everyone else we see here is. But we should also be accepting of the silence and the quiet because this is oft a refuge of sorts, a place to while away free time as well as spend it building to some enthused end.

Because ultimately thoughts about how the facebook group and blog and other things serve the community can often be swayed by how they can serve the interests of whoever is talking now. We're not even sure if the aim is to increase our membership or provide more for the current community. They aren't contradictory goals, the more awesome the community is the bigger it will become because no one wants to miss a party to my mind. But then my views of what is awesome will run contrary to most other people's because I am a meanace. So speak up, what is it about this place you love? What can be done better? What do you want to see? How will you make it happen? Leave your postcards for your holiday correspondence and answer on the goddamn thread.

Edit:
I don't want to come across as controlling or authoritative. I don't want to dictate what the Bolthole is or should be. That sort of behaviour raises heckles and leads to misunderstandings and we have perhaps had one too many of those recently. This is just opinion, rubbish it to hell if you desire, it is most likely wrong and my fears and perception of any problem created by wrongly putting too much emphisis on minor comments on the shoutbox an things beyond my comprehension.

There has already been a bit of talk on the shoutbox about the themes talked about here and the haps mentioned in the thread. But that isn't a permenant record and is hardly any mor transparent than the members only board with regards only being populated by a relatively small number of boltholers (join in though, it is great chat). I just figured airing thoughts might be useful if not only for personal catharsis but also in what the site staff (such as they are) and we the community members do going forward so that whatever tensions (an I may be imagining them all) are about (or not as the case may be) can be resolved.
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Re: Identity

Postby The Hillock » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:45 am

Nice post Shafe, good thoughts. Seeing as you asked for comment I feel I should oblige you. Apologies, I ramble.

I firmly believe that the Bolthole can help the aims and aspirations of the aspiring professionals AND be a place for the casual user who simpy wants to relax, or share their own fiction (original or franchise) with a casual group of like minded people. All things to all men (and women, natch), so to speak. Shafe made a great point in his post that the Bolthole can (and should) both serve the existing members and attract new members to further strengthen the community.

I believe that these two aims are effectively one and the same - the best way to improve the community for existing members is to strengthen it with new members. I also believe that the blog, Facebook and the anthologies are all great ways to do this - they provide greater visibility of the Bolthole to the wider world and hopefully inspire people to visit the forum and see what's what (to check out 'the haps' in Shafe-speak 8-) ).

For the purposes of this post I'm not talking about Facebook (which I think just needs a wording tweak) or the forum itself (which is brilliant), I'm just focusing on the blog and the anthologies, and the 'what I want to see' bit of Shafe's request for responses.

It is my opinion that for these things to be a success they do need to be managed. If they are to attract the highest possible number of new forumites, if they are to further the ambitions of those who wish to seek a professional 'next step', and even if they are not to frustrate those contributing to them then I believe things like deadlines are inevitable.

Note I'm not saying that they could not be produced without them. Of course they could, and potentially very successfully, but I don't think that success would be as great as if they were properly managed.

Let me take you through my thought processes. Think of some of the most successful YouTube channels (and my measure of success for YouTube is going to be number of views, although there are other ways to do it). With few exceptions, the YouTube channels that have the most followers have a set schedule of uploads - the subscribers know that every day / week / month (delete as appropriate) they will be able to view, comment on and share new content from that channel. Again, there are exceptions (Birgirpall's gaming channel is hugely popular and he only uploads when he feels like it, for example) but they are in the minority.

It applies to webcomics too - XKCD, SMBC, Basic Instructions, Cyanide and Happiness - they all have a set schedule for publication. When they miss it, they publicly apologise to the readers. One of the first tips you see in any guide to blogging is to make sure that you have a schedule and stick to it to aid reader retention. For an example where this doesn't happen, check out Aaron Dembski-Bowden's blog - it's hugely entertaining but rarely and irregularly updated which is frustrating as a reader.

For him, that works - I don't think the aim of his blog is to attract readers, I think it's as a place to vent and to amuse his friends and family. The Bolthole blog however is clearly designed (based on its content) to attract readers, both to the blog itself and to the forum, and so I think a schedule is important.

At this point you're probably thinking "but Wrath, we already have a schedule for the blog and we already have deadlines set for the anthology submissions". Yes, we do, and it is a good thing. What I'm trying to get at is that if these things are approached on a more 'casual' basis than they have been in the past, without someone managing them (and yes, even cracking the whip if required) then we may not be making the most of the benefit we can all get from it.

Perhaps if we are to attempt further projects (more anthologies, for example) then before anyone does any work on it everyone who is interested agrees what sort of project it should be. Should it be one managed in a more strict fashion? Should it be (a potentially just as good) one where there isn't heavy management, where there aren't deadlines, where people can work at thier own pace and in thier own time? There's no reason we can't do both. What I don't think works is trying to do both in the same piece of work - different contributors (be they writers, editors, publishers etc) who are not able or willing to provide the same levels of time commitment will inevitably clash, as we have seen.

Um, that's it, I think I've rambled enough. To end on a positive note, I really like the Bolthole. I don't have any issues with anyone, and I'm pretty sure no-one has any issues with me. The forum works well. We have engagement from a friendly and amazingly engaged group of writing professionals who are always willing to answer questions and get involved. Most importantly the group has produced, and will continue to produce some fantastic and amazing writing both in published works and on the forum itself.

Long live the Bolthole.

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Re: Identity

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:12 am

Insightful and interesting. Good work. There will obviously be some tension between those for whom strict management would be akin to hearding cats and those who are straight shooters and will begrudge any laxity dolled out to the cat people. As a catman sympathiser myself (I am probably more of a catcreature at the moment for all sorts of dull RL reasons) I have oft been more of the opinion that it is less of an inconvinience for those who have their act together to wait for those who can't but degrees of pressure and inconvinience and what not aside it isn't fair and it would always inevitable detract from the fun (if at a slower rate than the fun is detracted by someone who is being yelled at for no using their free time efficiently enough to serve the needs of a bolthole project).

Anthologies aside as the lead of that project should always set the tone (it being their baby after all, the contributors are just sperm donners, no rights for them), and to push it towards a more personal thing of where I intend to be contributing more often is the blog. I feel a two day a week update schedule is achievable without too heavy handed management. Posts can be left as drafts unpublished for a rainy day. I want to commit to doing at least one or two things for it a month but I wouldn't want to say when they'll turn up and nor would I expect instantaneous posting. The more we have contributing the more likely it is that we'll have the ability to throw up bonus weeks with three or more updates (shifting from Monday=Thursday to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday) not to be expected but a happy extra for our fans. Management merely has to keep people aware of potential shortfalls in planned for posts (a call to arms for people to think of something to fill the space) and prioritise what gets published and when (posts about anthologies may be time sensetive, interviews get priority for Thursday updates and if we don't have one for a Thursday we have a note of apology before offering an alternative piece of content).

Using swan analogies because they're great, yes we should endeavour to gather the appearence of slick professionalism, it would be beneficial but we can do that whilst actually being a mess of crazed activity under the water and those who care enough to look closely enough at the forum will see how spectacular it can be if we're pulling it off.
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Re: Identity

Postby Rob P » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:03 pm

On topic: Avatars do greatly shape my vision of a forumite.

Off topic: The stuff I like(d) on the has died down a bit in the last few years. The book and lore discussions are pretty limited. The Warhammer fan fiction boards are dwindling. Hobby stuff is a bit on and off. How to improve these areas, I don''t know. I do find that I spend more time on Warseer, HO, TWF and others (Dakka, Bad dice, etc) recently.

Personally I find the anthology stuff can be a bit overbearing/boring. It's just not something i'm interested in and it's become largely the reason for the Bolthole. I do think there is an argument that without the anthology the bolthole would be even 'deader' than it is, but it's all a bit too commercial for my tastes (e.g. a blog intended to draw anthology buyers rather than new members, writes coming in for the anthology rather than Warhammer and careful marketing). And no doubt, most of the other forums I visit do this too (look at the crazy number of ad banners on HO, for example).

I get that it's a very focussed and effort-filled (especially from some quarters) gateway to publication and the determination, planning and enthusiasm is noted, but I'm all meh about it.

I suppose (and I know am meandering a bit) it comes down to this:

I like BL books
I like talking about BL books
I like reading a bit of GW-verse fan fiction
I like writing a tiny bit of GW-verse fan fiction and developing by fiction writing
I like hobby stuff
Even If I had the ability, I'm not really bothered with writing original fiction for publication and it feels like 50% of SB chat is on this (on which note, i'm kind of glad I was not around last night).

The BH caters for these things, but other sites do some of it better (particularly the hobby stuff) and the stuff i'm not interested in is either doing very well here or is at least talked about a lot.

Will probably write some flame dampening stuff later - back to work!
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Re: Identity

Postby Athelassan » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:29 pm

Rob P wrote:Off topic: The stuff I like(d) on the has died down a bit in the last few years. The book and lore discussions are pretty limited.

I think that to blame for this might be none other than... Black Library themselves! Not solely, but at least in part. A couple of years ago, there would be a new release, everybody would be excited about it (particularly a Heresy one), everybody would read it, and chatter would result, both about what they'd just read and theories, musings, predictions and so forth that spin off from it.

Now, though, thanks to both ARCs and the Heresy hardbacks/TPBs, the rate at which people receive the books is staggered, with (sometimes) up to a year passing between the first enthusiastic readers finishing the book and large proportions of (equally) enthusiastic readers doing so. That's ignoring people who don't pick the book up for ages after release, of course, including only the people who will go out and get the thing at the earliest opportunity that makes sense for them. The first readers have nobody to discuss it with; even people who don't mind about spoilers don't have anything to add, so they can't contribute meaningfully to the conversation. By the time the later groups finish it, though, many of the earlier readers have now moved on to something else and are no longer interested in (or capable of) discussing it in such detail. That has a knock-on effect on everything else, too: it's harder to have a general lore discussion when everyone is on a different page.

It's not the only reason, I'm sure. That we are an unofficial forum with pretty much nothing in the way of external marketing probably does damage our ability to recruit new members four years after the BL forums have closed down. But I do think that fragmentation of the readership has had a large impact on the life of the BL side of the forum.

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Re: Identity

Postby Vivia » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:34 pm

The BH anthologies doesn't interest me, I support them but I have no interest in contributing or discussing them. I don't read as much BL as used to, I like them though. My heart has a soft for the hobby aspect of GW, I like to talk paints and minis. I enjoy the Insanely Off-Topic forum, there is space for everyone there.
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Re: Identity

Postby Schev » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:08 pm

I agree with most of what Wrath has said. Semi-professional projects like the blog and certainly the anthologies need more than laissez-faire management. The blog needs a mostly regular posting schedule so readers can build reasonable expectations around the content. Out of schedule posts are fine, as long as they aren't recurring content. I have volunteered to step up with one post a week for the blog, so there will at least be one scheduled post when the current framework trails off.

As I've said in the past, I think the anthologies need a much more formal and legal structure managing them than even the allegedly "repressive" one that exists now. But, I've made my comments surrounding that and it need not be repeated.

Another thing Wrath said somewhere that seems to be the crux of all our issues involved setting goals for any initiatives. This seems absolutely vital, and should avoid most of these conflicts. What is the goal of the forum? What is the goal of our facebook presence? What is the goal of the blog? The anthos?

If we can't answer the simple question of what the goal of something is, then perhaps we shouldn't be dealing in that something at all. Haphazardly managed and regulated activities are sure to engender the kind of disagreements in purpose and operation that we're seeing.

So, my take on these questions:

Forum: The goal of the forum is to allow free discussion on a wide range of topics, ranging from BL fan discussion/writing, to serious writing pursuit and discussion. These are reasonable to attain mutually within the confines of the forum.

Facebook (group): I honestly don't see a goal with this. A Facebook group is a directly competing resource to the forum. It's a dilution of forum content if content posted there is not reposted on the forums, and in my mind, the forum is the bedrock of the Bolthole.

Facebook (page): In my opinion, a page is much moreso what we want. This will allow us to advertise forum happenings, as happens with the group now. That is the goal here - outreach into a populous market to drive views/membership of the forum. Given the page structure, I think there will be a lot less confusion surrounding "membership" and the appropriateness of posting content on Facebook vs the forum.

Blog: The blog has a similar goal to a Facebook page - highlighting and presenting content that might not be seen by non-forum members. This is to attract new members and expand our online presence.

Shoutbox: To me, the goal of the shoutbox is to allow members to form more nuanced and personal relationships with one another than the "rigid" structure demanded by a forum. People should be free to discuss what they want, as long as it's not patently offensive or obvious spam. Sharing of humorous, informational, or serious content should all be acceptable.

Anthologies: The goal of the anthologies is to give members of the community an opportunity to have a work published, and to prepare said members for the realities of publishing. Publishers have deadlines that mostly don't change. If you don't get your piece in on time, tough. That's the reality of the domain. I think we'd be doing aspiring anthology authors a disservice by presenting an atmosphere of flexibility that's not going to be found anywhere else.

Obviously these are all my opinions. We need to come to some kind of consensus surrounding these goals, or there's going to be ongoing tension.
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Re: Identity

Postby Vivia » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:28 pm

To me it sounds like business talk, dry and formal. I don't see how a forum about interest and hobbies have to follow such a mould in order to become "successful", it's a very impersonal view of personal interests. I don't want the forum to become cold and uninviting places like Warseer and HO.
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Re: Identity

Postby Schev » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:43 pm

The running of a forum is by necessity a businesslike affair. It doesn't have to be noticeable by the vast majority of the users, but decisions do need to be made. That hardly means it's all going to become a cold and formal wasteland, that's just hyperbolic. That's why forums have mods and admins, to keep the drudgery of the site's function out of view of the members most of the time. Without some guidance, things just become a directionless morass that slowly declines in membership because no real efforts are made to improve things.

Given your professed distaste for administration, I'm honestly surprised you decided to become a mod yourself.
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Re: Identity

Postby Xisor » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:17 pm

Pishposh. ;)

There's merit in Wrath's words, but I'd add the caveat: previous management styles were worse (in my esteem) than nothing. Detrimental, damaging, soul-destroying and poorly tailored to this section of 'the audience' ; cross reference with the content I put on the FB page thread.

In short: sometimes no management is better than any management.

(Also, this chitchat shockingly overlooks the human capacities for self-organising and emergent, temporary, informal yet competent leaders.)

To that end, I'm really curious and rather intrigued as to what the least necessary but sufficient 'organising' role is. With the blog and some other cross-cutting concerns, it's fascinating and tasks my... theoreticals.

If a more cheerful, peaceable chap or chapette could broach it with the incumbant, I'd be interested in trying to explore that role directly: what's the... bureacratitc necessity? And can it be done without damage to all of Narry's outlined hopes & dreams? (I subscribe wholesale!)

I contend that the identity can be left... reentrant in the face of bureacracy. :)
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Re: Identity

Postby Athelassan » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:24 pm

Please note that what follows is in Ath-voice, not mod-voice, just to pre-empt any potential confusion.

I think a lot of the perceived (and actual) problems of late have come from a blurring of inherently personal and professional spheres. The Bolthole has always been a very personal place. Many of the people here are friends, and even if not actual friends there are still relationships here that date back years and years. This is (imo) probably the best thing about the Bolthole, but it also makes it an utterly terrible environment to start imposing formal management and expectations of professional behaviour. It's very hard effectively to manage people you have to maintain a personal relationship with. It's doubly hard when you're not seeing them in person and are therefore doing so only over the internet. It goes both ways, too. Not only will the nature of a professional relationship run the risk of souring or eroding a personal one, but it's hard to take advice on your professional behaviour from people who - for whatever reason - you don't respect personally. Given that this isn't a workplace where you're obliged to turn up and deal with people, what actually ends up happening is that people leave.

The Bolthole is inherently a pretty unprofessional place. We don't have a product we're trying to sell (and I include the anthologies in that, since the forum is principally "for" contributors rather than purchasers); we're not here to make a profit; the rules are written deliberately informally; the moderators are unpaid and the admin pays for the forum out of philanthropy and because he likes it here. For two years on this site, and however long the other site lasted, all of this was absolutely fine, and nobody ever seriously attempted to change that, because... well, what would be the point? Unfortunately I can't find Ghurlag's thread discussing the identity of the Bolthole, which was probably the most in-depth discussion on the topic we've had, but I recall the status quo's being pretty heartily endorsed from almost all corners.

Obviously, the anthologies need to be run with at least a minimum standard of professionalism and seriousness, although I still think it's possible to go over the top with that considering the context. But the anthologies are still a tiny part of what we do here. Discussion of the current anthology so far runs to one thread. The two discussion threads about the future of the anthologies on the Members Only section have three contributors between them. By their nature, once they're up and running, actual management of the anthologies is relevant only to the projects' editors and contributors, which is a very small minority of the total membership.

The Bloghole has maybe a bit more active interest but not much. The recruitment thread prompted one relevant response. The general blog thread has had relatively little input from people not directly involved in producing content, and only a handful of contributors in total. This isn't to say that people don't like the blog, don't appreciate it, etc. but there isn't a great clamour either to take on running it or to suggest content.

Of course, this doesn't take into account discussion on the Shoutbox. But the Shoutbox is in many ways a worse place to deal with this sort of business than the Bolthole itself; it's unstructured, often unregulated, and inherently pretty informal.

What this suggests to me is that putting structures in place across the whole forum that are really to deal only with those elements of the Bolthole that need organising (the anthologies, the blog, etc.) is somewhat akin to putting the cart before the horse, then using the horse-cart combo to crack a nut. Given that, at least as it appears to me, "informality" is one of our key strengths here, the risks enormously outweigh the rewards.

None of that is to say that we can't do anything better. We probably can. I'm just not sure how.

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Re: Identity

Postby Schev » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:04 pm

"What this suggests to me is that putting structures in place across the whole forum that are really to deal only with those elements of the Bolthole that need organising (the anthologies, the blog, etc.) is somewhat akin to putting the cart before the horse..."

What structures have been mentioned that would impact the forum as a whole? I haven't really seen any.
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Re: Identity

Postby Vivia » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:17 pm

Schev wrote:The running of a forum is by necessity a businesslike affair. It doesn't have to be noticeable by the vast majority of the users, but decisions do need to be made. That hardly means it's all going to become a cold and formal wasteland, that's just hyperbolic. That's why forums have mods and admins, to keep the drudgery of the site's function out of view of the members most of the time. Without some guidance, things just become a directionless morass that slowly declines in membership because no real efforts are made to improve things.

Given your professed distaste for administration, I'm honestly surprised you decided to become a mod yourself.

I have nothing against what you said per se, and what Wrath said, it does makes sense. But it feels like it's far too impersonal a view of a community that exist for fans sharing their interests. Especially as you have said on several occasions that you have very little interest in the forum, you don't participate in the forum at large, you don't have an inside view of the forum, then you come here and it feels like you're lecturing us. There is still a healthy amount of cynicism involved and there are fresh wounds so to say. It has really nothing to do with you personally.

On the other, something needs to be done about the forum and all this talk is exciting because there is so much to do and we can do it well.

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Re: Identity

Postby Ghurlag » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:39 pm


As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
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Re: Identity

Postby Vivia » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:41 pm

Thanks, Ghurlag. I posted in it.

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Re: Identity

Postby LordLucan » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:04 am

We need a fruit machine, and at least two pinball tables.

Also, more threads and articles epousing the greatness and continuingly inspiring nature of LL.
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Re: Identity

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:54 am

The arguements about professional running is interesting but rather seems to be missing the notion of purpose. We can be run efficently and what not but to what end will we be run?

Is it to continue to grow the community? Or are we focussed on internally just bettering what we have here providing stuff to excite and entice the people here and keep things running? What we want to do here surely dictates how we run things going forward no.

The forum isn't run professionally? I don't know about that and I don't think imposing structure is that needed, some of the more regular things such as RiaR sort of arranged themselves and we have the steadying hands of the staff keeping it going. All cool. Yes in a way the staff are doing an amazing job with the running of the site for the community in a way that is almost unnoticed and yet most of them seem to be voicing the opinion it doesn't feel like work whatever they're up to at the moment and I am loathe to be demanding things that will change that for them.

Yes the anthologies need to be dealt with in a way but they are ultimately a side project at the moment are they not?

Bloghole wise well, it has been a tad of a failed experiment in many ways, it never really had any cross pollenation with the forum which doesn't help especially in the light of the level of discussion perhaps dropping off here generally. But really all that is being called for is that we update it regularly but that requires only a bit oversight and ultimately if we can't manage to get the content for it from the community then we don't, no need to sweat it unless there is something we really want to achieve with it?
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Re: Identity

Postby Therion » Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:13 am

Athelassan wrote:I think that to blame for this might be none other than... Black Library themselves! Not solely, but at least in part. A couple of years ago, there would be a new release, everybody would be excited about it (particularly a Heresy one), everybody would read it, and chatter would result, both about what they'd just read and theories, musings, predictions and so forth that spin off from it.

Now, though, thanks to both ARCs and the Heresy hardbacks/TPBs, the rate at which people receive the books is staggered, with (sometimes) up to a year passing between the first enthusiastic readers finishing the book and large proportions of (equally) enthusiastic readers doing so. That's ignoring people who don't pick the book up for ages after release, of course, including only the people who will go out and get the thing at the earliest opportunity that makes sense for them. The first readers have nobody to discuss it with; even people who don't mind about spoilers don't have anything to add, so they can't contribute meaningfully to the conversation. By the time the later groups finish it, though, many of the earlier readers have now moved on to something else and are no longer interested in (or capable of) discussing it in such detail. That has a knock-on effect on everything else, too: it's harder to have a general lore discussion when everyone is on a different page.

Exactly.

Just look at this:
http://web.archive.org/web/200903270520 ... brary.com/
Novels costing 7GBP, omnibuses for 10GBP.

It's not like BL is a fine literature publisher. It produces pulp-ficion of highly varying quality. Pulp fiction is supposed to be cheap, not put in gilded covers. When it's turned into an exclusive luxury good category, it loses its popular aspect that is a large part of its appeal.
"There can be no bystanders in the battle for survival. Anyone who will not fight by your side is an enemy you must crush" -Scriptorus Munificantus
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Re: Identity

Postby Athelassan » Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:18 am

Schev wrote:What structures have been mentioned that would impact the forum as a whole? I haven't really seen any.

None specifically, but it seemed to be the way the discussion was headed and a logical progression from some of the things that have previously been discussed.

Ath
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Re: Identity

Postby LordLucan » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:40 pm

Therion wrote: When it's turned into an exclusive luxury good category, it loses its popular aspect that is a large part of its appeal.


I couldn't agree more Therion.
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
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