The Spoiler Zone (rant)

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The Spoiler Zone (rant)

Postby Vivia » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:07 pm

Note: Not a mod post.

The Spoiler Zone, it never seizes to annoy me.

For some reason when people tread into the forum they become delicate flowers that need careful maintenance. I tend to avoid as much as possible for this reason.

Usually this goes on:

A: "Your spoiler touched me in my special area and I can't get it back."
B: "Sir, you should have told me about said spoiler."
C: "I'm a special snowflake and your spoiler should have been written accordingly, read my mind next time."
D: "What I have read I cannot unread."
E: "My spoiler is far more delicate than yours."
Me: I hate this place.

When you walk into the Spoiler Zone forum take consideration of the following:

- When you read a thread you will read a spoiler as it is the Spoiler Zone not the Gnome Zone.
- The OP can write "Spoiler" in the title as a warning, it isn't an obligation from the OP.
- You aren't a special snowflake. The forum won't move around you to cater to your needs and your special HH areas.
- The OP has no obligation in sheltering you about massive spoilers. You already entered the forum. Beware if you have delicate skin.
- You will read something you weren't prepared for. Take it or leave it.
- Don't blame the OP for spoiling HH for you. You and you only is responsible for reading a topic.

Make the Spoiler Zone a better place.
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Re: The Spoiler Zone (rant)

Postby Major Rawne » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:10 pm

Spoiler: Was that it? I expected more from you.

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Re: The Spoiler Zone

Postby Vivia » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:14 pm

I take offence of that! It's been boiling for some time (three years or so).
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Re: The Spoiler Zone

Postby Xisor » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:53 am

Vivia wrote:The OP has no obligation in sheltering you about massive spoilers.


Bollocks I/they don't. Not spoiling things is a pretty premium point about... stuff. Everywhere. In all literature. Robbing the emotional (or, more tediously: factual) impact is a pretty significant theft from most folks' enjoyment of the literature.

---

Murder on the Orient Express

It's a good, quick, easy but interesting book; my suggestion: don't read the spoiler unless you know already.

For example, as spoilers go, even Wikipedia has the decency to reserve the 79-year-spoiled denouement of Murder on the Orient Express 'til a well-posted "Solution" at section 2.3: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_on_ ... e_Solution

Are we not more considerate of the delicacy of our Bolthorer's insulation from The Awful Truth than Wikipedia?
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Re: The Spoiler Zone

Postby Vivia » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:00 am

I think you're totally missing the point here about the Spoiler Zone. It isn't anywhere/everywhere, it's a place specifically designed for spoilers. Wikipedia has no spoiler zone, it's a wiki.

Edited to remove possible offence.
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Re: The Spoiler Zone

Postby Athelassan » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:41 am

While I'm generally on board with the reinforcement of the obvious: i.e. "There are spoilers in the spoiler zone, watch your step" I can't help but feel the OP misses the point of what's been causing some of the recent discussion.

The forum isn't every man for himself, and that goes for the Spoiler Zone as much as any other part of the forum. You shouldn't have to worry, if you read a thread nominally about Betrayer, that you're going to be spoiled for Unremembered Empire. Whether this is common courtesy or common sense or whatever is debatable, but I think it's still an important part of being a good forumite that you try to avoid spoiling people who don't want to be spoiled. Basic consideration, if you will, if not common courtesy. I think people are absolutely entitled to get annoyed if they get surprise spoilers.

To take my above example, is there so much of a difference between posting UE spoilers without warning in a Betrayer thread and running up to people queuing to buy Harry Potter and the Tree of Nothing and shouting:

Spoiler: Snape kills Dumbledore!


The former might be innocent, the latterm might be malicious, but the victims are still just as spoiled as a direct result of your action. How much does it cost to put a spoiler warning on that, or a spoiler tag (albeit see previous discussion on spoiler tags)? Nothing.

If the SZ is treated a complete spoiler free-for-all, then nobody will be able to read any thread for fear of being spoiled of any book. I don't think that's a good system.

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Re: The Spoiler Zone

Postby Therion » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:38 am

Athelassan wrote:While I'm generally on board with the reinforcement of the obvious: i.e. "There are spoilers in the spoiler zone, watch your step" I can't help but feel the OP misses the point of what's been causing some of the recent discussion.

The forum isn't every man for himself, and that goes for the Spoiler Zone as much as any other part of the forum. You shouldn't have to worry, if you read a thread nominally about Betrayer, that you're going to be spoiled for Unremembered Empire. Whether this is common courtesy or common sense or whatever is debatable, but I think it's still an important part of being a good forumite that you try to avoid spoiling people who don't want to be spoiled. Basic consideration, if you will, if not common courtesy. I think people are absolutely entitled to get annoyed if they get surprise spoilers.

To take my above example, is there so much of a difference between posting UE spoilers without warning in a Betrayer thread and running up to people queuing to buy Harry Potter and the Tree of Nothing and shouting:

Spoiler: Snape kills Dumbledore!


The former might be innocent, the latterm might be malicious, but the victims are still just as spoiled as a direct result of your action. How much does it cost to put a spoiler warning on that, or a spoiler tag (albeit see previous discussion on spoiler tags)? Nothing.

If the SZ is treated a complete spoiler free-for-all, then nobody will be able to read any thread for fear of being spoiled of any book. I don't think that's a good system.

Ath

Exactly :D .
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Re: The Spoiler Zone

Postby Vivia » Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:21 pm

Ath, my post has nothing to do with the current discussion. As I said in the third post, this has been boiling for three years or so. It has to do with the attitude forumites take when they step into the forum. For clarification.
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Re: The Spoiler Zone

Postby Athelassan » Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:16 pm

Even bearing that in mind, it still aligns fairly closely with some of the points Rob was raising in his thread and probably deserves to be considered under the same topic umbrella, especially since it has emerged concurrently with an existing discussion on the Spoiler Zone anyway...?

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Re: The Spoiler Zone

Postby Vivia » Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:45 pm

Yes, to some extent. But my annoyance comes from further back and it isn't so much about guidelines. I'm not writing it as mod, didn't want to mix my own personal opinion with my mod duties. Maybe I'm wrong in this (the title had a "rant" note that I removed, I wanted to freely post about my pettiness and schadenfreude).
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Re: The Spoiler Zone (rant)

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:18 pm

Maybe codifying a spoiler code of conduct/manners would be useful.

Yes in many ways the spoiler zone is the spoiler zone. Here be monsters (in the form of spoilers) is clearly stated on the map and woe befall any sailor who doesn't pay enough attentions to the map. But that doesn't mean anything can be spoiled willy nilly. Likewise yes we have spoiler tags but that doesn't excuse just tagging up huge swathes of text and monopolising a thread in total darkness. There is a place to discuss spoilers after all.

Take deep breaths Viv. Everything will be ok eventually.
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Re: The Spoiler Zone (rant)

Postby Vivia » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:08 am

Thanks, Schafer.

Now, back to pet peeves of the Spoiler Doom.
As my annoyance has more to do with forumites attitude on the forum, whether spoiler tags bears little matter in them, I don't care.
(When I became a member spoiler tags weren't used as frequently as now, this might have to with BL release schedule of despair, I don't know how accurate I'm in this.)

People behave awfully delicate and thin-skinned when they post in the SZ, especially concerning HH, it sucks out the fun out of the discussions (as some might have notice I don't post there much). It got me thinking after I have read threads in the 40k group on Facebook I'm part of. People there are very relaxed about what they spoil, and they spoil freely as there aren't tags, no one acts offended or pedantic.
After what Rob said in the "Two Suggestions" thread I went back and read a little and it reminded me of why I avoid the forum in the first place.
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Re: The Spoiler Zone (rant)

Postby LordLucan » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:23 am

I do think the fact that BL staggers the release of HH over several formats over the year, and the excessive number of exclusive novellas that are not terribly exclusive could be the reason for the excessive tags, as more and more people are now put of the loop regarding spoilers and the current novels. People want to discuss the books, but can't until their formats are released, and by then, the discussion is already a year old and quite dead.

That's the main reason I'm hardly int he spoiler zone; I simply get the novels far later than everyone else, so can't join in.
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Re: The Spoiler Zone (rant)

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:38 pm

The weekender was sort of a nightmare with partaking in conversations about the heresy. Gauging who present had read how far and what not. Somewhat hard to manage and some talking didn't get said because of it. Sometimes some people would bow out to the bar because of it. give a chance for those who read further. Sometimes people would just give subtle hints and winks about what was going to happen.

In fact the only time it felt like little consideration was being made is when on panels a panel member would go "spoiler warning" then a spoiler straight afterwards. Even if I was near the door and not you know 5 seats deep at least either side of me I'd not get out of the room in time. Fortunately the heresy schedule is such that those spoilers would be mostly forgotten by the time i read, or at least I'll be provoked into remembering them by the text which isn't as bad as coming into it with foreknowledge weighing down my soul.

The release schedule also means that we won't be getting speculative spoiler zone threads like we used to where we'd just speculate wildly until the book came out. I mean a spoiler zone thread was safe until a couple of months before release when the advance review people on the forum would spoil it for everyone (pardon the pun).

In many respects the fact that people are spoiler tagging so excessively is a good thing. People are genuinely feeling protective of another's right to read things unspoiled. It is great and it is awesome and any codifying of codes of conduct or behaviour and manners is to many extents crazy and off. But still something needs to be done.

Spoilers should only be spoiler tagged in the spoiler zone if they are about a book other than on the OP topic name (so if you wanted to do a topic that was about the relationship of two or more books establish the books early on). If those spoilers are happening label them. Italics appear visible within the tag so you can label within the tag if not before the tag.

Outside of the spoiler zone, you can spoiler as much as you want. It'd be preferred if you spoiler the spoiler only and not the entire sentence and thought about the spoiler. Your opinions, speculations and conversational asides aren't spoilers, they don't appear in the book. Likewise always label so that it can be read without highlighting the spoiler what book you are spoiling so that others can make an informed decision if they want to read the spoiler and discuss things with you.

If you are engaging in a conversation about a specific topic and are spoiler tagging allot as part of an ongoing conversation feel free to suggest to the parties you are conversing with to take it to the spoiler zone. Because you have labelled all your spoiler tags people can read them, read that you've taken the discussion elsewhere and go and join you if they have more to add. At the same time people who aren't reading your spoilers aren't being inconvenienced on any threads where a conversation has erupted.

That'd probably do for now.
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Re: The Spoiler Zone (rant)

Postby Athelassan » Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:20 pm

I came up with the following summation of rough guidelines for spoilers which I think covers best practice as agreed on the various threads. Similar to Schafer's points above:

Spoiler tags provide a useful function for the forum, so that people don't stumble across spoilers without meaning to. However, they can also be ugly and annoying, so there is a time and a place for them. Here are some guidelines about appropriate use of spoilers and spoiler tags:

  • In general, please try to avoid discussing spoilers on the fiction forums outside the Spoiler Zones. If you must discuss spoilers, use spoiler tags.
  • Whenever you use spoiler tags, it is important that you note clearly, outside the tags, which books they are spoiling, so that other forumites know whether or not they can read the tagged text safely.
  • In the Spoiler Zones, open discussion of spoilers is permitted. As a rule, you do not need to use spoiler tags in the Spoiler Zone. In threads relating to a given book or series, you must anticipate that spoilers for the entire book (or books) may be present.
  • Sometimes discussion of a book in the Spoiler Zone may touch on spoilers from a book that is not made clear in the title. In that case, it may be appropriate to start a new thread. If it would be more sensible for discussion to continue in the existing thread, please note clearly the book that is being spoiled and then put any spoilers in tags.
  • Please try to keep spoiler tags to a minimum, whichever forum you are in. It might be that only a single sentence needs to be hidden, not an entire paragraph.
  • In particular, please try to refrain from writing posts comprised mostly or entirely of tagged text, or replying to such posts with more tagged text.
  • Remember that it is always easier for other forumites to read text that is not tagged, and for people who don't want to read the spoilers, your posts will appear as undifferentiated black boxes.
These are guidelines; please try to use a modicum of common sense. The moderators may intervene if spoiler tags are being used (or not used) in an inappropriate fashion.

Obviously it focusses mostly on use of spoiler tags but if the spoiler tag issue is address, it should deal with the spoilers in general. As I say, these are guidelines, not rules. But it might make it easier to enforce the existing rules if people had a clearer idea of how to interpret them.

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Re: The Spoiler Zone (rant)

Postby Xisor » Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:41 pm

Outrageous. Never in my life have I been so insulted...

Too Many Mushrooms Xisor's Proposed Biography, published 2084

Spoiler: It has long been thought that Xisor, from a very young age, approved of the use of spoilers for sarcastic and flippant, not-actual-spoilers purposes. No direct evidence of this conjecture survives.




---

Sounds good to me.
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Re: The Spoiler Zone (rant)

Postby Vivia » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:19 pm

This is the Bolthole, Xisor!
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Re: The Spoiler Zone

Postby The Hillock » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:22 am

Athelassan wrote:

Spoiler: Snape kills Dumbledore!





WWWHHHAAAAAAAAAAATTT???!!??

EDIT, before anyone thinks I'm actually offended:

Spoiler: That was a joke

Probably the worst WH40k player in the world...

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Re: The Spoiler Zone (rant)

Postby SIngemeister » Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:08 pm

Spoiler: _______________*ceases_____________

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Re: The Spoiler Zone (rant)

Postby Athelassan » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:34 am

I'm not sure whether this is the best place for this post, because Vivia's original one was a bit wide of the mark for me, so I might later move this to a new thread, just to note at this stage. However, I do think it's worth having a discussion about the Spoiler Zone, covering various issues I've touched on before. Note that this is not a mod opinion, only my own, although it is informed by - and may influence - past and future modding.

Right now, it looks to me like there's a gap between what the SZ was intended for and what it's used for. A few threads have gone up recently with spoiler-warnings in the title, which seem redundant in a zone specifically for spoilers. There's also the spoiler tag issue which we discussed last year. This suggests that there is a lot of sensitivity around spoilers even and perhaps especially on that board, despite that board's being specifically for open discussion of spoilers.

I think part of the reason for this is that it's become the default area for post-purchase discussion of BL material. The main P&D board is used for relaying news, discussion of forthcoming releases and so forth, but then as soon as anyone has started to read a book, discussion of it moves almost entirely to the spoiler zone.

As far as discussion of content in detail goes, this is absolutely appropriate. But there's more than one type of post-purchase discussion: it's often useful to know not just what happens in a book but more generally what a book is about and how good it is. In particular, it's useful to know whether a given book is worth buying. Analytical reviews and discussion of books is wonderful and I don't want to discourage that, but advisory reviews are also very valuable. At the moment, the advisory and analytical content tend to end up in the same threads in the Spoiler Zone. The problem is that people in need of the advice can't safely read the thread because it might well be full of spoilers. For people who care about spoilers - and there are plenty - this is the sort of thing that stops them reading the thread at all until they've read the book, which renders the advice useless.

Of course, there is one other place where advisory reviews tend to proliferate, and that's the What Are You Reading? thread (henceforth "WAYR"). WAYR has become the closest thing we have to a general-purpose thread. Almost half the total posts in Products and Discussion outside the two subforums are in WAYR. That's part of the beauty of it, but it's also what makes it a nightmare. It's difficult to navigate, the search function isn't really up to the job, and posts in there get lost really quickly. Advisory reviews in WAYR are fine for as long as they remain visible, but once they disappear off the front page after a week or so they can be very difficult and time-consuming to find again, if you even know they exist.

I know some people like the atmosphere there, find the informal nature of it welcoming and non-intimidating, and wouldn't want it to change. I also know that some people don't like the fragmented nature of discussion, the way conversations tend to degenerate into reporting of details, particularly spoilers (whether with tags or not) and the way it's used as an ersatz review thread. In any case, as a reader the thread isn't really fit for the purpose it's come to fulfil. In some ways I think its gravity pull is so great it's contributing to the deadness of the rest of the P&D forum, because it's easier to post there than to start a new thread.

In an ideal world, I think advisory reviews would get their own threads in P&D, and content discussion would go into the Spoiler Zone. That doesn't reflect current practice. The fact that the spoiler zone has become the default review area with no consistent (user) policy on spoilers means that, rather like WAYR, it's not actually fulfilling its intended purpose. If it's the Spoiler Zone, then spoiler tags and warnings are unnecessary (although it's still important to make clear which books are being spoiled, of course), but posts that don't actually have any spoiler content probably don't belong there. If it's actually a general review zone, then it probably needs a name change, and a similar policy on spoilers to everywhere else on the forum.

I'd welcome input.

Ath
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