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Green Room - Week 26 - Day 7

Remember what I said about how I try to always be optimistic - because what is happening is going to happen regardless, and you might as well find something positive to focus on? (And of course there are some *truly* horrific things that are exempt from that)

That's how I'm feeling when I look at the poll this week: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1036872.html

Even if everyone is waiting until the last minute to vote (and I'm sure there are a bunch of people who are), the numbers aren't looking great.

BUT, and here's a couple of things, one for me and one for the rest of you guys.

Those long lost groups that were founded to "destroy" Idol? Even the numbers *this week* would have been a great week for them for most of their runs. They would have been glad to have that much participation! That's the part for me. :)

My thoughts *for you* is that each of the remaining 10 of you wrote a piece this week that I hope you are proud of, you've gotten some feedback on them (just went over and saw there are still comments coming in on most, and conversations happening.) and I think, at the end of the day - you sitting down and writing, week after week, is the important thing. Everything else is the window dressing. Granted, it's a satisfying window dressing. But the important thing is what you take away from the experience, and from the process itself.

The poll closes tomorrow, and we are going to be losing two of you - and regardless of which two - that is going to suck. But I hope that the Top 8 will continue to raise that bar every week, until there is only 1 left standing. Regardless of who ends up showing up to see it happen. Because this is about *you*, and it's about going through this with each other. That's something no one has to validate, and no one can take away.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
murielle
Aug. 4th, 2017 04:11 am (UTC)
This week the writing was SO good. I mean it's always good, but this week the final ten took the prompt and turned it upside down, inside out, and back to front. Voting was beyond challenging. Voting was painful. P A I N F U L!

Do zombies feel pain?
beeker121
Aug. 4th, 2017 12:48 pm (UTC)
I am at the home office for work this week and have been stupid busy. I made time to read everyone and still have to go hit the clicky boxes, but didn't have enough time or brain to comment, and I apologize for that. At this stage of the game it's just all so good.

Speaking of work, I'm getting a whole new set of responsibilities, which means I also have to teach other people everything I do now. I've been doing AP for four years it's tough to remember where I started and not to explain everything up front. Heh.
rayaso
Aug. 4th, 2017 01:14 pm (UTC)
"Those long lost groups that were founded to "destroy" Idol?" -- what were you up to? Is this more of Idol's conflict-laden past? I guess it's true: "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."
xo_kizzy_xo
Aug. 4th, 2017 01:55 pm (UTC)
Gary had a lot of enemies back then because of Idol because of all the in-fighting that happened here. People who were eliminated made/modded the bulk of the "take Idol down" communities. Some people founded "other" writing communities where it was less about the game and more about the writing. They didn't last long because, back then, it was more about the game.

He's still standing. The others have long left LJ and their hate communities and anti-Idol communities, so yeah, what doesn't kill Gary makes him stronger :)
clauderainsrm
Aug. 4th, 2017 02:10 pm (UTC)
Just a couple additions to what Kizzy said that I think are important to point out:

"The others have long left LJ and their hate communities and anti-Idol communities"

They left *after* their communities failed. :)

They didn't just pick up and leave and that's why they failed. They couldn't hold things together, because, IMO, their foundations were flawed.


" Some people founded "other" writing communities where it was less about the game and more about the writing. "

The problem with that notion is that the "game* WAS STILL THERE. "Anonymous" community? People still talked and let their friends know which entry was theirs.

"Closed" community? People just made fake accounts and joined.

They still had their cliques/voting blocks. They still had every single thing that "concerned" them about "the game". Because a lot of those things come from dealing with people.

Most of the twists and turns of something like Idol are (sometimes loosely) patterned after situations you might encounter in "Real Life" trying to make it as a professional writer. Even the things that seem completely random - well, sometimes it really IS the luck of the draw about what is going to give you a break, being at the right place the right time...

I think that our success rate with people who *have* left, not due to being tired of Idol - but rather because what they did here made them confident enough to try to make some money it - is a pretty good indicator that, maybe I know at least *something* about what I'm talking about. ;)


clauderainsrm
Aug. 4th, 2017 02:35 pm (UTC)
I'd also add a couple things - because I've obviously been thinking about this subject for a long time and have some opinions. :)

This format (the one they lifted and tried to copy) didn't exist 11 years ago. It's like another appendage for me. For someone else trying to copy it? They never got the right feel for it. Because they didn't *love* it. It wasn't their passion. It was something they were doing.

Another big thing is that they didn't just want to run things, they wanted to *play* as well. Which I think is a rookie mistake. The person in charge can *never* be involved on that level. That's such a fundamental ethical problem that I've never been able to understand how anyone has ever failed to see it.

I also think that I am at my best when I stay out of your way. Guide you down a path, but for the most part realize that it's not MY tastes that are going to rule out. Entries I loved get eliminated. Entries I didn't care for move forward. It doesn't mean that the voters got it wrong. It doesn't mean that my personal tastes are wrong - it just means people like different things, and you can't always predict what those are going to be, especially when that result is taken in with a collective result. That's one thing that "the others" always bristled at. They never truly got that it's *not* about them... Idol *is* a big part of me. I take it very personally... but it's all of us. Everyone who shows up. Everyone is has EVER shown up, and what they have brought to the table. You lose sight of that, and you've lost.

bleodswean
Aug. 4th, 2017 03:10 pm (UTC)
This is gorgeously penned, G. And really, really thoughtful. Seems as though you've been transformed by Idol just as much as the players. That makes me happy.

I think there's a volume of essays in your Idol ponderings. Especially in today's age when most of us are intimate with online relationships and the competitiveness that is part and parcel of many social media platforms. I know "I" would read a collection of your essays about the years you've spent at the helm of this amazing writing game.
clauderainsrm
Aug. 4th, 2017 03:54 pm (UTC)
I've actually considered doing a "thought process" Tumblr with my "new project"/mini season during the off-season. Maybe with some historical stuff. Not sure about it yet though.
xo_kizzy_xo
Aug. 4th, 2017 03:25 pm (UTC)
...and you can't always predict what those are going to be, especially when that result is taken in with a collective result. That's one thing that "the others" always bristled at.

Hence all those "voting blocks" as well as "communities made solely to push newbies forward".

What you haven't mentioned in this, though, is how you modeled the game after "Survivor" where all those twisty-turny-voting block-blindsiding stuff came from. The game on TV veered into TEH DRAMA back then and that was reflected in Idol back then because, as I've said before, it was more about the game and less about the writing. I haven't watched Survivor the last few seasons so I don't know if TEH DRAMA is as draaaaaaaaahma as it was back then.

They never truly got that it's *not* about them... Idol *is* a big part of me. I take it very personally... but it's all of us. Everyone who shows up. Everyone is has EVER shown up, and what they have brought to the table. You lose sight of that, and you've lost.

Which makes you take anything against Idol personally. That's understandable.
However, most people didn't take that into consideration back then. For them it was a game, a gossip mill, a way to create community, make friends. Some have fond memories of it, some don't. It was almost like Idol had two faces back then -- it had its own "thing" going on when you were hands off and it did a 180 in some respects when you were hands on. People would get angry about that because they wanted to resolve/do things THEIR way (you know what I mean).

Idol IS what you make it. A few people have developed freelance careers stemming from their participation here. Some have been published. However, there are many people who never had their sights on either and are here for the community, and IMO they've been sort of shuttled to the side these last few seasons, myself included. I honestly don't think it's on purpose -- I think it speaks more of the state of things now vs. then.
clauderainsrm
Aug. 4th, 2017 03:53 pm (UTC)
"What you haven't mentioned in this, though, is how you modeled the game after "Survivor" where all those twisty-turny-voting block-blindsiding stuff came from. The game on TV veered into TEH DRAMA back then and that was reflected in Idol back then because, as I've said before, it was more about the game and less about the writing."


And there's where we differ in how we are look at things...

From where I'm sitting, Survivor didn't invent interpersonal drama. There's a heightened tension because strangers are in close quarters and under pressure from the elements. But people don't suddenly react in ways they wouldn't normally react. (Well, there *can* be a more extreme version of it. I'm not an asshole because I'm tired and hungry... being tired and hungry means I'm more likely to show that part of my personality.)

Survivor is, at it's heart, a game about social interaction. Always has been. Everything else is the trappings to keep people interesting and give them something to do.

Livejournal, especially when it was active, but now as well - is about that social interaction. Which is why it was so filled with drama. Idol definitely didn't generate that. You didn't have to go far to get your share of the drama.

Which is why I strongly disagree with the notion that other places were "all about the drama" whereas Idol was "all about the game". Idol was simply honest that there was a game, whereas the others were trying to pretend that there wasn't.


"I haven't watched Survivor the last few seasons so I don't know if TEH DRAMA is as draaaaaaaaahma as it was back then."

Yes. People are still people. :)

Of course, there's more of a focus on MAKING BIG MOVES!!!! Which does increase certain aspects of the drama because people are being encourage to sabotage their own games for "good tv".

"It was almost like Idol had two faces back then -- it had its own "thing" going on when you were hands off and it did a 180 in some respects when you were hands on. People would get angry about that because they wanted to resolve/do things THEIR way (you know what I mean)."

I know what you mean. But for those who don't - there were folks who thought they should be able to make the rules - AS WE WENT. Literally "I don't like how this is going, so you need to change it right now." In the last few years, I've actually given myself more leeway and wiggle room for each week. But in the beginning, everything was planned out down to the last detail, and changing anything felt like it was risking the integrity of what I was doing... the stated rules were the stated rules, and if I said there was going to be a certain twist during Week 7, it didn't matter what happened in the meantime,it was happening in Week 7! (Now it may happen in Week 8 or 9 if I think it works better. Or in a couple cases, scrapped entirely if I think that's the thing to do. I rarely *add* anything.)

" and IMO they've been sort of shuttled to the side these last few seasons, myself included. I honestly don't think it's on purpose -- I think it speaks more of the state of things now vs. then."

It's definitely not. I do think there was a period where more folks were coming in who *wanted* to only talk about their writing, and who had definite ideas of what they wanted from the experience. Other people (including you) have pointed out that a lot of folks have taken their social interaction to FB and other social media. Which is a big part of the "then vs now". But I think there's still folks who want to talk - but no one wants to be the one to talk *first*. :)



swirlsofblue
Aug. 4th, 2017 07:12 pm (UTC)
That's such a fundamental ethical problem that I've never been able to understand how anyone has ever failed to see it.

I think this is one of the keys to why Idol works so well. You actually care about the ethics of it and trying to make it fair. You listen to people and hold steadfast to your rules when needed but also bend when needed. You maneuver this whole thing absolutely brilliantly. Thank you for your efforts :D.

Also, I never understand how people can do those anonymous ones. I did one once and not being able to control my own pieces formatting was killing me. It's like, it wasn't even my piece, it wasn't how I intended it to be, so what was the point.
xo_kizzy_xo
Aug. 4th, 2017 03:09 pm (UTC)
Mine was the TL/DR version ;) It sounds better coming from you, though.
rayaso
Aug. 4th, 2017 02:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the history lesson.
clauderainsrm
Aug. 4th, 2017 05:15 pm (UTC)
While I was eating lunch, I was thinking that folks who weren't around "in the old days" might like a specific example of the kinds of suggestions that were received. I'm actually going to use one that I ended up using. Just not *when* they wanted it used.

Someone (I know who is was and pretty sure which season, but let's just go with "someone" and "in the past") posted in the Green Room that we needed to have a "Blue" as a topic.

I said "No". (I said more than "No", and explained *some* of my rational.)

They were upset because they wanted more "vague topics".

Now for those of you sitting here right now, you are laughing - because of all the vague topics you've seen. But up until that point, things were pretty straight forward. You could interpret, of course. But they weren't just a single word)

A couple reasons why I didn't use it:

(1) I already had all the topics planned out for that season.

(2) I only solicit suggestions from contestants for topics for special events/special powers. Because if you are giving a topic, you probably have a good idea what you want to write. So you have an advantage. Me taking that suggestion would be giving one contestant an advantage over the others.


(3) It didn't fit in with the theme of the other topics used for that season. Even if I was going to ignore 1 and 2.

(4) Even if I disregarded those other points - you just *announced* what an upcoming topic was going to be, had I taken the suggestion. No way was I going to give people a heads up like that. (it's the same reason why the more someone talks, in public, about wanting to be a Gatekeeper, the less likely they are to become one. I don't want people to know what's coming)

(5) the fiction-vs non-fiction debate was pretty heavy at the time, and, to me, at the time, this veered too heavily onto the fiction side during a time period when the vast majority of Idolers were on the non-fiction.

There were more reasons. But it was taken, by some, to be that I just didn't like the person. Which was - and is - far from the truth. Or that I was a control freak, which is true. :)

clauderainsrm
Aug. 4th, 2017 05:17 pm (UTC)
Like I said, I eventually started using 1 word topics - and it was specifically because that conversation got me thinking about it.

The same way that someone (again, I know who) saying that we should "play as teams" was what sparked the Friends and Rivals mini season. I just won't change things in mid-stream, or without sitting down and figuring out how these ideas will impact the bigger picture.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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