December 17th, 2014

idol 9

Green Room - Week 31 - Day 6

Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate it. Even to those who don't celebrate it.

My main criteria for a holiday is "Does anyone give me presents?" Since I have not yet received any for Hanukkah, I am doubting that it exists. However, there are still more nights for me to be proven wrong!

(Note: It's the same reason why "Your Birthday" doesn't really register to me. As far as I know, fourzoas is the only one with a real one)

There was a comment tucked into the space of the sparsely commented Green Room from yesterday. One that I thought merited more attention, so I'm grabbing it and putting it right here in front of you! Of course, you could very well ignore it again. ;)

The parts in quotes are the original statement. The rest is me adding my own charming commentary. Which is both charming and commentary.

"I think this season, maybe more than others, has a lot of Identity stuff going on."

I definitely agree with this statement.

"What is LJ Idol when LJ is allegedly "dying"?"

It still very much has a place in LJ, and in writing communities in general. I think we are still are doing some cool things, even if it's on a platform that doesn't have the attention that it had when we started.

"What does it mean for LJI to be cross-platform, on twitter, facebook, and ello and all that?"

My take (and plan) for posting cross-platform is the same as it was on Day 1 in Idol when I decided that people would post *links to their posts* on the Idol site rather than their actual stories. Several people (including my assistant at the time) argued that they should be posted here, and that the community should be entirely self-contained.

I maintained "it's THEIR stories, they need to be posted *in their space*". It's the same reason I set things up to have open voting, with people encouraging their friends to show up to Idol to vote.

I put up a topic and then send you out to your space. You post it there and gather attention for it... then you bring that back into Idol for voting... the voters then go out from this center hub to *other people's posts*... and the cycle continues. It's all about creating word of mouth and new blood into the system, so it's not just the same people sitting around reading the same old things.

That's how I look at cross-promotion with other platforms.

I *hated* it when LJ introduced it. So anyone saying "YOU ALLOW IT!". I didn't have a choice. It is literally "LJ is doing this. You adapt or you throw up your hands saying OMG IT'S NOT THE SAME!!!" and pull the plug.

But as time has gone on, I've slowly been figuring out ways to use it. My intent is to throw it out there in these various places and bring back new readers/writers. People who may have forgotten about LJ, or never heard of it. People who thought "that's dead" can see "wow, there's something cool going on over there".

Throw out the net, and bring them all back into LJ... hopefully encouraging them to set up accounts in the process. (I don't* require it, because again, that would mean me saying "Yeah, those 3 votes don't count... sorry person who was eliminated by 2 votes. Take my word for it, those were from Twitter")

That's why I did the interviews and have been trying to get the word out about Idol - to bring more people into the fold. Which, hopefully, gets more people to read your entries! :)

"Who is it "for"?"

LJ IDOL has been "for" the same thing from Day 1 until this very moment - to amuse me. :)

It started because I wanted to have some fun with friends. It's continued because it was a way to make new friends and have some fun with them.

You, as writers and readers, *get something out of it* as well. Which is awesome - it's designed to be that way *because I want you to keep coming back*!

(So anyone who says "Gary will understand why I want to work on such-and-such instead of play Idol this season". On some levels - sure. On other levels - I want all my friends to come over to my house and play in this sandbox! Why wouldn't I???)

"What comes next, for any of us, including you? These are all things we've been asking - quietly or loudly or muttering continually under our collective breaths - all season, trying to figure it out."

Which probably hasn't been helped by the fact that *I* don't know either! :)

I made the "Season 9 will be the final season, unless something unexpected happens" back when - honestly - I was feeling like "maybe I won't be around that long". It was a goal, a commitment at a time when every season had a huge "Maybe I'll come back and do this again - and maybe I won't."

I wanted to lock it down. Set it in stone. There WOULD be a Season 9. After that was entirely up to "unless something unexpected happens".

Along the way, several unexpected things *have* happened. Both good and bad. What that means for the long term Idol - I have no idea.

Here's what I *can* tell you: I have a project that I want to run after this season ends. I keep calling it my "special project" but I've told a few people about it off-Idol, it was my last email conversation with Nathalie actually) so I might as well say it "out loud":

It's a couple week "Idol Jr" - for kids. There were a couple kids participating this season, and in the past. My own bonus-daughter-to-be *wants* to play Idol. But there's no way I'd throw her into the shark tank! But maybe a thing with prompts and voting (but no eliminations) with kid-friendly topics might be fun.

*shrug* That's the plan anyway. We will see if there is any response to it.

After that, I want to run a mini-season in the late Spring.

No guarantees after that. BUT it will put us awfully close to our 10th anniversary. That's really tempting. If there was going to be a full Season 10... it would certainly fit, wouldn't it?

So there you go - *most* of my thoughts on the subject of "what's next?"

All of this, of course, is entirely dependent on my friends showing up to play in the sandbox - and bringing *their* friends with them! So I hope that you will!

"And as we're all part of this collective community, that also means figuring ourselves out, and this space out. "

Which has been a conversation that's been going on from the very first moment I posted in here, and continues to evolve with each new group making their contributions to the dialogue.

We have a Vote going on:
We have a Killing Floor/Home Game happening:

and because no post would be complete without it - there is only ONE shirt to sell with the original design before the first run of Idol t-shirts can happen: I'm debating if I should leave them open, or close them (thus giving the order to print early and making them a Limited run) and just sell the alternates for a bit.