The deadline for sign up is now Saturday Jan 8th at 5pm EST - that's right, an hour *after* the main competition's deadline!!
What does this mean?? *shrug* I don't know. I just work here!
All I know is that it Phase 2 is shaping up to be a whole lot of fun!
I was asked by a couple different people over the past 24 hours to clarify my position on "usage of alt journals".
http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/409711.html?thread=41345647#t41345647 is where you can find the original remarks on the subject. Or at least the ones from this season. :)
There were a few things that I wanted to make sure that I said in public.
1. I know who the Alts are. It's policy. If for some reason I *don't* know that you are operating an account other than your "main" one and participating in Idol - well, that's just leave at "I need to know this information if you want to participate".
Because I know who they are, I also have a pretty good idea why all of them are using alternate accounts. And most of them fall under that Turtletaub example I used before.
Good people, just taking a break from what they might "normally" do, or wanting to talk about things they might not normally discuss.
2. If you are going to friend people, you should probably have mentioned somewhere that you are an "alt" account/writing journal/whatever.
It's NOT policy because I really don't have much say in how you treat your friends.
I just think not telling people that you have something else out there - that they may have interacted with, and formed opinions about, heck, maybe posted a drunken rant about how much you suck two years ago when they met you at a party - from a personal standpoint, I wouldn't do it. Not saying "reveal yourself!!" but I am saying that a bit of a disclaimer, somewhere, might not be the worst idea.
If for some reason you can't do that and "keep character" or for a host of other reasons that are as long as my arm (and it's a decent length for an arm), like I said - that's your business. It's your journal and your life!!
3. My noted and disclosed *personal* "severe dislike" for alts comes in two forms. Because there are as many different "kinds of alts" as there are people using them. But they are:
- The idea of people using multiple alts, if it gets to the point of more of them than there are "actual people". I have no interest in running a competition for 5 people writing 20 accounts each. :)
I don't think any sensible person would, and although I'm not sensible, I happen to agree with that point.
One of the things that I love about the competition is getting to meet new people and seeing them grow as writers through the process. Seeing people play with alt accounts to explore other aspects - that's cool too.
But much like "The Great Fiction Debate" of season's past - I said that I never wanted to see it get to the point where it was more fiction than people talking about their lives and sharing their stories.
I like all of it - from the fiction to the personal essay aspects - mostly I think "the mix" is important.
This is one more element that is being thrown in. But much like with fiction, I want to see a healthy dose of people being who they are. If that can only be done in an alt account, for various reasons, OK. Not my preference, but hey, I'm sure it's not their preference for the state of their life either!
- One of the things that keeps Idol healthy, and interesting, is that people are constantly finding it through their friends. They read an entry and realize that it was written for this Idol thing, and go check it out. Or someone asks them to go vote - and they do a couple times without thinking too much about it, but then they have a couple extra minutes and start reading some of the other entries too. . . and realize that this is something that interests them. Heck, maybe they see a rec post and go "That entry by so and so sounds nifty keen! This is all neato!" (Because that's how your friends all talk. Admit it!)
Alts, operating in a friends list vacuum, aren't really adding to that current (or future) mix. So, too many of them and that group of new readers who come in and get excited to read *your* work, might not be there. Which is what makes it such a tricky balance, of providing and encouraging people to explore new outlets in their writing, and making sure that new readers are still being encouraged to find the that work!
Those are it. The two reasons that I, from a personal standpoint, am not a fan of alts as a general rule. It's more of a "from a practical side, it'skind of counterproductive from a macro view".
BUT - and here's the kicker, I think that they have their place and that there are folks doing some really cool stuff with their alts. It all depends on what they do with it, and how they manage to find that personal balance that still manages to not go into "alt overkill" and continue to bring in new readers for everybody!!
I'm sure there is more that I'm missing that people asked me about, but there's what I could remember! ;) Anything else people want me to clarify? :)
So, um... how is that coffee? Or, how will it be - or whatever you say when you are trying to transition to "Hey, how are you doing?" basics to get people talking. :)
The Topic for main competition is http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/409009.html
The Second Chance Idol sign ups are http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/408328.html
Just in case you've forgotten.
Because, after all, that's where the important stuff is happening!!
Go take a peek and read some entries - then come back and let other people know who they should be checking out! So easy even an "alt" can do it! :P