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Green Room - Week 33 - Day 1

Greetings from mid-Jan.

Yes, while you weren't looking, we are already almost halfway through this month!

My Mom's birthday is on the 20th and she reminded me that was next week - I thought I still had a couple weeks... but nope! This year is already started out being tricky with time!

Time is getting tricky on you as well - there is a QUICK FIRE due tonight: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/823503.html

Sure, it's optional - but (1) immunity has been coming in really handy lately, especially as the numbers dwindle and (2) it's a chance to write something else. That's why you are here, right? You want to write things!

It's due right after Agent Carter ends, so make sure you get done before that show starts - since I know everyone in the world is watching that! ;)

After last night's eliminations: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/822840.html

We stand at THE TOP 17.

Which means there is a new topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/823231.html
A new Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/823662.html

and a heightened sense of "I can win this".

YOU CAN. One of you WILL.

This year-long odyssey is coming to an end, and we are going to have a winner.

But the question remains - how do you want to do that?

My email lately has had two main complaints in it. They are the same two complaints -
(1) People getting in after the deadline. (the policy has always been "If you get the entry up before I hit "post", you are good.) and (2) People voting for only one person. (the policy has always been - I can't tell you who to vote for, I can encourage you, but I can't tell you)

The first I *can* control by freezing the topic thread. I don't want to do that. Because I want to *encourage people to write*. That's kind of the point to all of this.

Being overly strict may suit some people, but I'll be frank here - if I were as strict as some people would like, we wouldn't be celebrating our 9th season. The place would have been gone years ago. You have to know which fights are worth going to the mat for, and which are not. I trust the regular voters, who seem to follow what happens in that thread to be able to decide if they want to "put up with it" or not. Given If folks *don't like* someone sliding under that gate - the solution has always been *don't vote for them*.

The second issue has been one that I've taken to Livejournal directly, to see if there was a way to restrict a poll so that people *had* to vote for at least two contestants in each poll.

There is not. They told me that there is no way for it to be done on either end. (for me to pull it together or for them to set something up)

Now if someone knows a clever bit of coding they want to email me that would solve this - feel free to email me.

Until then - the only solutions are: ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO VOTE. Encourage them to read all of the entries and vote for *all* of their favorites. Not just you. Not just their friend. If they read entries, they are going to want to support a lot of them.

Granted, as we get closer to the end, you are probably going to see more and more people make up their minds about who they want to win, and cast votes accordingly. After all - only one person is going to walk away winning this thing! But then again, do you *want* someone to win who isn't encouraging people to read everyone else's work? ;)

The other solution is for me to say "EVERYONE MUST VOTE FOR AT LEAST TWO PEOPLE" and throw out votes from everyone who doesn't do that. Now, keep in mind that I can't actually *delete the votes*. I would have to go through and say "Yeah, contestant X - you thought you survived this week because you had 5 more votes... but 6 of those were people supporting only you, so you are gone".... votes that would be sight-unseen and basically punishing people for *having support*.
I'm not doing that. Doing that would be completely counter-productive and the "Gary is cheating" cries when someone is voted out that way would be annoying *at best*. We *want* people to come out and vote. Even if they start out voting for one person - curiosity tends to get the better of people and you start seeing them checking out other entries as well.

It's one more reason for you to comment on each other's entries. Maybe that person who really wants Contestant Y to win will see your comment and think "They seem cool. I should check out their entry too" and pretty soon they start voting for two people every week...

I know, it's late in the game for that. But I've *seen it happen* this season. I see it happen every season. This isn't theory. It's fact.

Does it happen in every case? Of course not. But I know we've gained some really loyal followers over the years who came in because their buddy was playing and they got curious about what this was all about.

The best way to get people interested in Idol is having Idol be doing interesting things and everyone on the same page that we want *more* people coming in to read - and figuring out ways to do that.

That's where you come in. Because you are the ones wanting more people to read your work. How can you do that? How can you get the exposure you want, while at the same time spreading the word about other people's work that they also might enjoy? (and knowing that they are doing the same thing, so that it will end up benefiting you as well! :D)
It's late in the game to be having these discussions, but this is also the time when people's heads start to fracture a bit - coming up with reasons why it's OK that they didn't win due to some "outside circumstance" or "unfair thing", so let's go ahead and address them now! :)


( 75 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 13th, 2015 04:35 pm (UTC)
I should point out that it's not a "this season issue", it's one of those things that comes up in cycles.
Jan. 13th, 2015 04:39 pm (UTC)
I can tell you this -- being upset about others voting for just one person is something that never would have occurred to me as something to be upset about.

I mean, it's an online writing game/competition, so nothing about it seems all that worth getting worked up over to me, but that's a new one. Especially at this stage of the competition, and certainly as weeks go by beyond this. I would actually be *more* inclined to vote just for the "very best", that one person whose entry that week was The One.

But that's just me. (Now, let me clarify -- if you're only ever voting for *yourself* and never, ever for anyone else, that seems a little outside the spirit of the game. But otherwise? Eh, seems fine to me.)
Jan. 13th, 2015 04:44 pm (UTC)
I try not to make judgments on these issues of "what I would complaint about"/"what's not worth complaining about". People are going to differ on that sort of thing.

I just report what some folks see as issues - and what I can/can not do to address them!

Edited at 2015-01-13 04:44 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - kickthehobbit - Jan. 13th, 2015 06:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 13th, 2015 04:44 pm (UTC)
I think I see a connection between this GR and yesterday's...

I think it's interesting to see all the different ways we end up playing this game - really, it's very simple. Your rules are clear and spelled out, but we add on layers of other rules for ourselves. Behaviors we think are good and bad, things that help make it more 'real' for us or help us feel more comfortable with the idea of winning or losing. "Well, I'll be ok going out because at least I didn't do X" - that sort of thing. The rules as you've stated are quite simple, but we must like complexity, because we sure are good at adding it.

I'm guilty of this myself, too, of course. My personal rules tell me to get in *before* the deadline, not just before the poll post goes up. I'll still vote for whoever's on the poll if I like what I'm reading or whatever, but I personally wouldn't be ok with getting my piece in after that clock ticks over. I think the important thing to recognize is that our self-imposed rules are just that - imposed on ourselves by ourselves, and trying to fit other people into the boxes we've put ourselves is not really a productive use of our time. People do what they do, and I presume they do it because they're ok with it.

We've developed a mutual kind of culture among us - it happens every season, I expect - and there are rules floating around that are unstated, about what 'we' consider ok and not ok. Maybe it would be better if we just stated them outright and had a discussion about what makes us feel oooo weird, and why, and what we're ok with when other people do it but feel strange about for ourselves and so on and so forth.
Jan. 13th, 2015 04:54 pm (UTC)
Oddly enough, they were inspired by two completely different things. Yesterday was sparked by a series of posts on facebook by a completely non-Idol related person that I know.

But yeah, they did end up dovetailing nicely into each other.
Jan. 13th, 2015 05:11 pm (UTC)
Some rules I've noticed this season:
- It's not ok to use something for the poll/prompt that was written before the prompt was given out. Or at the very least, it's not ok to admit to it. There seems to be a general consensus / feeling that this is unfair, and comes preloaded with the expectation that you'll be judged by the same standards as everyone else, when you had more time to do the work and polish the piece.
- I'm pretty sure many of us feel it's not ok to just self promote. There's a different between telling people "there's this thing! That I'm taking part of! Go check it out!" and "go vote for me!" It's a subtle difference, but one is more likely to get other people reading and invested and interested, and the other just motivates folks to click on the clicky box by your name, shrug, and move on with their days.
- Responding to comments is "polite".
- Reading everyone before you vote is good.
- I'm pretty sure there's some amount of consensus between us about commenting on entries - what kind of comments are good, what level of commenting is nice, that sort of thing. Spelling that out is hard, and though there have been LOTS of discussions about comments (is concrit good? when, where, how? is it ok to comment just to say you liked something? Is that seen as just 'leaving a mark' and letting someone know you were reading, and is that bad?) distilling the discussion down is tricky.
- This isn't something that's come up since the very beginning of the season, but I'm pretty sure we've got a strong consensus among us that unasked for public commentary on other contestants and/or contestant entries is not cool (I'm thinking of dont_be_first and dont_be_second here)
- Another thing that hasn't come up in ages, but I'm pretty sure we're agreed on is that stirring up shit just for kicks is not cool, and won't be tolerated.

What else am I missing? We've definitely got a group that seems to value being polite more than confrontational and has emphasized 'fairness' a lot in our GR discussions - and private discussions with Gary, from what I can tell. What do you think are our unstated or assumed 'rules' as a group?
Jan. 13th, 2015 05:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Some rules I've noticed this season:
It's also not okay to name names when you know who's breaking the "rules" in the background.
Re: Some rules I've noticed this season: - lrig_rorrim - Jan. 13th, 2015 05:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Some rules I've noticed this season: - lrig_rorrim - Jan. 13th, 2015 06:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Some rules I've noticed this season: - lrig_rorrim - Jan. 13th, 2015 09:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 13th, 2015 05:12 pm (UTC)
No one's complaining about you handing out multiple "extra credit" immunity opportunities when most of us are too busy and exhausted to even consider doing more than getting our entry in on time?

Because that's the new, "this season" thing that's really chapping my hide.
Jan. 13th, 2015 05:14 pm (UTC)
You would be the first.

(if you were complaining about it)

At Top 17, this is probably the least amount of writing in the longest period of time to do it that people have had. I really have been getting soft!

(no subject) - clauderainsrm - Jan. 13th, 2015 05:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gratefuladdict - Jan. 13th, 2015 05:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lrig_rorrim - Jan. 13th, 2015 06:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bleodswean - Jan. 13th, 2015 06:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gratefuladdict - Jan. 13th, 2015 09:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - halfshellvenus - Jan. 13th, 2015 06:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gratefuladdict - Jan. 13th, 2015 09:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dmousey - Jan. 14th, 2015 01:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 13th, 2015 05:48 pm (UTC)
I know I've always gotten pieces in before the stated deadlines on principle, but as we typically have folks from many different time zones playing I can certainly see there being a bit of leeway on it. But if the deadline is 8pm and they don't post until two hours later, that's a bit too much leeway, even if the poll hasn't been put up by then. Just my opinion, but it's rare for me to go back and check on times. I will usually still vote for the piece if it is deserving.

Regardless, I'm glad that you are lenient.
Jan. 13th, 2015 08:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, once we started getting a lot of non-East Coasters, and other parts of the world came into play the more I realized that I was going to have to be more lenient with the deadlines. Which is why you saw more 24-hour deadlines in early seasons and the first one you've seen in quite some time is the optional "Quick Fire".
(no subject) - jexia - Jan. 13th, 2015 08:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clauderainsrm - Jan. 13th, 2015 09:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 13th, 2015 05:49 pm (UTC)
For those curious
of the Top 17:

Last Chance Idol participants: 2
People who used 3 byes: 10
People who used 2 byes: 4
People who used 1 bye: 1
Jan. 13th, 2015 07:00 pm (UTC)
Re: For those curious
I'd be interested in newbie/veteran breakdown, too (though we've probably all earned the title of veteran now!)
Re: For those curious - clauderainsrm - Jan. 13th, 2015 07:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: For those curious - roina_arwen - Jan. 13th, 2015 08:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: For those curious - clauderainsrm - Jan. 13th, 2015 08:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 13th, 2015 06:21 pm (UTC)
To turn the discussion around just a little bit from what our consensus rules are, unstated or otherwise...

What are your personal rules, and how flexible are they?

I've already mentioned getting in by the stated deadline as one of mine. What restrictions have you put on yourself about how you'll vote, how you'll comment, how you'll interact or act in general? How do you feel about self-promotion, or promotion in general? Does it matter where it's done? Do you have different standards for yourself versus other people (i.e. "it's ok if they go to facebook and ask for votes, but I'm not cool with that for myself")? How are you playing this game?
Jan. 13th, 2015 06:28 pm (UTC)
Personal rules:

- Always finish before deadline.
- Reworking previous starts to Idol pieces is okay, as long as they were only ever worked on during deadline periods (ie, I've had several starts that I've abandoned because the idea didn't grab me/I didn't like the start. If it fits a new topic, I might revisit the idea. Most of the time I don't.)
- Vote for myself, always.
- Vote for others if I can read entries that week.
- Comment on 90% of the posts I read (I always failed at this. ALWAYS.)
- Pimping is okay, but only if I'm in danger of going home. Threshold for this got larger as the season went on. FB, LJ, tumblr -- all were okay.
- Post comments when in a good mood because bad moods often result in me starting shit (I don't like starting shit, lol)
(no subject) - lrig_rorrim - Jan. 13th, 2015 06:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jexia - Jan. 13th, 2015 07:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kickthehobbit - Jan. 13th, 2015 07:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clauderainsrm - Jan. 13th, 2015 08:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gratefuladdict - Jan. 13th, 2015 11:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dmousey - Jan. 14th, 2015 01:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - crisp_sobriety - Jan. 13th, 2015 08:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - roina_arwen - Jan. 13th, 2015 09:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 13th, 2015 06:23 pm (UTC)
(Also, why YES, I am procrastinating. It's working out well for me, thanks. There are a zillion chores and things to do today, and I keep saying I'm going to do them. And then not. Or saying "well, if I'm not doing that, then I'll do this other thing (write the Thursday entry, write other stuff, work on this, work on that) and um... not. Again. It's one of those days. Curse you, Tuesday!)
Jan. 13th, 2015 06:33 pm (UTC)
I don't think the idea that you have to vote for at least two people would work—it would be very easy to go, "oh, well, vote for me, but also vote for [insert name here]" and skew the poll that way.

The ideal would be, as you put it, if people were telling their friends to read and vote accordingly. That relies on people having a lot of time, though—and honestly, probably wouldn't happen either.

Honestly? I don't think there's much that can be done re: the single-vote issue. I may wail and gnash my teeth into dust at the idea that there's nothing that can be done, but in the end, it's just another thing that has to be accepted. People are always going to do this in Idol. I can either play by my own rules—which in this case means I don't promote myself (I feel weird as Hell about it, and anyway, I don't think any of my friends would vote for me—the fact that I still have an lj is usually met with shock and incredulity :P)—or I can, and I can watch as Idol turns into a massive "who has the bigger friends list to vote for them?" thing.

Since I know I don't have a large, active component to vote for me, I'm not going to self-promote. There'd be little enough point, anyway—I can't get the kind of numbers I've seen people pulling in the last few polls.
Jan. 13th, 2015 08:49 pm (UTC)
"I can't get the kind of numbers I've seen people pulling in the last few polls."

I have to question this.

The numbers have been VERY low lately.

Last poll the high was 23 votes.

In one poll you had 20.
(no subject) - kickthehobbit - Jan. 13th, 2015 09:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clauderainsrm - Jan. 13th, 2015 09:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clauderainsrm - Jan. 13th, 2015 08:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 13th, 2015 07:00 pm (UTC)
One thing that needs to be said is that, at this point, everyone left in the competition has survived numerous "contestant only" votes, as well as the Gatekeepers.

They *deserve to be here*.

Jan. 13th, 2015 07:51 pm (UTC)
A few thoughts:

People's personal rules - That's one of the reasons why I set general guidelines in place, and allow each season to shape what it is going to become. Because there is always going to be conflict between what one person thinks is "OK" and what someone else does - and from that conflict there tends to end up being growth and understanding of each other coming out the other side. (Granted, in some cases you just get bitterness that lasts for years - but that's really a personal thing. :D)

Additional activities where I grant people immunity - You would almost think that I *wanted people to participate in Idol and was throwing the kitchen sink at them in order to get them to do so*. Weird.

"Calling people out" would be especially weird - since they would be breaking rules that *you* set up for yourself, not anything that I came up with. Granted, you could do it. But it would be interesting to see what the response would be - when "sides" have been clearly drawn in a season, things tend to go the best for the people who stay neutral!

"people who have one public persona and act like a completely different person behind the scenes" - it's almost like it's a reality show, and they act one way toward their "tribe" and another way in private confessionals!!
(Well, OK, as other people have pointed out - that tends to be how people are, but I couldn't resist a "playing the game" reference.) If someone can manage to do that for a year straight - getting through contestant votes as well as Gatekeepers (many of them not knowing a single thing about how someone has been acting all season) - kudos to them. I know that I couldn't hold it in for that long!!

Jan. 13th, 2015 07:52 pm (UTC)
On the last point - I don't think that I would *want* to win if I wasn't "being myself". But I guess that would fall under "my own personal rules" of conduct rather than something applied to other people.
(no subject) - gratefuladdict - Jan. 13th, 2015 09:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clauderainsrm - Jan. 13th, 2015 09:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - dmousey - Jan. 14th, 2015 02:15 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - jexia - Jan. 14th, 2015 11:57 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 13th, 2015 08:06 pm (UTC)
I can sort of see merit in complaining about others getting in past the deadline if there's someone doing it a lot. Only because I work in a very deadline-driven business and I see the value in making people follow that rule. People going over the deadline and getting their work in to me late makes MY life rougher.

As for the voting, I don't see how you could possibly force people to vote for XX number of people. Or anyone at all. The whole point of this kind of competition is that popularity and/or talent will out because of a combination of writing and schmoozing. So I guess my answer to the complainers still actively in the competition would be, take your damn chances like those of us who have been kicked out had to at one time. ;-)
Jan. 13th, 2015 09:03 pm (UTC)
I always thinking the "deserving" debate is interesting, because people seem to forget that the people who were already eliminated are *still around*... many of them continuing to vote, and once you start talking about who should or shouldn't still be there, you have run the risk of sounding like you're saying the people are gone are the ones who "deserved" to go. Which can be dangerous territory. ;)
Jan. 13th, 2015 09:38 pm (UTC)
A challenge, of a sort.
Sooooooo.... I'm seeing a lot about vote count totals, and we've been spelling out more of our personal rules of interaction with Idol and how we do this thing. Whenever I see rules and patterns, I like to question them, ask why they're there, what they serve. For the self-imposed rules, they definitely keep us comfortable. "I'm comfortable with this" or some variation, is something I've seen frequently in discussions of how we participate in this wacky thing together.

I was thinking it might be kind of interesting to deliberately shake things up a bit.

What would happen if all of us who yet remain (or at least some of us?) committed to doing things differently for this poll than we have before? If you've been self-promoting, commit to putting out a rec list only of other people, or just publicizing the community itself. If you've been silent on promotion at all, how would it feel to post something on your journal encouraging others to come and read here? What if you did it without mentioning your own participation, or by highlighting some aspect of Idol that would allow folks to participate even more directly (like the KF/HG immunity options)?

Of course, it doesn't have to just be about promotion - maybe take a total break from commenting and reserve that energy for something else, or commit to commenting on some large percentage of the entries, or or or or... there are lots of things we can do to interact just slightly differently. I think the promotional thing might be most interesting to try, because it could get new people over this-a-way, and maybe shake up some trends in the polls. I'm all for shake shake shaking it up. I'm a veritable earthquake generator here. Let's do this!

Double cat dare ya.
[double cat]
Blizzara and Bubbles kitty, hanging out.

Edited at 2015-01-13 09:49 pm (UTC)
Jan. 14th, 2015 03:39 am (UTC)
I miss you all :(
Jan. 14th, 2015 05:43 am (UTC)
You've definitely been missed as well.

How have you been?
( 75 comments — Leave a comment )


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