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Wow, ok, when you people have opinions you have OPINIONS!!!*G*

So much to discuss here and I hope I don't miss anything.

I'm actually a little hestitant to address any of it, because so much of it comes down to "how so and so is playing the game" and that is just so very personalized. Honestly? If someone is playing a game that involves insulting other people (or making them feel insulted at the very least) it could just be who they are, but in the context of Idol, it's how they are playing the game. IMO it's not the smartest way to go, but it may be the most true to who they are, and thus I am extremely hestitant to point any fingers or step in by taking them aside and going "dude, you need to maybe take it down a notch." Who am I talking about? Quite a few people actually. Some of whom think that the people didn't see a filtered post, but people talk, and I think it's always a good bet, regardless of how private you think something is, to assume that if you put it out there, it's out there.

Pretty much all of the things I've read/heard/seen smoke signals about in posts, emails, phone calls and of course the above mentioned smoke signals are boiled down to playing the game.

Not from a personal level of course, but from a game perspective, which is ultimately, the only thing I can really talk about and/or do anything about.

If someone messes with you to the point that it rattles you - what has happened? They have managed to get ahead of one more person. Is this their ultimate intent? Who knows. I certainly don't. Maybe they just don't like you. Maybe you don't like them. People don't like everyone, and sometimes that person they don't like is you.

There are plenty of people *I* don't like. Heck, I'm on that list somedays!*g*

Not everyone has to get along to play against each other. In fact, one of the most interesting rounds was settled back in Season 1 by ONE VOTE from people who really couldn't stand each other's writing at all. That was pretty intense. But it did teach me a valuable lesson, which is good for someone like myself who wants everyone to be all happy and like each other - sometimes that just isn't going to be the case, and for the sake of the game, you sometimes just have to put that aside and just ignore them the best you can. "The game" - heck, I'm quite sure there are people most of you work with/go to school with/are related to that you can't stand. The same applies here really.

That personal aspect aside, let's get into the tribes.

Most people seem to understand this, but some don't - so let's take a look.

The new tribes are entirely based on 1 and half weeks of voting. It no longer matters who has what sized friends list, and yes, it no longer matters who thinks who is the better writer. Tribe 4 are NOT "the best writers in the competition". Tribe 1 are NOT "the worst writers in the competition". What they are, quite frankly is the people who got the most votes. In the perfect world, would the people with the "best writing" get the most votes. Sure, but I can GUARANTEE YOU that you and I do not agree on who the "best writers" are in this competition. If I had money, and was prone to gambling, I'd put some serious cash on that. Who's right? Well I am.*g*

Seriously though, it is such a very, very subjective matter. What it comes down to is vote for what you like, and don't vote for what you don't like.

Hopefully people will get what I mean when I use this example:

You read a book. It's the best damn book you have ever read. It's not on the best seller list, it's not by some household name. Maybe it's a first time writer or just kind of obscure. Do you sit around and complain that this great writer isn't getting the attention they deserve? Just sit there and shake your head at a world that is too "ignornant to get it". OR, do you tell your friends about this book? Do you get them a copy or lend out yours to spread the world? Do you get them to tell THEIR friends.

Every last person on the best seller list had something that the people not on there lacked, and it's sure not talent. They had someone who believed in them enough that they did some networking for them, to put them in the right place, and with the right people to succeed. They got them in the right bookstores and got the right people who make the decisions talking about them. Anyone who's ever played on that level knows that it's a networking game, and often times it comes down to a luck game. Who can put the right ball into the air at the right time so that it ends up on the right person's desk.

It comes down to two kinds of people, IMO, those who would complain about the unfairness of the world, and those who actually do something about it to the best of their ability. The world itself is pretty darn big and complex. As it applies to this game though, it's wonderfully simplistic.

If you like something. If you think Person A should go further than Person B, then get them the votes they need to do that.

It's not a complex mystery. Support the contestants you like. Don't support the ones that you don't.

You break down each and every issue and it really comes down to that. Someone ticks you off, the ultimate "pay back" is not voting for them if you think their entry doesn't actually deserve one. If you don't like the person but think "wow, the entry was really good/interesting/thought-provoking even if I didn't agree with it" then that's even better since it means you are thinking things through and not just reacting from an emotional basis. But really, emotions play into every aspect of life and every single game, including this one.

But in Idol, like life, you get what you put into it. If you bring the negative emotions into it, that's what you are going to get out of your game.
If you manage to stay focused though, and not let anyone rattle you, you have a good chance of making it further into this game than you originally imagined was possible.

Honestly, and I probably shouldn't actually say this one out loud, but I think most people are smart enough to have figured it out already, or they will - people in the lower tribes actually have a better shot because they have more of a chance to survive on sheer talent without the worry of being overwhelmed. It's fairly equal "talent wise" IMO but just on that one issue of surviving one more week...which is all that anyone can ulimately do, the "lower numbered tribes" gives people who might have the talent but not the numbers, a chance to build themselves up, and hone their skills of getting that attention they deserve. It's a second chance, and a way to avoid just being picked off in a numbers game in the "higher numbered tribes". Plus, and I designed it this one, the people with lower vote totals are TRIBE 1. Why? Because that means people see their names first, and get more of a chance to read their entries as they are scrolling down the poll. There's less of a chance of getting "lost in the shuffle" and more of a chance of getting the support they need.

Let's see, what else? I saw someone say that the best writer didn't always win the season and that's what they didn't like... I point to the above. If you don't want someone to win, don't vote for them. If enough people agree with you, then they won't. I'd argue vehemently that we've had 3 seasons and 3 of the most incredible writers, and people, that I can imagine won them. "Best" is always a subjective opinion. But I'm going to go with a frequently quoted line on most reality show fan sites, which is that the person who wins is the person who deserved to win. Why? Because they were able to win and the sheer act of coming up with a way to do that is remarkable in and of itself.

There was also apparently was a comment somewhere about my taking people's suggestions for how to make the game better. I do listen. If it's an idea that I think will work, I impliment it. Almost never the way the person gave it to me, but that's because what they might think "man, this is great" when placed in the context of the game, it just doesn't quite work. The balance here is very important and pretty much every single idea that has ever been proposed - thus far - hasn't had that "right balance" to me that drives things forward, keeps things fun, and most importantly keeps things as "non subjective" as I can make a concept literally riddled with the prospect of subjectivity. Most of the ideas I've gotten over the years aren't "bad", they just don't work for the contest. They might work very well for something else, but this isn't "something else", this is LJ Idol, and at the end of the day I think it's worth all of the headaches and bumps in the road, some that might seem to be mountains and valleys at the time but ulimately, like most challenges, find a way to smooth themselves out.


I think that covers pretty much everything. It's nothing I haven't said before, and it's nothing I won't say again. But if you know of something I missed (again, I didn't go into specifics, because if you don't know what I'm talking about it's a good thing, and of course "want to trade?"*g* but I think most of the things out there fall into one of those categories.) please let me know via email clauderainsrm@gmail.com or clauderains@rocketmail.com (I probably check gmail more these days) and I'll look into it and address it.

Comments

( 261 comments — Leave a comment )
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spydielives
Dec. 9th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

[wishes she had an applause icon for the umpteenth time]

[For those in the know, when should I post the "tribute" ?]

**ETA: DAYUM - First comment too?? Must be a slow news day**

Edited at 2007-12-09 04:28 pm (UTC)
twystedpixie
Dec. 9th, 2007 05:56 pm (UTC)
...or everyone's just hungover. *looks down at floor and mumbles something about "...damn wine..."*
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clauderainsrm
Dec. 9th, 2007 04:35 pm (UTC)
People bring whatever they want to bring into the game.

I don't know who said, it since I didn't see the comment I just heard about it, but it's my favorite comment on the subject, (so if no one said it they should have!*g*) was that if they knew there was going to be a tribe switch they would have come up with a stronger entry. They wrote an entry strong enough, they felt, to stay in the running in their tribe.

(1) I warned people ahead of time that there was a major tribal shift coming
and
(2) That is what I do. You get cocky enough to assume you know how this game is going to go... and that could be a fatal mistake for your chances. The goal is to keep people reaching for that next higher bar, not to be sitting pretty and riding out the game until they make a move toward the end. After all, where's the fun in that?
That safe zone you think you are in usually ends up to be located right above a trap door!!!*g*
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True colors - spydielives - Dec. 9th, 2007 11:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
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lttledvl
Dec. 9th, 2007 04:36 pm (UTC)
I agree with everything you said, Gary. I tip my hat to you. As I told another ljidol contestant, I'm not here to become Ms. Popularity (personally I abhor such things) I came for the opinions. Both my own and that of other people.

There are a lot of creative writers here but for me it all comes down to one thing, the strength of their convinctions and their willingness to stand behind them. I don't care how an entry is written; it could a beautifully crafted poem or flowing prose, if it doesn't strike a cord in me, if it doesn't make me feel in some way, then it holds nothing for me than a series of pretty words.

Yes, in the end, LJIdol is one massive popularity contest. That can't be avoided. Hopefully people will come to view it not as a contest of 'who's better than who' but as a chance to better themselves and gain a more open-mind of the world around them. And that's why I'm here.
clauderainsrm
Dec. 9th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
See, I disagree wholeheartily that it is a popularity contest at the core.

There is that aspect, but it's really not any different from any other aspect of our lives in that regard. People who make themselves stand out in some way are going to get noticed. People who don't, are not. If you want to say that life comes down to a massive popularity contest in the end, well, I wouldn't say there would be much disagreement in many aspects of that argument.

Some people just have a head start in that (and thus have bigger friends lists). The tribal system helps even out that, the shifts in the system help as well, as do the special powers which tend to come out sooner or later.

"popularity" is one of those words that tend to be used by people who don't think that they are doing well, and want an excuse for why they didn't do better.

Not saying you in any way (kind of addressing the world here and just using your comment to do it.*g*), you seem to be doing rather well truth be told, but from the standpoint of someone sitting on the sidelines, they see "popularity contest" and don't tend to think it through to how people actually gain that support, just that they don't have it. It's one of those words that tend to make my brain freeze up and the beatings to start.*G*

But I think that "Hopefully people will come to view it not as a contest of 'who's better than who' but as a chance to better themselves and gain a more open-mind of the world around them. And that's why I'm here" is an EXTREMELY healthy attitude to have, especially at this stage.

People tend to get really hung up on this idea of "the cool kids" or the "in crowd" and I think it says a lot more about their own life experiences and hangups than it does the game itself especially considering that LJ doesn't tend to attract the people viewed in "Real Life" as the "popular kids". I think that's really short sighted and I hope that this season continues to prove to people that some really talented people can and will get the attention they deserve.

Will they win the game? Maybe. Maybe not. That's entirely on the shoulders of each and every voter. Will they walk away with "a win" of some sort, having gained something that they wanted to gain, some experience to point to and say "hey, that was kind of cool! I'm glad I did that!" I truly hope so.
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hopefulnebula
Dec. 9th, 2007 04:46 pm (UTC)
For what it's worth, I don't think anything can be completely fair, but changing it up every few weeks helps with that. I like your system. :)
clauderainsrm
Dec. 9th, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'm fond of it myself.*g*

Could it be better? I'm sure. If people have ideas I'd love to hear them, as long as they aren't going to be disappointed if I don't decide to use them because I don't think they are a good fit.
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toonhead
Dec. 9th, 2007 05:00 pm (UTC)
It's like I said before, I'm still amazed and quite pleased to still be in this after 5 weeks, I wasn't sure about that. I don't think what tribe you're in really matters much, at least it doesn't to me. I've always been a bit weird about my writing, but enough people told me that I was good that I decided to just put it out there and let y'all decide for yourselves wether I'm good or not. *G*
I'm in this because it's fun. This has actually helped me to write more and not just assume that what I think doesn't matter, or that my opinion on something doesn't count. Cause I know it does. So being in this has helped a lot.
puppetmaker40
Dec. 9th, 2007 05:08 pm (UTC)
Well thought out and well written. It is a game and needs to be treated as such. I don't slag people. I learned early in my career in the theater that that sort of stuff tends to come back and bite you majorly on the tuckus. But if I don't say anything it doesn't mean I didn't like what I read either. Time is an illusion to keep everything from happening at once.

So when are you going to enter under a sockpuppet Gary? hee-hee-hee
clauderainsrm
Dec. 9th, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
When you make me one!*g*

Theater slagging is in a completely different league than most levels of slagging too!! *cringes when I think of some of the divas, regardless of gender, involved in that sort of thing*
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fidgety
Dec. 9th, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC)
Deep down, I'm a nice person. I'll do anything for anybody. But when I'm angry with somebody, my ire never rests. Yes, I'm one of those types. A thing that gets me to that point is when I feel that I've been betrayed on some level, and that has happened to me more times than I'd like to recount.

I exude a type of malcontent. I am often cold, distant, and often come off as insultingly condescending to people whom I don't really know. Call it a defense mechanism, something to test the waters, or something like that. I don't like being taken advantage of, and I feel that if somebody can weather my aloofness at first, then they really want to be my friend.

Why I bring this up: There have been many LJ Idol entries which I have not liked. I'm obsessed with grammar, so if something isn't well-written, it makes me say "I don't care about the subject matter. This just plain sucks." And I could comment with that, but what would that accomplish? I've just attacked a total stranger and made them feel badly about themselves for no good reason. There's no point to it, as I'm not trying to gage a reaction. Nobody wins in that type of game. So, I choose not to comment at all.

For instance, this week I decided not to participate at all. Not only was I uncomfortable with the subject material, but I was having a horrible week. As in, awash in the throes of depression and despair and oh-I-hate-my-life and not wanting to live and all of that. It would have been so easy for me to blow off some steam by going around to all the contestants I didn't like, to all the entries with which I found a moral discrepancy, and said "Oh, hey, you're a terrible writer!" or "Hello, whorepants!" or, I don't know, something along those lines. Since I didn't trust myself to not come off as being somewhat abrasive (even when I truly wasn't trying to be), I simply withdrew from the temptation completely.

Of course, there's that whole issue that I never know how to comment to people's entries in the first place without fearing that I'm sounding completely stupid, anyway, but that's another issue entirely.

Despite my original misgivings that it's just a dumb popularity contest, I signed up for LJ Idol because I wanted to be challenged. I know I won't win, but at least I get the chance to see how well I can do with deadlines and assignments. I'm sure that's why most others are here, too. However, I cannot fathom why the hell somebody would want to cause drama. I mean...well, I can't think of any other way to put this than who cares! Is your life that shallow and devoid of meaning that you have to stir up shit on a silly LJ contest that has absolutely no bearing on reality whatsoever? Tribes were changed. Whoop-de-crap! The ice age isn't coming, the sun's not zooming in, meltdown's not expected, the wheat has not grown thin, and London is not drowning. Or, for those of you not familiar with Clash lyrics, the world isn't ending because of it. Grow up. Find a hobby. And, most importantly, shut the fuck up.

Maybe this comment is too lengthy and wholly out of line because I'm finally blowing off some of that aforementioned steam. That very well could be the case. But the point I'm trying to make (I think) is that not only is unnecessary drama entirely lame, but it only proves how boring of a person you are to perpetuate it. And I, for one, won't tolerate it. A writing forum is not the place for that kind of garbage. And if I catch you at it, prepare yourself for a verbal asskicking. Because I'm nice like that and doing it for your own good.
twystedpixie
Dec. 9th, 2007 05:30 pm (UTC)
I actually read all of that.

While I don't have your intensity of invective to spew, I do agree it's sad that there are people who would take this heretofore friendly, encouraging competition and shite all over it. I do get that not everyone will like everyone else's writing. Hell, there have been a few entries I've read and have thought, "Enh...not so much". But there's a way to go about commenting on someone's entry, their writing, with leaving your negative thoughts about them as a person at the door. A little bit of tact goes a long way...maybe people just need a nudge to be reminded of this.
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I'm a loser, too! Can I play? - anchasta - Dec. 10th, 2007 03:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
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twystedpixie
Dec. 9th, 2007 05:25 pm (UTC)
That was, quite frankly, the most well-mannered, kindest "rant" in the world, Gary. :D Please, feel free to trade places with my boyfriend when he has his panties in a twist about something I've done. :D
clauderainsrm
Dec. 9th, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC)
Heh, don't get me wrong this was a "nice rant". Anyone who knows me can you that I can threaten to beat people to death with their own body parts with the best of them!*g*
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dedamona
Dec. 9th, 2007 05:26 pm (UTC)
at this point, i'm just thrilled to still be in the game. i have only requested votes from my f-list once or twice. they're busy people and i made the decision that other than on close weeks, i would stand on my own laurels. i don't pimp myself out or my entry. i don't make a lot of noise. i'm one of those people that prefers to have people make their own choices without my influence in the matter. thus why i'm half amazed that i'm still around.

of course, the fact that, due to family issues, i had to take byes two weeks in a row....yeah, that one may be part of why i'm still around. i don't know.

i'm in this contest because i love to write. i don't do it for winning. i don't do it for votes. i do it because i just want to write and it's nice to be in broader forum where it can be shared with others. if i get past another round, great, but if i don't, that's ok too. for me, it's not about winning a contest. it's about expressing myself and having the pleasure of other people being interested enough to read. i don't care what tribe i'm in or why. i just want to write.

it's a writing contest. those who are all up in arms over a voting process aren't understanding what this whole contest is about. it's not about the size of your f-list or how much attention you get via commenting in the green room. it's about writing, pure and simple. for me, the whole issue is nothing more than the tempest in the tea pot.
twystedpixie
Dec. 9th, 2007 05:32 pm (UTC)
I admit I was a bit thrown about being placed in Tribe 1 at first, but I think that was more a guilty feeling on my part for already having taken my two byes. But after, oh, an entire five minutes, I realized what the tribe switcheroo was all about, and thought, "Hey, that's a kind of cool idea. I wonder how this will affect things? Wheeeee!"
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puppybraille
Dec. 9th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
I like your comparison to the publishing world, it's very true. And from my experience, word of mouth is the best way to go, but as I've only sold a few (more than 50 less than 100), I am not sure how much that experience is worth :)

I tend to see this as a way to push me to write more about other things I wouldn't write about (this week's topic is something I wouldn't have written about, for example). You do your best and have fun.
kindapoetry
Dec. 9th, 2007 05:34 pm (UTC)
is it a good thing or a bad thing that i have absolutely no idea what you are on about? so confused...
twystedpixie
Dec. 9th, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
I have only the foggiest, but I'm sure most people could figure it out. :)
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welfy
Dec. 9th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
I don't think it is a "popularity" contest so much. I had no friends in the community last season and I didn't do so hot during the "community-only" votes. I felt like people hated me and I worried that people within the community refused to vote for me because "oh, she has a big friends list, she doesn't need my help." I even had one friend of mine refuse to vote for me because he wanted me to "be knocked down a notch" (whaaaat?) and another person in the LJ Idol green room pretty much praised all the contestants but me (I know this because when it got down to like, the top five, the person mentioned everyone by name but me...really irked me!). So it was tough for me, and I'm sure it's been tough for other people too, ESPECIALLY those with the "stigma" of having a big list. (At least within the community) It's really difficult to have a totally fair voting audience.

I WAS blessed with a big friends list who not only liked my writing but they supported me in the contest. And, eventually, people in the community seemed to like me, too, but I had to work hard to write well enough to deserve it. The weeks I wrote mediocre posts, I didn't even ask my friends to vote for me. I'm just glad for the opportunities I had to write about challenging things and to make good friends.

P.S. I'm sad to see that naamaire has deleted his journal. :^( I've been voting for him every week and I hate that he's gone.
twystedpixie
Dec. 9th, 2007 06:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah...I've noticed a few people were wondering about him. It's a shame.
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porcelain72
Dec. 9th, 2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
And that's why I tend to stay out of stuff like this. None of it has a damn thing to do with writing, and everything to do with people who aren't happy unless they're feeling mistreated or persecuted.

I've discussed things that I felt were not kosher about Idol directly with other contestants. I can't imagine creating that sort of dissent in a more public fashion, it's ridiculous.
tulip_in_yellow
Dec. 9th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
Bitch!

*pulls your hair*

Ok ok, I'll stop. But man, the idea staging a whole cat fight between you and me made me laugh so hard I almost tinkled in my pants.
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ewok_626
Dec. 9th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
I think all of the "unknowns" are the best part of this competition. They keep us on our toes!

If people feel the need to have such a conniption, I think they need to step back and remember that this is just a game.

BTW Gary: you can breathe now. Rant much? *g*
mme_furiosa
Dec. 9th, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
Just shut up and write.
Dayamn, people. Looks like I missed some um, juicy thread action this morning.

I am making my official statement here:

Yes, grammar matters. Yes, 'popularity' matters (in the sense that, it is a social game, too.) But for crying out loud, what are you here for?

So far, this has proven a safe and wonderful place to share, make new friends, and most of all, to WRITE. I like the perks, but really at the heart of the thing, this is a place for people who share a common love for the written word, for expression, and for sharing these things with a community.

I think that's pretty special. I'm tickled every week that I get to stay onboard. This is a great experience.

Any bad apples or sour-grapes folks need to reevaluate what this thing is about. There are plenty of places you can go online to flame-war your silly little opinions into oblivion. I hate for this to be about that.

So let's all play nice, bake each other cookies, hold hands and wait expectantly for the next round, okay?
superhappytime
Dec. 9th, 2007 11:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Just shut up and write.
wait? grammar matters?
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