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Green Room - Week 4 - Day 3

This week's topic is due tomorrow! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/878746.html

So please keep that in mind.


Speaking of "keeping that in mind" last night I *finally* connected two upcoming anniversaries. I knew about both of them, but for some reason never stopped and put them together before.

This spring is (of course, because I keep mentioning it) the 10th anniversary of LJ Idol.

This spring is also the 5th anniversary of Gary and Cynthia.

Which means that she has been around for *half of the duration of Idol*. Which just seems weird to me. Probably because those times in my life pre-Cynthia are just so intense and the times after have been a completely different (and calmer) world.

This also means that the era of "Gary getting soft" and "too nice" has been for almost half of the duration of Idol! That's weird for me to think about.

Granted, I didn't move in with her for a couple years into our relationship - but that almost immediately started having an impact on how things were run and how I looked at the competition itself.


Speaking of the "competition itself" and speaking of "speaking of"... I put a note for myself in yesterday's Green Room to remember "Open vs closed" in terms of "LJ Idol History".

I'm not sure how far into it I was planning on going - but "open vs closed" was a fundamental argument that happened in the early days of Idol.

There were quite a few people who argued for having a closed community - where entries would be posted in the community itself and you wouldn't be able to see anything unless you were a member. Heck, there were definitely some voices who wanted membership that would need to approved before you could join.

I wanted it open. For a number of reasons:

- Having an open space *does* make you more vulnerable to trolls and fake accounts and everything else. That was true. But it also makes it easier for people to find you and see what's going on. I believed, and I still believe that if people see what we are doing here at Idol that they are going to be interested enough to stick around, and maybe sign up.

- Almost a decade later, I still remember a post a friend of mine made ripping into in a really nasty way all the people who were "clogging her feed" with Idol posts. She was *angry* and kept insisting how she didn't want to read any of that... which was one of the light bulb moments for me of wondering just what made people decide that they had any sort of moral authority over what *someone else* could post in their own LJ. Keeping in mind that a lot of early Idol was non-fiction, where people were literally talking about their own lives, this is struck me as strange.

I wanted entries to be posted in the writer's LJ not only because it's great exposure for Idol (which, of course it is) but also because it's your material. I don't want there to be any doubt on who owns it because of where it's "being published on the web". It's yours. That's part of the whole Idol philosophy - I give you topics, and a set time to write something - but you are the ones who go out and make something with them. I wanted that clear.

There's more to it, but I should put this out there before it gets too late (aka I need to get to work! :D)


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2016 02:44 pm (UTC)
Frist??? Yippie...:D
Jan. 7th, 2016 05:34 pm (UTC)
You're dead to me! HOORAY!!! (for cookies, that is.)
Jan. 7th, 2016 07:31 pm (UTC)
Hooray for dead cookies!
Jan. 8th, 2016 04:26 am (UTC)

I don't know if I should... but * feeling privileged*..:p

And this always reminds me of you...:D

Jan. 7th, 2016 02:54 pm (UTC)
I believe I FIRST(?) heard/read of this project/community/competition because it was open and I happened to stumble across it.
Jan. 7th, 2016 02:55 pm (UTC)
oh, well, second then
Jan. 7th, 2016 02:58 pm (UTC)
*Ditto* Shares the first, some coffee and cookies..:)
Jan. 7th, 2016 03:07 pm (UTC)
mmmmm here try one of these shortbread cookies we got for holy daze... a dash of honey, no sugar, in the mix -- but real butter
*pours some fresh-coffeeeeeee oh yeah*
Jan. 7th, 2016 05:03 pm (UTC)

Ah! *takes a bite* thanks :) Cheers!!

Jan. 7th, 2016 03:35 pm (UTC)
I'd say that was probably true of a lot of people - and the ones who had heard of it somewhere else, it was because a friend was playing, and they saw it happening in their LJ.
Jan. 7th, 2016 02:54 pm (UTC)
Well ,nowadays it's fun peeping into the green room coz there lot of interesting discussions going on and especially since you all are "looking back" and sharing some very interesting stuff.
It's nice to know Idol has come such a long way..and Congrats for both the occasions which are due, Gary..:) That's sure something to be proud of!
And I am glad Idol has been Open to all (that's how I chanced upon it) and there were no approval needed to join in (I wonder if I would have ever passed that test)
And now that one thing from my bucket list of idol is done..let me figure out my entry this week..have a productive day! *keeps the coffee pot for brewing..help yourself*
Jan. 7th, 2016 03:38 pm (UTC)

There were definitely calls early on for limiting membership and "not wanting it to get too big". That was around when it was 25 people that folks started worrying.

My feeling was that it would naturally hit a limit and that number would ebb and flow as new people came in and some older ones wandered off. Which is pretty much what has happened over the years.
Jan. 7th, 2016 05:12 pm (UTC)

That was some good thinking. What I find amazing about Idol and you as well is that its quite well managed with very few loop holes.
     You always make sure that things remain interesting with all the twists and turns. That is what makes idol more exciting for me than any other writing assignment/ course.

Jan. 7th, 2016 05:39 pm (UTC)
I really appreciate hearing that.

During our tenure, there have been a couple "splinter groups" (let's call them that because I'm feeling nice today) who have gotten pissed off because they didn't do as well in Idol as they thought they should, so they took my ball and went home to set up their own versions. (Vowing to "destroy Idol!", because what they were doing was so much better.)

One of them lasted just over a season (and was a disaster). The other is apparently "on hiatus" now, but I haven't seen it attract more than 5 people in a couple years.

Both started out being closed communities. The one who survived abandoned that idea pretty quickly. Because it doesn't work.

Both restricted voting. The one who "survived"? Abandoned that.

Both of them were also being run by committees. *shakes head* And allowed the people running it to actually compete in the competition. *double shakes head*

These things work best - IMO - with one person to keep everything close. The more people who know who votes for what, and try to handle internal conflicts the more problems. Heck, I had people trying to turn me against my assistants! (back when I had them to do updates when I wasn't around, and to keep an eye on GRs to keep too many fights from breaking out). The only reason I knew that I could ignore those accusations is that I never gave my assistants any insider information other than what they needed to complete a task! :)

(or tried not to - I still think that may have been how an alias leaked in an early season... but that's neither here nor there)

That way anything that does happen - good or bad, is on me!

Honestly, the problems that *I* see with Idol that could be fixed with another person are on the technical side. (I need someone good with graphics and CSS) and maybe someone on the social media side of getting the word out. (the problem being finding someone good with that sort of thing, but who is willing to have me completely micromanage the message they are sending out.:D)

Jan. 7th, 2016 06:13 pm (UTC)
And allowed the people running it to actually compete in the competition. *double shakes head*

That seems to hugely increase the potential for bias and unfairness (even if it's just skewing prompts to something they want to write), and wasn't "It's unfair that I didn't do better!" one of the initial complaints there?

You do an amazing job of keeping this organized and keeping it interesting, and while I've had a quibble or two from time to time (mainly, just one case, I think), do I imagine that anyone else would do it better or so passionately or even just keep the Green Room and other official posts this entertaining?

Heck no.

I guess the people who splintered off probably thought that it would be easier to do this than it was. And then they met reality...

Kind of like the dude who is on your tail when biking, and thinks, "This person's going way too slow, I'm going to pass her." And then, when they're out of the draft space and taking the brunt of the wind themselves... "Crap, this is work."

Jan. 7th, 2016 06:37 pm (UTC)
That's pretty much it.

Both of those groups ended up having 3-6 people "in charge" and still couldn't manage to pull things together! Because I designed the genre, so it's geared to my brain. ;)

"and while I've had a quibble or two from time to time "

If it's only one or two, that's good. Maybe you weren't paying attention! ;)

Seriously though, thanks. I'm sure I've messed up quite a few times. Honestly, I don't think I have on the *rules* side of things too often. But probably on the execution of some of them - and there are definitely people who have disagreed with things... most of the time I've found that I eventually find out that they were having a bad time with something else in their lives and it was easier to go off on Idol.

(hell, some of times when I have messed up can be traced back to *me* having a bad day... we're human. Well, I am. You are all foreign hippies, which are less than human!)

Edited at 2016-01-07 07:12 pm (UTC)
Jan. 7th, 2016 09:06 pm (UTC)
I agree! AW
Jan. 7th, 2016 06:15 pm (UTC)
Is 10th Idol anniversary actually the same thing as 10 years, though? I haven't been around Idol long enough to know how the early seasons went. Season 8 was like, 10 months or something, and then some mini-seasons happened over the year or so before Season 9 started. So, the calendar time was longer!
Jan. 7th, 2016 06:28 pm (UTC)
Yeah, when I say "10th anniversary" I'm talking 10 calendar years. As in we started in 2006.
Jan. 7th, 2016 06:29 pm (UTC)
Kudos and props and all the good cheering for you, Gary! Idol has just got to be an insane amount of work. I have an inkling to how much and I truly sing your praises. Ten seasons is HUGE and surely that translates into more than ten years?! It's difficult to keep so many things fresh and it appears you've managed that feat. I think this is partially because Idol is open.

And sure, there are factions, but you remain as the benevolent benefactor and seem to me to be pretty drama-free. That carries so much weight in regards to maintaining an even keel and steady pace.

So....YOU, sir, are Idol.
Jan. 7th, 2016 06:39 pm (UTC)
It's the 10th anniversary approaching this spring- as in 10 calendar years.

Feels like 20 some days.;)

Jan. 7th, 2016 07:20 pm (UTC)
Oh dear lord. Is everyone gonna take a bye this week or are you all procrastinators like me?

It took forever to get down. Closer to the deadline than I'd like... even as someone who clearly works better with deadlines. But I just posted after 11 am and the last time I would be able to post would have been noon.

Also, I posted after 11am on deadline day and was ONLY THE EIGHTH person to do so. ***MEEP**
Jan. 7th, 2016 07:23 pm (UTC)
The deadline is tomorrow.:)

But yeah, I hope we don't have another mass bye session.
Jan. 7th, 2016 07:31 pm (UTC)
Jan. 7th, 2016 07:35 pm (UTC)
Ok I managed to get an old school type thoughts blog post out. I want to see more poetry now!!! :-P
Jan. 7th, 2016 09:00 pm (UTC)
Because I saw a few friends' posts for LJ Idol, I decided to join in the fun! I am here because I did see it in my newsfeed. (I stay because y'all are fab!)

Jan. 7th, 2016 09:44 pm (UTC)
I had several friends doing LJ Idol, at least two of whom kept needling me to throw my hat in the ring.

I hate to admit it, but I think I finally signed up the first time after a long, late night, drunken chat. Because everything seems like a good idea after that fourth glass of Chardonnay.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )


LJ Idol
LJ Idol: a writing rollercoaster with iffy brakes


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