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Green Room - Week 25 - Day 5

http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/938897.html is where the action is at.

But for those who missed it, there was a bit of action in yesterday's Green Room. Well, less action and more "action". (and not the kind Brock's Dad lamented either!)

I threw it out there "Are people really interested in a 10th anniversary celebration?" I got some comments in the GR itself and some via email.

But one of the themes that ended up coming up was very much the "Old School" vs "New School" ideas concerning Idol.

So I'm throwing it out there:

What are YOU getting out of LJ Idol?

Do you think there is a generational gap (be it actual age or time period involved) concerning how you see LJ Idol? (and should that play out ala Survivor: Gen X vs Millennials? :D)

Do the kids need to get off your lawn or do the old folks need to get out of the way? Or is there a happy medium where everyone can be happy? (Or, all equally miserable in a way that makes *me* happy - which is the most important thing!)

Comments

( 73 comments — Leave a comment )
eternal_ot
Jun. 8th, 2016 02:12 pm (UTC)
Frist? Hopefully till I type and post it across..

So..First thing first..I like celebrations..so I am definitely looking forward to how Idol would be celebrating it's 10th anniversary

I am curious to know :

- Would the winners of previous season drop in?
- Will there be, 'Hey long time where have you been?'
- What exactly is Gary planning..:P

Secondly, I am also looking forward to Season 10..Coz all the discussions in GR has made me decide to try my hand at Creative(?) Non-fiction. And I have never tried that and I guess Idol would be the Best Place to get feedback.

What are YOU getting out of LJ Idol?
A feeling of accomplishment which means a world to me. I am always grateful for the feedback that I get here and the patience people have and show when it comes to newbies and mistakes they do..:)
There is a vast improvement in the way I used to write and now; and that also, is a result of Amazing reads that have inspired me consciously and subconsciously.
I would want Idol to stay for a few more years..till I am confident enough to call myself a writer.(Selfish reasons..yeah..:P )

I guess I am too new/fresh (just a season and 1/2 old) to answer the last two qts so will skip those.

Waiting for some cookies to be passed on, for this is the longest thing I have written in last few days..:D

clauderainsrm
Jun. 8th, 2016 03:17 pm (UTC)
"- Would the winners of previous season drop in? "

I'd personally invite them. Some would. Some probably can't for RL reasons.
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lrig_rorrim
Jun. 8th, 2016 02:57 pm (UTC)
I totally intended to comment yesterday, but well, lurking is my default and I ended up doing a lot more of that than I thought I would. Interesting conversation! Be assured many other people were (silently, creepily?) reading along and thinking thinky thoughts about it all. :)

What are YOU getting out of LJ Idol?

Oh man, so much! First and foremost, LJI helps / helped me finish things. Any things. Lots of things. So. Many. Things. Before I signed up for season eight's second chance, I hadn't finished an actual short story in years. Actual literal years. I signed up on a whim, uncomfortable with the social aspects but still wanting to play, and created this account solely for that purpose. And gosh, did I ever finish things.

Secondly, it's helped me learn so much about my own writing process - about why I wasn't finishing things before, about what my weaknesses are, what my strengths are, what I like and don't like, what I don't enjoy but am ok at anyway, how I work and how I don't and how I can kick my own butt (instead of having Gary kick it for me) to get stuff done.

Something else incredibly valuable I've gotten out of LJI are connections - I've made so many friends, been part of multiple writing projects, given feedback and collaborated with loads of people. I didn't think I'd make friends. Like I said, I came here all quiet and shy and thinking I'd be voted out in the first week and knowing nobody anyway and BAM connections happened. Lasting ones. I've met lots of people from LJI in the so-called real world. I will meet more! (I know this, because I have specific plans to do so). I love this community and all the connections it fosters. It's awesome.

So, let's see - we've got Introspection (which was gonna happen no matter what, because I am an inveterate navel gazer), a boat load of finished stuff, Motivation, Connections... there's more. There's always more.

LJI is also the place where I come to test myself. When I find myself saying "I suck at X", I know I can come here when there's something happening, and try X, to either get better at it and vanquish that small nasty voice inside me, or to really learn why it is that X isn't my thing. I've done this with creative non-fiction and personal essays (mythingperson) and with ridiculous humor (hipsterthulhu). Both were things I did not believe I could do at all, much less do well. And I did well with them. So, more confidence there - it's a safe environment. Encouraging, but public. Critical (the polls certainly provide that even if public feedback often doesn't) but supportive. Externally validating (ahhh those comments) but still inclined to move people to do their very best under extreme time pressure.

So... that's a small sampling of what I get out of this thing you've built. I'll answer other questions in another crazy-long comment. ;)


Edited at 2016-06-08 03:13 pm (UTC)
prog_schlock
Jun. 9th, 2016 07:58 pm (UTC)
First and foremost, LJI helps / helped me finish things.

I want to second this. I don't finish nearly as much as I'd like to. Being involved in idol with its strict deadlines forces me to actually spend time writing/editing/thinking about writing and I appreciate that so much.
lrig_rorrim
Jun. 8th, 2016 03:09 pm (UTC)
"Do you think there is a generational gap (be it actual age or time period involved) concerning how you see LJ Idol? "

Yeah, kinda. I think, based on some of the comments I've seen and what little I knew of LJI before I signed up, that the old-school LJI was a lot more game focused, and maybe personality focused than it is now - it was really crowning The Idol of Livejournal. That's my impression of Ye Olden Days of LJ Idol (whether or not it's an accurate impression is another question). I feel like the modern LJI is a lot more focused on the writing than the people - yes, you see the people in the writing, and the writing shows off the people, but I feel more like we're looking at a body of work, rather than a Person On Display, if that makes sense. And I'm ok with that. I signed up because I enjoyed beldar's fiction and essays. I wouldn't have joined if I thought it was all just supposed to be Here Is Me On The Screen And Here Is My Life.

"Do the kids need to get off your lawn or do the old folks need to get out of the way? Or is there a happy medium where everyone can be happy? (Or, all equally miserable in a way that makes *me* happy - which is the most important thing!)"

I obviously rather enjoy LJI - I've gotten real life friends involved, co-won a mini-season, and made a lot of lasting friendships and gotten some great writing done. That doesn't mean I'm not open to seeing you change things up, or shift things back to how they were. You do what you want to with this crazy thing. If I'm not playing, I'll at least be lurking around reading. Every iteration of this beast brings in new and different people, more perspectives, more ways of doing things. It's fascinating.

I think the real question here, though, is how can you continue game-ifying writing to keep it interesting for both the writers and the readers. Too much game, and perhaps the writers nope out, because it's getting in the way of what they want to do (as with that 'relatively tame twist' which caused a bunch of people to threaten to quit the game). Too little, and the writers drift away because isn't high stakes or pressure enough, and the audience is bored. There's a balance between Audience and Participants, and finding the happiest medium to keep it interesting and engaging across the board is tricky. I don't know the answer to that one. I am a reader here partially because I have been a writer here. If you want more Audience tuning in each week - and participating in GRs and commenting and voting and so on and so forth, you will probably have to reach out beyond the writers who are playing, and figure out what people might want to see more of. Giving the Audience chances to 'mess with' the Players (within certain bounds and scopes, of course) is probably the best course of action to keep 'em engaged. Giving the Players enough stake and control to feel like the game isn't entirely capricious is also a thing. I don't envy you for walking that tightrope.
clauderainsrm
Jun. 9th, 2016 12:43 am (UTC)
You make a lot of good points here about the nature of the "stage" and how the focus has changed. I really like the "Person on Display" language.

Keeping - and growing - the audience is definitely a huge thing, and something that I am looking into. The poll numbers week to week definitely show people are still checking out what is going on - and it's always good to see some old friendly faces in there.

But yeah, there is definitely a line - and that line is constantly shifting and changes group to group about just how hard you can push in any given direction. (Which of course means that I'm called out for not being as tough/mean as I used to be... :D)
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swirlsofblue
Jun. 8th, 2016 03:23 pm (UTC)
I'm definitely very interested in a 10th anniversary celebration! I'd be happy to write a couple entries or discuss favourite entries of yester year etc. But I suppose it all depends what it's going to be.

It's interesting because at what point does new become old? I've been here one main season and one mini-season so I definitely wouldn't consider myself a newbie. But also having seen all the discussion and all the stuff and people who have come before, I don't think I would consider myself a veteran either.

I don't know enough about the ways of old to comment on them. I can only say I've really enjoyed the seasons I've been in. (The mini-season less so, but that was more real life stuff and motivation stuff on my part than the actual stuffs the season was made of.

The first thing LJ Idol made me realise was that I was capable of writing original fiction. And the second was that I was capable of writing it well. The third was that I was capable of doing this within enough of a schedule that I may be able to consider actually doing it for a living. It's made me realise that writing and being a writer isn't just a fantasy of mine but something I can actually aim for. It has also allowed me to work on and explore writing styles etc.

Also the community has been wonderful, especially all the writerly discussion. I do look forward to reading the green rooms even if I tend not to say things unless I can think of something I want to say.
kathrynrose
Jun. 8th, 2016 04:54 pm (UTC)
It's interesting because at what point does new become old? I've been here one main season and one mini-season so I definitely wouldn't consider myself a newbie. But also having seen all the discussion and all the stuff and people who have come before, I don't think I would consider myself a veteran either.

You are a veteran. You're not an "old-timer." :)

I've been thinking about this since last night, and we've talked about it before, as it's one of those subjects that cycle.

The "old Idol" (we're probably talking Seasons 1-5, or maybe 6. I didn't do 6 or 7) primarily focused on "journal writing." It's what the description in the community profile said. We were a group of journalers, which is a subgroup of writers - but on the social scale of writers, mostly on the "outgoing and sociable" end.

By season 8, the shift to fiction had set in, and people were referring to Idol as a "writing" competition. I remember long back-and-forth GR conversations comparing Idol to other writing communities (re concrit in particular), and many many times making the point that it's a "journal writing competition."

I never really "won" any of those arguments conversations, and some time after that the wording in the profile changed.

"Writers" in the larger group sense are introverts. People talk about it being nice to have a smaller team group to get support from. People talk about being intimidated or uncomfortable saying things in the Green Room.

Last night Gary brought up the issue not in the main GR post, but in comments. Kiz and I jumped in, because we track the GR. Because the GR used to be a place where conversations went on for days and there were multiple pages of comments. You'd be talking in three GRs at once, and the only way to keep up was to track comments.

I wonder if newer veterans even track the GRs. I wonder how many people even saw the question.

I wonder what our percentage of lurker to participant is in here.

And LURKERS - if you're out there - any chance you'd just reply with a "wave" or a "I'm here" so we know?

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orockthro
Jun. 8th, 2016 03:29 pm (UTC)
I won't speak to the generational gap(s). I'm so new to idol that what I see probably isn't the whole picture.

I WILL speak, though, to what I got/am getting out of idol! :)

I joined because lrig_rorrim said, "Hey do you want to do this cool thing?" and bribed me. ;P It was a good decision. I'd never heard of LJ Idol before, and hadn't been on LJ in a long time, having moved off in one of the (many) diasporas (although I'd revived my account a year or two before because this is where all the old school Man from Uncle (1960s TV show) fans hang out. So I hadn't lost my password.)

Things I've done since starting LJ Idol:
1) WRITING. WRITING A LOT OF THINGS. Things that are finished and self contained stories (or, at least, the raw clay of what can become a better self contained story)
2) Writing with PEOPLE. Team Avocado was the basis for me joining idol, and it continued to be the basis of me staying in. I'm too quiet most of the time - idol is great, but it's a LOT of people - so having a smaller group to interface with was... really nice. :) Not to mention the benefit of having solid beta readers I trusted, brainstorming sessions that were invaluable, and moral support which literally stopped me from quitting.
3) Writing on a deadline. I'm a person, like many of us here I'm sure, who does better with firm deadlines. The "I'll finish it... tomorrow..." disease is seriously rampant in my brain. Idol has helped me cut that off at the knees. What's that famous phrase? Perfect is the enemy of done? TRUER WORDS.
4) Being forced to try new things (because of said deadline. :P) I didn't expect to write NonFic. But I did. I also didn't expect to write about 50% of what ended up posted. But I did. :)
5) Learning about myself. Let's just say I identified some unexpected themes in the body of work that I've shared........ XD

lrig_rorrim
Jun. 8th, 2016 03:47 pm (UTC)
Whoa, I bribed you? Was it with an avocado or something else? I don't even remember that part. (Though I'm not surprised. I'm totally down for a little bribery to get people hooked on this thing. *grins*)
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lrig_rorrim
Jun. 8th, 2016 03:53 pm (UTC)
And of course I'm interested in a 10th anniversary celebration! I don't know what you have in mind, but I'm happy to participate in some way, shape, or form, so long as I have the time and internet connection to do so. The time is the harder resource to come by. This summer is kinda hectic.
gratefuladdict
Jun. 8th, 2016 05:00 pm (UTC)
I think it's really tough to get a crowd engaged toward the end of a season. You probably have some people who are ready to jump back in and participate, but so many people get busy or burnt out and drift away for awhile after participating for a few months. Many of us come back when we've had a bit of time to MISS Idol.

And it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, of course. It's easy not to participate when we suspect OTHER PEOPLE won't participate, and then people might be here but nobody's talking, unless you figure out how to poke the bear. (And poking the bear is definitely more effective in the original GR post or a very early comment than it is when commented later in the day).

If I ruled the Idol world, I would consider making the seasons much shorter. In my ideal world, a regular full season would be about 6 months, and a mini season would be closer to 3. I think people who have dropped or been eliminated would be more likely to stay engaged if the end was in sight at the point they got eliminated.

That said, I can see many arguments for giving it more time - giving newbies a chance to find their rhythm, eliminating people more slowly so that each person who goes has a chance to be read, and recognized, and make connections with the community. Cutting 10 people per week, or whatever it would take to meet those timelines, might go against the efforts to build community.

That said, you might retain more people as readers and voters if the season didn't stretch as long.

More thoughts in a bit!!
kathrynrose
Jun. 8th, 2016 05:30 pm (UTC)
I think it's really tough to get a crowd engaged toward the end of a season.

Yes. And it's hard to stay active from the sidelines. And you've got a great point about the length of the season, because it means people have to be invested enough to be active on the sidelines for a really long time.

And with no "this is what I did today," or "pass the bacon. Mmmm bacon," conversations going on, all people have to chime in on is the occasional topic of interest that pops up. And if it pops up late in the day and no one is tracking...

And, some of the comment-stirring things recently have shut me down. There were a couple of days this mini season when I didn't track the GR, because the conversation had gone into politics, and there is no benefit whatsoever in me having a political conversation in a group setting. There lies head-splodeyness and blood pressure.

We don't know what's going on in each other's worlds anymore. I mean, not that it's earth-shattering, but I used to know a bunch of people's pet's names. I remember long stories about the bathroom flooding in Bax and Farmgirl's office, and people moving furniture without telling them, and hijinx of making cookies. And there were people who talked about their kids, or knitting projects, and general stuff you talk about with people because they know you because they've read your journal.
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oxymoron67
Jun. 8th, 2016 06:05 pm (UTC)
I would love a Tenth Anniversary Celebration.

What do I get out of Idol?

1) Writing practice. It puts me on a schedule and makes me organize my thoughts, which is a good thing.

2) Dealing with the prompts. They've forced me to think, which is never a bad thing.

3) Feedback, both giving it and getting it. It's nice to connect with other people.
anyonesghost
Jun. 8th, 2016 09:16 pm (UTC)
Having the opportunity to write in front of a live studio audience is pretty fun. Especially when they're laughing with you, instead of at you. :-) Getting kicked like a dirty hippy seems a small price to pay.

I'm sure there's a gap. There's always a gap. I was a fringe case, so it's not so much "on the lawn" as I was riding a bike past the lawn and stopped to exchange a volley of nerf arrows. It escalated quickly. ("I killed a guy with a spear!") But Idol was never a drum-circle sort of family, so there are always sides. Artificial or natural.
adoptedwriter
Jun. 8th, 2016 10:53 pm (UTC)
I personally don't have a generation gap issue. I love learning and connecting we ppl from all over the country and world. I learn so much from the material I read during Idol, writing-wise and general info-wise. I learned what " coprolite" is for example and " shibusa". 😄. Bottom line: I love LJ Idol. It makes my life richer.

AW
clauderainsrm
Jun. 8th, 2016 11:26 pm (UTC)
Every season is a reaction to the one before, as far as structure goes.

When I sit down and think about how to respond to this mini-season (and Season 9) I wonder what is going to pop up as "this needs to be tweaked".

I have some ideas, but I wonder what you think it will be.
furzicle
Jun. 9th, 2016 12:42 am (UTC)
What I love about Livejournal Idol: writing. Writing and making it good. Tweaking it and editing it until it is juuuuuuust right.
What I don't like about LJI: the silly games, the overabundance of things to read making it impossible to actually read them all. The very real possibility that you can write great things for months but then one less-perfect entry knocks you out.
What I also appreciate: meeting some great people.

Solutions:
Cumulative positive voting (your average score over several entries.)
Smaller groups so that contestants can really get to know each other and read each member's work.

Would I come back? Yes, I would hope so. Though I would really hope some of these aforementioned problems would be fixed.
gratefuladdict
Jun. 9th, 2016 04:26 pm (UTC)
I love the idea of cumulative voting!!
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xo_kizzy_xo
Jun. 9th, 2016 07:10 am (UTC)
thinky thoughts at 3AM
(Hi, wasn't able to respond yesterday due to being nowhere near my laptop. ANYWAY.)

Shorter seasons may not be a bad idea. I know "regular" Idol (as opposed to a mini season) has always been a marathon, but I wonder nowadays, because there are so many things capturing everyone's attention, maybe a shorter regular season should be considered. Say, X months rather than most of a year? This current mini season, for example, seems almost like a regular season length wise (when we did we start this? LOL, I don't remember!) Mini seasons could be maybe 2-3 months at the most? And yes, definitely have good gaps to "recharge the engine", so to speak.

kathrynrose
Jun. 9th, 2016 11:42 am (UTC)
Re: thinky thoughts at 3AM
(when we did we start this? LOL, I don't remember!)

November.
prog_schlock
Jun. 9th, 2016 08:08 pm (UTC)
When I play LJI, I want to read everything. Its funny, I think of it more as a reading contest than a writing contest - as in "I spend much more time reading most weeks than I spent writing." When I read, I always want to comment (but don't always comment, to my sorrow, because sometimes there's just not enough time). So, the thing I get out of Idol more than anything else is exposure to all of these great (largely unpublished) writers were different world views, writing styles, etc.

I wonder how much the changes in LJI are just symptoms of gradual loss of interest in LJ. Like if LJ has developed a decent app (the current LJ app is still pretty junk), I wonder if more people would participate? Or is writing long form work on phones and tablets just so lame that the hardware actually discourages the sort of work we create here? I know I don't write anything of any substance on my new-fangled devices. Its like modern tech discourages writing with breadth and depth.
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