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20 March 2011 @ 04:18 pm
Future for lgbtfest  
In the previous modly post, knittinggoddess left the following comment:
I understand!
In that case, if anyone has interest in co-moderating a new comm, leave a comment to this one.
In the interest of having a "clean" entry with comments only about this subject, I thought I'd made a separate post for it.

I'm definitely interested and even thought of a new name. What about "lgbtfestforward"?

So ... who would like to get together to talk about how a new community could operate without putting a huge burden on its mods.

I'm definitely in.
Let's talk about it.
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a DJ who lived in seclusionknittinggoddess on March 20th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
Hey, good idea.
So, where_no_woman has a pretty in-depth tagging system, and clear rules about what is and what is not allowed in comments or posts. Posting and membership are moderated, in a large part to avoid spam.

Most of the time there are just individuals posting fic and links to fic. Every few months they'll have a post devoted to open prompts that anyone can grab and fill at their leisure. If they do have deadlines, nobody's tracking down the procrastinators or making a big deal over empty fills. There are also sporadic mod posts on a theme, like the recent International Women's Day post, with short fills in the comments. In a recent mod post reaffirming goals of the comm, a mod said that she had to delete only a few off-topic fic.

I'm a little worried that a comm focused on lgbtq themes would attract more trolls than where_no_woman does. Any ideas about that besides moderating membership/posts and disabling anonymous commenting?
sock_de_puppet on March 20th, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
I'm a little worried that a comm focused on lgbtq themes would attract more trolls than where_no_woman does. Any ideas about that besides moderating membership/posts and disabling anonymous commenting?

Honestly, that sounds terrible.

Part of the reason why I loved lgbtfest so much is the aspect of community that it fostered. (Which is why I'm so sad to see it shut down so abruptly) Having moderated membership and worse, moderated posting, absolutely destroys that sense of community.

Any effort to go forward should be modeled after *this* community, not another one.

I'll also be honest and say that I like the fest aspect of this community. That's what I want to see going forward, not just a community where people can randomly post whatever they want to write.

Yeah, yeah, it's hard, and it takes up time. That's why you pick up several mods and do it as a group, not taking it on as a solitary measure. Having a community where we just post stories that we write kind of defeats the purpose. I can do that any time of the year.
a DJ who lived in seclusionknittinggoddess on March 20th, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC)
Having moderated membership and worse, moderated posting, absolutely destroys that sense of community.
That's funny, I distinctly remember very regulated posting of entries. I thought only people who had fills to post were allowed posting access, and only during a short span of time to boot. But I never posted a fic, so maybe my memory is flawed.

The fest aspect is definitely quite inspiring. Do you have any ideas about how to make the fest happen in a less regulated manner? I'd be happy to move forward with either a loose format or one like the original lgbtfest, I just think aspects of other communities could be incorporated to great effect.
smirnoffmule on March 20th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC)
Unless I'm remembering way wrong, anyone who joined the comm had full posting access, and the comm had open membership.
a DJ who lived in seclusionknittinggoddess on March 20th, 2011 11:57 pm (UTC)
The profile page currently says that posting is moderated. Maybe that's only for off-season?
Helenka: Ethan Raynehelenkacan on March 21st, 2011 12:01 am (UTC)
reply copied as follows:
Nope, it's still moderated. When I tried to post this new thing, I received a notification that my post was awaiting moderation. And, then, later, I got an e-mail saying that my post had been accepted. So it's still in effect.
smirnoffmule on March 21st, 2011 12:01 am (UTC)
I think they go a couple of spam posts since the last fest, and put it on then, since no one would be posting anyway? There's a post on the front page about it.
a DJ who lived in seclusionknittinggoddess on March 21st, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
That makes sense. I actually went back into the archives to see why I thought it was moderated--I guess I interpreted a "you must be a member in order to post" as something involving moderation.

*sigh* I think I read too many comms and it all blurs together.
Helenka: ASH as PM (Little Britain)helenkacan on March 21st, 2011 12:00 am (UTC)
Nope, it's still moderated. When I tried to post this new thing, I received a notification that my post was awaiting moderation. And, then, later, I got an e-mail saying that my post had been accepted. So it's still in effect.
Helenka: Glee-Kurt/Blaine first kisshelenkacan on March 20th, 2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
And, yet, for me it was specifically the lgbtq focus that made it so important ... so vital (if not for the hope of increasing understanding, tolerance and eventual acceptance in the world of mundanes at large, then at least for giving us our own "safe space" for self-expression and solidarity ... or even just the option of asking "what if character X were lgbtq" and seeing authors' uniquely creative interpretations).

I would hate to lose that urgency only for the sake of avoiding trolls. If that means moderating memberships/posts or disabling anonymous commenting (which I've never been a fan of ... unless it's about sensitive RL issues for which anonymity is a respectful acceptance of privacy and autonomy), then it's worth it.

I certainly love the concept of a wide tagging system as well as occasional themes. I belong to a couple of comms in the sga fandom that operate in similar ways.

What about rotating modly duties ... or - at the beginning before there's any significant volume - just having whoever of the mods has more time on their hands to Just. Do. It.

In any case, I'm going to go visit the comm you mentioned to get a wee bit of an idea of how it's set up.

TTYL
a DJ who lived in seclusionknittinggoddess on March 20th, 2011 09:47 pm (UTC)
I like the way this comm does tags, by fandom. It might also be nice to have thematic tags, though sexuality and gender are by nature very complex and the tagging might get unruly!

What if we had open membership but moderated posting once or twice for every member, and then after they've shown their interest in posting fic, they could do so without having to push things through a queue? It would cut down on people joining a comm to post spam. I'm not saying we should have a very complicated way of tracking who has posted how many times, maybe just "accept first post, clear member for unmoderated posting".

We could allow posts for only fills to prompts that had been previously posted on the comm or lgbtfest. That might help fine-tune the entries but allow more free posting which would keep the comm going year-round. I was always saddened when the fest ended.
Helenka: Stargate-J/D hughelenkacan on March 20th, 2011 11:23 pm (UTC)
Here are some ideas I had:

1. Definitely start off with "conditional" posting privileges, to be switched over to free posting access once we know a member is ::sighs:: not a troll.

2. What about keeping ALL of the old prompts by importing the posts in question to the new comm. But not to keep the comm static, we could rely on the old prompts for a period of 6-7 months by which time we could accept new prompts and a method of how to do that without driving the mods crazy (er ... crazier). And then 2012 would be able to have new fandoms/shows from 2010 and 2011 in it, making it much more current.

I believe that one of the most incredibly time-consuming aspects of the old fest was to match people with chosen prompts (as only a few writers per prompt were allowed) and to keep track of posting dates. If there is no limit to the number of fics written to any prompt, that necessity can be eliminated. [Besides, I'm nearly blind as it is; I don't need the additional agony of straining my eyesight further.]

3. Start promoting the new comm IMMEDIATELY (once a name is agreed on, all the admin stuff done and mods chosen) and that its intended mission statement is to honour the legacy left to us by lgbtfest while moving forward at the same time.

4. The new comm could go LIVE on June 1 ... giving people a solid minimum of two months to write new stories to old prompts and to be ready to post them. But wait! There's a wrinkle to give this reborn comm some cohesiveness and a teeny bit of structure. How about dedicating a few weeks each month to shows from ONE DECADE ONLY.

For shows that bridged the hump, stories based on earlier seasons would fall into the earlier decade category and those from later seasons into the next decade. I believe it would be fascinating to read fics based on different shows to savour the flavour of that particular decade (especially if certain laws or mores of the times are being put under the microscope).

Even though this may seem to be rigid, I think it would be an excellent way to nudge authors to consider writing in fandoms they had never considered before (as happened to me) or to write in a fandom such as Trek but to switch series (a TOS writer could try the Reboot movie).

Interspersed between these stories-trapped-in-time could be free-for-all weeks where stories in ALL fandoms and ALL decades could be posted. Here's an example of the schedule:
June 1-22, shows/fandoms from the 1960s and earlier
June 23-30, free-for-all, any decade
July 1-22, s/f from the 1970s
July 23-31, f-f-a
Aug. 1-22, s/f from the 1980s
Aug. 23-31, f-f-a
Sept. 1-22, s/f from the 1990s
Sept. 23-30, f-f-a
Oct. 1-22, s/f from the 2000s
Oct. 23-31, f-f-a
Nov. 1-22, s/f from the 2010s
Nov. 23-30, f-f-a
Dec. 1-31, all shows, all decades, with a possible theme of how Character X celebrates any holiday of choice by including their new partner and introducing them into their family and traditions. Becuase this is such a hectic season, I figure dedicating the entire month isn't too outrageous.

And, of course, by then, we'd have figured out where to go from there. But at least the first few months would have a structure and a logical progression.

BTW, one reason why I combined all fandoms created before the 1960s is that there are many young'uns who weren't even born then. ::sighs right down to my old joints:: It may be rash of me to do so ... but we could see the stats from the old fest (and, wow, would YEAR tags be a boon) to know whether a significant proportion of fics were from a long time ago.

Anyway, as you can see, I've already plunged into this headfirst (keep a lookout for a swollen head ... er ... brain).

Let me know what you think!!!
BEWARE OF JENMAR.clex_monkie89 on March 20th, 2011 11:40 pm (UTC)
I love all of your ideas! I feel like the last one though, dedicated decades, might put off more people than it would entice, though.

For instance, I was born in '86, and the vast majority of my fandoms are 90's and more recent. So that's about two months where I wouldn't be interested in anything on the comm, and would probably stop watching it during that time rather than skip through so many posts.
Helenka: Babylon5-Talia&Ivanova unresolvedhelenkacan on March 20th, 2011 11:53 pm (UTC)
Well, as you can imagine, having just gotten involved with this just a few hours ago, I already feel as if I have to straddle matters of philosophy on how the comm would operate. So that's why I threw out (and I'm sure I'll be throwing it out for realz) the idea of having a decade at a time.

So ... if that suggestion leaves a lot of younger writers twiddling their thumbs, here's another idea: everywhere I typed DECADE, change it to a SPECIFIC CHALLENGE.

So, for 22 days of the month, any show/fandom, any time period, any prompt ... but writing it in a way that also includes a theme. And, then, still have the balance of the month for any fics that don't incorporate the challenge. [Whoa! It's been a while since I had to think ... or type THIS quickly!]
Cimorene: but remember: i'm aquaman!minkhollow on March 21st, 2011 12:05 am (UTC)
I like this version a lot better than the specific-decades one (to randomly jump into the conversation in the middle). The prompts have pushed me to consider things I wouldn't have before, but a lack of familiarity with a given decade's fandoms could put a lot of people off participating, which runs the risk of them forgetting about it by the time their fandoms came up.
Helenka: Boston Legalhelenkacan on March 21st, 2011 12:09 am (UTC)
Well, as you can imagine, thinking up stuff for something that didn't exist just a few hours ago can leave one (aka ME) with a scrambled brain. And I was trying to propose a compromise for people who needed or wanted structure vs an open-365-days-of-the-year anything goes comm.
Seiberwing: Internet Arguementseiberwing on March 21st, 2011 12:24 am (UTC)
The themes idea seems really neat. I loved lgbtfest as it stood but it would be nice to have it be a year-round sort of thing rather than every six months.

I have one or two fics I wrote using the prompts outside the main fest, posted in the 'extra fics' post at the very end. I would be happy to repost them to the new comm!
Helenka: SGA-John happy Rodney thoughtshelenkacan on March 21st, 2011 01:32 am (UTC)
Well, that would be the beauty of having it open year-round (especially when it doesn't require massive mod involvement). LGBT-goodness 365 days of the year!
BEWARE OF JENMAR.: Gay Agendaclex_monkie89 on March 21st, 2011 01:05 am (UTC)
Oh, I love that a lot! I like the idea of themes because it poses a challenge to the authors but is still accessible across nearly all fandoms (I don't say all, because that just begs someone to come along and prove me wrong).
girl, you're a dandelionsarken on March 21st, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)
I believe it would be fascinating to read fics based on different shows to savour the flavour of that particular decade (especially if certain laws or mores of the times are being put under the microscope).

I think that only makes sense for shows that aired in the same time period they were set. For example, Star Trek aired in the 60s, but it doesn't make any sense to write a story about 1960s LGBT issues that is set in the 23rd century. Likewise, it doesn't make sense to write about 1980s LGBT issues in a M*A*S*H story.

I also agree with smirnoffmule about trolls.
Helenka: SGA-Dex/McKayhelenkacan on March 21st, 2011 12:28 am (UTC)
I think that only makes sense for shows that aired in the same time period they were set. For example, Star Trek aired in the 60s, but it doesn't make any sense to write a story about 1960s LGBT issues that is set in the 23rd century. Likewise, it doesn't make sense to write about 1980s LGBT issues in a M*A*S*H story.
But I wasn't talking about applying 23rd century mores (whatever they end up being) to 1960s. Because TOS was influenced by 1960s values even though set in the future. So my decade-gathering was only for the purpose of seeing how any show or fandom (no matter what its fictional date) compares to any other show or fandom written or aired during the same decade.
a DJ who lived in seclusionknittinggoddess on March 21st, 2011 01:33 am (UTC)
Are you more interested in the statistical analysis aspect of the decade-based challenges, or the part where people are introduced to new fandoms?
Helenka: SGA-Rodney genius back on Earthhelenkacan on March 21st, 2011 01:54 am (UTC)
::scratches non-genius head::

Uh ... neither. No, my thinking was that it would be fascinating to highlight the shows from any particular decade, no matter what the theme or era, to see how the values of the time were superimposed over the basic premise. And this isn't meant to be for scholarly analysis, merely recreational.

For example, I like to talk about TOS. The show aired during the cold war era, yet there was a Russian man on the bridge. And (only a little over two decades after the interment camps) a Japanese man. And (during a time of domestic racial strife) a black woman. All of them in positions of leadership.

Mind you, I found that a lot of the prejudices usually aimed at the "other" were redirected at Spock, 'cuz it wasn't racist or sexist to put down the alien. But, OMG, I don't even want to bring up the sexism (unless I really do throw up).

I think what I would find most fascinating is to see how the authors are reacting to the prompts, while keeping their characters from straying OOC. And a lot of that will be informed by the biases of the era. And that's why I liked the idea of highlighting each decade separately.
a DJ who lived in seclusionknittinggoddess on March 21st, 2011 01:57 am (UTC)
Oh, I see! That could definitely be worked into the prompts without losing other viewers, I just don't know how yet.
a DJ who lived in seclusionknittinggoddess on March 21st, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
Oooh, I love the "write about something set in this decade" theme.
a DJ who lived in seclusionknittinggoddess on March 21st, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)
1-3 sound great, though I agree with clex_monkie89 that setting aside months for specific decades might hamper interest. The nudge to try other fandoms is an important one though.

What if we had a decade challenge that didn't eclipse other fandom posting? For example, August could have a focus on the 80s, but it would also be okay to post a fic from Futurama. Or we could have a "try a new genre" month, where writers could self-select to try something other than what they usually write. "New genre" could also be "different medium" or "different fandom", whatever seemed appropriate. I belong to a baking comm that uses this sort of challenge to stir up creativity, and it's a great inspiration to branch out.

Hearing from other members, I'm no longer so hyped up about posting moderation. I was thinking it would be useful to keep things on topic, but I guess then the mods can just ask them poster to take it down.
Helenka: Michael Shanks bare chestedhelenkacan on March 21st, 2011 01:10 am (UTC)
Well ::waves confusedly up or down:: you can tell that somewhere in these comments, I agreed that the DECADES idea was too restrictive, but different challenges would allow for people to write whatever they wanted to ... and we could still leave 8-9 days at the end of the month for a free-for-all (AND perhaps that's where the selected decade could be one option).

I definitely love-love-love the "try a new genre month" or what about "try a different gender or orientation month". Anything that promotes growth as an author and ... human being.

Regarding the mod issue, I see that you've received several laid-back comments so that fear-of-trolls may be unfounded. Is there an option for a mod to actually delete something trollish (other than asking which sounds ineffectual).

Anyway, while I was typing this, I got a phone call ... so I can just imagine how many more comments there are now.
a DJ who lived in seclusionknittinggoddess on March 21st, 2011 01:30 am (UTC)
I was more thinking that off-topic-but-not-trollish posters could be asked to move. I know that on vaginapagina, posts are deleted by the mods with some regularity due to lack of adherence to the rules. So it's an option for sure (unless they have some certain setting on).

In all these comments, I'm seeing a few options for themes and challenges:
1. Temporal setting of fandom (set pre-Stonewall, future, etc)
2. Decade in which the fandom originated
3. Topic of narrative (trans issues, coming out, sexual fluidity)
4. Genres
5. Write from a prompt here in this challenge post
6. Write from a prompt anywhere in this database

Does that sound about right?

How were you thinking the timeline would go? Would challenges be posted a month or two in advance, and then people remember to come back and post the fic during the posting month? That would definitely be more like lgbtfest now.

As for the title, lgbtfestforward sounds good to me, if a bit of a mouthful. (But that might just be because of the lgbt part!)

What do you think about other media such as vids and art, as sophinisba asked below?

I love all the thinking you're doing about this. Thanks for taking the reins and running with it!
Helenka: SGA-John surprise at gatehelenkacan on March 21st, 2011 02:29 am (UTC)
Ack! Questions. More thinking.

Themes and challenges will need more discussion. As for the individual decades thing, I thought of an alternate way to group shows/fandoms according to when they're set (at the time they were created): a) in the past; b) current day; c) future. Tags. Moar tagz.

And, yeah, I can't wrap my head around the timing or posting. For that I'd like to get more modly-inspired people involved.

Even though "lgbtfestforward" is a mouthful, the good thing is that it does incorporate the name of the original comm (and perhaps its mods could future date a post so that it's the first one showing to redirect people who click to the new comm) and it shows that we are, in fact, moving forward because we believe it's important. Even better, I think it'll pop up more often in search engines.

I'm wary of expanding the new comm to include other visual and aural forms of expression. We're so much about WORDS here, that it's difficult to add vids/art/podfics. I believe your answer was spot on: when we're replying to a prompt, we're imagining and writing about how the character's perceptions and subsequent thought processes change, so that what was once considered unthinkable is now seen as a viable option where sexuality and gender are concerned. The only way I could see a fanvid working is if the vidder wrote an original song and performed it or a wallpaper or collage had words superimposed over the artwork. Of course, that could be yet another category and challenge (definitely a wild card).

As for your final words (and compliment), as Teal'c would no doubt put it, "Undomesticated equines could not prevail to halt my forward momentum!"

Now, before I head into the barn for the night ('cuz it's been a wild and very chatty afternoon/evening), do you think the two of us (who were the first to want to keep the spirit of the comm alive) should offer ourselves as co-mods and see who would like to join us officially. I don't know how many you think would work (but I was thinking at least 3-5).

TTYL ('cuz I have neglected ALL of LJ since this morning; and SLOG as well).
a DJ who lived in seclusionknittinggoddess on March 21st, 2011 03:23 am (UTC)
Now, before I head into the barn for the night ('cuz it's been a wild and very chatty afternoon/evening), do you think the two of us (who were the first to want to keep the spirit of the comm alive) should offer ourselves as co-mods and see who would like to join us officially.
Sounds good to me. 3-5 seems like a workable number. I'm currently teaching full time and in grad school, but spring and summer quarter are relatively low key for me. (Especially in light of the packed quarter I just finished!) So part of me is feeling impulsive and foolish for volunteering. On the other hand, if we have shared responsibilities, I can put in most of my time while I'm procrastinating--a frequent occurrence!

There's also the queer_fest comm that just popped up, as you probably saw. I think it's great to have both a short term, annual thing and an ongoing source.
smirnoffmule on March 20th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
If I may give some completely random, unsolicited comm-modding advice, which you are completely free to ignore - I wouldn't worry about trolls unless you actually get them. I mod a challenge fest, and I was super-paranoid at first about that kind of stuff, especially since I allow anon commenting and some of our subject matter could be viewed as controversial, but it has just never been a problem. I used to log IPs, but I don't bother any more, and I only moderate posting when I switch it on by accident. The most dramatic thing I've ever had to do is delete an entry that wasn't part of the fest.

penknife would be able to tell you properly but I don't recall lgbtfest having any visible problems? The fest had a structure but it never had moderated membership or posting, IIRC. I feel like that kind of thing reduces traffic and spontaniety, and it's a bit of a pain for people who time their fic posting for certain times of day (What? People do this. It's not just me, right?)

Your call, obviously, since you guys are doing this thing, but that's just my experience of previous troll worries :)
a DJ who lived in seclusionknittinggoddess on March 20th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC)
It's heartening to know that the trolls aren't a given. I think I've just seen enough in other comms to worry about it. But I'll make a point of not worrying now. :)
smirnoffmule on March 20th, 2011 11:59 pm (UTC)
I just think it's a shame to let hypothetical trolls have an adverse effect on real contributing members. My philosophy is, if you have a problem, deal with it then. I always a little nervous about comms with mdoerated membership/posting, like they're closed clubs. It's irrational, I know, but it can be off-putting to some people. But like I said, your call :)