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roule

take it all or leave it... I Feel You
I agree with Cutlerine and Butler. #fic_love is a great concept, but its 1. rarely used and 2. is usually a lot of the same few fics. I think transporting it to the forums and adding regulations will help it become less like a feedback loop.
 
Now, I don't have discord and probably won't get it for a while, so I had no idea what the fic-love channel involved and thus had no idea about the conversations going on there. As someone who only uses the forums, I think it would be a brilliant idea to bring the fic-love channel over here with some extra limitations. We could even use it as a sort of recommendations thread for newer users who don't go on discord maybe?
 

The Great Butler

Hush, keep it down
Now, I don't have discord and probably won't get it for a while, so I had no idea what the fic-love channel involved and thus had no idea about the conversations going on there. As someone who only uses the forums, I think it would be a brilliant idea to bring the fic-love channel over here with some extra limitations. We could even use it as a sort of recommendations thread for newer users who don't go on discord maybe?

Checking in on my phone, so my comments will be brief, but I think that's the ideal for what I would want a #fic-love thread to be. I personally imagine it would not only be an easy way for new users to quickly find recommendations, but it would also serve as a good way for new users who post their own fics to begin interacting with the existing users. A veteran who finds something by a new author and likes it enough to recommend it would be incredibly encouraging to that new author, I think.
 

Ambyssin

Winter can't come soon enough
I like that idea. But we would definitely need to brainstorm some ways to keep a Fic Love thread reasonably active. Otherwise, I fear that a thread like that could die out quickly, especially since people are already posting in the Leaderboard thread. Full disclosure: seeing certain fics pop up on the Leaderboard thread actually prompted me to go read them, which is why I kind of ignored fic-love on Discord. But, well, I'm just weird.
 

The Great Butler

Hush, keep it down
I like that idea. But we would definitely need to brainstorm some ways to keep a Fic Love thread reasonably active. Otherwise, I fear that a thread like that could die out quickly, especially since people are already posting in the Leaderboard thread. Full disclosure: seeing certain fics pop up on the Leaderboard thread actually prompted me to go read them, which is why I kind of ignored fic-love on Discord. But, well, I'm just weird.

That is a fair point. I think the ideal would be to have a hypothetical #fic-love thread work in conjunction with threads such as the Leaderboard and any potential future games that tie into reviewing. That said, one point in favor of the #fic-love thread that I would argue is that it may be a bit more accessible by way of not necessarily requiring a review to be posted. One could just walk in and talk about what they've been reading right away as long as it's in accordance with the rules.

That said, though, I can see both potential positives and negatives of the idea in this raw form, so I certainly would like to see more input from different perspectives.
 

Firebrand

Indomitable
I would also worry that a fic love thread that encourages people to just say "I read X fic and liked it a lot, it's really good" would discourage people from leaving actual reviews, especially if they don't really care about leaderboard standings. One of the problems with fic love was that it was insular, but I really don't see why a thread incarnation would address the other problems that channel had, with the conversion centering on a few chosen fics. Instead of having a shrine to a handful of fics on the discord, we'd just have a shrine to a handful of fics on the forum. The only difference is more people can see it, but that doesn't really change the underlying problem with our community centering itself around a handful of fics to the exclusion of basically everyone else.

I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but to me it just sounds like the only thing being addressed by the proposed thread is the surface issue, not the underlying causes that brought it about in the first place.
 

Cutlerine

Gone. Not coming back.
Yeah, that's an excellent point; if we don't have an active and outward-looking community to back up a thread like that (and at the moment I think we do not), then it's not really a solution. Possibly Ambyssin's point here―

Full disclosure: seeing certain fics pop up on the Leaderboard thread actually prompted me to go read them, which is why I kind of ignored fic-love on Discord.

―might be a better way to think about this? If a healthy number of reviews are being posted, then the leaderboard itself should function as something akin to fic-love, now I think about it, but with the added benefit that nobody is posting about a fic there without having actually taken the time to respond it. That in itself doesn't guarantee that people won't focus on the same few fics, but the fact that the leaderboard as it stands tends to reward reading widely, and in particular reading neglected fics (with the new bonus points thing), might go some way towards discouraging that. If anyone has any ideas about how to encourage that tendency, it would be great to hear them.

All of that said, I don't know how we can translate the mindset Ambyssin describes to a broader segment of the community -- and in the end it comes down to getting more people reviewing again, as usual -- but like, given the concerns you've raised about a potential fic-love thread here, Firebrand, then making use of the leaderboard in that way might be a better way of approaching the issue of flagging fics that people like. I don't think that this would necessarily solve the issue by itself, but I think recognising that discussion of what fics you're reading and enjoying should be connected to actual activity on the forum in some way might help, at least. Like, "if you like something, comment on it, and then log it for the leaderboard with a recommendation attached" seems like a pretty reasonable way of communicating what fics you like to me. It doesn't have to be the longest or fanciest review, after all.

I realise that I've basically suggested an idea that's already been implemented -- "the leaderboard is good, we should have one" -- but I guess the point of my saying this is to say we already have a serviceable fic-love analogue, if we use it correctly, and to maybe open up the thread to discussion of other things we could have that we currently don't. That said, I'm not sure what those things might be; honestly, the degree to which attitude changes can be induced by structural devices seems a bit limited, given the kind of impact the leaderboard has actually had. We kinda have to want to change, or no number of new gimmicks are going to make that change happen.
 
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The Great Butler

Hush, keep it down
The point about the leaderboard is valid. The one thing I'd say, though... I feel like that thread is a little bit intimidating. I know I decided not to do anything with it because I didn't want to accidentally violate its rules. If the complexity of its rules is enough to trip up someone who's been here since 2006 (and has easy access to the mods for clarification) I can imagine newer people without that experience or comfort in the forum might be intimidated and discouraged from using it. In other words, I'm all for using the leaderboard as a pseudo-#fic-love, but I think it might benefit from a little bit of reworking to make it a little more accessible.
 

Firebrand

Indomitable
I also don't really participate in the leaderboard, but it seems pretty straightforward to me. The format that reviews are reported in seems intuitive, and one would only have to worry about the more elaborate scoring stuff if they were trying to maximize their score and win for the month. Otherwise, it's a pretty simple report.

I think we're better off focusing on a thread with friendly competition rather than trying to establish something that's almost exactly like one of the channels most people on the discord had issues with.
 

Ambyssin

Winter can't come soon enough
The point about the leaderboard is valid. The one thing I'd say, though... I feel like that thread is a little bit intimidating. I know I decided not to do anything with it because I didn't want to accidentally violate its rules. If the complexity of its rules is enough to trip up someone who's been here since 2006 (and has easy access to the mods for clarification) I can imagine newer people without that experience or comfort in the forum might be intimidated and discouraged from using it. In other words, I'm all for using the leaderboard as a pseudo-#fic-love, but I think it might benefit from a little bit of reworking to make it a little more accessible.

Very good point, but it's definitely one that can be fixed. Jax is stepping down from running the Leaderboard, which means we'll probably be getting a new Leaderboard thread (otherwise the OP can't be updated with scoring time stamps). So, would a possible fix be rephrasing the rules post? Like, for example, adding a little Fic Love precursor to start the post, and then adding "If you'd like to take part in the Review Leaderboard, here's what you have to do..." along with all the rules.
 

The Great Butler

Hush, keep it down
Very good point, but it's definitely one that can be fixed. Jax is stepping down from running the Leaderboard, which means we'll probably be getting a new Leaderboard thread (otherwise the OP can't be updated with scoring time stamps). So, would a possible fix be rephrasing the rules post? Like, for example, adding a little Fic Love precursor to start the post, and then adding "If you'd like to take part in the Review Leaderboard, here's what you have to do..." along with all the rules.

What mainly intimidates me about it is all the additional clauses for different scoring options. I feel like it should be simplified, but that's not my place to say anything because I haven't been involved in it while all the new scoring options were added.
 

JX Valentine

Ever-Discordant
What mainly intimidates me about it is all the additional clauses for different scoring options. I feel like it should be simplified, but that's not my place to say anything because I haven't been involved in it while all the new scoring options were added.

Breaking my silence on this point to explain how that happened, lmao.

So there were two different edits to the points system here.

The first edit involved bonus points for amount of chapters reviewed. Or more specifically, you'd get double points if you reviewed over ten chapters in a single post (10+ counted for double) and five extra points if you review chunks of ten chapters after twenty (so hitting your thirtieth chapter gets you five bonus points). This happened because the original system had you earning one point per post, and it was thus hella simple ... and not a system that particularly encouraged people to read longer works. The downside to this system is that rather than encouraging strategy (you can totally win a month by reviewing a bunch of shorter fics and all), it just encouraged people to gun for longer works and ignore shorter ones. Case in point: the reviewer in second place at the moment only had to review two fics, one of which was worth over thirty points. To put it bluntly, this goes against the spirit of the game, never mind the spirit of what the game is trying to do for the forum, so it's the rule that I think could actually really be tweaked. Or dropped altogether, for that matter. I mean, not only is it game-breaky, but it's also the one most likely to be hella confusing to newcomers anyway because there's just no neat way to explain it without making a mess of it.

The second edit is a little more reasonable, both in game balance and description. Sometime towards the end of summer, a bunch of us realized we needed to do more to promote lesser-known works. Hence, Del created the Deli and tapped me to ask if I could hand out bonus points for fics featured in said Deli. That was easy enough, but the downside to this is that the Deli is a quarterly affair, rather than a monthly affair, and it would be rather silly to either: A) offer bonus points for the same fic for three solid months or B) offer bonus points for a short period of time and then nothing in between. So in order to fill that time gap, I added a lesser bonus for fics not featured by the Deli. Why a lesser bonus? To offer a little more importance to fics featured by the Deli.

And there you have it. Like I said, the double points/five extra bonus points part could probably be nixed because it's convoluted and also hella broken, but I'm gonna insist that we at least keep the bonus points for the Deli/featured fics. Largely because the leaderboard is all about bribing people to read fics they normally wouldn't, so at least that's in the spirit of things.
 

Negrek

Lost but Seeking
As far as tweaking point values for the leaderboard goes, I think the most reasonable thing to do is simply remove the "double points after X chapters" clause. With the original board, the issue was that a review of sixty chapters was worth the same amount of of points as a review of one chapter, so there was no real incentive to do the extra work of reading sixty chapters. One chapter = one point, and you can put any number of chapters in a single review post, seems like a simple and fair way of handling it.

I think the additive bonuses are fine if we want to keep them. They typically don't add more than 5-15 points to reviews with even a monstrously long amount of chapters. The real problem was chapters getting multiplied, which meant that the only way to catch up to someone reviewing a ton of chapters was to review another long story, because there was effectively no way to catch up. For a particularly mild example, one review of twenty chapters is worth thirty points... so someone posting a series of reviews for one-shots or shorter stories (e.g. before bonus points kicked in) would need to do thirty chapters or stories to catch up, to the other person's twenty. The disparity only gets worse the longer the long chapterfic being reviewed is.

So, yeah. I think additive bonuses are fine, but the double chapter bonus ought to go.
 

Firebrand

Indomitable
I agree with the double chapter bonus getting nixed in a future incarnation of the leaderboard. I can see the logic behind why it was implemented, but I think in the long termit leaves fics that aren't long-runners out to dry (and... kind of contributes to the whole creating a fic ingroup centered around a few fics that I was wary of in the fic-love discussion). Both the first incarnation of the leaderboard (which seems to have been good for one shots, short fics, or fics just getting started) and the new one with the double points bonus (which encourages a binge read of long older fics with one all-encompassing review for max points) leave mid-range fics (fics more than, say, seven or eight chapters but not upwards of 20) out to dry. I don't know a good way to address that (or even if it's something that needs to be addressed) but looking at the forum it seems like we have quite a few of those, most of them with weiters who are fairly quiet in the community but still put out content fairly regularly, and I think that's a dimension we should be considering, not just people who routinely rack up high review totals.

(Yikes, I'm using a lot of parentheticals today)
 
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