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118281 No. 118281
#Discussion
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HTsLykFJ6uF9X1_znfYOGmFStAqDoKQDG5hT9EBoYho/edit

Here is the full plan for the fanfiction blog that I have been preparing for the past few days. I am still working on the initial design and such, those shall be posted in this thread sometime tomorrow.
Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 118290
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118290
I TOLD YOU TO KEEP IT SIMPLE

What is this? What am I reading? Where to begin? Deary, deary me...

>Fics will be chosen to be featured by the community and a team of reviewers.
What reviewers? What community?

>They can only judge it on grammar/spelling and the overall objective quality of the piece.
Notsureifserious.jpg

Making a story with good grammar is so fucking easy, even I can do it. I dunno how many times I have to say this: Good grammar does not make stories good; rather, shitty grammar makes stories shitty.

>A fortnightly voice interview series featuring some of the author’s of the fics that we features and other people from the fanfic side of the fandom.
Do you have any idea of the overhead required to make an audio interview work? Text reviews work because they're easy—easy to digest, easy to produce.

Not all your reviewees will have quality microphones. Some won't have a microphone at all. Do you have a professional-sounding microphone? (Hint: professional means it probably cost upwards of $100.) Do you have any audio-editing skills? Are you aware that audio editing takes a long freaking time?

Notwithstanding that when your blog is about writing, the interviews not being done with audio makes about as much sense as Kevin Rudd wearing a sombrero.

>monthly feature highlighting three-five of the fandom’s best short stories.
Determined by whom?

>A randomly timed discussion series
About what? How is this different from sitting in #fic and chatting?

>A fortnightly review series by a relatively unskilled person.
"Unskilled"? Determined by whom?


Let's put myself in the shoes of a prospective community member of your blog. I am currently seeing no content being produced by you. As a viewer, that means there's nothing for me to see. As a potential contributor, what's stopping me from making my own blog? All I am seeing a lot of half-baked plans. This is why I said that over-planning dooms you for failure.

In summary: Please listen to what I've been telling you from the start. There is one way to get a blog off the ground, and only one, and it is certainly not saying:
>Jobs Needed: Four-six pre readers. You must be a relatively good reviewer, and be willing to put all your biases aside.

You need to show others what you can provide for them before they'll provide for you.

tl;dr: less talk, more walk
>> No. 118294
>>118290
What do you suggest I do then? And I agree, I'll do text interviews. But Pony Fiction Vault has been doing them for ages now. So even if we make the questions different for each story/author people will accuse of copying.

Sorry, but I really have no idea what YOU are saying. Can you please elaborate on more than just critisicing what I've said.
>> No. 118296
>>118290
Ahh, fuck it. I can't be bothered to do this, you seem to know everything about what to do. If I can fuck up as badly as you're saying in your post, then I'm not cut out to do this. Shame, because I really wanted to. Mods lock/delete this thread please.
>> No. 118297
>>118296
Or maybe I can do this... Mods don't delete this thread just yet. I'm usually like this, so don't bother replying to my last post.
>> No. 118298
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118298
>>118290
Eeep!

Sorry, your post title gave me flashbacks of >>117871.

>>118281
>[Fic reviews based on] overall objective quality[...]
>overall objective quality
>objective
Sweet Celestia, was I ever this optimistic?

Roger already said it better than I could, Slick, but clearly it bears repeating: keep it simple.

You have the ambition of ten ponies and the resources, experience, and horsepower of one colt. Just keep it simple and take it slow.
>> No. 118299
>>118298 How can I keep it simple whilst being different than the countless other pony blogs out there? And nobody is telling me what "keep it simple" means. You two are making it seem like keeping it simple means going in without plans, but I'm pretty sure it means different.
>> No. 118301
>>118296

If you have doubts this early on and haven't even bothered to take the first step forward, then it's not going to happen. Action, not plans, is what gets s*** done.

If people shoot down your ideas cause of your age, I guess you better try and prove them wrong then. Otherwise it's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
>> No. 118302
>>118297
you can jsut delete your post,you know.
>> No. 118303
>>118299
It means picking something that you are capable of doing right now, then doing it.

Riddle me this: In one sentence, what is the purpose of your blog?

If the answer is "To be EqD, but done my way", then you're doing it wrong.
>> No. 118305
>>118303
I... don't know what to say. I'm just so confused on what I'm meant to do next. I've got a relatively simple blog set up right now, but I don't know what to do with it because I don't know what exactly my blog is going to be focused on. Hell, I do have an idea but whatever I say will be shot down by you guys as "FimFiction does it!" or "EQD does it!" or "Pony Fiction Vault does it!" or something similar.
>> No. 118306
>>118299

Well... looks like my blog's been mentioned a few times now as one of those "countless other pony blogs," so if I'm going to contribute my two cents I'd better slap my name on up top.

First off, I like the cut of your jib. I really wish there were more reader-oriented reviews out there, and it sounds like that's a big part of what you want your site to be.

If I were you, I'd stop worrying so much about being compared to me or PFV or whatever; frankly, I don't see much competition between what RBDash47 does, what I do, and what you're proposing. And in any case, it's not like readers are going to chose one and only one site to go to for story recs; I think Pony Ramblings and PFV share a lot of the same readers, and see no reason why your hypothetical blog couldn't, too.

A few concrete suggestions:

1) Make sure you're doing something you enjoy. I don't know all the details, but I suspect a large part of the reason why The Solar Flare and other projects like it failed to get off the ground is because their creators were too caught up in what they wanted the community to have, and not enough in what they were actually interested in providing. I write reader-oriented reviews because I enjoy doing so--make sure whatever you're doing with your blog is something you'll enjoy on its own merits.

2) Make sure you understand the difference between a reader-oriented review and an author-oriented review. The google doc you linked at the top seems to suggest you might not be clear on some of the differences, as when you start talking about reviews by "an unskilled person." Helping an author understand what's wrong (and what's right!) with their story, and helping a reader find a story they might enjoy, are two very different things.

3)
>They can only judge it on grammar/spelling and the overall objective quality of the piece.

I have some concerns with this line of thinking.
Beyond grammar/spelling and other technical aspects, there really isn't much "objective" about any story review. That doesn't mean all opinions are equal, or that that there aren't ways to legitimately criticize plot, characterizations, tone, etc., but they are all some flavor of subjective. My recommendation would be to focus less on objectivity, and more on fairness. Ideally, a reader should be able to read a review and either say "I agree with that," or "I disagree, but I understand why the reviewer feels that way, and his criticisms are valid."

Anyway, just my suggestions. Whatever you end up doing going forward, I wish you the best of luck.

P.S. While I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth, I suspect a lot of what's meant when people say to "keep it simple" is that doing something good is better than planning something great. Start the blog! Once people see something, anything, up and running, they're more likely to latch on, offer to help, etc. Even if you can't do all the things you list in your doc right at the start, the important thing is that you DO start--the rest will come.
>> No. 118307
>>118306
May I ask what your blog is?

Also, I came up with the idea for this blog because I felt that pony fanfiction didn't get the attention it deserved, with massive fics like Past Sins and their authors soaking up all the limelight whilst amazing fics get put in the dust. But, it seems that there is no way to do that whilst keeping it simple. So I don't know what to do...
>> No. 118308
>>118307
Here is your first blog post, then: Write a reader-review of Past Sins.
>> No. 118309
>>118307
http://onemansponyramblings.blogspot.com/
>> No. 118310
>>118308
Pony Ramblings has already done that. And I'm not even that good a reviewer.
>> No. 118312
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118312
>>118299
Eh. As I pointed out, Roger already said it better... but here goes:

>overall objective quality
This right here? Amazing ambition with no possible follow-through.

Ponyfiction is fanfiction is storytelling is about evoking emotion.

And no, I'm not just talking about works like My Little Dashie or Cupcakes. Every work of fiction is about emotional reaction. Sometimes for its own sake, sometimes to get you to pay attention long enough to absorb the moral, sometimes for other reasons.

Ponies and humans being what they are, though, means that everyone reacts slightly differently to stimuli. Everything we take in is filtered and becomes subjective.

The quality of fics is no different. A fic can leave one reader bawling, another cheering, and a third utterly indifferent.

Objective quality in fics is a myth; the closest you get is a fic that moves a lot of folks in the same enjoyable way.

It might seem like I've gone off on a tangent over semantics, but hay, I'm a writer/reviewer: word choice is important to me, especially when it reveals character. The fact that you'd throw around a phrase like "overall objective quality" worries me and doesn't make me believe that you've thought this through.

And if it's just a placeholder term for what you're really looking for...

Why?

Why not wait to make this doc and this thread until you know what you want? The last thread was your space to brainstorm, but this one's supposedly your mission statement. "Full Plan," and all that.

>fortnightly voice interview series
Given that this blog is a one-pony project right now, how in the hay do you plan to pull this off in the face of the difficulties listed by Roger? Especially considering everything else on your plate here? Your eyes are bigger than your stomach, Slick.

How to keep this one simple? Like Roger said, do it in text. I'd also recommend making it monthly--or better yet, bi-monthly--until you have a somepony else helping you.

>A monthly feature highlighting three-five of the fandom’s best short stories.
How about a monthly feature highlighting one short story you enjoyed? It'll add a personal touch, and one is easier than three-to-five. You can always expand when you get more folks helping you.

>A randomly timed discussion series
If it's randomly-timed, how can folks look forward to it? I can barely be bothered to check out EQD's Drawfriends, and those are daily. If they were random I'd stop looking. Even if you only do the dicussion thing once a year, make it scheduled.

>A fortnightly review series by a relatively unskilled person.
Got any volunteers? Also, why a review by an unskilled person? How will that wind up different from an editorial? If you scrap this you'll free up energy to tackle your other goals.

>How can I keep it simple whilst being different than the countless other pony blogs out there?
Recognition--the kind that will keep your blog alive--comes from one of two sources: either be the first to offer something (not happening), or be really good at what you do. If your blog is modest but high-quality, word of mouth will help it grow beyond what a flashy-but-slapped-together blog will be able to achieve.

>You two are making it seem like keeping it simple means going in without plans, but I'm pretty sure it means different.
Of course you need a plan. "Action without vision is a nightmare." But as others have said, take some steps first, before making grandiose plans. "Vision wihout action is a daydream."

>>118301
As I'm both a narcissist and someone who's mentioned Toastiest's age, I'll assume the spoiler box was about me.

Just to be clear: I've never been trying to imply that his age is a problem, and I've never shot down his ideas based on age.

It just explains his incredible ambition. Hay, at fourteen I was planning a worldwide military coup with me at its head. It had about as much in the way of in-depth planning as this blog idea--and since you're not groveling at the throne of God-Emperor Huh? the Eternal--I'm guessing you can see how far it got.

Unlike my idea, though, his has potential. I just don't want to see him pull an Icarus.
>> No. 118314
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118314
MFW my absurdly long post is beaten to the punch...

Again...
>> No. 118315
>>118312

No, I wasn't referencing you, Huh. I was just pointing out something he mentioned in the last thread about people shooting down his ideas. It's not so much the ideas themselves that are the problem, it's that it requires a lot more work than usually expected. Plans are nice, but are nothing without action. Action is nice, but without a plan you end up going in the wrong direction. You need both, basically.

I just can't see how this will get off the ground if the OP keeps knocking himself. Nobody ever got anything done by saying that they sucked at something. The people that achieve great things simply did what needed to be done. They weren't perfect, but they improved on that.

If you suck at something and you say that you suck at something, do you really expect to ever change that? Self-fulfilling prophecy. Whatever you say you are, what you can and can't do, you're right.
>> No. 118316
>>118307

I'm the guy who does One Man's Pony Ramblings. Probably should have mentioned that, eh?

And if your goal is to highlight some lesser-quality stories... well, go start your blog with some glowing reviews of lesser-known stories! Presumably you've got a few favorites--use that as your starting point, to provide some material for the early going.

It doesn't matter if you think you're a good reviewer. Reviewing's just like writing: the more you do, the better you get. Keep improving, and listen to any feedback you get on those reviews.

As for getting attention? Look, I can only tell you what I've done to promote my site, which is nada. Well, unless you count me mentioning it here, I guess. But I just started a blog, started writing reviews, and didn't worry about that side of things. People found my reviews (you'd be surprised how many google searches there are for "fanfic reviews" or "[x story] reviews"), and told other people. I'd worry more about content than publicity, is what I'm trying to say. And since you have an idea for content, I'd suggest focusing on that.

>>118310

Don't worry so much about what I, or anyone else, has already done. Unless you're going to copy-paste my review, you're still bringing your own perspective and your own insights to the table.

Now, if you don't WANT to review Past Sins because it's already gotten plenty of attention, that's obviously another matter. But please, don't feel like you can't talk about anything that I or the Pony Fiction Vault or the Supremest Fan Fiction Review site or whomever have previously posted. As long as you're offering a unique perspective, the rest doesn't matter.

Anyway, those are my suggestions.
>> No. 118324
>>118316
Well first, awesome having a chance to speak with the guy behind one of my favourite blogs
(it really is, it's right next to google docs in my bookmarks). Secondly, I guess I can start out doing interviews, reviews and then branch out to stuff like getting someone to do a weekly essay series.
>> No. 118329
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118329
>>118324
>I guess I can start out doing interviews, reviews and then branch out to stuff like getting someone to do a weekly essay series.
That's the way! I look forward to seeing your blog grow.

Also, my apologies if I came off harshly before. Sometimes I have a hard time balancing Honesty and Kindness when I'm giving unwelcome news.
>> No. 118330
>>118329
Das cool, Das cool. All is forgiven. Now, I've got some sleep to catch up on and then I shall begin working on this damn blog!
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