• Member Since 20th Aug, 2015
  • offline last seen 52 minutes ago

A British Gentleman


I am a fan of many things, particularly the fine works of Sir Terry Pratchett (may he rest in peace). After spending a long time lurking, I have elected to create an account.

More Blog Posts74

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Mar
7th
2018

On the Topic of Groups · 10:40pm Mar 7th, 2018

Greetings my good ladies and gentlemen. I hope to find you in a most awesome and splendid state of being.

I've just been going through my group threads and some thoughts occurred to me:

Can a group with three thousand five hundred members be considered as a failure? When and why might a group be deemed to have failed? What, when it comes down to it, do we want our groups to be?

Let us discuss the matter together.

For the benefit of anybody unsure of what the on Earth I'm jabbering on about, the primary catalyst for this line of thinking is the Sunset Shimmer Group.

It will come as no great shock to anybody to learn that Sunset is one of the most popular characters in the fandom. I myself am a fan, and follow many authors who specialise in writing Sunset centric fic almost exclusively. With that said, it will also come as no shock to learn that Sunset has a sizable group devoted to her, and, at two thousand eight hundred stories and three thousand five hundred members, she certainly does.

It is here where opinions may differ, and thus where healthy debate may be found: whilst the Sunset Shimmer Group certainly succeeds as an archive of Sunset Shimmer fics, in many ways it's I would argue that it's currently failing as a group, and certainly as a forum.

Permit me to explain myself: groups on Fimfiction generally fall into one of three broad categories: groups which are primarily archives, groups which are primarily forums, and groups which do both.

The Sunset Shimmer Group is an odd case in this regard: it's certainly an archive group, but it also has (or rather, should have) a very active forum and would thus fall in the "do both" category. Indeed, it is the most active of the major main character groups.

Why, then, do I deem it to be failing in it's currently state? You see, my good ladies and gentlemen, whilst it is one of the most active groups of it's sort, it is also one of the most hostile. And that hostility is mostly coming from the group's admins.

The results of this hostility are likely twofold:

First, the forum will see far fewer new threads; which is an inevitable consequence of the fact that ninety percent of new threads get locked with warnings for the OP and anyone else who posted.

Secondly, new members, who might otherwise have gone on to contribute greatly to the forum, will be very much discouraged from posting; a likewise inevitable consequence of over-zealous admins ready to slap down even well meaning threads.

Indeed, I myself would like to contribute to the group but I'm not going to, because I simply cannot be bothered dealing with such bullshit. Which is a rather terrible state of affairs for any forum. This sort of thing has killed groups before: consider the incandescent dumpster fire the consumed Twilight's Library.

Really, it boils down to this: what do we want our groups to be. And how does that vary from group to group? What are your own thoughts on the matter? I'm I talking codswallop? How should groups be run? Where is the line drawn between efficient and over-zealous group administration?

I look forward to your thoughts, my good ladies and gentlemen.

Report A British Gentleman · 336 views · #groups
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Comments ( 8 )

When you asked whether a group had failed or not, my first thought was of the groups that tried to get a Luna emoticon made.

4812024

That raises a good point: why isn't there a Luna emoticon? That would be pretty cool.

4812031 .....and so the cycle begins anew.

Umm... call it partial agreement. I wish the EQG group policed itself as heavily, because 9 out of 10 threads there are attention-whore advertising of stories, bland re-posts of good art, or enthused description of a story *idea* to get nice comments and praise without having to go through the bother of writing a damn story. I don't blame the SS group admins for trying to funnel discussion into existing threads, Because they really don't need a new thread for each piece of Sunset art in the world, or each of the shitty 5-minute episodes. Nor do I blame them for locking down posts, because if the OP is more interested in discussion than generating little red numbers under the bell they wouldn't mind raising the point in existing threads.

I do have concerns with them deleting threads without explanation, even if only a 24 hour warning so people aren't left confused and in the lurch.

At least you could probably post about Sunset in the Rage Review forum. :coolphoto: Sunset has an unfortunate amount of dumbass fanatic fanboys, and seeing them mix with the jaded reviewers could be a rare treat indeed.

4812031

That raises a good point: whyisn'tthere a Luna emoticon? That would be pretty cool.

So would a Celestia one, and no, Trollestia doesn't count.:ajbemused:

4812059

[...]9 out of 10 threads there are attention-whore advertising of stories, bland re-posts of good art, or enthused description of a story *idea* to get nice comments and praise without having to go through the bother of writing a damn story.

That one really applies a lot to the HiE group, plus the seasonal nazi post (not making this up disclaimer).

On the post's topic, I've come to a similar conclusion regarding Trixie's groups. Yes, the sub-fanbase is already divided in two primary groups. Both act as quite sizable archives, but have close to no activity whatsoever. However, unlike Sunset Shimmer's group, Trixie's has no overly zealous admins. It seems they just don't have more topics to discuss anymore, despite Trixie's appearances duplicating since her return, plus an increasingly prominent role in the EG movies.

It's rather sad, to say the least.

I'm just waiting for an actual good, interesting thread (in any of my groups) that I can contribute to, but one group I follow keeps posting a whole buttload of crapposts full of memes that I don't even give a crap about. It really gets on my nerves to see those when I want something I can chew on and maybe give my thoughts on the matter. I'm even thinking of just dropping it because I'm so tired of it spamming my feed.

Groups are good for getting attention to my stories... on the other hand, I don't just want to join a group just because a story of mine has a certain character in it, and I can't rely on someone else to stick it in a related group 100% of the time (it worked when someone found The Rock Farmer's Daughters and spread it around, but I'm not so sure these days). But, honestly, I'm the weird person who likes to read TL;DR's, hence why I'm so picky about what group I join (unless it's a group for a character I really like) or who I follow.

Regardless... I'm not entirely sure what makes a group succeed or fail, I'm just stating my preferences for participating in anything (even then, it's not a guarantee, because what I'm interested in often differs from what everybody else likes).

4812059

At least you could probably post about Sunset in the Rage Review forum.:coolphoto:Sunset has an unfortunate amount of dumbass fanatic fanboys, and seeing them mix with the jaded reviewers could be a rare treat indeed.

That's not a bad idea. I might well do that.

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