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May
3rd
2019

EqD'oh · 12:53pm May 3rd, 2019

Hey.

Did you know that I've had five stories featured on Equestria Daily in the last month?

Neither did I until after I Google'd myself.

Snazzy...?

They're all marked as "Scouted," which I presume means that Sethisto is hand-picking pre-established fanfics and featuring them in order to--perhaps--make up for a lack of literary content.

Guess we truly are in the end times.
-SS&E

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Comments ( 28 )

I wouldn't say the end is neigh. We've hit a plateu, not a slope.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Yeah, I don't even know what's going on. <.< Most of the 'scouted' fics have been coming from my review blogs, except now it seems to be trending away from that and into literally who knows I guess. :B

I would say it's less likely sethisto. The ecd pre-reader team is probably the ones curating the fics. Which means that I believe Pascoite could be behind this :V

I think this is a record. Grats! I normally try to keep one in the queue, but that many in one month is exceptional. Yea!!

Horse fame is a heavy burden indeed

One of mine got posted a while ago, but without either me contacting them or a scouted tag? Guess they gotta drive traffic somehow...

It's not a sign of the end times, as rather Equestria Daily having developed a weird posting habit. It's going on for a while now that Sethisto claims he can't find stuff to post anymore. But having looked into that a little myself when he started saying that, I can confirm that he exaggerates the matter quite a bit. I found a lot of Drawfriend material of great to exceptional quality that Sethisto flat-out ignored, even though it definitely meets whatever arbitrary quality criteria Equestria Daily has for MLP: FiM fanarts, based on experience from the Drawfriends. Some of these were sent in by me but, despite that, Sethisto did not post them.
Another example are Vannamelon's Fluttershy Let's Plays. Sethisto just doesn't feature them anymore, even though they still get pumped out like crazy.
What I gather from this is that Sethisto loses motivation to search for stuff to post. Or, sometimes, even to just look stuff up and link it in a post with a short description. The Fluttershy Let's Plays really aren't hard to find.
If there are any end times, then it's the end times of Sethisto's motivation to run EQD.

5052926

I love the way you put this. Let me add to it. Creating MLP: FiM fanwork is like climbing an infinite mountain. Sometimes we reach a plateau and settle down there for a bit, but we'll always continue climbing again eventually.
There is no end to this climb and there is no end of the ride.

Are you saying they'll start scraping the bottom of the barrel soon? Then there's hope that my patience will be rewarded...

EQD had always given me that "clueless elitist with arbitrary randomness rules because we can" vibe. It didn't take me long to write them off when I found them back in 2012.

5053192

In 2012? What arbitrary random rules did they have so far back? I know that EQD is very selective about the art and creations they feature (I'm sure the kind of refusal to feature Vannamelon's Fluttershy Let's Plays lately is part of that randomness), but I was under the impression that it used to be better in its first years.
Do you know more?

5053322
While I have forgotten many of the details, the things I do remember were shared with prospective authors who would share the acceptance/rejection letters from various EqD "editors." While some rejections were, from a technical standpoint, incredibly fair, some of many of them came from the "editors' position that "they just didn't like the story."

I guess my biggest gripe was that some of the curators based their decisions on their own internal feelings of things. And they were often the ones who wrote rejection letters that came off as unprofessional and arbitrary. Considering that FIM doesn't have quite the volume of fans that it once had, I'd say the arbitrariness hasn't really changed, they just don't have as much material to be arbitrary over.

5053658

Oh, that. Now I remember, I heard about that a few times here on FIMFiction.net. Thanks anyway for reminding me, this might be a useful information for the future.

5053132
Thanks Fluttercheer. Bronies (and Pegasisters) to the end!

5053658
We're not gone yet though.

Jeez Louise, sounds like EqD wasn't much fun back in the day...

5054423

I'd have to disagree. EqD was much much much more fun back in the day. It was... more free, in a way. Cupcakes and Rainbow Factory (Couldn't find the direct link but there's lots about it) wouldn't have horrified as many people if EqD hadn't posted about them. Sure EqD's Facfic requirements were shaky at best and were at the whim of whoever was previewing it, but they still gave many very good fics spotlights. Fallout: Equestria and End of Ponies are some more examples. It's very unlikely these fics would be spotlighted today. But the main thing is the variety. The fandom used to be much more active, thus there was more interesting and varied content for EqD to post. I'd go on but I fear I'd sound ever more like an old man wishing for the good old days than I already do.

5054505

(2:54-2:57)

5054653
I wasn't in the fandom at that time, so sadly I wasn't aware of this. I stand corrected.

5054658
No worries haha. A lot of us olds have varying opinions on EqD and the early fandom. Mostly those who like EqD (myself, though I fully admit that EqD has flaws and has made questionable choices in the past) and 5053658 who seems to dislike EqD due to their fic approval process, which is a perfectly valid point and I understand it. They ARE kinda elitist and have dicked over some very popular authors because of arbitrary reasons. On the other hand, they have absolutely promoted some legendary stories and because EqD was such a driving force in the early fandom, lots of people were able to get into the fandom easily and keep up with general pony news.

Gah, I get long winded after drinking. Sorry about that :pinkiehappy:

5054663
I got into the fandom after browsing the internet late one night in 2013.

5054665
Oh wow, so season 3 when Twilight became an alicorn? One of the first major fandom upheavals. Exciting times back then.

5054666
This may sound odd, but I actually got in via Equestria Girls.

5054667
I'll admit, a bit odd. But that's only cause it's not the regular way of being converted to the pony cult. You are reminding me of how old the first Equestria Girls movie is however. I hadn't remembered/realized it came out between season 3 and 4.

5054677
It just really worked for me, ya know? I was in secondary school at the time, and I really connected with the characters.

5054653

I'd have to disagree. EqD was much much much more fun back in the day. It was... more free, in a way.

It was. I started watching MLP: FiM in January 2012, in the german version back then, looked at the first fanwork for it in early 2013 and came to Equestria Daily in July 2013. I left my first comment there on July 15th and began to browse the fanwork that got featured there on July 17th. I still remember and will never forget what a rush that was, I tried to keep up with EVERYTHING for three months straight and then I realized it is just too much to look and download everything that is featured. I still think that most of my MLP: FiM fanwork I have on my HD comes from these three months.
But since then, Equestria Daily has changed. It was fantastic in 2013 and in 2014, but in early 2015, it became gradually uncomfy on there. The comments section became more and more toxic and spiteful, especially of the show and certain writers of it. It became more elitist and users on there began to pick on other users who were different than the established crowd. Sethisto and Calpain did nothing about it.
The site itself changed, too. From that moment onwards, EQD changed in many ways for the worse. The moment I knew that EQD was in the process of going down was when they denied drawponies art features after the whole tracing thing. They still allowed them again later on, under the requirement that "drawponies has apologized", but it was wrong to do that in the first place.

Then they did it again when Toxic-Mario was accused of tracing and even though there was only very flimsy evidence that he traced the picture at all, they banned him from art features, too. And this time it was worse, because they kept it up. Even though Toxic-Mario went out of his way to bring up numerous clear proofs that the picture wasn't traced, as well as his supporters who did the same, EQD went along with the hateful crowd who completely ignored everything that was brought on the table (aka, guilty by default, because the brainless mob says so) and kept refusing to feature his art. It still refuses to do that.
I don't have an insight into the inner proceedings of how story features work, but since I have seen how EQD treated drawponies and Toxic-Mario, I can confirm that EQD has developed an attitude to abuse and mistreat popular fandom creators for the sake of its own popularity and/or selfrighteousness.

And other things happened, too. During Season 6, the tone of the Episode Followups shifted from "Funny and innovative episode recaps" to "Editorials that roast new episodes and criticize the heck out of them" by the Episode Followup writers making more and more underhoofed remarks about an episode or the writer, often aiming at popular complaints the fandom already had about certain elements of the show. For a little while, EQD even had an Episode Followup writer who did nothing but trashtalking MLP: FiM, with ABagoVicodin. He regularly abused the Episode Followups to spread hate about the show, you could see what he was here for.
These stabs at new episodes in Episode Followups happened so frequently, that I still think it was Sethisto himself who told the Episode Followup writers to occasionally bash the show in them because he wanted to bank on the views of the many users who trashtalked new episodes in the comments section.

Then, at the start of 2016, EQD finally got some moderators, something I used to suggest several times back then because the comments section had become unbearable. EQD finally got moderators and actual rules for the comments section, but nothing changed. EQD should have introduced rules against people who only abused the comments section to hate on certain episodes and their writers for the sake of it.
But when you brought up cases where someone only wrote a comment to rage about an episode in high octaves or where someone insulted and name-called a writer of an episode or spread ridiculous rumors about them (still remember one guy who constantly accused a writer of being xenophobic and rascist and who wrote long-winded, toxic rants about that, not to mention the frequent and very tasteless attacks on Meghan McCarthy or, now, Josh Haber), the moderators waved it of as "It's just their opinion, there's nothing we can do".
They didn't even do anything when a user got picked on by a mob of others for no other "reason" than "I don't like the way he talks" (said user was one with a very joyful, exuberant attitude, not an aggressive, foulmouthed person, mind you). Worse, they usually jumped on board by threatening said user with bans. The moderators of EQD were always entire useless and, partially, abusive themselves.

Then, a few months later, EQD went on Patreon and I think this made matters just worse. From that moment on, you could see how Sethisto became careless. Awkward typos in news posts popped up much more frequently and he didn't bother to fix them, news posts got randomly removed, shifted around and re-released at a different time and, gradually, Sethisto began to post less and less stuff. A couple of times, he outright ignored mails with submitted content. The news posts also began to lack information, often being written very lazily, like he hastily wrote them between two rounds of Fortnite or something.
From that moment on, it was just about the money anymore, not about running a good MLP: FiM news and fanwork feature blog.

Lastly, and that's something Sethisto HEAVILY denies if you confront him about it, but it's very obvious and easy to see if you keep your eyes open and know where to look, is a certain partnership with Hasbro for more monetary gain that either began in the last months of 2017 or early 2018. There was even something leaking out about Hasbro having offered Sethisto a very high amount of money for selling EQD to them, which he supposedly declined.
But certain things, such as news posts suddenly disappearing because of a notice from Hasbro, certain posts on EQD from last year where Sethisto openly "warned" (Read: threatened) EQD visitors to seek out the leaked episodes by saying that Hasbro will go after them and they will get into legal trouble if they do and a yearly "surprise" easter basket from Hasbro filled with MLP: FiM toys starting with Easter 2018 that, of course, EQD is really happy to review in a very unbiased and objective way, show that something is going on.
That a fandom site not only takes something down if a company or copyright holder sends a notice, but also jumps into the breach to do that company's job and writes news posts that are in the interest of that company, is unprecedented, and that makes more than clear that money is flowing into one direction here.
That's just the stuff I noticed over the years and remember, but I wouldn't be surprised if there is more.

Today, EQD is not a fandom site anymore, it's a business. Equestria Daily is not free anymore, it has lost its independence and integrity at least one year ago.

But the main thing is the variety. The fandom used to be much more active, thus there was more interesting and varied content for EqD to post.

That's not entirely true. You're forgetting that said development can also come from the other direction:

The brony fandom always created and still creates so much, that it's hard for a newbie pony creator to get noticed in the crowd of talented artists and writers. Equestria Daily was what brought them into the spotlight and helped them to become popular.
But Sethisto has, as I mentioned above, gotten lazy and often outright ignores content to feature even when it got sent in. Trust me when I say there is a lot more he could feature, but he doesn't.
But Equestria Daily is the only site in the fandom that supports pony creators in such a way, with effective features that lets the creators get their names out. Fandom creators have largely come to rely on Equestria Daily to become known. Since EQD has become even more arbitrary in what it features and often doesn't even feature certain creations or creators anymore, because Sethisto has gotten too lazy to look for it and post it, then this discourages pony creators from creating, because they think that EQD won't feature their work and that, thus, they have little to no chance to become known.
That's what I largely attribute the steady decline in pony music to, because while pony artists have at least groups on Deviantart and fic writers the groups here to make a lot of people aware of their work, pony musicians have no such thing on YouTube. The same goes for animators, PMV creators, ect.
Equestria Daily relies on pony creators for having something to feature, but pony creators also rely on Equestria Daily to get noticed. There's a mutual synergy effect that shouldn't be underestimated.
If EQD does its job poorly, it affects the entire creative community of the fandom. And if EQD would go down, which it eventually will rather sooner than later if Sethisto continues that way, then the creative pony community will follow suit if there is no successor to EQD that fills the hole it left.

5054687
Now that's something that I'm glad they were able to preserve when they made Equestria Girls. The core characters were great, whether pony or not.
5054757
And here I thought I was verbose haha. But seriously, I basically agree with everything you've said. I mostly just check EqD nowadays on the off chance there is anything interesting. I don't consume it as I used to in the early fandom years. I wonder if the EqD decline and Sethisto's governing style are linked more to greed or apathy. I'd normally say incompetence but he's been running it too long for that to be any excuse. Personally I'd lean towards apathy (not that is an excuse), though that might be because it mirrors my own feelings.

Pony has had a great run. Hell, maybe it's had the best run of any animated series. I'm not sure. Regardless, it's been 9 years and this is the final. There is nowhere to go from here. Sure there will be a G5, but the likelihood of it having anywhere near the same impact is minuscule. Even with EqD being as good as it once was or a successor that could try capturing lightning. Sethisto and EqD could have done better, maybe should have, but the decline of the fandom was inevitable. And I don't think even if they did everything perfect, that it would have changed much in the end. Sure there might be a few more people around and more varied art being showcased, but as a whole? Probably not much different except maybe the general moral might be slightly higher and less cynical.

Maybe it's wrong of me, but I still like to keep the memory of EqD (and the fandom itself) as it once was, shining and free. Unlike now, where large portions are jaded and insular. It's sad. After all, ponies taught us to be kind and laugh and be honest and generous and be loyal and let that magic of friendship fill our hearts.

5054934

I am very verbose. But that here is just a recap of my experiences.

I wonder if the EqD decline and Sethisto's governing style are linked more to greed or apathy.

#TeamGreed

Although, realistically speaking, it's probably a mix of both. Apathy towards G4 (despite Sethisto claiming that this is not the case and often faking to have genuine interest in it still), but unwillingness to give the reins of EQD to someone more motivated and passionate about the show, resulting in the creation of a Patreon account to make money and use said money as a motivator to keep going. Then, inevitably, falling prey to the typical corruption that money brings with it.

Probably not much different except maybe the general moral might be slightly higher and less cynical.

Truth be told, the seed for that toxic atmosphere in the fandom was probably planted very early on. After all, we've seen how people reacted to Twilight becoming an alicorn. I like to say that something in the fandom died on that day. But, realistically speaking, what caused so many to overreact so much on something that was, in the end, just one change of many and something that is to expect for a long-running show that wants to leave an impact, must have existed much earlier already, in the golden fandom times of Season 1 and Season 2.
Which isn't to say that the decline of positive values in the fandom was unstoppable. If EQD would have fulfilled its role model function in the fandom better when people still took it serious by talking to the fandom (Sethisto did sometimes make a post to talk some sense into the fandom when it acted up back in the days, but he did too little and his arguments were rather average) and by banning certain toxic people who soured the mood from its comment section, then it would look much different today.

Maybe it's wrong of me, but I still like to keep the memory of EqD (and the fandom itself) as it once was, shining and free. Unlike now, where large portions are jaded and insular.

Yes and no. Merely dwelling on the good old times will not bring them back, but at the same time, remembering the good old times is necessary if they should be brought back one day. So it's good that you keep their spirit alive.
I think that a successor to Equestria Daily, led by someone with a sufficient amount of passion, that does what EQD still does right and changes the rest would do wonders for the fandom.
Frankly, I think a new EQD is even what many wait for. It might look bad with EQD as one of the #1 exhibits of the fandom, but when you look away from EQD, you still find that spirit alive. Even here on FIMFiction.net, the episode discussions are a bit more mature than on EQD.
Overall, I think the major mistake was that certain people were allowed to stay on EQD, sometimes in the team itself (Vicodin), but mostly in the comments. I think EQD simply has become a fertile ground for all sorts of hatred and malice and that EQD is, today, mostly a gathering place for the awful part of the fandom.
The spirit of the early days is still alive, however, and I think there are enough left that honor it to rekindle it again if a competitor and, eventually, successor to EQD would rise.
Sometimes, I have the feeling the fandom is waiting for that.

5054934
And always will be. The 'pie-cake' joke in Friendship Games always has me in stitches no matter how many times I watch it.

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