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Author Topic: 2010 Ideas and Plans for The Cauldron's 13th Year  (Read 13257 times)
BGMarc
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« Reply #15: December 04, 2009, 02:19:39 am »



Do you think that a prominant/pinned thread focussing on the positive experiences of people who have been through peer review at TC would help to releave this sort of anxiety?

I'm thinking of testemonials to the effect that "I was shit-scared of posting, but people were helpful and honest and I am so much happier with the piece I finally published...".
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« Reply #16: December 04, 2009, 02:21:39 am »

If we are to be a site that attracts well-grounded discussion and that focuses on the needs of established pagans over those of seekers and others new to their paths, peer-review offers a level of quality that is hard to find on other pagan sites. It may make some people unhappy, but it differentiates TC in the market. It has longer term potential as well. If TC articles become well respected, then referencing TC becomes acceptable, which then leads to an ongoing source of new memebers who are seeking the experience the hosts wish to offer.

That.
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« Reply #17: December 04, 2009, 03:49:47 am »

No opinion on the technology side of things, but a workable, conceptual split may be sharing vs. reviewing. One area where people just publish original material that they think others may enjoy and another where they put material that is out there for comment and critique. If the categories focus on the reason for posting, it may help to avoid the flood of fiction and the "oh, articles are allowed in there as well are they?" outcomes.
This might be an excellent approach to the matter.  I'm speaking from experience here; the BBS I used to help run, in its writing section, had separate areas for "hard" critique and for sharing and more gentle/general feedback.  (The drawback was that, no matter how clearly or often I explained the distinction, there were always people posting in the "critique" areas expecting to be praised for how wonderfully creative they were, and who were shocked and hurt when instead the responses were all about how this child of their pen could be improved.)

I've quoted just one of his posts, but Marc makes many excellent points - I especially like his comments on how both the existence of quality articles in the articles section, and helping writers achieve that quality, not only build on TC's existing reputation, but cultivate that reputation further.

The one point on which I (probably) disagree with him is the degree of tactfulness suitable/necessary in a venue aimed at critique/improvement of writing - to be really constructive, criticism must be direct, explicit, and specific.  "This didn't work for me.  What were you trying to achieve?" is not nearly as helpful as being very specific about what didn't work and why.  (I think he and I agree, though, that negative feedback without that specificity is equally if not more unhelpful - neither, "this didn't work for me," nor, "this sucks," nor for that matter, "I really liked this," gives the writer any clues about how to make it work better/not suck.)

None of this means that I think a separate area is necessary; the focus on "reason for posting" can be applied to all writings posted in the Art, Poetry, and Writing forum, on a case-by-case basis, simply by the writer stating what they have in mind.  (I suspect some folks who've posted to the writing forum have hoped for more specific critique than they received.)  I wonder if the relative lack of non-fiction/non-poetry in that forum might be simply that people don't see such posts so it doesn't occur to them that they can be made - or, and this isn't mutually exclusive, that they're not thinking of the "critique" aspect at all, and thus perceive the distinction as, "nonfiction articles are shared in the relevant topical forum; fiction and poetry are shared in AP&W".  I'm not sure that creating new forums would be the most effective way to solve either of those - though I'm not saying absolutely that it couldn't be part of the solution.

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« Reply #18: December 04, 2009, 07:57:48 am »

No opinion on the technology side of things, but a workable, conceptual split may be sharing vs. reviewing. One area where people just publish original material that they think others may enjoy and another where they put material that is out there for comment and critique. If the categories focus on the reason for posting, it may help to avoid the flood of fiction and the "oh, articles are allowed in there as well are they?" outcomes.

I think this is an excellent idea.
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« Reply #19: December 04, 2009, 09:22:40 am »

Do you think that a prominant/pinned thread focussing on the positive experiences of people who have been through peer review at TC would help to releave this sort of anxiety?

I'm thinking of testemonials to the effect that "I was shit-scared of posting, but people were helpful and honest and I am so much happier with the piece I finally published...".

It's incredibly possible. I don't know if others' experiences during the peer-review process would necessarily help, though.
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« Reply #20: December 04, 2009, 11:46:19 am »

Alternatively (and just to see what comments it sparks), TC could decide to make a point of such a section. It could proactively encourage academics and others interested in critical review of their works to submit them here. It is a fairly unique pagan community in that it aims to meet the needs of practicing pagans, who are relatively established in their faith and who are interested in critical discussion and debate. Another of those points of differentiation that can lead to growth and sustainability in an enterprise Smiley

Yes.
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« Reply #21: January 21, 2010, 10:43:31 pm »


I'm happy to submit articles for the website or newsletter or whatever, as they'd just go to my livejournal and facebook and probably not reach a good target audience. I just need occasional reminders.

And as someone who's 3 credits away from a tech writing degree (with a 4.0, I might add), I'm also happy to help out with peer review or copy editing and such... again, I just need a reminder. I'm often easier to get through PM or email than on the board, since whenever life gets hectic or I get sick or frustrated with work or whatnot I tend to disappear from the board for far longer than I intend to be gone.

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« Reply #22: January 21, 2010, 11:40:06 pm »

I'm happy to submit articles for the website or newsletter or whatever, as they'd just go to my livejournal and facebook and probably not reach a good target audience. I just need occasional reminders.

That would be great!  What kind of reminders do you need?

(I can make it part of my Cill shift routine.  Wink )
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« Reply #23: January 21, 2010, 11:40:57 pm »

There you have it, an outline of some of our major plans for (and questions about) The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum in 2010. We've been around 12 years and we would like to be around another 12. What happens with The Cauldron this year may have a lot to do with deciding if that is even possible. If you have comments or suggestions (other than on the Web Site redesign which has it own thread metioned above), you can post them right here in this thread.

I love TC, but unfortunately my current financial situation doesn't allow me to donate as much as I'd like to.  I would be happy to donate my time to TC. I do, well did IT work for a living before the economy went bye bye, so I'm computer savvy and such.  

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« Reply #24: January 22, 2010, 07:10:05 am »

It may be useful though to start out in Special Topic Discussions, and see if the interest is strong enough (aka enough people post articles in the thread) to warrant the creation of a sub-folder where workshopping articles can each be given their own threads.

(bolding mine)

I think that this could be a way to have a non-fiction writing sub-forum without it looking weird.  We could just call it the "Writer's Workshop" and in the discription we could say that that it specializes in peer-reviewing non-fiction/academic articles for TC but any other types of writing is welcome too.
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« Reply #25: January 25, 2010, 08:10:51 am »

That would be great!  What kind of reminders do you need?

(I can make it part of my Cill shift routine.  Wink )

Hrm... well, even though you're somewhat local to me, I don't think you want to come bang on my door and remind me in person. Email is good, or a PM (which is copied to my email). I try to get deadlines put in my PDA with alarm reminders, too.

I have a bylaw re-write for my Star Trek group to get finished before my last night school class starts next week, and I may be scarce due to said class until May (I don't know how intense the writing course will be), but after that I'm pretty much a free woman and will be ready to concentrate on building up my pagan writings.

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« Reply #26: January 25, 2010, 09:19:37 pm »

I have a bylaw re-write for my Star Trek group to get finished before my last night school class starts next week, and I may be scarce due to said class until May (I don't know how intense the writing course will be), but after that I'm pretty much a free woman and will be ready to concentrate on building up my pagan writings.

OK, tell you what:  When you get to the point (in May?) when you feel like you want to spend some time writing for the newsletter, let me know.  I'll be happy to provide whatever reminders or nagging you need.   Cheesy
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« Reply #27: February 08, 2010, 02:14:01 pm »

OK, tell you what:  When you get to the point (in May?) when you feel like you want to spend some time writing for the newsletter, let me know.  I'll be happy to provide whatever reminders or nagging you need.   Cheesy

Ok. I absolutely cannot WAIT until graduation!

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