unconventional settings: how to get people interested

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Re: unconventional settings: how to get people interested

Post by gestaltist » Sat 27 Jan 2018, 23:26

Reyzadren wrote:
Fri 26 Jan 2018, 23:41
shimobaatar wrote:
Fri 26 Jan 2018, 01:04
Reyzadren wrote:
Fri 26 Jan 2018, 00:30
I don't post anything about my conworld here because I know most people here won't be interested in it.
If I might ask, how do you know for certain?
People here have very specific interests that do not align with mine. Upon browsing the forum, one can see other members' comments about what they like in other threads, as well as what they don't like.
You got me curious. Would you be willing to lift the veil of secrecy at least a little bit? Like: what genres are you interested in? Or whatever you feel comfortable sharing.
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Re: unconventional settings: how to get people interested

Post by fruityloops » Sat 27 Jan 2018, 23:26

Excuse me, perhaps chill a bit. Didn't know this would end up like this.
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Re: unconventional settings: how to get people interested

Post by Salmoneus » Sun 28 Jan 2018, 00:01

Dammit, responding to criticism by listening to it and thinking about one's own actions is NOT how online discussions are supposed to go.

Thanks for taking my comment seriously. FWIW, I was actually coming here to delete it. Not that I think I was wrong, but that I in turn was probably too sharp in tone - and that it probably wasn't worth derailing the thread. Nonetheless, in the interests of clarity...
Spoiler:
Salmoneus wrote:
Sat 27 Jan 2018, 19:32
If someone you're not interested in doesn't ask you out on a date, do you accost them and go "how dare you deprive me of the chance to go on a date with you, just because you assume, merely on the basis of my comments about my previous romantic interests and the disparaging things I've said and/or lack of interest I've shown in people like you before, that I'm not interested in you? What, you think you're a thinking person capable of recognising patterns and making your own decisions for yourself? Hardly! It's my right to choose to publically reject you!" ?
I will say, however, that I don't think this is a fair analogy, because I feel that comparing this kind of thing to pressuring someone into sharing their conworld downplays the scary reality of dating violence and similar phenomena. I'm very lucky to have never experienced this myself, but friends of mine unfortunately have been faced with responses in the same ballpark as this quote. Obviously, this wasn't your intention, but hopefully I've made it clear why this paragraph didn't sit right with me.
Never minding your 'never mind', I wanted to say: yes, that's the point. I chose that example specifically because it's uncomfortable. Now, obviously I'm not saying elemtilas' response here was as bad as dating violence, and indeed I don't think my example was an example of "dating violence" at all - the two people in the hypothetical are clearly not dating, and their interaction is not violent, and if we're going to talk about downplaying the scary reality of dating violence, I actually think that this sort of automatic equation of any dating-adjacent unpleasantness with actual violence is more worrying: somebody being conceited and rude is not the same as date rape (although sure, in very rare cases the former can lead to the latter). Now to be clear: I'm not trying to target you specifically here - this has clearly become a trope; I just think it's one we should think twice about.
But going back to why I chose an uncomfortable analogy: because I think both cases have similar dynamics regarding agency, privacy, entitlement and so forth. When we raise the stakes - make it an face-to-face interaction on an issue (dating) that people care about - this situation makes a lot of us uncomfortable. But that doesn't mean that if we lower the stakes, suddenly there's no issue anymore. It's a basic method of argumentation to show how one case is structurally equivalent to another, even when the stakes are very different - sadly, it increasingly seems not to be understood on the internet (comparing two things is not the same as saying they are equally important, just that they have similar characteristics!).
And yes, because I have seen the same mindset in more important situations - that "how dare you not even ask me? you're taking away my agency!" sense of entitlement... that makes me more, rather than less, interested in disagreeing with it.

So let's be clearer about how I see the dynamics:
PERSON A: I did not share [my personal thing] with you. You'd already made clear you didn't like things like that.
PERSON B: How dare you withhold [thing] from me! I know I might not have liked it, but that was my choice to make! Who the hell are you to decide what I do or don't like?

Whether Person A is defending not offering their conworlding material for feedback, or defending not asking Person B out on a date, obvious changes how important this exchange is. But I don't think the fundamental issues are greatly different.

Now, I have two problems with this:
a) Person A has an absolute right to decide what to share, whether that's their hobby or their other free time. So Person B doesn't have a right to be offered it and to then decide whether or not they want it. Who the hell does Person A think they are? They think they're the owner of themselves and their time and the fruit of their labours; and so it doesn't matter what reason Person A has for withholding - even 'because I feel like it' would be an acceptable reason;
but also:
b) Person B has acted in a certain way. Person A has drawn conclusions from that. Those conclusions may be wrong. But Person A has a right to draw conclusions from the facts as they see them - that's essential to personhood. We all assess the world around us. Sometimes we're wrong, but that's not our fault. Person B does not have any absolute right to be correctly interpreted. If they want to be correctly interpreted, it's on them to do a better job of communicating. In this exchange, Person B is exonerating themselves of responsibility by putting the blame for their own failure to communicate onto Person A, who has made a fair effort to understand them. [Now of course, Person A may sometimes be wise to improve their interpretations. But Person B does not have a right to demand this of them - not, at any rate, outside of really extreme circumstances.]
It seems like we interpreted Reyzadren's statements very differently. I didn't get the sense of "I'd prefer to keep what I've been working on to myself, at least for now". Instead, it seemed like they were saying "I'd love to share my conworld, but I can tell without even asking that every single one of you plebs wouldn't be interested in something so exciting… not that there's anything wrong with that". This seemed very presumptuous, and I felt rather insulted, but looking back now that I've cooled off, I still can't say I see the comments the way you did, but I've realized I was absolutely being presumptuous myself. Maybe there was something about the wording of Reyzadren's posts that subconsciously reminded me of examples of extreme snootiness directed at myself and others elsewhere on the internet that set off this response in me, or something like that, but that doesn't really matter. In the end, I still assumed the worst, and that my first reading of the comments in question was correct.
Whereas that interpretation never occured to me. Why assume that anyone thinks you're beneath them? It's just as likely that someone doesn't want to share because they feel intimidated and insecure! Or, as Reyzadren actually said, because they think that they have different tastes from you. They have observed that what you like, they don't like, and what you don't like, they maybe do like. That doesn't mean they're claiming to be better than you - or worse. Just different.

I mean, maybe Reyzadren does secretly feel superior. But they certainly didn't say anything like that out loud, so it's unfair to assume it. Which, OK, you realise now, so that's OK, but I thought I should say it explicitly.
I was going to respond to Reyzadren's second post by trying to politely encourage them to put some more faith in the community instead of assuming they could deduce everyone's interests and to consider sharing their conworld, especially since they've already shared information about their conlang. Instead, I decided to prioritize saving myself time and effort by agreeing with the post I [+1]-ed, seemingly thinking that simply adding a line about not agreeing with the tone would make it OK. That was incredibly stupid and lazy of me, and I'm very sorry. I could say something like "I had a long day yesterday and I was tired and agitated when I posted that", and that wouldn't be lying, but that also wouldn't make it alright. I should have known better. Also, I'm aware of how essentially meaningless saying "I was going to try responding politely" is, but it's the truth, not that I expect anyone to believe it. It's at least what I really wish I had done.
And I should probably have been clearer that it was elemtilas' post I really had an issue with. Obviously, if it was just his post, I wouldn't have said anything - what's the point? - so I wasn't wrong to object to you uncritically agreeing with it, and the 'I was trying to be polite, but...' thing certainly didn't make it look like you had reservations. But I should have distinguished more between the content you quoted approvingly and you yourself and given you more benefit of the doubt.
As a side note, I find your inclusion of the word "embarrassingly" very interesting. For a while now, I've gotten the sense that most other board members have very different reactions to receiving, or not receiving, comments on their work. However, I keep forgetting that and assuming everyone else reacts the same way I do, and it looks like that forgetfulness has finally caused, or at least contributed to, a misunderstanding like this one.
I don't know if Reyzadren would feel embarrassed when ignored. Personally, I sometimes do and sometimes don't. Less now, probably, because I tend now to post things that are more overtly of zero interest to anybody else, so I when people ignore me I feel... well, that I'm at about par for the course. But there are certainly times when it can be embarassing. If, for instance, there's a "tell us about..." thread, and you're the only one completely ignored. More generally, I think if you're responding to someone else's request or invitation, spend time on it and then they completely ignore you, that can be embarrassing.

But in this case, I wasn't trying to speculate, but to hypothecate: "think how they might feel". I was trying to suggest a reason why some people might not want to share - why it's not a free action for them, why there may be a potential cost.
I cannot overstate how ashamed I am to think that I may have been seen as unwelcoming and unfriendly, or as someone who pressures people into sharing things they're not comfortable sharing, and guilting them if they refuse. I sincerely hope "people don't feel comfortable sharing personal things with (me) because of how they've seen (me) act in the past". I'm probably going to end up using this word and its synonyms a lot in this response, but I really am mortified to think that that's how people have seen my attempts to do the exact opposite. Knowing this, even the gentler response I would have ideally given probably would have been far too pushy.
I'll say this in bold because it's important: I was not making any comment on your own personal record of behaviour. Indeed, I explicitly said that you seemed perfectly nice. My remarks were protasic: if people don't feel comfortable sharing with you because of how you've acted in the past. Note three things: I didn't say 'people don't feel...', I said 'IF people don't feel', without claiming that this was in fact the case; 'you' was in context not specifically intended as 'shimobaatar', but a plural or generic 'you'; and even if someone doesn't like something you've done, that doesn't mean you've done anything wrong. So no allegation was intended!

Sorry to get psychological here, but I can't help but notice the coincidence: in one post, you take "we're all different" to mean "you're not as good as me", and in the next you take "if someone doesn't like what you've done" to mean "I've done something terrible!". This kind of feels like a trend. And no, this isn't an accusation either. It's just... maybe try not to read everything as a claim that you're inadequate in some way, unless it's explicit?

So to be clear: I am not saying "you, shimobaatar, have behaved terribly!"; I am saying "if people in a group have lead someone to conclude something about what they like and don't like, the onus is on those people to correct that impression if they can, rather than on the 'someone' to withhold from trying to understand their behaviour as best they can on the basis of past behaviour".

If some people have led Reyzadren to think that they would not be interested in Reyzadren's work, when in fact they would be interested, that's unfortunate, but that doesn't give them a right to berate Reyzadren for failing to understand their true feelings. That doesn't even mean that those people have necessarily done anything wrong. Just: if they want a different response, it's on them to give a different impression. And to be clear: I have no idea what impression exactly Reyzadren has gotten, or whether that impression is actually justified. I don't think you've been specifically unpleasant to them. Clearly, they do not feel sufficiently warmly welcome to share that they feel inclined to do so - whether they're being paranoid, or you're being unfriendly, or you're both acting perfectly reasonably but just aren't a perfect fit conworldingwise, I have no idea! But I also don't think it particularly matters.

And I think it's worth re-iterating: we should not forget the possibility that Reyzadren is completely correct that others might not be interested in his work. Since we've not seen it, we have no idea whether they're correct or not.
Once again, I totally agree, but I guess I've been doing an awful job conveying how I really feel.
Most people usually do.
I think this is another instance of the fact that I respond differently to getting, or not getting, feedback than most people contributing to the misunderstanding. That might also be why I'm admittedly not 100% certain what you're trying to say here in this paragraph. Anyway, for instance, my first though in instances of people bumping their own threads, or asking how to get people interested in their work, or something like that, tends to be along the lines of asking "what's so bad about not getting any comments", which probably seems very strange to most of you.
To me, it does, yes. After all, if they didn't want anyone to pay attention, why did they wave their hands in public shouting "look! look at that which I have wrought! LOOK!" ? If they didn't want anyone to pay attention, they could have just not started a thread talking about their work.
I hope there aren't any hard feelings between us, or between Reyzadren and I, or between myself and anyone who has been upset by the way I've apparently been coming off, but I can understand if there are.
Again, i didn't say anything about how you've 'apparently been coming off', except in this one post.
To conclude, I'm completely mortified (there's that word again) by what's happened here, and I sincerely apologize to Reyzadren, to you, and to everyone who has been hurt or put off by the way I've come off. I assumed the worst and ran with it, not taking the time to go back over the comments that started all this, and on top of that, I idiotically decided to respond by lazily agreeing with a statement I wouldn't have made myself, or at least I'd like to think I wouldn't have, instead of taking even a little bit of time to put even a little bit of thought into a full response of my own.
For what it's worth, yes, I do think both of these were mistakes. I'm glad that you've realised this and have felt comfortable enough to admit it. That is as much as, and more than, I ever hoped when I made my objection. I certainly didn't intend anyone to feel 'mortified' and 'ashamed' - what is this place that we're in, a Sophocles tragedy?
I think I'll be stepping back from the non-game threads of the board, even more so, if that's even possible, than I have already because of college, to reevaluate how I've been acting and coming across online. As troubling, and frankly unexpected, as this news is, I appreciate you pointing this out to me.
...At risk of criticising you for a second time: now come. I get not enjoying having a post criticised. But you know perfectly well that nobody is calling for you to quit or 'step back from' the board. We've both been on the internet long enough to recognise that trope. Weeping martyrdom as a response to an objection to one post is an overreaction (supra vide re reading everything as a fundamental assault on your worthiness). And no, me gently nudging you away from martyrdom is not itself a fundamental assault on your worthiness meriting martyrdom either. So let's move on and not get caught up in any 'woe is me' ritual penance and mortification of the flesh business! You've done a great job of 'listening to criticism', but let's not veer too far in the opposite direction!
Oh, and one final apology for derailing this thread.
Which I likewise tender. I wanted to put this in public to make clear what I meant and didn't mean, but don't think we should take up any more of everybody's patience. If you have any further question, objection or whatever about what I've said here, you're welcome to PM me about it.
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Re: unconventional settings: how to get people interested

Post by elemtilas » Sun 28 Jan 2018, 01:29

Salmoneus wrote:
Sat 27 Jan 2018, 19:32
Elemtilas, obviously, I expect this sort of thing from,
Oh, friend! You're so kind to remember me! You really made my day!!

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Re: unconventional settings: how to get people interested

Post by Axiem » Sun 28 Jan 2018, 02:17

fruityloops wrote:
Sat 27 Jan 2018, 23:26
Didn't know this would end up like this.
That has a...tendency...to happen around here.
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Re: unconventional settings: how to get people interested

Post by DesEsseintes » Sun 28 Jan 2018, 02:24

elemtilas wrote:
Sun 28 Jan 2018, 01:29
Salmoneus wrote:
Sat 27 Jan 2018, 19:32
Elemtilas, obviously, I expect this sort of thing from,
Oh, friend! You're so kind to remember me! You really made my day!!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zwQ1TGwFu8
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Elemtilas, your reaction seems to indicate that you believe this to have been all about you somehow? That had not occurred to me before this odd post of yours.

Salmoneus and shimobaatar both showed the board and OP the respect of clarifying at length their standpoints and interpretations of Reyzadren’s post and your reaction to it. Have you considered doing the same?
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Re: unconventional settings: how to get people interested

Post by Dormouse559 » Sun 28 Jan 2018, 02:50

If anyone feels like this particular line of discussion should continue, I'd suggest moving it to PMs.
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Re: unconventional settings: how to get people interested

Post by DesEsseintes » Sun 28 Jan 2018, 02:57

I don’t want any PMs. Thanks.
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Re: unconventional settings: how to get people interested

Post by elemtilas » Sun 28 Jan 2018, 05:20

DesEsseintes wrote:
Sun 28 Jan 2018, 02:24
Spoiler:
elemtilas wrote:
Sun 28 Jan 2018, 01:29
Salmoneus wrote:
Sat 27 Jan 2018, 19:32
Elemtilas, obviously, I expect this sort of thing from,
Oh, friend! You're so kind to remember me! You really made my day!!

[<3] [<3] [<3] [<3] [<3] [<3] [<3] [<3]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zwQ1TGwFu8
[<3] [<3] [<3] [<3] [<3] [<3] [<3] [<3]
Elemtilas, your reaction seems to indicate that you believe this to have been all about you somehow?
Oh, no indeed. I simply appreciate so very much when our dear Sal decides to pontificate and also that he never forgets to get in his digs. I am simply expressing my heartfelt gratitude that our dear friend condescended to acknowledge my little part, there in the very heart of his deep and wise teaching!
That had not occurred to me before this odd post of yours.
Goodness I should hope not!
Salmoneus and shimobaatar both showed the board and OP the respect of clarifying at length their standpoints and interpretations of Reyzadren’s post and your reaction to it. Have you considered doing the same?
I really don't see much need for further clarification or apology or deconstruction of what was said. But since you ask, I'll just say the following:

Frankly, I really don't care what Reyzadren's opinion of anyone's work here is. He's welcome to it. I also really don't care if he wants to pour forth with his own work or withhold everything from us. He's welcome to do either. I don't much appreciate it when words are being put in my mouth (or anyone else's) --- is there not a House Rule against that or something?.

What I don't appreciate is the methodology. I didn't and still don't see his point in putting words in our mouths by saying that none of us will like or care for his work. (On the contrary, that's nòt normal: I think most of us who are at all active dó actually appreciate the efforts of others and are interested in learning more. That's rather the point of a community.)

I don't see the point with the intentional antagonism, flat out saying (implicitly) that everyone's work here sucks and (explicitly) that it's boring. The point of a community is to uplift and encourage one another, not put everyone down.

I don't see the point in advertising the fact you won't share your work because you're some kind of clairvoyant that knows what everyone thinks, what everyone likes and what everyone won't care for just because you've seen a (very skewed) slice of people's online activity here. I thought it was presumptuous before, and I still think it is. Part of being in a community like this is showing off your work. No one here has in any way disrespected Reyzadren or demanded of him a show and tell session.

Just so that we're on the same page, this is the salient portion of Reyzadren's first response to the thread:
I don't post anything about my conworld here because I know most people here won't be interested in it. That's normal, it's not just you. People here have very specific interests that do not align with mine. Conversely, I am not interested in other conworlds that are shown here which are considered to be exciting, I think they are boring.
And the second response:
People here have very specific interests that do not align with mine. Upon browsing the forum, one can see other members' comments about what they like in other threads, as well as what they don't like.
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Re: unconventional settings: how to get people interested

Post by Ahzoh » Sun 28 Jan 2018, 10:13

Nowhere at all did he imply or explicate that he finds any work presented here to be of objectively inferior quality. He may express a subjective value judgement but that is expected. He hasn't put anybody down. You're basically shadow boxing.
because you're some kind of clairvoyant that knows what everyone thinks, what everyone likes and what everyone won't care for just because you've seen a (very skewed) slice of people's online activity here.
All he did was make a prediction based on his observation of the actions and words of other people. This isn't a feeling of clairvoyance, this is literally what every human does for literally everything.
I don't much appreciate it when words are being put in my mouth (or anyone else's)
That's literally what YOU'RE doing.
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Re: unconventional settings: how to get people interested

Post by fruityloops » Sun 28 Jan 2018, 14:55

Yo, we get it. Sometimes people can be very insistent on these sort of things. I is it want to avoid a bit flame war and get on topic. Now, currently, I'm just trying to do some material for my setting with first being a screenplay for a possible pilot. I'm still stuck at it. What I'm doing is setting up all 5 of the main characters before they end up getting teleported into my world.
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Re: unconventional settings: how to get people interested

Post by elemtilas » Mon 29 Jan 2018, 01:36

fruityloops wrote:
Sun 28 Jan 2018, 14:55
Yo, we get it. Sometimes people can be very insistent on these sort of things. I is it want to avoid a bit flame war and get on topic. Now, currently, I'm just trying to do some material for my setting with first being a screenplay for a possible pilot. I'm still stuck at it. What I'm doing is setting up all 5 of the main characters before they end up getting teleported into my world.
Ya, sorry your thread became derailed a bit! (It happens here, just like everywhere else. We just have to be patient & forgiving, say what we need to say and move on along!)

As for your actual question, I did actually have some thoughts on that, which may or may not fit your own particular circumstance & experience.
so recently I've just learned that a lot of people don't take interest in my setting. Now this is mostly my fault as I tend to not make the most enticing of pitches. even then, we try to say "basically Conan the barbarian meets redwall but the main races are insects, arachnid and crustaceans" after a long post explaining everything. No one comments. I'm not even sure if I should post here in fears people might not even bother posting a comment on their. Even when I talk about people don't quote it to show interest.

so for any of you people who have settings that are out there, please tell me your secrets on how people get so invested in it.
I would actually disagree with you about people not taking an interest. First of all, you are almost brand-spanking new here. Second, you only (properly) introduced your world three days ago.

You can hardly expect people to take an interest immediately you join a forum. No one knows who you are or even to look for anything posted by you. That takes a while. But once you did begin the Verlyria thread, you have gotten quite a bit of interest. If you take a look at the stats by the thread title, you can see (as of time of writing) you've got 21 replies and 258 thread views. That's quite respectable for a three day time period!

As for the rest of the question, I'd say this. They best way to get any attention at all here is to post good quality content and that in some quantity and that over a long period of time.

The rest is just common sense & general take-it-or-leave-it advice that you probably already know:

* if you post a picture, make sure there's some words to go with it. Describe the scene, introduce the characters.
* make a variety of shorter & longer posts on interesting topics: culture, history, language, weather, social life, etc.
* tell some stories!
* take part in the Muiltiverse Inn, when it's active; and also the conculture opinions thread
* style counts: make sure you spell properly and make use of sentences & paragraphs
* answer your fan mail: when people ask questions, they're looking for more information. Give it them! "Yes/no" answers don't instill much confidence and may lead to a declining interest. If you keep us interested with your answers, general interest will be maintained.

So yeah, there's no secret formula. Now that you've introduced your world, we know about it. Just keep us interested!
Last edited by elemtilas on Mon 29 Jan 2018, 02:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: unconventional settings: how to get people interested

Post by fruityloops » Mon 29 Jan 2018, 01:45

thanks
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