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  1. #1

    Aspiring writers/creative people

    So a new year is coming, and I've been kicking around an idea. I've been wanting to get involved with another project (I've been writing a bit on the side for the last few years), but instead of working for someone else, I wanted to try to create something of my own. I know we have a good number of students and otherwise young people here. My vision is a place to give gamers or other similar crowds a place to voice their opinions and/or share their created content within a community that supports and encourages this creativity. This is not a forum however. Content would be edited and held to certain standards. You don't carve out a little niche on the internet, being as bloated as it is, by delivering mediocre to poor content.

    I'm really just brainstorming the idea at this point. If it sounds terrible feel free to tell me how awful I am. Otherwise feel free to offer suggestions, words of encouragement, or let me know if you'd like to be a part of it. Obviously, I can't pay anyone, and it's entirely possible this will fail and not attract a single viewer. Personally, I'm sick of just sitting around and criticizing other people who take a chance and make something. I want to build something myself.

    I don't want to follow any particular format. If you write (about anything: news, sports, tv, movies, music, games, short stories, poetry, etc), draw (comics, paintings, digital, etc), make music, create web pages, edit, make podcasts, program flash games, whatever. This will be an entirely new venture for me as well. At first, it will just be me approving what gets used but I hope to expand that to include other people that consistently put out quality content. People with judgement I can trust.

    So I know I'm light on hard details at the moment, but the idea really is in its infancy. Please, let me know what you all think.

  2. #2
    Legendary! Blueobelisk's Avatar
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    I don't really get the idea if it's not a forum. I mean, whatever that's not a problem.

    Basically you want to make a huge website where anyone can throw out their ideas/creative-stories of games they want to see or other stuff?

    Sounds really hard lol, there are way too many different types of games and companies that run games that have their own websites for stuff like that. It'd probably be easier to specialize in something than to be general.

  3. #3
    The Unstoppable Force Aeluron Lightsong's Avatar
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    Yeah specialization in what writing you're going for tends to work better. I specialize in the Warcraft universe though I write more then just Warcraft stuff, I tend to be....a reviwer or sorts or rather someone that likes to talk about a lot of things. Reviewer,Critic(The good one),Blogger,Writer. I'm all that.


    Though I have thought of entering the DC Universe universes(Batman Super man ETC ETC) That's more of what I've interested.
    Blizzard do not destroy Jaina Proudmoore's character. Make her who she once was, not full of rage and vengeance.,If you are curious about me or about my writing aspirations, feel free to pst me. Paladin-Sorcerer at your service! http://us.battle.net/wow/en/characte...htsongg/simple https://twitter.com/Aeluron1989

  4. #4
    I am Murloc! Tomatketchup's Avatar
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    Sounds pretty fun actually, but again, pretty hard to build up a decent userbase. Besides, just like Aeluron says, it's easier to specialize in something. I'm not sure people would be interested by my Nordic sci-fi/alternate history ideas.

  5. #5
    In a way I've been doing something in the grain that BlueObelisk described... I've been working on my own fictional universe for a while now, and I've been recently making a little archive on a site so people can all read through it and try and roleplay in it. Basically everyone I explain my work to has liked it for the most part.

  6. #6
    I love the idea of an online variety show though. I don't think anyone is really doing something like that.

    To Blue: I don't like the idea of a true forum because I'd want a higher degree of control over what goes out there. I want to be able to police offensive or illegal content or things that are barely coherent. Essentially it's ultimately my name on the door so to speak and I want to be able to control that image a bit.

  7. #7
    You can also create lots of restrictions in a forum if that is your only concern.

  8. #8
    I don't mind a forum as a way of submitting content. It lets people have an avenue to get some critique and suggestion, but it's not really the most visually pleasing way to view things. Especially thinking of visitors that just want to browse the finished product.

  9. #9
    So...
    DeviantArt/Elfwood?

    What you're suggesting sure sounds a hell of a lot like either of them. The only difference is: DeviantArt and Elfwood protect the creator's rights under registered trademarks, licences and copyrights.

  10. #10
    Similar only in that those two sites host user created material. Deviantart is only, you know, art, and Elfwood is short stories and the like. I'm looking for more diversity. That is what I don't really think exists. Your point is valid on the ownership and copyright issues. I'm not far enough along in the process to have considered how to deal with that.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by buck008 View Post
    Similar only in that those two sites host user created material. Deviantart is only, you know, art, and Elfwood is short stories and the like. I'm looking for more diversity. That is what I don't really think exists. Your point is valid on the ownership and copyright issues. I'm not far enough along in the process to have considered how to deal with that.
    DeviantArt has both written and non-written material, and the same goes for Elfwood. Even though Elfwood has the types of art divided in separate sections.
    So... Both those platforms have all sorts of art. True enough, however, is that Elfwood does restrict itself to the 'fantasy' genres. Fantasy, sci-fi and the like. DeviantArt, however, does not have any restrictions as to genre.

  12. #12
    The Insane Didactic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stir View Post
    DeviantArt has both written and non-written material, and the same goes for Elfwood. Even though Elfwood has the types of art divided in separate sections.
    So... Both those platforms have all sorts of art. True enough, however, is that Elfwood does restrict itself to the 'fantasy' genres. Fantasy, sci-fi and the like. DeviantArt, however, does not have any restrictions as to genre.
    The problem with DeviantArt, and one of the reasons it is declining, is that it doesn't permit adult materiel above a certain obscenity level. Hence the rise of websites like Hentai Foundry.
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  13. #13
    As one of the people you'd probably be targeting, truthfully, I wouldn't use it. There are bigger and established places online to put my work if I so desired. Writers want to write, musicians want to make music, artists want to make art. And there are specific places for each of those, with people in their chosen fields who can give better critique than any ragtag motley bunch. People will flock to their own specializations so whatever diversity you're trying to create would just be redundant.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Didactic View Post
    The problem with DeviantArt, and one of the reasons it is declining, is that it doesn't permit adult materiel above a certain obscenity level. Hence the rise of websites like Hentai Foundry.
    And... How is that a problem?
    The internet isn't just for porn, you know. :P

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by vizzle View Post
    As one of the people you'd probably be targeting, truthfully, I wouldn't use it. There are bigger and established places online to put my work if I so desired. Writers want to write, musicians want to make music, artists want to make art. And there are specific places for each of those, with people in their chosen fields who can give better critique than any ragtag motley bunch. People will flock to their own specializations so whatever diversity you're trying to create would just be redundant.
    That's a shame. I really like the idea of not limiting yourself to just one genre. As you said, there is just so much out there already. Most attempts to break into writing, for example, are just going to run into the wall of preexisting, well established sites. As if someone tried to open a WoW news site tomorrow. It would probably fail regardless of how good it was because there's just too much out there. Also, I like the idea that in an environment like I imagine you aren't preaching to your already established little choir. If you write Star Trek fan fiction, you could go to a myriad of places that post that stuff and have it read by only other people who write Trekkie stuff. Or you could take it to a wider audience. So the concept is to give people the opportunity to maybe step out of their smaller communities that only cater to other like minded individuals and create some sort of weird collective of creative people from different areas.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by buck008 View Post
    That's a shame. I really like the idea of not limiting yourself to just one genre. As you said, there is just so much out there already. Most attempts to break into writing, for example, are just going to run into the wall of preexisting, well established sites. As if someone tried to open a WoW news site tomorrow. It would probably fail regardless of how good it was because there's just too much out there. Also, I like the idea that in an environment like I imagine you aren't preaching to your already established little choir. If you write Star Trek fan fiction, you could go to a myriad of places that post that stuff and have it read by only other people who write Trekkie stuff. Or you could take it to a wider audience. So the concept is to give people the opportunity to maybe step out of their smaller communities that only cater to other like minded individuals and create some sort of weird collective of creative people from different areas.
    Yes, but those are things that both Elfwood and DeviantArt already offer.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Stir View Post
    Yes, but those are things that both Elfwood and DeviantArt already offer.
    So why bother making Facebook, Myspace already exists. Why make ESPN, we already have newspapers and Sports Illustrated. Why make Xbox, we already have Nintendo and Playstation? Look, if you give up because there is a similar idea out there, then no one ever makes anything. I'm not deluded enough to think that anything I create will take off like that, but I'm willing to put in the time to try. You look at what's out there, you see what they do and how they do it, and you try to do it better. "Simpsons did it!" isn't really an acceptable reason for me to not try.

    I realize that the vision in my head still isn't incredibly clear. Because of my background, the primary focus would be on the written word, but in a more topical sense. News, commentary, opinion, reviews, editorials, etc. However, I don't want it to feel like that's all we do. That's the problem with places like Deviantart. They host all sorts of stuff, but it's an art site. To illustrate that point, if you go to the user created groups, there are over 2500 on the subject of art creation. There are 124 in the entire literature category. Elfwood is more similar to the type of place I envision, but it's entirely sci-fi/fantasy, and I don't want that either. Point is, there are plenty of ways to differentiate myself from what's out there, but there's no reason to be defeatist about it before you even start.

  18. #18
    The Lightbringer Whitey's Avatar
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    So far from this topic I'm not even sure what your idea is yet, so kind of hard to support it or give criticism.
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  19. #19
    I'm still trying to organize my thoughts a bit. The basic framework is to gather creative people from different genres and give them an avenue to share what they create. The goal would be to eventually organize that into a staff of regular, paid contributors with still more support from the community at large, who would also be compensated in some way for their efforts. The real goal is to have enough people from different backgrounds so as to escape a pigeon hole label as one genre. I don't want to be a comedy site or a gaming site or an art site, I want to be everything. I think when people associate with only their own type of crowd exclusively it can lead to some stagnation and complacency. Why can't a chef share his recipe for an amazing chicken dish and his angst ridden poetry while being able to hear and offer advice to a beginning trumpet player who also writes movie reviews, all in the same place? Rather than treat it as a pure forum, however, select things are displayed on a main page. While the forum is just for the creative types, you drive traffic in by changing the content often. The audience could find absolutely anything there from hour to hour and day to day. You keep an archive of the various things that are front page material, and allow visitors to browse through there as well.

  20. #20
    It may help if you better define the shape your idea would take. You mentioned above that your idea would have higher standards then just having any old thing posted, and it's not a forum community. So what would it be most like? If it is curated and/or edited, then you may be thinking of a magazine, or the online equivalent of a gallery.
    I've run an online forum for writers and I know the kind of questions you'd be asked by anyone submitting content:
    What rights and publishing permissions are you expecting? (Exclusivities? "first" rights for online publishing? What about print, TV, mobile, audio?) If you are creating something more like a magazine then a forum community then you will want publishing rights for the content you are investing editing, formatting, and publishing resources into.
    Who would own the version of the work that you post? (part of the rights above.) If you are not buying rights, then do creators retain full ownership over the version of their work that you post?
    Will you be compensating creators for their work? ("Exposure" as compensation is of no value until you have a name for yourself and there is some actual exposure possible. Ditto with "participation in a wonderful, diverse community" via contribution - there is no draw there until it exists, and that does not happen immediately.)

    Things to ask yourself:
    Who is my target audience? Where are they already going, what are they already doing?
    What already exists that is most like my idea? What is my idea Not like? What can I do differently to stand out, create interest in my idea, and make it appeal to my target audience?
    Have I interviewed my audience to discover what they want, and what they feel is missing in current distribution options? (if you don't know what your user base wants, you can't deliver it.) Am I willing to create what my user base asks for, even when it differs from my idea of what they should want or what I had hoped to create?
    What resources do I have for this project? How much am I willing to spend? What sources of income will there be? Will I be sharing the income with my users? (i.e. will you only spend your money on it, or will you be ad supported and share profits or compensate users, particularly the profitable users like youtube does? Running a popular site takes a lot of server storage space and bandwidth traffic - you are looking at a $20 a month to start, growing up to hundreds or thousands a month if you get popular. Where will that come from?)
    Will membership or participation be free, or have paid tiers with some kind of reward or return for paying for memberships?
    Do I have the skills to create my idea? Can I learn what I don't know, and do I have the time to do so? If not, can I get help from others? Is that help free and if not am I willing to pay for it, and if so what's my budget?

    I think you have not realized that your options are being a "community leader" in a forum or similar, or being a business creator. (Though honestly community leaders still often end up feeling like CEOs without the title.) Start thinking about this as beginning a business if you plan for this to be of any significant size. If you want it to be a modestly sized "tight knit" type of community, then you can easily open up shop in a yahoo forum and grow larger later if the community grows, and work out the problems of how to support that expansion later. If your aim however is to be big, then being realistic about the business aspects now will help you as you as you develop your idea.

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-27 at 04:10 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by buck008 View Post
    I want to be everything.
    Ok. It's possible to have an eclectic community, but keep in mind that in trying to serve everyone you may end up serving no one. It adds a lot of complexity to your starting point to try and do all and be all. It can help, particularly as you refine your concept, to think about one content type (art, cooking, etc) at a time and develop the framework you'd expand to other content.

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