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  • So, in thinking about community...

    Hello All! Thought I'd slide on over here from the contest forum and post an observation I've made. I notice that there is lots of viewing going on, but very few comments being made, and even fewer "likes". Seems to me, in the interest of community building, we could be sharing our thoughts more in regard to the works of others!

    In my own experience, the more I read and articulate what works and what doesn't work for me in poems written by others, the better I feel about my own writing as well. We all know how very valuable constructive feedback is as we develop our skills as poets and writers... so, why be so stingy in offering up a word of encouragement, a suggestion, or your gut reactions, to another poet? It's really a win-win. We write and post because we WANT others to read our words and hope to get feedback... and by thinking critically and articulating our opinions of another writer's work, we might end up learning something ourselves.

    So, I'm throwing out a challenge to all who are reading/writing and entering the contest - let's really become an active community of poets by commenting on at least 5 works by others this coming week!

    Cheers!

  • #2
    I agree Piper, If we want to be interesting, we need to be interested. I deflected away from this site for this very reason. We are all in the end, I believe, looking to connect through poetry, and there's not a lot of that going on. With all the people on this site, look how long your message languished in obscurity. Admin, any ideas? Piper. you posted this on Sunday at 2:15 pm and I am the first to respond on Tuesday 7:55am. My suggestion: You write a poem and before it is submitted, you comment on 2 others, then your poem is posted for others to enjoy...

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    • #3
      I tried to respond earlier... screen went black, then popped back open on the poetry contest forum. Weird.

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      • #4
        So - what I was trying to post... As much as I'd like to see greater participation happening, and a real community-feel, I'm not sure enforcing rules about posting/commenting is the way to get the best results. I'm on several other sites, and a couple do enforce rules such as certain numbers of reviews required before a writer can post his/her own work. What I see happening in those situations are loads of "fluff" comments being made, really meaningless overgeneralized comments, or (what's even worse) cut and paste stock responses. Doesn't create the kind of genuine community that (I believe) we'd all benefit from.

        I think the only way to build community is slowly, over time... you get a few people interacting, with lots of invitations to others to participate... eventually, the folks who want to connect do find each other.

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        • #5
          Rules can never be enforced in a free write environment. You either want to connect or you don't. I agree, we did have a community from last years contest. The format on "another forum" seems to be working well and established for a long time. One of the "recommendations'" is to comment on two other poems before submitting your poem. Based on this sites success and longevity, I think this is a good suggestion. It takes the 2 to Tango.

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          • #6
            One thing that does surprise me - after all the reviews I've done on contest entries, 40-plus reviews, I've had no more that a handful of people acknowledge the comments!

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            • #7
              I think it's a matter of trust maybe? Like I said, I'm puzzled frequently here. I actually replied on my poem to your suggestions. Check it out when you get a chance. I trust you.

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              • #8
                Most poets? self centered, insecure, their intellect above the fray. Why stoup to help another--------- Oh you were intimated, sorry about that. My bad. Now if I could only find the time.

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                • #9
                  Ditto Dat Divot!

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                  • #10
                    I myself am guilty of this, I admit. Also, I don't feel like the contest forum is the correct place to note things someone could to improve their poetry.
                    That being said, I could, should, and will comment on some of my favorites stating as much.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for jumping into the discussion, BiocideJ!

                      I'm curious to understand more of your point of view in regards to your statement, Also, I don't feel like the contest forum is the correct place to note things someone could to improve their poetry.

                      As someone who regularly enters poetry contests (to the tune of around $500 in entry fees last year) I think the Rhymzone contest offers a unique and wonderful opportunity to poets that simply does not exist elsewhere. This contest, with its major prize award and no entry fee, sets up an opportunity for poets to present a work, receive constructive reviews, and continue to edit (as they choose to, or not) right up until the closing of the contest. Entering any other major contest is a matter of submitting your entry fee, then throwing your work in the shark tank with everyone else's works, never to receive any feedback, never knowing what resonated, or was entirely lacking, in your entry. As a writer, I'll take feedback in any way, shape or form... especially on contest entries... and use those comments as I see best fit.

                      I suppose there is the side that someone may choose not to give any feedback to another poet because, well... why would you want to point out fixable errors or ways of improving a poem when you are in a competition with that other person... but, for myself, I'd see that as being kind of petty.

                      I am guessing, however, that most folks don't engage in reviewing because they haven't done it much and don't feel they've got much to suggest. Or, as has been noted above, there are some so wrapped up in their own works that they can't bother to fully take in the writing of someone else. Bottom line for me is that the only way to improve one's own writing is to read, analyze and discuss the works of others, as well as your own.

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                      • RhymeLovingWriter
                        RhymeLovingWriter commented
                        Editing a comment
                        This is the first time I'm checking out the "Everything Else" forum, and this post was a few months ago, but as a newbie who has never before been on a poetry forum, I wanted to comment. I signed up because I heard about the contest last week, and was immediately intimated by much of what I read. The comments that were posted, while almost never technical in nature, seemed to possess a far greater experience than my current skills. So what could I possibly add? I feel I need a bit of time to learn the ropes and earn my chops before I can make truly useful suggestions other than those which speak to the emotion of a piece. That said - I'm excited to see where this will go and am very grateful these forums exist. Thanks!

                      • pipersfancy
                        pipersfancy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thank you for your comment, RhymeLovingWriter, and welcome!

                    • #12
                      There could be many reasons why someone would view a poem without commenting. I know that I look through almost every poem posted to make sure that no forum rules are violated. Also there could be members who just enjoy reading, to gather more inspiration for their own works. Whereas feedback and constructive criticism is generally welcome here, not all authors appreciate it. I do like the ambitiousness of your idea, it's just not always feasible to do.

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                      • #13
                        Granted - nothing is feasible if it's not thrown out there! Thanks for your input Joe Bobbo!

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                        • #14
                          As far as my comment on that the poetry contest doesn't seem like the place to put criticisms is exactly the opposite of how you took it.
                          I feel like criticism (constructive or otherwise) could be discouraging for someone posting something they consider possibly their best work in hopes of winning a prize only to see someone pointing out its flaws.

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                          • #15
                            Ah... ok, I see your point. I would never have considered that perspective—I always look critically at my own work and figure it can always be improved upon. So, I'm excited to see someone's opinions, and welcome any suggestions they have for improving the piece! (Not that I always take the suggestions and run with them, still, the time someone took in analyzing my work is appreciated greatly!) Thanks for your insights, Biocide!

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