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So, in thinking about community...

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  • #16
    Hey all! Thank you so much, pipersfancy, for all of your insightful comments on the contest forum and for bringing your thoughts about the community to our attention.

    I know others who run sites similar to RhymeZone Forum who have observed the same phenomenon: it's challenging to create a writing community in which there is a good balance of new material and constructive feedback added by community members. So many folks are very excited about getting their own work out there (which is great, in my book!) but are less excited about reading and publicly commenting on others' work. This could be for a host of possible reasons including the ones already mentioned in this thread. Others are more generous with feedback time and have a high comment-to-submission ratio.

    Rather than require that members be one way or the other (by instituting a feedback-before-posting requirement, for example) I'd rather try to get more folks who are of the "high feedback" mindset aware of the site. As an example: Last year, after we'd received a few hundred contest entries, I added a gizmo on the search results page that highlighted randomly selected poems from the contest forum and asked folks to read and comment on them. I think this increased the "reply rate" on submissions. I haven't yet added it this year but I plan to do so soon, at which time I hope it will have the same effect as last year. RhymeZone's search page is quite a bit more popular than the Forum so my hope is that even if most people who see these links ignore them, we'll still get many more commenters. At the very least, the number of different people who *read* each submission will go up.

    Take care,

    Doug ( admin)


    • #17
      Hello Doug,

      I remember that feature on the search page from last year— thought it was a great idea then, and will look forward to seeing back this year!

      I've actually been walking on pins and needles a bit. I really come on to poetry sites primarily for the dialogue and feedback, I am passionate about writing love to discuss poems as a way of increasing my knowledge, and my enjoyment, of the writing process. I've learned through experience that the best way to converse with someone is to start a conversation. So, all the reading/commenting I do comes from my genuine interest in others, and desire to build relationships where open dialogue happens. Still, I worry that my approach may be misinterpreted as being too pushy. If anyone would prefer I not comment on their work, by all means, let me know! I would not be offended in the least, and would respect their wishes.

      Overall, I think this is a great site with a ton of talented people, and I'm very happy to be a part of it!

      Warmest regards,


      • #18
        Hello... interesting thread of thoughts here... I agree with Pipers opening topic, it is encouraging to receive comments and feedback, although I have noticed that in most online communities a lot of members want comments but don't respond in kind.
        I'm a moderator on a private creative site started by a friend and between us, as moderators we (my friend and I) endeavour to comment on each member who posts something. But our members don't all respond to our posts... and in reality we are just poets/artistes who wanted to start a safe community for creatives to share and connect.


        • #19
          I've set a similar challenge for myself, Sharonlee. I am trying to keep up with each new poem posted for this year's contest, and offer a suggestion or two, or even just a comment. So far, so good as I believe I've caught every poem so far... but then, I've been home sick with bronchitis this week, so it will become a REAL challenge once I'm on the road and traveling with my work next week! I don't know... I see all the poems sliding off the page with 0 comments, and for some, very few views... and it makes me kind of sad. (Hence, my decision to try and remedy that fact!)


          • #20
            I'm yet to read the contest poems, although I hope to soon. Am also hoping to enter.
            Sorry to hear you are unwell... did you know drinking fresh pineapple juice and eating fresh pineapple is good for bronchitis? Helps clear the mucus. (sorry if that sounds gross, but it's true). Get well soon.


            • #21
              Well, I do like fresh pineapple (even though it bothers my teeth and makes them feel squeaky when I eat too much!) I shall have to give that a try— Thanks for the suggestion!


              • #22
                This is only my second day on RHYMEZONE, but I agree with your topic. I am on other poetry sites, and look forward to constructive comments on my work. It gives me insight........
                However, I can also see Biocide's point of view..