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Saturday, June 2, 2007

Be Part of Something

From the time the page loads at www.lg15.com, it is clear that something is different on this site. It isn’t the dozens of thumbnails lining the sides of the page. It isn’t even that a comment board exists. It is what occurs on that comment board that makes the site special.

Community. Family. “Cheers.” It’s a place where the names are recognizable, and new ‘faces’ are welcomed with heartfelt greetings. Every day is like a family reunion – catching up on the lives of others, sharing random bits of nonsense like orange slurpee stories and the mysteries of 436, heatedly discussing the merits or pitfalls of the latest video, even airing dirty laundry for everyone to see. Like a family reunion, the topics change as quickly and randomly as thoughts sometimes do. The family enjoys everyone’s company – except for that creepy uncle in the corner, or the bratty cousin setting fire to the tablecloth – mercilessly teases one another, and steadfastly defends its own.

Which brings us to right now. In recent days, those who pay attention to the Comments community may have noticed a significant decline in the amount of participation in that portion of the site. Maybe even the total number of site hits is down. Many familiar faces have been suspiciously absent. Why?

For some time, the Comments community has been made to feel as if it is a second-class community in the Breeniverse. Forget the fact that the only time that the Creators interact with Comments is when there is a problem. Set aside the notion that shoutouts to fans as a tribute for solving puzzles only occurs for necro fans (regardless of where the puzzles were first solved). Instead let us focus on the perception that Comments does not, in fact, contribute anything of merit – and certainly not anything of intellectual value – to the Breeniverse.

The first official LG15-induced romance (and subsequent video). A virtual Valentine’s Day card to the cast and Creators. The evils of orange slurpees, FFFFIIIIIRRRRSSSSSSSTTTT-saying, 436, and *meep*. Once upon a time, some direct character interaction. The first official fan interview of a cast member. The first video by fans for a fan. Regular video shout-outs by fans to fans. The Deacons (bless Marcus’ 436-ed heart). Puzzles solved (at times more quickly than in the necro). Rosie and modelmotion have gone virtually unrecognized for nearly a year, and they have turned out a tremendous amount of research and answers. Several others who have not been on-board as long have also made their mark. And recently, some stellar research was provided into the scientific intricacies of the latest videos. Comments manages to blend the best of all worlds – humor and good spirits, camaraderie, random nonsense and highly intellectual discourse. Yet, as we saw yet again last week, kudos goes to the forum. Canon video shoutouts were to forum regulars. The Creators posted some love – “we’re so glad everyone is friends and plays nicely here” – to the forum (NOTE: Of course they play nicely, if anyone gets cranky they just lock the thread or delete or reroute posts so all that are left are the happy ones). Even the rules of a t-shirt contest were announced, but it was too much to announce the link to the Comments participants who might wish to make a submission. Fortunately Comments has LG15Today to keep track of these things for them.

To be fair, when attempting to explain why there is no character participation on Comments two weeks ago, the Creators explained that they love all communities of the site. However, actions speak louder than words. Leaving an entire population of fans to amuse itself has recently led to little more than boredom resulting in virtual nit-picking. The Creators do not regularly share official info with Comments. Commenters have received little to no incentive to actually participate in the show – even when they do research and puzzles, the necro gets full credit. Although the Creators have determined Comments to be out of character, Commenters disagree that official Character interaction there would be confusing. The laws of character interaction have not yet been written. They defy logic. The laws should consider what feels natural and flows with the lives of the fans that so adore the show. What some say is nonsense is in fact an intricate and sophisticated virtual culture that has grown around the LG15 story line. If you participate in that culture, you find a new frontier in online entertainment; a frontier that's reaching out to virtual characters like they would their best friend. And what do they get back? A great video yes, but zero character interaction within their cultural domain. Even on Youtube v-bloggers can comment back to their fans; why is LG any different?

Staunch Comments regulars are asked, if everything goes on in the necro, why don’t Comments regulars just get a log-in name and participate there? And if Commenters want to chat about random frivolity, why not do it in chat? Why should we have to? It does not suit the needs of this particular group of fans.

Think of Comments as the right brain, and the Forum as the left brain. Or if you don’t like that metaphor, think of Comments as a place for Mac people, and the Forum as a place for PC people. One is not better or worse (although that depends on who you ask), just different. The forum provides structure to the nth degree for the people who thrive with structure. It makes sense to them. Those people complain about the perceived chaos of Comments because they are comfortable having (to them) clear pathways of thought. Comments people, on the other hand, prefer the free-flowing format and multitude of topics of the Comments community and cannot understand the chaos of forums. Call it ADD, call it a resistance to or inability to thrive with structure, call it what you like. The point is our thought processes reject the structure of the necro in the same way that those of necro regulars reject the ‘lack’ of structure of Comments. We are still capable of creative, intelligent thought; however, we also need the diversion of the welcoming feeling and occasional nonsense that arises when mixing together people of a creative nature. More than that, we are able to switch from In Character to Out of Character very fluidly, and cannot understand why Comments as a source of participation is not exploited.

For those who think that Comments is just random chat and belongs in a chat session, think again! Most Commenters have tried live chat and agree it’s just not the same. Think of Comments as a slow motion chat. Why is that so different? The key is that the Comments community is global. There has been much debate over how to eliminate time zones but until we can defy the laws of physics, Comments provides a chat log that allows all participants to keep track of the day’s goings on. As a result the community is alive 24/7 and feels a global bond that perhaps the world at large should take note of.

In an attempt to gain some recognition as a significant and valid population in the Breeniverse from the Creators, a group of Comments regulars has joined together this week and resisted the Lonelycrack – site and all – in the hopes that, by proving (through our absence) that we contribute to the site as well, we can encourage the Creators to open up a dialogue with us concerning more than obvious problems that harm the site. At a ‘place’ where people come to unwind, enjoy the virtual company of others, challenge their minds and be entertained by a series they enjoy, discontent has reached high levels, quite unnecessarily, and the feelings of loyal fans are hurt. Comments is the “Cheers” of the Breeniverse, and the time has come to recognize the landmark situation found at Comments and the people who made it that way.

Excerpts from notes received by this author in recent weeks:

-I think I could force myself w/o the videos at all for 4 days, but w/o the people, I would fold. I hate to admit it, but w/o the people here (who for the most part are actually nicer then almost everyone I know, w/ a few rare exceptions), I wouldn't be able to bear it. [AUTHOR’S NOTE: To cope with Lonelycrack withdrawal, the fans may be found (temporarily?) on “The Meep” (LG15Today) and IRC HymnofOne chat]

-Many of us have been around since the beginning, or pretty damn near, and we are treated like we don’t matter.

-Sorry, but I think the Creators would actually like the comments to perish. The Forum is more controllable(re:delete) and generally easier to manage for them. I have been seeing the comments become far less effective over the past several months. The ones who actually had fun but took part in the puzzles and clues etc. have either migrated to the forums or got bored and left. [AUTHOR’S RESPONSE: The amount of attention paid to the Comments portion of the site during that time has dwindled at the same rate, and the Deacons ARG and other fanfic ended. Coincidence that people lost interest?]

-I started my project to get everyone involved from both the forums and Comments. I was hoping to kind of show everyone that we are all in the same Breeniverse, but you know what, I got 2 people to even talk to me from the forum. However, I got 20 responses for my video out of the Comments crowd. I tried to post in all the right forums. I got moved here and there, and in the end 2 people talked to me. I really wanted to get everyone together and Comments was all for it, but I just hear crickets in the forum.

-Everyone gets a chance in Comments. Off topic is ok because there is no topic.

-This is by far the most welcoming site I’ve been on.

-If the creators give the credit for our research to the forums I will leave forever.

The Creators have an opportunity here to embrace a community unlike that found on any other site. The popularity of LG15 is only in part due to the quality of the story – the fans have made it a place where new people are welcome, making friends is encouraged, personalities and intelligence levels are different and that’s okay… essentially, Comments has become the neighborhood townie bar of the Breeniverse. It should be exploited for its merits rather than ignored with the hopes that it will go away.

We realize that our actions may hurt the feelings of the cast, crew and Creators of the show we love and that is certainly not our intention; however, to continue to remain silent on the issue is not fair to anyone involved and only prolongs the hurt feelings. Nor do we wish to begin a new forum war. We respect their contribution as we hope to have our contribution respected. To those of you who have helped this week in attempting to illustrate the point that we, too, have a contribution to make, my sincerest thanks. I hope it wasn’t for nothing. I invite the Creators to participate in real-time chat with Comments fans – in a controlled environment – to address these issues and any I may have overlooked. Vive la *MEEP*!

39 comments:

  1. Well said Perky...Thanks.

    *meep*



    NAXAN

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  2. Ok seriously. It's not hard to click on a link and go to the important stuff, that being Announcements and Character discussion. You can get all the info you need there and still intereact with the other comnmenters. The comments board is hard to view anyways, since the discussion goes everywhere. The forums are just more organized.

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  3. WOW NAXAN, long time no see! Where the heck have you been?

    Glad to know you're still around! PM me on Comments when you get a chance (I will be back to lurking in the next few days).

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  4. i think this blog was well written and very honest. i've been around pretty much since the begining, i comment at least once on each video and while sometimes i feel like my comments get lost in the shuffle, i do like the idea of having an all day log i can go back and read through. it would be nice for the Commenters to get some recognition.

    meeeep <3.

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  5. lol Perky, okay pretty long rant, but after I read it all, I can send you as many long PM's as I want and you cannot complain, okay? ;)

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  6. Ah so that's why the comments have been so DEAD all week.

    :(

    I just lurk, but I love the comments community. It's my favorite part of the website.

    Plus, wow did meepers and the rest of you turn out some teriffic stuff about the notebook stuff.

    Are you all coming back...i love me my comments!

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  7. No, the extensive amounts of comments really annoy me, especially when they are chatty, but so does the board. I actually wish the show was less interactive, because there is no way I can read through it all even if I wanted to.

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  8. While I read the comment s more than the forums, I do check out both. Quite frankly, the creators have decided where they are going to do things and that is their decision to make. While the forums may be easier to control, they are also much easy to follow. The commenters like the comments, but for someone who doesn't spend a lot of time there, it is extremely hard to follow and see what is going on. The creators don't have time to follow the comments real time, and trying to go back and read several hundred comments, most of which are entirely off topic, is something they probably don't have time for. In the forums, they can check the forums and threads they see that are relevant and not have to worry about the off-topic threads, which has to be much easier for them.

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  9. I wanted to add that if it wasn't for LG15today I'd be totally lost, I wouldn't find my way through LG15 land without this site

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  10. Thanks Browneyedgirl.....our motivation is to try and make things easy to access for fans.

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  11. Just a thought Perky ... it might be helpful as a follow up to send the Creators a specific list of things you would like to see them do, with approximate frequencies ... so there can be follow-up and recognition of their effort should they make it, and some sense of closure for them and for you.

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  12. perky, I am your #1 fan, you know that. After this week, I may never go back. Thank God for modelmotion and LG5today! I was able to take a step back and realize my true friends from LG15 will be with me whether I stay or go, so we'll see what the future holds.

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  13. @Perky, well said.

    @purplepassion, I second you on the withdrawal symptoms getting less during the past few days, mostly due to the blogspot (thank you, guys!). Still, I love comments, it's my second home and I think it has a lot of potential that goes almost unnoticed.

    @browneyedgirl: The Creators stated several times that they indeed do read all comments and they took up mm on a challenge to prove it. So I think it's safe to say that that is not a hurdle to acknowledging comments.

    Last but not least, let's get away with the time-zones already!!! :)

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  14. I prefer visiting here instead of the official site.

    So I support you, you deserve more attention from the creators.

    meep!

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  15. I really love this site and I totally do not mean any disrespect. Honestly, I can't relate to this post at all because about all I use the Comments for is to see how long a video has been up based on the number of replies. It usually is too big to read and figure out. Sorry I can't be more supportive!

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  16. I am usually a lurker on the comment boards and I much prefer them to the forums. I like being able to "Click for More Comments" and scroll through everything that has been said in one compact shot. The forum's arbitrary structure and cluttered design make it a less than ideal way to interact with the show.

    At the same time, I can understand the Creators' unwillingness to have canon characters interact with the comments. There are always people talking about the quality of the acting or how the plot is running. These kinds of comments can be really difficult to parse out from comments that the show's characters could respond to. For example, would it make sense for Daniel to respond to a comment that offers him good advice while also praising Yousef's performance?

    YES, you have a LOT to offer the LG15 community, but the very freedom of dialogue that takes place in the comments makes it unsuitable for in-character interaction. You seem to want to have it both ways: totally unrestrained conversation that acknowledges that LG15 isn't real AND in-character interaction that doesn't destroy the show's plausibility. I don't know if it's really fair to ask that.

    However, qthec has offered you an excellent piece of advice. If you want things to change, you need to develop some more specific requests and bring them to the Creators.

    -tealmtl

    P.S. Sorry this is so long. I usually lurk because I think my posts are always too long.

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  17. I think if the Creators are willing to discuss these questions the comments fans would be the first to jump at the opportunity.

    As for myself i have zero difficulty seeing Yousef and Daniel as two different people. The same is true for the other characters. This is a credit to the acting ability of actors and the quality of the scriipts.

    In the maddison atkins live chat we also had zero difficulty moving fluidly between plot discussions and live character interaction. Perhap this is a element of this new medium that should be explored further.

    I think the point is that we perceive the characters as our friends and want to make them part of our every day lives in the medium and format we feel comfortable with. Anyone who knew Maddy knows what I am talking about and after that its hard to go back to being an unengaged spectator.

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  18. I think if the Creators mentioned a commentors name sometimes in their vlog shout outs as well as the forum members(think of all the times Rosie solved a riddle for example) then this problem would go away.
    Comments doesnt want to be equal to forums, or even better, all we want is occasionaly a little credit thats all. Its not too hard is it? :)

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  19. It would definately help. Rosie is always leading the charge when it comes to solving puzzles.

    It would be nice if they would at least open up the topic of character interaction. As it stands currently you have to dig way too much and it does not feel natural. We want to help but for that to happen we need to be heard.

    Personally I do not see what they would loose by experimenting with one character on comments. They might just get a very pleasant surprise.

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  20. *blushes*

    Thank you guys for your kind words, but I think its all a group effort. See the thing for me is this: it's not only about a shout out, it's about like we don't even exist... a shout out is different from an acknowledgment of the deep research that goes on there.

    Many times HUGE clues are solved in the comments, and we know the Creators read them. But no acknowledgment of the clue solution is given till it gets to the forum...

    The Creators in the Mixed Media show say openly that Commenters have lifes and we do our own thing there and that we were about pirates (back in that portion of time) so we are not so into LG as the forum. Well the pirate ship was called LG15 pirate ship. I mean we are so LG we create things related to the show. We literally eat, breath, drink LG15 (especially avoiding Orange Slurpies).

    A note to the Creators: "WE LIVE LG15!"

    It's part of our culture. We have made the LG15 Comment Board a far more colorful community than any other website I have ever visited before. That is the reason I stayed there for as long as I have.

    It is a community because we forget the standards set by other boards and we all treat each other with respect, and love despite the differences and that sets us apart from other places. I have been around the net and the camaradery shown in the Comment Comunity (we are not a "board" anymore) is a phenomenon the Creators should take note.

    Sorry about the long post but I needed to vent...

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  21. sarahboo here...i agree comments should get more credit but i dont see them ever bringing the characters into the comment chat.

    and we should get announcments like forum do, i mean, the tee shirt competiton - i didnt even know that happened unitll today, i would have enetered!!
    grrrr

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  22. Sarahboo is a very talented artist - they missed out on a great tshirt design there.

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  23. Side note: tshirt contest is not over, "new" contest thread was posted May 28 and submissions due by June 30... so spread the word if anyone is interested: http://www.lonelygirl15.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=373096&highlight=#373096

    I have an idea for a "cassieisblahblahblah" shirt I may submit, that would be all from posted comments from the comments board (with userIDs included) ... I'm not sure what to make out of all that text though ... maybe a big eye?

    Someone could do a rock concert style shirt with a best-of-the-comments tour list or something... or a LonelyPirates15 shirt of somekind ... YarrrrrMeep!

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  24. I like your thinking Q! :)

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  25. It should be clear by now that Comments is like nothing else on the internet. Its a living breathing AI experience. A place where even alien droids are make to feel welcome. We ask for so little and we love LG so much.

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  26. Hey guys, Deja here. Perky, you know I <3 you, and you guys know that I'm a commenter myself- but I feel I should state my position on this, even though many of you already know it. There are many things I DO agree with you on...so let me start there.

    First, the fact that comment board posters need to be acknowledged if they solve a puzzle. I totally agree with, and support you on this 100 percent. ANYBODY, regardless of what part of the site he or she comes from, who solves a puzzle should get credit for solving said puzzle.

    Second, I can see why people would want to know about contests/live events/announcements from the creators, and maybe one way would be to have this blogspot keep people informed of that type of thing in addition to what they already post. I'm sure the blogspot could add a contributor or two to keep abreast of out of game items of interest, such as get-togethers, contests, and announcements from the webmasters and creators, so that there is one spot for everybody to get their fix of whatever is going on in game and out of game. Or, perhaps a seperate blog could be set up, linked to the first, for out of game information, incase it get's too crowded, but I personally feel a few more items of interest added and updated to the blog wouldn't make the blog too confusing.

    On the flip side, there are also many reasons why I side with the creators on the idea that bringing more of the forum interaction and group events/contests to the comment board is a bad idea.

    First, character interaction would be insanely difficult at best, most of us speak completely ooc on the comment boards and since there is no direct place to find anything unless you use the find button your browser, it would be difficult to keep up with who spoke and what, and it would be equally difficult to distinguish ooc from ic, not to mention how many times we'd have to explain it to newbies. I simply think it would be too confusing. To alleviate this problem, bringing characters into a chat like hymnofone on IRC might be a better idea. It worked for Maddison Atkins, and I know many of you say you don't use the IRC, but I swear last night I saw maybe 15 regular comment board people in there with the forum people and the IRC people, so I know it's something you guys are willing to do.

    Second, the creators have too much on their plate already to post the same thing in four different spots, not to mention say if the t-shirt contest was posted on the comment boards, where would the users go to post their design ideas? Would they post them on the comment boards? Would you want the job of finding all of the entries throughout all of the videos for a month if they were just posted to the comment board? And if it's easy enough to post your entry on the forum thread, why is it too hard to go to the forum thread to begin with to look for things like that?

    Third, and this might be the hardest to swallow out of everything for many of you, but the bottom line is, it's not our website. We didn't create it and we don't run it, therefore we can talk till our faces turn blue and beg and plead and walk-out, but if the creators don't want to do something then they wont. They have their own reasons for wanting to do something or not wanting to do something and that's something we have to respect if we want to stick around. If you can't handle that, well, you'll have problems in an internet world because a lot of sites run the exact same way.

    Oh, and on a side note- I'm a bit worried about the fact that I know of at least..*counts to herself*, eleven comment board regulars who never got word that there was going to be a staged walkout on the boards. I, personally, was only told as an after-thought. Which I understand because they knew I wouldn't participate anyways, but some of the few I talked to would have, or at least understood the reason for doing so. I think this shows a division between the oldies and the newbies on the comment board and I've seen it on the forum as well...Include EVERYBODY on the comment board, not just a select few. You know what I mean? I know it's hard and you wanted to do it privately, but I just think more of a jolt could have been made if it wasn't so limited as to who knew about it. If it's for the comment boards all of the people who reguarly post on the comment board should be made aware of it, regardless of where whoever felt their tendencies lay.

    I personally feel it should be less about seperation, than it should be about promoting the site as a whole, not just one section of it. It makes everyone seem petty when we play this, "One side is better than the other". This should be about working together with forums, IRC, and creators to come up with a solution that best includes everyone. Being all broody and loner just for the sake of being able to say M**P without a moderator is sort of silly.

    /rant.
    ________________________

    On a personal side note, I'm irritated by all of these anonymous postings- surely you're not afraid of what people will think of you if you state your opinion. If you do so respectfully there should be no reason to be ashamed to be known and to state an opinion that may differ from other people. IMO.

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  27. Honestly, I understand there is a lot of strong feeling behind this article and the people it represents who care deeply about comments and LG15... but...

    Many of us also care about this LG15 Today blog and do not want to see it turn into a primarily political platform for any cause, however worthy.

    We have worked in the past to keep politics (including issues I felt strongly about), from entering and disrupting the contents of this blog.

    LG15 Today has been a very effective tool for sharing information about the breeniverse with a lighthearted spirit... and a lot of fun/useful for contributors and readers. The blog is something special too, and serves a different purpose from chat or comments or forums.

    So, I hope this kind of opinion-based editorial article will be the rare exception, and not a frequent feature of the blog.

    Of course, there will always be a few articles that offer feedback to the Creators, and that's a good thing, but let's be careful to continue to pick the most important issues (like the current article does) for these kinds of posts, and try to keep the fun and useful/newsy posts of the blog as its dominant content.

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  28. The comment board people are on strike? I did notice the snub that the Creators did, and you do deserve recognition. There was a time when the Creators did post all their announcements in both places. Danielbeast even left a comment asking for help on the files on the drive Tachyon gave him. Why stop now? How is the comment board any less "in-game" than YouTube where all the LG15 haters live?

    But please don't leave, the comment board is my favorite part of LG15. Without you, the comments will look just like the YouTube ones, and frankly, I don't think the Creators will notice the difference. But the rest of us will... I guess it's back to lurking the forums *cries*

    By the way, that t-shirt thread has been there for 6 months now. It's not even a thread, it's an entire section on it's own. To think about it, all the people who did a bunch of work MONTHS ago to submit designs, and the contest STILL hasn't finished, imagine how snubbed those people feel. Just a thought.

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  29. Just a few thoughts...

    First, Deja you weren't an afterthought... I knew you wouldn't participate so I waited to tell you when we chatted in person. I told you that before. ;)

    Second, it was not at all a matter of old regulars versus new. Plenty of "new" folk were contacted and are participating. A few people (old and new) who were contacted chose not to participate, and there is nothing wrong with that. A few people were specifically not contacted for very specific reasons (which I will be glad to share to each individual involved, in private), but the remainder were not contacted honestly because we did not remember about them until after things began and we were no longer checking the site. We focused on major contributors to make the biggest impact in the least amount of time.

    Third, the Creators have an opportunity to step out of the box in their thinking. Yes, it is their site. Yes, they may do whatever they want with each aspect of the site. But if they are not going to court and RESPECT the fans on a certain portion of their site, they need to pull that part of the site down completely. It is not fair to the people who spend way too many waking hours EVERY DAY on the site, but who don't count because they prefer not to utilize the necro. That is the flip-side of offering multiple fan interaction opportunities - we get to choose which we prefer; however, if the fans feel mistreated they also get to choose not to participate at all.

    Finally, the people who put together the LG15Today blog do what they can to keep people updated on everything that goes on in the site - including action on the necro. But that means they (or most times, modelmotion, the alien robot who doesn't sleep) have to sift through ALL of the current threads to find that information. It is not an efficient system and while we have been trying for weeks to figure out a way to improve it, solutions have been elusive.

    On an aside... to the requests that we come up with a list of "demands"... we do not want to demand anything. We would like for the Creators to throw us a frikkin bone. That's it. Give us a little credit, work together with us to develop creative solutions to our problems, open up their minds to possibilities instead of insisting 'it can't be done.' Says who? Did you ask the people to whom it matters or even TRY something that hasn't been tried?

    I think I have said all that I can say. It's fair to say I'm not just one person causing problems - dozens of people felt so strongly about the problem that they got in line with me. To them I have to say, our voices are likely to fall on deaf ears, but thank you for trying. To those who don't understand but respect our opinions anyway, thank you also. To those of you who just don't get it... well, we respect your opinions but we're just going to have to agree to disagree.

    The boycott ends over the course of the next day, spread across time zones. Some people may return... some may not. I ask that those who chose to participate be respected for their opinion - if you have a bone to pick, take it up with me. The same goes for those who chose not to participate - respect their views. Instead of arguing, work on solutions. "It won't work" is not a solution.

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  30. Miles was invited to particpate in the blog. Maddy was invited to participate. Jeromy was invited. We are really open to ideas and participation from both real and fictional characters. Breee, Jonas, Daniel, You!!!!!!!.....they are all welcome.


    But the blog is not the issue here. LG15.com is what is being debated. If the blog can help in any way it will. Send your ideas to [email protected]

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  31. First, I have a confession. I lurked comments for 2 or 3 weeks before I actually signed in. I watched a lot of you, how you reacted, and how much fun you all had with each other. For some of you, you know how internet illiterate I was, lol. I was also very shy and withdrawn. But, I had taken note of many commenters, and saw all that fun. I wanted to be a part of it. So, I signed up.

    Second, just before the "boycott" I knew comments was suffering. Most the people (the reason I came) stopped posting or only posted once a day, compared to their 20 to 100 comments in a day. The first time I got "First"...I was actually quite dissappointed. It got easier and easier to get it, and so I just stopped posting for "First" even though there was a 99% chance I would get it.
    Third, I have a hard time with how "selection" was made for participation. If the "commenters" were to have a boycott, all should have been informed. So they could decided if they wanted to participate. Even after the boycott was in motion, if a regular poster was forgotten, they could have been told. If the "nurses" at a hospital were to strike, ALL would know. Some would choose not to participate, for their own reasons. I think the same thing should have applied for this. So, I have a hard time with the "selection" part.
    I have other things that concern me about this whole thing, but for now I will keep those to myself.

    My hope, is that this "boycott" it was recognized by the Creators, and the efforts were not fruitless.
    Long Live Comments.

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  32. MEEP!

    I have to meep somewhere.

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  33. Perky (and all Commenters),

    That was an incredibly well written essay with a lot of valid and interesting points. First and foremost, we value and appreciate all of your participation on the comment board more than you could ever know. You are the ambassadors of the website and we are grateful for that. To say that we "hope you will go away" is hurtful and not true.

    We want you to enjoy the site and show as much as possible. We love that you have become friends on the comment board, talk about your lives, and share insights into the story (as well as solve puzzles and conduct great research). However, we need rules and structure for character interaction.

    These are our concerns: 1) users must be able to realize that they are talking to characters and have an expectation that the characters will talk back, 2) users must be able to find these comments in a simple place, 3) characters must be able to find these comments, read them, and respond, and 4) users must be able to find what the character's say in response.

    We think that the only place to achieve these objectives is the "in-character" section of the forum.

    The comment board is an amazing place to express feelings about the show - both the fictional and non-fictional elements. However, it is not an easy place to find previous comments and reply. Also, the comment board changes every time a new video is posted. Forums are built exactly to achieve what we want from "in-character" interaction. A forum is a clean and straightforward way for people to talk to the characters, give them advice, and see what the character's have to say.

    While a lot of you complain that the forum is hard to navigate or that the people there are too intense, I don't think that is the case for the "in-character" section. I beg you to give it a chance for a week or two, I think you will see that it makes sense to do interaction there.

    Using the "in-character" section of the forum as the only place for interaction is both a logical and logistical concern. For logical reasons, it is just cleaner to have one place on our website designated as "in-game" where the characters can go. The rest of the site is for all of you to talk openly and candidly.

    For logistical reasons, I do not want to have to moderate the comment board for story purposes. I also don't want people to have to right "IG" or "OG" before they post. What if they forget, do we have to go in and edit that? Also, our interactive department (Amanda) has to read all comments made to the characters and respond to as many as possible. She also has to relay all that information to the writing team. It would be impossible for her to go through the entire comment board (on each and every video), sort through "IG" comments, respond to them, and then try to weave them into the videos. It is just too difficult to do (in addition to handle all of the physical production for the show - she works too hard!).

    The other "in-character" interaction such as the live events are open to all participants of the website.

    As far as not having announcements about the site posted on the comment board, that is my fault and I apologize, I will make sure to do that in the future.

    The "shout out" issue is tough because only those that post in the "in-character" section can get shout outs because that is where the characters go. Therefore, if a commenter solves a puzzle, they have two choices: 1) post it in the forum and get a shout out or 2) enjoy the accolades of your fellow commenters, but not the characters.

    We each spend about 80-100 hours a week writing the show, producing it, running the website, and conducting interactivity (Kevin and I have been up until 3 am each night this week making sure the videos were all edited and posted). We do the best we can to make everyone happy, but we need to be able to create rules that we think are important to telling an innovative and coherent story. One such rule is the "in-character" interaction occurring in the forum.

    I am happy to chat with you all about this. I will put out an announcement (on the comment board) about a time that I will be in the chat-room on Monday.

    The comment board is the foundation of this website and we hate that you guys are hurt by our actions. I really hope you can respect our decision and continue to use the comment board.

    Thank you,

    Greg

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  34. Great post! Thank you to Greg for taking time out of his schedule to post this. See, guys, they really ARE watching what you say. ;)

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  35. Thank you Greg. You guys work really hard, and I can understand that.

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  36. We know they are watching. Its action we want. But we will be there to talk.

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  37. I'm just a random lurker who has been reading the comments for months but has never bothered to post or even create an account. As one of the anonymous many, I find comments very entertaining, but also cumbersome when they get lengthy. I like the forum format, but I just never go there because I'm busy reading the comments.

    Anyway, the real reason for my post is to offer a suggestion. Why not fold comments into the forum? Every forum usually has a common area which is less structured and where people can post whatever they like. Why not make that the comments? It can still be the front door to the site, but it can also be a forum. Then, it might be easier for people like me to keep an eye on both.

    Oh, and Modelmotion, you rock! There is no way I could keep up with everything without this site!

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  38. well written perky. I know I have been very susp[iciously absent from the forums for several months now really for several reasons. I do however still talk to the ppl I met there, just elsewhere. not really sure why it happened really it just did.

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