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Saturday, June 2, 2007

Greg said...

Greg said...
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

39 comments:

  1. I have been using it for weeks. I hate it.

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  2. You had Daniel drunk in a chat one night. I mean not every post needs to be central to the plot.

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  3. IRC CHAT would be better Greg because quite fankly the LG15 chat takes up too much horse power on some computers.

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  4. We could use the #OutOfGame IRC Chat room for the chat so that it does not interfere with any IG experience of LG15

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  5. Thanks model. Chat is a different issue because we can designate rooms that are "in-character." I know you guys like IRC, but it is better for our site if we stick to using our chat room. We will work on making our room better when we have more resources.

    Thanks.

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  6. Well please understand that if it gets busy some people like me will not be able to post because it just hangs up my computer. That does not mean we dont want to participate. Its just a technical issue.

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  7. http://java.freenode.net//index.php?channel=OutOfGame

    That is link if you want to try it out. It worked well for the Jeromy OOG chat....and we could prob get Pill or someone like that to mod it so that it works well.

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  8. Too right Greg, comments are "The foundation of the website" I am glad that you will rectify the problem of comments being missed out of the loop as far as info goes (i.e the t-shirt competion)

    Please give comments a little love to from time to time is all we ask.

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  9. Well, Greg, you write well, I definitely have to admit that. :) I don't really believe your logic in all points (mostly because there has been character interaction on comments already and if I remember rightly the characters said in some videos way back that they read comments), but I'm glad we were acknowledged at least. You gotta go for whatever bone you get. ;)

    Anyway, it's midnight here already so I checked LG15 and comments was really almost dead during the last few days. I'm very impressed and very happy with the strong company the comments community has become. *wipes away small tear*

    *meep*

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  10. Personally i think Greg should be really chuffed that LG fans are willing to go to such trouble to help the show they love become even better.

    See you all on LG in 2 hrs. I think I am running low on oxygen here in the bunker. Oh wait, I don't need oxygen.

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  11. History lesson. 1997, Buffy the Vampire Slayer airs and with it launches a show website. Forums are in their infancy and the webmaster modifies guest book software into a linear posting board called "The Bronze." The Bronze endured redesigns, network changes and survives today as a fan endeavor. (www.bronzebeta.com) Not only that but the same model has been used by the creative team for Lost. (www.thefuselage.com where ironically there is a similar threaded vs linear posting sentiment)

    The comment board on lg15 is also a linear posting board. Trust me when I say the issues commenters face are the same issues "Bronzers" faced. Firstly I feel like some of you may have to change your mindset. You say the best thing about the comment board is that there are no rules yet that is the very reason why most people don't use it. One of the first things that developed was a way to follow the flow of conversation. Also there was a time constriction based on posting to eliminate consecutive posts. So this lead to a poster addressing many topics in the same post by addressing the screename of the original poster as reference. In journals this is done with tags, in forums with quotes and some do it on the comment board with post numbers. That is a start. There is also a spoiler html tag which is essentially a html tag that assigns color. It's probably now known better as white texting. Using white text against a white background hides the text unless it's highlighted. While there was no character interaction, characters names are bolded automatically for easy reference. Cast and crew did/do post and their posts are color coded, again for easy reference.

    What these rules do is allow for easy, quick scrolling and hit and run posts/replies.

    Now if OOG comments were white texted, characters names bolded and character posts color coded, I believe character interaction could be achieved, the problem would be the whole board would be white texted. However- it would be a much better landing place for cast interaction then the forum. You can just check to see the VIP archives of the links I provided above.

    I've always been pro-linear but at lg15 I'm a threaded guy. I don't need a lot of structure at all but I at least need reference points. I think if you look at the bronzebeta or thefuselage you'll see the free form conversation still exists even with some rules.

    So endeth the lesson. :)
    immortal1

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  12. A couple of simple suggestions to improve the lg15 website:

    1. add and maintain "hot topics" links to the comments page that link to important announcements in the forums

    2. add option in forums user profiles to increase the number of posts viewed per page (I think it is always 15 right now, which is not enough for large threads ... I prefer 40 or so). ... this is something forums admins should be able to just turn on in the bulletin board software.

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  13. Ok I don't think I have as strong as feelings as some of you do on this topic. I have no problem with using the forums. I do it all the time. I do feel however that the comments have been over looked. I agree that a great solution would be some sort of "hot topic" button or current news. An easy way to keep Commenters aware of important announcements and character interaction going on in the forum.That way the people who don't like the forum are at least aware of what is going on and the important info is easy to find.

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. So, from what I can gather, no matter how much hard work you put into LG15 you can only get recognition if you go to the forum? I'm sorry Greg. That's not good enough for me.

    The reason we have the forum and the comments board is to give ppl a CHOICE as to how they participate in the Breeniverse. To deny some participants and only ever reward others is just plain disrespectful, no matter how you sugar-coat it.

    You do not have to trawl trough the comments to decipher our research. It is all here on LG15blogspot. I even wrote my articles in simple terms so that ppl did not have to have degrees in medicine to understand.


    You say you hate how we have been hurt by your actions? You could have fooled me.

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  16. The search arguement is also pretty bogus because almost all significant plot information finds its way onto the LGpedia which does a wonderful job thanks to many amazing volunteers.

    Having chat interaction dispersed over so many threads may seem logical but to many its just plain annoying. Lets at least talk about how it can be done better with an open mind.

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  17. So... it takes Amanda hours each day to track down the updates to the necro - and she knows what she is doing - but for anyone else it should be easy to just jump right into that horrorshow and keep track of anything? That's bull. On Comments, I have one screen, a scroll mouse so I can scan the goings-on, and a Ctrl +f command if I am looking for something specific. Responses are identified/identifiable by name or number. And I don't have to hit "Next" every time I've scanned ten worthless posts (half of which are consumed by "quotes" of the last six posts). Any time I've gone into the necro I find myself needing four open browsers to keep track of what I'm trying to do... and at that, I'm lucky to find what I am seeking, much less remember what I found and needed to go back to. No sir, I don't need your necro.

    I feel sorry for you guys, you are so stuck inside your box trying to spout your "we are changing the face of entertainment" rhetoric that you are completely missing the potential that you have to really make an impact. I have spent months trying to convey that sentiment to you guys, and you just don't get it. You have alienated an entire block of your fans - not good business practice. I really wanted for this entire LG15 experience to be landmark, but you have officially destroyed the last of my concern with this site. I will see the current debate through because I bear some responsibility for it, but when it's over my participation will likely be over as well. Thank you for that, maybe now I can resume the real life I lost nine months ago when I first found the site.

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  18. Greg, (and all Creators and Crew)

    We totally understand how busy you all have been but we have been extremely patient also. We have been trying to raise these issues for months. We have talked openly about them on comments and you say that you read all of those. We have tried and tried and tried to get your attention but at the same time we try to respect that that it’s your site and that you are busy.

    BUT...

    There just the way we get overlook is beyond everyone's patience. OK, we do not post the answers in the forum and you reason that is reason we don't get SHOUT OUTS. You say Amanda has no time to review every thread and every comment to get the answers. HAVE YOU READ THIS BLOG??

    This blog does that very same thing; we get the answers and character interaction regardless where the answer comes from. Comments or Forum. And we ALWAYS give credit when credit is due.

    It is not only mean but very disrespectful to hear some other name called when you have taken 3 to 4 hours of your life, risked your job and neglected your family to find the answers to the clues in the video. IT'S NOT RIGHT!!!

    If you are not going to give credit to the real code breaker, then STOP THE SHOUT OUTS!

    It's not fair to that person risking their livelihood for you to slap them in the face and tell them "boo-hoo... you should have post it in the necro"

    Character interaction has happened before in the Comment Board and we are highly capable of adapting to new "software" which would allow us to have a character on and make him feel like home. It is not farfetched to think one of the characters may be afraid of Orange Slurpies or just say HEy guys we need help on this one, can you let us know if you think of something? Or from you, the Creators to say: Taylor will be IG on the Comment Board Sunday at 5pm please be all IG, no OOG conversation.

    Trust me, WE ARE NOT DUMB, we can handle that...

    Time for me to end this rant, I have neglected attending my husband and daughter for 45 minutes to read your post, try to stop hyperventilating, and write this comment...

    But you are still sexy to me....

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  19. Wow... I had no idea that this issue was so deep seeded. I think the first thing I thought when I got to lg15today was, IT'S JUST A Internet show!

    But then I thought about it.

    Yes, it is just a show on the top, but so much more beneath. There are so many wonderful components to LG15 that I have seen, and it saddens me to see that there is so much fighting going on in a place that should be a peaceful retreat from the already hectic and stressful "real world".

    I think both sides of this argument have made their points.

    The Creators want a certian order and are straining against other budgetary commitments (paying actors, hiring new- and awesome- writers) and feel as though they are trying as hard as they can with what they have.

    Many of the Comment board Meepers feel ignored, and insignificant. I think the core of their problem may be the fact that they get no recognition when they solve a puzzle FIRSSSTT!!!!11!!, and that they are not a priority- or even on the long list of "to do's" that the creators have.

    A few points:

    -Yes, this is a "game". But without the fans, there is no demand, and without a demand the supply dries up. No fans/dwindling fanbase= loss of revenue and the eventual shut down of lg15

    -any participants- especialy those who put their time and energy into lg15 should be recognized when they crack a code first. Whether they are in the forum or on the comment board. If the creators have a problem with searching the comments, then going to this LG15today site should help them find the right solver (I know modelmotion and the other great writers spend a lot of time compiling information on the site- utilize your assets!)

    - Many suggestions have been made regards to character interaction. I think in order for the creators to help you, you need to help them. This means that YOU all need to come up with the solution(s), and present them to the creators. Knowing the helpful and energetic nature of the comment boards, I am sure that many alternatives could be found, compiled, and sent to the creators.

    -Remember, although the creators' want to be fair, sometimes it can't happen immediately. Yes, the problem has been around for months, but as I said find VIABLE solutions, and maybe your voice will be heard.

    Remember, this is suppossed to be fun. An experience that involves a plethora of multimedia interaction, with a crew of people that only want you to enjoy this site. Before you get too upset, cool off, come up with a solution, and present it.

    Sorry for the extremely long post. Please do not judge me based on my spelling mistakes/ irratic train of thought, I need sleep like the commenters need to say MEEP! (which is a lot!) LOL!

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  20. See... there I go spelling erratic wrong! :)

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  21. I think one thing that everyone needs to take into consideration is the time and effort that the creators, crew, cast and writers put into the show. Let us all take a minute to thank them. I agree that a solution needs to be presented that works for everyone.

    My best advice is to take the reasons that the creators have given you and come up with a system that works without making it more work for the creators. I think if the commenters put forth a united plan with little to no work added the support of the entire LG15 community would be present.

    I hope you all know that most of us who participate in the forums really love you guys and even though we (for whatever reason) decide not to post there doesn't mean we think you are at all less deserving of credit!

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  22. I think you guys are making this into a bigger deal than it has to be. Bottom line is he said that they don't want to go into the comments for character interaction. That is their right, so deal with it. Yeah, that's right. Deal with it. You guys make such a big ordeal out of the stupidest things. Go to the blogspot like most of you do anyways.

    You asked. He said no. Don't act like petulant children and whine and whine and whine, or just watch, he'll take comments away completely.

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  23. "It's not fair to that person risking their livelihood for you to slap them in the face and tell them "boo-hoo... you should have post it in the necro"


    Ok maybe we should all calm down a bit. This is not a life or death situation. Rosie I luv ya,but risking their livelihood? Come on now.

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  24. I completely agree with the previous two posters. The creators have enough to do - they work incredibly hard - without people acting like three year olds. The lg15 blogspot provides a great service, where you can find out about the interaction. Otherwise, go on the forums. Please get over it - aren't you shamed by thinking about all the other, slightly more important things going on in the world, like, say, genocide in Sudan, or the situation in Iraq? Kind of puts your whining into perspective.

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  25. Ok, as much as I'd love to write a long comment...

    I think I started all the complaining about the Forum back when you reformatted the message boards to the new forum people's liking and that's how the switchover went.

    Those people left to the forum... that does not make switching 'character interaction' over with them right... them leaving when the creators did what they asked about the message board was a traitorous act (I still say that)...

    Throwing THEM a bone is an insult to us. And pretending that following the forum is simpler for anyone is just ludacris... (if I spelled that right)

    besides that... just read everyone else's comments... the only people that like the forums are the creators and the people that are so hung up on structure, or being involved that that's what they do.

    Note, none of that has to do with people who love LG15... those are the people who have endured the most... have been abandoned and banded together as a result.

    We are the strong and proud, reguardless of the petty excuses people want to make about "what's easier".

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  26. oh my god, it's a FORUM!! get over it, you sad, self-important indviduals, and stop acting like you're fighting against injustice on behalf of all humanity. swallow your pride and use them, or don't, and accept that you can't have character interaction via comments. it's a simple concept, really, and hardly a huge deal at the end of the day - even WITHIN the breeniverse.

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  27. You know what I think? I think if you don't even care aboutwhat goes on directly in your life as LG15 does, if you don't even dare to question the Creators but just accept them as a God-sent higher power, you'll probably do the same with every aspect of your life. You'll accept whatever people tell you, your mayor, your senator, your head of state, as God-sent power and otherwise don't care either because you feel like you can't do anything anyway or because someone tells you it's not a big deal. Nah, sorry, I may not be able to do anything about Sudan or Iraq but I can and will try to make life a bit fairer and a bit better wherever I can. And the one thing LG15 has in common with democracy (even though I know it's factually more of a kingdom) is that it needs its people. In opposition to subjects of a king we have power, because we can leave. And as with democracy one person may not make a big difference, but many of us will. So, aren't we honoring the hard work the Creators do? No, we do honor it. In fact, we love LG15 and what the Creators do so much that instead of just leaving like we'd do with every other website when we feel treated badly, we try to help and make LG15 even better. Sometimes the troublemakers are also the most devoted fans. End of rant.

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  28. oh, right on. because i personally happen to think the forums are superior to the comments, because i like the forums, because i sincerely agree with the creator's decisions after serious thought, because i think the commenters are whinging babies, that equates me with a meek, voiceless individual who would stand by as the nazis invade poland.

    some beautiful logic right there, from a very snotty, self important individual, who proudly shrugs their shoulders at human rights travesties around the world, because they're too wrapped up in complaining about the results of their own informed decisions in an arg, for god's sake, then dares to accuse people like me of being the weak ones. Lovely.

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  29. To say we dont care about real problems is not accurate. When Bree kidnapped a very young Jules it happened at the same time as a even younger Madeleine McCann was kidnapped in real life in Europe. This was disturbing timing for many European fans who brought it to our attention on comments. Since then LG15 TODAY has participated in the effort to find Madeleine (in the REAL WORLD) by carrying a link to the HELP site at the top of the blog. This is not an accident. It happened because people on commnents cared about the issue and wanted to help. So yea, we do care about LG15, BUT we also keep things in perspective to more global issues.

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  30. SARAHBOO

    Well to be honest guys i dont think we should have character interaction on the comments because like greg said it would mean alot of work for amanda.

    im just happy that we will get shout outs now.

    i think we need to chill out, they realise theyve kinda ignored us but i think its fair that if we have solved summat then we put it in the character interaction part of the forum and get shout outs. i see no problem with that unless people feel like there giving in?!

    comments sounds so ungrateful and were not like that.

    boo xx

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  31. Oh wow, I think an anonymous person who anonymously doesn't want to stand by - yeah, by what actually? - just called me a whinging baby nazi who shrugs the shoulders at the world's tragedies. I have no words. But I can probably find some if you write me a PM on comments, anonymous, I think I'd really like to discuss this with you.

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  32. I've never posted on the forums. I've only posted a handful of times to the comment board. If I really wanted recognition for solving a clue (ha! nope, wouldn't happen-I'm "clueless") I would post to the forum, where I know the characters interact. I think of the comment board as used for chat about the videos with other viewers.

    Sometimes, it takes me an hour or more to read all the comments. Would I expect characters/writers/creators/"Amanda" to do the same in order to give a "shout out" to me? Not at all.

    That's it. That's my 2 cents....

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  33. O.K., a little perspective. The debate is over the format of a website we all love dearly. It isn't over genocide in the Sudan or the war in Iraq, because frankly, I don't think we have any solutions for that, just call it a hunch. Lumping the disagreement we're having in with those things is just about the most pretentious thing that you can do. It basically means you have nothing of value to contribute to the current discussion, and want to change the subject to something that has NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. Get it? So, call names, bring up other subjects, or do whatever it is you do when you have nothing else better to say, but this discussion is about how to get comments more involved. Don't make me move you to another thread...oh wait, that would be following the necro rules, wouldn't it?

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  34. And I kinda like the idea of color coded comments....not about the highlighting part, but you know....it would help

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  35. When I move that little box shaped button on the side up and down, lots of word scroll up and down, almost as if the two things are related.

    Try it, kind of spooky!

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  36. oh, and I'm not really too invested in this particular issue so I'm kind of staying out of it, but when I see anonymous comments that are also confrontational, my "delete" button finger starts twitching... and I don't think we want to go there if we can avoid it...

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  37. meep meep meep meep meep meep meep







    (I think we all needed that)

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  38. WOW This is sad - the creators could be spending their time making more videos that both "commentors" and "Forum people" are always begging for. But instead they have to waist it on worrying about a website design?....

    (my 2 cents + a meep meep :D)

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