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Question to members

09 Oct 2016 14:55 #50599 by fats
Question to members was created by fats
Hi all,

I've been looking at the stats for the site and we are currently getting around 1000 hits per day (that's without bots) but the level of forum activity is nothing like that, so my question to new members and to members who have not posted before is.

What would get you posting to the site?

Is there something that is blocking you from posting, is there a type of topic that would get you posting, or is there nothing that needs to be done and you are happy with the site as it is.

Can you please post a reply with your views.

Lastly, can I ask for active members not to post here, I would like new and inactive members to reply to this thread only so that I can get a sense of what is required.

Fats

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09 Oct 2016 17:10 #50601 by veggicidal
Replied by veggicidal on topic Question to members
I usually browse here just to look for new Supergirl-related videos and pictures. I occasionally post my own stuff, though.

Maybe some people are just embarrassed about having a fetish for superheroines? That would explain all the lurking without much posting.
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09 Oct 2016 17:15 #50602 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic Question to members
There's virtually no activity at the Aurora Universe Readers Group, where there used to be a lot of commentaries on the fiction. And very little at my update page here. But it can't be out of embarrassment if people comment on the TV shows and models. I wonder if this may be just a reflection of the overall trend towards people spending so much time on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

--Brantley

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09 Oct 2016 17:57 #50603 by luchodemeyer
Replied by luchodemeyer on topic Question to members
To be short :

1) I'm not that fluent in English
2) My fetish is more focus on F/F jealousy or unfairness (Super vs. mere moral stick quite well with this fetish) which is not particularly the main goal here.

Anyway, I still thank you for maintaining this site which appears to be unique

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09 Oct 2016 18:32 #50604 by Esteban
Replied by Esteban on topic Question to members
Maybe the embarrassment part is right, but that's what stops me primarily from writing my own stories or vignettes.
What stops me from commenting or participating in discussions is probably a different thing: Although I know it's actually the least thing you should do for the authors of the stuff in the library that we consume, I often find it tedious to make the effort and write more than just the usual "Wow - I loved it! Great story!" every time I like a story. Writing more than that would mean providing actual critique, and I am - please don't take this disrespectfully - not willing to spend the time and effort needed for that kind of response.
Concerning forum discussions: I'm in Germany, have never consumed any actual DC or Marvel comics, am completely out of the loop when it comes to the TV shows you guys talk about in the forums and simply don't have the knowledge to take part in most of the discussions that are currently running.

Still, I come here several times a day and would hate to miss this page!

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09 Oct 2016 21:34 #50605 by Wotan45
Replied by Wotan45 on topic Question to members
I use to be here like very often, but my English is broken so I'm just here to read new stuffs.
I really love this site.

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09 Oct 2016 21:43 #50606 by cbaby
Replied by cbaby on topic Question to members
Lack of anything constructive to say mainly.
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09 Oct 2016 22:09 - 09 Oct 2016 22:23 #50607 by AuGoose
Replied by AuGoose on topic Question to members
Don't underestimate the power of those "Wow - I loved it! Great story!" replies. Acclaim is often the point when posting free stories. I crave that little bit of applause after cranking out a piece and I suspect most of the other authors here do too :). If that's all you want to post, fine by me. Detailed examination is WORK. To me, the SWC library is a place for entertainment. I expect most users to interact with it as readers. When I post stuff I'm mostly hoping for a grin and a nod (even the "!!" are optional :P). I don't expect other folks to dissect the narrative arc or chase typos for me :). (though it's nice when they do)

I wonder if we could get some mileage out of reviving the "request" areas so people could express what they'd like to see. I occasionally write based on other people's tastes just to get a feel for what's involved.

Now some long rambling structural observations (seriously, you can skip this)-
Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]
Last edit: 09 Oct 2016 22:23 by AuGoose.

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10 Oct 2016 00:02 #50609 by Wulfmir
Replied by Wulfmir on topic Question to members
I second lack of anything constructive to say. Who am I to question what another finds fun to write. Negative criticism is frowned upon here.

Surprising for me is also the lack of good girl heroics, with more stories skewing about a bored "supergirl" just looking for an outlet mostly by showing up and smashing stuff.

Not much variety with the protagonists. Focused too much with the "brick" archetype which though I like doesn't encourage or create new discussion. IMO

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10 Oct 2016 01:10 #50610 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Question to members

Wulfmir wrote:
...

Surprising for me is also the lack of good girl heroics, with more stories skewing about a bored "supergirl" just looking for an outlet mostly by showing up and smashing stuff.


Interesting that you say that. The idea of creating a benevolent universe of characters, albeit flawed, was one of my original motivations back when I created the AU back in the early 90's. Almost everything I'd read on-line up to then was bad/evil ubergirls and female domination stuff.

What is interesting is that 25 years later, most genre fiction is still about a woman getting power and then abusing it. I'm sure there are good reasons for this, but its not my usual cup of tea.

I think every story needs a hero (heroine) with a good heart, albeit struggling to hold to her beliefs. Of course she needs bad guys to fight, but not stereotypical ones. Beating up on ordinary people is no fun. Fighting powerful aliens levels the playing field.

The best heroes lose a few battles before they finally, at great cost, win the war.
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10 Oct 2016 01:18 #50611 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic Question to members
Bad bored supergirls are SO tiresome. And I've been avoiding the superhero movies that are all about the heroes getting into petty feuds.

--Brantley

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10 Oct 2016 02:24 #50612 by Engineered-Sorcery
Replied by Engineered-Sorcery on topic Question to members

shadar wrote:

Wulfmir wrote:

<snip>

The best heroes lose a few battles before they finally, at great cost, win the war.

Personally, I think it's just the general shift that culture has gone through. There seems to have been a bit of a lag time to propogate, but it's the logical progression. We went through the anti-hero fetishism of the 90s, then had a period of glorifying pure heroes once again in the early aughts, then settled back into a period of more grey and black types of characters.

On the other hand, I'd also argue that these are two very different kinds of stories. Traditional stories tend to need a protagonist of some sort, if not a hero, and while you can go grey with that, having an outright villainous protagonist doesn't really work since it makes the reader less able to sympathize for the most part. That can be something intentional on the part of the writer, given that a superhuman is inherently unrelatable if not unsympathetic, but it's much trickier to do, and in those cases you run the risk of having the antagonist (whether a normal person or another super) become more sympathetic than the protagonist.

The second kind of stories, what I feel have become more common, are sandbox, wish fulfillment stories. These are the kinds of stories where the character will just go on a rampage and generally be a bad person, The literary equivalent of junk food, these stories are enjoyable, particularly in a genre like this that has many things available to showcase, but they are less filling than a 'proper' story.

In my opinion, bad superheroines (or outright villain protagonists) can be viable, if the story isn't about the character itself. It could be about their turn, how their character changed or possibly never changed at all. In those cases though, power isn't in itself important, but rather a vector for the character itself.
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10 Oct 2016 15:35 - 10 Oct 2016 15:39 #50615 by lfan
Replied by lfan on topic Question to members
I personally think the site caters to two primary groups of audience members....those who are enthusiasts of comics and superheroines, and those who up the ante and see it almost as an infatuation or fetish. Often, it seems that we admittingly struggle between catering to both groups.

SWM IS a niche site that features stories and discussions (hopefully) that the latter type of individual could not find elsewhere. We love superstrong, kickass women and that's what led to the creation of SGI, ubergirls.org, and now the amalgamated version which is SWM. Back then, there was almost NOTHING in the mainstream -- aside from an occassional comic appearance -- so we had to create our own content and foster relationships with genre producers like the Steeles. Heck, you were even hard pressed to find superheroine art online (anyone remember PencilJack.com?). Now, art is a click away thanks to DA....relationships are fostered va Facebook and other social media outlets....and it seems that powerful females in mainstream media is now tres chic! This new "mainstream" audience is much larger, and we would be remiss if we didn't try and cater a bit to some of these "casual fans" and try and get them hooked on our site.

My hope was having the different perspectives would open up MORE conversation, but its almost been the opposite. The last few months have seen a number of new users join, but the forum interaction has not. With the start of the Supergirl series, I will be honest that I was surprised over the lukewarm response to it. Admitingly it has issues, but I thought people -- old guard in the genre like me --- would be doing backflips over the opportunity to see a big budget (TV) superheroine, but maybe its still so far from some fantasies' here that it is counter-productive.

I think the topics that garner the most interaction with users are the topics that are specific to the SWM and the stories, but you can only ask "What's everyone's Top 5 stories" so many times :P When SGI was around (and ubergirls.org), we tended to ask more fetishistic questions (e.g. "How did you get turned on to the genre?", etc) but I have refrained from trying to create conversations, hoping some would happen organically -- and be created by users. What think y'all?
Last edit: 10 Oct 2016 15:39 by lfan.

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10 Oct 2016 18:24 - 10 Oct 2016 20:36 #50618 by Lulu
Replied by Lulu on topic Question to members
I have to agree with cbaby. Most times the few comments to a topic thread are so good and detailed, I just don't think I can add any constructive stuff to the topic anymore without having the feeling that my comment would be useful at all anymore.
Last edit: 10 Oct 2016 20:36 by Lulu.
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10 Oct 2016 19:09 #50619 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Question to members
One could argue that now that the mainstream media caters to the straight superheroine/superhero crowd, but avoids the fetish elements like the plague, that sites like SWM would wind up focusing more on extreme violence and extreme sexual and growth fetishes. There still is no mainstream outlet for that.

The moderators want to keep everything open, but then it's the contributors who ultimately steer the site in that case. It takes enthusiasm to write a story.

I've written stories from both sides of this during the last 25 years, so I don't judge anyone, but I personally have less interest in the fetish side these days. As soon as I sense a story is going there, I stop reading. But that's me.

I like R-rated (for hetero sexual situations) science fiction-oriented (no magic) superheroine fiction with a clear protagonist and bad guys who severely challenge the hero. I prefer morally ambiguous and "ends justifies the means" (or not) kind of themes. The social and legal (and even religious) implications of superheroes are interesting to speculate on. Very much the "what if someone like this really came to Earth" kind of thing. How would the public/media/religion/police/governments realistically handle someone who is not only potentially outside the capabilities of law enforcement, but also outside the boundaries of human experience?

One thing for sure... the reaction would be extreme and highly varied. God or devil? Crime-fighter or vigilante? Hero or villain? A threat to governments or a supporter of a government? One thing is for sure... governments freak out when they face threats they can't control. Especially the big powers.

Marvel comics has always done this far better than DC. Yet I am incurably drawn to Kryptonians. My own quandary.

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10 Oct 2016 20:44 #50622 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Question to members
While in the past I agreed with the idea that feedback has be something more than a simple "Hey I like your story", I came to acknowledge that those little "I like" often keep an author writing one page more and that's often makes the difference between a good story and a half-assed one. Even adding a simple note about what you liked best, being a scene, a description or even a simple one liner can be of immense help for a writer, because it helps him identify what works and what doesn't. The devil is often in the details and the more people comment on a story the better one gets at hammering them down. This doesn't imply that everybody should give detailed descriptions of what works and what not based on a literary analysis worth of a college paper. Even if someone already told what you meant in a comment thread that doesn't make your opinion any less significant, even simply agreeing can be of help. Over the years way too many authors faded into obscurity because they felt that their work was underappreciated (I'm not naming names) and I truly believe that one more simple line could have made all the difference.

AuGoose pointed out that there are many way on this site to leave feedback (perhaps a little too many) and that different kind of feedback can be funneled in different ways.

Regarding the subject of the site being very one-tracked ... I have to agree, at least partially, with Wulfmir's opinion: often we, as writers, tend to gravitate toward the known and the familiar either because our preference are bound that way or because it's easier to return to places already visited.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)
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11 Oct 2016 03:50 #50631 by xoony
Replied by xoony on topic Question to members
I just don't really have anything to add. I just come to find stories I like and read some posts in forums if they seem like they might be what I enjoy.

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11 Oct 2016 05:37 - 11 Oct 2016 06:32 #50633 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic Question to members
Not sure if I'm exactly who this thread is addressed to. I'm not a complete lurker, although I haven't posted much.

Esteban wrote: What stops me from commenting or participating in discussions is probably a different thing: Although I know it's actually the least thing you should do for the authors of the stuff in the library that we consume, I often find it tedious to make the effort and write more than just the usual "Wow - I loved it! Great story!" every time I like a story. Writing more than that would mean providing actual critique, and I am - please don't take this disrespectfully - not willing to spend the time and effort needed for that kind of response.

I'm sort of the opposite. Just saying "great story" doesn't interest me much. I want to dig in to why it's great; both to explore my own opinions and the hear others'. I don't want to just be critical, but it's not very illuminating when a thread is just people agreeing with one another. I de-lurked back in May to comment on a story that I thought was at a particularly fascinating point (and almost all my posts have been in that thread). It sort of backfired, though. The discussion, which I thought was a great adjunct to the story, has caused the author to take a break from continuing it. I thought the differing opinions in that thread meant that the story had found a sweet spot between right and wrong, between what you can do and what you should, what obligations you have to those you love, all sorts of different issues. I'm sorry that I contributed to derailing things. Maybe I should just hold my thoughts until a story is over.
Last edit: 11 Oct 2016 06:32 by Pepper.

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11 Oct 2016 07:34 #50634 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic Question to members

Pepper wrote: I de-lurked back in May to comment on a story that I thought was at a particularly fascinating point (and almost all my posts have been in that thread). It sort of backfired, though. The discussion, which I thought was a great adjunct to the story, has caused the author to take a break from continuing it. I thought the differing opinions in that thread meant that the story had found a sweet spot between right and wrong, between what you can do and what you should, what obligations you have to those you love, all sorts of different issues. I'm sorry that I contributed to derailing things. Maybe I should just hold my thoughts until a story is over.


Things derailed, but not because of you. I really appreciated your posts and hope you continue.
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11 Oct 2016 18:52 #50642 by McVee
Replied by McVee on topic Question to members
This might be my first message, although I have started to give thanks.
I'm a big fan of the genre but don't think I have much to contribute, it has been said earlier that a "great story" kind of comment seems quite pointless compared to some of the very detailed replies some of the more frequent contributers. A simple great story also adds a new notification to the thread so clicking the link to see just that is quite annoying.
I can appreciate that feedback, especially positive, would be welcome so if I think I have anything worthwhile to say I will.
Another reason I don't contribute much is because I have fat fingers and am using a phone; this message has taken about 20 minutes.
Cheers

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