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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"That was watercooler vengeance!"
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October 21 2004

Lost Producers Post at The Fuselage. Interestingly, JJ Abrams seems to have worked with fans to make this message board happen.

Score one for fans, getting recognition from producers. Looks like JJ put the seed money down to make sure there was a place for fans to post and talk to them. David Fury stopped by along with creators JJ and Damon.

Allyson, the link doesn't work because of the slash (don't know if that's a forward or back slash). Thanks for posting, though. I'll visit.
I swear, I've been posting on the net for years. I swear I should know how to do things like this.
Allyson, maybe it was the "magic"'/"beautiful" eye of the Lost island working its mysterious will.....

I love this show and I'm thrilled for David Fury that he's writing for a blockbuster. Go David! His episode "Walkabout" rocked. His talent was all over it.
The link worked, but I've just never got on with the layout of these things, Bronzebeta is the same. I can never figure out whos replying to who and what's going on.

Is it just me?
It is a bit crazy when you first start out. I found that I got used to it pretty quickly though, kind of stopped going to the Beta once I found here though as I prefer the way things are done over here :)
No, zz9, it's not just you. I just posted at the end of the "X-Men 3 Rumor" (now known as the "Joss posted") thread to the same effect. I'm sure there are many fans who post both there and here, but I just can't understand what's going on at the Beta, what with the tags and shout-outs and multitude of in-jokes. (Course, we have in-jokes and regulars here - nature of the endeavor - but the layout here makes everything so much more comprehensible and welcoming. IM very HO) Just makes me feel like I've stumbled into a private party with the proverbial "suddenly everything went dead and all faces turned to the newcomer" vibe.
No, it isn't just you, zz9. I find it difficult to navigate Bronzebeta and since the Fuselage board is modeled on Bronzebeta, I'll probably find it difficult to navigate Fuselage, too. I mean no offense to either board or its members/designers. I think part of the difficulty for the newbie is how deep and contextualized the history is between many of the Beta posters. It is a bit daunting to visualize jumping in as SNT has said so eloquently. I imagine that if I were to post at the Beta I'd get a figurative "deer caught in headlights" look from the regulars. It looks like many of the Fuselage members are also Beta members, at least I think so.

Also, I'm accustomed to the community weblog structure of Whedonesque, where posts are organized into threads. I love Whedonesque so much that it's hard for my tiny troll brain to wrap itself around other modes 'o Whedonverse communications.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2004-10-21 18:07 ]
I agree with you guys. I always hold Whedonesque up as an example of what a great board should look like. Some other boards seem to go out of their way to be confusing or archaic.

Its not the posters that worry me, its that I won't be able to navigate easily. We're all strangers, until we post! I can't imagine not being a part of this community, but I was a stranger here once too.
Glad to hear it's not just me! I was a poster on the old Cinescape Buffy board when they had a seperate Buffy section with forums for 'Latest Episode', 'Spoilers', 'Cast News' and so on. Made it easy to navigate and stay (mostly) on topic.
Then Cinescape decided to force us onto one single forum on the main boards, and it killed it completly. From two or three hundred posts a day it dropped to one or two a day within weeks and is now virtually dormant.

Whedonesque works because it has a clear focus and threads on a specific topic, and easier to catch up with a discussion in a linear order.

Having said that, props to the people behind Lost for supporting a community such as this, if it works for them then that's what matters!

I know Joss and other BtVS writers have spoken about feedback from the net afecting their writing. I think one of the early ones was Joss reading about the negative feeling about Oz and Willow from W/X shippers so he wrote the 'Van scene' in Innocence to "make people fall in love with Oz".

I'd hate to see a show ruled by committe and subject to every whim of posters on the net but for a talented writer to be able to read the mood of people as to what is working and what isn't must be good for a show.
Yet another concurring vote...
I've (very occasionally) lurked on the Beta, but i would never have considered posting there. It just seemed way too much like a group of insiders that i'd never be a part of. I'm not very tech-savvy, have only recently looked at boards (or posted something) at all, and the atmosphere there is very unwelcoming. I forget how I first came across Whedonesque, but somehow it was much more inviting here, and I've always felt much more able to post, be heard, stop by periodically even if i'm not around all the time, etc.
I like the way it's organized, and I respect most people's views. Rants and flames are almost nonexistent - instead there's just intelligent, reasoned debate/banter/discussion.
three cheers to Simon/Caroline/Herb :-)
Add me to the bunch, zz9. I think I've visited most of the boards and I can say that Whedonesque has the best lay out of them all.

I'm glad that JJ cares enough about the fans of 'Lost' to set up this posting board. He also seems to think very highly of David Fury.
It does look like the bronzebeta, only with minty fresh flavors. Er, I mean colors. Ive only lurked there but it made me dizzy to scroll backwards through the posts. I figured any attempt to jump in would get lost in the shuffle or worse as SNT said: "suddenly everything went dead and all faces turned to the newcomer". And Id probably have toilet paper stuck to my shoe. Whedonesque is sort of like visiting little cozy rooms with a friendly, rounded font and the people in each of those rooms are talking about the same thing and Im going to shut up now because Im getting rambly and weird.
Maybe that's why Joss said in his profile that he's frequently dizzy! It's trying to make sense of the Bronzebeta!
Very, very cool ... a dedicated place to blather on endlessly about 'Lost', my Whedon-missage/must see replacement show. And the colors are pretty. I can see myself stopping by there for extended bouts of natter now and again...

I do hear what ya'll are saying about the BB. Although I understand the layout there and am even a registered user, I rarely post there. The boards whiz by too fast for me, and there's never enough time to hang out there to read all the past boards in order to respond to (potential) posters' questions/ remarks. It is a tight-knit community bound by years of slowly acquired familiarity, but like everyone else has said here Whedonesque rules because it's welcoming, hassle-free, civil and above all, intelligent.

Plus, we're topic-based, so I can surf amongst the conversational streams with ease instead of navigating through a labyrinth of a thousand posts to piece together the bits of one long, rambling conversation (which tend to include a lot of references I don't get). And the fact that anyone can contribute a link here makes it democratic and participatory -- we're like a giant, thousand-eyed Argus that watches for any Jossitude on the web and then posts it so everyone can find it easily.

It's the friendliest, most perfectly effective and self-policing community weblog setup I've ever seen, and I'm proud to say this place is my first cyber-stop of the day (and periodically throughout, truth be told), even before checking my email.
I've been around message boards for a long time (perhaps too long.) What we're really talking about it linear vs. threaded. Both have merits. Odds are if you've only known threaded, going linear will be a tough adjustment.

Consider this, I visit Whedonesque every day. I know maybe 3 posters in this topic. I'm sure even less know of me. You can make hit and run posts and it's quick and dirty. On the linear type boards, the posters themselves really are the topics. It takes more effort, you may wind up responding to more than one poster on the same topic which may feel redundant but the end result is you get to know more of the posters a little better.

I'm not out to sway one way over the other but I see the "it feels like a secret club" thing a lot and for my money, that's just an excuse.
Thanks for the linguistic assist, IMMORTAL. "Threaded" versus "linear". Indeed.

Not sure what you mean by "that's just an excuse", however. I find the Beta and other, um, "linear" boards hard to read and hard to follow because they permit long tags that don't appear to be part of the message, lots of different colors are used (yeah, I know, I'm getting old), and, it seems to me, there is a lot of shorthand being thrown around by posters. As you say, it possibly takes more effort to get involved that way, but the overall impression, to me, is less-welcoming and more, as Wiseblood said, that of a "tight-knit community". I wasn't saying one system or board was empirically better than another; just that I greatly prefer Whedonesque's layout, and I think it's more friendly for newcomers. Yes, the Beta does kinda give off an "insider" vibe, which I'm sure some of its posters cherish. But I don't say that as an "excuse", more as a reason why I don't go there, but come here instead.

And I think some of us here feel we have gotten to know other posters pretty well - possibly because some of us (OK, me) find it hard to know when to stop blabbing on . . .

Lest anyone think I'm being overly harsh on the Beta or other places: the main thing is that there are all kinds of boards and options open to all preferences. That's cool. And, make no mistake, I think it's very cool for JJ. Abrams to start up a board for fans of his show.
I don't think the BB feels like a secret club, myself. Whenever I've posted, I've not been made to feel bad. I just personally don't have the physical time every day (or even on a regular basis) to participate in the board culture the way that one seems to need to in order to have the most positive experience there. I agree that a difference between being more comfortable with either linear and threaded posting habits can dispose a person to prefer one site over another, but both are indisputably excellent resources, and certainly the Bronze Beta (even in its third incarnation) is still the most venerable, and one of the most respected, community fan nexuses on the web for Whedon-fans.

I guess I lean more toward finding out the latest information than chatting, though I wouldn't say I'm averse to that aspect of the culture. I don't do AIM or MSN with any frequency, again because of time constraints, so being able to come here, search at my leisure, find out what's going on and leave without worrying unduly about missing anyone should they pop on after I leave suits me best.

Obviously Joss, the ME writers and others tend to post more at the BB, so that's an endorsement of the site's relative visibility and reputation that can't be contested. Whedonesque is a web(blog), however, a different and newer species of cyber-creature; for what it is, it stands at the forefront of the Whedon-news frontier, and is, I would argue, a more efficient and streamlined vehicle for quickly getting the word out on Joss-related issues, articles and other topics of interest than just about anywhere else, even the larger BtVS/AtS newssite aggregators (Slayage, etc.).

I'm totally for fan communication in whatever way that can be positively achieved. A dedicated 'Lost' board just strengthens the integrity of the Jossverse/offshoot/quality genre medium for us all. I say 'yay' to that.
Just wanted to mention we totally stole our layout from Metafilter.com - kudos to Matt Haughey for initiating the filter type community weblog look and feel.

Also... for me the difficulty in reading the Bronze beta is not the linear vs threaded thing. I'm used to both. It's the two mile long sigs and shout outs and the feel of an established community that seems impenetrable. I couldn't get my head around that.
I know you guys have been debating the In Crowdness of Bronze-like boards, so I just thought I'd say that hey added a post at the top of The Fuselage that reads, "Since this is a new board for a new show, we would like to request that posters focus their posts on discussions of LOST specifically (anything connected to episodes, the actors, news). Lets welcome the new posters with open arms and hear what they have to say. Also new people, feel free to jump in on any conversation, the regulars don't bite."

I think they did so because the board was sort of filled with, "Nice to see you agains!" and "Hey, remember that times?" and the like. So yay.

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