Escape Artists
October 31, 2014, 07:42:35 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: PC021: Meh Discussion  (Read 5408 times)
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 4699



« on: August 24, 2008, 03:44:25 AM »

I like 99.9999% of the stories posted on EP & PC (not a huge horror fan), so when any given story is given "a rousing chorus of mehs" as it were, I'm usually left very confused and having to stifle the urge to give a "well I liked it. SO THERE" type response :p

I hope you're only stifling the "SO THERE" part of it, not the "well I liked it" response - it's certainly true we're a critical bunch here on the forums (though I don't believe most of us *look* for something to critique - at least in my first post on a thread, I always report my genuine reaction to a story, and I think that's true of all the regular posters), but that shouldn't turn into groupthink - dissenting opinions are very welcome.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2008, 03:27:12 PM by Heradel » Logged
deflective
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1171



« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2008, 12:38:32 AM »

Comment on the outro: in general, I've noticed the regular board posters tend to be much, much, much more critical than those who post on the blog. Its an interesting trend. Sometimes it feels (and this is just my perception here, don't hurt me!) like people treat it like a critiquing session, like they have to find something to criticize. Or maybe I'm just way less picky than other people, I donno. Smiley I like 99.9999% of the stories posted on EP & PC (not a huge horror fan), so when any given story is given "a rousing chorus of mehs" as it were, I'm usually left very confused and having to stifle the urge to give a "well I liked it. SO THERE" type response :p

i don't pay much attention to the blog but this story's most negative comments seem to be there.

the largest difference i notice between the blog & forum is that forum tries to engage in dialogue more (ie, the blog thread only has replies to or from Rachel). this could be why it feels like a critiquing session, people are finding something to talk about.

not that i'm a fan of the "chorus of meh," it's sorta filler conversation. once you skim through the mehs and the questions of genre some threads have very little left.
Logged
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 4699



« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2008, 06:02:31 AM »

not that i'm a fan of the "chorus of meh," it's sorta filler conversation. once you skim through the mehs and the questions of genre some threads have very little left.

I disagree about the "meh" posts - well, I agree that they don't usually encourage much further discussion, but I for one am interested just in knowing what people felt about the story, and as long as the meh responses are sincere, they're of value. Genre questions, 9 times out of 10, are a waste of time; they are analysis rather than reaction and thus not inherently interesting unless they spark additional conversation, and since most forum members will refuse to engage in a genre conversation unless it influences some other aspects of the conversation, so they're not likely to lead to anything.

Logged
deflective
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1171



« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2008, 07:30:52 AM »

I disagree about the "meh" posts - well, I agree that they don't usually encourage much further discussion, but I for one am interested just in knowing what people felt about the story, and as long as the meh responses are sincere, they're of value.

there was a time i would have agreed with you; the whole meh meme started (here) as a way to say that the good parts balances the bad. usually it was the culmination of a back-and-forth breakdown of personal reaction. now it's also used to mean 'this doesn't really move me to comment.'

if i'm honest with myself, my aversion is a bit of a pet peeve. right up there with (pun intended) tags. nothing is lost if it's removed and the post will usually improve without it.
Logged
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 4699



« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2008, 07:49:40 AM »

I'm not sure why that makes a difference. "This story didn't inspire me to say something about it" is still a useful reaction; not a particularly useful reaction, sure, but - especially if shared by more than one or two people - it does say something about the story. I believe that a thread with three comments in it saying "I loved/hated it" and nothing else gives a very different impression than a thread with three comments saying "I loved/hated it" and five comments saying "meh". That difference might be useful for Steve or Rachel or Ben when they decide on purchasing similar stories by the same author. Sure, not the most enligthening or fun thread ever, but not all stories give rise to that.
Logged
Talia
Moderator
*****
Posts: 2532


I like pie


« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2008, 08:08:26 AM »

Comment on the outro: in general, I've noticed the regular board posters tend to be much, much, much more critical than those who post on the blog. Its an interesting trend. Sometimes it feels (and this is just my perception here, don't hurt me!) like people treat it like a critiquing session, like they have to find something to criticize. Or maybe I'm just way less picky than other people, I donno. Smiley I like 99.9999% of the stories posted on EP & PC (not a huge horror fan), so when any given story is given "a rousing chorus of mehs" as it were, I'm usually left very confused and having to stifle the urge to give a "well I liked it. SO THERE" type response :p

i don't pay much attention to the blog but this story's most negative comments seem to be there.

the largest difference i notice between the blog & forum is that forum tries to engage in dialogue more (ie, the blog thread only has replies to or from Rachel). this could be why it feels like a critiquing session, people are finding something to talk about.

not that i'm a fan of the "chorus of meh," it's sorta filler conversation. once you skim through the mehs and the questions of genre some threads have very little left.

That makes good sense.
Logged
deflective
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1171



« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2008, 08:40:35 AM »

I believe that a thread with three comments in it saying "I loved/hated it" and nothing else gives a very different impression than a thread with three comments saying "I loved/hated it" and five comments saying "meh".

i'm not sure what to read into that difference. would a 'meh' post be better than no post at all? stories with a controversial topic will get people into the thread even if they don't have much to say about the story itself.

the 'meh' seems implied in a review that doesn't give itself to positive or negative. like i was saying before, my reaction is probably a result of the expression itself. i'd be fine with these posts if they didn't actually use the word. so, just need to adjust the old mental blinders.
Logged
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 4699



« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2008, 09:02:20 AM »

I believe that a thread with three comments in it saying "I loved/hated it" and nothing else gives a very different impression than a thread with three comments saying "I loved/hated it" and five comments saying "meh".

i'm not sure what to read into that difference. would a 'meh' post be better than no post at all? stories with a controversial topic will get people into the thread even if they don't have much to say about the story itself.

The difference is that if there are only few posts that are consistently positive or consistely negative, the lack of other posts could mean either that the rest of the community is indifferent, or that it shares the positive/negative consensus and feels that the previous posts have said everything necessary. On the other hand, if a segment of the population chimes in to state their indifference, this clarifies matters.

I think that a story feedback thread serves multiple purposes. One of them is to give rise to interesting discussion. Another is to give input as to the community's reaction to the stories. Steve (and the other editors) have made it clear that they are interested in both these purposes; "meh" posts do not do much for the first but they are valuable for the second.

So yes, I think that a "meh" post is better than no post at all.

As for your distate for the actual word "meh" - well, I sort of agree with you that it's a rather unattractive word, but it's not hardly unique to this forum and I think it's here to stay...
Logged
deflective
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1171



« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2008, 09:42:55 AM »

So yes, I think that a "meh" post is better than no post at all.

better for confidence in the evaluation, if not for a positive result in the evaluation =)

we used to see polarization between the blog & forums back when the forums were just starting. it was relatively common to see mostly positive reviews in one place and negative in the other. people would post where they felt most comfortable resulting in a natural sorting of the replies.

might be we're seeing something similar to that, except we've created an environment that encourages the non-committed voice.
Logged
Anarkey
Meen Pie
Editor
*****
Posts: 703


...depends a good deal on where you want to get to


WWW
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2008, 02:30:06 PM »

Comment on the outro: in general, I've noticed the regular board posters tend to be much, much, much more critical than those who post on the blog. Its an interesting trend. Sometimes it feels (and this is just my perception here, don't hurt me!) like people treat it like a critiquing session, like they have to find something to criticize. Or maybe I'm just way less picky than other people, I donno. Smiley I like 99.9999% of the stories posted on EP & PC (not a huge horror fan), so when any given story is given "a rousing chorus of mehs" as it were, I'm usually left very confused and having to stifle the urge to give a "well I liked it. SO THERE" type response :p

I'd like to comment on this, and I hope you won't take it personally, Talia, because you're not the only person I've noticed who has this reaction to the forumites who consistently give feedback on stories and so I'm just kind of using your quote as a jumping off point and not taking you to task for your statements.  I doubt anyone will dispute that I can be highly critical of stories.  Sometimes, once I've deconstructed a story in comments, people will follow my comments with "Well I just enjoyed it for its own sake, and I don't have to think about it or analyze a story to enjoy it."  or sometimes, less kindly, with "You're overanalyzing.  Why can't you just listen to a story and leave it alone." 

I like to enjoy stories for what they are too, but at heart I'm a geek.  And geeks take things apart.  Some people take apart car engines or computer programs or transistor radios and poke around inside them to see how they work.  I take apart stories and poke at them and think about how the pieces are put together.  My desire to talk about stories is not directly related to whether I like them or not.  In other words, I often criticize things I quite like, and I find this confounds people but I'm not sure why.  On the other hand, there are stories that don't hold up well to being thought about or analyzed.  In my opinion these are lesser stories, but that's purely subjective taste talking, not a determination about objective quality.  A story I can fruitfully analyze is potentially a story I can enjoy twice, when I first listen and then when I offer (and read) criticism.  Sometimes ALL the enjoyment I get out of the story is in criticism.  I don't like the story, but I can still get some joy out of picking it apart and thinking about why I didn't like it.  Or in seeing others pick it apart.  It's just part of a process.

There are stories that I don't feel motivated to analyze, stories I can either toss into the 'not for me' or 'that was nice' pile without giving them a second thought.  I can identify with not having much to say about a piece.  I admit, though, I'm perplexed as to why anyone (except perhaps the author) actually cares whether I'm critical of a story or not.  Why does an analysis on my part correspond to something about you and your enjoyment?  All it means is I'm a story geek.  You may be some different kind of geek or no geek at all. The idea that it's rude, or snobbily intellectual, or a waste of time to engage in critique is not automatically true.  Neither is it true that critique is mutually exclusive with enjoyment of the piece.

That said, in any forum there's people who talk just to hear their head rattle, as my grandmother would say, but that has less to do with stories and story critique than the natural landscape of message forums.
Logged

Winner Nash's 1000th member betting pool + Thaurismunths' Free Rice Contest!
JoeFitz
Matross
****
Posts: 253



« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2008, 06:42:13 PM »

I guess my take on the reaction against the "meh" comment on a story threat is that it indeed might seem odd to write "I don't have a strong opinion either way" ("solid meh" not withstanding) in a forum. One might really wonder why someone without a strong opinion feels the compulsion to express a lack of a strong opinion.

For my part, I write a "meh" to provide feedback that I thought a story was balanced good/bad or just not to my liking. Sometimes that changes after reading the discussion.
Logged
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!