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tomcat_ha
Veteran

Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:05 am
Posts: 2619
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:58 pm 
 

the previous review challenge is almost 6 months old?
maybe its time for a new one?

ill try to break my current record of getting 3 reviews accepted in 1 challenge.

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AcidWorm
Veteran

Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:37 pm
Posts: 2700
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:27 pm 
 

I will try to contribute though I am working about 45hours a week and taking 2 classes so I doubt I will manage a review, but who knows.
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Byrgan
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 5:35 pm
Posts: 1333
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:49 am 
 

I'll see if I can contribute something if this is set up.

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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 5083
Location: Oswego, Illinois
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:55 pm 
 

Boy is it just me or is there absolutely no interest this time around?
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KC_Slaanesh
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:51 pm
Posts: 1188
Location: Lenexa, Kansas
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:56 pm 
 

I wanna write a couple reviews but I need structure. What are the guidelines for this contest?
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GuntherTheUndying
Crimson King, Eater of Worlds

Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:36 pm
Posts: 2526
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:58 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
Boy is it just me or is there absolutely no interest this time around?

Yea I was thinking that too. Usually these threads blow up in posts. But hey, I'm down if there's going to be a challenge.
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MacMoney
Man of the Cloth

Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 10:17 pm
Posts: 1933
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:26 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
Boy is it just me or is there absolutely no interest this time around?


Seems so. I don't know if it's the V2 or the modding (which I've done lazily though), but I haven't really had much interest in actually reading reviews (for purposes of finding out what people think instead of approving or rejecting based on how they're written) or writing them recently. Been rather busy too and will be for the next couple of weeks so can't say this or that if I'm gonna participate (not that I did much for it even before, just a couple each of the last three or four times) except in looking over and accepting the reviews.

There are a couple of albums without reviews that I have my eye on, but we'll see. Depends on the timing I guess.

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Acrobat
Eric Olthwaite

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:53 am
Posts: 6477
Location: Fortress Northallerton, North Yorkshire
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:39 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
Boy is it just me or is there absolutely no interest this time around?


Reviewing is a dead art. :P
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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 5083
Location: Oswego, Illinois
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:53 pm 
 

I've picked up my pace, but I was never really big on the challenges. It was cool extra motivation to do a couple for the week but when it became about personal records and such I couldn't have cared less. I think I did four reviews for one contest and that was about it.
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Evil_Johnny_666
Reigning king of the night

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:54 pm
Posts: 3992
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:35 pm 
 

Could be interesting, maybe a kick in the but for me to do some more again. But I don't know, maybe part of the reason why there's less interest may be because the last few challenges were a bit overkill. Just my impression.

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OzzyApu
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
Posts: 9606
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:59 am 
 

As one of the regulars for the review challenge, I have absolutely no interest in writing reviews for this next one. I lied about that for the last one as a goof, but this time I'm serious. I just don't have it in me to crank anymore. Two full years in school plus a deployment on my mind has burned me out.

What made the challenges special a couple years ago has now soured up. Regs getting in the way of reviewing, members disputing, no central figure guiding the challenge, it all just crapped out. Thankfully we have a good database and an alternative one by sistersofmercy that's updated regularly, but overall the core vigor no longer exists.

I got my #1 spot, so I can retire from these contests sleepy.

ANationalAcrobat wrote:
BastardHead wrote:
Boy is it just me or is there absolutely no interest this time around?

Reviewing is a dead art. :P

With each passing day, I'm shifting toward this line of thinking. I write reviews now just to say I where stand on bands / releases.
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Xeogred
Thunderbolt from Hell

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:28 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:27 am 
 

Right when I kind of got the fever back to start reviewing again, the V2 update kind of killed it. Yeah it's lame, but that's what happened.

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tomcat_ha
Veteran

Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:05 am
Posts: 2619
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:08 am 
 

You should all stop taking it so serious and do it like me :P

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joncheetham88
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:41 pm
Posts: 459
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:14 pm 
 

Wow, seems like popular opinion is really reflecting how I feel. I've barely reviewed the past couple of months. I'm at the absolute peak period at work and the smog-smothered open air and extortionately priced beer of Singapore is occupying my every free moment. Always managed to pull it together for the other challenges but I really can't say what I would be able to do for one at the moment. And who would be leading/ administrating the thing anyway?
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Lord_Jotun
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 5:02 pm
Posts: 2160
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:37 pm 
 

OzzyApu wrote:
As one of the regulars for the review challenge, I have absolutely no interest in writing reviews for this next one. I lied about that for the last one as a goof, but this time I'm serious. I just don't have it in me to crank anymore. Two full years in school plus a deployment on my mind has burned me out.


Didn't you also review several Animae Craponii releases for one of the past challenges? For my money, that's all anyone would need to stay away from reviews for a good while :lol:
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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
Posts: 2240
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm 
 

If and when a date is agreed on, I'll do my best to participate, though I make no promises about level of output given some upcoming commitments. If the agreed date occurs anytime during the beginning or middle of August I won't be able to put anything up as I'll be in Romania without internet access.
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Muhammadabbadabba
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 8:00 pm
Posts: 1056
Location: R'lyeh
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:05 pm 
 

I probably won't be doing another review challenge. My sentiments are exactly the same as joncheetham's. Studying and preparation for law school admission will take a fair amount of my time away from recreation, and my last contest's lack of turn out wasn't very encouraging.

My spirits within the last month haven't been well. My father's orchid nursery is undergoing changes which require our collective overseeing. Now, we're just a family business, which is far better than the overbloated monstrosity it was for all these years.

To make matters worse, my dog has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and my family and I are doing everything we can to alleviate his pain and give him half a year. We're spoiling him as much as we can. It's both saddening heart-warming to see him struggle to walk on his legs yet happy enough to take on the world as though in good health; it's as though he doesn't know he's dying.
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Razakel
Nekroprince

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:36 pm
Posts: 4844
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:30 am 
 

Come on men, where's your spirit! I'd be down to participate as much as I can, depending on when the challenge takes place. I don't think we should worry so much about breaking past records and just deflower as many virgins as we can. Anything contributed is good for the site.

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OzzyApu
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
Posts: 9606
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:26 am 
 

Lord_Jotun wrote:
OzzyApu wrote:
As one of the regulars for the review challenge, I have absolutely no interest in writing reviews for this next one. I lied about that for the last one as a goof, but this time I'm serious. I just don't have it in me to crank anymore. Two full years in school plus a deployment on my mind has burned me out.


Didn't you also review several Animae Craponii releases for one of the past challenges? For my money, that's all anyone would need to stay away from reviews for a good while :lol:

Oh man, yeah I learned more about this guy (Cesare) than I wanted to know. I think it was you that told me he was considered a parody of the Italian black metal scene or something.

"Animae Craponii" lol I see what you did there.

Everybody and anybody, stay away from Animae Capronii, particularly this album.
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Lord_Jotun
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 5:02 pm
Posts: 2160
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:28 am 
 

Correct, sir - that was not a typo ;)

I've been out of the loop for a while when it comes to the local underground, but it seems that this shit "band" isn't talked about that much anymore - my guess is that everyone adopted a "don't feed the troll" approach. which suits me fine - the quickly shit like this gets forgotten, the better. I understand we're talking about it right now so it may seem like I'm contradicting myself, but since we're doing so to warn other people to keep away, I see it as the lesser of two evils: like I said back when your reviews came out, I was glad that someone finally slagged that crap like it deserved, but at the same time found it rather embarassing and worrysome that people outside the Italian underground were starting to find out about its existence - as an Italian metal musician myself, I can guarantee it's nothing to be particularly proud of :lol:

And dear fucking God, I had forgotten about the song titles; that link brought back memories (for those of you who don't know speak our language, here are some "highlights": Massacre in the Forest in a Forgotten Night, Cursed Poetry of a Lost Love, Vampiric Horror, Ermetic Miasma 666).
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OzzyApu
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
Posts: 9606
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:40 am 
 

:lol: I only found out about the band because Mordred from Grendel (Ita) drummed for Cesare in a different band. To think that a guy with vocals as sick as his wasting his time with Cesare for one second. :grr: I won't be reviewing AC material anymore, though.
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gomorro wrote:
Yesterday was the birthday of school pal and I met the chick of my sigh (I've talked about here before, the she-wolf I use to be inlove with)... Maaan she was using a mini-skirt too damn insane... Dude you could saw her entire soul every time she sit...

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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 4637
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:00 am 
 

Let's be honest, the review challenges are terrible and nobody likes them.
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Lord_Jotun
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 5:02 pm
Posts: 2160
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:44 am 
 

OzzyApu wrote:
:lol: I only found out about the band because Mordred from Grendel (Ita) drummed for Cesare in a different band. To think that a guy with vocals as sick as his wasting his time with Cesare for one second. :grr: I won't be reviewing AC material anymore, though.


What the hell? I didn't know about the Grendel connection, and I'm none too pleased about it either o_O
Ugh, it just keeps getting uglier...
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GuntherTheUndying
Crimson King, Eater of Worlds

Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:36 pm
Posts: 2526
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:04 pm 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:
Let's be honest, the review challenges are terrible and nobody likes them.

They were always pretty popular, why do you feel this why, comrade?
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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
Posts: 2240
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:13 pm 
 

GuntherTheUndying wrote:
John_Sunlight wrote:
Let's be honest, the review challenges are terrible and nobody likes them.

They were always pretty popular, why do you feel this why, comrade?


Because commies don't generally like competition, as it restrains the will of the proletariat. :p
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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 4637
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:10 pm 
 

Actually, they seem to drive down review quality in the zeal for review quantity. Intentionally depriving oneself of time for reflection will inevitably have this effect. Despite the concious effort of those who may participate, these challenges ultimately reward a mindset which is contrary to the goal of maximizing the quality of the reviews hosted here. Thus, they are a bad idea.
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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
Posts: 2240
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:16 pm 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:
Actually, they seem to drive down review quality in the zeal for review quantity. Intentionally depriving oneself of time for reflection will inevitably have this effect. Despite the concious effort of those who may participate, these challenges ultimately reward a mindset which is contrary to the goal of maximizing the quality of the reviews hosted here. Thus, they are a bad idea.


You might have a point to some extent, but by the same token, too much time for reflection deprives one of the ability to actually write things down and inevitably promotes writer's block. Furthermore, speaking as someone who is increasingly annoyed by all of the non-Latino essays (pun definitely intended) being written about certain albums, I question whether we are writing reviews or our senior thesis. I can see complaining about crappy 1 or 2 paragraph reviews for a handful of singles that contain little or no exclusive content, but shouldn't the purpose of reviewing be to spread awareness about music rather than stroking the writer's ego?

Just a thought.
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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 4637
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:45 pm 
 

No, I don't think spreading awareness of the music is the sole, or primary purpose of a review. That would make reviewers marketers. The primary goal is to explain on an intellectual level what value can be taken from a work of art as a work of art, something which a review does not necessarily need to be able to meaningfully explain to be acceptable for this site, but which is (eventually) inevitably left out for the purposes of expediting the writing process in favor of spreading awareness of various things with a larger volume of reviews in a shorter period of time.
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TheExodusAttack
Metalhead

Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 4:16 am
Posts: 1742
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:18 pm 
 

It definitely doesn't feel like the last challenge was 6 months ago. Well, I have a whole list of virgins ready for reviewing, so if you guys are down to at least pretend this is happening, that'll motivate me to crank some out. Reviewing is fun! :p
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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:35 am 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:
No, I don't think spreading awareness of the music is the sole, or primary purpose of a review. That would make reviewers marketers. The primary goal is to explain on an intellectual level what value can be taken from a work of art as a work of art, something which a review does not necessarily need to be able to meaningfully explain to be acceptable for this site, but which is (eventually) inevitably left out for the purposes of expediting the writing process in favor of spreading awareness of various things with a larger volume of reviews in a shorter period of time.


Marketers gets paid by whoever puts out the product and are expected to aid in convincing people to purchase the product, that's not what is really going on here, though I do tend to like most of what I review. The divide here is that I view my role as one of being a journalist, not a college professor, ergo I hold it as a primary function to convey my sentiments on an album in a clear and concise fashion. A shorter period of time might make me less prone to putting out 8 paragraph mini-essays, which I normally reserve for a few albums that I am either 100% in love with, or hate with a passion, but these reviews often are more geared towards either impressing oneself or others than necessarily conveying a given viewpoint, which happens regardless of the length or depth of a review.

I share your disdain for reviews that come up short on description and content, and I'm not huge on a one paragraph review that functions more as a pure sales pitch than an honest assessment of the contents, but I'm not big on this notion of trying to go to great lengths to define the inherent artistic value of a given album. Some of that may come into play, but there are only so many allusions and metaphors one can make before it starts looking like verbal showboating, and an individual ought to be able to come up with his/her own subjective understanding of what makes the album great to them. I think objective aspects of content are preferable in reviews, and they can be presented with an eye towards brevity.
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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 4637
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:56 am 
 

Maybe self-appointed street team? I was thinking of the ideal being more along the lines of the roughspun home scholar than the accoladed professor, also. ;)

Not meaning to disdain shorter reviews in any way, in fact, they are preferable for a number of reasons, one of the main ones being the paring away of extraneous monologues and grand statements of purpose that may only be tangentially related to the matter at hand. What is most preferable is a specialized diction that can optimally elucidate one's meaning with just a few ornate words and apt metaphors.

Not that short-o reviews that consist mostly of band refs aren't without their value either (that is many of our posts on the forum, for instance), but they are a lot easier and it's very easy to get into the mindset of just cranking them out without any aspirations towards a more complete understanding and these challenges play into that. Further, we have a fairly large reviewer base with a wide variety of people and opinions and many people who already take the special effort to seek out obscure releases, so there really is no need to put a competitive edge on the baser aspects of high quantity, high speed review grinding.
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SharpAndSlender
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:49 am
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:09 am 
 

The sentiment that goes entirely unreported within this thread is that with 90% of metal releases there is no greater understanding to be achieved because they're just entertainment. Let's not treat every album as though it's high art.
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caspian
Wanderer of the Wastes

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:24 pm 
 

this time round the whole vibe seems a bit more of a downer, a bit more mellow. I'm liking it! Let's make this happen but not even publish stats or anything, and just try to write up some fine ass reviews as opposed to reviewing shitloads of singles (cough cough)

John_Sunlight wrote:
No, I don't think spreading awareness of the music is the sole, or primary purpose of a review.


Speak for yourself. If I'm writing a review for a band I really like the primary purpose is to get the message out that "this is really good and you should all buy this album". Buyer's guide basically, that's how I roll.
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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:43 pm 
 

My principle focus on doing this challenge, provided that it happens before August, will be obscure demos and EPs primarily, though I have about 10 full length albums that I'm planning on tapping to increase the awareness factor. If it doesn't happen until August when I'll be out of the country, I'll probably just crank them out gradually over the next month. Either way, I'll be attempting to contribute even more to the site this summer than I have in the past.
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SharpAndSlender
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:49 am
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:58 pm 
 

Ironically I've been working through a bunch of unreviewed prog albums lately, completely forgetting about our arrangement for the next review challenge. :P I'm fucking my whole plan up!
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GuntherTheUndying
Crimson King, Eater of Worlds

Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:36 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:51 pm 
 

Well, seems more and more are jumping on board for something. I like caspain's idea of not publishing the stats or making a show out of it, just focusing on the reviews. I'm honestly ready to contribute at any time, so if someone wants to throw out dates, then we can seriously get this ball a-rollin'.
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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
Posts: 2240
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:57 pm 
 

Sisters can just post the usual stuff he's been putting up on the needle base site, he doesn't necessarily even have to link to it on this thread, I just like looking over historical trends for the general offerings of the challenge, specifically which genres tend to get hit more.
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Pfuntner
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Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:33 pm
Posts: 1096
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:12 pm 
 

If it's happening, I'll contribute. I like the motivation, but I'm similarly less psyched about the whole process then I was for the last few rounds.
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Nightgaunt
I'll Swallow Your Soul

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 9:50 pm
Posts: 6240
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:49 pm 
 

I have been reading the reviews written by most of you here for as long as you have been writing them (or at least for as long as you have been posting them in a public place). I have seen your respective technical styles and voices develop over time, and in some cases, I have seen you largely reinvent yourselves in this regard (some of you more than once). In regards to the 'pragmatic/exposure vs. literary/analysis' dichotomy that John_Sunlight and hells_unicorn were discussing, I have seen favor with the standing circle of MA Journalistic Celebrities shift from one end of the scale and back again a number of times over the years; in fact, I have seen some individuals stand on both sides of the issue at different points in their personal histories, as aforementioned. I am only one little creature, of course, but the length and nature of my exposure to MA's collective output in the field of reviews allows me to feel comfortable in asserting that, issues of 'reviewing philosophy' or even simply overall quality aside, most of you consistently sound quite a bit more like yourselves (most like your 'idealized journalistic personae', one might say)--in terms of your individual strengths and your personal quirks that give your writing its individual character--in reviews that you have written outside of these challenges. It's a correlation I find difficult to ignore. Again, I'm only one individual, but I know that several of my janitorial cohorts share this assessment of mine. This is perhaps why we for our part have tended to grow progressively less enthusiastically disposed towards the Challenges over time; some of you expressing a similar sentiment surely have your own reasons, some personal and some more principled.

After the last Challenge a few months ago, myself and some of the other staffers tossed around some ideas for changing up the next Challenge in some way, with the intent of emphasizing a different facet of the event's ostensible purpose (that being to improve or augment the general body of work comprised of all of this site's posted reviews). It was also thought that some of you may have found a new spin refreshing or invigorating in one way or another. However, I don't know if any of us currently has the time (or, to be distastefully honest, the wherewithal) to see such a plan through; only time will tell. In the present absence of our administrative (read: fascistic) black stallion charge, however, I don't suppose I can find it in me to try to forbid the lot of you to make anew a gala event of the Challenge if you are thus inclined. I will say, however, that in my personal view I don't think there's any real reason to make a festival of it anymore, as I doubt (though I may be wrong) there's really that much interest in the 'spectator sport' aspect of the thing left. The hard work that Sisters has put in on The Needle allows that tool/resource to fulfill all of the official and unofficial scorekeeping/tallying needs that the Challenge currently calls for, meaning it should more than suffice for the purposes of adjudicating personal competitions and tracking which sorts of releases are being reviewed. Besides, if you feel that you have a bunch of reviews that you'd like to create in you, you shouldn't really need a tickertape parade or an afterschool special to get you to write/submit them.
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caspian
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:57 pm 
 

Quote:
myself and some of the other staffers tossed around some ideas for changing up the next Challenge in some way,


Probably good that you didn't. How successful was the last staff review thing? ;)
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