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The Redwall Online Community.... thoughts?
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Thread: The Redwall Online Community.... thoughts?

  1. #1
    President of The Long Patrol Martin the Warrior's Avatar
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    The Redwall Online Community.... thoughts?

    This topic has popped up in a few of my conversations over the last week, so I thought I'd put it out for public discussion.

    What do you think of the Redwall Online Community (ROC)? Is it too large? Too small? Too focused? Too fragmented? Is it, as an entity, being targeted by more sites than the actual book series? Are these ideas to form some sort of central body (a government, if you will) wacky or with some merit?

    In general, what are your thoughts on the ROC?
    ~Martin the Warrior~
    -President of The Long Patrol

    "A poet is a musician who can't sing. Words have to find a man's mind before they can touch his heart, and some men's minds are woeful small targets. Music touches their hearts directly no matter how small or stubborn the mind of the man who listens."
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  2. #2
    Patroller dandin1's Avatar
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    lol, governement.
    It's not too small. but it's not to big either. I say it's about in the middle: not too big, not too large. But it's more large than smaller.

    As for fragmented. Yes. Notice how most webmaster of a big site don't visit other site's forum much. do you see starfire or Tsar here?

  3. #3
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    Well, well, thoughts on the ROC... I agree with Dandin, it's not too big, nor is it too small. I think it has a good variety of interesting websites, and *definitely* a good amount of RPGs and clubs. However, I'm not in any RPGs, and the only club I'm in is The Long Patrol... Well, I'm technically in Pawflash's, but I'm inactive, as he'll tell you. I just randomly show up on his forum to poke him.
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  4. #4
    President of The Long Patrol Martin the Warrior's Avatar
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    Dandin
    As for fragmented. Yes. Notice how most webmaster of a big site don't visit other site's forum much. do you see starfire or Tsar here?
    Well, until a few months ago, Tsarmina did swing by the LPF. As for Starfire, she also swung by on occasion and prior to that she was a rather active member of the LP for roughly two years or so.

    I'm purposefully holding off on throwing my two cents in on this because I'd like to get as many responses as possible first. So, let's throw something else to consider into the ring: What do you think the ROC does right and what do you think it does wrong? Where is it too efficient and where does it need some work?
    ~Martin the Warrior~
    -President of The Long Patrol

    "A poet is a musician who can't sing. Words have to find a man's mind before they can touch his heart, and some men's minds are woeful small targets. Music touches their hearts directly no matter how small or stubborn the mind of the man who listens."
    ~The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

  5. #5
    Registered User Slagar the Cruel's Avatar
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    Hmm... well, I'm trying to save most of my opinions on the matter for an editorial I'm planning to write. I suppose I can release some of my opinions in their undeveloped form, though.

    I think that the problem with the ROC is, as Martin mentioned in his list of discussion points, too much focus on the community and not enough on the books. The only real connection to Redwall in many sites is a notice about it being based on the Redwall books, with the rest of the site consisting of an RPG, more than likely in a far-off land with creatures not featured in Redwall. I fail to see how these sites fall under the category of "Redwall Online Community"... and yet they are accepted as natural branches. Even worse are sites that are created solely for the approval of "big" sites, in order to raise themselves in the eyes of more "important" members... meh, I'll get into the details when I write the editorial. Consider that a preview, of sorts.

  6. #6
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    It's just the right size, but like the Slag sez, half the sites have only one connection with Redwall: (your name here's) Redwall Abbey. And a lot of these sites haven't been updated on ages. Fortunately, these are a minority. Thank goody-ness for Terrouge, Starfire's, the RFF, The Long Patrol, and a buncha others.
    I say, is that a jellyfish?

  7. #7
    Patroller: Emeritus Furrtil's Avatar
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    There are two many wanna-be sites.

    I like the ROC, but am constantly irked by the lack of moles, lack of accents, and similar characters. For instance, the standard character is either a squirrel, hare, or otter, tall and silent, wonderfully beautiful with a strange colored fur or eyes, but loves dibbuns and has a sense of humor. Their parents were killed in a vermin attack when they are young, and they are wanderers. My character, Furrtil, is so different merely because of her normal bio: she was born and raised at Redwall Abbey, and has not been traumatized. It's strange...

    Also, there are far too many "good" foxes or cats or weasels or ferrets, etc. There cannot be /that/ much gray space between the species, that's simply not how Brian Jacques wrote it. And, a young fox priestess with the powers of the moon that activate from her amulet charm does not cut it for a Redwall character.

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  8. #8
    President of The Long Patrol Martin the Warrior's Avatar
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    Well, let's see if I can stir things up.

    In a certain respect, I'm sorry to see the term "Redwall Online Community" ever come into existence. The second the online fandom was categorized in such a way, it almost became an entity of its own. That entity quality is what, I believe, has led many down the "Let's establish a government" road, which I've always found rather foolish. I'll tackle the government issue in a moment, though.

    The problem with having a readily identifiable "Redwall Online Community" is that, slowly but surely, it has managed to erode the thing that makes this the Redwall Online Community: focus on the author and the books. For many sites, the focus is on what other sites in the ROC are doing, what RP's are being held, who's updated, and whatnot. And, while there is a legitimate right for such sites to exist, I can't help but be increasingly saddened that that's where they choose to focus their energies. Now, granted, there's not much need for a site with only book reviews or a few character bios. Some angle would be needed. For many, finding a fresh angle may be hard and I can't help but feel that falling back onto an RP, club, or ROC event-report is taking the easy way out. Seldom do such sites achieve notoriety. More often than not they fade into obscurity. And, before anyone cries "Hypocrisy! You started a club!", I should point out that the ROC was a very different place back then and there weren't very many active clubs.

    Now, I'm always on the lookout for good, original sites that offer up a fresh take on the book series. The most recent site I've found to do this is the Redwall Bestiary (now the Redwall Compendium, I believe). A fresh site concept that seems so simple when you look at it yet which had never been attempted before. Which brings me to the point that original concepts for sites do exist-- most people just stop looking before they can find them.

    Now, as for the government-- this is something I've opposed since I first heard of it. For starters, it turns what should be an escape into a mini-reality. Online Communities don't need governments, these governments would be unable to wield any sort of power ("You! Remove your site! It's bad!" "Make me!" "Ummm...."), and in the end once more diminishes the subject matter-- Redwall-- in favor of the online community aspect. Which, as I've outlined above, is the wrong path I think we should be taking. Now, some suggest that this "government" would be an advisory council of some sorts or a body that will help integrate new webmasters into the Community. To that, I ask why is it necessary to possess a fancy title before offering help to one who needs it? There are plenty of old-timers in the ROC who should be able to offer a helping hand to those who need it. I think many already do so-- there was a time I helped dozens of sites start out myself, sometimes even going so far as to code their pages-- so why should the process be further complicated by some fictional bureaucracy? A government body would overcomplicate things and would most likely turn fans away from the community than help usher them into it. I know it would have soured me on creating a site.

    Furthermore, I don't see the need to centralize the ROC any more than it already is. Currently, sites exist as separate entites, inhabiting their own corner of the ROC. While occasionally their paths will cross one another, what one does doesn't necessarily influence what the other does-- as it should be. I want to see what fresh faces of the ROC can come up with, what new take they bring to the table. I want to see them build up their corners of the ROC into something great, something grand. Try to centralize sites and such a task becomes increasingly harder as now you have to develop your ideas to the satisfaction of others rather than yourself.

    This post has run on longer than I'd initially intended, so I'll leave off here and save a few points for later.
    ~Martin the Warrior~
    -President of The Long Patrol

    "A poet is a musician who can't sing. Words have to find a man's mind before they can touch his heart, and some men's minds are woeful small targets. Music touches their hearts directly no matter how small or stubborn the mind of the man who listens."
    ~The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

  9. #9
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    On your take on original sites, Martin: Did you read the recent Terrouge article? All those neat sites...like that Redwall dating service. That'd be sweet ! I visited the old one, I think.
    Or Questors Bold. I (might) have signed up for that, if only the stoopid Terrouge site would show up on my computer. It's great, because they don't allow some massive, ultra stereotype beast-thing in, but good, original characters. And if you're wondering how I got on Terrouge, I used the comps at school.
    Man, we need more neat sites out there, darn scriggity!
    I say, is that a jellyfish?

  10. #10
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    I don't see any centralization ever working in the ROC. Someone would have to be in charge of the centralizing, and that'd create all sorts of problems similar to the government problem and makes the entire thing absurd. For the most part, I agree with Martin, I've helped several people create their sites as well...as long as the "old-bies" lend a hand to the newbies, things will be good.


    I'll also agree with Slagar...a LOT. I enjoy seeing the diversity of some sites, but not at the cost of the Redwall image... since when have dragons been in Redwall?

    And yes, the creature balance is all out of whack too. There are far too many goodbeasts, and especially badgers, otters, and squirrels. Nearly 1/5 of all my "members" are otters...that's outright scary when you consider the abbey is composed of over a dozen different species...

    And last but not least, yes, Airemia is inactive :P

  11. #11
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    Well, my exposure to the ROC is limited mainly to this board and The Long Patrol club. It's all I ever needed. ;) But the Redwall fans that I've encountered are a refreshingly intelligent group of people. I've been in the Megaman Online community for about seven years. That, too, has plenty of fun people but there are also far too many "k how doo i beet mm2? thnx bye" posts on message boards.

    I can also understand exactly where Furrtil is coming from about fan / RP characters. When I came onto the internet, fanfiction was a pretty rare thing. No longer, thanks (jeers) to fanfiction.net. If you read a Dragon Ball Z fanfiction, you'll probably notice it usually stars some fan character and not Goku. And this fancharacter is almost always "the last pure-blooded Saiyan" to survive the explosion on Planet Vegeta. If you read a Megaman fanfiction, you'll always meet "Dr. Wily's final creation," and no, it's never Zero. So it doesn't surprise me that even Redwall fans are penning beautiful orphaned otters who can take down Martin the Warrior without effort (in a friendly spar, of course).

    It's called Mary Sue-ing. I'm sure you've all heard the term before. Some consider it a sin of fanfiction. Others consider it a sin to add any fancharacter. I don't like to go that far. Fanfiction and RPs are all for fun, after all. And they're excellent writing practise.

    I haven't read much in the way of Redwall fanfics, but good foxes and rats are a little too wonky for me. There is extremely little grey territory in Jaques' actual novels, and if I recall correctly, he claims that's the way it will stay. On the other hand, I have a barely-finished Redwall fanfiction festering on my HD somewhere starring a half mouse, half rat named Bad Moon and his adventures in the Dark Forest. :) The character is nothing like anything Jaques would write, I think, but he's still a lot of fun to write. I hope that he's also fun to read when / if I ever finish the thing ...
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    I have not been in (or is it on? Whatever) the ROC very long. Before I entered, I wanted to look around and stuff, and I did so. I found some cool sites, e-zines, clubs, MUCK, and I was intimidated. What if the whole ROC was some special club for the elite? It took me a while to do anything but read e-zines, but now that I have entered, I have a few opinions. Or something.

    I have been visiting alot of RW chatrooms- mainly INSU and Starfires. And there seems to be a decline in the number of people. I here the peak was sometime in '99, '00, but I was not around for that. Pity. As for clubs, there seem to be a lot of them, a whooole lot of them. I am not at too many small sized sites, I prefer biggerish ones like here and terrouge, but I wonder if with the number of small sized RW clubs, will they slowly become to many and implode? What if there is a huge ROC collapse, and every body stops comming? Scary...

    Whoo, I went off on a tangent.

    Gov: It would not work. End of story.

    Reunion: This has not been talked about before, but I think in the year 08 or something, there should be a huge ROC reunion. Someone could make a site, and in a certain summer, we would all return! Or at least all those that had left. Twould be fun.

    I ramble. yes, I know.
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  13. #13
    Registered User Slagar the Cruel's Avatar
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    I find that I agree with most of Martin's post (to the point where I'm thinking about changing the focus of my editorial, as much of it has now been said )...
    I prefer biggerish ones like here and terrouge, but I wonder if with the number of small sized RW clubs, will they slowly become to many and implode? What if there is a huge ROC collapse, and every body stops comming? Scary...
    Um... implode? Exactly what do you mean? Little, cliched sites with little thought put into them (ex. "small sized RW clubs") end up being overlooked, becoming inactive, and eventually gathering dust at the bottom of search engines. No real harm done to other sites. I think the problem is that these sites are becoming the norm...

    As for the idea of an ROC collapse... actually, I do think it's feasible, if not probable. For a different reason then you said, though... and I'm sure it wouldn't be permanent.

  14. #14
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    Mary-sues terrify, yet intrigue me. They are perfect in nearly every way...Martin's long lost descendant, carrying her ancestors sword, she is tall, beutiful, canv sing perfectly...do de do do, do de do do.
    As much as something like that makes me scream, it makes me want to laugh my head off too. Strange.
    All of my "vermin" characters (which I don't use anywhere) are generally pretty bad, with (very few) redeeming qualities, but it's there. And one good natured rat. Of course, all the rats I know are good natured
    I say, is that a jellyfish?

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    I have a rat that I RP with sometimes, and he is steriotipal rat. Stupid, with bad grammer. And he is always drunk, and usually dies. He is so fun Sniptooth... *Goes off to RP with him someplace*

    Oh, as for implode, I mean that there will be so many dead sites, that new members won't be able to find any good ones, and will not join, and as the oldies slowly leave, there will not be any new members and ta da.
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