Join the Campaign Against Bad Poetry!

What’s the idea?

There is a lot of good poetry written by E2 users.

There is also a lot of bad poetry written by E2 users.

It is the latter which gets the attention, largely because, unlike the voter base, the gods and editors have always tended to be kinder to users’ creative babies than to factual or opinion oriented pieces – a natural leaning, since the emotional investment that goes into a creative piece is generally greater than the other types of write-up. Making judgements regarding nuking this kind of material is much the same as doing so on a daylog – it can be horribly hurtful.

Of course, that means that the bad stuff hangs around the database forever, prompting write-up after write-up criticising and bemoaning the quality of “E2 Poetry”.

It is time, brothers and sisters, to do something about it!

The something I propose is a usergroup (E2verse), a little like E2prose, where aspiring versifiers can call for critique on both their new and their old work. Members of the group would be expected to offer such critique as well as demanding it, and honest feedback is essential – it should be tactful certainly, but the aim is that people improve their poetry, so there’s no point being overly kind.

Who should be members of the group?

  • Anyone who writes poetry and wants to improve it.
  • Anyone who is interested in giving useful critique on the poetry of others. Useful is the key word here, if you just want to tear people down or ridicule them, please just go away.
No formal knowledge of poetry is required but if you want to write poetry, you should learn the rules, to save yourself pain, and those who wish to be purely critics should have a knowledge base to critique from.

What’s the downside?

Bad poetry becomes freely nukable (Yes, I know, many will see this as an upside, but not those who’ve put their heart and soul into the sacrificial victims). With a forum available for people to get feedback before posting, failure to make use of it would be rather like posting a factual without research – and subject to the same judgements. Members of the group would get leeway to improve older poems nominated for critique.

How will it work/Are there rules?

Yes, there are rules:
  • Messages to the group requesting feedback should only be for new work – i.e. that not already posted (which should be placed on scratchpads or homenodes). This is to prevent group members’ message inboxes being flooded. For older poems, see below.
  • Older work should be added to an E2 collaboration node called E2verse - poems nominated for critique. Please hardlink the titles. This node can only be seen and edited by the members of the group and gods/editors, so should not lead to a flood of drive-by downvoting. If you edit a poem and would like further review, please add “edited” and the date, beside the title so people can go back and look again.
  • There is no need to vote on poems from the list that you critique, but if you do, happy voting only, please. It’s a forum for real, improving feedback and a downvote never told anyone what’s wrong.
  • Critique should be provided privately. Use the ‘blab’ button, guys.
  • All members are encouraged to add a paragraph to the E2verse - members collaboration node, giving their background in writing poetry – everyone from novice writers up is welcome, but knowing how experienced other members are will help people temper their feedback appropriately, and know the bona fides, and the prejudices, of their reviewers.
  • Feedback should be constructive. If you think a piece is beyond redemption, a message saying “It’s terrible” won’t improve it, so don’t comment – leave it for someone who may be able to provide constructive comment or an admin to put it out of its misery. Nobody’s day is going to be made any brighter by numerous negative messages.
  • All members accept that occasionally a work simply can’t be salvaged (it’s meaningless, one long flow of angst, would need to be rewritten from the ground up. etc. etc.) and the truest and most reasonable criticism is a deletion, with reasons.
  • With the above in mind, all group members are encouraged to self-audit, and nominate poems they think might fall into the category above for deletion. We all have off-days, and my own node heaven bulges with poems I’ve euthanised when I’ve come back to them and seen they’re misconceived.
  • Deletion of any poem will be signed, and accompanied by a fair Klaproth message. This is mostly a covenant by me, but I'd like/expect any other admin who wants to play to stick by it – otherwise please /msg me and I’ll do the reason/signing thing, if deletion is warranted.

Please /msg me if you’d like to be added to the group.

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