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A Response - by SimonBob

A Response

Debate Week Special:
SimonBob Strikes Back
Article Seven of Six: A Response

(About the title: Let it not be said that I don't know how to milk a good thing. Debate Week Special will continue until the next actual debate, at which point it will be declared "old" and put in the Hall of Fame next to the picture of Aquas and the lock of Pancake's hair. Now, on to the response.)

When I see three articles about fanfics in a single update, I know it's time to write an article of my own. I don't necessarily have to do it right away, I can wait an update or so, just to stay relaxed. You know how it is. But now the time has come to stop waiting and relaxing and start going to pour drinks for dinner because my mother has no concept of allowing genius to flow forth.

Okay, I'm back. Where was I, where was I... ah! Yes. The differences between a Territorial Oak and a Guardian Heiroglyph are subtle, but present. For example, ... oops, wait, that's next week's article. I'll start again.

Now the time has come for me to tell you what's what with the Fanfic Department, the main page, and other sundry website areas of note that have been mentioned in the last couple of article updates. Let's start with our dear friend Fobbio. Apparently, he remembers the good ol' days when we used to get "five or more updates a day!" Now, admittedly I haven't been here as long as Fobbio, but I remember that back when I started coming to the site was just a few days before reidman left to get his spine fixed. (Maybe it wasn't a spine-fixin', but I know he left for a while there.) Updates began to dwindle. One per day seemed about average. Then one every two days. Finally, it got to the point where we went through a four-day drought without a single update. That's when reid made a surprise visit to publicly berate the staffers; it was something along the lines of, "What have you done to my site?!" After that, things began to pick up again, but nothing can erase the mark of that terrible lack of updates. I don't think we've ever had a lapse that was anywhere near that bad. Once in a while, a day will pass without an update, but overall we're doing pretty good.

I'm not trying to divert anyone from Fobbio's five-a-day claim, either. I remember one time when we had twelve freakin' updates in 24 hours, but I think that those times are the exception, rather than the rule. It'd be nice, but I don't think it'll happen.

Just for analysis (Woo analysis! My favourite article pastime!) I threw together some statistics. We've got twenty-three things on the sidebar there that could potentially be updated on a regular basis, counting Contests three times for HT, SSS, and T. Of these twenty-three, we currently have about 14 staffers running something like 17 of the sections well enough that they get updated at least semi-regularly, ie. when they get content. (In other words, AmzRigh is a good staffer, but he can't update that often because you guys don't send him enough stuff. I know, neither do I, but at least I remember to berate myself for it.) 14 staffers updating semi-regularly, let's say once every two weeks or so, would give us about one update per day on the front page.

Wait a second, isn't that what we have now?

I know, I know, some stuff gets updated every week, and some stuff fluctuates weirdly, but on the whole we've got a good bunch of people who bring you something new every day. That's good enough for me, and if it's not good enough for you, then change your homepage to where you can get updates on the hour.

So to conclude on that bit, thanks for punching me in the arm, Fobbio, but I don't think our concepts of "bustling hub" match up, seeing as I thought we were a hub with quite the bustle.

Mmm, bustle.

Speaking of bustle, let's talk about Falcon for a second. Falcon is a pretty funny guy when he's tired. I'm not going to extrapolate on how funny because seriously, he is a great guy, and you should be nice to him and read his articles. His article makes me feel validated, because one of these days he's going to write me a Fanfic and it's going to rock Penetella Giovanni's dirty socks. The funny thing, though, is that I don't think it's going to be the kind of stuff we might've expected from him. I see Falcon doing the same thing I'm doing, which is to say that we both created characters for use in the EarthBound universe (specifically on the IF board) and now we're striking out and putting those characters to use in non-EB settings. I think that's what happens with fanfic writers; eventually they burn out on the pre-made setting, and want to start their own stuff. There's no doubt in my mind that sooner or later we're going to see Raltise and Talus visiting Happy Falcon Land, or whatever he'll choose to call it. Personally, I'd go with Happy Falcon Land, but it's been pointed out many times that I'm weird.

I'm not trying to suggest that the key to Fanfiction is to write in new characters, though. Yes, there are lots and lots of Fanfics out there with these crazy new characters who could potentially be living in Eagleland, but you can still work with the original gang and make something happen. I have to admit that I can't think of any immediate examples, but I'm sure some author or other will get indignant and mention theirs.

I also think he's right about the "finish it first" thing, which is why there are very few 'fics to my name in the section. (In fact, just right now I went and pulled Running Ness, which started out very promising but got old fast.) Nobody would want to look at half of a picture of Paula.

Say, that gives me a brilliant idea! Everyone likes looking at sketches of Fanart, right? So why don't we get some writers to send in the outlines for their Fanfics? I know I've got tons of outlined plots sitting around on my hard drive, and they're essentially like sketches of stories I haven't written. Hah, who says I don't make my own content?

Alright, already. Let's tackle our pal Mike, the EB Guru. (You can tell Mike from guruzeth because Mike doesn't change his name every five minutes.) First of all, I'm looking forward to seeing how Mike handles his new "responsibility," because I know from writing Latest Excuse that sometimes it can be hard to think up a subject on a deadline. I don't know if he'll be putting in a schedule or not, but I do know that anyone who tries to match Pappy's refreshingly random updates is asking for It. Mike's desire for everyone to at least try writing a Fanfic is commendable, but I'll bet that anyone who wasn't planning to write one isn't going to try it. I usually find that there's a certain mindframe I've got to be in before I can write anything, and I'm willing to bet that a number of people just don't hit that mindframe often enough to put down a 'fic. (But I'd love to be proven wrong...)

Hey, it's RaSeb! RaSeb has a wicked awesome name, better than UnprovokedWalrusAssault or Gauntlet Wednesday (Observed), but not as cool as Under My Nametag, I'm Green Lantern. RaSeb also writes articles, do you? He did something I've always meant to do: he made a list of reasons people give to avoid reading Fanfics, and then he shot them down. I'd like to add a fifth excuse and shoot-down, however: "Fanfics are boring!" To which I reply: What kind of Fanfics are you reading? We've got a wide variety of stuff, from action/adventure to vaguely romantic to high comedy. Now, I admit that it's tough to sort out which is which, since they're listed by author, but if you asked James (not JamesPicard007, although he's a pretty cool dude too) then I'm sure he'd be able to tell you. He's the guy who does those Fanfic Reviews on the fan forum, don'tcha know.

You know what? I'm going to give up on the "Fanfic Fanart" thing forever. Nobody honestly cares about it anymore, and I can only beat a dead horse so much before it tenderizes too much for me to work up a sweat.

And now we come to the end of this article. Looking back, I've said a lot of things and dropped a lot of names. Things like "reidman is awesome" and names like Giovanni, who incidentally happens to be really amazing. Hey, it couldn't hurt.

Join us next week when me and Dash get in a knife fight!

Other Submissions by SimonBob

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