The age of Books is upon us October 21, 2015 2:11 PM   Subscribe

Brace yourselves, bibliophiles: we're rolling out Books as an additional media category on FanFare! We're starting slow to make sure we've got all the wrinkles ironed out, with a few initial clubs started by your fellow users. Come on inside for details!

Books has been on the, uh, books for a long while now so I'm really happy to get it out into the world as another piece of FanFare.

As with previous new chunks of media on the subsite, we're doing a soft launch with this to avoid being overwhelmed immediately while bugs and stuff turn up, so most folks won't immediately be able to create Book threads, but we wanted to have a few non-mod folks playing with it as soon as possible, so you'll see new Club stuff from latkes, Kattullus, and Eyebrows McGee as we get started here.

The posting process for Books content will be the same basic thing as with other media types: go to New Post form FanFare, select "Books" from the dropdown menu (again, once that's publicly available to everyone), and then use either a title search or an ISBN number (whichever works better for you) to select the specific book you're posting about, and proceed to do a title/description/more inside write up. Here's some screenshots of those pages, to give you an idea what it'll look like:

Title search

fanfare book title

fanfare book title

ISBN

fanfare book isbn

fanfare book isbn set

As we get these initial book clubs sorted out, we also want to know what things folks would like to see additionally on per-book threads and talk out wants and expectations about the posting process, and we'll move to an "everyone can post Book threads" stage soon. Until we get there, suggestions about other books/clubs to add are totally okay, though given that anyone can start a new Club it may make sense to take any specific cohering ideas about an individual club and redirect it to a Club Talk post on that new Club's page so that this thread doesn't get overwhelmed by a dozen different club organizing discussions.

One of the biggest challenges with Books compared to other media types is the time it takes to read a whole book vs. sitting down for a two hour film or an episode of a TV show or a podcast, which is where I think the Club and Event Calendar stuff will be especially helpful here, so it'd be great to talk about good practices for using that stuff to organize collective reading.
posted by cortex to MetaFilter-Related at 2:11 PM (231 comments total) 79 users marked this as a favorite

Woo!!!
posted by latkes at 2:12 PM on October 21, 2015


I clicked the link for the Dune thread and it wasn't working, but now it is, so yay!
posted by ODiV at 2:13 PM on October 21, 2015


This is EXCELLENT. THANK YOU!!
posted by bibliogrrl at 2:16 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ah fuck!

This was both a "fuck yeah" and "fuck, how can I add more stuff to my reading list when I can't even keep up with the TV shows I watch on Fanfare.

Despite the vulgarity, I think this is great!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:16 PM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


I predict that this will be the most favorited metatalk post of all time.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:18 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is so exciting! I can't wait. Thanks!
posted by lyssabee at 2:18 PM on October 21, 2015


BOOKS, MOTHERFUCKER!

(I think this is great.)
posted by kate blank at 2:18 PM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Also, for the sake of kicking the tires, I've personally gone ahead and set up Dune Club, for reading the Herbert novels, and made a post for the novel itself. In general it may make sense for most clubs getting rolling to set out the initial book discussion thread a little ways to let people get going, but Dune's something a lot of folks have read already and I figured I'd get the ball rolling there with further titles schedule out in the months to come. (And maybe the Lynch film eventually, and some other bits. Remember, Clubs are actually media-agnostic, so you can bring in all kinds of stuff to one if it makes sense.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:20 PM on October 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is great!

I'd like to add a book and play around with it. This is a book soft-launch permission request.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:20 PM on October 21, 2015


Oooh, finallyl.
posted by jeather at 2:21 PM on October 21, 2015


YESSSSSSSS
posted by dinty_moore at 2:23 PM on October 21, 2015


Question, though. Let's say I bug Eyebrows until she posts about Ancillary Mercy (for instance). It's the recently released final book of a trilogy -- what spoiler conditions will happen for earlier books in the series? What about if we then post about Ancillary Justice?

Would it be the same as for tv shows? Because I don't think first read/reread makes sense really. But on the other hand, some books are part of a very long series.
posted by jeather at 2:25 PM on October 21, 2015


Series-related spoiler stuff is a little tricky since the feel of books may be different; the immediate answer is probably "book clubs should discuss this, threads should explicitly disclaim it in a post" until there's something firmer in place.

But my default take would be, when in doubt, if it's part of a series, treat it like a series of episodes and avoid spoilering future titles in discussions of earlier ones.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:26 PM on October 21, 2015


Someone do The Martian, I just started a re-read of it.
posted by mathowie (retired) at 2:28 PM on October 21, 2015 [17 favorites]


omg you don't have permission to do this?!
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:30 PM on October 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


mathowie: when you're out, you're out.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:30 PM on October 21, 2015 [10 favorites]


I'd be totally happy to round up some suggestions for "this is recent/super-classic and would make a good book post Right Now" stuff that we can put through today to fill out the immediately available discussion threads, yeah. For the moment it'd be simplest for mods to just start those threads rather than wrangling per-user permissions on a one-off basis.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:33 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Remember, Clubs are actually media-agnostic, so you can bring in all kinds of stuff to one if it makes sense.)

Dune 2000? (I'm kidding! you just got this books thing going)
posted by ODiV at 2:36 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Question: what's with the book image? (for Dune)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:37 PM on October 21, 2015


Question: what's with the book image? (for Dune)

We're still working some bugs out of the system. It should look better if you reload.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:38 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


We're auto-fetching images via the Amazon API, based on the title/ISBN lookup process; one wrinkle there right now is there's often multiple different listing for a book, so what gets fetched initially might be one of the less good options. We've built out decent tools for dealing with that stuff for TV and Movie stuff, just still a work in progress for Books.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:39 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've personally gone ahead and set up Dune Club

OF COURSE you have. And yay, this is way cool and very exciting!

Looking at the front page of FanFare: it wasn't immediately obvious to me how to navigate to see just books, until I remembered "oh yeah, categories" and found them in the sidebar. Feels to me like maybe Movies | TV | Podcasts | Books should be top-level tabs on the page (like Clubs and Talk) rather than sidebar items?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:40 PM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, reworking the front page for better navigability/discovery is a big looming item on the to-do list.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:41 PM on October 21, 2015


I have started a Historical Fiction Book Club (club link) with NINE MONTHS of scheduled books already up because I am an overachiever even though cortex gave me like four hours to come up with a viable book club that wasn't SFF because everyone was already doing that, which I have to tell you is sort-of limiting because I like dragons a lot.

I am actually pretty excited about it, I picked all books I've read in the last year or so, and that I enjoyed and thought MetaFilter would enjoy, and I tried to pick from a relatively broad variety of styles and time periods and places -- from the fairly trashy sex romp "Forever Amber" to the highly literary and experimental "The Wake." Two of the books are older classics; one is from 2009ish; the rest are from the last couple years. Seven of nine are by women. (One is actually an autobiography -- Pioneer Girl -- but I think you'll agree how historical-fiction-interesting it is!) Hopefully everyone sees something they'll enjoy at least sampling and will give it a shot! I tried to alternate among long and short books, various time periods, different styles, etc., and to keep in mind something a little less challenging for December while scheduling the fat, breezy volumes for summer.

I also look forward to expanding more to writers of color (it's a pretty white booklist) and to non-Euro-American-set historical fiction and hope some of you guys have suggestions for that!

Historical Fiction Book Club list: Euphoria; Pioneer Girl; Wolf Hall; The Wake; The Signature of All Things; The Chaperone; I, Claudius; The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B; and Forever Amber
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:44 PM on October 21, 2015 [33 favorites]


You had me at fairly trashy sex romp to highly literal and experimental.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:47 PM on October 21, 2015 [9 favorites]


Huzzah - just saw these show up on the FanFare page and was all like "Books? WTF!!?!?!?!?!"

Awesome.
posted by nubs at 2:47 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yaaaayyyyy, thank you so much for this! Can I request someone put up a post about Seveneves? I've wanted to discuss its worldbuilding with Mefites for a while, and I know a few other people did too.
posted by yasaman at 2:48 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hello! I have started a book club called Kattullus' Monthly Random Fiction Book Club. I want to explain a little how I'm thinking of running it. Each month will feature one work of fiction, chosen by me (suggestions welcome). The rules I've set myself is that at least half the months will feature works by women, and that at least a quarter of the works will be translated. I'm hoping to tailor the types of posts to each work, because books are varied beasts.

I've decided on the first four, to give an idea of the variety of works and types of discussions. Here's an outline of the schedule:

Book: Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov

[Each post would be centered around one section in the books, spaced out so that each book would get about equal time]

Day 1 Post: Introduction and "The Psychohistorians"
Day 2 Post: "The Encyclopedists"
Day 3 Post: "The Mayors"
[and so on]
Day 19 post: "Search by the Mule"
Day 24 post: "Search by the Foundation"
Day 29 post: How do you feel about the whole thing?

Book: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

[A book like this one would have fewer posts, with more room for thematic discussion]

Day 1 post: Introduction to Margaret Atwood and The Blind Assassin
Day 8 post: Communists on Alien Planets: Politics and Pulp Fiction
Day 15 post: Canadians in Canada: Places, People and History
Day 22 post: Woman in the 20th Century: Feminism in The Blind Assassin
Day 29 post: How do you feel about the whole thing?

Book: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

[A book which is available on Gutenberg and, I think, lends itself well to chapter by chapter read-through]

Day 1 post: Introduction to Anne Brontë and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Day 2 post: Chapters 1 and 2
Day 3 post: Chapters 3 and 4
[and so on]
Day 27 post Chapter 51 and 52
Day 28 post Chapter 53: The conclusion.
Day 29 post: How do you feel about the whole thing?

Book: The Third Reich by Roberto Bolaño

[Another book with fewer posts, but allows straying further afield than a book like Atwood's]

Day 1 post: Introduction to Roberto Bolaño and The Third Reich
Day 8 post: Wargaming as Storytelling
Day 15 post: Playing the Nazis in a Game
Day 22 post: The Image of World War II Today
Day 29 post: How do you feel about the whole thing?

I don't know whether this kind of all-over-the-place book club will appeal to everyone, but I hope some MeFites will enjoy reading together. I'm going to try to pick books which are widely available, both in the US and bookstores and libraries elsewhere, and ideally as e-books too.

The first post, about The Psychohistorians, will be up soon. I'm writing on an iPad right now, so it'll take a little while to make the post.
posted by Kattullus at 2:49 PM on October 21, 2015 [9 favorites]


Kattullus, you should totally take this comment and make it a Club Talk post for the club too, would be the perfect staging ground for working out the details etc.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:51 PM on October 21, 2015


(And maybe the Lynch film eventually, and some other bits. )

I have a copy of the Dune d20 RPG. Add it to the list!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:01 PM on October 21, 2015


I have a couple of books I'd like to discuss and am excited for discussing-times, and I will make myself a note to do so when it opens up!
posted by curious nu at 3:01 PM on October 21, 2015


I got an error when trying to post about Foundation:

Date and Time: 10/21/15 3:00 PM
Your Browser: Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 9_0_2 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/601.1.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/9.0 Mobile/13A452 Safari/601.1
Your Location: [redacted]
posted by Kattullus at 3:02 PM on October 21, 2015


Thanks, Kattullus. Taking a look.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:03 PM on October 21, 2015


Can we get one for the new Welcome to Night Vale novel? I just washed my hands while chanting. That's how it's done
posted by deezil at 3:05 PM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, if anyone wants to do a Lunatic Fringe Booksclub - Mothman Prophecies, Psychic Sasquatch and the UFO Connection, The Interrupted Journey, and other high strangeness WTF titles - I'd be happy to organize.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:07 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


And just for added bookish excitement, latkes and I have just now decided we're having a February crossover between Apocalypse Fiction Book Club and Historical Fiction Book Club, when we will both read "The Wake" by Paul Kingsnorth ("a post-apocalyptic novel set a thousand years ago.") SYNERGY!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:18 PM on October 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's a little buried since I haven't posted a book yet, but I've started an Apocalypse Fiction Club. Come join us for our first book, Riddley Walker, to be discussed first Wed of November.

We may do a crossover book in February with the Historical Fiction Book Club... Stay Tuned!
posted by latkes at 3:18 PM on October 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


Jinx!
posted by latkes at 3:18 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Guys I heard maybe Eyebrows McGee and latkes are going to do a crossover.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:19 PM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


You know, a crossover between book clubs would be great, has anyone considered it?
posted by jeather at 3:20 PM on October 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Everyone whose book club can join the February crossover step forward ... sorry cortex, not so fast."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:21 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


*scream scream* When saw this I got so excited I shrieked and slammed my laptop shut and ran out of the room because I didn't know what to do with all that excitement.

Kattullus and Eyebrows McGee, both of those lists sound AMAZING.
posted by barchan at 3:21 PM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


For February, Dune Club will be discussing the line "the Sleeper has awakened" in tremendous detail.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:22 PM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Alright! I've got the first post up, both on Foundation, and also in the club talk page.

I'm thinking that the MeFi book club format will take shape over the next year or so. I'm hoping that the Random Fiction Book Club will be a good place to experiment with different posting schedules and post formats. I'm thinking that down the line I might choose some kind of absolute mammoth book, but before that I think it's good to have an idea of what works, before trying to organize a discussion of something that's more than a thousand pages.
posted by Kattullus at 3:25 PM on October 21, 2015


Oh, yay! Not much of a movies/tv person, but very much a book person! Thanks so much.
posted by skybluepink at 3:28 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kattullus: "I'm thinking that the MeFi book club format will take shape over the next year or so. I'm hoping that the Random Fiction Book Club will be a good place to experiment with different posting schedules and post formats."

Totally agree. I have been in a successful meat-space book club for the last eight years, so I'm basically starting from that format -- one book a month, free discussion, I'll try to provide a few discussion-prompting links (and publishers often provide "book club discussion prompts" now, which sometimes are very helpful (and sometimes are very dumb)). Maybe with individuals stepping up as the discussion-prompter for the month as we go along.

But I am also definitely interested in breaking down big books by specific topics or sections, and in hearing from experts dissecting a text, and more college-classroomy kinds of things, and all that good stuff! I'm excited to see how Kattullus's discussions go.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:30 PM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


For February, Dune Club will be discussing the line "the Sleeper has awakened" in tremendous detail.

Will we be discussing it as a consequence of Herbert's views of Catholicism and the IRA that he so throughly exposed in his book The White Plague, manifesting itself in parts of the Fremen myth, oooorrrrrr as Duke Leto conversing with his self about the facets of himself that range from fairly trashy sex romp to highly literal and experimental?
posted by barchan at 3:30 PM on October 21, 2015


Yes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:31 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


No no no this is terrible I already am reading too many things simultaneously and my holds list at the library grows evermore.

/does a little happy dance
posted by rtha at 3:35 PM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm thinking that the MeFi book club format will take shape over the next year or so

This is why I'm so excited about the first few "non-mods" and what they've done with their set-up. I'm sure there's going to be some kinks to work out, etc. but how the first few book clubs go will affect the tone and vision down the line. To see it done so thoughtfully, but also with a flexibility, seems like a terrific start.

LET IT BEGINNNNN
posted by barchan at 3:48 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now that we have book: and movie: titles, is it time to also preface television shows with TV: ?
posted by QuakerMel at 3:49 PM on October 21, 2015


Excellent, please nudge me when Terrible Dystopian Books One Should Never Read In Winter But Here You Are Anyhow club goes up. I've been reading a lot of Peter Watts lately.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 3:51 PM on October 21, 2015 [9 favorites]


Question: do graphic novels and collected editions of comics count as books? Because over in the recently wrapped up Avatar: The Last Airbender rewatch we've been talking about how to find a workaround for the lack of a books/comics section so we can talk about the comics before/while getting into Legend of Korra, so it'd be really cool to start an Avatar comics club.
posted by bettafish at 4:05 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh hell yes, super happy about this! Thanks!
posted by Bunny Boneyology at 4:07 PM on October 21, 2015


cortex: "We're auto-fetching images via the Amazon API, based on the title/ISBN lookup process;"

Is there a process in place (IE: can we still have posts for books) for when something isn't on Amazon? About a 1/10th of the stuff in my Calibre library doesn't appear in Amazon.

On a different note: thoughts on the clubs being explicit vanity projects? IE: Clubs named after users. It seems like a break from the way things are usually done around here where we focus on the content rather than the poster (bylines at the end of comments; no avatars; no signatures etc.)
posted by Mitheral at 4:10 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: "Terrible Dystopian Books One Should Never Read In Winter But Here You Are Anyhow club goes up. "

February crossover!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:12 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I might do John Fowles. An added bonus for first time readers of The Magus, provide a description of were you threw your copy after reading the end.
I lost a rental deposit that way.

A cross over post to the movie because: Anthony Quinn.

Sign me up for Roberto Bolaño.
This is cool.
posted by clavdivs at 4:14 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm so happy I don't know what to say except I'm so happy!!!!!
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 4:18 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nice! I had been hoping for a book discussion place somewhere on the site. Thanks!
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 4:20 PM on October 21, 2015


BOOKS THIS IS AWESOME THIS IS AMAZING I AM SO DELIGHTED

RICK

RICK RICK RICK
posted by angeline at 4:21 PM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Mitheral: On a different note: thoughts on the clubs being explicit vanity projects? IE: Clubs named after users. It seems like a break from the way things are usually done around here where we focus on the content rather than the poster (bylines at the end of comments; no avatars; no signatures etc.)

Ah, I can see how that comes off that way. If having my username in the book club's name rubs people the wrong way, renaming it is fine.

For the record, the main reason I named it Kattullus' Monthly Random Fiction Book Club because I wanted to be clear that I was responsible for it and that I would be choosing the books, at least at first. The reason I'm choosing books is mostly because as the father of a four-month-old, I have limited time for MetaFilter each day, and wanted to limit the amount of time that would go into book club admin.

The second reason is that since I post a lot about literature to the Blue, I thought that it might give some people an idea for the kinds of books I'd be putting up for discussion. Just calling it Monthly Random Fiction Book Club seemed a bit too mystery meaty.

That said, I can see how this might come off as a vanity project, so changing the name is fine by me.
posted by Kattullus at 4:30 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Aw hell yeah boooooks
posted by naju at 4:51 PM on October 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


This.
posted by adamvasco at 4:56 PM on October 21, 2015


Is there a way to pick and choose which categories can appear on Fanfare. Like if I just want Tv and Movies and no books or podcasts. If not, could we make that happen?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:00 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


is there an explanation of how this works somewhere? what clubs are, for example?
posted by andrewcooke at 5:02 PM on October 21, 2015


cortex: "We're auto-fetching images via the Amazon API, based on the title/ISBN lookup process;"

Mitheral: "Is there a process in place (IE: can we still have posts for books) for when something isn't on Amazon? About a 1/10th of the stuff in my Calibre library doesn't appear in Amazon."

I know that you're obligated to include the "buy at Amazon" link when you use their API; seems like that might be reason enough to investigate other sources for the imagery. Maybe Google Books or some other API. Actually, at the rate new FanFare threads appear it wouldn't be out of line to ask the OP to upload the cover since you're hosting the image files anyway. That would get around the wrinkles you mention.

Just out of curiosity, how are you handling the films and TV shows? Many have Amazon links, but not all. Are you using some other API for those images?
posted by Jeff Howard at 5:04 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


How inconsiderate would it be for me to ask about linking to purchase books from other retailers?
posted by amtho at 5:23 PM on October 21, 2015


Anne Bronte, yay! Wolf Hall, yay! The Wake, yay! [insert English professor doing the Kermit wavy-arms thing here]
posted by thomas j wise at 5:24 PM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


This is great! Yay!
posted by figurant at 5:27 PM on October 21, 2015


I know that you're obligated to include the "buy at Amazon" link when you use their API; seems like that might be reason enough to investigate other sources for the imagery.

Not really, we've got that link there intentionally, since Amazon revenue is a piece of our monthly income and if someone's going to up and buy a book on Amazon anyway having it help the site out a little bit is an upside. The question of finding a better method for reliably retrieving cover images is incidental, though obviously something we're going to keep fiddling with.

Just out of curiosity, how are you handling the films and TV shows? Many have Amazon links, but not all. Are you using some other API for those images?

pb knows the details (and is doing some real life stuff this evening so may have to get back to this tomorrow) but I believe we're primarily autofetching cover images for TV and Movies from IMDB, and we've got a tool on the backend for picking from among the fetched crop to get an ideal image when the default isn't great. We'll look to get something similarly snappy for books, but that's gonna be a different API obviously since it's not in IMDB's purview.

Actually, at the rate new FanFare threads appear it wouldn't be out of line to ask the OP to upload the cover since you're hosting the image files anyway. That would get around the wrinkles you mention.

It'd add some extra friction to the posting process without really removing the "something goes wrong" possibility, and we've found the current general procedure works well with TV and Movies (and works, just in wrinkly fashion, with Books already), so I doubt we'll move in that direction.

How inconsiderate would it be for me to ask about linking to purchase books from other retailers?

Not inconsiderate, though see above re: Amazon being there intentionally. If there's a great API for another specific bookseller we could totally look at it as well, though, if you've got a suggestion.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:30 PM on October 21, 2015


is there an explanation of how this works somewhere? what clubs are, for example?

Here's an introduction to FanFare Clubs, which are still pretty new and a work in progress. More generally, how posting on FanFare works in this case is sort of an "it doesn't, yet" thing since we're trying to iron out some details and bugs prior to throwing the doors wide.

But once we do through 'em thus, you'll be able to post a thread for discussion of a specific book by heading up to the New Post link on FanFare and going through the dropdown menu for "Books" and proceeding from there as sketched out in the images in the post.

At some point I think we're due for a nice "hey, so you're new to FanFare" intro/refresher post that will go over it all in a bit more detail, but I want to get this stuff clicking along okay first.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:36 PM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is there a way to pick and choose which categories can appear on Fanfare. Like if I just want Tv and Movies and no books or podcasts. If not, could we make that happen?

There's no way to do a mixed sub-selection of categories right now, now; it's everything, or a single category. That said, My FanFare exists as a good way to opt in to specific content, which means you can go on a browse through a single media category, add some stuff, and then do likewise for some other category, and ignore the categories you're not interested, to prune out a filtered selection. Not perfect for what you're asking for, but it's there.

It's possible we could incorporate categorical filtering more into that at some point, but there's a lot of other stuff on the list including more generally revamping FanFare's front page.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:40 PM on October 21, 2015


A thought: when you go to Fanfare you see the Categories sidebar and can select TV, Movies, Podcasts, Books. But when you go to the Clubs page, there's no longer a Categories sidebar. That would be really useful to have, so we can drill down to see just Book Clubs.
posted by naju at 5:41 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, I predict a lot of excitement followed by a very low level of participation. I recognize that this has been requested from a time long before FanFare, and it's absolutely, positively not the case that I personally have no interest in talking about books -- I'm an avid reader even by the standards of this community of avid readers -- but, wow, do I think this will prove to be a disappointment and that it's an example of how FanFare continues to move in the opposite direction from what it needs to in order to thrive.

But I'll be happy if I'm proven wrong. And I'm certainly going to participate in a thread about Ancillary Mercy ... along with the small number of fellow mefites who happen to have just read the book but probably not with the larger number of mefites who will slowly read the book over the next six months and who are unlikely to participate in such a thread because they won't be aware of it and the thread will largely be dormant, anyway. And this is probably among the most popular books for people here to talk about at this moment, too.

Sorry -- meant to be positive and lapsed into negativity. But sometimes what people popularly ask for is not what they actually need. What we actually need is a FanFare with a lot of participation, which generates buzz within MetaFilter. We need a FanFare that is and is perceived to be what it is for the small handful of threads that generate more than ten comments. We absolutely don't need even more largely empty threads. That will actually, in the end, kill FanFare because people don't go to parties that people don't go to.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:43 PM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


A thought: when you go to Fanfare you see the Categories sidebar and can select TV, Movies, Podcasts, Books. But when you go to the Clubs page, there's no longer a Categories sidebar. That would be really useful to have, so we can drill down to see just Book Clubs.

That's trickier than it sounds, though, because Clubs are fundamentally media-agnostic. There's clubs where people are only discussing books, or only discussing Movies, but that's not a property of the club as an entity in the system and they could introduce other media easily.

That said, we might be able to come up with a fuzzier rubric for identifying e.g. the dominant media type in a club to sort things accordingly. We definitely plan to improve Club listing navigability, in any case, now that we've got more than the initial handful that we started with.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:44 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


By obligation, I was referring to this section of the usage requirements for the Amazon Product Advertising API, which I'd imagine would be the API you're using, though maybe not:
(d) You will link each use of Product Advertising Content to, and only to, the relevant page of the Amazon Site (for example, the relevant Product detail page or other page to which particular Product Advertising Content most directly relates), and you will not link any Product Advertising Content to, or in conjunction with any Product Advertising Content direct traffic to, any page of a site other than the Amazon Site (however, parts of your application that are not closely associated with Product Advertising Content may contain links to sites other than the Amazon Site).
Maybe enough traffic flows their way for this to fly under the radar.
posted by Jeff Howard at 5:46 PM on October 21, 2015


Well, I predict a lot of excitement followed by a very low level of participation. I recognize that this has been requested from a time long before FanFare, and it's absolutely, positively not the case that I personally have no interest in talking about books -- I'm an avid reader even by the standards of this community of avid readers -- but, wow, do I think this will prove to be a disappointment and that it's an example of how FanFare continues to move in the opposite direction from what it needs to in order to thrive.

As someone who consumes most media at her own pace, I am part of this problem, and even doubly so because I am usually a solitary sort of media consumer who doesn't do things like write reviews, seek out discussion forums or even join book clubs. Oh yeah, and I mostly lurk around here as it is. However, I am looking forward to FanFare/Books growing with discussions that I can poke my nose into months after the fact, so yay mods for building this!
posted by phatkitten at 5:53 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


i just went searching for ancillary mercy in fanfare, realised there were no books, posted to meta, and was pointed here in reply. so (1) i think many books do get read at around the same time - particularly books that have won prizes and the like and (2) i was interested in reading (and contributing to) an old thread, that evolved slowly over time (i've not used fanfare, but if it such things appear in "recent activity" then that will help).
posted by andrewcooke at 5:57 PM on October 21, 2015


I regretfully tend to agree with Ivan Fyodorovich. I really like the idea of reading books with mefites but the current chaos of Fanfare just doesn't seem like a good fit.
posted by selfnoise at 6:00 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


People might not be aware of some FanFare navigation requests / discussion going on already over on FanFare Talk: Clubs upcoming films schedules and more . Discussion, and pb's responses, about things that would make FanFare easier to navigate.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:02 PM on October 21, 2015


Speaking of navigation, i would just like to reiterate (more publicly, this time) a request for FanFare Talk to be added to the profile page, along with your other post categories (Mefi, MetaTalk, AskMe, etc.), so you can easily and quickly access your history of FanFare Talk posts from your profile page.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:05 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Clubs will be the key. Get a good club going, with a decent membership and carefully curated selections, and give people a month's preparation before each book discussion gets going, and I suspect people will end up reading things they've never heard of and having a blast.
posted by naju at 6:05 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I do feel like FanFare is going to have to get a little bit more sophisticated with its "discovery layer" for people to really start using it as a hangout space for doing book stuff, because of the slow motion nature of a lot of that. I hope what you wind up getting his some slow moving threads that get long after a while, and turning to little eddies of discussion. What I'm concerned about is that people will look at the front page and kind of tossed up their hands and not be totally sure what they could do. At the very least you probably should change the tagline to the page at this point to "Media worth talking about". And I second that all the titles should be prefaced by the media type if some of them are going to be, eg.

Book: The Martian
Movie: The Martian
TV: Life on Mars
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:05 PM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yep, working on the front page of FanFare's discovery/navigation stuff to help people get to interesting/active/upcoming stuff easily is the other of the pair of big priorities we've been working on, along with finally getting Books rolling. That front page as it is right now still reflects the initial thinking about the subsite as strongly MeFi-analogous and circumstantially TV-centric, and so it remains a bit of a mess. The plan is to work on unmessing that.

Clubs as a staging ground for book discussions will be really useful, I think, and beyond that folks being able to use the calendar stuff as a means of planning around new releases should help with the needs-some-runway nature of books. Incorporating that stuff into that discoverability revamp should be useful as well. What we've done with the Watercooler also feels like a step in the right direction and is something we can incorporate in that revamp notion.

So, work in progress. I hear y'all on the general concerns there, and we're very much not under a "nope, it's perfect" delusion about it. Just takes time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:16 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


And I second that all the titles should be prefaced by the media type if some of them are going to be

Definitely, yeah. We may also look at moving from specific media text labels to a small unified set of icons (with alt text), if that turns out to be an improvement in practice, though just consistent labeling in general is the key thing.

Speaking of navigation, i would just like to reiterate (more publicly, this time) a request for FanFare Talk to be added to the profile page

Yep, we should get that added. I'll bump it on the todo list, probably (sorry if I'm wrong pb!) a reasonably quick bit of work.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:18 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


loooooo
did I just get a pony?
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:24 PM on October 21, 2015


…………(¯`’•.
…………..(¯’•(¯’•…………_/)/)
……………(¯’•.(¯’•…….((…..((
…………….(¯`’•(¯’•…((.)..(. ‘ /)
……………..(¯`’•.(¯'((.)….|\_/
…..,,,~”¯¯¯`’¯(_¸´(_.)……|
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.)))…..| ||……………..| |………..♥♥
((……..) \\……………..) \………..\|/
.^^^^.””‘”‘.^^^^^^^..”””.^^^^.””””
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:26 PM on October 21, 2015 [8 favorites]


a small unified set of icons

I like that idea even better. I get good icons at The Noun Project and I know they have some good looking book icons.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:29 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


(Prepending "TV:" to TV entries is also a little weird at a glance specifically because TV posts, in contrast to other media types, have a colon separating the show name and episode name already, so the default treatment would be like a bad action movie sequel joke, TV: The Mottoing: Seventh Revenge, but that's hardly something we can't find a way to work around by varying the separators used for the two different roles. Maybe get a handsome em-dash in there or something. Or just moot it by going to icons.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:39 PM on October 21, 2015


Or the middle dancing pumpkin.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:45 PM on October 21, 2015 [13 favorites]


This sounds so great--I only wish I knew how to read.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:47 PM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow! Wow! Wow!

I'm so excited about this.

Don't know how I'm going to find time for all the awesome books you guys are picking. But I can't wait to get started.

Thanks to everyone for all the work to make this happen. Especially pb, cortex, latkes, Kattullus and Eyebrows !!!!

(apologies to anyone I overlooked.)
posted by anon.sock.puppet at 7:48 PM on October 21, 2015


I get good icons at The Noun Project and I know they have some good looking book icons.

There's also iconmonstr.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:49 PM on October 21, 2015


Oops. I forgot to logout and re-login as myself. Well my big secret is out. I'm a.s.p. Truly thanks for all your hard work making this awesome thing happen !!
posted by marsha56 at 7:56 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Gesticulates*
"these aren't the droids were looking for"
posted by clavdivs at 8:23 PM on October 21, 2015


I suppose the likelihood of cortex choosing Dune as the first book was virtually 100%.

Thanks for getting this set up, mods, should be fun.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:29 PM on October 21, 2015


*hyperventilates*

CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY IS WHAT YOU'RE SAYING HERE I SEE
posted by town of cats at 8:31 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh my goodness thanks for reminding me, Chrysotom. I got so excited I forgot to say thanks.

THANK YOU!
posted by barchan at 8:34 PM on October 21, 2015


Love this! Thank you!
posted by toerinishuman at 8:40 PM on October 21, 2015


First: yay, books! With this, I might actually use the Fanfare section. (And the Riddley Walker discussion is well-timed, as I was planning to (re)reread the book soon.)

But some notes on navigation from a non-fanfare user: I'm sorry, but that site is a mess. The hot purple color aside, I click on the "fanfare" link above and get a page of links to mostly TV shows, ordered only by the order they in which they were posted. The link to the "clubs" section (which I only know about because of this MeTa) is in small print, five rows down from the top. The clubs turn out to be ordered alphabetically, but without any clear consistency in naming.

I'm not any kind of user interface expert, but even I can tell that this isn't really a viable design or organization.

So overall I'm excited by the long-awaited books addition, but unclear about how it will actually function in practice.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:42 PM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Is there a page that will show us what clubs we have joined?
posted by Mitheral at 9:36 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I agree that the reverse chronological front page is regrettably something that needs to be abandoned at this point because it's acting as a barrier. I do think that there are some ways to present FanFare that will encourage participation. But I just don't think that this will solve what I've -- reluctantly, sadly -- come to believe is the fundamental problem: MetaFilter just isn't big enough for this sort of thing.

With a few exceptions, media consumption these days is highly segmented, so the deck is already stacked against us. Those few exceptions (very popular movies or television shows) may reach a significant minority (not a majority) of an average population. A few things will not be that widely popular, but will generate a disproportionate amount of excitement and popular discussion. The rest will have audiences that are small or tiny. Some popular movies are most likely to have the largest audiences, then less so a few popular (or disproportionately interesting) television shows, then even less so a few popular books and podcasts. The diverse and very small audiences for each of these media will reflect the same progression.

Specifically with regard to books, relatively few people in North America read books, and the majority of those who do, read non-fiction (note that all three initial book clubs are exclusively fiction). Novels have relatively tiny audiences compared to something like movies or television, and then you add to this the problem that the temporal window for engagement is so much larger, and the result is that you can't expect anything more than a very small percentage of a given audience to be interested in talking about a book (especially a novel) at any given time. Even drawn from a bookish community like this one.

And all of that is not even accounting for the fact that even when someone just watched some movie or television show or read a book, and are quite interested in it, that doesn't mean that they want to (or feel confident enough) to discuss the work with other people ... especially people like mefites. And I include mefites in this. A friend of mine who is a mefite told me that she's reluctant to participate in FanFare threads about a favorite show of hers because she fears she's less knowledgeable and thoughtful about the show .. she's intimidated from what she's seen in the past when she's checked out FanFare, even though she's totally confident elsewhere on the site and has no problem discussing the kinds of things that other people often find intimidating. And that's because there's a certain type of fan who is most likely to want to discuss something on the internet. Those fans are not quite like other fans.

Not to belabor the point, but it's worth pointing out that even among the active mefite userbase, even among those in this group who regularly watch and enjoy and are fans of a television show ... the majority don't participate or even read FanFare and aren't interested in doing so. Some of that is the problems with the interface and a kind of cultural neglect like we have with the music subsite. But I think the majority of that is that even when it's people who like to talk about stuff on the internet, and they are fans of a show, the majority of them still aren't interested in talking about the show on the internet.

Back to the segmentation issue, much of the kind of stuff that we post to the blue is this way and often very niche. But that's absolutely not a problem for how the blue works. FanFare doesn't and cannot work that way. As people have pointed out in the past, you can discover new things on the blue, but you can't really discover new things on FanFare, except insofar as you notice that something is popular and then, maybe, you decide to watch/read it later. You can't read the post and jump into the discussion then, and you can't even read the thread to see if you're interested because if it turns out that you are, you'll be spoiled. Although, granted, some people won't care that much.

Here's the point where I mention again that even Television Without Pity -- which was by far the largest web discussion board devoted to discussing television episodes -- had a community that was only motivated to generate relatively active threads on a handful of shows. If you took all the shows that are posted here to FanFare, and transported them back in time to TWoP in its heyday, you'd still find that about half of these shows would generate episode threads with only a dozen or so comments. And MeFi's active userbase is so much smaller than TWoP. If you converted all of them to FanFare users, that would help a lot, but it would still not support much participation on the less popular stuff.

Posts on the blue about movies or television shows or books produce the kind of discussion that we love so much here on MetaFilter and I completely share the enthusiasm for this kind of discussion and the desire to somehow have a big part of MetaFilter that's dedicated to it. I've hugely enjoyed some of the discussions I've participated in on FanFare about a few shows and movies, and I'm certain that there will be a few books threads where I'll feel the same. But I don't think that MetaFilter can support the sort of media discussion that we've envisioned and desire. It just can't. And if it can't, but attempts it, we'll get even more of what we already have, which is a huge preponderance of threads with only a handful of comments.

Consider for a moment how television show rewatches have generally gone on FanFare. Now consider how even in-person book clubs go -- where you know each other and there is a kind of shared social motivation to keep up and show up. What portion of the group can you expect to drop out for a given book? God knows, with how much I read and how much I respect and enjoy my fellow mefites, on a regular basis I've thought about and wished for a mefite book club with whom to discuss some book I was reading, or have recently read. I read about a hundred books a year. I have this "I want to discuss this book with mefites" longing all the time. And we've had book clubs here, posted right to the MetaTalk. How much follow-through do we see of those who express interest?

I'm willing to speak up and be negative about this because it's something I'm interested in and would very much want to succeed on MetaFilter. I was one of the people very strongly involved in the initial discussions about what would become FanFare here on MetaTalk, and I participate relatively heavily on FanFare. It certainly accounts for the vast majority of posts that I've ever made across all of MetaFilter. And so I've thought about this a lot. I want FanFare to be a success, but I don't think it can be a success unless we scale back our expectations and then very carefully nurture a more focused FanFare that is oriented toward what people are most likely to actually utilize. This is why I say that I think FanFare has been going in exactly the wrong direction, and this is an extension of this. I understand it, because it's the kind of stuff I want from FanFare, and I also think it's awfully cool that cortex and pb and the rest put so much time and effort into answering the oft-stated desires of the community. But I just don't understand why there's not a big re-examination of what FanFare can be expected to be, given the low rates of participation. My impression is that the thinking has been that this is a UI problem. And, again, I agree that the interface is hurting the subsite. But the real problem here is that we just can't support the level of participation that we want on such a wide and diverse assortment of media and works.

My thinking is that FanFare needs to be drastically culled down to, at any given time, a small, mod-curated handful of television shows (maybe five), a very small mod-curated handful of movies (maybe three), and an extremely small mod-curated handful of books and podcasts (two or three) and the windows of activity for each are carefully calibrated. Something like a four-month period for television shows, one month for movies, and three months for books, and I'm not sure about podcasts. (I don't really have enough awareness about podcasts to form judgments on them, really.) The idea would be to present and cultivate participation on those few things that people are most likely to be willing to comment upon, and to keep those few things at a relatively high level of site visibility.

At this point, this is a pretty radically different perspective on FanFare and those of us with interests that aren't included, well, we'll be unhappy. I will be. I mean, jeez, some stuff is just fluff that I won't miss the casual fannish discussion. But some other stuff are shows that I think are among the very, very best television right now -- a period of time which really is the golden age -- but which there is approximately zero participation on FanFare about because almost no one is watching. Those are the shows that I'm by far most interested in discussing with other mefites. They surely wouldn't make the cut. And while I am sure that there will be fairly active discussion on FanFare about Leckie's Imperial Radch trilogy, I would also be very highly interested in a discussion of Nicola Griffith's Aud Torvingen books, for example, which I don't think there is a large enough readership here on MetaFilter to support (though they're probably in that category of things that have small audiences, but very high interest for that audience.) But that's because FanFare can't be all that I want it to be. But it can be a very good, more modest something else.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:55 PM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


Eeeexcellent.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:18 PM on October 21, 2015


I'm one of the ones who have Meta'd over the years about adding books to the site. I'm glad to see this appear.

There are sites that already do reading groups/social networking about books that MeFi will never be able to compete with. What this site has the others don't is an established community of people who already like to write (some of us more than others) on any number of topics -- I'm hopeful that our spirited camaraderie will eventually carry over into the books section this coming year.

What I would not like to see is 1) impatience and 2) pre-dooming.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:25 PM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


My thinking is that FanFare needs to be drastically culled down to, at any given time, a small, mod-curated handful of television shows (maybe five), a very small mod-curated handful of movies (maybe three), and an extremely small mod-curated handful of books and podcasts (two or three) and the windows of activity for each are carefully calibrated.

Part of me thinks this is a good strategic approach and more sound than the one we currently have on FanFare. But it's also a bit - I don't know - sterile? Because it takes away the heart and the soul of the site which is user-directed and created content. You are the filter in MetaFilter - at least, on the blue. It's a democracy, the only barrier is quality.

But to have mods start acting as editors on another part of the site - well, it feels very un-MetaFiltery to me. Perhaps this approach would work if FanFare detached from MetaFilter altogether like the saucer from the Enterprise and just floated off to have it's only site culture and expectations; but I thought at least some of the point of FanFare was to generate some income (as cortex points out above) for MetaFilter.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:27 PM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


I've clicked "add to activity" on a couple of the book threads so far. I'm in a tiny face-to-face book club where we rarely have more than one good comment each, and it seems OK that most threads won't see a lot of activity. Subscribing to a lot of them might still add up to something pretty nice over time. I'm also interested in what this means for Fanfare Talk. I'd definitely follow threads about, like, what folks are reading (with an eye toward opening relevant new threads) or what hypothetical book clubs they might like to organize, if there were enough interest.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:31 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, and is there an RSS feed for just Books posts?
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:39 PM on October 21, 2015


My thinking is that FanFare needs to be drastically culled down to, at any given time, a small, mod-curated handful of television shows (maybe five), a very small mod-curated handful of movies (maybe three), and an extremely small mod-curated handful of books and podcasts (two or three) and the windows of activity for each are carefully calibrated.

I'm not sure I understand how this will "help". Is the idea that I'll stop watching/reading/listening to the stuff I'm currently interested in so I can participate in FanFare by consuming the media that's posted? Because I don't see that happening.
posted by ODiV at 10:42 PM on October 21, 2015 [9 favorites]


books books books
posted by isthmus at 11:21 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Perhaps many fanfare posters will simply have to come to terms that talking about a particular show is often only as lions as talking about a particular project or song.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:23 PM on October 21, 2015


WOOOO! BOOOOKS!
posted by Happy Dave at 1:21 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


No. No culling.

I love FanFare because it is so wildly nuts. I love that there is a sprawling 1000+ (we will hit 2K!) cannibalclub thread right next to a tiny devoted group discussing Miss Fisher's Murder Mystery and that while there is a joy in watching something as it airs or just after it airs -

Thanks to the magic of "Add to Activity", you can throw a whole bunch of shows and things into your feed and then suddenly weeks and months later someone will stumble in, clutching your precious show and saying "He - the blood, the tears! I need to talk to someone about this", and you can pat the metaphorical cushion next to you and say welcome.

I watched The Martian last week, and went home and opened two sites, AO3 (because Rule 37 exists) and FanFare. And it was lovely.

FanFare is for weird tiny shows and massive giant shows and obscure things and big things - there's MyFanFare if you need to cull it yourself. But FanFare's sprawl is beautiful.

And books, ahhh.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 2:55 AM on October 22, 2015 [13 favorites]


Why do all the threads need to thrive? Seriously, why can't there be a long tail effect? Why can't FanFare have shows that get just a couple of people commenting to big discussions?

And what's this emphasis on the discussion happening around the time of airing or rewatch? For instance, I plan on doing a Buffy rewatch next year, and I'll be going through FanFare to add comments as I watch episodes, out of sync with the published rewatch, but the people who last commented or who had the Buffy episodes in their activity thread will get the activity popped up again which is hopefully a nice reminder of yay, Buffy awesomeness, rather than a flaw in the system.

Ditto for books. I go to GoodReads to look at reviews and don't care when someone actually read the book. I'd much rather read and reply to a metafilter user's review/comments than a GoodReads' user, so the whole "we need to read through the book at the same pace and finish it together by this date" notion seems somewhat forced.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 3:05 AM on October 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


This seems really promising.

Philosophy club, anyone? Or political theory club? My local chapter of leftists has a thriving "Jacobin magazine reading group that also reads other books" that I'd love to see replicated here. Right now some of the group is working through Capital, for instance.
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:32 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


so I was clicking though and under fanfare I read "Watercolor" for "Watercooler", so when are we getting fine art paintings in fanfare. I want a raucous discordant flame filled Renoir thread.
posted by sammyo at 4:09 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


@anotherpanacea - how does jacobin compare to z mag?
posted by andrewcooke at 4:49 AM on October 22, 2015


Perhaps many fanfare posters will simply have to come to terms that talking about a particular show is often only as lions as talking about a particular project or song

Itt lions
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:54 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


First, Yay!

Second, I would love to see Rainbow Rowell's Carry On on here, because I've been digging for decent crit/discussion on it and have found nothing and OMG, want to discuss. (Cannot wait for inevitable panel at next con. Tried to figure out a decent FPP about it, but wasn't seeing one. The author did some interviews, but nothing that really seemed FPP-worthy.)

Is there any appetite for a club focusing loosely on YA new releases (as opposed to what I think of as YA-Classic, the stuff that's been out for multiple years)?

Third, I second The Martian... the movie thread for The Martian ended up being maybe 40% discussion about the book, book vs. movie, etc. Obviously there is pent-up demand to discuss the book!
posted by pie ninja at 5:54 AM on October 22, 2015


Well there's a chance I'll actually look at this. Currently whenever I've looked in FanFare I've been like 'what the fuck have I stumbled into?' and clicked away.

So, a small yay I guess.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:15 AM on October 22, 2015


Can we do a MeFi's Own Book Club? I'd love an excuse to read a bunch of stuff by our own people.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:04 AM on October 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Ivan Fyodorovich: " If you took all the shows that are posted here to FanFare, and transported them back in time to TWoP in its heyday, you'd still find that about half of these shows would generate episode threads with only a dozen or so comments."

I mean, I think that's OK? Not every show lends itself to 100+ comments per episode. Just on the front page right now we've got Project Runway, Doctor Who (I've got to get back into the DW threads), Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Homeland, The Good Wife, The Walking Dead, Star Trek: DS9, Fargo, SNL, and Agents of SHIELD threads with more than 10 comments. A few of those have dozens of comments. The Walking Dead has 134! I think that is a decent amount of discussion for most of those shows.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:32 AM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.

So many times I finish a book and immediately think "OMG I WANT TO TALK TO MEFITES ABOUT THIS RIGHT NOW."
posted by odinsdream at 7:32 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have also wanted to write a FPP about Carry On -- maybe in a discussion of fanfic in general? not sure -- but haven't figured out how to put it together.
posted by jeather at 7:39 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Has anyone mentioned the FanFare Watercooler yet? It's a pretty good way to discover what's happening on FanFare. Maybe a (mini?) version of that at the top of the front page would make it more inviting/discoverable.
posted by mbrubeck at 7:40 AM on October 22, 2015


(Oh, cortex did mention it. Missed that somehow.)
posted by mbrubeck at 7:40 AM on October 22, 2015


But I don't think that MetaFilter can support the sort of media discussion that we've envisioned and desire.

Isn't it the sort of media discussion you've envisioned and desire? Yes, if you want multi-hundred comment threads for the majority of posts, the current Fanfare structure won't work. But if what you want is a place to discuss any media with Mefites (and if a post only has a dozen comments, that's fine) then it's pretty much diamond.

I agree the interface needs a bit of work to make the categorisation more obvious and probably the Watercooler should be the default view rather than a reverse chronological, all media view. But 'anyone can make a post' is a pretty fundamental part of the MeFi model (apart from Metatalk, for completely unrelated reasons to how Fanfare works).

I want the long tail that Fanfare currently offers. A curated selection would result in endless fights about what's worthy of inclusion. And not everything is about weight of views and posts - I get as much joy from ten comment threads on the Blue, Green, Grey and Purple as I have from multi-thousand longboat threads.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:48 AM on October 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Philosophy club, anyone? Or political theory club?

and

Can we do a MeFi's Own Book Club?

all sound like fun ideas. I've definitely enjoyed at least a couple of books by mefites that I'd be happy to revisit and discuss, and I know we've got no shortage of folks interested in philosophy and political theory/science respectively.

As we ease this new stuff into being and figure out the transition from mod-driven posting to more general posting, it'd be fine for folks to self-organize these ideas a little bit and try to see if there's shared interest in and some basic starting point ideas for a given club. If you're feeling like there's that interest you can even go so far as to just start up a new Club page and get an initial planning conversation going about what you want to do with it and what books to start with, and we'll be happy to help get an initial book post rolling.

There were a few suggestions yesterday for "let's start talking about it right now" books as well that we could go ahead and kick off threads for, any specific club for 'em notwithstanding; would people be interested in seeing a couple new threads go live for e.g. The Martian, or Ancillary Mercy, or one or another recent interesting non-fiction title?
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:50 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


and probably the Watercooler should be the default view rather than a reverse chronological, all media view

Yeah, that's a major part of my thinking in reworking the front page; we built Watercooler in part just to experiment with implementation ideas there and see whether and how well it worked, and I'm pretty happy with the basic result we got, so playing with that further to provide some more compact, at-a-glance views on the front page of FanFare into (a) what's new and (b) what's active is one of the things we're talking about behind the scenes lately.

I want the long tail that Fanfare currently offers. A curated selection would result in endless fights about what's worthy of inclusion. And not everything is about weight of views and posts - I get as much joy from ten comment threads on the Blue, Green, Grey and Purple as I have from multi-thousand longboat threads.

I share this general feeling, yeah. I don't think it's something we don't need to think about at all or anything—I think if we look at the outliers on the quietest end of the FanFare posting spectrum there's probably a couple things to talk about regarding the whether and how of e.g. posting a lot of episodes that get zero real uptake (vs. limited but genuine multi-person interest/participation)—but I think a vision of FanFare as a place where there are very few, all chock-full-of-conversation threads is a vision based more on some external want for a specific kind of media discussion than one based on MetaFilter's own history of widely-distributed levels of participation in varyingly esoteric discussions.

Shorter: I don't think anybody wants an actual ghost town situation, but there seem to be significant disagreements about the merits of having a number of quiet little coffee shop chats going on. Right now, I think that disagreement is thrown into needlessly sharp contrast by the way the front page of FanFare overemphasizes the quiet stuff proportional to how much conversation is going on, and I expect getting that default view reworked will be far more important than trying to stamp out the quieter conversations.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:56 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


BOOKS!?!!

I guess I just need to accept that this is basically where I'll be living for the rest of my life it seems.
posted by Fizz at 8:58 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


would people be interested in seeing a couple new threads go live for e.g. The Martian, or Ancillary Mercy, or one or another recent interesting non-fiction title?

I need a kick in the ass to move the latter two Ancillarys to the top of my reading list, so yes please.
posted by Etrigan at 8:58 AM on October 22, 2015


I think if we look at the outliers on the quietest end of the FanFare posting spectrum there's probably a couple things to talk about regarding the whether and how of e.g. posting a lot of episodes that get zero real uptake (vs. limited but genuine multi-person interest/participation)

I may have missed it, but is there/could there be a way to post a 'discuss whole series' mother post?

Perhaps, and I'm just spitballin' here, perhaps you could have a general post for a series/podcast and if it reaches a certain amount of comments (or a mod clicks 'enable individual episodes'?) then users can post on individual episodes?

That would centralise discussion for smaller shows with less of a fanbase, but preserve the ability to get expansive and detailed if there's a groundswell of interest.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:03 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


The single most helpful thing to be for books would be a page with a list of upcoming book dates (IE the discussion for this book begins 10/22, the discussion for this book begins 11/02). Kind of like IRL. That way I can decide whether I want to read one and have that lead time.
posted by selfnoise at 9:04 AM on October 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


Desperately wants to make a post about Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn series by Tad Williams.

!!!
posted by Fizz at 9:10 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Happy Dave: "Perhaps, and I'm just spitballin' here, perhaps you could have a general post for a series/podcast and if it reaches a certain amount of comments (or a mod clicks 'enable individual episodes'?) then users can post on individual episodes?"

THIS HAS BEEN MY THING THE WHOLE TIME. For less-popular TV shows, I think we should be able to have half-season discussion posts that we just carry on one discussion thread throughout the fall season and then the spring season. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:14 AM on October 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


I may have missed it, but is there/could there be a way to post a 'discuss whole series' mother post?

There's no formal dedicated way to do this (like, no "this is a whole-series discussion" checkbox), but it would be totally okay to do this in an ad hoc way right now by doing it as a Club Talk post for an appropriate club.

So if e.g. there was enough interest in a discussion of Mork and Mindy to justify getting something going on there, but not clear interest in a literal episode-by-episode discussion of it, someone could start up the Mork And Mindy Club and put up a thread specifically as a "let's discuss this whole dang show" thing unmoored from any specific episode or season. And if something came out of that where folks wanted to rewatch chunks of it and discuss it without doing it at the episodic level, club members could post new threads about those chunks as needed.

That kind of thing may be a helpful approach to resizing some of the niche-but-not-nil interest situations we currently have, where being tied to an episodic posting process may otherwise put pressure on to spread any given discussion out thinner than it needs to be. Would be okay for low-volume organized rewatches, too.

On the flip side, using Clubs and Club Talk posts as a means to organize additional non-episode-specific threads for popular shows would be fine as well. Want to do a season-length wrapup post for GoT, aside from the finale episode discussion itself? Go for it! Do what fits. That sort of thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:16 AM on October 22, 2015


Specifically with regard to books, relatively few people in North America read books, and the majority of those who do, read non-fiction (note that all three initial book clubs are exclusively fiction).

Really? I'm looking at our circ stats for September and seeing a 2,062 to 1,202 split between Fiction and Non-Fiction. Looking to the previous year's circ stats, Fiction edged out Non-Fiction by 4,671 circulations.

Do you mean that the majority of Americans buy Non-Fiction? That might be the case. The Publisher's Weekly (Oct 12) I have at hand has a weekly average per title unit sales of 2,574 to 4,121 Fiction to Non-Fiction. Of course, that could be because there are more Fiction titles than Non-Fiction out there diluting the numbers.

Looking at the tally of the Bestsellers from the same magazine, the top 25 Fiction titles sold 239,233 and the top 25 Non-Fiction sold 278,368 due to the release of Bill O'Reilly's Killing Reagan (86,157 units). Note that this is just hardcover sales- tossing in the top 25 Mass Market adds 280,870 to the Fiction tally (nothing for Non-Fiction) and Trade Paperback adds 100,970 to Fiction and 102,872 to Non-Fiction. This raises the Fiction tally to 621,073 and Non-Fiction to 381,240 for the popular stuff. 8 of the Top Ten sellers are Fiction.

Maybe you have some more numbers? Because based on my library's circ stats and the snapshot of booksales from Publisher's Weekly, it appears to me that Fiction is more popular than Non-Fiction. Of course, I don't think Metafilter is representative of general America's reading habits and we could very well skew more Non-Fiction here. Glancing over the PW titles, I see many that we'd probably never talk about here (the latest James Patterson, for example) and many more that we simply couldn't talk about (adult coloringbooks are crazy popular right now), so this might all be moot anyways.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:16 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think a half or full season general post format would be really great for Netflix/Amazon/etc shows that release a full season at a time
posted by lalex at 9:19 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


The book I most want to read because of Metafilter right now is Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton bio .

But I'm a little excited! I'm going to do my best to follow along with the books that interest me here, and chip in if I can.

Not having used Fanfare much up to now, the mechanics are kind of confusing: I still don't really understand what it means to "join" a club, except I can edit tags? Is there a reminder email or something that gets sent out? But I assume it will make sense as we go on.
posted by rollick at 9:29 AM on October 22, 2015


lalex: "I think a half or full season general post format would be really great for Netflix/Amazon/etc shows that release a full season at a time"

Like there's a very dedicated handful of "Reign" fans on MetaFilter, but it's never going to be more than a handful, and there's not enough meat the show to reward 100-thread posts. But a single post that we can come back to week after week and pick up where we left off would be a lot of fun! (And posts to the blue that have tended to work that way have been a lot of fun.)

The ideal situation would be if a "season-long" thread could pop back up near the top of the chronological list of threads whenever a new episode airs. Or on a calendar view to help people discover what's current, or whatever.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:33 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Joining a club adds things to your My Fanfare page. (You can also add things to My Fanfare directly.) So with a book club, you'd join and then any books tagged with that club's tag will show up in your My Fanfare.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:36 AM on October 22, 2015


I may have missed it, but is there/could there be a way to post a 'discuss whole series' mother post?

In the (small but friendly) pro wrestling community on FanFare, we do a monthly post that's theoretically tied to a single episode of WWE Raw but is really just a space for us to talk about everything that goes on in wrestling for the next month. It works pretty well for us.
posted by Etrigan at 9:37 AM on October 22, 2015


We're thinking about other ways the club membership will make things show up for you (such as showing you things on a personalized schedule), too. But, for the moment, it's basically like adding that club's tag (like Dune_Club) to your My Fanfare.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:39 AM on October 22, 2015


It'd be nice to formalize that work-around. I keep thinking about doing a Men in Blazers post to talk about soccah, but that feels kind of cheatie, like I know I wouldn't talk about the show so much as the Premier League games the show covered.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:41 AM on October 22, 2015


I think one of the main reasons we haven't done more whole season/show posts is spoiler aversion. If you're partway through a series you don't want major plot points coming up in discussion. With episode posts or entire movie posts it's clear what the ground rules are, it's easy to explain them to people, and it's easier for everyone to know when a line has been crossed. If someone needs to complete a season of a show to participate it will quickly exclude a good number of people.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:42 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is awesome. Thank you!
posted by zarq at 9:43 AM on October 22, 2015


Adding to the chorus of "this is great!". Thank you--I've been wanting a place to discuss books with Mefites.
posted by immlass at 9:53 AM on October 22, 2015


Ivan, it amuses me that your comment was 12 paragraphs long, contained over 1700 words and also included the phrase, "Not to belabor the point.' :D

But this: My thinking is that FanFare needs to be drastically culled down to, at any given time, a small, mod-curated handful of television shows (maybe five), a very small mod-curated handful of movies (maybe three), and an extremely small mod-curated handful of books and podcasts (two or three) and the windows of activity for each are carefully calibrated. Something like a four-month period for television shows, one month for movies, and three months for books, and I'm not sure about podcasts. (I don't really have enough awareness about podcasts to form judgments on them, really.) The idea would be to present and cultivate participation on those few things that people are most likely to be willing to comment upon, and to keep those few things at a relatively high level of site visibility.

To reiterate what ODiV and others have said, how would this help? You predict that Fanfare will die without being curated. This prediction is based on what, exactly? Is the subsite somehow in trouble? Is it in danger of being shut down? Are low-comment threads a drain on virtual resources?

Quite a few of us have been participating in threads that don't have a ton of activity, but we are apparently finding rewarding. Your proposal would shut those down, for no reason except you think it is somehow dangerous to the life of the site that they are not more active. Nonsense.

It seems highly unlikely to me that this would be an effective strategy for encouraging people to watch and participate in threads about media they've previously shown no interest in.
posted by zarq at 10:06 AM on October 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


To follow up on my "Oh, and is there an RSS feed for just Books posts?" question above, from what I can tell there isn't. There is an RSS feed for My Fanfare, however one can't add an entire category (Books, Movies, etc.) to that.

So my request would be either RSS feeds for each category, or the ability to add categories to one's My Fanfare, though the former seems like a much more efficient solution.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:14 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


robocop is bleeding: " I keep thinking about doing a Men in Blazers post to talk about soccah, but that feels kind of cheatie, like I know I wouldn't talk about the show so much as the Premier League games the show covered."

There has been a "The NFL Today" nudge-nudge-wink-wink post for the past couple of weeks. Not much action on it thus far.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:15 AM on October 22, 2015


Are low-comment threads a drain on virtual resources?

I think the main issue is that they really do clutter up the front page in its current chronologically-sorted state and make it harder to discover more active/relevant threads. However, redesigning and restructuring things seems like a vastly preferable option to limiting the number of posts.
posted by dialetheia at 10:33 AM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Came in to ask if there is an RSS feed for the books section but I see that there isn't, so I'm nthing that pony.
posted by something something at 10:36 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yep, no category-specific feeds in general, but we've just slotted that onto the todo list.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:37 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Woot! Thanks!
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:39 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think the main issue is that they really do clutter up the front page in its current chronologically-sorted state and make it harder to discover more active/relevant threads.

This is part of the problem, yes -- I don't think it helps encourage engagement with the subsite when the main view makes it look like a ghost town.

However, I would argue that there's another problem with low-comment threads: put simply, I think it really does a disservice to a show to post the whole run in an episodic format if there isn't enough interest to drive discussion. It's nice to think that maybe some future viewers will find those threads and jump in and start talking, but I suspect that more realistically they will see that the whole run of the show was posted, see that it got 0-2 comments per episode, and conclude that this is clearly a waste of time to bother commenting about.

So, a new view into FanFare is a nice thought, but I would also love to see lower-interest shows either start as whole-series threads (or whole-seasons threads) and graduate to per-episode if there is a critical mass of interest. Alternately, at the very least I'd like to see show posters be more willing to say to themselves, "ok, this show isn't getting a lot of per-episode interest, let's convert the rest of the run to one big thread and not follow through on another 100 individual episode threads of this".
posted by tocts at 10:58 AM on October 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


I think we're all still kinda learning how to engage with FanFare; the template for it (being based on the rest of the site) doesn't seem to work, as noted above. One of the beautiful things (to me) with Metafilter & Ask is that it does just throw you in, and you have to find things and make sense of them - and in the process you discover interesting things and discussions. It's an interesting effect of the site design and I think I've said before that it provides both a barrier to entry (my wife describes MF as "The Big Blue Wall o'Text" and basically relies on me to filter it for her, sending her links to threads of interest), but it is also a method of discovery - because MF is "best of the web"; you want to come and see what others have found and are sharing, because it might well be things you would never find on your own.

I think with FanFare, people are looking to engage around specific media and discuss them, and not being able to quickly find your film/show/book/podcast really raises the bar in terms of barrier to entry. From reading this thread, it seems to me that the notion of using FanFare as a place to discover new media is not what the users want; they want to be able to drill down pretty quick to their specific interests. And that is fine, and it sounds like cortex and crew are already thinking about how to address those things.

And then we need to get used to FanFare having a different pace. MF and Ask close threads in 30 days; on FanFare, everything stays open. So the threads might suddenly pick up again - I know I've done that with some movies & shows, where I finally see something months after everyone else. And it's happened in shows/movies that I've posted about or commented on. So the majority of FanFare threads might be long, slow boats - and that's fine too, but I think it's different from how most of us are used to engaging with the site. Instant gratification - in terms of responses and discussion - may not be present, except for certain shows and films. I actually kind of like that idea, but it is a switch.
posted by nubs at 11:03 AM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


of course you would do this right in the middle of my most busy and annoying quarter of school ever, you beautiful bastards. i kiss you and weep for my GPA, it was so lovely.

(in other words, squeeeeeeeeeee)
posted by palomar at 11:03 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Category RSS feeds are up at FanFare. Here's the books feed.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:48 AM on October 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


OK, so maybe someone has already mentioned it, but hate-reading? Yay or nay?

I mean, I'm not out looking to make a bunch of posts about books I hate. But I sort of expect it's going to come up sooner or later. So maybe we should just address it now before the inevitable posts about "Ready Player One" or "Ender's Game" both of which have their fans and detractors.

I guess I know that no one is going to come out in favour of threads that are basically about how terrible a given book is, but there are going to be some books which will create negative reactions. Just curious what the thinking is.
posted by GuyZero at 12:11 PM on October 22, 2015


I think the distinction there is between a couple different scenarios:

1. Intentionally getting together to discuss a bad book. If that's the deal, if everyone's sort of going in on a goofy MST3K-ish read of something universally panned with an established consensus about that intent, okay! Not much chance of hurt feelings there.

2. Taking a big dump on something other people are otherwise discussing their enjoyment of. That's something to be cautious about and read the room on, and seriously consider whether you're contributing to a convivial and multifaceted discussion of a polarizing work or just, y'know, being that person who can't figure out how to not poop on other people's enjoyment.

In practice, the first case is going to be a pretty rare one I'm guessing, and there's a lot of potential for much milder versions of the second case that are okay but bear keeping your head about. Again, read the room. Critical commentary is fine but it's also not something you're obliged to run with if it's obvious that you're not picking up what other people are putting down, so be clear-eyed and generous about your decision-making there.

I like it when people explain, substantially, what they dislike about a piece of media, even when it's something I personally really like. I don't like it when someone seems to only care about saying that they don't like the thing, or seems mostly only to want to hear themselves say so rather than engage thoughtfully in a discussion about it. Generally I think mefites get that right a lot more than they get it wrong.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:19 PM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


hate-reading? Yay or nay?

I gently suggest that if a book is going to be a part of hate-read club (or, indeed, any other clubs) that the post be as neutral as possible, and the club-specific stuff be either secondary or included as the first comment. I mention this because should the book come up again in a different club, or someone is reading it outside of a specific group, well, they'll have to use the existing post, and having the post be club-specific isn't super helpful and can even be sort of discouraging to folks who want to contribute later on.

Neutral framing is, of course, a personal preference - I might be the only person who feels this way (I don't think there's any actual guidelines about it).
posted by everybody had matching towels at 1:02 PM on October 22, 2015


Yes, if you want multi-hundred comment threads for the majority of posts, the current Fanfare structure won't work. But if what you want is a place to discuss any media with Mefites (and if a post only has a dozen comments, that's fine) then it's pretty much diamond.

For me, I don't think the long tail approach of individuals slowly adding comments to a thread over a long period of time really qualifies as a "discussion" in any meaningful way. It's just not very rewarding to respond to a thread that nobody seems to be reading, and it doesn't have the same feel of participating in a community that posting in a lively back-and-forth conversation on an active thread can have.

Echoing others, I think FanFare's greatest misstep was in atomizing content down to individual episodes. That's a great approach for currently-airing programs with an active fanbase but it falls apart and completely dilutes participation for most content. I pick on "Murder She Wrote" all the time, but I honestly cannot see what value it adds to the site to have many seasons' worth of individual episode threads where the vast, vast majority get zero response. In contrast, a single thread for the whole series, where people could wax nostalgic about Cabot Cove and talk about just how amazing Angela Lansbury is, could be awesome.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 1:12 PM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


QFT:

For me, I don't think the long tail approach of individuals slowly adding comments to a thread over a long period of time really qualifies as a "discussion" in any meaningful way. It's just not very rewarding to respond to a thread that nobody seems to be reading, and it doesn't have the same feel of participating in a community that posting in a lively back-and-forth conversation on an active thread can have.

Yes, thank you for putting it so well. A lot of the stuff I've posted because I was an uber-fan of (InnerSpace, The Untouchables) resulted in an unfocused string of comments. I guess I posted the 'cruft' that Ivan Fyodorovich refers to. I got a huge kick out of revisiting these movies but did they really add anything to the site but some noise, making it harder for people to find the 'hot' threads?

I personally think TV and film are best discussed under circumstances where there is some urgency for discussion - see the Mad Max: Fury Road FanFare post I did on a lark and to my surprise really took off. The Hannibal threads are always great fun because of the sense of urgency to get together and discuss (coupled with intense fandom).

But I guess there's a strong divide between those who want 'hot' media threads (there's a conversation going on, it's a-happenin' RIGHT NOW) and those who don't mind low-volume, 'dead'/inactive comment threads.

In contrast, a single thread for the whole series, where people could wax nostalgic about Cabot Cove and talk about just how amazing Angela Lansbury is, could be awesome.

Seconded, this would've been fantastic rather than drilling down to each episode, in retrospect.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 1:47 PM on October 22, 2015


2. Taking a big dump on something other people are otherwise discussing their enjoyment of. That's something to be cautious about and read the room on, and seriously consider whether you're contributing to a convivial and multifaceted discussion of a polarizing work or just, y'know, being that person who can't figure out how to not poop on other people's enjoyment.

Yeah, that's why I'll likely be giving The Martian thread a miss, unless I'm mistaken about folks' enjoyment thereof.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:52 PM on October 22, 2015


(Beg your pardon - this is the link to the movie, InnerSpace; missed the edit window.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:02 PM on October 22, 2015


Yeah, that's why I'll likely be giving The Martian thread a miss, unless I'm mistaken about folks' enjoyment thereof.

To echo what cortex went on to say, if you come in with a critique and share some reasons why you dislike it, I would love to see that. I enjoy that kind of discussion, even if I'm not an active participant in it - it's great to get different perspectives on something and why it worked/didn't work for someone.

It's the threadshit of "X sucked, and you all suck for liking it" that I want to see us avoid. But someone coming forward with a "Hey, this didn't work for me, and here's why/what I disliked:" I really like. I guess making those can feel a little intimidating, but I've found it ok, particularly if I try to keep framing it as my opinion/my thoughts/my experience.
posted by nubs at 2:16 PM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can see doing either critique threads or squee threads or mixing it up a little, but straight up hate talking about a book is an unpleasant idea. Since there are so many great, good or interesting books that I'd like to read, I can't see where I'd find the time to read crappy books and slap around their authors in the comments. I suspect there are times I might enjoy it, but I'm sure it'd make my soul shrink.
posted by puddledork at 2:22 PM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


not sure what "hate-reading" means, but i would expect to be able to say why i disliked ready player one, for example.

surely that should be possible, if you explain things? not name calling, but criticism of the holes (tokenism, consumerism, etc etc).
posted by andrewcooke at 2:41 PM on October 22, 2015


I guess making those can feel a little intimidating, but I've found it ok, particularly if I try to keep framing it as my opinion/my thoughts/my experience.

It's not so much intimidation as that my tolerance for playing the xkcd "Someone is wrong on the Internet" role is waning rapidly as I get older. ;) Being the needle poking a squee balloon is much better suited in my head than "out loud" in an online forum.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:48 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


There have been Mefi book threads on the blue in the past that seemed to devolve into people discussing why they disliked the book and not a lot else. It's entirely possible that someone could frame a fanfare post by saying "RP1: Worst book of 2015 or of all time?" which could, you know, colour the discussion.
posted by GuyZero at 2:49 PM on October 22, 2015


I think the important thing is that people show up ready to discuss topics in the thread and maybe also add some, just being mindful and not redirecting the thread to "Well looks like you guys all like it but let's talk about the stuff that I hate..." and then digging in on those points.

Like, making sure you're being part of the conversation already in progress and being real careful to frame things as not really working for you, not "this is a bad book and you should feel bad for liking it." We do have a lot of people here who seem to have a bit of difficulty expressing their dislike for something in a way that is constructive and part of the conversation not just dumping a turd in the punch bowl. And this is doubly true when the topic is something that a lot of people think is popular or agreeable. Book filter is not the place for your truth to power stance but it can totally be a place to pick apart issues that you think about had with other people who maybe also did a close read of it.

So, just reality check yourself that you're trying to have a conversation with the people in the thread, and not just using it as a convenient dumping place about your feelings on how you felt about an otherwise popular thing that maybe no one asked you about.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:53 PM on October 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


awesome.
posted by andrewcooke at 3:38 PM on October 22, 2015


...an otherwise popular thing that maybe no one asked you about.

Indeed.
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:42 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


This sounds like it could be really cool. I'm already in a book club and don't have time for any more at the moment, but it would be awesome to have long running, infrequent discussions with people about obscure books when the site reaches its final form.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:49 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I usually start the Amazing Race threads, and having it be OK to do one season-long thread (Amazing Race: Season 194) would be great instead of individual threads. We have 7-10 regulars and 4-5 posts an episode (unless someone does something unfathomable or ridiculous). I enjoy them, but having one thread would serve our purposes just as much. I'd be happy to post "Episode 4: Random Quote" aired 10/1/2015" in a post instead of individual episode posts as a way to help folks know when to stop reading/pick it up again.

I think folks could also determine from a general thread if they need to also start specific threads for episodes if they hadn't already make that determination.

In general, I feel like the fanfare is still figuring itself out, and so I'm hesitant to propose or back any grand solutions while it's being built out and renovated and issues are becoming clear-ish. I look forward to seeing what we learn from adding books to the mix!
posted by julen at 3:55 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


It seems like the main repository page where you can find links to each individual episode could be a natural place for those all-season threads.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:01 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


pb: "I think one of the main reasons we haven't done more whole season/show posts is spoiler aversion. If you're partway through a series you don't want major plot points coming up in discussion. With episode posts or entire movie posts it's clear what the ground rules are, it's easy to explain them to people, and it's easier for everyone to know when a line has been crossed."

I think that's important for shows like Mad Men and Game of Thrones and other hugely culturally relevant shows, but for shows like Reign which have a small-but-loyal following, or shows like The Grinder which is CRACKING MY SHIT UP but doesn't really have spoilers because it's a half-hour comedy, it's less important. What I would do is, post in the thread topic that the thread discusses episodes 1 through 6 inclusive, and then when the new episode airs, have one of the thread "managers" post "OKAY FROM HERE ON OUT WE ARE DISCUSSING EPISODE THREE BE WARNED" in the thread so people can stop at that point if they're super-worried about spoilers.

I am not super-worried about Reign spoilers despite it having a million twists and turns. Someone will get killed in an insane fashion and the plot will take bizarre turns but it is COTTON CANDY for the brain, it is no bigs if someone "spoils" it for me. The enjoyment is not so much in the surprises as in the HEY THEY TOTALLY JUST KILLED A DUDE ON A MEAT HOOK FOR NO REASON. People for whom it is a big deal can avoid the thread until they're up on all included episodes.

I think probably 90% of TV consumers care about spoilers on a very small handful of shows, and otherwise enjoy TV but don't worry too much about the spoiler aspect. Blackish is another example of an excellent half-hour comedy (although one that could probably be dissected on a per-thread basis because of the richness of the material) where being "spoiled" isn't really an issue, since it hits the same beats as most half-hour sitcoms ... it's the premises that are interesting. Nashville (hour-long drama) has a lot of "twists" but it's such a terrible show where all the twists are super-telegraphed and none of the characters has an actual throughline, so finding out the "spoilers" does not actual ruin my enjoyment of the show because IT IS INCOHERENT ANYWAY.

Worrying about spoilers is good and important, but I don't think it should be the be-all, end-all, and maybe we should let some smaller fandoms experiment with season-long or half-season or six-episode threads or whatever, and see if they work w/r/t spoilers ... because I think spoilers aren't such a big deal outside a handful of big, really good shows.

tocts: "I would also love to see lower-interest shows either start as whole-series threads (or whole-seasons threads) and graduate to per-episode if there is a critical mass of interest"

Preach!

GuyZero: "OK, so maybe someone has already mentioned it, but hate-reading? Yay or nay?"

I would hate-read the SHIT out of Dan Brown and participate in a hate-read mockery thread. But with Ender's Game, I'd be more inclined to discuss in a coherent fashion what I disliked about the book and in what ways it did and didn't work for me. And I'm happy to say why I didn't like things, but I don't want to shit on other people's enjoying in a straight-up "hate read" if it's not widely hated.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:09 PM on October 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


I would be all in on a full- or half-season Reign thread experiment, FWIW.
posted by Stacey at 4:24 PM on October 22, 2015


What I would do is, post in the thread topic that the thread discusses episodes 1 through 6 inclusive, and then when the new episode airs, have one of the thread "managers" post "OKAY FROM HERE ON OUT WE ARE DISCUSSING EPISODE THREE BE WARNED" in the thread so people can stop at that point if they're super-worried about spoilers.

I was nodding along with this, but it kinda makes it hard for people to comment if they still have to scroll past the rest of the thread to get to the comment box. I guess the END key would work, but it would still probably disjoint the discussion -- even in AskMe, where theoretically everyone is only talking to the OP, there's still a fair amount of annoying things that happen when people don't read previous answers.
posted by Etrigan at 5:11 PM on October 22, 2015


What about experimenting with a Season-Thread for a show that has aired at least one full season and is not yet covered on FanFare? Something that hits that spot of being reasonably popular but not quite individual episodes - Babylon 5 might fit this criteria.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 6:25 PM on October 22, 2015


I'm on other forums where they have seasonal threads for ongoing shows, and either you don't read it if you aren't caught up, or you pay a lot of attention to post date vs air date of your last episode and don't read too far. It works fine and handles low volume shows much better.
posted by smackfu at 1:40 AM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think with FanFare, people are looking to engage around specific media and discuss them

I'd be SUPER happy if FanFare also served as a way to find new fun and interesting stuff. So far it's been difficult, because the signal/noise ratio on the front page is pretty bad, and the individual episode posts are not at all designed to help me work out whether some particular TV series would be good to watch. The TV I have discovered through FanFare I've had to go off to IMDB to find out whether I should watch it, and that's a shame because I'd trust Metafilter's thoughts on the subject way above IMDB.

Book club though is A+ for this, I already bought the first book on Eyebrows' book club list.
posted by emilyw at 2:14 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: "just being mindful and not redirecting the thread to "Well looks like you guys all like it but let's talk about the stuff that I hate..." and then digging in on those points."

I think that's the key. If you want to express your dislike in a constructive way that's fine, if you want to have a little back and forth discussion about it that's fine too, but at some point you have to let it go. You aren't going to change hearts and minds in a FanFare thread. If people continue to like a thing after you have pointed out what's wrong with it, that is OK. Move on to the next thread. Remove From Activity is powerful magic.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:36 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ, I already don't have enough time in the day to read all of Mefi and Ask, what do you want me to do, quit my day job?!?

(I love this.)
posted by lollymccatburglar at 6:35 AM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't think this has come up yet here:

Could we use the Books feature to discuss single issues of ongoing comic book series? It would work like Book series, but be monthly with lots and lots of chapters.

I'm not talking about Graphic Novels or Trade Paperbacks, I'm talking about individual Batman issues or something.
posted by sleeping bear at 1:01 PM on October 23, 2015


Sorry, sleeping bear, we're not ready to add more top-level media types to FanFare right now. We'd like to see how books go for a while and then we'll take another look.

You could always try something on a smaller scale by starting a comics club and using Club Talk posts to discuss them. It'd be a good way to gauge interest in discussing single issues at a time.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:16 PM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think that's getting to a level of granular that's beyond what individual Book posts are going to support well, yeah. That said, a Batman Comics Club that had periodic Club Talk posts to collate ongoing discussion about new issues, or of past issues as rough collectives, would probably work well. I think of that as analogous to the season- or subseason-clump ideas for lower volume shows that folks have talked about above.

And since you've reminded me that it came up earlier, I'd say that on the flip side a graphic novel or trade paperback is probably an okay unit to treat as a standalone Book post if the sense that people will want to discuss it is sufficiently there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:16 PM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


simulpostin'
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:16 PM on October 23, 2015


“On preview, what pb said.”
posted by Going To Maine at 1:21 PM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


So, uh, who would be up for a Saga TPB club?
posted by dinty_moore at 2:00 PM on October 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Speaking of navigation, i would just like to reiterate (more publicly, this time) a request for FanFare Talk to be added to the profile page...

We added this today!
posted by pb (staff) at 3:13 PM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


The links to FanFareTalk threads from Activity use the subsite ftalk.metafilter.com and don't work.
posted by soelo at 3:24 PM on October 23, 2015


Thanks, should be fixed.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:29 PM on October 23, 2015


CORTEX DOESNT HATE US AFTER ALL.

ALL PRAISE CORTEX. ALL PRAISE PB.
posted by Justinian at 3:21 AM on October 24, 2015


Speaking of navigation, i would just like to reiterate (more publicly, this time) a request for FanFare Talk to be added to the profile page...

We added this today!


Can it be added to the list of sites in the Search function too? The only way to find FanFare Talk posts now is to choose 'All Sites'.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:36 AM on October 24, 2015


FanFare Talk posts are mixed in with FanFare posts for search results. Our thinking there is that people have used FF Talk posts for discussion beyond planning and it'd be good to see those in a sitewide search. It's a work in progress though and we can revisit that if it feels like FF Talk is in the way more than helpful there.
posted by pb (staff) at 6:42 AM on October 24, 2015


Re. Comics -- I don't know if I'd participate regularly, but it's worth noting that comics actually fit the "episodic" format established for fanfare TV really well. That said I don't know that there's a big enough comics reading audience here to make it worthwhile.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:23 AM on October 24, 2015


Our thinking there is that people have used FF Talk posts for discussion beyond planning and it'd be good to see those in a sitewide search. It's a work in progress though and we can revisit that if it feels like FF Talk is in the way more than helpful there.

Oh, no, it wasn't that the FF Talk threads were in the way, it was that I couldn't find the FF Talk thread I was looking for because I lost it in the sea of FF results. (For some reason it was only in switching to All Sites that it jumped out at me finally.) So, I just mean that it would be nice to do a search on just It would have been nice to make a search in FanFare Talk only, not that I wanted FanFare Talk to be left out of the All Sites searches.
posted by oh yeah! at 10:15 AM on October 24, 2015


I like this.
I would like to run a Hitchhikers guide / Douglas Adams club when Books are open for general posting, but I think the slower roll out makes a lot of sense. There are a lot of books and some kind of rate limiting is not a bad idea.

I like the long tail aspect of Fanfare. I am happy to have millions of posts and to see them appear in my Recent activity. That said finding the right front page view for that is a tricky proposition and I'm not sure we're 100% there yet, but getting closer every day.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 11:07 AM on October 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why is it okay to have individual posts for the chapters in Foundation? Those are book chapters - or, if you want to go back before that, they are short stories - not separate books.

[Kattullus, this is not intended as criticism of you at all, I just want to understand the policy reasoning.]
posted by Chrysostom at 8:24 AM on October 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


my guess would be that the idea is to have enough posts for a reasonable discussion, but not so many that later contributors are discouraged. so a very popular book might be in chapters. an unpopular series might have a single post.
posted by andrewcooke at 9:43 AM on October 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why is it okay to have individual posts for the chapters in Foundation?

At the moment the answer's just "because we're letting folks experiment a little", though on the whole as I've thought about that case specifically I'm inclined to agree that it's probably too much to have as a regular thing. A weekly-ish thread to break up a book discussion into a few smaller chunks seems like a more reasonable upper limit to put on frequency, and maybe even at that looking to have any "let's talk about specific chunks of this book" situation be handled as a series of Club Talk posts for a given appropriate club page, rather than as a series of Book-specific posts about the same book from the same read-through.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:37 PM on October 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, the Foundation trilogy is an odd beast because it's essentially a series of short stories and novellas quilted together into a coherent whole. The first one is five stories, and both Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation are two novellas each.

My plan was to stagger them by length, i.e. that the short stories would get 1-2 days each, and the novellas 4-5 days, and divide them that way across a roughly month-long period. I was planning to post the final two short stories in the first book tomorrow and Wednesday, and then the four remaining novellas over a 16-20 period.

The reason I used each individual story as the basis for a post, is that FanFare has a temporal long-tail. There's a spike of commenting when the post is made, but then people can comment on the same work forever. Having a discussion with that much lag can be confusing enough, but a discussion with lag where people discuss different stories in the same thread just seems likely to be unfocused.

Also, the best real life book club experience I ever had was when we read through a short story collection and discussed two stories each week, with a break between the two. It made for very focused and incisive discussion.

However, as I mentioned above, I was thinking of running the Anne Brontë month as a daily let's-read-two-chapters thing. If that fits FanFare badly, then breaking it down into weekly chunks isn't that different.

But yes, I chose these four books partly because they seemed to invite different ways of engaging. Not all books are the same. Some multi-volume works don't need separate posts for each individual book because they're essentially just one, unbroken whole. Others are made up of discreet units, where trying to have a discussion about everything at once makes little sense.

An analogy would be to movies and TV series. The Martian is discussed in a single thread, while Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries gets a post per episode. Some books are like films, some like TV series, but most fall somewhere in between.
posted by Kattullus at 5:23 PM on October 25, 2015


Anyone interested in an 'Annotated' book club? Should I put this in Fanfare Talk?
posted by bq at 6:20 PM on October 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Totally hear where you're coming from, Kattullus, and I know there are plenty of chapter-by-chapter rereads of stuff online (Tor.com has a ton of these). Certainly, there's no question that, say, LOTR, would support that. I just wasn't aware that drilling down to that level was even something we'd thought about.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:37 PM on October 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


However, as I mentioned above, I was thinking of running the Anne Brontë month as a daily let's-read-two-chapters thing. If that fits FanFare badly, then breaking it down into weekly chunks isn't that different.

For what it's worth, I think there's nothing wrong with this as a logical structure for a book club; if anything, I'm hopeful we'll see a variety of different structures show up as people self-organize into reading groups/outlines that work well for them respectively, so I'm glad to see you experimenting.

My concern is specifcally about when to make a new post-about-a-given-volume—literally, the creation of a Book-type media thread for a given novel—rather than any pacing of discussion within a given thread or across more general Club Talk threads that are intended to be more free-form.

So with the Anne Brontë read, doing a two-chapters-a-day thing is totally fine; doing it as another Book post tied to The Tenant of Wildfell Hall every day isn't what we have in mind structurally. Doing that instead as either (a) a daily or more generally periodic series of Club Talk posts in your book club, or (b) a single discussion thread that just moves along at the scheduled posting speed with some in-thread steering would make more sense.

I like the idea of people being able to make multiple posts about the same piece of media, but that's more along the lines of "let's have a large-scale discussion about x in the novel/movie/show y" than specifically discussing some wee fragment of that work in isolation.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:39 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yah, that makes perfect sense to me. But who sees ClubTalk posts? Do members get automatic notifications of new posts?
posted by Kattullus at 4:08 PM on October 26, 2015


No, we don't have alerts for new club posts. Club Talk posts show up on the club page and on each club member's My FanFare page. They also show up in the club RSS feed and the My FanFare feed if someone is subscribed that way.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:21 PM on October 26, 2015


Would it be possible to add the Club Talk page to "My Activity" or does that only work for individual posts?
posted by ChuraChura at 12:27 PM on October 27, 2015


Actually, if having the Club Talk page automatically become part of "My Activity" (with the standard opt-out) when people joined the club, that would make it, well... more club-like.
posted by Kattullus at 2:31 PM on October 27, 2015


We've never added threads to Recent Activity for people before. Right now a thread is added to Recent Activity when you comment in it or when you click the Add to Activity link on a thread page. Clubs are new at MetaFilter and we might need some new tools around them. But keep in mind these are MetaFilter clubs and we're still establishing what those are like. For now we're trying to see if clubs work with the set of tools and expectations we already have.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:09 PM on October 27, 2015


Yeah, that's true. It would be a change to standard operating procedure. But I worry that people simply won't notice the Club Talk activity otherwise. If it's not automatic, then the Club Talk page becomes another part of the site that people have to remember to check out, another nook in a sprawling house. Nooks and crannies are lovely, but by definition are dusty and little noticed.
posted by Kattullus at 5:26 PM on October 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, that's true. But we've added additions to this sprawl before and haven't needed to change Recent Activity. People have been able to find what they're interested in. We have encouraging signs—the Cannibal Club has had successful Club Talk posts with lots of participation.

I think if we find that Club Talk posts just don't work across the board we can think about changing things up but I think it's a bit early to start changing things around.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:09 PM on October 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I agree that it would be rash to change the way ClubTalks work right away. But I would say that it's a pretty big change to have that many individual Talks, i.e. potentially thousands of individual discussion pages.
posted by Kattullus at 12:41 AM on October 29, 2015


If you haven't seen it yet, check out My FanFare. Once you join a club all posts associated with that club show up there—including Club Talk posts. It's the one page to check for things you've said you're interested in at FanFare. According to our stats, people are using My FanFare quite a bit. I don't think Club Talk posts are as isolated as you're describing, but we can adjust if they are.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:46 AM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I like MyFanFare a lot; one thing I'm noticing though is that the items on the page are organized by the date of when the main post was made. So if a Club Talk post that is a few months old suddenly gets active again, it won't show up there (although it would in Recent Activity, provided someone is monitoring that and hasn't removed the thread).

I'm wondering, given the long tail nature of some of the discussions, if MyFanFare might be better organized by recency of activity as well? I mean, I use Recent Activity a lot, but I'm not sure that everyone does, and organizing MyFanFare along similar principles might facilitate people keeping up with where discussion is happening for things they are interested in.

I can also see it making the page quite confusing though, if two posts about different episodes of the same show are both drawing comments at the same time. I know little and less about site design around these kinds of things, so feel free to file my ideas wherever they fit.
posted by nubs at 9:32 AM on October 29, 2015


Yeah, I find that the way I use FanFare (following a large number slow-moving threads, without posting in most of the myself) requires a lot of manual "Add to activity"-clicking so that I have a way to notice when other people comment on my shows.
posted by mbrubeck at 6:08 PM on October 29, 2015


The posting box says "Note: Be nice. It's just TV." Maybe a different wording now that fanfare is more than just TV.
posted by Mitheral at 9:19 AM on October 30, 2015


Yep, that's on the list. We're at the "periodically collectively hrming over various options none of which have quite gelled for us" stage on it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:21 AM on October 30, 2015


Speaking of things that are on the list, is a new *Out Of The Blue* coming soon?
posted by Going To Maine at 9:22 AM on October 30, 2015


When can we post the books? I want to talk about how terrible the book I am currently reading is.
posted by Justinian at 9:48 PM on October 31, 2015


We don't have a date set for opening book posts up to everyone. We're going to keep an eye on the few new book-related clubs (Dune Club, Historical Fiction, and Random Fiction) so we can get a feel for how book discussion works. Books require a much bigger time commitment than TV shows, movies, or podcasts so it might take a bit longer than previous media types to see how things go.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:11 AM on November 2, 2015


Yeah, we're still kicking the tires a little and sizing up the process for widening that up. Might be fun to assemble a couple of books o' the week informally before then to open up some discussions of big classics or big recent reads, so I'm open to suggestions there (e.g. would folks like to dig in on The Martian if I started a thread for that, etc). But we're also doing a bunch of shovelwork right now on some of the other FanFare stuff we've been talking about, in terms of the layout of the front page and some of the general navigation and discoverability issues that getting a few clubs and book threads up has helped clarify.

Speaking of things that are on the list, is a new *Out Of The Blue* coming soon?

Hoping to get one put together for about mid-month, yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:45 AM on November 2, 2015


Might be fun to assemble a couple of books o' the week informally before then to open up some discussions of big classics or big recent reads, so I'm open to suggestions there...

Wolf in White Van, by John Darnielle.
posted by Etrigan at 10:10 AM on November 2, 2015


Navigation:
Request for a book club home page - *just* the book clubs listed, please - for easy, quick navigation.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:47 AM on November 3, 2015


Clubs are content agnostic. So while the Dune Club is about books right now, it could easily discuss the Lynch film or the TV movies or even a Dune podcast. (I hope that exists.) So it's not as easy as it seems to separate clubs by media type. I do think we'll need to have some more sorting options or maybe even a different view as more clubs are added and older clubs become inactive. It's still a fairly easy single-page scan at this point but I think we'll need to make changes there soon—I just don't think sorting by media type will work.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:39 AM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Dune Saga Podcast

(In the likely vain hope of keeping cortex from starting a new side project)
posted by nubs at 8:44 AM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


He could start a Dune comic strip.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:01 AM on November 3, 2015


Only if it's the crew of Babylon 5 role playing Dune.
posted by nubs at 9:44 AM on November 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Vir DMs. Sinclair would play Leto, and then get his character killed off early on because he had to go do some shit, requiring Sheridan to step in and take over Leto's erstwhile NPC son character for whom Vir rewrites the big plot hooks to take them off Leto. Londo calls dibs on Emperor, G'Kar plays Stilgar, Delenn lets her newly-acquired hair down to chew scenery as the Baron while really mostly doing a Londo impression. Lennier does a bunch of subtle fill-in work as a Guild rep, some CHOAM reps, the Count and Lady Fenring; Garibaldi play Gurney, Doc Franklin plays Huey and comes up with a big twist while hyped on stims; Lyta works in a quick cameo as Feyd. Kosh insists on making all the sandworm noises.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:19 AM on November 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I agree in general, but I would suggest Lennier gets Harkonnen. Because watching the reaction of everyone else to Lennier playing that would be a great deal of fun. Delenn as Lady Jessica, because Delenn has always been a Bene Gesserit at heart.
posted by nubs at 11:08 AM on November 4, 2015


If you are still looking for book-of-the-week suggestions, I would like to request Seveneves, the newest Neal Stephenson novel/doorstop.
Mostly because I desperately want to talk to someone about it, but no one of my acquaintance is willing to devote hours and hours of their life to reading a nearly nine hundred page book.
Or at least not this one.
Anyway. Seveneves.
posted by Adridne at 2:43 PM on November 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


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