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Author Topic: What's the Matter with Santharia?  (Read 10934 times)
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Ankhi Doomhand
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« Reply #15 on: 13 November 2015, 13:22:41 »

I think we're all approaching this question wrong. Rather than make the site easier to access on Google, why not go for an easier approach and try making the site easy to find through social media. Building a good website is hard, totally restructuring an old one without losing data is harder. On the other hand, constructing an easy-to-read, attractive looking Facebook page is incredibly simple.

I suggest that we reconstruct the Santharian Facebook from little more than a showcase for our art to an active advertising effort. This means members need to spread it as far as possible as quickly as possible.

It also means we need something to advertise. We have a lot of stuff here, but we can't advertise already written work. What we can advertise is empty space. We need to be able to say to potential developers not, "Look at all this cool stuff we've done," but rather, "Look at all this cool stuff YOU could be doing."

To this end I'd advise something like opening up a new continent or the like: we do have three continents with exactly 0 development after all. Of course, we'd write the framework for this new development space as a massive group project. I wouldn't dream of loading it all onto one person.

Any thoughts?
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #16 on: 14 November 2015, 17:38:12 »

Hello Ankhi! Nice to see more people chipping in :)

Regarding the social network idea: I'm not sure if it will be easier or more effective. After all I've started a Facebook page already and at least did a couple of updates. And invited people to share it, with negligible results. The basic idea would have been anyway that someone other than me takes responsibility for the Santharian Facebook presence, ideally a Facebook promotion team that tries to come up with all kinds of stuff to sustain such a presence. Be it with announcing site updates, gallery updates, quizzes, fantasy related discussion based on news (e.g. new fantasy film out etc.) If everything falls back on me (and the social media presence is one of those things), this is a recipe for disaster, because it only contributes to the fact that I'm quickly burning out. So yes, if there are people around that would like to take over with managing a Santharian Facebook presence (or any other kind of social media for that matter), be my guest. I'm all for spreading responsibility.

Concerning continent development: The thing is that we intentionally kept development of other continents back, because people would come in and develop their own ideas somewhere in the middle of nowhere without relation to the rest of Caelereth/Santharia whatsoever. So there would need to be a framework. Well, as you can see Val is now finishing her masterwork with the Mapping and Overview of Cyhalloi, so based on that outline it would be possible to allow new members to contribute. I wouldn't recommend to open up all continents though with an "Anything goes" attitude, because it would lead to very disjointed development. There's also a lot that could be done in areas that have a rough outline/history already, but where many tiny details like lore, stories etc. would be needed (and a Santharian province is as vast a whole continent elsewhere!). This worked pretty well with the Manthrian map I once made and people helped writing entries for lots of stuff that was visible on the map but without background history. Seagazer's latest works are also still Places entries in that Manthrian region. In the meantime we have added another huge map, the Map of Vardınn and there's a lot on it that needs to be "discovered" in entry form which allows a lot of creativity for anyone willing to help to make these Santharian provinces unique and fascinating. So as far as I see it, the framework (map, tribes, rough history) is there for that region, and there's still enough room for own ideas to realize in that context.

So on the one hand we have Cyhalloi that could be opened (as far as I'm concerned), providing however there'd be someone who tries to manage the development of that region as best as he/she can (Val? and/or other people that volunteer as a Cyhalloian task force). On the other hand we have detailed maps and outlines for Santharian provinces (Manthria/Vardınn). So these are some options I would suggest considering.
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #17 on: 15 November 2015, 02:16:45 »

How about a group project with a theme? We could select a region (I propose Vardynn or Cyhalloi) and then designate 5 entries as essential reading. Each person then writes a short entry which incorporates the five "base" entries in some way. Then for the next round, we each write a short entry which is based on the entries from Round 1.

I think this might be a fun way to revive our team spirit. The limitations would both spur creativity and give people an incentive to read/comment on other people's work.

What do you think guys?
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« Reply #18 on: 15 November 2015, 11:24:18 »

Coren, sounds like an awesome idea. I like the idea of Vardınn, but Cyhalloi might be a good second option once Val gets done with the outline of the continent.

Would you like to decide the "essential readings" or would that been done collectively? I'm happy to delegate the picking to you, and I'm happy to help and write an entry or two.

Also, Artimidor's concerns about burn-out are really important. Human beings can't just run a site of this magnitude alone for any real length of time. You're very valuable, we wouldn't want to lose you.  evil
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #19 on: 15 November 2015, 13:19:39 »

Love it.  I vote for Vardynn.  :D  Because that is my newfound area of interest for reasons obvious on the RP Side.  This in large part because of Arti's amazing map.  Kudos Art.
« Last Edit: 15 November 2015, 14:54:13 by Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin » Logged

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Val O´Neil
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« Reply #20 on: 15 November 2015, 13:31:41 »

I'm pretty much done with Cyhalloi's outline and would love it if it turned into a group project from here. There is quite a number of things in the outline that have no entry, and I would be happy to provide a categorized list..

If I could get permission, I would love to rewrite the Kasumarii-men tribe.

I should have Cyhalloi wrapped up in a few days, but between now and then would love any comments or suggestions anyone might have for the Orcs I've written up there- as I am not very good when it comes to them.
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #21 on: 16 November 2015, 04:59:10 »

@Seagazer: Hey, I'm just here for the canapes!  :D Seriously, I don't know enough about Vardynn or Cyhalloi (how on earth do you pronounce that?) to pick the five entries myself.

Let's have a show of hands. Who'd be interested in a project like this? Do you want Vardynn or Cyhalloi?

Seagazer, maybe you could run point on this project and put up a poll?
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"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #22 on: 16 November 2015, 07:45:19 »

As an added argument, I would think a Team Effort should focus on the Continent of Sarvonia, as this is the heart of the site at the moment.  The other continents are "extras" that until recently (in Development terms, not chronological because we all wander away, then return) were, if not restricted, at least discouraged from development.  This was to force the majority of work to be concentrated on the central areas.

Just my two sans.

And, Val, obviously this is aimed at the Team Project, not your work individually on Cyhalloi.  :)  I would have the same argument with having a Team Project centered on the Icelands, even though that is my neck of the woods.

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Mina
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« Reply #23 on: 16 November 2015, 17:37:52 »

This talking of focusing on Sarvonia makes me feel so guilty about my slowness on Xaramon now.  And I just realised that it's really quite similar to the problems I had with the Volkek-oshra language.  I'd have bursts of activity after not touching it for months or sometimes years, during which I'd often realise that I wasn't satisfied with what I'd done previously and try to re-do most of it, which was why there was more than 10 years between me claiming the language and actually producing the entry.   buck

I was involved with Rayne's Vardynn masterplan a couple of years back so I'm leaning slightly towards Vardynn over Cyhalloi.  But I also want to avoid smothering interest in other regions with the idea that Sarvonia should have priority.  I think it's probably best to let people work on what interests them most, especially given the current lack of activity. 

Quote
If I could get permission, I would love to rewrite the Kasumarii-men tribe.
That would be nice.  I'm not sure if anyone currently has a claim on them, but I think Fox once did, so maybe you could check with her.  That was a very long time ago though, and I think she's on the RPG board much more than the dev board these days. 
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Seagazer
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« Reply #24 on: 17 November 2015, 01:04:22 »

Mina, I think feeling guilty doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Contributing to Caelereth should be fun, not a burden. Feel guilty about feeling gulity! ;)

We'll see, though I'm leaning towards Vardınn myself. It seems so incredibly medieval as opposed to the more early modern feeling of Manthria and elsewhere.

Though I worry, Mina, that the reason that people aren't contributing isn't for lack of freedom but because of it. It's difficult to find a place to start doing something if it's just one big, blank map.
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #25 on: 17 November 2015, 03:38:25 »

If we choose an area for a group project, then I'd also say Vardınn, so that's what I've voted. Not because Val's work on Cyhalloi isn't appreciated, but because it's tougher to work on a still very undeveloped whole continent (even though we now get a decent outline!) than to contribute at an area where there exists already a lot of stuff in various areas (tribes enrties, history, stories, lore, very specific beasts, detailed map etc.)

If you look e.g. at the Places entries we have for Manthria you'll see that we've got over 50 (!) in this area alone, many of them inspired by the map. Also various drawings were added to provide the look and feel. Just have a look at the Manthrian Overview which is quite a jewel on the site I'd say - it really shows off what it means to focus on an area. And these are only the Places entries.

Vardınn could be a similar project methinks based on these experiences. There's some cool stuff there already (see the Vardınn Overview for comparison), but key entries like Voldar are still 15 years old and outdated.

In my point of view it's easier to add to existing regions than to go to still very new areas. Which doesn't mean that people shouldn't develop something in other areas. If the interest is there, why not? But Vardınn is also the heartland of Santharia, and Santharia is the heart of the site, so that's why I made the map in the first place and it would make sense e.g. to make the major towns eventually into entries.

However, in the end I think it boils down to this that people want their works read and commented on. Otherwise, what's the point? So far we've got a handful of people interested in working on a couple of things. The main question for me is still: How can we sustain interest? You want to have your work appreciated and you want to see people buzzing with activity. If we do a group project we might get a few things done, sure, but we need more people in the long run (veteran members and new ones). So a group project might be a first important step, but more measures are needed.
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #26 on: 17 November 2015, 03:39:27 »

I'd also suggest that we focus on short entries that can be completed in a week or two, rather than monstrous ones like tribe or metropolis entries. The harder an entry is to write and comment on, the more it drags. Let's focus on momentum and camaraderie. :)
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

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"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #27 on: 17 November 2015, 03:49:43 »

That's a great suggestion, Coren.

(And it's coming from someone who invented the "Coren" measurement, which is ca. 37 pages per entry, when dealing with a certain hummingbird if I remember correctly... grin So that ought to tell us something...)

Yes, I agree there, definitely. People tend to get lost in details, and that can be counterproductive, especially when we want to get some activity going. While in the long run it would be great to have e.g. such major city entries, we shouldn't start right away with the largest projects possible.

BTW, additional suggestion: Major entries could be split up to get them done. E.g. someone could take over the Myth/Lore section of a big city entry, someone else write about People and another one only writes the Coat of Arms section. Small junks if it makes sense to deal with them individually.
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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #28 on: 17 November 2015, 03:53:05 »

I am a reformed man. QED. ;)
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #29 on: 17 November 2015, 12:54:18 »

Quote
BTW, additional suggestion: Major entries could be split up to get them done. E.g. someone could take over the Myth/Lore section of a big city entry, someone else write about People and another one only writes the Coat of Arms section. Small junks if it makes sense to deal with them individually.

Along those lines, perhaps partial entries posted to the site in updates.  If a project is a larger one, like a major city, say, then perhaps allow the author to submit a few essential sections, then add to those sections later on?

I know, Art, that you would prefer not having to amend entries because it is as hard or harder than doing a new entry (I'm certain I remember you saying this).  So, larger works could be done with subsections, no?  Like many entries on the site, the Shendar entry for example, has an original entry, then several subentries,  Death Rite Journeyon, Housing, Myth and Lore, Society, Toilet.

Having something go up on site is both good for the site and encouraging for the author.

My idea, anyhow.

PS: You let me do this with the Antislar entry. rolleyes
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