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Bruce, Caroline

LJ Idol: Some Thoughts

What is the LJ Idol competition about? Or more accurately, what
should it all be about?

Some take it very, very seriously. I think I may have been guilty of
that last year, when I was unceremoneously dumped from the competition
under questionable circumstances. At the time, I took things very
personally, and I was very angry. I had to decide, at that point, if I
wanted to continue and join the contest again for the 08-09 season.

I decided to do so. But I also decided to totally rethink my purpose for
being in it, what I expected to happen, what I thought people's
motivations should be, and what I thought people's motivations
would be. Most importantly, I tried preplanning my reactions.

In an ideal universe, the LJ Idol thing would be about writing ability
and people's reception of that writing ability. You write something that
people want to read, you get votes for it. You write something that
people don't want to read, you don't get the votes. I've always tried to
at least play the game that way. For a lot of people, though, the
game has turned into a loyalty contest: "If you don't vote for me, you
are not loyal to me". It is this view that makes me question whether I
want to participate in future incarnations of the contest. LJ Idol is
fun. It should be fun. But it's simply not something worth making or
breaking friendships over. I told kittytech at the beginning
of last season that, even though she's my girlfriend, if she didn't like
what I wrote, I didn't expect her to vote for me. And I meant it. This
notion that votes equal loyalty and no votes equal disloyalty is the
stuff that elementary school brawls are made of. I wanted to be judged
based on my writing, or rather, on people's perception of my writing. I
do not feel that happened last year, but I do feel that it did this
year. I was voted out of the contest fair and square, and it had nothing
whatsoever to do with loyalty or disloyalty, it had everything to do
with the fact that I wrote a piece not worthy of a lot of votes.

In a competition such as this, you have to write not for yourself, but
for your audience. It's not about what you would want to read, but what
your audience wants to read. As much as I do not particularly enjoy
putting my blindness front and center in my writing, others enjoy
reading what I write on the subject. As much as I'd like to devote my
writing to CocaCola, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, sleep,
memories of my dad, and my passionate dislike of mushrooms, these
subjects don't interest the general public nearly as much as the
blindess thing does, so in a contest where public opinion is everything,
I write accordingly: not just about blindness, of course, but a little
more than I might normally do.

So there are my thoughts, for whatever they may or may not be worth.
I'll probably be back next year, because the contest is great and I like
the way clauderainsrm runs things. But if I start losing
friends over this, or if I start equating votes with loyalty, then I'm
out, because it's just not worth that kind of a price.


LJ idol is, in my blatantly honest opinion, little more than a glorified popularity contest. More often than not, he with the largest friends list wins. Not that I think you or kittytech are guilty of doing such things, but to a lot of people, I've noticed, that's pretty much what it comes down to. And if they don't get the votes they're expecting, it's automatically because their friends list doesn't care enough to vote for them. It couldn't possibly be that not that many people thought the entry in question was deserving of a vote.

I'll admit, I don't participate in LJ Idol as a spectator. Sure, I read the entries that interest me. I've even been known to comment on one or two. But that's it. Because while in theory the way it's set up is absolutely awesome, in practice, you pretty much have a decent idea who's gonna go far in the competition. Usually by the crying people do for a week after they were eliminated.
I'm going to have to respectfully disagree.

There are some people I thought would go far...

And just didn't. Neither did they cry about it. I actually havea few of them on my flist.

I participated because:

1) it was something with a deadline, and I thought it might be a good way to strengthen that skill in me
2) I wanted a way to strengthen writing abilities in the frame of said deadline
and 3) because it was something new I'd never done before, and I enjoyed the challenge of something new and different

Sure I was upset when I got voted off, probably a bit more than I should have been, but it I never once thought it was because my flist didn't give a crap about me.

the Phoenix
I wasn't looking to name names, and in fact yours never entered my mind; probably because until today, we'd never exchanged two words between us. However, I've noticed simply based on those I *have* seen in and around LJ idol, that it appears to be the trend. Kudos for not being part of said trend.
Ha. thank you. :)

the Phoenix