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Robert A. Heinlein Commentary Blog 
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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:51 pm
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Post Re: Robert A. Heinlein Commentary Blog
The Facebook group is not available to me since I have no interest in becoming a member, again. I tried Facebook for a short time and found it to be a waste and an annoyance.

As for the blog, I don't have a problem with it in principle. I looked at it and there's not much there yet, but it's only a few days old. It does not seem to offer any advantages over this forum but, unlike James, I don't see any harm in having another area for Heinlein on the web. People will use it or they won't. I can't see it causing anyone who is currently using this forum to stop.

I did like the pictures.

That's my two cents.

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Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:32 am
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Post Re: Robert A. Heinlein Commentary Blog
Blackhawk wrote:
The Facebook group is not available to me since I have no interest in becoming a member, again. I tried Facebook for a short time and found it to be a waste and an annoyance.

Digression of sorts: I really hate Facebook, and even more than that, I hate how it's becoming so pervasive you can't do anything on the web without it. Many blogs have dropped individual registrations altogether and use FB by default; not only do I NOT want to log into my raw FB account to post comments or otherwise participate in unrelated sites, but I DO NOT want to <fx My Little Pony pink eyelash fluttering> "share" </fx> every goddamned thing I do in RL or CS.

End of digression.

Quote:
As for the blog, I don't have a problem with it in principle. I looked at it and there's not much there yet, but it's only a few days old. It does not seem to offer any advantages over this forum but, unlike James, I don't see any harm in having another area for Heinlein on the web. People will use it or they won't. I can't see it causing anyone who is currently using this forum to stop.

As you may know, I've been doing this a *long* time. (So long that I use old text-format emphasis instead of bothering to click the italics button, you'll note.) I've done my best to hold up the big tentpole in the Heinlein online world since at least 1990 or so. I've watched sites of various types come and go... and often "come and then rot" - and I am guilty of that sin myself, as noted above.* The interested, active, online Heinlein crowd is dismally small, tends to lose members in distressing ways, tends to acquire them very slowly and rarely for long before they wander away... and thus really can't stand being divided among participation points.

Yes, I *do* think multiple sites divide the focus and participation, because that's what I've *observed* for nearly 20 years. Sometimes it's factional, as in THS v. Nexus or AFH v. Nearly Everywhere Else, but overall, people in this pool tend to pick one locus and hang there, except for brief dips elsewhere (usually provoking more factional foof.)

And no, I don't see any advantage to the blog format - no matter how many "authors" you authorize, it's still a from-the-few, for-the-limited-masses. Many folks who wander into this sphere feel like they can't possibly have anything to contribute, not with Bill and RJ and me swinging our big... books around. But I've lost count of the people who finally, timidly, raised their hand and posted something completely new and intriguing, and often grew to have a little 'swing' themselves... because they could. Because the forum format let them, without requesting special approval or permission.

If this platform is a little creaky and retro, then let's upgrade it to one of the more capable, razzle-dazzle forum platforms to accommodate those Net 2.0ians who don't think they can post a long, well-wrought piece without advanced formatting, animation, video etc. (Actually, this platform supports a lot of that, if not in the simplest click-and-drag version.)

But dividing the discussion between here and another fledgling locus, one that (IMVHO) uses a distinctly inferior participation mode... bad. Twenty years of watching it fail and be counterproductive bad.


* I will note that the primary reason for the rot of my RAH site is that it no longer hosts this forum, which was moved from there to the Centennial to the Nexus to this site to keep bringing it into wider availability and interest. So I submit my own beloved blood-and-sweat site of ten years as exhibit number one.


Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:24 am
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Post Re: Robert A. Heinlein Commentary Blog
I really haven't understood why Robert felt the need to start his own blog on the subject. His many insightful comments have always been welcome here and his section on 'Connections' in his blog could have started a very useful thread[1]. From my experience, I doubt seriously that his complaint of search engines not showing the Forum would, would probably apply to his blog as well. How many people will find his blog through search engines? This Forum provides a built-in-readership of 179 members and uncounted number of visitors, most of which probably took a look at his blog, but, may or may not ever return to it.

As for his other contributors, they are certainly welcome to register here, and make a contribution to any of the Fora and/or threads. At least one of them, to my knowledge, is already a member.

If any of them, or anyone else, for that matter, has tried to register and not been confirmed, drop me a note at maikosht@windstream.net letting me know about your difficulty and I make sure that you are confirmed on the next attempt[2].

[1]There has already been a discussion on Lefevre See: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=435&start=10

[2] I have to make a subjective guess as to whether or not a registration attempt is from a spammer. Most of these are obvious, but some are more difficult to determine. I try to balance the side of prevention versus acceptance, and some have gotten past and were deleted as soon as they showed their agenda. It is possible that some have been refused who should have been confirmed. If so, I apologize.


Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:34 am
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Post Re: Robert A. Heinlein Commentary Blog
DavidWrightSr wrote:
his section on 'Connections' in his blog could have started a very useful thread[1].


I did post the Connections here at http://www.heinleinsociety.org/thsnexus/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=1188. There was just the one additional comment/correction about Esperanto by Bill Mullins, for which I am grateful.

I will post anything substantive on this Forum as well as the blog. I certainly don't intend to detract from this place, to dilute the Heinlein discussion or anything of the sort. Looking around, yes there have been a few RAH blogs that petered out. I don't see how that may have taken anything away from here.

I am not sure why this Forum does so badly in search, but I have tried again with quite a few terms and search engines and it's not good. Strangely, the Googlebot seems to be online here a lot. Perhaps someone more savvy than I can figure out how to get the Nexus at the top of Heinlein searches...

Finally, to James: An extremely heartfelt "Thank You!" for your work. I have found your book and website invaluable and enjoyable, and was surprised and disappointed to read about how things developed with Virginia Heinlein after you published it. I don't presume to know 10% of what you and few others do about Heinlein. What I'm trying to do is bring my unique knowledge in a few esoteric areas into the discussion.

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Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:13 am
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Post Re: Robert A. Heinlein Commentary Blog
My apologies. I missed reading it here.

David


Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:29 am
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Post Re: Robert A. Heinlein Commentary Blog
JamesGifford wrote:
PeterScott wrote:
You see Robert's blog as taking a slice out of the Heinlein community pie. I see it as adding another pie.

Lovely imagery, but the established historical fact is that it's Spider Robinson's apple.

All best to the pie lovers, though.


For us a little late to the party, what do you mean by SR's apple?


Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:11 pm
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Post Re: Robert A. Heinlein Commentary Blog
holmesiv wrote:
For us a little late to the party, what do you mean by SR's apple?

Sorry, no intention of being obscure - I thought the aphorism was well-known in the Heinlein/Robinson nexusverse.

"When 500 people share an apple, nobody benefits. Especially not the apple."

If we divide the Heinlein 'nexus' too finely, nobody benefits. And I maintain that it does divide, not multiply.

Robert, thanks for the kind words, but everything I've ever done with and in the name of the other Robert has been for the community good; nothing gives me more pleasure than hearing from someone who's worn out their copy of RAHARC either from pleasure reading or in the name of Heinlein study. But I never contributed anything but a foundation... the castle is still to be built, one spire at a time.

I think this place is as good as any for castle-building and if the temporary trailers I put here lo these many moons ago aren't doing the job, either as a platform or in engaging the larger community we know is out there, then rebuild we shall.


Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:38 pm
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Post Re: Robert A. Heinlein Commentary Blog
JamesGifford wrote:
the Heinlein/Robinson nexusverse.


OK, I get the apple thing. But as far as I'm concerned the H/R nexuverse does not exist. Null program.


Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:52 pm
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Post Re: Robert A. Heinlein Commentary Blog
Jim, you do love to tilt at windmills. Does the Heinlein community have people who want to make short, low-content, little intellect required postings about Heinlein? Based on the Facebook activity, yes. How good a job are we doing of attracting the ones who want to write at length? Hmm. Could be better. Or maybe there just aren't more people out there who want to write at length on this topic any more. But if there are, then they gotta find us somehow, and that becomes more likely with Robert's blog, not less. That'll attract search engines and his links back to us will raise our page rank score, and if those people find his site before us and a forum is what they want, then his blog will make it easier for them to find us. That's how finding content on the interwebs works. If the blog is only suited to short content posters then you don't care if they don't come here anyway. What we need to do to get the visitors you want is raise our visibility, and he's just done that.

The total size of the active Heinlein fan base is... not large. We don't need to pick at each other's honest attempts to help. THS did that prior to THC, and that's the sort of factionalization that does hurt, because they ignored us except for the times they ripped us publicly. Even now there are people who pretend that the only thing happening that weekend was a party in someone's hotel room. This is nothing like that.


Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:06 pm
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Post Re: Robert A. Heinlein Commentary Blog
holmesiv wrote:
But as far as I'm concerned the H/R nexuverse does not exist. Null program.

As you wish. The overlap between Heinlein fans and Robinson fans is substantial, in my experience, and within that field of overlap it's hard to slide any reference to one or the other's notable works past notice. In any case, it was intended to enlighten and amuse, not obscure and confuse.


Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:10 pm
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