Commenting on Shrine Plugs

Talk with others about anything shrine-related, be it presentation, content or something else.
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Lethe
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Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:09 pm

Hi, everyone!

This is a lengthy discussion we've had in the chatroom today, following things I've heard here and there from others, both on the "giving" and "receiving" side. We think that it's beneficial to the community as a whole that we sum it up here for everyone to see, as several people have stated that it was eye-opening!

I've observed many people saying that they hold off on commenting on shrine plugs (and discussion topics in general) out of desire to leave "lengthy, meaningful feedback" after having read shrines in their entirety. And that's an understandable mindset, especially since the forum format leads you to believe that only "lengthy, substantial posts" are desired (psst, that's not true), or if you compare the length and substance of your own feedback to that of previous posters. But I'd like that mindset to change, and I want to convince you that it'd benefit everyone here if people opened up to leaving "placeholder/early feedback" and "short feedback" over none at all.

Here's some food for thought:
  • We all need to understand that a comment, however short, is our way of acknowledging things, especially new creations, on the forums! On Twitter and social media, it's easier to see whether something has been acknowledged by the amount of "likes", "kudos", "+1", and you're also more likely to get comments like "congrats!", "good job!", "I'll check it out later!", as such short reactions come naturally on those platforms. A forum, however, is not the same as Twitter, and in any case, in a community as small as this one, I think leaving personal words - even if just a sentence - means a lot. Yes, topics have "hit counts", but those don't say all that much, or may even make it worse, as the absence of comments is interpreted as being ignored. (And you can guess how awful that feels when you're excited about having finished a shrine and getting to share it with everyone, and wanting it to be acknowledged.)
  • Many of us are busy. And because we're busy, we don't get to read shrines right away, much less in their entirety; when we do have a moment, we're also more likely to gravitate towards shrines of subjects we're familiar with and like, or by people we're close to, especially when it comes to taking the time to leave feedback afterwards. All of this is understandable!

    But we all know that we also want to support others, and avoid the perception of being cliquey. Rather than not commenting on plugs at all because you haven't had time for the shrine yet, I think it'd help a lot to just leave early or short feedback: For example, you can comment on their layout or on the subject they're shrining ("I've heard about this and want to give it a try!"), or even check out their intro pages! Even the same kind of comment that's made on platforms like Twitter wouldn't be out of place ("congrats! I'll read later!"). I think it'd go a long way with boosting motivation across the community, and would particularly benefit new shrine makers and those new to the community in general.
  • Banish the thought that constructive and meaningful feedback can only be given once you've read a shrine in its entirety. It is perfectly possible to leave helpful feedback on the parts you've experienced (this includes the layout and any other presentation element). There are people who avoid shrines because they don't want to run into spoilers, for example, but that doesn't mean they can't check out intro sections and leave feedback on that. In fact, some of our members are already doing that: They comment on whether or not an introduction was easy to follow, or say that the way the subject was introduced has them excited to experience the thing themselves.
  • Banish the thought that only lengthy feedback is substantial feedback, and that only substantial feedback is meaningful feedback. We're a casual community and we want everyone to support each other, and for the forums to be active. You don't have to write a masterpiece before hitting "submit"; you shouldn't feel like you have to edit your post several times in order to live up to something.

    Don't be hard on yourself just because you think you "don't have much to say" with regard to shrine plugs, or that your comments "get repetitive": That's your own perception, especially because you're the one writing all those comments! Other members most likely don't compare your comments against another, and instead take any comment you leave as individual expressions of support and acknowledgement! I personally think that any comment is meaningful (except malicious ones, but we don't have those here :D) just by virtue of it signifying that someone has visited a shrine, enjoyed it, and took the time to make someone feel acknowledged and appreciated.
I don't want people to think of reading shrines and supporting others as an obligation ("I need to go through all those plugs I've missed out on!", "I need to set time aside to read all these long texts...", "I have to force myself to read a shrine to a subject I have minimal interest just so I can be supportive") when the truth is that just a simple gesture is capable of making someone's day. I don't want people to plug their shrines only to feel like there's some popularity contest going on behind the scenes when in fact the reasons lie elsewhere, including people's priorities in their busy schedules.

I'd like all of us to approach commenting on shrine plugs from the perspective of a shrine creator, rather than just a visitor: If you'd appreciate short comments and early feedback, if you don't mind people not reading your whole shrine before leaving you some kind words, why would it be drastically different for others? Please don't be so hard on the length and content of your own feedback.

I'm sure that in the end, we'd all prefer short feedback over no feedback at all, or feedback that may or may not be given until months later. There are more people out there who'd appreciate attention and encouragement of any kind than you might think!
Both despair and ecstasy are part of the elements that compose a person.

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Laura
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Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:20 pm

It's never, EVER a bad thing to leave more than one comment on someone's shrine/site plug! If you want to leave a short comment and then come back later to leave something more detailed, there's nothing saying you can't do that! :) In fact, it'd probably be even more appreciated since you're showing how much effort you're putting into visiting their site. <3

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Anise
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Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:06 pm

I'm glad that other people feel this way because that's definitely something I feel. I'm going to try and give our some short feedback and come back later with long feedback. I will definitely echo that even small comments will make my day.
The Second Guardian Network ☆☆ Esperits.ORG

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Destinie
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Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:42 am

Note taken! :) I tend to try and wait to read EVERYTHING before I leave a comment because I really want my comment to be thoughtful and helpful. But I think in the future I will start making sure that I don't hold myself so strictly to that standard.

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Emrys
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Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:23 am

I think this a great thing to make known and I can't speak for everybody but honestly, I get so excited whenever somebody comments about ANYTHING on my sites. Whether it's the layout, the content or, hell, even smaller graphics like codes/buttons or extras in a site.

I know I am definitely guilty of avoiding commenting on projects that I don't personally have any knowledge of but this post makes a good point - that shouldn't hold me back. Just because I don't know about a subject doesn't mean I can't still comment on what a site has. I have clicked into sites I don't know and admired things but never made those known and I should! :D/

I guess it will be my personal goal for this community! I definitely don't want anybody feeling left out!

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dubiousdisc
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Fri Sep 30, 2016 12:58 pm

I'm so awful at this, sorry everyone ;_; I'll try to get better...

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Lethe
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Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:05 pm

omg haha, I hope that didn't come across as me preaching! I summed things up in a haste because I wanted to go to bed lol. The conversation was very positive, and I'm sure we've all been there and understand the shared desire to leave ~super long "complete" feedback~. :D

I definitely agree with Laura that everyone should feel free to leave more than one comment in plug topics! I also always get excited to see members chat with each other across several posts in plugs (as long as it doesn't go off-topic), so don't ever think that you have to hold yourself back.
Both despair and ecstasy are part of the elements that compose a person.

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Robin
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Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:37 pm

I agree, short comments are better than leaving no comment at all. I've definitely come away feeling like "geez I guess my site sucks" when I get a bunch of topic views on my shrine plugs and yet very few comments :/ (I even toyed with the idea of shrining something that was "popular" here even if I had no interest in it, thinking maybe that was the whole problem.) Short comments at least let me know someone clicked and maybe connected with at least some part of the site! :)
~ a dream is a wish your heart makes ~
withinmyworld.org

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FandomSavant
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Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:36 pm

This is beautiful. I miss you all so much. I've been obsessing over a new hobby, but I'll be back at building up my shrines soon. :)

Hi! I'm Patricia.

FandomSavant.com - home of my stuff
Twitter: @FandomSavant

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Laura
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Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:06 pm

I just wanted to add that lately I have been viewing people's shrine plugs but not commenting on them, specifically because of the new medication that I've been taking over the last few weeks. It's made it very hard to really comment on people's works but I still want to see what people are doing... so please don't think that any lack of comment from me means that I don't like your hard work! <3 I'm feeling like it's leveling out a bit better so I'm trying to catch up, even if it's just leaving brief comments. :)

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