[REV] End of Month Reviews - August 2004 [spoilers]

Arspitzer arspitzer at aol.com
Sun Sep 5 19:13:39 PDT 2004

Dave Van Domelen wrote:
>In article <20040904221332.04530.00000209 at mb-m02.aol.com>,
>Arspitzer <arspitzer at aol.com> wrote:
>>Helpmeet?  Is this some Australian slang you're using to confuse us 
>     It's out of the Bible.  King James, at least.

Ah, The Bible!  I'll have to read that one of these days!

>>I think it's probably because less people are reading USENET and more 
>>are drifting towards Web forums or Blogs or whatever.
>     I'd say that, for most groups that I follow, traffic and number of
>participants hasn't dropped much, if at all.  RACC just never was THAT
>active, compared to other RAC* groups.  Heck, there have been more active
>RAC* groups that got rmgrouped.

Because I'm bored I decided to check to see if this was true.

Here are some stats for number of posts.
I got these from Google.

All these are the number of posts from Jan 1 - Aug 31
for rec.arts.comics.creative from 1995-2004.


Let's assume that 1997 was a peak year for posts on USENET.




Looks like there's been a significant drop-off for posts to 
rec.arts.comics groups since 1997.

They way I see it is that ten years ago if you wanted to post about 
comics you had no real choice, but to post to USENET.  Now, you've got 
tons of comic web forums to choose from.  And since these people aren't 
checking out rec.arts.comics they're not checking out RACC.

>     I suspect the real problem is that RACC's main crop of writers all came
>out of a single event (the emergence of the LNH on RAC and RAC.misc), and our
>replacement rate has simply not been high enough to compensate for those who
>dropped out.  For every one new person we inspired to join in the fun, two or
>three have given up on writing here.

This is true.

There's always the possibility that kids writing original superhero 
fiction and posting it for free was something people did back in the 
90's.  It was just a fad.

Then again maybe on some web forum out there, a group of kids is 
creating its own version of the LNH.

>     Why do we drop out?
>     Some drop out to turn pro.  As mentioned above, a lot of us are now
>writing with an eye towards tenure, or making a living at it.  That doesn't
>leave a lot of room to put free stuff up on a newsgroup.

Yeah.  I know.  And I'd rather see these people making money off their 
writing than posting stuff for free.  (I'd also rather see myself making 
money than posting stuff for free.)

>Some just lose interest, for whatever reason.

Yeah.  I know.

>     Some have to give up something to make room for new priorities (work,
>kids, etc), and writing fiction is dropped.
>     Some, as you say, have turned to other free outlets, like blogs, in
>which the urge to write SOMETHING can be satisfied without having to meet
>ever-higher self-imposed standards.  After all, most writers get better over
>time, and most of THEM start having problems with posting inferior work.  And
>if they don't have time to do it right, they don't want to do it at all.  I
>know one guy whose blog output, if turned into stories, would result in a
>full episode every few days.  But he can't turn out "good work" in 200-500
>word chunks, whereas he figures he can turn out good blogging in that way.
>     Some have trouble with the low density.  I know I write more and faster
>when I'm bouncing ideas off someone else's stories than when I'm carrying the
>entire thing myself.  In the Good Old Days, I could ignore a lot of LNH
>writers and still have plenty of stuff to play off.  Now, to be honest,
>there's not enough LNH writers I'm willing to read, much less take cues from,
>so I don't write LNH.  And with Superguy output at nearly zero, I have
>trouble sustaining momentum there as well.

I'm not disagreeing with any of this.  The reasons why people who used 
to write for RACC and no longer are doing so is obvious.

I think that's fine.  There are more important things in life than RACC.  
It's just a hobby.  And probably a hobby for the young person.  I'm not 
wondering about why the old timers left.  I know why they left.  I'm 
wondering what ever happened to the new blood that was supposed to 
replace the old timers.  Why they never came.

Is there anything that can be done to attract this new blood?

Or five years from now will RACC be dead?

I guess the question is not why people left, but why did they come in 
the first place?

>>I wonder if someone made a call right now to create a serious superhero 
>>universe, like Badger did along time ago if anyone would take that call 
>     I'm certainly willing to let more writers into ASH.  Heck, I've >got at
>least three who are trying to get something going, but are stalled for
>various reasons.  

That's cool.

If they still exist.

>     Dave Van Domelen, really should get to bed now, it's 2:13 AM.

Arthur "Just trying to depress you people.  Is it working?" Spitzer

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