Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

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Jicragg
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Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Jicragg » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:29 am

This is mainly AVEN news (not even news but it's an idea people are taking seriously) and it's the main hub for asexual activity - surely it's the first place people go when they hear of asexuality. Yes, so in a way it affects the community.

AVEN mascot.

The PT are taking it seriously but if it does go ahead, why do I get the feeling AVEN will start to feel more and more like a club instead of a blank open community? Just... The flag, though I dislike, is reasonable. It's at least rational but this feels like AVEN will no longer be an important place where we've all connected because of our similarities but even more cult like.

Or perhaps I'm just tired...

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Olivier » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:42 am

Really? That's passed me by. But I agree - it's a f'ucking stupid idea. I want to get my rant on, but I'm actually a bit lost for words...

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Puppy » Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:09 am

An official AVEN Mascot? Whyyyy?? I hadn't seen this on AVEN.

I think mascots were first brought to meet-ups for helping new people to recognise the meet-people. So different places have had their own mascots. London got a new one when WW passed the organizing to Nigel.

I agree with you Jic. It feels like a bad idea.
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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby fridayoak » Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:42 am

A mascot? That sounds very weird. Is AVEN bidding to host the Olympics or something. I can see some benefits of a flag with regards visibility but not sure what the point of a mascot is. What's it gonna be? An anime version of Doctor Who's trans-gendered cat?...eating cake.

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Dargon
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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Dargon » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:11 pm

Mascots are for sports teams. At risk of sounding rude, an AVEN mascot is unquestionably the stupidest idea I have heard in a long time. What would they make it? The triangle and the flag are somewhat abstract symbols used to represent the community, and even those have considerable debate around them. A mascot is by definition pretty concrete. Nothing concrete like that could accurately represent AVEN.

Or perhaps it could, if they've gone stupid enough to think this a good idea.

(Dargon is not bitter at all).

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby ily » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:03 pm

Puppy wrote:
I think mascots were first brought to meet-ups for helping new people to recognise the meet-people. So different places have had their own mascots. London got a new one when WW passed the organizing to Nigel.


Our meetups have a "mascot" as well, to help people recognize the group (I copied this from you guys :halo: ). Here I was thinking cake was the AVEN mascot...

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Pugnacioun » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:22 pm

fridayoak wrote:What's it gonna be? An anime version of Doctor Who's trans-gendered cat?...eating cake.

Sounds about right.

A mascot is a stupid idea, though. What on earth introduced it?

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby flergalwit » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:38 pm

Personally I have little interest in flags or mascots - though of course I'm happy to contribute to the activities, as part of the team.

However I don't get all the negative reaction here. The idea was to hold a competition, in which people submit their original designs for a mascot, which could then be voted on. Just a bit of fun really. There's unlikely to be anything official about the result. It's not like we're planning on plastering the mascot over the AVEN banner or front page. Whether the mascot gets taken up in the long term, beyond just the result of the competition, will be most likely determined by the userbase.

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Dargon » Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:00 pm

flergalwit wrote:However I don't get all the negative reaction here. T...Just a bit of fun really.

...

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With the blessing of the Project Team comes a connotation of officialism rather than a "bit of fun." There is no way around that. Then again, with the Project Team's complete lack of so much as an official statement regarding their stance in the whole flag debacle, it is not as though the PT carries much weight in the debauchery of the masses of AVEN anyway.

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby fridayoak » Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:56 pm

I haven't noticed anything about it on AVEN so far but the thought of doing so makes me feel a bit queasy as it all sounds so ridiculous. The PT has had a complete overhaul in personel since the flag fiasco so they shouldn't be judged on that failure but frankly this does sound very bizarre. I hope it stays as light-hearted as possible and doesn't take off as I can't see any benefits whatsover in regards to visibilty (which I presume is the point of the PT). It just doesn't make any sense as far as I can see.

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby KAGU143 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:57 pm

A mascot??
That's news to me. *rolls eyes*
Seriously ... why?!?!??

Maybe they can get an official song and an official flower, too ... (OMG - I hope I am only kidding!)

Should we have a pre-emptive strike here at Apositive and snag the best official ... erm ... something or other?
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Siggy
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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Siggy » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:30 pm

Uh, don't they know we already have a mascot??? It's this guy:
Image
People are just too English-centric, they never even saw the German-speaking community.

Haha, but no, seriously, this is a terrible idea.

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby flergalwit » Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:47 pm

Dargon wrote:Then again, with the Project Team's complete lack of so much as an official statement regarding their stance in the whole flag debacle, it is not as though the PT carries much weight in the debauchery of the masses of AVEN anyway.

And, since you've called all of us stupid anyway, I doubt you'd even find such a statement enlightening.

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Siggy » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:21 pm

If I may make a more explicit argument against the mascot, coming from someone who likes the flag...

If you just create symbols as "a bit of fun", I contend that you are not taking symbols seriously enough. If we just create a new symbol every few months as "a bit of fun", you are in effect, attacking the symbols we already have, including the flag. To have powerful symbols, we need to create new ones sparingly.

Also, if you create a mascot, that may be great for something we don't think about too much (like the SF meetup group, we have a plushie), but not for something as large and serious as the asexual community. Mascots are very complex symbols, and nearly any mascot imaginable will come with some unfortunate connotations attached. Since a large group of people are thinking about asexuality on an intellectual level, you can be sure that those unfortunate connotations will become painfully obvious within days. And they will be very painful. If you thought people overanalyzed a simple set of four colors, imagine what they'll do to, say, a cat. The cat's not going to come out alive.

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby flergalwit » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:01 am

First off, the flag was a symbol attempting to represent asexuality - not just AVEN. Whereas the idea here is to create an AVEN mascot - not an asexuality mascot. And, as things stand, the mascot would not be official in any other sense than having won one competition on AVEN.

In fact, even though the current PT are discussing it, the competition itself - if it happens - will almost certainly not be run by the PT, since at least one of the current PT (not me) wishes to enter. Either one of us will run it individually, as an AVEN member rather than as a PT, or we'll encourage someone else to make the thread.

How seriously the symbol is taken will not be decided by us but by the userbase. Symbols really cannot be created just by fiat anyway - especially when, as in this case, there are no plans to actually do anything official with the winner. I bet, for example, the :cake: thing was never handed down from on high but evolved over time from the grassroots. If something similar happens with the mascot, fine. If it's never mentioned again after the competition, that's also fine - at least as far as I'm concerned.

It's also worth noting that the previous PT took some flack for, in some cases, being dismissive of the entire flag idea - the point being we're supposed to support other people's projects and leave our personal opinions and preferences out of the equation. It's somewhat ironic therefore that the current PT is now taking flack for supporting (or at least taking seriously) other people's "stupid" ideas!

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby fridayoak » Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:05 am

flergalwit wrote:It's also worth noting that the previous PT took some flack for, in some cases, being dismissive of the entire flag idea - the point being we're supposed to support other people's projects and leave our personal opinions and preferences out of the equation. It's somewhat ironic therefore that the current PT is now taking flack for supporting (or at least taking seriously) other people's "stupid" ideas!


The difference though is that with the flag it had got to a stage where there was something like a 80-90% in favour vote for it going ahead in the initial poll (and then the same results in the next poll) and so it was clear that there was massive support and it was going to go ahead yet still not a word from the PT let alone support or guidence. This from what I can tell has literally just one or two posts on the matter and all of the sudden the PT are handling it? You've gone from one extreme to the other! There's no evidence for any mass public support whatsover for an AVEN mascot so why are the PT pushing it? I'd strongly urge you to discourage the idea from taking off but if then there does (by some miracle) appear to be a massive amount of public support for it then to get involved to at least minimilse the damage and handle it sensitively.

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Buzzybuzz » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:08 pm

I'm sorry this was taken so seriously, a member on AVEN suggested on the PT thread that it would be cool if we had a mascot, and I'm discussing this with the other PT to be a potential contest to be held on AVEN just for fun. It's not going to be official or anything. If members want to make something more of it, then fine with them. But AVEN doesn't need a mascot, I agree (though the person who suggested it was using DeviantArt as an example, they have Fella) but I thought that a nice little contest for whomever wanted to join in would be fun.

Also, let me state to those that do not know, the flag issue was during the 09/10 Project Team. Since September 6th there has been a new PT for 10/11. So please don't use the flag creation in reference to the current PT.

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby pretzelboy » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:11 pm

flergalwit wrote:
Dargon wrote:Then again, with the Project Team's complete lack of so much as an official statement regarding their stance in the whole flag debacle, it is not as though the PT carries much weight in the debauchery of the masses of AVEN anyway.

And, since you've called all of us stupid anyway, I doubt you'd even find such a statement enlightening.

Regarding the noun phrase "the project team" there is also the issue of sense vs. reference...

We have an entirely different group of people than at the time of the flag debate, and there is also a definite sense of wanting the new PT to do things differently than before. (In the threads in which we explained why we wanted to be on the PT, two of the people who ended up being elected admitted that they had no idea what the PT did, and that this was a major motivation for running.) We've gotten rid of the old mission statement, and have a new "What the PT does" thread. We also now have a "who is on the PT and what their interests are" thread so that people who are wanting help from the PT on some particular project can get an idea of which of us would be best to contact to see if there's anything that we can do to help.

There seems to be considerable hostility on this thread toward the idea of having a mascot. One option would be to make a poll and see if people like the idea of having a mascot or not. If they do, then we can go forward with having a contest and submissions and whatnot. If not, then we don't.

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Dargon » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:18 pm

It has come to my attention after my post that there has been a complete revamp of the PT since the flag debacle. As such, my statement no longer holds water, and this I admit. I apologize for my presumptuous error.

That being said, I still stand by my statement that PT involvement in this does still carry a tone of officialism, and as such, I still find it to be a bad idea, even if it is just "a bit of fun."

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby KAGU143 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:40 pm

I wouldn't say that I am hostile to AVEN having a mascot. Skeptical, perhaps, but not hostile.
It's just that I'm not sure how it would be helpful in conveying our professionalism to, say, a researcher who visits the site.

That being said, I'm going to go check it out, because if AVEN absolutely has to have a mascot then I think it should be a honeybee.
The vast majority of honeybees are asexual, they have a very tight-knit society, they work hard, they pollinate many of our most useful ctops, and they make honey!
(And you seriously don't want to piss them off!)

Maybe somebody else has already suggested them, I dunno.
*goes to investigate*
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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Sally » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:36 pm

GB 's proposed the bee. If we have to have one, that would be bearable, or bee-able.

However, if a poll's taken, I'll bet that 155 16-year-olds will vote for an anime character, which will mean that anyone over the age of 35 (or anyone of any age who doesn't really like anime) will perhaps think twice about referring anyone they know to AVEN. Because, you know what, anime's just not serious. It isn't. I can't imagine the gay/lesbian community thinking up something like that 30 years ago. They were serious, and still are.

I'll probably be criticized for the above, but what's new.

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Sally » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:42 pm

I don't understand Apos yet so I guess I didn't actually post that last post.

Anyway, if AVEN has to have one I hope it's nothing less serious than a bee. But considering the flood of 16-year-olds on AVEN lately, I'm afraid a poll will mean we have an anime character, and anyone coming onto AVEN who's over 35 or just doesn't like anime will figure, "These people aren't serious; I'm leaving". Lots of people may love anime; YOU may love anime, but just try to imagine the gay/lesbian community 30 years ago picking a cartoon-character mascot. Yeah, they would have looked really serious.

Sheesh.

So I'll hit submit and if doesn't happen, I give up.

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Dargon » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:31 pm

Sally wrote:However, if a poll's taken, I'll bet that 155 16-year-olds will vote for an anime character, which will mean that anyone over the age of 35 (or anyone of any age who doesn't really like anime) will perhaps think twice about referring anyone they know to AVEN.


This highlights another problem I have with the democratic handling of things at AVEN. The most active members of AVEN tend to be the newest and the youngest, and thus the least mature and knowledgeable. Most the older members (both in age and seniority at AVEN) are far less active and thus have less a voice.

As such, while I am not sure it would be an anime character, I cannot help but figure that put to a popular vote, the young and recently joined masses will vote for something trendy and meaningless, thus making a mockery of the whole site.

That being said, I've learned my lesson from the flag debacle and will do nothing more than spectate from the sidelines this time, rather than attempt in vain to provide counter arguments, only to be bashed down as being needlessly hostile or, [deity of choice] forbid, narrow-minded.

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Sciatrix » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:35 pm

If you like, I'll be taking the loud cranky counterargument side on this one, Dargon. I really, really dislike the idea of having any kind of anthropomorphic mascot for my sexuality. Or animal one. I think the entire idea trivializes asexuality to no good purpose, and I'd be especially pissed if AVEN picked up some kind of cutesy official photo for it. It's almost as bad as that one time I saw someone trying to fit asexuality into the handkerchief code.

And I am one of those active young'uns, or at least I think I am. (I do still count now I'm no longer a teenager, right?) I won't fight you on the "newest" part of that, but I don't see that much difference between the established younger members who post regularly and the established older ones.
Last edited by Sciatrix on Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Dargon » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:30 pm

Sciatrix wrote:And I am one of those active young'uns, or at least I think I am. (I do still count now I'm no longer a teenager, right?) I won't fight you on the "newest" part of that, but I don't see that much difference between the established younger members who post regularly and the established older ones.


Seeing as I felt old over there when I reached drinking age, I'd say maybe.

As for the established younger members vs older members, most of the established members are pretty good, regardless of age. But in any case, their voices are near drowned out by the high school age members of less than a year. No matter how awesome they are, I fear they will be consistently overruled. I brought up age as it was part of Sally's point, and the older members in terms of age make an even smaller minority of the vocal members.

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Sciatrix » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:54 pm

I don't know, I don't feel particularly old. Hell, half of the confused newbies I'm seeing are my age or older. Usually in their twenties, I will admit, but still not much younger than I am. I see plenty of people around who are about my age, too--if anything, I tend to see more college students on AVEN than high schoolers. Possibly that's a function of where I tend to focus?

I guess what bothered me about the age thing is that I think this is much more a function of being new to asexuality than it is a function of age. It's an issue of not yet taking this more seriously than a new and exciting thing. And I think that's common to a lot of our new members regardless of age. I've seen that kind of reaction in people who aren't teenagers, too.

(And I might add--where on earth is all the anime stuff coming from? Is it just that I don't ever bother with Just For Fun or something? I find anime mostly fairly boring right now, but I just don't see it anywhere. Except in JFF posts occasionally or in chat rooms.)

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Sally » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:31 pm

I consider you to be an honorary "old" person, Sciatrix. *I don't know how to emoticon on Apos; imagine a laughing face here* You are an extremely intellectually sophisticated young person. But that sounds like I'm forgetting the other intellectually sophisticated young people on AVEN, of which there are many.

There are many many anime (or Pokemon; I can't tell the difference) avatars, though; that's why I'm assuming that would be chosen. But there doesn't seem to be a clamoring on AVEN anymore; maybe it will just go away, as many things do.

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby flergalwit » Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:15 am

Some points appear to keep being missed so at the risk of repeating myself.

1) We're not talking about an asexuality mascot but an AVEN mascot.

2) Not an official AVEN mascot in any sense. In fact one suggestion is to explicitly label this contest, if it happens, as being to choose the "Unofficial AVEN mascot". It's not in the PT's power to choose an official AVEN mascot, even if we wanted to.

3) In particular, displaying the mascot prominently on the site - e.g. on the banner or the front page or elsewhere - is simply not part of the discussion. So please don't act like it is. We could only do something like that with DJ's permission anyhow, and this is a permission I for one have no intention of trying to obtain, as I think it would be a really bad idea.

4) What we're primarily talking about here is an art contest. The competition itself is basically the entire point, at the moment, as there are no plans, at least on our part, to actually do anything official-looking with the winner.

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby pretzelboy » Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:56 am

I like to echo some of flergalwit comments and expand on them:

In some ways, much of the discussion here may be premature. All that has occurred up to this point is that a) someone suggested the idea on AVEN, b) one member of the PT liked it and talked to other members of the PT about it, and c) some people in the PT think that, should some sort of mascot contest something occur, perhaps the PT should help them out in doing so, and d) various conversations have gone on about the matter, some public and some private.

Basically, nothing has been decided yet as to what, if anything, the PT should do or, if we do something, what exactly this would be a mascot for (the PT do not own asexuality.org and cannot not unilaterally decide that AVEN should have a mascot.

Dargon wrote:I still stand by my statement that PT involvement in this does still carry a tone of officialism, and as such, I still find it to be a bad idea, even if it is just "a bit of fun."

This troubles me as well, and it is a point that is being considered. As I said above, nothing has been decided at this point, so it's not really clear what proposals are on the table. Consequently, I think that discussion of this matter should take this into consideration (i.e. don't treat any particular proposal as though it is currently the proposal under consideration; even if you think an official AVEN mascot would be a bad idea, are there other AVEN-related contexts in which adopting a mascot might be appropriate? etc.)

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Re: Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea?

Postby Puppy » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:07 am

flergalwit wrote:2) Not an official AVEN mascot in any sense. In fact one suggestion is to explicitly label this contest, if it happens, as being to choose the "Unofficial AVEN mascot". It's not in the PT's power to choose an official AVEN mascot, even if we wanted to.

I found out a rather interesting/unpleasant thing last night. The unofficial (at least that was my understanding at the time) AVEN flag is actually on the real wiki, on the asexuality page. I don't know how it ended up thre but... yeah, being thre makes the flag look like an official one.

Anything can happen, no matter how (un)official things are meant to be.

/end of random notice
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