Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Culture/Entertainment conundrum
#1
Okay, so there's something that's been bothering me about the board layout for a while. I haven't done anything about it because I wasn't sure what to do - but, now that I've got some ideas, I'd like to share them. 

What's the current setup? 

As of right now, we have a 'History and Culture' board, with a 'Language and Literature' sub-forum. This contains both topics of a linguistic nature (e.g. the LangFocus YouTube channel and Jarkko's excellent 'LINGUISTICS!!' thread), as well as topics relating to books and poems (e.g. Harry Potter and Game of Thrones). 

The one exception to this is that comics go under Entertainment. I could attempt to justify this by arguing that "Comics aren't really 'literature': they have some literary qualities, but the artwork is at least as important, making them a distinct art form" - but, actually, the real reason is simply that threads about comics would look very out of place in "History and Culture". A thread about 'Marvel vs. DC' wouldn't appeal to the typical 'History and Culture' audience, but would appeal to the typical 'Entertainment' audience. 

So, what's wrong with this? 

Unfortunately, the problem I just described doesn't stop at comics. Books tend to have a lot of crossover with TV and movies, due to the prevalence of film/TV adaptations of books, and (to a lesser extent) novelisations of films. The 'Harry Potter' and 'Game of Thrones' threads are good examples of this: they're in 'Language and Literature' because they started out as book series, but since then, they've spawned massive entertainment powerhouses spanning multiple different media. It's not like these are popular books with an obscure screen adaptation, or popular TV/film series with an obscure novelisation: both the original books and the screen adaptations are very popular in their own right. As such, putting these in 'History and Culture' just feels wrong to me: in my opinion, they'd be more at home in Entertainment. 

On the other hand, we have the same sort of problem in reverse, with music. Sure, threads about pop music (and things like rock/metal) belong squarely in the 'Entertainment' forum - but, what about classical music, or traditional/folk music? In my opinion, things like this would look out of place in an 'Entertainment' section - especially when there's a 'History and Culture' section sitting there ready to take them. 

It's as though our layout has been set up with an implicit division between "low/popular culture" and "high/traditional culture" in mind. At some point over the past nine years, we seem to have decided that reading is a 'higher' form of entertainment which should be considered 'culture', while TV, music and movies are 'lower' forms which merely constitute 'entertainment'. That's silly: culture doesn't work like that in the real world. 

So, how do we solve it?

My first thought was that "if we're going to do this division between 'low culture' and 'high culture', then we should do it properly." This would involve moving the Harry Potter and Game of Thrones stuff into 'Entertainment', and some of the classical and traditional music (if indeed there is any) into 'History and Culture'. However, the more I thought about this solution, the less I liked it. We'd have to give up on a single 'Music' sub-forum, which would create problems for popular threads like 'What are you listening to?', and would just be a clunky and user-unfriendly setup. But, more importantly: if we have separate boards for 'low culture' and a 'high culture', where do we draw the line between the two? No matter where we drew this line, it would be arbitrary and subjective, and would be the source of endless debate and confusion. I just don't think this approach would be workable or helpful. 

So, now, I'm thinking that we should abandon all pretense of a division between 'low culture' and 'high culture', and just put everything in 'Entertainment' (perhaps re-named to 'Entertainment and Culture' or 'Entertainment and Popular Culture', or even just 'Popular Culture'). Here's how this would work:
 
  1. Re-name "Language and Literature" to "Linguists' Lounge". I originally put language and literature together, because of the obvious relation between the two: literature is one of the standard applications of language. However, in practice, the 'literary' topics and the 'linguistic' topics seem to have very little overlap: they exist side by side, but they usually don't mix with one another. So, breaking up "Language and Literature" shouldn't be too much of a hassle.

  2. Add a "Reading" sub-forum to "Entertainment". This section would contain the 'literary' half of 'Language and Literature', together with the threads about comics (which are already in 'Entertainment'). 

    I originally considered calling it 'Books', but I decided this would be too broad. There are plenty of books which would look out of place in an 'Entertainment' board, because they're designed for purposes other than entertainment; for example, school textbooks, religious scriptures, and atlases (I mean, I read atlases for recreation sometimes, but I think that says more about me than it says about the atlases :lol: ). So, my next idea was 'Literary Fiction', but then I decided this would be too narrow: there is some non-fiction that's usually read for entertainment (e.g. magazines and biographies). So, I decided that having a 'Reading' sub-forum of 'Entertainment' would be the best way to make its intent clear: it's any reading done as a form of entertainment

  3. Re-name "History and Culture" to "History and Society". If we move the literary stuff out of here, then there won't be much 'culture' any more: the art stuff will be practically all that's left.

    Essentially, "History and Society" would be dedicated to all of the social sciences, including (but not limited to) history, archaeology, architecture, demography, economics, and of course linguistics (which would still have its own sub-forum). The art stuff would stay there too, since it's connected to history, art and architecture. Myths and legends would probably go here too: they're not usually 'read for entertainment', after all :P .

    We'd still be losing most of the 'book' threads - but, to compensate, we'd be bringing in some threads like "Definition of 'millennials'?" and "Moving an entire city", which don't really have their own board right now, but would fit in here. (A check through Current Events and Politics would probably turn up a few more examples of threads which would be better off in "History and Society")

  4. (Optional) Make "Music" its own forum. 'Entertainment' is very large as it is, and bringing in the literary threads (about 15-20 of them, with close to 200 replies between them) would make it even larger. If we were to split it up, then I think the best way to do it would be to take Music out, and make it its own forum. Compared to the others, music is quite self-contained (sure, there's a bit of crossover, in the form of film/TV soundtracks and musical films, but that's still nothing compared to the strength of the links between books, movies and TV (and even theatre). 

    The only thing is, the "Music" forum would probably be one of our least active forums. It has only 35 threads and 672 replies - and most of those are concentrated in one or two threads (like "What song are you listening to?" and "Rate the song above you"). I don't see this changing, because I'm not interested or knowledgeable enough on music to make this section properly active. In my opinion, we'd be better off keeping Music as a sub-forum of Entertainment for now, and making it its own forum later on if we decide that Entertainment is too large to work properly.

So, there are my thoughts. There are still some details to iron out (for example, do we re-name Entertainment, and do we keep Music in there or move it out?), but the basic plan is all in place.

What do you think?
[Image: CJ_userbar.png]

Board Information and Policies
Affiliation | Coffee Credits | Member Ranks | Awards | Name Changes | Account Deletion
Personal Data Protection
| BBCode Reference

Lurker101 Wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Mega Blok movie planned but the pieces wouldn't fit together.

(Thanks to ObsessedwithBirds for the avatar and sig!)
My Awards
x1 x1 x2 x2 x5 x3 x1 x3 x6
My Items
#2
How about comics spawning from video game series, what about those? They aren't even mentioned & I know of at least a few comics based off of video games, such as: Halo, Life is Strange & more.
[Image: yamiyu10.png]

[Image: d7vij96-a63b17ec-74ef-44a5-bdfc-2e70814679ca.gif] [Image: orgxiii_roxas_stamp_by_xselfdestructive-d31xvow.gif] [Image: 9f6ed7ab86783c057973c1b2caa35f9a-d4927wj.png][Image: jam_those_tunes_by_northboundfox-d4dz2bk.png]
My Awards
x1 (2017)
My Items
[-] The following 1 user Likes Yami Yugi 's post:
  • Beckea
#3
(01-05-2019, 11:09 PM)Yami Yugi Wrote: How about comics spawning from video game series, what about those? They aren't even mentioned & I know of at least a few comics based off of video games, such as: Halo, Life is Strange & more.

Those would go in with the rest of the comic threads (currently in the main 'Entertainment', forum; under this proposal, in the new 'Reading' sub-forum). 

Generally, when there's a 'crossover' like this, I'll think to myself, "What is likely to be discussed within the thread?". With those, it's likely that the discussion would centre around the comics themselves, rather than the games which spawned them.
[Image: CJ_userbar.png]

Board Information and Policies
Affiliation | Coffee Credits | Member Ranks | Awards | Name Changes | Account Deletion
Personal Data Protection
| BBCode Reference

Lurker101 Wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Mega Blok movie planned but the pieces wouldn't fit together.

(Thanks to ObsessedwithBirds for the avatar and sig!)
My Awards
x1 x1 x2 x2 x5 x3 x1 x3 x6
My Items
#4
Because I like to cause chaos from time to time I will throw this idea out here:
Since linguistics and philosophy (along with theology, political science, law, etc) have common ties  and intertwine a lot, why not put the linguistic part in with the "Intellectual Curiosity Chamber" then have the entertainment medium (comics, music, books, and films) in with the culture forum, as popular culture is still a part of a culture.
My Awards
x1 x1
My Items
Ducking
#5
You know, an earlier version of my plan (which was more extreme than the one I ended up posting) would actually have worked something along those lines :P ! I considered breaking up 'History and Culture' completely, with all of the 'culture' stuff being merged into Entertainment (which might have been re-named to 'Entertainment and Culture'), and everything else (including the linguistics) being merged into the Intellectual Curiosity Chamber.

Because Entertainment and Culture would have been very large and broad in scope (TV + movies + music + theatre + books + art + some stuff I haven't thought of), I would probably then have split it into two somehow - but, before I figured out how to split it, I moved on to my current plan (mainly because I thought it would be less disruptive).
[Image: CJ_userbar.png]

Board Information and Policies
Affiliation | Coffee Credits | Member Ranks | Awards | Name Changes | Account Deletion
Personal Data Protection
| BBCode Reference

Lurker101 Wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Mega Blok movie planned but the pieces wouldn't fit together.

(Thanks to ObsessedwithBirds for the avatar and sig!)
My Awards
x1 x1 x2 x2 x5 x3 x1 x3 x6
My Items
#6
(01-05-2019, 11:42 PM)Kyng Wrote:
(01-05-2019, 11:09 PM)Yami Yugi Wrote: How about comics spawning from video game series, what about those? They aren't even mentioned & I know of at least a few comics based off of video games, such as: Halo, Life is Strange & more.

Those would go in with the rest of the comic threads (currently in the main 'Entertainment', forum; under this proposal, in the new 'Reading' sub-forum). 

Generally, when there's a 'crossover' like this, I'll think to myself, "What is likely to be discussed within the thread?". With those, it's likely that the discussion would centre around the comics themselves, rather than the games which spawned them.  
Ummmm.. The only problem with that thought process for at least some video game comics: is incorrect. I've read both Life is Strange comics (out of the 4 total planned) & unless you've played the game leading up to it, you have no idea what lead up to what's going on in the comic otherwise.

Also an "entertainment mecca" section would probably do better then trying to seperate every thing. Like with movies, tv shows & books they all could be in one place. The only issue with a music section is what about movie soundtracks? Does the soundtrack from a movie go in the music section or entertainment mecca section? For my two cents I'd add in the soundtracks with movies & the rest of the music in with the rest of the entertainment. Then maybe just add tags for everything to keep it straight? Just thinking here is all.

How about; this (forum) set-up: (just an idea)

*main section*
"Entertainment Mecca
*sub-forums*
-Languge & Culture
-Movies & soundtracks
(using tagging)
-(minisubforum to movies & soundtracks: ) Entertainment
(Which would include: tv, music, & reading. Also with user tagging.)
[Image: queen-17.png]

[Image: skylanders_trap_master_queenzelda_by_que...cjlsa2.png]
My Awards
x1 x1 x2 (2017, 2018) x4 x1
My Items
Rosey Oceanus Jadzia Julian Buddy Marcus
#7
Well, the video game comics thing was just meant as a rule of thumb, rather than something that needs to be followed to the letter. If there's the odd exception where you'd end up discussing the game rather than the comic, then that can be done in Gaming, but otherwise it'd be better to do it in Reading. (Though, I don't think I've read any of these comics, so it's certainly helpful to have input from people who have read them!) 

If we were to make Music its own section, then I'd personally prefer to put the soundtracks in with the music - but, I'd be happy to go along with whatever the prevailing/majority opinion on this is. (Although, I expect I won't be making 'Music' its own section, simply because it wouldn't be active enough). 

Something like the "Entertainment Mecca" could work, but I don't think it should include the linguistics stuff. Sure, it's closely related to culture - but then, so is history, and if we bring that in as well then the board will simply be too large. I'm also not keen on sub-sub-forums: I think they make navigation difficult, and I'm keen to avoid them if possible. 

I suspect much of this problem stems from the use of the word 'Culture' in the name of a forum category. It's a vaguely-defined word which has low "definitional density": it's hard to divide topics cleanly into "culture" and "not culture". By contrast, words like 'Sport' and 'Gaming' are clearly-defined with high 'definitional density': it's easy to divide topics into "sport" and "not sport", or "gaming" and "not gaming". (This was also the thinking behind my unsuccessful attempt to rename 'Health and Lifestyle' a few months back: 'Lifestyle' is even vaguer than 'Culture' and has even lower definitional density, and consequently, the board was being filled with all kinds of stuff that had little to do with its original intended purpose)

So, perhaps we could re-name 'Entertainment' to 'Entertainment and Media', and have three sub-forums along these lines: 
 
  • A sub-forum for things you watch (TV, movies, theatre, etc.);
  • A sub-forum for things you read (Books, comics, manga, etc.);
  • A sub-forum for things you listen to (Music, radio, soundtracks etc.)

The "Things you watch" board could be further sub-divided into things you watch on a screen (e.g. TV, movies) and things you watch on a stage (e.g. theatre, stand-up comedy), but the latter would be very small with little realistic potential for growth, so I don't think it's worth it right now.

(Also, if we went down this route: I'm not sure I like "Things You Watch", "Things You Read" and "Things You Listen To" as forum names. After all, minimising overlap is only one important consideration among several: it's also important for the categories to be clear and intuitive, and I'm not sure that these ones are!)
[Image: CJ_userbar.png]

Board Information and Policies
Affiliation | Coffee Credits | Member Ranks | Awards | Name Changes | Account Deletion
Personal Data Protection
| BBCode Reference

Lurker101 Wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Mega Blok movie planned but the pieces wouldn't fit together.

(Thanks to ObsessedwithBirds for the avatar and sig!)
My Awards
x1 x1 x2 x2 x5 x3 x1 x3 x6
My Items
#8
Just to update this with my latest thoughts, now that I've considered the above posts a bit more. 

I think what I'll have for the new 'Entertainment' sub-forums will be called: 
 
  • Screen and Stage
  • Music and Audio
  • Reading
As far as I'm concerned, this solves the 'soundtrack' problem. They go in Music and Audio, because, well, that's what soundtracks are :P . I get that they're connected to movies, and an important part of the movie-watching experience; however, nobody watches a soundtrack. 

This layout also gives us places for some subjects that don't yet have their own board. For example, theatre would go in Screen and Stage, while radio would go in Music and Audio.
[Image: CJ_userbar.png]

Board Information and Policies
Affiliation | Coffee Credits | Member Ranks | Awards | Name Changes | Account Deletion
Personal Data Protection
| BBCode Reference

Lurker101 Wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Mega Blok movie planned but the pieces wouldn't fit together.

(Thanks to ObsessedwithBirds for the avatar and sig!)
My Awards
x1 x1 x2 x2 x5 x3 x1 x3 x6
My Items
#9
Since I'm planning to implement this tomorrow, I thought I'd just outline the details for History and Society.

My planned forum description for it will be as follows:

Quote:Discuss our historical and cultural heritage, and our social and demographic make-up.

The first part is intended to narrow the focus of 'History and Culture', to exclude the popular culture threads that I think look out of place there. It's certainly true that popular culture is a part of culture; however, I don't think popular culture is really a part of 'cultural heritage'. There's certainly some overlap between the two; however, I don't think it's necessarily worse than the overlap between popular culture and other areas of the board (and it's definitely better than the overlap inherent in the current layout!). 

The second part is intended to give a feel for the kinds of threads that will be brought in under the 'Society' expansion. One example of a thread that will be brought in is "China's population to peak at 1.44bn", which is in Current Events and Politics right now. It doesn't look woefully out of place there; however, I'd argue that it's more a societal issue than a political issue, and it's certainly not a 'current event' (because the population peak isn't due until 2029). There's also the "Definition of 'millennials'?" thread, which I mentioned in my opening post, which fits squarely under "our social and demographic make-up". However, on reflection, I've decided that the "Moving an entire city" thread should probably stay where it is. It's an engineering project, which obviously has clear societal implications for the people concerned, but is just as much about the technology.

Hopefully that's all the details sorted now :) !
[Image: CJ_userbar.png]

Board Information and Policies
Affiliation | Coffee Credits | Member Ranks | Awards | Name Changes | Account Deletion
Personal Data Protection
| BBCode Reference

Lurker101 Wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Mega Blok movie planned but the pieces wouldn't fit together.

(Thanks to ObsessedwithBirds for the avatar and sig!)
My Awards
x1 x1 x2 x2 x5 x3 x1 x3 x6
My Items
#10
Okay, I think it's been long enough, so I've made the changes now. 

Thanks for the contributions, everybody :) !
[Image: CJ_userbar.png]

Board Information and Policies
Affiliation | Coffee Credits | Member Ranks | Awards | Name Changes | Account Deletion
Personal Data Protection
| BBCode Reference

Lurker101 Wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Mega Blok movie planned but the pieces wouldn't fit together.

(Thanks to ObsessedwithBirds for the avatar and sig!)
My Awards
x1 x1 x2 x2 x5 x3 x1 x3 x6
My Items


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)