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Crowdfunding butterfly ship

ysabetwordsmith in crowdfunding

Further Discussion of the Creative Jam

Folks seem to like the idea of hosting a creative jam where everyone can play and anything goes in terms of medium.  (This discussion also has a version on Dreamwidth.) Let's discuss some further parameters.

Each session will have a theme of some kind so as to give people a starting point.  Themes are being collected on the original post.  You can suggest a favorite cause, something that's underserved by the mainstream, something you think will have widespread appeal, quirky concepts, whatever you want.  There will be a theme poll on Monday.  Currently my plan is to offer a question with checkboxes (mark all the ones you would participate in) and a question with radioboxes (mark the theme you'd like to feature first).

We need to decide some aspects of timing:
* How often should the creative jam happen?  stryck suggests once a month.
* When should sessions happen?  I suggested the last day of each month as a possibility, which gives different days of the week and doesn't conflict with an established project.  Conversely, we might consider picking a Monday or Tuesday, which tend to be high-traffic days for blogging, the way the Poetry Fishbowl is typically on the first Tuesday of each month. 
* How long should each session run?  stryck suggests a 24-hour period from noon to noon, similar to Sketch Fest.  Torn World's Muse Fusion has a weekend span.

Ideally, we'll reach parameters for timing that maximize the number of people who can participate, both as prompters and as creators.  Nobody is expected to participate in every  session; you can pick and choose based on your interest in the themes and/or your schedule availability.  The goal is to attract a large enough pool of people that we can cycle through different folks over time and still have a good level of activity each session.

Since this community is all about crowdfunding, we should cover that too.  Probably some creators will want to post a free sample, so that the audience has something to enjoy.  Likewise many creators will want to make some items available for sponsorship in various ways.  (If you don't want to post a whole item for free, consider an excerpt such as the beginning of a story or detail of a picture.)  Do we want those posted in comments/replies under the jam session post, as new posts within the community, as new posts on the creator's site, etc.?  If items are posted elsewhere, they should at least be linked from comments/replies under the jam session post so that they're easier to find. 

Another crowdfunding aspect is that there are lots of established projects with unique characters, settings, etc.  Some of those have relatively open participation (like the shared-world Torn World) while others are the work of one person.  If creators want to do something from one of their own settings, or prompters want to request something from a favorite project, those are welcome along with new or one-shot items.  The Muse Fusion has a rule that prompters aren't allowed to request a specific creator for their prompts.  Do we want to instate that rule for our creative jam too?

Most projects have perks, sometimes different ones for individual supporters vs. collective audience.  Some creators will probably use their favorite perks.  Do we want to consider some kind of collective perk, maybe based on activity level -- number of creators participating, number of prompters participating, number of items posted, etc.?

A followup post after each session would be helpful, though it's not required.  Those take some work to compile, but they make it easier to track progress and look at all the goodies.  If someone would like to volunteer for this, please speak up.  I may not have time for it myself.

What do we want to call this?  I used "panjam" and "creative jam" in my original post.  "Crowdfunding Creative Jam" would be a little more specific to the community.  Other suggestions are also welcome.

Do we want an icon to advertise the project?  Both the Poetry Fishbowl and Muse Fusion have session icons, and the Crowdfunding community has a variety of "Crowdfunding" icons.  Once we've picked a name, artists and other icon makers could devise some possibilities that people could use, and we could vote on an "official" one.

If you have other ideas, suggestions, questions, etc. then please speak up.  In particular, think of the projects you host and/or support, to see if they do things that might be helpful here.


POLL QUESTIONS

What should this project be called?
- Crowdfunding Creative Jam
- Creative Jam
- PanJam

Which of the 15 themes would you participate in? (checkboxes)
Which theme do you most want to do first? (radiobuttons)

How long should each session run?
- 24 hours, from noon to noon
- 48 hours
- weekend, Friday night to Monday morning

When should each session run?
- last day(s) or weekend of the month
- third Monday or weekend of the month
- some other time, consistent each month
- some other time, flexible each month

Working from prompts, should creators be REQUIRED to post at least an excerpt free?
- Yes
- No

Working from prompts, should creators be REQUIRED to share the resulting material with the prompter?
- Yes
- No

Where should creative material resulting from prompts appear?
- Entire content pasted directly into a reply to the prompt under the main post.
- Only an excerpt in a reply to the prompt, linking to full content elsewhere on Crowdfunding.
- Only an excerpt in a reply to the prompt, linking to full content elsewhere on creator's site.
- Separate message on Crowdfunding, linked in reply to prompt (no excerpt).
- Separate message on creator's site, linked in reply to prompt (no excerpt).

Should there be a time limit for creating work based on a claimed prompt?
- No, creativity takes however long it takes.
- Yes, one hour.
- Yes, one day.
- Yes, one week.
- Yes, some other timeframe.

May creators treat someone else's prompt response as a new prompt (i.e. sketch inspiring story)?
- Yes
- No

May prompters request a specific creator?
- No, all prompts must be general enough for any creator to use anywhere.
- Yes, but everyone else may still use that prompt if they wish.
- Yes, and only the named person may claim that prompt to post resulting material.

May prompts specify a particular character, world, etc.?
- No, all prompts must be general enough for any creator to use anywhere.
- Yes, but creators may use the prompt for something else anyway and post resulting material.
- Yes, and creators must use the particulars specified in order to post resulting material.
- Only for characters/worlds/etc. whose original creators explicitly give permission.

How many people may make use of the same prompt?
- Only the first creator to claim the prompt, for maximum spread of creators over prompts.
- Everyone who wants to use it, for maximum flexibility of creator choice in inspiration.

Comments

I think once a month is right; I don't have a particular preference on what day; last of the month is kind of fitting, I think. I think 24 hours is a good time span, though I'd also be cool with adding a few more hours.

I agree that at least a pointer should be posted on the original post, because otherwise it will get too hard to find things. If someone acts on a prompt, they should reply to it and point to the location of the portion they intend to share; it should be required that some portion be shared free as part of participating.

I think that, while creators should be free to play in whatever worlds they wish for their work, that being part of creativity, I think having prompts be so specific has the opposite effect on creativity; I think prompts should be at least potentially useful to anyone.

I'm not sure that any group perk is going to really work; I think it's best to leave the perks to individuals.

I know I don't have the time/patience to do a follow-up post, though I will appreciate it if someone else does!

I don't have any name suggestions. I think that PanJam has a nice ring, but there's something to be said for the simple clarity of Creative Jam, too. I think adding crowdfunding makes it too bulky.

I think an icon would be nice.

Sorry, I'm having a bad day for inspiration. :(

Okay...

Thanks for your input. I've added a list of questions and choices to the post, based on people's suggestions.
This is a great idea. I think a key to success would be to encourage people of all skill levels to play. I think that's a huge part of the success of SketchFest.

As to prompts for particular projects, if we allow them, it might help for folks like Torn World or Aldersprig to say either "I/we welcome fanfic" or "If you want to do something inspired by my/our world, please use your own characters and create your won world." Torn World has a place for non-canon work, for instance, where people could share things inspired by, but not consistent with, that world. Though this could be complicated to police (and upsetting if there was a need to police it too)...I guess I'm still thinking about this issue.

Regarding scheduling, once a month is probably good. One possibility would be to run the Creative Jam from Sunday into Monday, perhaps for 48 hours instead of 24, so that people who have day jobs and people whose weekends are always taken would both have a chance to participate.

The last of the month could be problematic for many people in some months, and I think, for at least the first few months, we should try to pick dates that will build momentum, rather than be sabotaged by holiday parties (Halloween and New Years come to mind).

I do like "Creative Jam" better than "PanJam".

Thoughts

>> I think a key to success would be to encourage people of all skill levels to play. I think that's a huge part of the success of SketchFest.<<

I agree.

>>Though this could be complicated to police (and upsetting if there was a need to police it too)...I guess I'm still thinking about this issue.<<

It would be difficult to "police" anything here, and probably more inclined to discourage than encourage creativity. (I suspect we'll be lucky if people even read the guidelines before posting prompts.) It's also more complex than will fit in a poll yet, but people can continue to discuss it.

Timing and other points have been added to the list of poll questions/answers. Thanks for your input.

*laugh*

I am now imagining several jars of jam behind a slice of bread, with apricot-strawberry-grape-etc. spread in swaths, and then the text caption. Hee!

Some thoughts

Once a month sounds good.
I think it would be a really good idea to have it run 48 hours (or weekend) rather than 24. It keeps on happening with Sketch Fest that people go "I'd love to take part but THAT ONE DAY this month I have something else"... Though if the 24 hours limit is just for leaving prompts, and creating and posting things can happen later, that would help, too.

"Working from prompts, should creators be REQUIRED to post at least an excerpt free?"
Do you mean an excerpt from each story, or an excerpt of the sum total?

Personally, I'd favour a requirement of "must show the result to the person who wrote the prompt", with public posting being optional.

For the love of kittens, please no posting every single reply to a prompt in the community as a new post. That would be a horribly overwhelming flood.

A rule of either "you must post your reply as a comment" or "you must post your reply on your own site, and link to it from a comment" exclusively seems too restrictive to me.
Person A posts stuff on their own site/journal, and would prefer feedback in one place, so a rule that the whole thing must be posted in a comment would be offputting.
Person B doesn't want to post their work publicly (yet), so a rule that would mean they'd have to make a "I wrote a story/drew a picture based on prompt X" in their own journal and link to it from a comment would be silly.

I'm not really certain if by "prompt responses" you mean a comment (with "I made something!", maybe an excerpt, maybe the whole thing), or the finished work itself.

Regarding requesting a specific creator, I see no problem with that provided it's an optional add-od, not exclusive. "I'm curious what [person] makes of this", not "I don't want to see anyone but [person] having a go at this".

Requesting a character or setting, similarly, as an optional add-on might work... "[general prompt] (in [setting]/featuring [character] if you're familiar with them)" - people who aren't could still use the general part.
There's nothing wrong with a request limited to a particular setting or character here and thre, but there'd be a potential of things getting cliqueish and unfriendly to newbies who aren't familiar if there are too many of them, and I'm not sure if something like like "You may leave 1 specific-character/setting based prompt for any X general ones" would make things too complicated.

Re: Some thoughts

>>A rule of either "you must post your reply as a comment" or "you must post your reply on your own site, and link to it from a comment" exclusively seems too restrictive to me. <<

Where to post the material needs to be consistent, or the result is likely to be chaos. I think that it should be the creator's option whether to share an excerpt or complete item, or not at all, so that would reduce the chance of conflicts. If someone just wanted to say "I wrote a drabble based on this prompt, but it's not ready to share yet," that would be fine. But it depends on how people vote for some other questions.

>>I'm not really certain if by "prompt responses" you mean a comment (with "I made something!", maybe an excerpt, maybe the whole thing), or the finished work itself.<<

I meant work created from a prompt (or an excerpt thereof) and have tried to clarify that in the polling notes. Comments like "I'm claiming prompt X" or "I drew a sketch" without elaboration, or brief descriptions, are basic parts of the call-for-prompts project model.

>>Regarding requesting a specific creator, I see no problem with that provided it's an optional add-od, not exclusive. "I'm curious what [person] makes of this", not "I don't want to see anyone but [person] having a go at this".<<

I revised that question to account for a range of options.

>>Requesting a character or setting, similarly, as an optional add-on might work... "[general prompt] (in [setting]/featuring [character] if you're familiar with them)" - people who aren't could still use the general part.<<

Also expanded.

>>There's nothing wrong with a request limited to a particular setting or character here and thre, but there'd be a potential of things getting cliqueish and unfriendly to newbies who aren't familiar if there are too many of them,<<

I agree. I prefer maximum flexibility and minimum rules -- but I'm hoping that people will post mostly flexible prompts and not make it look like we should've set more rules.

>> and I'm not sure if something like like "You may leave 1 specific-character/setting based prompt for any X general ones" would make things too complicated.<<

Probably too complicated.

However, for Sketch Fest I often leave 1-2 Torn World prompts out of my 5. One went something like "Torn World: a mischievous snow-unicorn foal climbs a cliff while a ranger looks on in horror." Now, that has specific implications in the target setting -- but anyone could say, "Hey, I wanna draw a unicorn on a cliff!" and do that. It would just turn out differently, which is fine.

Worth noting is that creators do frequently use parts of prompts instead of the whole thing, or mix and match several prompts to create a single item. That makes it much easier to repurpose prompts targeted at a given world or creator, as long as creators are allowed to tweak prompts as desired. It makes the inspiration a lot more usable.
I'm of two minds on the question of prompters requesting work based on a creator's characters, worlds, etc. On the one hand, I see ankewehner's point about confusing those who aren't familiar with a creator's previous work...but on the other, allowing such prompts might encourage new patrons to check out those settings and give their creators new followers. So I suppose the next step is to decide which of those options gives the bigger benefit.

Well...

I have refined the poll notes somewhat to give a range of options on those questions. I think that maximum flexibility will encourage maximum participation. Hopefully there will be enough general prompts that a few specific ones will be welcome rather than annoying.

I'm hoping people will vote to allow the specific prompts to be posted and anyone can use them or take parts for reframing in other contexts. I might say "snow-unicorn" aiming at Torn World creators, but I don't see a problem with someone else just using the "unicorn" part.
A bit of a drive-by, as I am wrangling hanging hardware and crown molding today, but I have some thoughts!

~I would limit world-specific requests to those worlds who have explicitly invited them and are allowing other creators to play in them, and make a post prior to the creative jam asking creators and world-builders to make that clear and give an introduction to their world in the comments. I'm not picky about my projects, and would invite (to use the example above) someone to come up with their own version of a snow-unicorn, but there are creators who have more possessive feelings about their creations and if someone asks for something specific to their world they're going to feel bent out of shape by someone getting it 'wrong', or for using even the seed of their idea to potentially profit. If we make a distinction between 'okay to prompt from' and 'not okay,' that may forestall any drama. It may also be a nice opportunity to introduce community members to our projects and let them know that fanworks are okay.

(Eek, more later, have to run now...)

Okay...

>>I would limit world-specific requests to those worlds who have explicitly invited them and are allowing other creators to play in them, and make a post prior to the creative jam asking creators and world-builders to make that clear and give an introduction to their world in the comments. <<

I have added this option for the relevant question above.