• Want to support a good cause? Visit https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ to see how you can help the Black Lives Matter movement, even without donating.
  • No paparazzi clickbait here! Just a good old fashioned feature with exactly zero gossip about celebrities' love lives. Honest.Check out our spotlight of Rhema's storylocke, As Above, So Below.
  • One of our new features includes receiving a message on Discord when you have alerts. Find out how, here!
  • Have you seen our Stream tab? It let's you peek in and chat with our forum streamers on-site, from both Twitch AND Picarto! You can even view multiple streams at once. You can submit your own channel via Streams > Submit Channel.
  • If you're a fan of giving and recieving constructive criticism check out this resource about Critique Level Tags!
  • The results are in for the Nuzlocke Forums Extravaganza! Congratulations to everyone that placed this year!

  • Episode Eight of The Writer's Locke podcast is now available for stream or download! This episode bids adieu to another story and welcomes in a new one. Protagonists also star in our discussion segment!
  • New here and still figuring out the site? Check out the New User Guide and FAQ for some help!
  • Trying to figure out how the different forums have changed? This thread is the place for you.

Serious Nuzlocke Writing Community Research Project

Thread Description
Seeking volunteers to participate in an academic research project on the forum's writing community

Erberor

The Wiggle Stabber
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
184
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
111
Location
Somewhere, Probably
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
He
Pokémon Type
Psychic, Rock
Pokédex Entry
Exercise extreme caution: May stab in the feels and wiggle the knife.
Hello, everyone, I'm Erb, and I'm here today to inform you that I am going to be conducting an academic research project on the Nuzlocke forum community. I am focusing this research at large on the subculture surrounding storylockes/written runs, though I'm open to look into other group dynamics as well. At present, I have some theories I want to investigate about user engagement and how it relates to community contribution and content creation, but my observations could take me in any direction. in the simplest terms, I will be observing the community and how people in it communicate, collaborate and function within the group.

However, I cannot and will not be collecting any data, be it observations or text samples, from anyone from whom I haven't gotten explicit consent. Over the next few weeks (through to the 20th of March) I will be recruiting people to participate in the research. If you are willing to participate in the research, please follow the link below to sign a consent form. You will need to provide an email (ONLY so I can send you a copy of the consent form for record keeping, which the university is pretty adamant about), and you will need to sign off as being over 18 and legally able to consent (again, university requirements). Otherwise, you don't need to give me anything other than permission and your username.

There are three kinds of data I need to gather: general observations (basically me taking notes on interactions between people), text samples (direct quotations of what people write), and interviews (which I am supposed to conduct via voice chat for reasons that aren't entirely clear). All of these observations types are opt-in: I cannot quote you directly if you only give me permission to make observations, for example. There's a spot on the form to indicate what you want to opt into.

You may indicate that you wish to remain totally anonymous, in which case I will create a false name to refer to you in the research paper.

Please follow this link if you wish to participate in the research

I want to again make it completely clear that I will not collect any form of data or observation about anyone who does not sign the above form. If you don't want to participate, then feel free to go about your business and I won't so much as take a note about you.

Major thanks to anyone who volunteers to participate, I really appreciate it. If you have any questions about the research, feel free to leave a comment in this thread, send me a PM, or message me on Discord at Erberor#3518

Now, one last thing before I go. I want to be open with all of you about the research, what I find, and what I conclude. As I start bringing things together and drawing connections, I will post updates in this thread discussing my thoughts and findings (in general terms, no quotes will go up here) so I can be transparent with what I'm doing and thinking, and so you can give feedback on it, because if I start drawing any bad conclusions, I'd like for someone here to point me in the right direction.

Alright, thanks again, and happy Nuzlocking. Don't die.
 
Last edited:

Abigail

Harmony Princess (ハーモニープリンセス Hāmonīpurinsesu)
Artist
Writer
Pokédex No.
1180
Caught
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
75
Location
Viridian City
Nature
Adamant
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fire, Ice
Pokédex Entry
A girl with magical abilities, Abigail is willing to help her friends no matter the problem.
Great. I missed this! But's it OK. Besides, I don't update often.
 

Bug

👉😎👉
Administrator
Moderator
Artist
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
1
Caught
May 13, 2019
Messages
997
Location
in a pile of bugs
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Bug, Cute
Pokédex Entry
oh fuck oh shit my dots...............................................................................................................................
I’m excited to see what you conclude. I think it will make a good, friendly discussion.
 

Erberor

The Wiggle Stabber
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
184
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
111
Location
Somewhere, Probably
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
He
Pokémon Type
Psychic, Rock
Pokédex Entry
Exercise extreme caution: May stab in the feels and wiggle the knife.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Hey, so I thought I'd take a moment to share what I've been working on (in part because I'm in crunch time for the first part of the essay that's due tomorrow and I need to take a break without getting out of "the zone"). At the moment, pretty much all I'm writing about is how the community fits nicely into the definition of a "Discourse Community", which is a concept in writing studies used to study how people communicate. Basically a Discourse Community has the following qualities
  1. has a broadly agreed set of common public goals.
  2. has mechanisms of intercommunication among its members.
  3. uses its participatory mechanisms primarily to provide information and feedback.
  4. utilizes and hence possesses one or more genres in the communicative furtherance of its aims.
  5. in addition to owning genres, it has acquired some specific lexis (that is to say specialized terminology)
  6. has a threshold level of members with a suitable degree of relevant content and discoursal expertise.
Which is to say that there are goals, there are ways of talking to each other, we... talk to each other, we have specialized types of writing used to communicate in recurring situations (more on this later), we have unique vocabulary, and there are people who have been here long enough to know how things work.

To be perfectly honest, I don't really see the point of it all, but that's probably because explaining the actual importance of the Discourse Community as a model is beyond the scope of a 101 class or something. Regardless, this is what I've been working on.

Why don't I start with goals. This has been a bit hard to pin down, but I've come to three core reasons why we're all here (beyond just "it's fun", that's not really specific enough): We want to be better writers, we want people to engage with our writing, and we want to hang out with like-minded people. I'm not super satisfied with this answer, though I can't really figure out why.

number 2 is obvious, we have the forums, we have private messages, and those of us who use the discord server use that as well.

3 kind of touches on my broader interest in the role of comments (as in comments on stories), but I don't really get to go into that until the next phase of the project.

Now genres are a bit of an interesting point, because it's not talking about typical literature genres. Rather, it describes a sort of writing "template" that is used in recurring situations to communicate more effectively. The clearest example of this I can find is the ruleset that precedes just about every story on the forums. It's all over the place, and they tend to follow similar structures. All of them exist to explain to the reader the conditions of the challenge. Story feedback comments could also be considered a genre, I think, though it's a lot less clear with those.

Now I don't know if you've noticed, but we have a lot of community exclusive words. You know, stuff that makes sense here but almost nobody outside of these forums would understand. Shiny clause, notepad clause, wedlocke, duolocke, the term nuzlocke itself, the list goes on. We use all of these terms to communicate complicated ideas quickly. When you start breaking it down, it's amazing just how many terms we use on a regular basis don't make any sense to outsiders (I ran into a particularly interesting example in a preliminary assignment where I was laying out some of the terms I use in D&D, and I suddenly realized that the concept of a "character build" would be totally foreign to people without a background in tabletop or video games)

Oh yeah and then there's the last requirement which is just "there are experienced people yes, some of us have been here longer than others".

So, that's more or less what I've been working on. I do have some thoughts on the vital role that story feedback comments play in the community, but I'm going to have to save that for another time, because I really need to get back to writing this draft.
 

Erberor

The Wiggle Stabber
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
184
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
111
Location
Somewhere, Probably
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
He
Pokémon Type
Psychic, Rock
Pokédex Entry
Exercise extreme caution: May stab in the feels and wiggle the knife.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Alright, so I've had this done for about a week now and I figure I ought to finally share it. If you're up to reading six pages of academic stuff, here's my essay.


Now, I suppose it's worth saying that I didn't really discover anything new. Maybe if I'd had more time I could have figured out something more interesting, but as it stands this is basically an academic dissection of the truth we all know: Comments = good. So let's do comments, everyone.

Anyway, it's worth discussing the matter of engagement in simpler terms, and to go a bit beyond what I did in the essay. You may have noticed that I cited one source pretty extensively, and that's because that one study was what kicked off the whole project. Basically, I read its ideas about how engagement leads to member contributions in the form of content and knowledge developments and started thinking about how around here,writing content is more or less the norm. You don't get nearly as much pure lurking around here as you do in other communities, as far as I can tell.

To make a long essay short, I argue that around here, the key contributions made by really engaged community members aren't content but feedback, so, they write comments.

While I think this is pretty interesting in an academic perspective, it of course doesn't really reveal much to us, and it certainly doesn't get into how to actually increase engagement into a community. That study I kept referencing does propose a few factors that likely contribute toward it, though (the paper in question is The Central Role of Engagement in Online Communities, but I rather doubt most people will be able to access it without paying given that it's a scholarly article, I only have access to it through my university). The authors mention three big contributors to high engagement in online communities, community identification, Self-identity verification, and what they call knowledge self-efficacy. I don't know that these can be considered absolutes, but I think they make sense, and there's a developing pool of empirical evidence that these factors are super important, so here they are.

Community identification, in their own words, "refers to the extent to which one's personal identity overlaps with the positive traits, abilities, and values of a community", which is probably one of the most straightforward explanations in the entire paper. One way this helps people become more engaged is because it can help people see actions that are good for the community as furthering their own goals, as opposed to just being community obligations. I suppose that this could play into the commenting dynamic by making people want to drop comments all over the place because they feel it's the right thing to do? I think the theory is sound, I'm just not totally sure how it might work in our own commenting social dynamic.
'
Self identity verification kind of stands in contrast to community identification, in a way. It's all to do with how a person believes the community perceives them as compared to what they consider their true identity. I guess one way to put it would be that it's a measure of how closely the face you put forward matches your true identity. Any dissonance there makes it a lot harder to feel like you're really accepted in a community, because, I mean, you're fitting in, but is that really you? This element is important both because it makes a person feel "at home" in the community, and for how it makes a person feel more sure that their own contributions to discussions and such are going to go well and be valued, and that they won't get backlash for expressing their real self. The paper puts this really well when it says "before people can feel engaged, they must believe that expressing their preferred identity will not bring harm or ridicule". So in the most basic sense it's about acceptance. Personally, I think this is probably a very important factor, if only because it might be the biggest roadblock to my own engagement here.

For a long time now I've been a bit terrified that I would be ostracized if it ever came out that, I'm just going to go out and say it, I'm Christian, and what most people know as a Mormon at that (technically a misnomer but that's not at all relevant). When I read this part of the article, I kinda sat back and wondered "maybe that's part of why I struggle to comment and really engage with the community". I mean, I love this place, y'all are amazing. I just never felt like I was really part of it, and even though my religious identity has pretty much zero bearing on how I comment on a quality piece of niche Pokemon death fiction, I now think part of why I sometimes wouldn't drop a comment is because I didn't feel sure my input would be valued, which ties back into what I was saying earlier. Feeling at home and valued for one's identity makes a person more confident when contributing to the conversation.

Of course, logically speaking, this fear is fairly baseless and absolutely more the fault of my own anxiety than anyone here. Again, y'all amazing. Every last one of you, I love ya. Still, I think that dissonance I felt between my identity and the identity I was putting forward made it harder for me to be really engaged. Alright, example over.

Finally, there's knowledge self-efficacy, which is a really fancy way of saying that you're confident in your ability to contribute meaningfully. I think in most scenarios this would mean feeling confident in your knowledge of a subject or your ability to produce quality content, but this community doesn't thrive on content as much as feedback. I think around here, the relevant issue is whether people feel confident in their ability to give meaningful feedback. And this is a real issue I've seen people discussing. Sometimes people don't leave comments because they feel they can't give a good enough comment. I've heard it said that there's this perception that a comment has to be a great big thing that's super long and well thought out, and that is definitely not true. I am here to tell you right now that leaving a 10 word comment that pretty much says "hey I read this and I thought it was cool" is super valuable and will still make the author all soft inside. So go give feedback! Drop a comment on that run you're only halfway through, leave likes, and tell people they write good! That feedback is what makes this community thrive!


TLDR: Comments good


Alright, that's about all I have for you today. I should probably get going and get to the other essay I've put off by writing this mini-essay for y'all.
 

Bug

👉😎👉
Administrator
Moderator
Artist
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
1
Caught
May 13, 2019
Messages
997
Location
in a pile of bugs
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
he/him
Pokémon Type
Bug, Cute
Pokédex Entry
oh fuck oh shit my dots...............................................................................................................................
This is good stuff, and it’s surprising the hidden wealth of writings about what makes internet and fandom communities tick.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top