Sunday, October 4, 2009

Spoilers make me feel like the school principal

I've been thinking for awhile about spoilers and this blog and how to handle things and before I make any blanket posts and such I'd like to get your thoughts.

A lot has changed in the larger community of Bones fans online, in Bones scheduling (Canada, oh Canada) since I last changed anything in regards to spoilers here. People are seeing the episode at different times, there are new places to talk Bones (namely the Bones Spoilers blog - which isn't just spoilers - and Twitter) that open up the community to additional places to congregate.

This post is not to talk about specific spoilers (please don't include any real ones at all) but to voice your opinions and suggestions on how spoilers are dealt with here.

My basic problem is that I want to share every single Bones-related link, video, article, etc that I find but I also want to provide a place where fans who don't like spoilers can feel free to chat about all the non-spoiler aspects of the show, including the just-aired episode, without fear of being spoiled on future events.

As an online location there are constantly new faces that have no idea how we deal with spoilers here and there are people who don't read even the clearest requests. Sometimes there is confusion about what I mean in a post warning about what not to say. I hate feeling like the principle who's constantly enforcing rules. It makes me feel like a jerk and it's not any fun for anyone.

I'd really like to create a post that I can link prominently that will explain it all, and not change what OWB has always been. Before I do that I'd like to hear from you with any ideas, thoughts, suggestions, complaints - whatever - that relates to spoilers. How would you suggest doing things differently? What do you like? What do you hate? What do you want to see? What do you wish I'd remove. It's all welcome and will help me formulate some kind of structure that's easy to read and easy to point to for any new poster.



N2seeleybooth said...

Spoilers are like a drug for me I crave them but hate that they spoil the surprise when I do get to see the show, also like a drug, I can resist if I don't have to see it so I'm not tempted like Angel said to Buffy : I'm weak"

Stephanie P. said...

I just want to say, Wendy, that I really appreciate the fact that you take the time to let us know if an article, video, etc has spoilers in it. I try very hard to stay spoiler-free and I am successful at that except for when someone talks about them where they shouldn't be.

I like your idea of a post that explains OWB--maybe some sort of "read this before posting" type of thing that is prominently linked. I am sure that there would still be a few that would slip through the cracks, but it might cut back on some of them.

Once again, I just want to thank you for this community. Without OWB, I really wouldn't have anywhere to go to read and talk Bones because it is that important to me not to know spoilers.

Anonymous said...

BB Shipper here: Wendy I agree with Stephanie P and want to join in thanking you for taking the time ask and make the solutioning collaborative. I would say think that placing a 'Read before posting' agreement of sorts in a prominent place should work to minimize spoilers..(But I still think a few will still make it through anyway but no solution is perfect)....

Justin said...

I also think it's great that you tell us where the spoliers are. Anyway, you should include that introductory post in the list you have on the side of the page, with the list of 206 Reasons to love Bones and all of that. The thing is, I didn'd notice that list until a week or two after first going on this blog. You should have it in a place where people can see it all. I think the only way to do that is to use a new blog template, where lists like that are in a place that is more visible. On top of that, a way a lot of bloggers get a point across is to put a comment at the very top of the comment page. For spoilers (people who spoil, not what they say that spoils) who actually read comments before posting, they'll see a comment like, "Remember, guys, no spoilers!" and deter from spoiling.

Anonymous said...

I like how spoilers are placed under a cut. Like 'Warning- this post contains spoilers... Click here to see/read spoiler' That way people have to option to avoid if they want to.
I personally don't mind spoilers (I think i prefer them). I often read comments about the episode before I watch it and i still find it enjoyable.

Kate said...

I feel for you, Wendy. Personally, I have been utterly spoiled (reading the sides) to spoiler-free. As such a fickle person, I like the spoiler links as I don't always scour the Internet for news. Likewise, if I'm cutting back a bit I don't have to click the link.

I wish certain people (who always seen to be anonymous) would be more forgiving. Just a few days ago, "Anon" chewed out Shep (a good contributer) for posting a spoiler link about information that has been discussed since season three! I honestly feel like I don't know what some people consider "spoilers" anymore.

I guess I wish people would just act like adults and contact Wendy for egregious violations and let the little things slide, rather than leaving nasty insults for others, whose definition of spoilers is less strict than their own.

Stephanie said...

I agree with Kate in that what some people consider spoilers is sometimes puzzling. I just recently found out that some people think the network-made promos that air on TV after the new episodes are spoilers! I like most spoilers, so I don't usually worry about them too much, but that particular one seems insane to me. Do those people consider movie trailers spoilers, too? I've always compared network promos to movie trailers.

I think it'd be okay if you just continue to say whether a video or article is spoiler-free or not and ask to please keep the spoiler dicussion to just what was revealed in the interview and leave the major speculating/other spoiling to the spoiler chats. At least this way, you could share everything while still keeping the site friendly to people who don't like to be spoiled.

I think you're doing a pretty good job with the spoilers, honestly. I mean, you ask people not to spoil on particular posts (and make that part of the text so you can't miss it,) and I think that's the most you can do. Some people will just blatantly ignore that, but most people around here seem respectful of those who chose not to be spoiled. A master "OWB Policy on Spoilers" post for new readers is a good idea, too.

em-jay said...

Any articles or information about the what will happen in the storyline are too spoiler-y for me. I like to watch the promo for the "next week's episode" because I know the nature of those tends to be slightly misleading, and therefore, I don't take too much stock in it other than an idea of what the case will be. Sometimes I'll look at the episode stills as well. The way you have all of those set up as a "click at your own risk" is very well done.

Thank you, Wendy, for being so concerned with what your blog audience likes and dislikes!

melanie said...

I'm so thankful to have found your website. I love the fact that you always warn when a spoiler is involved, and often even to what degree. So much more so than other websites, the core audience that interacts on your site is respectful, friendly, well-spoken, and follow the rules. I agree to continue with your current warnings for spoiler content, posting some sort of expectation blurb for newcomers. I'm sorry you feel like the principal, but I, as one of your loyal & frequent readers, greatly appreciate the effort!! Love being able to read about spoilers if and when I want, and yet remain spoiler-free when I don't. Thanks for such a great site!!

Gigi said...

I agree with others that there are times I read a ton of sides and spoilers and times that I am pretty much spoiler free. My Mom likes to be spoiler free so I have to be careful about talking to her anways since she watches on Friday and we watch Thursday night.

I don't think there is much more you can do. I think you have done a lot for us already. The only suggestion that *might* work is for each week posting a Spoiler free chat and another chat for posting spoilers or talking about spoilers.

One other thing is coming up with a definition of a spoiler so everyone is on the same understanding. Which could actually be in the same post/link that you put up about spoiler rules. Having a clear definition would make it so those who are trying avoid spoilers know what you consider a spoiler and what you do not. Therefore they know whether to avoid a post or not.

It is just an idea, I don't know if it could work or not. :)

Thanks again for being so awesome!

Jessica said...

I think this site is a great Bones site and I enjoy it very much, I agree with what was said in the other comments, there is always a spoilerwarning and I can´t understand why it is so difficult for some people not to post spoilers when asked not to, I like spoilers and promo´s but hey I´m Bones obsessed

cordy said...

I'm no spoiler-phob, but I appreciate the effort you make to keep this blog as spoiler free as possible. So people can decide whether they spoil themselves or not.
Like many others said before I think the only thing you can make additionally is a "read before posting" thread in a prominent place at the top of the side.

Anyway I think there is no way to solve this problem altogether.
And I don't know how others think about this but I think there is a difference between spoilers fans can get from reading the sides and the official ones from Ausiello e.g.
I don't think we have a big problem here with the first one. And with the more general spoilers like casting info people really should be more forgiving.

Leeloo said...

Personaly, I don't read spoilers. I don't like them at all. They ruin the whole thing of watching smth for the first time. I do watch the promo videos for next week's episode, but that's normal I think.

But since there are people that like spoilers, what about making a special section on your blog just for them?

Anonymous said...

i love that the i can check this site and stay spoiler-free. so i vote for keeping the spoiler warnings and spoiler-free episode discussions.

Kili Climbers said...

Maybe right under the webpage title put a notice - nobody will miss that. Post "this is a spoiler-cautious site. If you post a spoiler - you most start the posting with a spoiler warning so those wishing to remain spoiler-free can skip your post." Or something like that. People tend to skip over "Click here and read before you post" information. So if it is right under the heading of the website - in red - nobody will miss it and people will understand what this site is about.

Thanks for all your hard work!

Jeannie said...

I'm also one of the spoiler-cautious fans and I really appreciate your efforts to keep us spoiler-free unless we choose otherwise! That's a great service and one of the things that make this site so special for me.

As for general spoilers from interviews, HH, etc., I think you are already doing a great job with your very specific spoiler warnings.

The real problem are the episode discussions or non-spoiler posts when people get a little carried away and post things like "and now I'm really looking forward to that and that future storyline". By the time I read that it's usually too late and the harm is already done. ;-)

I agree that probably the best solution would be a general post on top of the page as well as the remark about the "spoiler-cautious site" that Kili suggested.

As for the promos: Last year I didn't watch any promos so I was very disappointe when people kept discussing the promos in the episode threads of the previous episode. I think Wendy is handling this great, with the promo being an extra post, and I'd prefer not discussing them in the episode threads if possible (I'm actually watching them this season but there might be others who don't and the promos usually lead to some sort of speculation about future plots anyway, so there's always the risk of spoiling too much IMO).

I think defining the different spoilers might be helpful, as already suggested by others.

And thanks to everybody who has respected us spoiler-phobs on this site! It's really appreciated.

Turtle said...

I am one of those people who sways from wanting to know everything to being spoiler free. Much to my aggravation I have very little will power. That being said I love this site. You always warn me and I make a choice to select or not. If I happen to get a spoiler unexpectedly in an unexpected place I just move on. It is going to happen because just like someone said - its hard to tell what is a spoiler??? I think most of the time when it happens someone is excited and flows along with something they read or heard. This is something I do for fun and this site is great at providing me with so much stuff that I would not know how or where to find and I really appreciate your efforts. Don't be discouraged it doesn't matter what you do with this site I will keep coming back. Thanks much!!

Pua said...

I just wanted you to know that I appreciate all you do, and that I especially love the spoiler warnings, because I can 'spoil' when I want to. My solution has always been not to read the comments, but I realize that you do not have that luxury. I think the other suggestions here sound good and I wish you luck! Thanks again for everything!

Add to Technorati Favorites