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Old 04-22-2018, 06:57 PM
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Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
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Default So what's in it for you, folks?

Hello Spherians,

Many of you are long-standing ''regulars'' here, and you look in when it suits you. When is that... Daily? Weekly? Monthly?

Participation involves a combination of posting your own work for critique, commenting on others' poems, posting on the ''boasting boards" (I don't mean that in any derogatory sense!), submitting competition entries to Drills & Amusements or striking up a conversation in General Talk.

I concede that we all have busy lives, yet some members pop up here after sometimes years of absence! How can they bear to be away from this great place for so long, I ask myself???

We have a vibrant community; our standards are high; good friendships have been forged here, and there's SO much benefit to be had from our membership of Eratosphere.

This is definitely not intended to send anyone on a "guilt trip"... on the contrary, I'd much prefer it to be regarded as a "Call to action" thing
For instance, if you have a tendency to be a ''lurker'', is there anything we can do to make you want to get more involved? If you're a lapsed member, can we entice you back? Regulars, what keeps you here?

Your thoughts - positive or negative - would be most welcome.

Jayne
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Old 04-22-2018, 11:33 PM
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Default Just saying

One quick thing Jayne: More people have read my verse, doggerel, and poetry than have read Shakespeare, maybe even the bible. So I like to throw up (!) rough work on the D & A, which gets far more hits/readers than any other click on the board. Meanwhile I continuously revise it, the exposure daring me to make it better. (Which doesn’t say anything for endurance. Someone said that the very stone one kicks will outlast Old Will.) All of us in this neighborhood must think that something in what we make is worthwhile, so why not give it away and hope for the best? Oh, and I got two books, going on four, out my time here (with one year off after I quit smoking and couldn’t write a word). Okay, Jayne, two quick things.
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:30 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Jayne,

I guess first, the Sphere offers up a broad range of contemporary English-language poetry, so I can keep one ear to what people are writing these days. Second, the threads; I find workshops entertaining in their own right, and they teach me a good deal. I studied literature for my degree but never creative writing (until a course at Iowa last year). I am starting, I hope, to get a sense of what appeals, and what does not, to a range of readers on a couple of continents. Third, you never know what you'll learn next: I just discovered datives of agent in Ancient Greek, for instance, thanks to Julie. And fourth but not last, I get priceless feedback on work of my own, which I hope makes it better suited to please an audience. So I vote yes to the Sphere.

Cheers,
John
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:49 AM
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Michael Ferris Michael Ferris is offline
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Hi, Jayne. Here are a few Monday morning musings:

I’ve been around since 2010 when I was just starting to send work out, all of it formal. I quickly discovered that I’m not good at workshopping my own writing, but I do enjoy reading others’ work and the discussions about poetry, literature, creativity and writing. I look in almost daily with my coffee, but normally I only post when I think I have something meaningful to say, or a different angle on the subject, and when a thread for some reason catches my eye. There have been some fantastic threads over the years, e.g., on 20th century poetry, and the creative process, on poets I’ve never read, etc., which I really enjoyed. Not to mention some memorable poems on the workshop boards.

I find that there is often an inverse relationship between my posting activity on the Sphere and my own writing. Also, I’m not writing formal verse anymore; that makes me question if I still ought to be posting here. I should probably be more active on non-met, which is my interest these days. Regardless, for me the Sphere has been a welcoming community of many splendid writers and interesting and intelligent people, and like John, I’ve whiled away many hours of pleasure and learning on these boards.

One thing I’ve learned about internet boards is that there is a regular churn, and as one of the best bloggers I read says, you have to embrace the churn. To live is to change; people’s lives change, their interests change, writers go through dry spells, many quit writing, some members will come back and some will stay away. You don’t step into the same river twice ... which is not of course to say that the board can’t be improved, but I have no big ideas on how to do that. Others probably do.

M

Last edited by Michael Ferris; 04-24-2018 at 04:58 PM. Reason: edits
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Old 04-23-2018, 12:55 PM
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Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is online now
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oh but perhaps we could have the met and non-met boards pruned. it's been nearly a year and somebody told me you're the suzerain of the secateurs.
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Old 04-23-2018, 12:57 PM
John Riley John Riley is online now
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Jayne,

I was away for three years or so. I couldn't participate. I couldn't read or make sense of what was posted. Then I had no interest in anything for a while. In other words, I was away because I had to be.

I post frequently, probably too frequently, and try to do my share of commenting. I don't comment every day because things change around here more slowly than they did back then, particularly at non-met.

I do wonder why I still participate. So many have left. Is there a point where all one can learn from being here is reached? Dunno.

John
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Old 04-23-2018, 01:51 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Riley View Post
Jayne,

I was away for three years or so. I couldn't participate. I couldn't read or make sense of what was posted. Then I had no interest in anything for a while. In other words, I was away because I had to be.

I post frequently, probably too frequently, and try to do my share of commenting. I don't comment every day because things change around here more slowly than they did back then, particularly at non-met.

I do wonder why I still participate. So many have left. Is there a point where all one can learn from being here is reached? Dunno.

John
A little sad to think I may have shown up in the more calm middle to late age of the Sphere. I wish I came here earlier.

I come when I can and crit when I think I have something interesting to say. I do wish we had a "Like" feature, just because sometimes I have little more to say than what someone else has said, and seeing that a specific crit isn't just shared by one person, but supported by many other silent readers would be helpful. I try to always repay those who have been kind to my work (and by that I mean have read and critted them honestly, which of course includes disliking them).

Any place that celebrates poetry is a good place, IMO.
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Old 04-23-2018, 02:20 PM
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Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
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Thank you all for your responses, Ralph, John(s), Mike and Walter.

I've also had another reply by PM, which I shall respond to privately, but which mentions 'Politics.' The sender (and I ) cringe at the political views of one or two members, but you're always going to get a variety of opinions in a community such as this. I just think the "Live and let live" approach is the best stance to take; it's certainly not worth being put off the Sphere by a few extreme views. All of us can simply steer clear of threads, or people, for which we don't feel an affinity.

Ralph,
Your contributions are regular and welcome, so keep 'em coming!

John I,
As above, to Ralph! It's great to know that you enjoy your time here.

Mike,
I, too, have had many hours of pleasure and learning here. Don't you dare stop posting. It doesn't have to be formal; write what you want to, and post when you want to!

Walter,
Pruning used to be done monthly, but that was far too regular as many members look in only now and then; anyone can ask me to prune certain threads any time, and people do, but there'll be a ''June prune'' across the boards, with a decent advance warning given first.

John R,
I understand the need for absence from the Sphere for some people, depending on situations like family commitments, health issues, etc. It's not a problem; I'm always glad to see you posting, though, and it's not too frequently.
You ask: "Is there a point where all one can learn from being here is reached?" I'd say a resounding No.

For my own part, I've made lots of friends here and I love this site, not merely because I help Alex in the administration of it. I'd like to post more work than I do (heck, I'd like to write more poems than I do) but I've been very glad of the feedback whenever I've posted poems, and I absolutely love Drills and Amusements!

I don't always manage to keep up to date with everything that's going on, so I'm very grateful to members who alert me to something that needs my attention or just a bit of a tweak, such as thread titles that have typos...

I sincerely hope that the majority of Spherians enjoy being here, regardless of how much they are able to participate.

Jayne
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Old 04-23-2018, 02:25 PM
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Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
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Andrew,

Like you, I wish I'd found Eratosphere sooner! Several years before I joined, John Whitworth told me about the site, saying what a huge number of excellent poets there were in the States, but it took me a long time to get around to checking it out.

"Any place that celebrates poetry is a good place, IMO." Well said, Andrew!

Jayne
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:30 PM
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Michael Ferris Michael Ferris is offline
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You're a good egg, Jayne. Thanks for all you do.
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