Around the Year in 52 Books discussion

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Archives > [2018] Voting for 15th Mini-Poll

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message 1: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3823 comments Mod
Voting is now open!

The entire Around the Year challenge list is generated by the group members. We enjoyed the process so much in the past two years that we are creating another list for 2018.

The Process:
The topics for the 2018 RC list will be determined through around 13 mini-polls. Each user will vote for their favorite 4 topics in each mini-poll). Suggestions for each poll will be opened until 15-20 suggestions are received+seconded. Then a poll will be opened for voting for four days so you can select your 4 favorite suggestions. The process has been unpredictable this year but we are striving for a completed list in November.

The Rules:
- Voting ends October 7
- One vote per poll per member
- Please pick your top and bottom THREE for this poll
- If you vote for the fiction/non-fiction, two-week prompt then that counts as two picks. So you would pick that plus one other prompt

Poll Entries:
- A book with a title that is a whole sentence
- A non-fiction book and a fiction book covering the same topic (2 weeks)
- A book where the geographical setting is central to the writing or plot
- A book involving or set at a circus, carnival or amusement park
- Spin the tbr wheel for your next read
- A book with a black cover
- A book featuring a game as a main element or has game in the title
- A favorite author of your favorite author
- A book with a character featured in a previous/other book by the author
- A book that makes you think
- A book where the main character is in another age category than you
- A book featuring a murder/murders (fiction or non-fiction, any genre)
- A book about natural disasters
- A book you consider a “guilty pleasure”
- A book where a character goes by a higher, honorific or professional title
- A book related to an animal (on the cover, in the title, or as a companion or character)
- A book that passes the Mako Mori test
- A biography / memoir / autobiography
- A book with the theme of human vs. nature or human vs. their environment
- A book with some mode of transportation pictured on the cover (i.e. plane, train, boat, bike, rickshaw, etc.)

Helpful Links:
- Whole sentence titles: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/3...
- Books that make you think: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...
- Mako Mori Test: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Survey Link:
http://www.surveymoz.com/s/MMEDM/


message 2: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Sterling | 452 comments Hmmm... this is a difficult one. I actually found it very easy to pick my four bottom choices, but then I remembered we only get three this time, so I'm going to have to narrow that down.

As for the top two to three choices, that is much more difficult. There aren't any that just jump out at me as prompts I just have to have, but there were eight that I liked enough to put in my top, so once again, I need to narrow them down. I haven't done that yet, but overall, I'm pretty happy with our choices this time.

As much as I enjoy the suggesting and voting process, at this point, I'm kind of ready to have a completed list and get my books lined out, or at least narrowed down, so that I will be ready to start the challenge on January 1st! :)


message 3: by Jackie, Solstitial Mod (new)

Jackie | 1275 comments Mod
For my top I went with the whole sentence title, involving or set in a circus/carnival/amusement park, and the black cover. I pulled them mostly for their scavenger hunt aspects. I'd be fine with most of the list though.

I didn't feel very strongly against anything so I just put the three least inspiring things in the bottom. The Mako Mori test is interesting in theory, but I think a large portion of my tbr would qualify so that wouldn't be very limiting.


message 4: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2633 comments Very difficult vote for me. I had only 3 or 4 that I liked, and quite a few that would have been easy bottom 3 picks. It was hard to decide which 3 I was least excited for.


message 5: by Jill (new)

Jill (dogbotsmum) | 913 comments Difficult to choose a top 3 as there are quite a few I would be interested in.
The bottom 3 were easy . The Mako Mori test one I feel is the same as 2016 challenge week 14. A strong female character. The memoir one I feel is the same as 2015 challenge week 28 . The book that makes you think doesn't mean much to me ,as when I read , I find myself thinking. There are a few others I hope don't get in , but will still be ok with.


message 6: by Peter (last edited Oct 03, 2017 03:27PM) (new)

Peter | 0 comments Ooops, I definitely did not read all the way through the first post before I voted, and picked 4 like the other polls....

Mods, should I revote with three picks and you will just ignore results from answers with 4 picks?


message 7: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3823 comments Mod
I can't see individual votes. Just tell me your #4 choices and I can remove them from my tally. You can post here or just send me a message if you'd prefer.


message 8: by Katie (new)

Katie | 2369 comments Somehow having to pick a top and bottom 3 was way harder than picking 4.


message 9: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2633 comments Katie wrote: "Somehow having to pick a top and bottom 3 was way harder than picking 4."

I thought the same thing! Especially with one option counting for two votes, potentially. I had to keep in mind that if I voted for or against (in my case, against) that one, it would really limit me. Can't wait to see the finished list!


message 10: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3823 comments Mod
Just a heads up, the thread with the close call and polarizing topics has been updated to include the polarizing list. That can be found in the first reply.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 11: by Vicky (new)

Vicky D (readingwithmrsd) | 23 comments Oh, I’m so sorry. I too didn’t read this properly and picked four instead of three.
Could you please remove the following from your tally:
Top: another age category from you
Bottom: animal
Sorry to make extra work for you!


message 12: by °~Amy~° (new)

°~Amy~° (amybooksit) | 2872 comments For me, this was the least exciting poll that we have had so far. I think maybe it's poll burnout? I picked the two character based prompts because we have NONE of those yet. I think it's a hole that needs to be filled. The third one I chose was a black cover. I currently have 15 black covers just on my physical book shelf. I can't imagine how many are on my kindle. I may have to use the tbr wheel to narrow down the choices of which to read.

I hope that this is the final poll. I too want to see the final list so I can start compiling books.


message 13: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Sterling | 452 comments Finally voted, but it was hard. I really wish this had been a normal poll with four choices for top & bottom. I understand that with only three spots left, it makes more sense to only pick three, but I had four bottom choices right off the bat, and was able to narrow down my top choices to four fairly easily, too.

Picking that last one to kick out of both my top & bottom choices was much more difficult. For the bottom four, it ultimately came down to kicking out the one that I had some of in my TBR list so that I could find something there if I needed to. For the top, it wasn't that easy & I went back and forth quite a bit before finally just picking one to push out.

As I mentioned before, there are quite a few that I would be happy with if they make the top three, though, so as long as my bottom three don't make it, I think I'll be fairly satisfied with the results.


message 14: by Katie (new)

Katie | 2369 comments I'm in the same boat as you, Amy. I felt kind of uninspired making my voting choices. And it was interesting to me that it took 3 whole days to get to 20 suggestions. I wonder if a lot of people felt it was difficult to come up with fresh suggestions at this point in the game. I was trying to get my family to help me come up with suggestions, and everything they suggested was, "that's already been in a past challenge" or "that was already suggested & didn't get voted in."


message 15: by Jillian (new)

Jillian | 1636 comments I'm definitely feeling burnt out with the polls and really hope this will be the last one. 17 polls are a lot (15 regular polls, pre-poll and tie breaker).


message 16: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Tarulis | 27 comments Completed the survey, and then realized I'm terrible at following directions (sorry!)


message 17: by °~Amy~° (new)

°~Amy~° (amybooksit) | 2872 comments Katie wrote: "I'm in the same boat as you, Amy. I felt kind of uninspired making my voting choices. And it was interesting to me that it took 3 whole days to get to 20 suggestions. I wonder if a lot of people fe..."

I was surprised how long it took to get 20 suggestions. I was sure we would get a rush of repeat topics suggested amid a flurry of end-of-polls excitement....boy was I wrong! It was so quiet I thought I heard crickets in the suggestion thread. I think we are all just done. I swear if there is only one or two winners this round and we have to go again, I will cry!


message 18: by Emily, Conterminous Mod (new)

Emily Bourque (emilyardoin) | 7011 comments Mod
I think there's a definite correlation between the amount of time the suggestions thread was open and the lack of super inspired poll options. This had to have been one of our longer suggestion threads (in terms of days available... I'm not sure, but it certainly feels like it was). I'm excited to see the final list. I don't really read in order, but I do find the order interesting!


message 19: by Jackie, Solstitial Mod (new)

Jackie | 1275 comments Mod
I wonder if it's a lack of new ideas, or just fewer people participating in the suggestions. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like for each poll there have been fewer and fewer people involved in the suggestions process.


message 20: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Jones | 1346 comments I'm definitely out of new /original / exciting ideas. But I'm not tired of voting!!


message 21: by Charity (new)

Charity (faeryrebel78) | 552 comments I'm in the "hope this is the last poll" group. I enjoy the voting process every year but I'm burnt out at this stage in the game. I'm just ready for the final list so I can get my books ready and focus on finishing more books this year.


message 22: by Manda (new)

Manda (bookwenchmanda) | 1094 comments I can't say that I am burnt out, but this year the process has been a lot more negative than it has in the past. I don't dread the suggestions or the polls, I dread the proceeding messages from several individuals that seem to tear others or their suggestions apart, or that are just drenched in bleak outlook. I've wondered if people have stopped contributing because they don't want to have to deal with this.

Things have gotten better since the mods had to intervene a month or so ago (or was it longer?), but there still seems to be an overall negative tone this year.


message 23: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Manda, I 100% agree. I haven't talked as much or submitted as many ideas for that exact reason. It's hard not to take an attack on a prompt personally. Maybe next year we can encourage people to explain what prompts they like and why, rather than sharing which ones we don't like. Focus on the positives!


message 24: by Vicky (new)

Vicky D (readingwithmrsd) | 23 comments Manda wrote: "I can't say that I am burnt out, but this year the process has been a lot more negative than it has in the past. I don't dread the suggestions or the polls, I dread the proceeding messages from sev..."

Yes, I stopped reading the comments after the first couple of polls. That way I could still enjoy the process.


message 25: by Hélène (last edited Oct 04, 2017 04:25PM) (new)

Hélène | 170 comments I completely agree with Manda and Nicole.


message 26: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (seejessread) | 144 comments I'm so excited to have the whole list soon. I came in around week 10 to voting and I have never been so glued to goodreads! I've been working on my lists for each topic so I have a better chance of finishing next year!!! How long does it generally take before the list is compiled in the order?


message 27: by Zaz (new)

Zaz | 3034 comments Jessica > the mods are already working on it, so if this last poll isn't another complicated one, the final list should be released this month.


message 28: by Peter (new)

Peter | 0 comments I've been finding books for each topic as we go. At this point the only one I haven't got an idea for is the Goodreads Choice Awards, which haven't happened yet. There are a bunch that are very likely to be swapped out either because there are other more interesting options or I can't find a copy of the book and I'm sure I'll make changes to my list well into 2018. I'm looking forward to getting the final list in order. I'm sure I'll find more books to add to my TBR when other people start posting their plans!

I have to agree with Manda too. Something else I noticed more this year than previous years was people posting very detailed reasons for and against specific options in the voting thread. While it has always been fun to speculate on the outcome and post wishful thinking, this year there were a lot more posts with specific details as to why or why not the poster thought the topic was a good one. I think in previous years, these discussions did happen, but they happened in the results thread, not the voting thread. When they happen during the voting it comes off as much more negative than after the results come out, and I think those kinds of posts are more likely to influence other people who haven't voted.

To end on a positive note, I'm really looking forward to seeing our completed list and moving on to the planning phase and seeing how other people are planning their lists. And a big thanks to the mods who have done a great job with the polls and all the other aspects of this group!


message 29: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2633 comments I'm honestly a bit confused about where people are getting the impression that we are tearing each other or other people's suggestions apart. I've even just spent quite a while reading back through past voting and results threads, and I didn't see much of that. I'm wondering if some of it is just the nature of typed messages, since it is so easy to misinterpret people's tone. I am sure I have commented in the past saying that I was not so interested in particular suggestions, but it has never been my intent for anyone to take that as a personal attack.

I seem to be in the minority here, and at the risk of sounding "too negative," I think it's important that people should feel comfortable voicing their opinions, even if those opinions are disappointment over results, etc. as long as they are doing so in a respectful way. With the exception of one specific incident earlier this year, my impression of this group has always been that it is respectful and open to discussion.

Manda mentioned that people might feel less inclined to participate when the outlook seems overly bleak. While I think that might be true, I also think there's something deeper going on that needs to be explored. I've been struggling for a while now with trying to suggest a way to bring this up, but couldn't quite figure out how to say it. It has become more and more clear throughout the year that something is wrong, and I don't think any of us are really sure what that is. I wish there was some way we could unearth the root cause of the problems, because it's just so weird. This group and the voting process has always been such a fun and positive experience, and it's a real shame if it isn't that way anymore. I've been wanting to suggest that we open up some kind of discussion (or anonymous feedback survey, poll, etc.) to try and figure out where we are going wrong.

I also think part of it has to do with the group mood overall. I personally don't have any problem with people expressing disappointment or frustration over their favourite prompts not getting through. I get that some people don't want to read discussions that are overly negative, but if that's the case, shouldn't it be seen as a sign that there is a problem that needs to be addressed? I also think that when we see a negative message from someone, we should keep in mind that it is just one message one on one day. If someone is really that unhappy with the challenge and the group, they will probably just leave on their own. Otherwise, even those of us who complain are probably just venting a bit and are otherwise fine. I've found that overall across the board, most people's comments are pretty balanced. Of course, I'm not reading every single comment from every single person in detail, but I have not really had the impression that anyone is really that unhappy with how the list is shaping up.

In fact, the only times I've seen an overall negative attitude is when people have tried to question what was going on with the process. For example, asking why in the past we've always had four clear winners per poll, and this year we haven't. Things have changed this year in our voting process, and I'm sure at least some of the negativity is due to the natural adjustment process to change. What I find very strange is that in my PopSugar Goodreads group, we had a thread opened about prompts we would not like to see next year (technically a very "negative" thread), and it was actually a very productive discussion and no one seemed to feel attacked. It's really weird that we can't seem to do the same.


message 30: by °~Amy~° (new)

°~Amy~° (amybooksit) | 2872 comments I also don't see discussing why we voted for or against prompts as "attacking" anyone. I like having discussion to see why people like or dislike certain topics. I very much dislike comments that are just "There were four topics I liked and 4 that I didn't". Ok, that is nice, but not terribly informative. I like to hear why you chose that topic, why that other topic didn't work for you, etc, especially if it is a topic that I suggested. It's discussion, not attacks. I think that the Facebook demon that makes people think every post is about them and is a personal attack on themselves is bleeding over into the goodreads groups and that makes me sad.


message 31: by °~Amy~° (new)

°~Amy~° (amybooksit) | 2872 comments I hit the post button before I mentioned that such discussion has helped some people realize that they interpreted a topic wrong and therefore they, and possibly others would have downvoted a very good prompt because they didn't understand it. Without them stating that they didn't like a certain prompt, they never would have learned that they had been passing up great books because they didn't understand the Goodreads rating system. An entire world of reading was opened up to this one person, and possibly others as well because of such discussion. I don't see how that is a bad thing at all.


message 32: by Jackie, Solstitial Mod (new)

Jackie | 1275 comments Mod
I agree that I haven't seen the negativity that other people seem to be feeling (but this is my first year with the group so I don't have a comparison point). I would however like to point out that it's maybe unfair to say that anybody who's feeling like the tone is negative is just misinterpreting comments/criticisms as personal attacks. Maybe that's what's going on, but maybe we're just missing something. I don't want anyone who is feeling attacked to then additionally feel cut off from a discussion of what is bothering them because we're too ready to dismiss their concerns.


message 33: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2633 comments Jackie wrote: "I agree that I haven't seen the negativity that other people seem to be feeling (but this is my first year with the group so I don't have a comparison point). I would however like to point out that..."

I didn't mean to be dismissive, I was just trying to offer an alternative explanation. I definitely would not want to suggest that everyone who feels there's been negativity is just misinterpreting everything, since obviously there's a reason people are feeling this way. I just thought it was important to acknowledge there may be another side to it.

Ultimately, I think the goal overall is that we don't want anyone to feel cut off from a discussion, whether it is about books, prompt ideas, or whatever is bothering us. My worry is that by telling people they are being too negative or bringing down the mood of the group, it will just make them feel unwelcome or not want to participate. I don't want people to feel like they can't say they don't like something because they are worried about it being too negative or someone interpreting it as a personal attack. It's not much of a discussion at all if everyone is just saying "I like that" or "There are so many good ideas!" I mean, that might be true, but it doesn't make a very interesting conversation. I'm not saying to be negative for the sake of stirring things up, but I would hope that honest opinions are welcome.

I agree with Amy that having the discussions is often very helpful for clarification. There were several times this year where I wasn't sure what a prompt meant, and was glad to have the chance to ask for clarification or examples to help me decide whether I wanted to vote for it.


message 34: by °~Amy~° (new)

°~Amy~° (amybooksit) | 2872 comments Jackie wrote: "I agree that I haven't seen the negativity that other people seem to be feeling (but this is my first year with the group so I don't have a comparison point). I would however like to point out that..."

I agree. I also feel though that we can't have everyone afraid to post anything that might be deemed "negative" because others view it as an attack. It's a double edged sword. We can't, and shouldn't all be 100% positive all the time because that's just not realistic or honest.

Maybe we just shouldn't have a bottom 4 any more. If we are going to have a bottom four, then we should be able to say what we voted down and why. If we aren't going to be allowed to do that, then eliminate the down voting altogether. Not that I want that, but the very nature of voting for 4 prompts that we don't like promotes discussion about what we don't like and why. I happen to like the discussion but if the group as a whole does not, then let's not do it.


message 35: by Jill (new)

Jill (dogbotsmum) | 913 comments I totally agree with Amy. These threads are for discussions, which can and should be both positive and negative. An exchange of ideas. It would not be natural if we all agreed, and to be honest, it would be very boring.
I don't see anyone here being personally attacked, and if they feel they are , I can only think they are misinterpreting the meaning of a comment .


message 36: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3823 comments Mod
I've been with the group since the beginning and will say that my excitement with the voting process has changed. But I think that's to be expected. When I started the challenges, I had only been reading 1-2 books a year so the challenge was a pretty huge increase and there was a lot of initial excitement. But as you do it for a while it's not such a huge change. I also was in grad school at the time and just had a different schedule. Now that I'm working full time it's much harder to complete the challenge and stay involved in discussion.

I have to admit that I've felt the negativity but haven't been able to entirely put my finger on why it feels so negative. Which I know isn't all that helpful. I do remember that in the initial year, the commenting tended to be more general. Someone would say whether they disliked a prompt but they wouldn't say which prompt that was. Essentially "There were a few that I really disliked" as opposed to "I really don't like the memoir prompt".

And Peter made a good point that if someone was more specific then it tended to be in response to the results rather than voting. I am afraid that some are discouraged from voting for their initial picks because they think it's pointless based on current discussion. But obviously that may or may not be happening.

I also think it's possible to be constructive when criticizing a prompt or wording in a way that demonstrates that it doesn't fit an individual member's plan or reading habits rather than generalizing and criticizing the prompt itself. I wish I could remember specific comments better but I may go back and try to find something.

There can be a tendency to list only those prompts that are disliked and totally ignoring those that were liked. That can come off as negative when really the member did like many prompts. I would much rather someone say "I really liked x prompts but didn't so much like x, it just doesn't fit with what I like to read". Or even "I don't understand x. Can someone clarify or give examples?" As opposed to "I really didn't like, x, x, and x". And nothing else. Like I said, that person comes off as negative when they likely did like at least one prompt.

I've even seen people say "Nothing really jumped out at me this time". I think people are less likely to take that personally and discouraging as opposed to "I really didn't like anything this time" or "I really don't want x". At least the former conveys an attitude that you weren't excited rather than disliking something.

All of it seems minor but I do think when a number of similar posts are presented together then it adds into a negative atmosphere.


message 37: by Jillian (new)

Jillian | 1636 comments I think it is helpful to have discussions on what people like about and dislike about prompts. I have changed my mind about some prompts I initially disliked.


message 38: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Jones | 1346 comments Rachel wrote: "What I find very strange is that in my PopSugar Goodreads group, we had a thread opened about prompts we would not like to see next year (technically a very "negative" thread), and it was actually a very productive discussion and no one seemed to feel attacked. It's really weird that we can't seem to do the same. ..."

I think a lot of us here are in both groups, and the big difference there as you know is the Popsugar challenge categories are given TO us. So of course no one takes it personally!


message 39: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2633 comments Nadine wrote: "Rachel wrote: "What I find very strange is that in my PopSugar Goodreads group, we had a thread opened about prompts we would not like to see next year (technically a very "negative" thread), and i..."

I was thinking the same thing, but is it really so difficult for us to avoid taking it so personally? I know it sucks when the prompt you (not you specifically, the general you) didn't make the final list, but it really shouldn't be seen as a personal attack. The same goes for when prompts are being criticized, questioned, or otherwise discussed. It really shouldn't be that serious.

Maybe it would help if our polls were anonymous somehow, so we separate the suggestion from particular people? It would mean a lot more work for the mods, but maybe in the future, prompt suggestions should be sent directly to a mod who then puts out the poll when 20 are reached. If we're worried about negative comments during the voting process swaying the vote, maybe those threads should be locked so no one can comment. I personally don't think this is a good approach since it really discourages us from interacting with each other and discussing things, but it might be necessary to help us take a small step back from getting so personally invested.

Also, I'm not sure we can really say that positive or negative comments in the voting threads have really swayed the votes too much, since the results were often the opposite of what we saw in the discussion. Even if it is the case, is it really such a bad thing if the discussion changes people's minds? I wouldn't think so. I sometimes had prompts that I was really not excited for at all, until people started naming book suggestions or providing lists.


message 40: by Jill (new)

Jill (dogbotsmum) | 913 comments Jillian wrote: "I think it is helpful to have discussions on what people like about and dislike about prompts. I have changed my mind about some prompts I initially disliked."

I think you are right, as I have changed my mind about prompts after reading the discussions, and found them very helpful . To just have someone say they are excited about something, really doesn't help at all.


message 41: by Marie (new)

Marie | 689 comments I look forward to the discussions in the voting thread. I'd much rather have that "Oh, that's how I could interpret it" moment before voting than when it's too late.

I think the more discussion about the prompts, both positive and negative, the better. It helps to either understand a suggestion, see it in a different way or to figure out why it isn't popular and could possibly be reworded. The one that sticks out for me the most is the Own Voices suggestion - it didn't get a good reaction in the discussion the first time it went up for a vote, we talked about it, people changed their minds and now it's on the list.

I've made a few suggestions and have never taken it personally when people haven't liked them. I will feel responsible next year when there are problems finding books to fill the one that made it through, but that's my own issue :)


message 42: by Zaz (new)

Zaz | 3034 comments I also have a huge problem with the overall negativity that I see in some discussions and I think it comes mostly from how people express themselves with generalities during voting process (we don't have the problem in the A-Z where people discuss books they liked or hated).

Stuff likes "it doesn't help at all!" or "this prompt is boring" or "the results are disappointing" can give a very negative impression because they seem to apply to everyone when they are just just one person's opinion. A version with "it doesn't help me", "I find this prompt boring because..." or "I'm disappointed because my tops didn't win" give a different impression when you read them, even if the meaning is probably the same for the person who commented.

I don't think people should be all happy all the time, but at the same time, I'm not interested in a hobby place where people spend a lot of time complaining as it makes me feel bad, sad, angry or disappointed when I came there to have fun and have friendly discussions (the angry or complaining tones are never friendly for me).


message 43: by Angie (last edited Oct 04, 2017 05:48PM) (new)

Angie | 804 comments I could easily have voted for five top choices this time around, but I narrowed it down to biography/autobiography/memoir, because I have several of those on my TBR list. I went with "a book that makes you think." because I have 32 of the books on the provided list on my TBR list. It was a good solid list. I think I went with the age prompt for the third one. I'd like to see a character-focused prompt make it, and I've liked the various permutations of age prompts we've had these past several weeks.

For the bottom, I went with the Mako Mori one. I did a search and found no books that really interested me. Plus, we have "strong female character" on our list this year, so it seems very similar to me.


message 44: by Peter (new)

Peter | 0 comments I'm honestly not sure if the discussion in the voting threads changes the outcome or not, and like Rachel said, it isn't inherently a bad thing for people to change their minds based on them. I was just pointing out the change from previous years in that prior to this year discussions in the voting threads tended to be more general and then became more specific with the reasoning behind choices in the results thread.

I'm not opposed to this shift in the discussions, I was pointing it out as something I've noticed.

I think Zaz hit the nail on the head with what she said - tone may not be intended as negative, but certain ways of writing will end up seeming more negative than others. Discussion is good, even if it's voicing something a member doesn't like. That helps the group move forward and keep making things better. But when things start drifting towards complaining (or seeming to be complaining based on the way they are written, intended or not) things take on a more negative and less constructive feel. Now that said, as this is a global group and English is not everyone's first language, this becomes a more complex issue without a simple fix.


message 45: by °~Amy~° (new)

°~Amy~° (amybooksit) | 2872 comments Zaz wrote: "I also have a huge problem with the overall negativity that I see in some discussions and I think it comes mostly from how people express themselves with generalities during voting process (we don'..."

But I don't get angry or complaining tones in the group. Maybe that is how I read the messages? We can't tell what someone's tone of voice is in a typed message so we have to infer that information for ourselves. And our own current mood often feeds into that. If I am in a cranky or upset mood, I may read a typed message in a cranky/upset way when the poster had no intention of being that way at all.

As an example. I can say " I didn't really like that one." and mean it in a shrugged off, whatever, no big deal way. If you were sitting in the room with me seeing my facial expressions and watching my body language, that would be very clear. When it's typed out however, you don't get all that extra info so if you take it in an aggressive or complaining tone, that isn't on me, that's on you. And I am not saying that is a bad thing at all, I'm just showing an example of how something fairly benign can be turned into something that it is not. I think everyone should look at messages as if they are coming from a positive, laid back place, rather than assuming the poster is being aggressive/condescending/complaining etc. Unless someone starts immediately calling names, belittling others who like certain prompts or outright saying "Your prompts suck!", they probably aren't trying to be negative, they are just talking.


message 46: by Rachel (new)

Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2633 comments I think Peter's right that there's no easy fix, especially with so many different people with different writing styles, different languages, etc. My concern is that telling people how to phrase their comments runs the risk of people feeling like their not welcome to post what they want. I definitely agree with what someone (Laura, I think?) said earlier about their being a constructive way to phrase things, but I don't think statements like "I didn't really like that one" should be interpreted as angry, harsh, etc. unless there are other clues in the text that suggest that. Even Zaz's examples were ones I wasn't so sure about. Given that this is a discussion board, I would naturally interpret those comments as that individual person's opinion, not a general comment, but everyone is different. I think it's important that people are able to express themselves how they choose, provided it's within the rules of the group in terms of respectful discussion, and not personal attacks.

I think Amy also brings up an excellent point about how our own mood affects how we read things. Those of us who think the group as a whole has been negative might be extra sensitive to comments that could be interpreted negatively, and more likely to notice them or view them in a negative tone. Maybe that's why some of us are seeing the same messages so differently. I know when I'm in a bad mood, I tend to interpret things more harshly too, and I think the same can go for the comments we make. I'm sure all of us at some point have made a comment that came out worse than we expected because we were in a bad mood, either here or elsewhere.

Again, that's not to say that people are wrong to interpret things that way since they might legitimately be angry or negative, but since this is written communication with no other cues, it's all down to interpretation. As one example, if a comment said "I didn't really like x and x prompt," some people would interpret that as a complaint, while others might see it as a good thing since that person only disliked two out of 20 prompts. And if people are genuinely complaining, I would assume there is a reason for it and want to figure out what the problem is, not just pass it off as just some people being negative.


message 47: by Jill (new)

Jill | 569 comments I have not been reading the comments in the voting threads until after I voted. I do look at the links provided, especially when I need some clarification on the suggestion.
Also, when I am disappointed in the results because I don't think a topic fits what I like to read, I try to remember that the reason I do reading challenges is to get out of my comfort zone and try books/genres that I would normally avoid. I may not like everything I read during a particular challenge but I am always glad I tried something new. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised and end up liking something I thought I would hate. A prime example happened last week. I am not a science fiction fan so the prompt calling us to read a Hugo Award winner or nominee had me turning up my nose. My 23 year old son decided he was going to help by recommending a book and he recemmended Hyperion by Dan Simmons. I loved it and am planning on reading the second in the series for the science fiction prompt in next years challenge.
So the lesson for me is, keep reading new things, keep expanding my horizons and things that look the most unappealing may be the biggest surprise,
Happy reading, everyone!


message 48: by Jillian (new)

Jillian | 1636 comments When someone posts not liking a specific prompt I view it more as not fitting with their reading goals (books they own, more diverse reading, prioritizing their TBR, reading more from a certain genre, etc).

My feelings about prompts tend to be more reflective of what I am working on in the 2017 challenge. If I feel positive about the prompt I working to complete, I feel more positive about the suggestions for 2018 and visa versa.

I’m looking forward to the discussions on the picked topics!


message 49: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (sawphie) | 2920 comments Maybe Zaz and I found there was a higher dose of complaint during the voting process this year because as mods we want everybody to be happy and take it a bit personally when people aren't, I don't know. Or we are more sensitive than others. Or whatever the reason.

The result is that it did take away a bit of the pleasure for me personally and that is why I didn't participate in the discussion as much as the previous years.

I think it is really important to share our thoughts for all the reasons listed previously, as long as it stays constructive and not just plain whining as I've perceived several times.

Sorry if I'm saying it in a bit of a harsh way, but English is not my first language and I don't really know how to say it differently. I hesitated before speaking up because I don't want another polemic, but I just want to share how I feel ;)


message 50: by Zaz (new)

Zaz | 3034 comments For sure, I'm on the sensitive side and I'm also a sponge regarding the mood/feelings around me, so a bad atmosphere tends to be toxic for me.

I totally understand the various points of view above. They show well that it's possible here to discuss and have different opinions on things without being harsh/angry/whinning/agressive.

I'm also looking forward to the final list and everyone's plan :)


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