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A Discussion About Show Off Threads


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Hi. I'm Sergeant_Crunch. You may remember me from such classics as Sergeant Crunch's Miniature Madness, the CAV Subforum, and ReaperCon 2014. I'd like to have a discussion about the Show Off forum.

 

Here's the deal, I can't stand the recent development in which people start a thread when they first join and then keep posting all of their minis in the same thread. Here's why, I can't keep up with yall's threads and I may be missing out on something that I may really like, you did really well, a solution to something I'm currently struggling with, or something Really Cool.

 

Why is this? Because the latest thing you're working may or may not have any bearing on what the title of your thread is. Or even worse, the thread title is so generic I have no idea what's in there. For example, the ubiquitous "My Painted Minis Thread" (or some variation on that theme). I don't want to spend three days going through each page of your thread for the off chance there's something I really like, a question I might have an answer to, or any other reason. Maybe you decided to paint a CAV, a subject near and dear to my heart. You finished it, but had a question. I want to see your finished CAV because I dig big stompy robots, I also like helping people. I never saw your CAV or your question because it was tacked into a thread titled "My Painted Bones."

 

To turn this on it's head, let's say I started a thread titled Sergeant Crunch's Boot Camp. I generally post CAV models in it. Then one day I decide to paint a DHL figure (it happens on occassion) and post it in that thread. You are looking for painted examples of that figure but you miss mine that had a color combo you would have liked because you don't like CAV models and didn't check my thread because that Crunch guy only paints CAVs.

 

Let's say it's not CAV related. Maybe I'm looking for a pirate figure. If your painted pirate figure had its own thread titled something like "My Pirate Sophie" or at least had the model name/SKU in the tags I would be able to find it a lot easier and decide that I want to throw more money at Reaper.

 

In short it makes it much easier for all the other members to know what the singular subject of that thread is and whether or not it pertains to their interests. It would also generate more views overall for your work because people are more prone to check a single thread with one subject, look at the painting, and comment on it than they are to check a 30 page monstrosity (aside from whatever cult following you've accumulated).

 

I know that a number of you like to have one thread so you can see the progression from figure to figure. To be brutally honest, that's what the WIP forum, a blog, a Facebook page, or your own webpage is for. To take it even further, even the WIP forum threads should be focused on a single topic (model, diorama, whatever).

 

Is this the end of the world? No. But I can't help but feel that there is a lot of awesome out there being missed, not just by myself but by a lot of other people, especially the casual browsers/lurkers of these boards.

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Being one of, if not the primary, originators of this I actually agree.  I don't keep up with people's work as often, and when I do hit a thread I barely read it because I'm like 10-20 pages behind. 

 

So... uh... my bad?

 

I think I'm going to divide future work into individual threads for just that piece.  It's easier on Reaper, it's easier for searching, it's easier on readers, and overall I think per piece people will get more attention for their work.  Paradoxically, I may actually post more work this way because instead of waiting for a piece to be "done" for my big thread that I don't want to interrupt I can post progress for different things.  Like, say, my mummies.  Or zombies.  Or whatever. 

 

ETA - it didn't seem like an issue early on when it was only a handful of threads, but now, yeah, I completely see it.  And I'm missing out on gobs of cool work or just breezing through it when I get around to it. 

Edited by buglips*the*goblin
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I think the slight majority have adopted the "consolidated WIP, individual Show-Off" structure, which I find works very well for exactly the reason you discuss here. Look through the Show-Off forum for interesting things, clearly labelled by name, and then if you want to see how someone did something, they will hopefully have linked to the relevant part of their WIP, or you can just go to their WIP and search.

 

On the other hand though, as long as people are labeling their posts properly, the search function does pick up posts mid-thread. So if you are looking at ways a particular mini has been painted, using Reaper's (fairly robust) search tool will still get you the relevant posts from a consolidated thread. This doesn't help missing interesting things while idly browsing, however.

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The thread I have in the show off section and the work in progress section are to establish a timeline of my painting skill. I have included links in the first post of each of the section so that you can easily skip to the miniatures in question. Is that a viable solution? Or do people prefer the posts with individual miniatures?

 

You should start a poll. :)

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Another consideration: you mention not seeing something you might like in a consolidated thread. However, with individual threads, it becomes very difficult to follow a particular painter, should you want to. I know that whatever, say, Kuro or Cash post, I'll want to see it. So if they have consolidated threads, I can easily keep track of it: whenever there's a post to that one thread, I can read it with ease, and I know I'm not missing anything. If everyone posted a new thread for each project, however, the forums would become cluttered, and it would be too easy to skip something because I didn't notice it was by a painter I want to follow closely.

 

EDIT: Actually, this is also solved by the "one WIP, many Show-Offs" solution. I also like pktlnt's solution, though that frankly sounds like a lot of work for the thread curator.

Edited by Slendertroll
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Another consideration: you mention not seeing something you might like in a consolidated thread. However, with individual threads, it becomes very difficult to follow a particular painter, should you want to. I know that whatever, say, Kuro or Cash post, I'll want to see it. So if they have consolidated threads, I can easily keep track of it: whenever there's a post to that one thread, I can read it with ease, and I know I'm not missing anything. If everyone posted a new thread for each project, however, the forums would become cluttered, and it would be too easy to skip something because I didn't notice it was by a painter I want to follow closely.

 

EDIT: Actually, this is also solved by the "one WIP, many Show-Offs" solution.

This is my intention; to WIP in a consolidated thread, show off in separate threads for that mini only.
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A painter could have one thread with a post whenever a new WiP is posted, which would serve as an index. (I'd add Show Offs when the figure is done, too). If the threads were then named in such a way as to indicate the painter (Kuro - Big Bad Ugly Guy WiP, Austrian SYW Army - Sundseth, whatever), it wouldn't be hard to note updates or see progress.

 

It would seem that this might help the mods as well.

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I like the consolidated WIP thread and individual show-off threads, there are a few I follow avidly from other forum members. The primary reasons I like having my own WIP in one place is to be able to reference advice given to me on past projects, talk it out in my own thread, and see my own progression in this hobby, and then set a link at the end of it to a show-off thread that I created (I also have a Table of Contents up front with links within the thread to my projects that I update as I go along).

 

I understand that it's harder for the mods to moderate, but we also have enough experienced people to help the mods moderate on the forums so that they don't have to be on top of every thread and I do see this sometimes (as well as help) with regards to nudity and telling people to link off-site for that kind of stuff. 

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at the end of the day, the moderators ability to collectively prevent abuse of the boards is a primary concern for us. Many years ago we had Many Show-off, Many WIP, which recently gave way to One Show, one WIP, and occasionally Many Show, one WIP.  

 

Many Show, Many WIP is preferred by us.  We like the idea of user maintained index threads - Cash Wiley's Show Off Index, with links to his own Show off and WIP threads. But this is a lot of work for Cash, and a little unnecessary, as you can click a user, and find content, like thus:

ReaperBryan

 

This is all threads begun by me.

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 However, with individual threads, it becomes very difficult to follow a particular painter, should you want to. 

 

It's actually pretty easy to go to the Show Off forum and search for a particular poster and get everything they've put in there. 

 

Like some of the others, after a thread is a certain number of pages long I stop looking at it because 90% of it is off topic chatter.  If the OP posts a stunning new paint job on page 83, I'm not going to see it. 

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I did a consolidated WIP thread, but more so as I ask for advice I can know where to find the advice quickly and reference it more quickly rather than trying to recall which mini the advice was given on. I was looking at it today and reviewing information before deciding I really needed the break I am taking from painting.

 

Now I have to admit it could get crazy and if I see it getting crazy I will likely end it and start a new one. When I do that I will like archive the thread into a document for my own personal use on my computer.

 

Though if the Forum mods prefer I use a different thread for each mini I can do that. I'll just finish off my consolidated one with the Strumpet first when I return to finishing her in June (Which I was already considering doing as I want a low page count for my WIP threads)

Edited by Flamehawke
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I get why people jumped on the consolidated WIP threads but I prefer to keep it to whatever project I am working on.  Especially given my penchant for jumping around.

 

The Show Off threads for anything finished will showcase the "leveling" of the painter in sequence.

 

But if someone likes a specific project I don't want them to sift through 36 pages of notes looking for the whole.  And yes I know a lot of them do one mini at a time.

 

As Bryan mentions, I just use the Find Content or Search the WIP forum by Username.

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