[[ This was my last post in the Thoughty Thoughts thread. I decided to re-post it as a blog post to let everyone have a chance to read it, and to allow for some discussion on the matter. ]]
Activity and Focus
OOC coversation, Gif wars, random thoughts, and banter are life. To a team, to a location thread, and to an RPG.
The reason is that's where the people are coming together. Bring them together in a team thread, they'll focus on that team, they'll think about it and do stuff in it. Bring them together in a location thread, that's where they will post and RPG.
When they stop going to a thread to banter, to talk OOCly, drop random thoughts, post GIFS, and so on, they eventually stop going to that thread for IC stuff as well. Because they're not thinking about it anymore, its not right in front of them anymore.
This goes doubly so for team threads. They NEED those clicks, they NEED people to be posting random junk in there. They need drama, OOC fights, everything. Without it, the interest just dries up and the team withers away ICly.
And when they go to a OOC thread for their OOC talk? That disconnects them from the IC threads. That unplugs them from the roleplaying. That even alters the subjects of their conversations because they're no longer thinking about the IC threads as much. Just sorta fades into the background.
When you have a thread dedicated to that OOC talk? When you have thread devoted to all that banter, to all that stuff that USE to pull the focus into team threads? Well, then you have a thread that disconnects people from the IC.
See activity needs to be FOCUSED. It needs to be FOCUSED on the IC threads. Not want. NEEDS.
Duchess once said she'd rather have drama than boredom. And she was 100% right. Drama is the worst kind of activity, and its STILL BETTER than no activity because it pulls people INTO the thread to READ what is happening. That keeps their attention, that keeps their focus ON THE IC THREADS.
The IC OOC Symbiosis
There IS and ALWAYS will be MORE OOC than there is IC. Just look at the number of posts in Thoughty Thoughts.
OOC is easier, people use it to recharge, to laugh, and to converse. People will always have more OOC conversations for many, many reasons. That's natural, and in a way its good. We're OOC people, of course we talk more OOCly.
There's a link between OOC posts and IC posts. People go to where the OOC is, and they tend to stay there. If the IC posts are ALSO there then they'll read them, and maybe even post themselves.
They feed of one another, they reinforce one another and build off each other. Look at how many rivalries have been built on OOC talk, how many storylines have been started due to an OOC conversation. Look at how many ideas come from OOC threads.
Segregation of IC and OOC
You can separate the two. You can divide the IC and the OOC from one another.
And that's very dangerous.
Once they become segregated they don't feed off each other as much. That cycle where one reinforces the other is weakened. Slowly, but surely, the OOC becomes more and more common, and the IC becomes less and less, because the OOC WILL ALWAYS BE STRONGER. When it stops feeding the IC, the IC dies faster.
People lose interest. There's a lot of sites for OOC chat, after all. They log on less and less. They don't check the team threads.
Vibrant World and Faded World
The world fades because STUFF ISN'T HAPPENING. Things aren't snapped into focus by the latest IC event. Partly because PEOPLE DON'T READ THEM. And they don't read them because their interest is in another OOC thread somewhere else. They might SKIM them IC thread, but they don't really look like they once did.
The world goes from VIBRANT to FADED in their minds, and as the world becomes less vibrant it draws less and less of their attention. It doesn't occupy as much of their thoughts, they don't think about it as much.
Its a vicious cycle.
As the world becomes less interesting because people become less engaged they post less. They post in fewer RPG's and teams begin to fail. After enough of that people don't make teams anymore, and only a few people make successful RPGs.
And as there are fewer teams and fewer RPGs the world becomes a little less vibrant. A little less dynamic. Stuff just isn't happening that much anymore, and what does happen.. happens slowly...
And so interest fades. The world fades.
As the world fades people think about it less, they focus on it less, they post less.. and the cycle continues.
Thoughty Thoughts divided the IC and the OOC chatter.
Thoughty Thoughts pulls conversation away from the IC threads, it draws out the blood of interactions. And interactions are the blood of teams. Teams drive activity because they BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER. Teams give people a reason to DO THINGS TOGETHER.
Its removed the heart from the body. The blood isn't flowing anymore, its sitting in Thoughty Thoughts clotting.
When people aren't doing things together this section is dead. Its hard to RPG by yourself.
As people come to Thoughty Thoughts to post their thoughty thought they DON'T post it in a team, or interaction thread. That keeps their attention AWAY from those threads. When they become engaged in a conversation.. its not in an IC thread, and rarely is it about IC stuff.
The OOC moves attention away, and the IC starves.
It starved every single team.
It will starve every single team in the future.
Those teams won't create activity. They won't bring people together. They won't form plotlines. They won't have interactions.
People will become more and more disengaged because the world will fade, little by little.
There is the possibility that the trend cannot be reversed. That people WON'T go back to the IC threads, even KNOWING what the problem is.
Or that population is now to low to support multiple interaction/OOC threads the way it once did. Maybe the energy isn't there anymore.
But if I had to guess, and I do, I would say if everyone returned to the team/interaction threads activity would improve, gradually interest would climb, population and energy would increase and the Vine would begin trending toward growth.
Its impossible for me to say for sure, of course.
But I do know this is my final post in Thoughty Thoughts.