Letter to the Powers That Be

Discussion in 'Welcome to the new AfterEllen!' started by WindInTime, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. WindInTime

    WindInTime Well-Known Member

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    Edit #3

    Dear Totally Her,

    I understand that there are countless people who have worked tirelessly to help keep AE a haven for women who identify on the LGBT spectrum. Ever since the forums came back and we've been given a voice again, I'm sure the people in charge have been stressed out and consumed by the complaints of a bunch of dissatisfied LGBT(etc) AE-goers.

    AE is the single most successful site of its kind, and as such it was bought by MTV. It's not hard to figure out that the nuances of the gay community are not something they're well versed in or concerned about. Because of this, we were stripped of everything we loved about AfterEllen. What we're dealing with is trying to pick up the pieces after its destruction. Fortunately, MTV didn't know how to maintain a community of strong women and they sold us to you.

    You don't have to make the same mistake, and I can tell Totally Her has made huge strides in rebuilding AfterEllen. The writers are better, the community is picking back up, and because of that, you'll be able to hear what it is we want from the website. It's not fair to blame Totally Her, the writers, or the moderators for the problems we've faced. However, that's what many people are doing.

    What the LGBT(etc) community needs most is people who, like AE's creator Sarah Warn, are willing to take a microscope to the way gays and lesbians are portrayed in the mainstream media and help us to understand the fight we're in. We're still struggling for our rights as human beings. AE used to be an inspirational place for us, but it has lost a lot of its spark, and more importantly, our trust. The huge amounts of people who used to read the articles and participate in the forums have gone away because they lost faith in AE.

    I wanted to write this letter because this site has been an instrumental and inspirational place for so many women. And yet, we've been betrayed. There's really nobody to blame for this, so what you'll find is forums of dissatisfied people who want to pick up the pieces but don't know where to start. You'll find bitching and whining and sadness and longing for the good old days. They're blaming the faceless new owners and the writers that MTV chose, and not trusting the new ones who are trying to get us back on track.

    Because of this, I think the best place you could start is with an official apology to the community and a thoughtful message showing us that you are going to be different and we will be able to have our voices again. The second thing you can do is to make good on that promise. Even though it wasn't your mistake that the old AE has been lost, it might be helpful if you beg for forgiveness, because many people are just blaming AE in general for this painful change and turning their backs on it. Here are some things that I think would help us all.

    1. Vlogs. Entertaining and insightful video blogs that AE goers adored. Bring them back. If you can, contact the old Vloggers and see if they'd be interested in coming together again. If they're not, find new ones who are. I'm sure there are plenty.

    2. More content that is appealing to women of all ages. The articles have gone from broad to very pigeon-holed and focused on the current trends. It was actually the diversity of the articles, not the streamlining of them into the latest in pop culture, that got and kept many people's attention.

    3. More feminist content. Articles that point out where the lines are interconnected and can give brutally honest critiques of the societal implications of movies, music, and television with wit and insight. We deserve to have articles written by people who can read between the lines to spot lesbophobia.

    4. Community. After we lost the forums and profiles, a lot of people have stopped visiting AE altogether, even after years of participation. They used to become engaged in the articles written in Sarah Warn's insightful style. You've brought the forums back, which is excellent, but a change in articles will help rebuild the community as well. Please take a look at the example articles included in this letter.

    5. Old Forums. If you can find topics that used to get a lot of attention, start them back up again. Better yet, if you can get access to any of the old forums and discussions, bring the whole things back. You have no idea how invested we became in those forums. Countless hours of many lives were dedicated to deep discussions and building life-altering relationships. Although they started electronically, they are very real and deeply missed.

    6. Since trophy points have become a part of our new AE community, maybe you can find a way for them to be meaningful. You could offer some sort of monthly reward, even if that's as simple as a feature on the site, or as substantial as a cash reward (only sort of kidding!).

    7. Get involved yourselves. Let us know who we are working with. People don't trust those in charge unless we're able to interact with them. Don't be another faceless organization that we can't trust, and therefore will act out against. Let us know, not just through your moderators, what your intentions are. Treat us like intelligent adults. We're not children. We deserve to know first-hand what is going on with our site.


    That's just somewhere small to start. I really hope that purchasing AfterEllen will be for you the investment that MTV hoped it would be for them. They wanted the community without any work, but if you work for the community, we will be loyal. Thank you for your time.

    With all sincerity,

    A bunch of AE-goers
     
    #1
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
  2. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    Its awfully long.

    Seems insensitive to use the word 'genocide,' to talk about bad changes to an online community.

    You make some good points about the new owners making some changes to show they feel a long term commitment.

    Its awfully long.

    It's a site for lesbian, bi and queer women and should be signed accordingly.

    I have no idea what their long term vision or financial projections are. Maybe I could get off my ass an research totally her.
     
    #2
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  3. WindInTime

    WindInTime Well-Known Member

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    The signature and the people it's addressed to are definitely just temporary. I'm going to use my name but I had no idea how to sign it yet. xD

    I'll see what I can do to make it more short and sweet. Like I said, it's a first draft and I'm basically trying to rally together all the points I need to make.

    I see the point about the word "genocide," but although nobody was physically wounded our community was, in no uncertain terms, killed. I will reconsider the phrase though.

    xD And check, check on the length.
     
    #3
  4. Kaiden

    Kaiden Well-Known Member

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    I don't have the patience to read all of that so I skipped some.
    I discovered this website in the summer of 2013 and I've read less than 10 articles from head to toe, because most of them are about some actresses talking about how they felt when they licked another woman in a sexy scene. What the heck is that supposed to support what? I have no feelings attached to this website, or any at all, but I think they write a lot of those noneducational non-inspiring articles to feed some women's fantasies and it works great. Because, what brings them more money if not the magnetic articles? the people coming here to ask for help? I doubt that.
     
    #4
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  5. WindInTime

    WindInTime Well-Known Member

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    Haha again, check on the length.

    The fact that you can't read through the articles shows they lack the wit and magnetism we used to get before 2013.

    Even a feminist slant can know what the LGBT(etc...) women want to see. The vloggers and community were well-equipped to provide the fantasy that so many people want to see, while still providing entertaining articles. The proof is in the numbers.
     
    #5
  6. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    What articles would you like to see? Would you be willing to just start a thread and put a topic out there to create kind of a forum wiki article?
     
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  7. WindInTime

    WindInTime Well-Known Member

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    I want to see more articles like this.

    http://www.afterellen.com/tv/48637-what-amazons-glitch-says-about-american-pop-culture

    And more comments and the engagement that it provoked.

    ...basically every article before around 2013 is an example of what I want to see. Do you see how many comments they got? How many passionate people were engaged? It was beautiful and should still be happening even if Sarah Warn isn't writing the articles. There are plenty of people out there who think like her and AE needs to find them.
     
    #7
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  8. WindInTime

    WindInTime Well-Known Member

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    So do you mean that we should have a thread to offer article ideas to AE writers?
     
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  9. WindInTime

    WindInTime Well-Known Member

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    Wait, no, I think I get what you mean. A topic and article we all kind of work to mold together?
     
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  10. WindInTime

    WindInTime Well-Known Member

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    What I'm seeing now are a lot of recaps and not a lot of deep digging into the implications of the shows and their characters.
     
    #10
  11. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    yuppers.
     
    #11
  12. WindInTime

    WindInTime Well-Known Member

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    Sounds good. I'll work on that.
     
    #12
  13. Just Me

    Just Me Well-Known Member

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    There's a lot of good points there, I think more examples of articles would be good... Sort of like what blue said.

    Defiantly needs some shortening, but you're aware of that anyways :p
     
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  14. WindInTime

    WindInTime Well-Known Member

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    Dear Totally Her,

    I understand that there are countless people who have worked tirelessly to help keep AE a haven for women who identify on the LGBT spectrum. Ever since the forums came back and we've been given a voice again, I'm sure the people in charge have been stressed out and consumed by the complaints of a bunch of butt-hurt LGBT(etc) AE-goers.

    AE is the single most successful site of its kind, and as such it was bought by MTV. It's not hard to figure out that the nuances of the gay community are not something they're well versed in or concerned about. Because of this, we were stripped of everything we loved about AfterEllen. What we're dealing with is trying to pick up the pieces after its destruction. Fortunately, MTV didn't know how to maintain a community of strong women and they sold us to you.

    You don't have to make the same mistake, and I can tell Totally Her has made huge strides in rebuilding AfterEllen. The writers are better, the community is picking back up, and because of that, you'll be able to hear what it is we want from the website. It's not fair to blame Totally Her, the writers, or the moderators for the problems we've faced. However, that's what many people are doing.

    What the LGBT(etc) community needs most is people who, like AE's creator Sarah Warn, are willing to take a microscope to the way gays and lesbians are portrayed in the mainstream media and help us to understand the fight we're in. We're still struggling for our rights as human beings. AE used to be that place for us, but it has lost a lot of that spark, and more importantly, our trust. The huge amounts of people who used to read the articles have gone away because they lost faith in AE.

    I wanted to write this letter because this site has been an instrumental and inspirational place for so many women. And yet, we've been betrayed. There's really nobody to blame for this, so what you'll find is forums of dissatisfied women who want to pick up the pieces but don't know where to start. You'll find bitching and whining and sadness and longing for the good old days. They're blaming the faceless new owners and the writers that MTV chose, and not trusting the new ones who are trying to get us back on track.

    Because of this, I think the best place you could start is with an official apology to the community and a thoughtful message showing us that you are going to be different and we will be able to have our voices again. The second thing you can do is to make good on that promise. Even though it wasn't your mistake that the old AE has been lost, it might be helpful if you beg for forgiveness, because many people are just blaming AE in general for this painful change and turning their backs on it. Here are some things that I think would help us all.

    1. Vlogs. Entertaining and insightful video blogs that AE goers adored. Bring them back. If you can, contact the old Vloggers and see if they'd be interested in coming together again. If they're not, find new ones who are. I'm sure there are plenty.

    2. More feminist content. Articles that point out where the lines are interconnected and can give brutally honest critiques of the societal implications of movies, music, and television with wit and insight.

    3. Community. After we lost the forums and profiles, a lot of people have just stopped visiting AE altogether, even after years of participation. They used to respond and participate because of the articles, in Sarah Warn's insightful style. You've brought the forums back, which is excellent, but maybe adding more diversity in the articles would help to lure people back.

    4. Old Forums. If you can find topics that used to get a lot of attention, start them back up again. Better yet, if you can get access to any of the old forums and discussions, bring the whole things back. You have no idea how invested so many women became in those forums. Countless hours of many lives were dedicated to deep discussions and building friendships, and sometimes life-altering relationships. Although they started electronically, they are very real and deeply missed.

    5. Since trophy points have become a part of our new AE community, maybe you can find a way for them to be meaningful. You could offer some sort of monthly reward, even if that's as simple as a feature on the site, or as substantial as a cash reward (only sort of kidding!).

    6. Get involved yourselves. Let us know who we are working with. People don't trust those in charge unless we're able to interact with them. Don't be another faceless organization that we can't trust, and therefore will act out against. Let us know, not just through your moderators, what your intentions are. Treat us like intelligent adults. We're not children. We deserve to know first-hand what is going on with our site.


    That's just somewhere small to start. I really hope that purchasing AfterEllen will be for you the investment that MTV hoped it would be for them. They wanted the community without any work, but if you work for the community, we will be loyal. Thank you for your time.

    With all sincerity,

    A bunch of AE-goers


    Just checking if the length is still too long and article examples still to come, though I think they could just reference a bunch of AE's old articles by Sarah Warn and the crew.
     
    #14
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  15. Just Me

    Just Me Well-Known Member

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    As much as I would love to think some office guy knows what the term butt-hurt means, I just don't think they would lol... Perhaps saying overemotional, or melodramatic?

    Overall that's much better in length, the thoughts seem more collected.

    How are you looking up old articles? I thought they were all deleted in the mtv apocalypse... It would be good to reference old articles along with suggestions for new ones for sure...
     
    #15
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  16. WindInTime

    WindInTime Well-Known Member

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    Bahaha, I'm glad you said something because I'm mischievous and really wanted to put the phrase "butt-hurt" in there.

    Glad the length is better. All I did was google Sarah Warn AE articles and got the one I referenced. Not sure how it happened, and it was weird reading the old stuff on the new site layout. xD
     
    #16
  17. Kaiden

    Kaiden Well-Known Member

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    I will read afterellen's articles when they will have a prototype writer build with a little bit of bitterness and rationality of Ayn Rand, tenderness of Wilde Oscar, sense of humor of George Carlin and with the simplicity of Bruce Lee (he was a writer too). Anyway, that will never happen.
    ps: from what i've seen in other cases, if one wants to make changes in a community or organization, group etc, it will not be heard from down, must get up there to make the changes by himself or herself

    if you want, infiltrate, pretend you care to write about who kissed who on some random tv show, then when the writers go to sleep (i suppose they are not completely robots of mass media), drop a bomb of good quality articles. i will dedicate my life to raise a golden statue for you if you'll do that

    may the force be with you
     
    #17
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
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  18. lost sheep

    lost sheep Active Member

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    I don't know if my opinion will help or not. But I know the site has changed and there has definitely been a wave of people who come and go, myself included. But I don't read the articles too much, as it seems to be geared towards the younger generation. I'm a 45-year-old bisexual mother of two. I couldn't give two shakes about the newest young actress that prances out of the silver screen. Not every member here is in their twenties and follows the MTV crowd. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's in my age group who would want to see articles that would be of interest to us, too.
     
    #18
  19. daryl772003

    daryl772003 Member

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    i myself was a member for a little over ten years when these unneeded changes occurred. i first came here looking for all my children recaps when it was all about bianca and maggie, came for the recaps stayed for the community and articles :) and now all that is gone so my participation has been sketchy at best. i just won't ever understand why someone saw the perfection of this site before and thought to themselves "let's change it" but i won't point fingers simply because i have no idea who to point them at
     
    #19
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  20. WindInTime

    WindInTime Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for your insight, it really does help. I want AE to be a comfortable place for everybody, the place we remembered. And if we can't, I'm not above starting my own website, haha. I am going to start a thread and maybe together we can craft an article we would all like to see, with elements of everything that is lacking in so many of the new "pop-culture trend" based articles we're getting now.
     
    #20
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