Our Site Vision, A.K.A. our mission statement or manifesto

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PEL
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Our Site Vision, A.K.A. our mission statement or manifesto

Post by PEL » Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:13 pm

Once upon a time Alphie, Imogen, and Pel started a website just for fun and were amazed that 5 months later 500 people had come to hang out, to post, and to relish in Twilight and the upcoming New Moon. Flash-forward to events within the next calendar year: major influxes of membership causing the bandwith to be blown at least three times, membership over 10,000 and climbing, PM's and emails go from 3 a day to 3 an hour and hundreds in a week.

What we are basically saying here, is that our small, little, intimate website grew beyond what we had ever imagined was possible in the course of a year. Sometimes what works on a site of 500 doesn't work on a site of 5,000. When we had 500 people, it was a lot easier for people to get a flavor of the site without having to post lots of posting regulations. Our original rules didn't even mention netspeak, or set banner heights because we never imagined that those things couldn't be dealt with one-on-one.

Since March 28, 2006 (a mere 20 months ago ) we've had a variety of changes. Some of these changes include: incorporating a language filter, deleting a games forum, overhauling the Hollywood Hideout twice and then totally closing it down and reinventing it, having mods be the only ones who can start discussions topics--the list goes on. With each of these changes we have undoubtedly lost membership, kept others from leaving, and for others still these changes were neither here nor there.

We are now faced with a realization that the fandom is so large that the Lexicon just can't be everything for everybody. Whereas, we are happy that people like coming here to play and discuss what is our favorite obsession, but at a certain point there is a vision that the admins have regarding the intention, vision, and direction of the books (one that is also shared by our moderators) that we are comfortable with. We are not saying that you can't have an alternate opinion, impression, gut feeling. What we are saying is that as a matter of personal preference of the administrators of this site, we are a site that supports what we consider to be basic authorial intent.

How do we decide what basic authorial intent is? Check out our personal correspondence, listen to Q&A's from various signings, look at posts actually made by the author on this site. And, yes, this is our biased, preferential view of where we think the books are going based on those factors and to a certain extent our own gut instincts.

Is the counterargument the above "you're trying to tell us what we should think" , "you're limiting what we can feel", "you're limiting free speech" , "you're not allowing for individual impression" . The answer is what your reaction/feelings/impressions are remain your own. If we have any control on that, then we missed the omnipotence memo. However, what we do control is our personal site content, direction, and vision. As this is a privately owned site, with no membership fee, we retain that right.

If you find this unsatisfying and you want something else, the more power to you. There are a ton of Twilight websites out there have different focuses. There is room for even more particularly character focused ones.

So here it is folks, our "manifesto" of sorts, inspired by The Sugar Quill's affirmations http://www.sugarquill.net/index.php?action=spew ( a Harry Potter fan site with similar issues ). Effective immediately, the items below are a given, they are non-debatable, they are not up for discussion on this site, period.

Bella is not a slut, a tease, a doormat, wimp, or a Mary Sue. She is a teenager who was raised by two loving, yet dysfunctional parents. She is intelligent, she stands up for what she wants when it is really important to her, she is generally non-confrontational unless she is backed into a corner. Like many normal women, she found herself caught between two loves before she fully realized what was happening. She loves both Edward and Jacob, but in different ways, and she sincerely cares what happens to each of them. If despite all this you think Bella is a horrible teenage role-model and she doesn't have a place in current YA fiction, you are on the wrong website.

Jacob is not a daterapist, a potential wife-beater, or a sadist. He truly loves Bella and is convinced that she is going to end up as a vampire appetizer or worse. He did not attempt date rape. He kissed Bella having been on the receiving end of mixed signals, and stopped once she made it clear she was not pleased. He made a mistake, he was sorry, he and Bella have both moved on. He is not likely to make this mistake in the future with Bella or any other girl for that matter. Jacob has good reasons for disliking vampires and wishing that Bella would hang on to her humanity. If despite all this you see Jacob's every action as horrible and think that he ought to drown whilst cliff diving, you are on the wrong website.

Edward is not a misogynist, a chauvinist pig, or a potential wife-beater (ironic how much he and Jacob have in common). He truly loves Bella and is perpetually stunned that she doesn't think he is a monster. He has moments of being a control-freak, but this is because he is convinced that she will lose her life at the hands of an out-of-control werewolf or the Volturi. He has good reasons for these fears and would do anything, including laying down his own life to protect her. If the fact that Edward is a bit of a control freak totally turns you off to the point that his every action is called into question, you are on the wrong website.

Jacob and Edward (as well as their respective werewolf and vampire communities) have good reasons for distrusting each other. At the same time, they don't give each other enough credit until the end of Eclipse. We hope this newfound truce continues, although we admit it is very painful for Jacob given his feelings for Bella.

Charlie and Renee are in no danger of winning the Parent of the Year Award, but they both love their daughter. They have her best interests at heart even if they both at times could stand to grow up a bit themselves.

Emmett is big and strong. He is from rural America. He has a happy-go-lucky personality, and is brutally honest in a good-natured way. None of the above makes him stupid. He gets straight A's and has been to college several times.

Rosalie is vain and a bit arrogant as well as being beautiful. She likes to dress in high fashion and be admired. She is not however a slut prone to wearing trashy clothing.

Alice sees things, but she can't always see everything and is fallible. She loves Bella as a sister, not as just a life-sized, dress-up doll.

Carlisle does not just randomly bite people. He does not have a God complex. If he did, he'd have taken on Victoria by biting the entire town of Forks instead of negotiating with werewolves.

Jasper has the most trouble controlling his thirst. This does not mean that he lives for the day when he will find Bella alone and eat her as a midday snack.

Esme is a cool stay-at-home mom. If you think that being a mother is not real work, or that she's less of a modern woman because she chooses to do this, then you need to leave the website before Alphie or Pel dismembers you faster than you can say Laurent.

There are certain non-disputable romantic relationships (AKA ships) that this site has up for discussion as to their dynamics. Their existence is not up for discussion. We will be steering clear of discussions along the lines of "What if Edward had fallen for Esme instead?" or "What if Edward and Jacob had the hots for each other?" Some of these relationships are as follows: Edward/Bella, Jacob/Bella (for a time in Eclipse and now that love is still held by Jacob but is unrequited.) Jasper/Alice, Emmett/Rosalie, Carlisle/Esme, Sam/Emily and any other imprinted couple where the imprintee reciprocates the imprinter's romantic feelings. Please notice that we are giving Bella/Jacob fans their fair shake, but we stand firmly behind Bella's choice to be with Edward at the end of Eclipse.

Lastly, does this all mean that we want only people who love every aspect of Twilight 100% to be here? No. (Although certainly you are entitled to think whatever you want.)

Pel freely admits that Emmett doesn't really appeal to her, she feels that there are moments that Alice reminds her of the Energizer Bunny and needs a time out, and that she wasn't that into the Eclipse chapter featuring the werewolf history. However, you won't find Pel on the Emmett threads trying to convince others that they shouldn't waste their time exploring his character. Next you won't find her on Alice visions threads talking about how Alice is really just manipulating Edward and Bella to suit her own ends with her visions. Lastly, Pel won't be visiting the Legends thread and asserting everyone knows that if Stephenie just had a better editor at her disposal that chapter would have been at least 2,000 words shorter.

Alphie would make a list similar to Pel's, but is too worried that she will spoil something in the process. She can admit to being personally biased that Eclipse is the best book in the series and nearly perfect in every way, but has willingly allowed conversations of flaws and near hatred on the site for a while now simply to accommodate different opinions.

So, after what is probably far more than anyone wanted to read, that's where we stand. In light of the above there are certain threads that are now locked, and some threads that will be redirected. If that causes anyone to say "this site is not for me" , that's a price we are willing to pay. Best wishes on finding a place where you will be satisfied.

Alphie, Pel and the rest of the admin and mod team.
Last edited by PEL on Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

Alphie
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Post by Alphie » Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:01 pm

Just FYI - somehow this stayed locked when it should have been unlocked. If you have a response to this, by all means, feel free to share it with us. And thank you to those of you who have all ready sent your support through PMs and such.
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Lomesir22
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Post by Lomesir22 » Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:16 pm

I have to say, this came as a surprise! The Lexicon is mindblowingly huge, so I can see why you all felt that a change of sorts was needed. I think you guys are def. right for posting the non-debatable points. Too many time- and bandwith-wasting topics in the past.

While you have this weekend free, just relax, put your feet up; you all deserve it.
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Sprtygal
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Post by Sprtygal » Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:47 pm

Excellent. Magnificent. Wonderful. Superb. Marvelous. I love you guys!

Thanks to all the admin and mods for trying to keep this a fun place to come and hang out! I for one am happy you're posting this so that instead of the lex crashing or going away forever, we can all continue to have fun.
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Kizmet
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Post by Kizmet » Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:53 pm

From experience I know that even a site with only 80 members can be a nightmare to run under certain circumstances, so I can't even begin to imagine being in charge of one with as many members as the Lex has. I think you guys are handling this beautifully. Thank you all for working so hard to keep the Lex an amazing place!
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Sha-Nikki
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Post by Sha-Nikki » Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:59 pm

I have to say that this did come as some sort of a suprise to me. I've seen in past newsletters that the Admins. have been getting fed up with all the fighting, namecalling, and rulebreaking. I am really happy that the Alphie, Pel, and Imogen have decided not to shut down the site and gave us all another chance (out of the many they have already given us), to clean up our act and follow the rules.

If you really go through and read the rules and regulations, you will find that its not that hard to follow them. I agree with everything said in the manifesto, and I support the Admins. 100%. Especially the part that says if the site loses members because they don't like the changes made to keep this site as pleasing to everyone as possible, then so be it.

I hope that everyone takes into consideration what Alphie, Pel, and Imogen have done for us in creating this site and start abiding by their rules and regulations. It's the least we can do for them, when we see how hard they work to keep the site running and up-to-date and error-free.

And I agree with Lomesir, that Alphie, Pel, and Imogen really deserve to have this weekend off to rest, relax and spend time with their friends and family. I would also like to say Thank You to Alphie, Pel, and Imogen for making the best Twilight site on the net, (in my opinon)!
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love_bites
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Post by love_bites » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:10 pm

I was very glad to hear this! You guys do so much to keep this a clean site where even Stephenie herself can visit. Thank you for all your hard work!!! :D I agree and fully support your manifesto! (Where do I sign my name in blood....haha)
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nissanmama
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Post by nissanmama » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:14 pm

*bowing and genuflecting*

You guys are incredible for putting up with all that you have. I know how much time I can waste - I mean use up, just reading and posting. How you can keep everything functioning is beyond me. Seems to me these are necessary growing pains for everyone's sanity. I love William Steig's C D B, but how wonderful it is to have a conversation without netspeak. Thank you so sincerely for everything.

Get out of here and go to a movie or something, will ya?!
Last edited by nissanmama on Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ReelClumsyDancer
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Post by ReelClumsyDancer » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:22 pm

First of all, I just want to say thank you for keeping this site open and being such great mods. Im sure it takes much more work than I realize.

Since Im new, I dont remember the way things used to be around here. However, from what I've seen so far, these boards are great. I really do enjoy the fact that only mods can make new topics, it keeps the boards "cleaner" so to speak.

Thanks again. :)
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Hurt2ManyX
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Post by Hurt2ManyX » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:52 pm

I applaud.

I absolutely love the new rules. I'm tired of people calling and describing Stephenie Meyer's amazing characters in inappropriate ways. How do you call yourself a true fan, when you constantly insult the characters?

Anyway, I just wanted to thank the mods for continuing this site! I'll definitely becoming around more often now. :D
How many times I've read:
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New Moon: 12
Eclipse: 18
Watch the numbers increase =D

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