galfridian: (Default)
galfridian ([personal profile] galfridian) wrote in [community profile] crossovering2017-06-15 02:49 pm
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Crossovering 2017 — Brainstorming & Feedback

Before we set an official schedule for this year's exchange, we wanted to get your feedback on a few subjects.

First, there's been some discussion in the past about changing how we do matching. Previously, we've simply set each request/offer up as bucket requests/offers, and participants have matched on 2+ fandoms. However, we know there's some interest in other approaches.

... unfortunately, AO3's code somewhat limits our options, so these are the options we're considering:
  • Nominations, signups, and matching remain as they've been — except that we will approve all fandoms, rather than impose a 2+ nomination requirement.

  • Participants nominate, request, and offer pairs of fandoms. For example, you might nominate: Wonder Woman (2017) & Xena: Warrior Princess. (We do not yet know what this would mean for the signup form.)

  • For each request or offer, participants would be required to choose 2+ fandoms and 2+ characters. However, this does complicate the matching process, and we might hit a wall with matching. If that happened, we would have to match based ONLY on the 2+ fandoms in each request/offer.

  • Participants nominate, request, and offer crossover relationships. Gen relationships (&) and romantic relationships (/) would both be accepted. For example, you might nominate: Diana Prince (Wonder Woman 2017)/Xena (Xena: Warrior Princess). All relationships would be nominated under Crossover Relationships.

Next, we'd like to talk about Crossovers and Fusions. For the purpose of this exchange, we've defined crossovers and fusions as such:
A crossover is when the characters/worlds of both fandoms interact. For example, Joan Watson and Sherlock Holmes solve a case with Kate Beckett and Richard Castle

A fusion is when the characters of one fandom are placed into the world of another fandom. For example, Joan Watson and Sherlock Holmes are co-pilots in the world of Pacific Rim, but the characters from Pacific Rim do not need to appear in the fic.
For the last two years, we've included these as additional tags but have not required them. (We also have not matched on them.) We only want to continue to include these if participants find them useful. We also know that some participants like the idea of requiring them — specifically, so that participants prone to leaving their Optional Details blank at least leave some useful info behind. We'd like to know your thoughts on these things.

Last, we've seen multiple request to include art. We've been hesitant to do so in the past, because it can be more difficult to maintain standards for art. However, we're willing to give it a try if a significant number of you would like to see that as an option.

So there's a poll behind the cut! Results are visible to everyone — for transparency's sake — but they're also anonymous. Anonymous commenting is also enabled, for those who can't vote in the poll and/or want to leave additional input.

Poll #18490 Crossovering 2017
This poll is closed.
This poll is anonymous.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 27

What's your matching preference?

View Answers

How it is now! (Requests/offers are bucket lists.)
13 (48.1%)

Fandom/Fandom. (Fandom A/Fandom B.)
8 (29.6%)

Fandom + Characters. (More complicated matching.)
4 (14.8%)

Relationships only, no fandoms. (& and /
2 (7.4%)

What's your opinion on the Fusion or Crossover detail?

View Answers

Keep it and leave it optional.
9 (34.6%)

Keep it and make it required.
17 (65.4%)

Would you like to see art included?

View Answers

17 (65.4%)

5 (19.2%)

Yes, but with qualifiers.
4 (15.4%)

If you chose option #3 for question #3, what qualifiers?

Anything else?

Edit: Oops! I forgot to include the option to remove the Crossover/Fusion element from the signups in the poll. If you'd prefer that, you can say so in question #4 or in the comments! Sorry about that!

morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)

[personal profile] morbane 2017-06-15 09:24 pm (UTC)(link)
I would still participate if the matching style changed (and fair enough, it's a good thing to try new things according to mods' and participants' evolving preferences) but the current matching system, with bucket-list-style fandoms, is one of the factors I most enjoy about this exchange.

ETA: If it does change, I'd prefer matching options that did not use relationships.
Edited (addition) 2017-06-15 21:34 (UTC)
raktajinos: (Default)

[personal profile] raktajinos 2017-06-15 10:20 pm (UTC)(link)
This summarizes all my thoughts as well.
graycardinal: Alexis Castle, thoughtful (Alexis (thoughtful))

[personal profile] graycardinal 2017-06-16 05:27 am (UTC)(link)
I am very much in agreement with this, and I'd like to take a moment to explain why.

Most of the multi-fandom exchanges in which I've taken part are deliberately constructed around the idea of story-as-gift -- the writer is strongly encouraged to create a story that will not merely meet a general standard, but one that will specifically address the recipient's wishes and desires. (Before anyone does a scream-and-leap, let me emphasize that this is NOT, repeat NOT, a criticism. Gift-oriented exchanges are absolutely a Good Thing, and I wouldn't be a long-term Yuletide veteran if I was at all uncomfortable with that structure.)

Crossovering, it seems to me, is a different animal. It is, far more than any other multi-fandom exchange I've been involved with, a challenge. [Indeed, I think its closest cousin in the immediate fic-producing universe is "A Ficathon Goes Into A Bar", which is explicitly a challenge rather than an exchange.] It's an exercise in flexing my writing muscles, doing something I typically haven't done before, thinking about particular fandoms in ways I haven't previously considered, and doing justice to two different source canons in the process.

I think that's both inevitable and appropriate. It's generally understood that writing crossovers at all -- let alone writing them well -- is more difficult than writing most other kinds of fic, which is why most multi-fandom gift exchanges count them as Extremely Optional at best. By extension, writing the particular crossover that a given recipient/requester most wants to read, in the particular pair/cluster of fic-universes under consideration, is likely to be even more difficult (and finding someone both willing and able to write That Particular Story -- and write it well -- is likely to be trickier still).

Which is why I like the bucket-list matching system as it currently functions. I like the element of surprise in receiving an assignment and looking through the possible fandom-pairs in my recipient's lists (there are usually several I'm potentially capable of writing). I like the flexibility of having multiple possible fandom-pairs in the matched bucket lists. And I like the specific challenge of finding interesting connections between the fandoms I ultimately pick from a recipient's bucket lists.

On the opposite side of the coin: as a requester of crossovers, I am almost never motivated to request fandoms with specific character relationships in mind. Thus if I request Stargate SG-1 and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it isn't because I want to see Vala/Loki fic (although I would read the heck out of a Vala/Loki fic if someone wrote one); it's because I want to see how someone not-me might put those two canons together...which might or might not involve throwing Vala and Loki into contact with one another. Maybe my writer will put General Hammond and the Black Widow together instead -- and that would be totally cool with me.

Thus: if matching went to pre-set Fandom/Fandom pairs, I might still play, but the thrill of the thing would likely be much diminished for me. If it went to Characters (Fandom)/Characters (Fandom), or to specific Person (Canon A) - Person (Canon B) matching, I would almost certainly not play, because that framework runs strongly counter to my writing process. (If Not Prime Time sticks with relationship matching next year, I may permanently -- if regretfully -- drop that one from my rotation.) I emphasize here that I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with relationship-based matching; it's just that I don't think I'm compatible with it.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)

[personal profile] morbane 2017-06-16 05:42 am (UTC)(link)
I have similar feelings about the weighting towards challenge vs. gift-tailoring in the matching, and agree that both are perfectly good things to want - just that some participants will prefer one over the other.

Here's a possible compromise: single fandoms are still nominated (maybe without the "seconding" requirement), and then participants are allowed to put a minimum of two fandoms in each request and offer - but can still put more.

This would allow you and me to put several different fandoms in one offer, or one request, and enjoy the adventure of not knowing what combination we'll be assigned or receive - but allow people who want a crossover between A & B, and between B & C, but NOT between A & C, to request/offer them confidently.

I also would prefer fandoms to be nominated one by one, rather than "Fandom 1 & 2" being a single tag, because that makes it far more likely I can combine my nominations and someone else's nominations in a fun way. I'm too lazy to do the math right now, but I suspect I requested over 40 possible combinations in the last Crossovering. It would not have been possible to nominate them all except with multiple accounts or very strategic teamwork, and surely approving all those 40 combinations would be work for the mods.

(I feel the same way as you do about characters, but I don't know how to suggest a compromise there. I know that getting specific relationships or team-ups can be really important to other people; I guess we'll just see what works out in terms of votes and in terms of matching complexity.)
Edited (grammar) 2017-06-16 05:47 (UTC)
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)

[personal profile] morbane 2017-06-16 08:56 am (UTC)(link)
(Whoops - I requested ~20 combinations, but offered ~40.)

(Anonymous) 2017-06-16 02:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Here's a possible compromise: single fandoms are still nominated (maybe without the "seconding" requirement), and then participants are allowed to put a minimum of two fandoms in each request and offer - but can still put more.

As someone who's mostly interested in specific fandom pairs being combined, this sounds a good, workable compromise to me. It allows those who enjoy the bucket offer system to combine three or more fandoms and keep the surprise and the mystery and the challenge, while also allowing those of us who'd love to see fandoms A/B or A/C but not B/C to avoid getting a gift that would disappoint us (or having to write something we absolutely don't want to write).
sian1359: (Default)

[personal profile] sian1359 2017-06-15 11:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I would at least love to have preferred characters suggested/required on the sign up form as part of the optional details. As you say, not everyone adds details, and I would hate to exclude the character(s) my match most wants. (I've searched out their fics in the past to get an idea of who they might like, but I'm sure I haven't always gone the direction my match preferred.)
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)

[personal profile] morbane 2017-06-16 12:22 am (UTC)(link)
Although I'm happy without it, I would find that interesting as well. I think there are ways to have part of a sign-up draw on a specific tag set, and part of it allow truly free text or to draw on the whole Archive, so it might not be necessary to have the characters nominated in order for people to be able to input them in a character field of the sign-up form.

In any exchange where parts of the sign-up field are optional, someone will misunderstand and be annoyed to receive a work that does not use those optional details. But I guess that's a problem that can be worked around or tackled on a case-by-case basis (and up to mods to decide how much of a headache it is).
Edited (being clearer about tag sets) 2017-06-16 00:22 (UTC)

(Anonymous) 2017-06-15 11:29 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't have a DW account, so I can't participate in the poll. I would love the possibility of requesting specific relationships, but I can see how that might make matching too complicated, or how that might be unappealing to people who are more interested in worldbuilding than in characters for crossovers. But in the absence of that, I definitely vote for fandom pairs rather than bucket offers.

I tend to want crossovers between specific fandoms, so between fandom A and B or fandom B and C - but I might have absolutely zero interest in seeing fandoms A and C together. A system where I can't specify that means that I will in all likelihood neither offer nor request fandoms A/B and B/C, making me actually harder to match. I would end up not offering or requesting the large majority of crossovers I'm interested in for fear of getting some combination of fandoms I don't want. Allowing people to nominate, request and offer specific fandom pairs would work much better, in my opinion. Of course, if the bucket offer system allows you to offer or request only two fandoms together, rather than three, the result will be more or less the same, so that works, too. I just don't want to risk getting crossover A/C if what I want is A/B or B/C.

(Anonymous) 2017-06-15 11:34 pm (UTC)(link)
When you say make the "crossover/fusion detail required" do you mean that it could be a selection in the offers, too, and people can match on it? If so, YES! I have never been able to participate in this exchange because I have no interest in reading or writing AUs (which fusions are). Especially since requests were not visible during sign-ups last year, there was no way to avoid matching to someone who wants only fusions (or vice versa, for the many people who hate crossovers). I think you'd get more participants if you made it a matching factor; I see just as many AU DNWs in exchange letters as I see prompts for them. People who like both would be unaffected, because they could select both.

I like matching on fandom-only (as you've had it in the past). However, if crossovers/fusions isn't a matching parameter, then I'd selfishly be all for relationship matching, as that seems would make this a crossover-only exchange.

Long story short, my answers to the poll questions are interdependent so I'm not sure how to answer.
aurilly: (Default)

[personal profile] aurilly 2017-06-17 04:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Especially since requests were not visible during sign-ups last year
I know it isn't one of the listed discussion topics, but this reminded me. Would you consider making requests visible during sign-ups this year? For exchanges like this, the signup summary is useless in terms of making sure you're matchable. I don't think there are many people trying to game the system. I personally just want to ensure I can match to as many people requesting my favorite fandoms as possible, but I can't do that without seeing the combinations. Even in the above example, allowing a crossover-only writer to avoid matching to a fusion person from the get-go might be better than a default later. The letter post doesn't help because many people don't want to post their information until the letter is all done.

And also +1 to wishing people could match on crossovers vs fusion preferences.
Edited 2017-06-17 16:50 (UTC)
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)

[personal profile] morbane 2017-06-17 10:53 pm (UTC)(link)
I would like requests visible for Crossovering from the start of sign-ups too, please. I can get by without it, but I think it'll make everyone's lives easier if matching is done on more than one axis, and it's also useful even if if matching doesn't change.

(In running my own Jukebox, I made requests visible at the close of sign-ups in the last two years because a larger number of long-term participants wanted this than didn't, but especially when matching on art as well as song, there just isn't enough information on the sign-up summary to allow people to make effective offers, so I will probably change it next year.)

(Anonymous) 2017-06-18 09:45 pm (UTC)(link)
I would also love it if requests were made visible.
sirvalkyrie: (Default)

[personal profile] sirvalkyrie 2017-06-16 02:37 am (UTC)(link)
I'd really like the two nomination and number of fandoms allowed dropped or modified. I think an acceptable compromise is if maybe there was a list of biggish fandoms and people had to chose x many from that list but once you hit that number you could then add the small ones on? You could even make the list the same way you've one nominations on previous rounds. X number of nominations gets it on the big fandom list. Anything with fewer still gets accepted but doesn't make the list.
shuufleur93: (Default)

[personal profile] shuufleur93 2017-06-16 07:22 am (UTC)(link)
I voted but I wanted to explain:
I haven't participated (yet) but I agree with previous commenters: the bucket list sounds much more fun than fandom A/fandom B (although, I guess in the optional field, it can be suggested that the participant would love this crossover/fusion). If I request specific fandoms, I'm also expecting plot ideas that I have for that particular association, so it looks more like a prompt than an exchange. I think it kinda miss the point of this challenge.

Also, using relationships (friendship or romantic) as matching is really restrictive in my opinion, especially in crossovers. I think it's better to leave it in the optional field.

As for fusion and crossovers: I think it's important to make the distinction, as not everyone like fusions (I like them ok but I'd much rather have a crossover than a fusion).
notalwaysweak: Rainbow rose with words 'love as thou wilt' below in white lettering (Default)

[personal profile] notalwaysweak 2017-06-17 10:04 am (UTC)(link)
I have no brain, I just want to say I will do my utmost to participate however it's set up because I miss writing and if I'm writing a thing for someone then it might be easier.

(Anonymous) 2017-06-18 07:02 pm (UTC)(link)
As I recall, in the past you had to make 3 to 7 offers, with between 4 and 10 fandoms each, and 3 to 5 requests, with 3 to 6 fandoms each.

Unfortunately, that makes it really hard if you want to read/write fandom A paired with either fandom B or fandom C, but have no interest at all in fandom B paired with C.

How about setting a slightly higher minimum (and perhaps a higher maximum?) number of requests/offers, but allowing those requests and offers to consist of 2 or more fandoms? That would allow for avoiding those matchups you really don't want, while giving more options.