Heeeeeeeeer’s Bree!

It’s one of those days that I wonder if it’s worth the effort to be part of a ‘fandom’. So many good things can be going on which can be so quickly overshadowed by negativity. I once heard that it actually takes 10 positive comments to balance out 1 negative comment. Now, this was talking about individuals and self-esteem, but I imagine the formula holds pretty true. We as human beings tend to be very quick to latch onto the negative rather than embracing the positive.

Today, we were (finally) introduced to the very lovely young lady that will be playing Brianna Randall/Fraser. Almost immediately came the:

She has brown eyes! That’s impossible if both parents have blue! How could they DO this?! WAAAAA (it’s not actually but won’t get into that)

She is too short!  WAAAAAA

She’s a Brit so her accent will be all wrong!!! WAAAAA

She looks nothing like I pictured Brianna! I’m SO disappointed!!! WAAAAAA

 

You all get the picture.

Italian mother.png(BTW – for me it would be a German mamma – but the idea is the same and thank you to @CandidKathryn for this meme!)

A few points here. All the negative nellies get to have their say – it’s their RIGHT by god to disagree whenever and however they please. Ok….that means I get to have my say too.

First, The Outlander books are some of the very best I have EVER read! They catch you up and wrap you into the story and you can see it all in your head. The thing I really REALLY wish people would keep in mind is – we all see it differently. How I picture Jamie is how I picture Jamie (or Claire or Bree or pick a character). MY interpretation of the words DG has put together to create the Outlander universe. It will be different from anyone else’s vision because no one else in the world has my exact background. To me, Diana created this world so SHE has final say. She can’t be ‘wrong’ because for Outlander she is ‘god’. (NOTE!!! I am not being disrespectful or blasphemous here…note the use of the lower case ‘g’. I am merely saying that as this world’s creator, she is the just that).

 

Second, while Jamie and the other characters are very real to each of us in different ways and for different reasons THEY ARE FICTIONAL CHARACTERS. They don’t exist in the real world….hence….there is no one that is going to look exactly like them physically. This is just something everyone needs to except as fact. Might there have been some actors closer in physical likeness to the different characters – perhaps. Could the ‘team’ have found anyone better to embody these characters? Not bloody likely.

I remember the hub-bub when Sam was first cast. People literally flipping out because Sam looked NOTHING like their beloved Jaimie! There is no possible way this guy could pull it off and the whole thing was ruined without a second of film having been shot. Yet, look now and no one can imagine anyone else doing such a fantastic job. Still see gripes about hair color –   *sigh*

 

Third, so far the casting of Outlander has been SPOT ON. The actors may not look exactly as the characters were described in the book (please refer to the second point above) but they have embodied the essence of the characters and totally brought them to life! Since the ‘Team’ has done such a fabulous job so far getting the right actor for the right part, I’m going to trust them on this one too! Sophie Skelton is a lovely lass who has some solid credentials behind her. For a short time acting she has a lot of credits behind her already. She also has some smarts it seems like and is willing to jump into the Twitter fray as it were. Sam tweeted that she “SMASHED IT”…… that says to me that she fits right in and will do a stellar job as Brianna. Also, as a relative ‘unknown’ she doesn’t bring any baggage from previous work – or not much. The other cast members seem pretty excited about this choice – so I hope everyone settles back and doesn’t ruin it for themselves with their own expectations.

 

None of the actors are going to exactly match the physical characteristics of the characters because the characters are creations of an (extremely talented) author. This will only be a problem if you LET it be.

Not every scene/nuance/line that is critical to you from the book is going to be in the series. It just is not possible. You are not going to agree with how the ‘Team’ does everything, accept that. If you want to discuss what you would have liked to see done differently, that’s great – but show some respect for the process and the people who do this for a living. It often isn’t what is said that is the issue – it’s how it is presented.

 

I’m going to ask what I always do. Common sense and courtesy. To each other as fans, to Diana as the author, to the actors busting ass to bring you the best show they can, to Ron and the ‘Team’ who are working hard behind the camera to do the same. Discuss – don’t malign. To others like me that are really enjoying the show – please say so! Don’t try to silence others opinions, give some balance out there on social media! Thank all involved for their hard work and dedication. They may be ‘celebrities’ – but they are still people with feelings that appreciate a sincere compliment/thank you as much as anyone else!

I’m tickled to say that, while I’ve been writing this and doing some other things, I’ve kept a watch on Twitter and FB and as things have progressed the positive comments are starting to balance the negative! This is great! I so hope the trend continues because, as I said above, it’s a 10-1 ratio for balance.

 

Let’s give the newest member of the family a warm welcome and trust that she is exactly right to bring this character to life for the series.

 

 

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THANK YOU STARZ

Note to STARZ

 

First – I apologize. This is long again but it’s what I felt I needed to say.

 

I have made no secret of my thoughts about this show and the fandom surrounding it. Most of my blog posts have been observations about the Outlander fandom as it is the first and pretty much only fandom I’m really involved with. This fandom can and does do EPIC shit! The money that has been raised for extremely worthy charities, the hundreds of people that have gotten healthier thanks not only to Sam and his Peak Challenge in conjunction with Bear Strength – but the care and support of the fans for each other to strive to reach their fitness goals, support each other in times of trial, rejoice with each other in triumph. This is an amazing group of people and I feel blessed to be part of it – most of the time.

There is, however, a disturbing trend in this group to whine. Nothing, it seems, is ever quite good enough and simply must be complained about. When all this started – everyone was SO excited to just be finally getting it on the screen…..but then….Sam looked nothing like Jamie, Caitriona was too skinny, wrong eyes, Duncan should have hair, those are not the proper knits for the time period and on and on and on. I think for the most part people have settled with those early decisions and have moved on to other ‘issues’.

There is still a lot of ‘discussion’ _ahem_ about all that was done ‘wrong’ in Season 1 – even though all the complaining in the world won’t change it. I have suggested several times that people start discussions about Voyager – aka Season 3 – as that is not set yet. No one seems interested in this idea which is too bad, but if the value of expressing what the fans WANT to see in season 3 before it’s set can’t be grasped I’m not going to waste my time or energy trying to make people ‘get it’.

Today I saw slams against STARZ PR – they aren’t doing enough to promote the show. Over the last few months there have been load of complaints that WE (meaning Outlander) isn’t getting enough attention/press/episodes/hype/or giving the fans enough pictures or information.

Sorry, but I have to stand up and say STOP!

First, STARZ PR has been AWESOME to the fans of Outlander and, like it or not, OL is not their only popular show. All the giveaways they did in December weren’t for the fans?!. I happened to win a set of the posters. I was expecting little 8X10 promotional pictures and would have been perfectly happy with that but…..NO….these are full theatre size, high quality, absolutely awesome posters! Signed by Tobias, Catriona and Sam as appropriate.

STARZ PR got the show spotlighted at Comic Con and the PaleyFest when the show was barely going – amazing! The premiers that they have done are way above and beyond what they have done for other shows and we, as fans, have a lot of access to both the team and the stars. They did THREE premiers for the second half of the first season: LA, New York and the UK. That’s huge and bloody expensive I’m sure. No, not all fans can get to these events, but this is way more than what fans for other shows get.

Doing a bit of research, I picked five other STARZ shows and looked them up. These are shows that even I have heard about and they seem to be fairly popular. Here is what I found.

DaVinci’s Demons: Season 1 had 8 episodes / S2 = 10 Eps / S3 = 10 Eps

Ash vs Evil Dead: S1 = 10 Eps / S2 = 10 Eps

Survivor’s Remorse: S1 = 6 Eps / S2 = 10 Eps / S3 = 3 Eps?!

Torchwood: S1 = 13 Eps / S2 = 13 Eps / S3 = 5 Eps / S4 = 10 Eps (older series)

Black Sails: another favorite of mine and a fairly popular show that doesn’t get anywhere near the PR shine that OL does from what I’ve seen: S1 = 8 Eps / S2 = 10 Eps / S3 =10 Eps

So, realistically in comparison…for its very first, untried season Outlander was given two seasons worth of episodes! Other series get 10 episodes for their second season and OL / the fans got 13! Yet all the fans seem to do is complain that we are getting ripped off! I’m sure that is not how everyone feels, but this is the opinion that seems to be the most vocal – I’m really hoping the positive feelings will be expressed more prominently as time goes on.

STARZ put together an amazing team. Ron Moore has been in this business a long time and is very successful in it. So are the members of his team. They have a vision and know way better than we do the constraints they have to work under to bring in a good show under a contract. We as fans are NOT THERE. We don’t sit in on all the meetings with the accountants and suits and have to please both the fans and the guys that sign the checks. My perspectives are different and while I may not LIKE the way some specific thing was done – I can appreciate the difference in vision and wait to see where it goes. I trust them to do what is right for the series to make it a long-term deal. I’m not qualified to judge or make comments about Ron’s job because I have never done anything close to it! Same for Matt Roberts and the exceptional team of writers, Bear McCreary with his haunting/beautiful music and Jon Gary Steele and all those other marvelous people that give us such a fabulous show – including the PR staff!

I have acted a little and done some production work. I have done some costume work and I am in absolute awe of Terry Dresbach! If I could afford the trip I’d go work for her for free for a season just to learn a tiny bit of what she knows. None of this ‘experience’ makes me even remotely qualified to judge what any of these people do and have done on a daily basis for years. There is no way I would have the temerity to say they are ‘wrong’ about any decision they make for this or any other show they work on.

I’m sure I have a few people fairly steamed right now so let me qualify and clarify. No one is going to ‘like’ every single thing done on the OL show. (ah…I imagine that includes the people working on it). There is absolutely nothing wrong with expressing that opinion and why you would have liked to have seen something different. I encourage this – I always have. What I don’t like and wish people would stop doing is judging something they are not qualified to judge (i.e. STARZ PR is not capitalizing on the GG buzz enough, wasting opportunities…etc) and doing it in such a way as to be all negative. Unless you WORK or have worked in a particular field – you simply do not have enough information to ‘judge’ it. We as civilians to that have no idea what all STARZ is doing to promote the show – I’m pretty sure it isn’t all just what you see as an ad on TV/cable. This is true of any aspect of production.

STARZ has been really great to the fans of Outlander – in my opinion. Yes I won the posters which is cool but it is very unusual for me to win stuff. They have done lots of giveaways, lots of promotion, lots of ‘fan events’ – so many things that other shows aren’t getting and yet what I see most often is negative thrown at them. Why should they keep doing all they do if all they get is crap in return.

There is an idea being generated right now about kindness. Being kind to each other as fans; being kind to the actors to that work so hard to bring these characters to life; being kind to all the production team that does so much to make OL the great show that it is. Let’s include STARZ in that and be kind and grateful for all they have given us.

There is an old saying that you get more flies with honey than vinegar. People are perfectly within their rights to express disappointment with something – but it can still be done in a positive way. I hope more and more fans start expressing, loudly, all that we like and appreciate about this great show and the marvelous people that get it on the screen for us.

A final tidbit to mull over. If the loudest expressions about the show on social media are negative (this was wrong, that was wrong, hated this or that, Ron/writers/STARZ is ruining the story, etc.) why would anyone checking the show out want to watch it? I encourage all fans to start tweeting, facebooking, tumblering (whatever your preferred SM platform is) all the stuff you love about the show. Counter a negative/judgmental comment with something positive. DO NOT attack the person! DO NOT attack the opinion – simply balance it with something positive.

 

 

 

Outlander Season 2 – Some Thoughts

This popped up on Twitter

Season 2 tweet

I responded easily, but it got me to thinking, which means I needed to write so you can blame this one on Jen!

 

What am I most excited for in regard to Season 2? The experience – all of it.

Will “The Team” (meaning Ron and the writers and anyone with a hand in putting this show on the air) follow the book exactly? Of course not. It simply isn’t possible to cram DiA into less than 13 hours of television. Will “The Team” put out a good series that uses DiA as its base and guide? Yes I believe so. Will I like every single thing that they do? Probably not – but that is a personal preference not a slight on their decisions for the show.

I look at it this way. Season 3 of Black Sails starts in a short time. I’m very excited about that! I have back story and a ‘relationship’ with these characters now, but rather than locking myself into an idea of where the story ‘should’ go in my opinion, I want to just jump in, go for the ride and let the story take me where it will. Same with The 100 (which I found thanks to one of our votes BTW).

It’s a bit more difficult with Outlander because we DO have the story already. Diana did a fabulous job with DiA and it is many people’s favorite book in the series. I loved it once I got over the WTF moment of how the book opened. I don’t, however, want my love of the book Diana wrote to diminish my enjoyment of the series. I purposely have not read the books since MOBY came out. I remember the story and where it goes but not every tiny detail, so have been able to enjoy the series for itself. Have I liked everything done in the series? No. But I don’t like every detail of the other two I mentioned or any other series I’ve gotten involved in over my lifetime.  As the story progresses I usually find that there was a purpose for that thing I didn’t like and it all works out. Just my observation and I trust “The Team” to make this a great series – not a word for word/scene for scene copy of the books.

Beth Wesson did a great blog about ‘New Beginnings’ – (Click the link).

That covers a lot of what I wanted to say and she has such a great way of writing!

 

The series has given me some new perspectives on this story that I love. Sam & Caitriona may not be exactly what I had physically pictured in my head for Jamie and Claire, but they, by virtue of being living breathing people, have given a new depth to those characters. I don’t know if I’ll picture them when I go back to read the books again – more their expressions I think. The actors captured the essence of the characters for me, which is far more important than their physical characteristics. When I do go back and read, I’ll see the story with fresh eyes and new perspective because I have interacted with so many fans and seen “The Teams” vision as it unfolded onto the screen. I can only ever comment on my perspective. Mine isn’t right or wrong, only mine.

The only absolute authority on the world of Outlander is the author. Diana Gabaldon has written a rich, complex world layered with real history. She can’t be ‘wrong’ about something she wrote because it is her creation. It lives in her head. We each bring to our reading or viewing our own history, experience and ideas. We each view it differently because of that – but ultimately it is an individual perception not necessarily what the author had in mind. Sharing those different ideas is awesome and lends a varied perspective for another to consider – but doesn’t make any one of us more ‘right’ than any other.

379ddb7d46abc6faba1a6e81ea2619c7

So, I am looking forward to embracing the experience of Outlander Season Two in all its glory. The sets, the costumes, the intrigue, the love and yes, even what might be seen a major deviations from ‘the book’. I don’t care. It’s going to be a hell of a ride with stellar acting, a marvelous story and all those wonderful details that make this such a great show!

SM – Love to Hate It

First of all – a note to all my followers on Twitter. Thank you. I’m humbled. I never expected to HAVE followers at all so this is pretty cool. I appreciate you – I truly do. What I want to do here is explain my ‘take’ on Social Media and how I deal with it. If I haven’t followed you back, this blog should explain why. I’m not trying to be snooty or anything – just keep my sanity! LOL

Second – in this blog I am talking about ME. How I feel about SM, my thoughts and ideas. You don’t have to agree with me and I’m not trying to point fingers at anyone. I am giving my opinion about what I see on social media. If you take it personally – that is your problem not mine.  Many of you probably won’t care about any of this – that’s ok. This is just my perspective on SM, take what you can use and leave the rest.

 

For any that have been around my blog, you know my mantra. Here it is again because it is what I try to live by. I screw up, get angry, post things I shouldn’t – but mostly, this is what I believe and work to consistently practice.

Courtesy

 

I mainly inhabit Twitter. I have found it the easiest for me to deal with. I like that you have to be short and concise. However, that does make it easy to misinterpret things – so I’m working at not doing snap responses.

When I first got on Facebook I had the horrible experience of it taking me 4 hours just to set up my basic account – and I’ve never quite recovered from that. I am on it and participate in several groups….but it isn’t my favorite.

Tumbler I actively avoid – 99% of what people have wanted me to look at has been some vile rant and I just don’t need that sort of thing. Instagram, I’ve never joined or really figured out – same with Reddit. Nothing wrong with the platforms, but I spend too much time on SM as it is and don’t need other platforms to add to that.

What I chose early on with Twitter was to be very selective with who I followed. I didn’t fall into the whole ‘you follow me I’ll follow you’ idea. That’s is fine if you want to do that – I just chose not to. Two reasons for this: It’s not really honest to just follow someone for the sake of following them – you should follow them because you really want to and feel it will add to your experience. The other is simply time. I can already – easily – sit with my coffee for a couple of hours in the morning catching up with Twitter/Facebook/Email. If I had MORE on my TL….yikes. I’m not as disciplined as I need to be to walk away from it and get back to writing! Working on that. Also, I already see a lot of the OL stuff multiple times due to who I follow, I don’t need even more. I have picked up though that – not everyone follows everyone so RT’s and such ARE important. Some of my follows may NOT see something unless I RT so – I do.

 

I follow accounts for a specific purpose. Some people I have followed I have later unfollowed. Their politics or style of Tweeting just wasn’t a good fit for me. Not to say anything bad about the other person or account – it just wasn’t a good fit for me. If someone interacts with me and I get interested I follow. I have some celebs I follow and *GASP* they are NOT all Outlander related.  I try to avoid too much political stuff on my feed. I have very strong beliefs and get passionate about defending it – but I don’t want to do that so much on Twitter. Politics can so easily ruin an otherwise very cordial relationship and that isn’t how I want my SM interaction to be.

 

I’m learning to block people. I’ve done that very little, but a few have just been so negative about something I simply didn’t want to see it or have to deal with them. I get on Twitter to have a bit of fun and pick up information. I had one person that I hugely respect and like a LOT that I muted. She just was all gung-ho promoting a show I don’t really care for/know about and it gotten so about every 3rd tweet on my TL was about that and I got tired of it. I can keep track of what she is up to over on FB so it’s all good. Nothing against her or the show – it’s popular and that’s fine – I just didn’t want that to be the majority of my TL.

My other challenge is that I live on a boat. This is awesome and cool for the most part – BUT – I don’t have access to Wi-Fi in this port. (If you want to learn more about the boat – here is our website for that www.gratefulaire.com ). That means my internet connection is through my phone using it as a wireless hotspot. It’s not very reliable as we have hills all around us so sometimes the signal is crap – and it can get VERY expensive if I don’t watch data usage. I can’t watch all the great video clips and live stream stuff (like the interview Sam & Cait just did)  I have to collect links and URL’s and wait till I can get into town (when the other half isn’t working and I have transport) to Wi-Fi.

I need to work on my own time management skills and be willing to shut SM down and ‘miss’ some information or interactions to focus on more important things. This is especially true when stuff is going happening on SM and particularly within the fandom I don’t care for. I’ve already written a blog about that so won’t get into it again (see Pages section). I picked up another gem the other day (Thanks Wildcat!!) – I’m finding it very helpful. Repeating this to myself has likely saved me a lot of grief in the last 24 hours because I have deleted comments I started.

minion 2

 

Everyone has an opinion – I’ve never denied that. I just really wish some people would learn to use their words better; not feel the need to demean themselves and others by cussing every other word through a comment and be purposely mean, snotty and vulgar to people just to – it seems – start a social media shit storm. I love discussion and getting other POV’s – everyone has different experiences and history so gets a different perspective on things. I learn by trying to understand another’s POV – but attacking and abusive attitude is not productive in any way.

 

So there it is. Probably boring but it’s just a little piece of me to share. Honestly – there are some days I disconnect on purpose and, while I miss the interaction with my internet ‘friends’ I get a lot more  done and don’t tend to be so stressed. Love to hate it.

 

 

Personal Responsibility

As a quick (for me) follow-up to my recent post.

I’ve seen many comments about how all the prevailing promotion of ‘Sexy Sam’ is somehow all STARZ fault. WTF?! Yes, the opening campaign to promote Outlander was ‘The Kilt Drops’….it was catchy, it got people’s attention, it did the job of grabbing interest to promote a brand new – and for the studio risky – show. Marketing and PR did their job, but I for one never saw them as putting Sam out there as the sex symbol he has become – that was the fans doing.

The real tragedy here isn’t that Sam has become a huge sensation. He’s paid his dues with years of hard work and it’s giving him great bennies now. The tragedy is that his so called ‘fans’ take no personal responsibility for their own actions. I’ve just been informed on Twitter people are sheep so they follow. I say that is a cop-out.

 

And – if you insist on being a sheep, at least find a decent leader.

 

Moral leader

Here is what I try to do when it comes to SM – I can’t change or dictate others actions, only my own. I’m not perfect. I screw up, I get angry and, I have drool days.

Before I post that picture and/or comment or innuendo – I think of someone close to me and replace them in that post. Would I want to post such a thing about my best friend or my brother or son or husband? How about your daughter or sister, your mom or BFF? Would you want such things posted about yourself? If not, why the hell would I/you post it about Sam or any of the other myriad of really great looking guys out there?! There is light banter and fun innuendo and then there is OTT – and really, we all know where that line is.  The same goes for Caitriona or anyone on the female side of things.

I’m not saying I am a saint, nor do I expect others to be – but take a little personal responsibility for your own thoughts and actions. Stop blaming everyone but yourself for what goes on in the world of social media.

 

I know there are a lot of FB groups that are doing activities, I’ve seen some truly cool creative people doing Outlander trees and finding ways to celebrate and enjoy the show/books until Season 2 starts. Find like-minded fans to come up with memes and such to positively support/promote the show from a grass roots place and get new people revved up about watching or reading.

 

On a related note – believe it or not, Outlander is not the entire world. STARZ has many other shows going on that need promotion and attention. I’m quite sure there PR department is working up some great campaign for Season 2 – STARZ & Sony wants this to be successful: i.e. make money for them. All good things come to those who wait. Is there not some other show or book or activity that you can find to take up your time until the new campaign starts?

 

Outlander is awesome on many levels – but it is one story out of millions.

 

There is a whole world out there. Find something to fill the gap until the new season starts.

 

 

To VOTE or not to VOTE – That is the Question

I wrote a blog about voting back in March originally and which was updated a couple of times in July. That piece was more about WHY we as fans might want to vote and how to be good ambassadors of our favorite show and stars. If you want to look back at that one here is a link WILL THE VOTING NEVER END?!?! I completely endorse voting in the various contests and do it as often as my weird internet connection allows me to.

I want to address something a little different here. Yet another way bullies are making themselves known and often they are the self-proclaimed leaders that are just supposed to be giving some ‘guidance & structure”.

Voting, like anything else in the fandom, is a choice. It is a personal choice and no one should feel brow-beaten or belittled for their choice. I can’t always vote as much as I’d like because of my internet connection or lack thereof. Sometimes I get so tired of being harped on I quit voting and walk away from Twitter and Facebook so I don’t have to see it anymore. I did that with one of Sam’s recent rounds – and was told rather snottily if I didn’t want to see the voting reminder to block or mute them. Wasn’t the reminders to vote that were irritating – it was their tone.

On both TW & FB I constantly see “We need HELP – why aren’t more people voting!!!!” then these people go out and make comments like “If you were really a fan you’d be voting!” I actually saw one comment that went something like ‘You have company over? Hide your phone under your napkin and keep voting.’

An often repeated idea in my blogs is ‘courtesy and common sense’. Be excellent to each other. Don’t try to dictate someone else’s personal choices. Appeal for help, state your case then let the people make their own choice. Making a wonderful meme that is fun and witty and gets people interested, then closing it with a command is a really fast way to lose people.

Why aren’t there more people voting? My personal thought is people in general don’t like to be told what to do, made to feel guilty about something or constantly nagged. Reminding people to vote with great memes, tweets and comments on social media is fine! It’s a good thing to put up voting links often with fun/creative pictures or comments. But nagging, being nasty, telling people they MUST vote – will tend to lose the very people you are trying to get to help you.

Many fans are just plain tired of all the voting. I’m one of them – but we keep at it anyway.  You finish one competition and start another or often have several going at once. Some people don’t want their whole time they have allowed for Outlander to be sitting and voting. Most fans vote when they can and a core group of really dedicated voters carry the main burden of winning these things. Every vote counts – every vote….we have had some really tight wins and losses where just a minor number would have swung things. What we need to do is get a much bigger and more diverse fandom to help when we have votes so it doesn’t fall on the same people over and over again.

A couple of tips:

Look at what you are RT’ing. Is it still timely? I’ve seen many contests where a frantic call for final votes goes out which is fine – but someone Retweets it when the vote has been closed for hours. This is true of any tweets really – pay attention to what they are asking for and the timeframe.

Don’t constantly say things like ‘panic’ or ‘mayday’ or make it sound like whoever is being voted for is behind or is in imminent danger of losing their lead. This happened a LOT in the radio times vote for Sam and at times he was literally MILLIONS of votes in the lead. I get that with the way the voting was going it was possible if we didn’t stay on top of it for that lead to be lost, but it wasn’t imminent. The problem with always ‘crying wolf’ is that when it really IS critical, people will ignore it because the scare tactic has been used too much when it wasn’t really true.

There were two votes going at the same time recently. Sam’s vote on Radio Times and Cait’s vote for E-online. Sam’s vote was really important – I get that. Big exposure, important deal in the UK because Radio Times is such a major publication. All good. What ticked me off was people so willing to throw Cait and her vote under the bus when it was not necessary. Sam was millions of votes ahead and people could have taken a little time away to make sure she was set in her race then keep them both in the lead. So much easier to maintain a lead than have to claw up from under 50%.

Radio Times

Not only was I sniffed at for suggesting in various places that we work on Cait’s vote some as Sam was more than stable, some people got just a little hostile. A friend got a DM from a ‘self-appointed leader’ chewing HER out for daring to promote Cait’s ‘fluff’ vote rather than focusing on Sam. That really, REALLY annoyed me. Not only was it hurtful, it made her want to just give up voting entirely. Sam was being well represented and she wanted to remind people of Cait’s vote – her choice and a good one.

First, free country anyone can promote any vote they want to. Second, I find it interesting that Cait’s is a ‘fluff’ vote – don’t remember anyone calling the ‘Alpha Male Madness’ a FLUFF vote (and the balance to the #GirlonTop vote Cait is in now BOTH of which are E-online with Kristin Dos Santos)…..oh right….we were voting for Sam so it was important. I adore Sam – I do – but he is not the only star on Outlander. He is not the only talent. He is not the only person on that show that works his butt to see it be successful.

I just found a far worse issue – and sadly, I found it on the Radio Times story about Sam’s win.

harrassment wiped

Not only was what happened here totally out of line, it is now known to not only our fandom but anyone who reads comments on the article. Much as it pains me to say this, I believe it happened and that there were probably others. Please….do not put up with stuff like this. Call these people out. Don’t stand for bullying and let the rest of the fandom support you.

Radio Times

We have some wonderfully creative people in the Outlander fandom. See above.  The encouragements to vote are mostly fun and motivational. If you ASK for votes, explain why they are needed without making every request into a panic situation, and don’t constantly nag….I’m far more likely to vote. There are certain people on Twitter that, honestly, during a vote I simply ignore because of how they come across. ASK for votes, make it fun, make it easy for people to do it then leave them alone to make up their own minds.

The Trouble with Trolls

Divergent blue

Definitely struggling with kind at the moment. Really frustrated with an issue that is a reoccurrence in fandoms because some people simply refuse to use an ounce of common sense or try to, in even a tiny way, live by that above philosophy. (As a side note, if you haven’t read Divergent I highly recommend it – might be ‘teen fiction’ but some deep truths if you allow them to sink in. I’m way past being a teen and really liked the series!)

TROLLS! People on the internet that seem to go out of their way to cause issues, disrupt a forum or just spread nastiness. This is an issue that has been addressed many times in many places I’m sure, so I’ll add my voice to the chorus. Not because I think I can say it better or am any better than anyone else, but everyone thinks differently and I may give someone that ‘ah-ha!’ moment when others couldn’t.

Now in the spirit of full-disclosure, I stooped to being a troll once. For about 15 minutes. I probably shouldn’t have done it, but it effectively stopped nastiness against my fandom for about 48 hours on that particular poll. If anyone really wants that story I’ll tell it privately.

People that bring up a differing viewpoint and defend it in a discussion isn’t someone I have a problem with. That is what forums are for IMHO. To see and maybe understand another facet, a different viewpoint that is just as passionate as your own. MY issue comes from the people that are abusive. Bad language, name calling, denigration, rudeness, and shit stirring just to rile people rather than to make a valid point.

Most effective way to deal with these people is not to ‘feed’ them. Don’t give them attention as that is what they want. They want to get people riled up, they revel in chaos and bad feelings. Ignore them (as much as possible) and hopefully whatever forum you are in will have admins that can block them if enough people complain. Private forums and poll comments are one issue…..Twitter is another.

Twitter is so great and so bad for the same reason. Things can spread far and wide VERY quickly. For trying to get people to vote like we are doing right now for #AlphaMaleMadness – it’s a great thing! When it has something to do with a negative….well….it can make it much, much worse.

As I type this it is April 28, noonish. Early in my day on April 26, someone posted something that Sam Heughan responded to. To several of us this looked like an invasion of his privacy which made us see red and leap to his defense. The bigger problem is I’m still seeing retweets of some of the ‘conversation’ today.

A few thoughts about this particular instance and this problem in general. Sam is a braw and canny lad that can well defend himself if he needs it. However – if HE responds too much to anything it gets the issue to a much bigger audience. Rock – hard place. Most stars/celebrities may have very fine retorts but can’t or won’t use them on open forums. Good restraint (way better than I have). Often then, some well-meaning fans jump in and defend. I think this is fine, we just need to do it RIGHT!

The ‘person’ that started this mess back on 4/26 obviously MEANT to cause trouble. I say this because:
1) this person blocked one of Sam’s main supporters before ever starting the issue with him
2) deleted the initial tweets so they couldn’t be seen
3) had obviously ‘set up’ the account for this as there was no info, the ONE tweet that could be seen (and since Sam had responded to this person twice already there was more to the story) had 2 followers and zilch else and
4) I just checked and that account has disappeared. TROLL!

I saw some postings this morning about Sam and some lovely blonde lady on his own personal time trying to pry, again, into his personal life. Hence – you all get a blog so I can vent!

Here is the deal…..responding to and shutting these trolls down is all well and good….BUT….you have to remember that responses, tweets, retweets, etc. ALL have the troll’s tag in them – hence – attention. Often Sam (or whoever was the target) has their tag there also, so they get hit with all the mess too AND it spreads it to an even bigger audience.

Here are my thoughts on this issue. If they help, great. If not come up with your own common sense guidelines for dealing with these things to minimize negative impact not only for our favorite celebs, but for each of us in the fandom.

Personal life is that. PERSONAL. None of our damn business! Are we all curious about things that go on in our favorite celebs life? Of course. Will we eagerly enjoy any little tidbit they want to give us? Absolutely. Should we publicly speculate or question them about their private lives? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Now, I have another celeb that is my ‘first’ love in actors. He is ultra-talented, very sexy and more my age <g> My BFF and I discuss him a lot, his life, his loves, what he’s up to, etc…..in a PRIVATE instant message. Her and I and no one else. Period. We don’t even tell our guys most of what we discuss there, its girl talk <g> Twitter is a very public forum. I only have about 260 followers at this point and I’m amazed at where all some of the stuff I post ends up!

Don’t speculate on personal issues or spread rumors. This one is pretty common sense. If a public figure wants to give out some personal news – Awesome – share it! Just don’t spread stuff you don’t know to be true or could be potentially harmful. We don’t want someone like Sam to basically walk away from social media because of abuse. That would be sad for all concerned.

Pay attention to timeline! Look at what you are seeing. If it happened more than a few hours ago and its troll oriented….leave it alone. DM someone involved if you can if you feel you need more info, but to retweet things continues and spreads them when that may not be the best idea.

Don’t give the troll attention/shut them down. The best way I can think to do this (and if someone has better options PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share!) is to get the word out to as many people in the fandom as possible without giving the troll power or attention. Put a space in their tag when you identify them (i.e. @ JaneDoe rather than @JaneDoe) so people can see where the problem is without having it actually go back to the problem. I personally took Sam’s tags out very early on in this last situation so he wouldn’t have all that mess – but not all did and I’ve been educated that that little blue checkmark gives him more advanced screening options (thank god). BLOCK this person if you feel it appropriate – deny them the access and attention they want.

THINK! All this has potential for abuse. Just because someone disagrees doesn’t make them a troll. Use such steps wisely. Perhaps if enough people block someone for say 24 hours they will get the message – maybe not, but it will at least keep it off Twitter for that chunk of people for a little while.

RESPECT!!!!!  This is what it comes down to is: RESPECT. For the celebrity (in this case Sam) and for yourself as a human being and a ‘fan’ of something. In some ways I actually pity trolls….they must be very sad, pathetic people if they feel this is their best way of getting attention – by tearing down rather than building up.

Ok…..rant over. Hope this is helpful. Would love to get other thoughts and opinions! Discussion is GOOD!