Open discussion: Ars Marginal in 2011 (plus year in review)

So WordPress sent me this nifty little e-mail thing telling me how Ars Marginal is doing.

Numbers and shit
Wordpress tells me that this blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2010. That probably means about 1,000 clicks from actual viewers and 18,000 times of me editing and moderating and shit.

According to WordPress, this means I’m doing “Wow.” I guess that ain’t bad, but I want this bad boy to get 1,000 followers and another 10 or so contributors. Ambitious? Probably. But I’ll try. I need some volunteers (read: YOU) to help out, though.

Where the fuck are these people coming from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were, LiveJournal communities,,, and Facebook.

Most visitors came here looking for Ars Marginal, Dan Slott (go figure), Dan Slott racist (go figure some more), and Norah Winters racist (noticing a pattern here?). Can you tell how happy I’m NOT about this? Can you tell that I’d like 2011 to be the year of substantial discussion instead of random fuckers trolling this blog stirring up shit?

Ars Marginal in 2011

But enough about that shit. 2010 is over. 2011 is here! What is your vision of Ars Marginal in 2011?

  • What do you hope to discuss on Ars Marginal this year?
  • Which works, media, genres, and/or artists do you want to talk about?
  • What would you like to see more of?
  • What do you want to see happen in 2011?
  • How would you like to contribute?

18 thoughts on “Open discussion: Ars Marginal in 2011 (plus year in review)

  1. Happy new year and stuff!

    I’ll link articles on relevant comms on LJ when possible, should get us more viewers and discussions, and hopefully not of the “BAWWW HOW DARE YOU CALL ME/X/WHITE PEOPLE RACIST” variety.

  2. Happy New Year! And congrats! I came here from the link on Geek Feminism and Ars Marginal has fast become one of my favorite blogs. I couldn’t really say I wished there would be more of this or less of that – I hope you keep on with what you do!
    As for helping, since this is not my first language, I wouldn’t be much of a contributor, even if I could write half as well as the stuff you guys do here.
    I’ll try and help by linking and quoting, whenever I get to it?
    Btw, my own nifty wordpress mail tells me I’m doing “Wow” as well, with only 4,100 clicks since June. Heh.
    Otherwise, I might misunderstand something or just belong to a relatively tiny number of people, but whenever I google for “XY racist” – and I do that quite often – it’s because I think XY is racist as well and I’m hoping someone already wrote something that helps me put the finger on it, proves me wrong or lets me see the issue in yet another light. I found a number of really great articles and blogs that way.

    • I might misunderstand something or just belong to a relatively tiny number of people, but whenever I google for “XY racist” – and I do that quite often – it’s because I think XY is racist as well and I’m hoping someone already wrote something that helps me put the finger on it, proves me wrong or lets me see the issue in yet another light. I found a number of really great articles and blogs that way.

      That’s cool. We need more people like you to comment and populate the blog – all the better to drown out trolls who try to fuck up the progressive artsy vibe we’ve got going here.

  3. 19,000 clicks! I think that is pretty wow. I think WordPress is not supposed to count logged in Admin visits, either, just visits by non-admins.

    Even if trolls come here, they are being exposed to discussions that are truly hard to find if you’re not looking for them. And you aren’t letting them hijack and derail, though I’m guessing that takes more of your time then you’d like to put into it.

    And I’m grateful as an only casual comics & fantasy family to learn that I shouldn’t just write off this whole “subculture” as irredeemably the product of adolescent white boy revenge and sex fantasies. So, you know, thank you! Big time. I’m really thankful that you’re doing this!

  4. I definitely plan to link to stuff from my FB (I definitely can’t promise that all my FB friends know better than to show their ass, but I’m working on them) and to contribute more to comment discussions instead of mainly lurking.

    I think my favourite post of 2010 was “Rape in MY anti-Tolkein”, or maybe that’s just because it’s recent and has been in my mind. I love to see posts like that, which connect the dots between many different specific works (in different media, even) to highlight a social trend. So, yeah, more of that please!

    • If you liked the anti-Tolkien one, you might enjoy the one about Glee.

      But I still see what you’re saying. The discussion about rape in anti-Tolkien was one of the more productive about the subject that I’d ever seen online. It was refreshing to discuss the use of rape in fantasy in depth without the “Was it really rape” bullshit or simply stopping at “Oh that’s horrible!”

  5. I’d like to see more about computer games.

    I’d like to see more recommendations of books/games/movies/comics/music/television which are good, and an analysis of what it is that they’re doing right. I’m also interested in where things are going wrong, especially in the mainstream.

    I’d also like to read more articles like Beyond Tolkien and Rape in my Anti-Tolkien, both of which I enjoyed reading. Mostly I’d just like to see more content here.

    I’m sure whatever is discussed here will be enlightening.

    I’ll be contributing by commenting and writing articles.

  6. Ars Marginal has definitely blown up in such a short time which has been awesome. The downside is that this will result in trolls trying to derail what we’re trying to accomplish here. But I think as long as we’re proactive in shutting them down and not giving them any voice, we’ll be fine.

    I’ve personally enjoyed reading articles from the other contributors. I’ve learned so much particularly in genres I may not be familiar with. Beyond Tolkien and Rape In My Anti-Tolkien were two of my favorites this year as others have mentioned. I do hope other contributors continue to share their posts because they are doing a lot of good.

    I plan to definitely do more recommendations and analyze works that are doing it right. I have a few posts planned.

    Here’s to 2011 being the year of Ars Marginal.

  7. The layout looks great! I’m looking forward to more books/tv posts, since I don’t know much about videogames (except the Sims and hidden object games, really), and hopefully I can think of a way to contribute. (I’m not good at writing about media–do you guys need proofreaders or something?)

    • You play hidden object games? Fantastic. I’m actually looking to do an article on race in casual games, but I stopped playing hidden object games years ago so if there’s been any new developments I’ve quite likely missed them. Would you be interesterested in helping me with that or just giving your own thoughts on the subject?

  8. Oh no! This post is gold I’m late to the party, especially since Raz wants to talk about casual games 😀 I’ll offer up a few thoughts if you like. I’ve also joined an MMORPG for the first time and wouldn’t mind sharing some of my experiences.

    I wrote my masters thesis on casual games but was steered away by my supervisor from explicitly talking about race, gender and representation – the things that interest me greatly, but that he felt was passe and dull. (In academia, there seems to be a real backlash against anything that is remotely substantial or political, and the notion of ‘representation’ is dismissed because there is an automatic assumption that the only way to discuss is in the most gauche and naive of terms, which is utter nonsense of course.

    I like hidden object games, and they are actually amongst the few games that my partner will touch. (He almost got addicted to Agatha Christie’s ‘Death on the Nile’, nevermind that he won’t touch her books! He also played a hidden object game, the name of which currently escapes me, where the heroine is saved by her boyfriend at the end which made him roll his eyes.) The gender dynamics of hidden object games intersect with racial dynamics that have some real repercussions.

    Other than games I would like to see more about yes, fashion. And also narrative and how race and culture doesn’t just change the content of a narrative but it’s actual structure.

    I’m greedy!

    • I’ve got a feeling this party’s going to be going on all year so you’re only fashionably late.

      I would love to read some articles about MMORPGs and Casual Games. I can’t believe they steered you away from such interesting topics.

      There’s some good hidden object games with interesting storylines and strong women and some terrible ones. I wish I could remember which game had the really bad trans-character in it.

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