Ways to "save" XWA?

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Minka Carter
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Ways to "save" XWA?

Postby Minka Carter » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:08 am

I legitimately don't know what's going on, or why this place has been in this bizarre statis where nothing has happened, not an update, not a hint of anything going on. It's not even clear as to whether this place is still alive or not. If it is, I'm not so sure that this fed is viable as it is because it appears that there aren't any people with enough time to either run this place, or write matches/vote on matches.

It's just strange.

I personally don't want this place to be dead. If this place can't continue as structured, maybe we should look into some changes? If so... here are a couple of things I would suggest:

1) Discard the voting format. - I understand why it's there. I get that it's to prevent empty votes and to ensure that the person that voted on the match actually read it... but as structured, we have to write our matches (which many of us go into great detail to try and do), vote... and then go deep into WHY we're voting the way we're voting. It's a lot of time devoted to writing and reading... time that most people either don't have or don't want to put in. Going back to the basics could perhaps, lighten the load on everyone?

2) Word limits on all matches, including Supershows... with a universal limit in the 2000-3000 range. - This again, addresses the "time" issue. I can tell you one thing... when I wrote my LOTR finals match, it took me about a week, having to squeeze in writing time before and after I went to work and it really stressed me out (albeit I have a fair number of other e-fedding commitments I had to take care of during this time). If I had done it all in one day, it would have taken me probably 5-6 hours. I ended up with about 6.5K in word count... and that's just the action on its own... (the commentary, entrances, post-match and all that brought up this word count past 9K). Think about it... a LOT of time is spent just WRITING our matches. And consequently, with these matches being so long... as a voter a LOT of time is spent READING too.

Can anyone else see how all that time just writing and reading (and it's not like it's just one match... it's MULTIPLE... PER MATCH) can't happen on a consistent basis because of how draining it gets to be?

Here's a couple of more suggestions... and these are going to be radical... and by radical I mean changing the fabric of what this fed's supposed to be.

3) Hybridize - By this I mean make this a hybrid match writing/angle fed. I know of a couple of feds (ex: NVR) where something called "sequences" are called in. This is where writers involved write 2 offensive sequences where they are in control against their opponent, they send it to the fed owner and the match is put together. The show runner then writes out the finish based on what angle they'd like to push forward (assuming the outcome wasn't agreed to before hand). This can vary with things like triple threats and tags, but the match writing element is still there in a way and it cuts out a lot of time spent on match writing. Admittedly, this would likely eliminate the voting aspect (and with it, all the time spent reading) and that may not be a good thing, but it's far less taxing on the roster to have to write these mammoth matches and far less taxing on the show runners having to only worry about writing a finish.

4) (Warning: This is the most extreme, nuclear idea of them all) Become an angle fed - Pretty straight forward. I hate to say it, but I think most e-fedders these days either don't have time to write matches or don't WANT to write matches. It's possible that the very format of this fed is what is preventing people from joining. I completely get why this fed was founded and what it's supposed to be about and I absolutely respect that. But if the people here want to keep this going, then perhaps any and all change should be considered... even the most radical of them all.

I'm not posting this with the intention of pissing anyone off, of disrespect or of telling people how to run a fed... but at this point... some form of direction... regardless of what it is... is so much better than just being in a stasis with nothing happening.
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Re: Ways to "save" XWA?

Postby Tempest » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:22 am

As far as I'm concerned, I don't think anyone SHOULD be pissed about your post, Minka. It shows you care, and it shows you're trying to come up with ways to keep the XWA alive, and that's commendable.
Bravo and thank you.

The ideas are good and well thought out, and frankly, all "doable". I'm not going to comment on them just yet, but instead see if anyone else has ideas to share as well.
So, anyone?? Speak up, people.

Is it time for the XWA to grow and evolve from being a competitive match-writing fed? If so, How? If not, then why not, and how do we make the current "process" work better?

(As an aside, just WHO the hell am I? Hi there, I'm Tempest. I'm one of the so-called Legends who got this place off the ground waaaay back in the day, and ran this site as the GM of the XWA for a few years. As such, I'm also considering stepping back into the fray to pick up the slack if none of the "current" Fed runners pop back up to do so.)
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Re: Ways to "save" XWA?

Postby PhoenixRoost » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:32 pm

I wasn't sure I was going to post in this thread at all, but I guess I should probably say something at least. It won't be nearly as thought out as Minka's post, though.

I may be in the minority, but I found my way to XWA and reveled in it precisely because it was unlike anything else I'd ever done. It was chill, it had the least pretense about maintaining a real schedule of any fed I've been in (which, as a procrastinator and someone who works 50 hours a week, is incredibly helpful). And it made me a better matchwriter, even though in other circles I was considered a pretty good match writer.

But I also totally accept and understand how much effort goes in to a match where the lowest word limit is 3k that doesn't include commentary or entrances. That's a lot. Obviously you don't have to do that much...but we know how people are. If you don't at least get close, it often feels like you rushed (which for me, at least, was often the case...) or lacks in some other respect. I also know, as a slow reader, how much you have to invest in reading matches that are even longer than that.

(See: the still undecided match from Legends)

Though I am loathe to lose the XWA I found, I accept that something has to change. As someone who has only ever failed as a fedhead, I feel pretty unqualified to declare how it should change, but as we get older, we're going to have less time and energy to devote to this, and that's something we should definitely be cognizant of.
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Re: Ways to "save" XWA?

Postby Trace » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:25 pm

S’up, remember me?

There’s nothing to be pissed off about with your post Minka, making suggestions to help boost the fed should always be seen as a good thing, however radical it may be. This isn’t the first time the XWA has seen a lull and I’m sure it won’t be the last but the reason it’s survived so long is because of its ability to evolve, so I reckon all opinions and ideas should be considered with an open mind.

Personally I’d hate to see the fed become anything other than a match writing fed because that’s what’s always been the selling point here. Hybrid and angle feds have never been my bag so I’m a little biased there but I don’t think that’s the route to go down.

Word limits across the board though? That’s a good shout, people have got less time than ever nowadays and you want to promote that this is a fed that you can invest as much time as you’re willing to and still have a good time. People shouldn’t be penalised for having less free time than others, if they want to be a part of the fed and have the passion to match write and be an active member we should be doing whatever possible to make that feel possible no matter what kind of free time you’ve got. My personal suggestion? Have word limits and then have an agreement that if both writers agree then they can lift the word limit on their match, that way people have that option available if they want.

As I said to Jack in private when it was introduced I hate the idea of a voting template. In fact I had planned on coming back at the time that was introduced and when it was I decided against it. Just find the whole idea of a template limiting and honestly a bit patronising. You want to encourage people to vote, not put them off it by giving them a book report template to write. I would 100% suggest getting rid of it if you want to have a more active voting scene, it’s totally counter intuitive to a thriving fed because it makes voting, and in turn reading matches, a chore.

If I’m honest I’ve only dipped in and out of checking the boards over the past year, what’s the status of the ‘owners’? Who’s running things and how actually active are they in running it? Not a dig by the way, I honestly just want to get a bit of info.
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Re: Ways to "save" XWA?

Postby Dave_Maniac » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:59 am

Hey Guy sorry for the MIA, as far as some know I dropped out 'cus of work (Having to overlook a whole team is hard so time is very limiting), my wife getting sick and now the pregnancy well I now have very little time to do anything, so I will give some pointers here.

1.- Hybrid Angle fed: while I believe in respecting the all-father Trace Demon I think that will bring in more people into the fed and if gives us more time to do other things is ok. The main issue I see here is something I see here is what DJS said a long time ago, this is niche market and if we want more people think of a way to bring in more peeps.
2.- Word limit: Writing a whole match is a 1.5 week long process, since I am not a native speaker... well writing English is somewhat hard and desperation makes me rush the endings as always. Dropping this to a lower thing would be cool but I believe it keeps the undercard lower than anything.

While all this is ok to fix the issues, I believe the real fix should be:
1.- Have another booker, I could help out with booking and voting tasks but that depends on if everyone is cool with that.
2.- I think the main issue here are the down times and a way to fix 'em should be easier keep a real schedule and ask for help.
3.- We can say a lot about the state of the XWA... what will we do? I ask for an action plan and stick to it, be Hybrid angle fed is fine by me.

What ever you guys choose I might be in for a few shows and a fulls schedule... we need people in and marketing the fed.
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Re: Ways to "save" XWA?

Postby GiggityGopher » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:08 pm

Here are my thoughts on all of this.

Removing voting templates is a double-edged sword. There would likely be more voting if there wasn't a template (though it's not like the fed had an over-abundance of active voting prior to the template), but there's a reason that template was put in place. It's because it's so easy for people to give biased votes or simply choose a winner while just skimming the matches, otherwise. Which definitely was a problem and it was super clear in some instances. It's very discouraging for someone to write a match and then only get one vote (or in the case of Albion/Jace for the Supreme title; none) and it's also very discouraging to write a match and then lose when you know the voter didn't even read the matches properly or are just picking their friend. Of course, this is kind of a conundrum in eFedding in general. In the two other feds I've spent my most time in (2WWF and the other XWA), there was always an issue with voting, whether it be having biased/skimmed votes or not enough. The best solution I've found in any fed is having a committee of people who handle voting, which I heard was supposed to be happening here but never did. But, even then, you'd need to find a group willing to read that many matches and do that much voting, which can be very taxing. In the other XWA, there was a period for a few months (while the shows were bi-weekly) where I was the sole staff member grading matches and it was awful. This is one of those issues where it's very hard to find a proper way to go about it and the best scenario is still not likely gonna be anything near perfect.

On the idea of changing XWA outside of the match-writing format, maybe, but it seems kind of pointless by then. There are already so many angle feds out there. It could increase activity here or it could just lead people to think "I can get this elsewhere, with a more active fed" while also taking away the last big match-writing fed out there for people who are into competitive match-writing. But, if being a match-writing fed isn't working anymore, maybe it's worth the risk. I don't know. The idea of making it a hybrid match-writing/angle fed could maybe work, given that it at least keeps it different from the big chunk of feds out there and maintains some aspect of match-writing, though we'd have to see how much people actually end up enjoying it.

I do like the idea of universal word limits, while fedders can agree to go over if everyone involved wants to. That can keep big-time rivalry/title matches between people who are fine with writing more feel as important as they should while helping take the load off most of the rest of the time.

Honestly, I think the biggest issue facing XWA currently is the management. And this isn't a shot at the staff. I know people have lives and they can't dedicate all of their time to stuff like this. But that's the thing. It doesn't seem like there's anyone who wants to be staff that actually can supply the kind of time and dedication it takes to keep a place like this running. Even with a group of staff, where certain people are in charge of certain things, there still needs to be a certain amount of time devoted to it and it just feels like no one is capable of giving that, at the moment, which is understandable, given most of us now are in our late 20s or older and this is an online writing hobby. The staff should be able to make sure cards end and go up on time and the schedule is kept to, that every match at least has a deciding vote, that title histories and other stats are kept up-to-date and, very importantly, everyone in the fed is aware of where the fed is at, publicly. Before the recent roll call thread and this, there was nothing. No indication from anyone that this fed was even still active. A Supreme title match went with no votes and the following two months of shows never happened, all without any public explanation. Not even so-much as a "We're still alive, we just have a lot to do at the moment" or something. It should never get to that point and the bigger problem here is that this is far from the first time it has gotten to that point. No one new is going to join this place if they find it and see that it's a ghost town without any explanation from the staff and, really, we need new members now more than ever. I don't blame the staff for being too busy for the fed, but it needs staff who are able to devote enough time to it. The issue there is, do we have anyone who can do that? Also, to Trace, I think the main person running things for the fed currently is RevolutionJones, though his last sign in was 11 days ago, according to his profile, and he hasn't posted since December 16th. Which, again, that's a problem. Nothing personal against AJ, of course, but that's the issue with people being too busy to properly run things. Though I'm not /entirely/ certain he's meant to be in charge, but that was the last I heard and I haven't seen anything on the site to indicate someone else was in charge.
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Re: Ways to "save" XWA?

Postby The Oakster » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:23 pm

Just hovered around this thread for the last few days and whilst I can't say I haven't got a lot of authority on this being a guest writer for a few shows last year, I can't help but say a few things based on my own past experience.

I've generally competed in match-writing feds for about 19 years now (albeit with massive inactive gaps between runs!). During the 2000s, I was heavily involved in the PWA (and its predecessor, the PWF) initially as a competitor but probably moreso as a staff member, so I can totally understand some of the potential problems that you've got here. PWA was a turn-based match writing fed that had determined its winner by having its staff members effectively acting as a voting committee through a simple private poll. Whilst it did have its occasional bouts of disputes over biased voting or situations where it pretty much led to one staff member forced to be the only person voting for a winner (not too dissimilar to what GiggityGopher has come across himself), I'd say we were the majority of the time generally fair with the final result.

A word limit on matches would be pretty ideal as it would definitely ease a lot of pressure on those who want to compete. I have to admit since I came back into e-fedding a couple years back, it has been at times a bit exhausting trying to get a match written whilst balancing everyday life and I did come across burnouts quite a few times (it does also make me realize I'm not the same as when I used to do it was in my teens). The only question I would ask is Massacre has a word limit on matches while the Supershows don't. I understand that this was partly to make the shows more unique but if there was a word limit on both shows, apart from time aloud to write, what would exactly be the difference? Forgive my ignorance on this (I'm still not totally up to speed on the vast history of this fed) but wasn't there a period in the XWA where it was just only Supershows? I'm guessing such a change would probably need some kind of change to the format of the shows as technically going 2000-3000 on all shows would add more pressure to those competing on Massacre due to the the shorter time window it allows.

Regarding moving away from the match-writing format, ironically what tempted me to join for a couple of matches at least was the fact it is indeed one of the few match-writing feds left running. Tricky decision as to be fair, match-writing feds were one of the more niche ones in the market compared to feds that were promo-based, angle-based, etc. even back when there probably even more than there are currently now. That said, the hybrid format Minka described does sound interesting as it would give people some control to market their spots so to speak and not so-much a 180 that a change to an angle fed would be.

Regardless of the format, I would agree that the XWA need more dedicated staff to give the fed a bit more direction that it is now. Whether you guys stay as match-writing it would need more backup in getting cards sorted out (it honestly looked to me like everything was left in AJ's hands by the end of the year without any succession plan in case he was busy) and even as a hybrid-fed, you would need someone dedicated to the booking of angles as while the pressure is partly taken of the handler, I'd say more would be added to staff to make this work.
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Re: Ways to "save" XWA?

Postby Tempest » Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:29 am

GREAT responses folks, regardless of where it goes from here. Thank you so much for the feedback.
One thing that I didn't see mentioned (might have missed it, and apologies if I did), is that I think in the short term at least, rather than open voting, we need a team of dedicated judges to decide winners and losers.
That would definitely open up some time for players/handlers to devote to promos and matches, I think. Maybe rather than voting, readers could comment on matches the way you might comment on posts for FaceBook or Tweets on Twitter?

In any event, for the immediate future at least until something more permanent is put in place, consider Trace and I the current Leadership Team for the restructuring at the very least. If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact us.
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Re: Ways to "save" XWA?

Postby GiggityGopher » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:42 am

Tempest wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:29 am
One thing that I didn't see mentioned (might have missed it, and apologies if I did), is that I think in the short term at least, rather than open voting, we need a team of dedicated judges to decide winners and losers.
I mentioned this in my post, as did Oakster. This was actually something that was mentioned a few months ago that was supposed to be happening but it has yet to be implemented, for some reason. I do definitely think this is the way to go. The main struggle there, however, is finding people willing to be a part of that group. If we could find a group willing to do it, who could be trusted to handle it well, I don't think there's a better way to get match results.

Quick note, that you just reminded me of: I think the content feedback forum should be removed and people should be allowed to simply reply to promos and the like with comments, rather than someone having to post a topic asking for feedback to get it. I've always thought that should be the case. It just feels awkward posting a second topic every time you post a promo in order to get any type of feedback on it, especially when half of the time, nobody posts feedback anyway. It gets to the point where people avoid posting feedback topics altogether and then don't end up getting responses they may have otherwise gotten.

To answer Oakster's question, the idea with supershows + Massacre, at least I believe this is the case, is so people could choose to either compete on a smaller format, biweekly show or, if they'd prefer, go for a bigger monthly show. People could also do both if they'd like, but I believe the idea was for it to be about freedom of competing when you want. If supershows do go to word limits like Massacre, that does kinda null the point a bit, so maybe another change in format would be good. Maybe go back to only supershows or possibly continue biweekly Massacres and just make supershows more like bi-monthly PPVs. Like, three Massacres in a row and then a supershow, which would take up two months, rather than the supershows happening alongside Massacre each month.
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Re: Ways to "save" XWA?

Postby Minka Carter » Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:32 pm

Wow, this thread got a lot more responses than I thought it would lol. I'm barely catching up and having read all the responses... I want to add one more radical idea for consideration.

I know some people want to do the match writing, but I also know that some are okay with doing away with it. I also realize how doing a universal limit may make the Massacre/Supershow split pointless.

Well, in the spirit of that, here's my next radical idea.

Why not both?

Why not have the Supershows be where the match writing takes place (with the 3K limit, maybe even 4K) while the Massacre shows are angled?

For Massacres, this would give more time to angle building and posting segments and this would open up more time to devote to the supershows. It would also make it far more feasible and possible for anyone to do both Massacres and Supershows if that's what they wanted to

Angle feds typically do summarized results (as a way to save time). I would gladly pitch in for something like that from a match summary standpoint for Massacre while the handlers (including myself) would devote their energies to the supershows and building up angles/supershow stuff via segments.

This way? Those that are here for the match writing can have that (with the Supershows) while those that want to focus more on stories and angle building can have that with Massacre.

As far as the other titles go...

The 24/7 Hardcore challenge can stay as is, gives a sense of uniqueness in my book.

I understand that the TV title (Massacre exclusive) may be a little bit harder to work with when it comes to doing a new format for the TV show itself, so perhaps we can have that be the only match on the card with competitive match-writing while the rest is angled?

And for the record, I wouldn't mind helping out with the booking side of things at least. I've got experience in that, and my most recent "booking gig" was a brand for an angle fed that wasn't that long ago (as recent as June 2018), which does include writing match summaries and such. I also wouldn't mind doing the dedicated voting team myself, but I still want to compete in my own right (especially with Minka needing to see the LOTR arc through) so in that sense, I hope at least one other person steps up for that as well.
Last edited by Minka Carter on Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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