"Newbie-friendly" group projects?

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Post by Solar16 » January 9th, 2016, 3:59 am

I've been looking for some group projects to join once I've passed my 1-Minute Test. But, on every one I look at, it's hard to see whether it would suit me. You see, the trouble is the posts describing what the project's about are all a big, confusing wall of bureaucratic red-tape and technical jargon. Very off-putting. :cry:

And as if all that sort of stuff wasn't hard enough to follow at the best of times, the project people go out of their way to make it even harder to read by using emphasis on almost every other sentence, putting text in different font sizes or colours or both
and even hide some important bits away in a stupid little annoying window thing that has to be scrolled separately before you can find them.
It's as if every LibriVox recording started with a ten minute lecture on Public Domain laws complete with sound effects of fanfares and 21-gun salutes!

:hmm: Are there any special "newbie-friendly" projects that keep all the red-tape jargon stuff behind the scenes? (or at least pushed down to the thread's second or third post!)

Instead, the opening post could offer friendly, helpful plain-English advice like:
"Most of the sections are nice and short, but they have a lot of dialogue and would suit someone who's good at voices. Parts 5 and 7 have much less dialogue but they are longer."
"The first-person narrator of the short story in Section 4 is a Scotsman, so it would be nice if the reader has (or can do) a Scottish accent and knows how to pronounce Scottish place names."

And, of course, the other advantage of a special newbie group project is that we'd know none of our fellow readers are seasoned veterans so we don't have to worry about how our readings will compare with theirs.

How about it? Do you ever do newbie-friendly projects like that?

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Post by smike » January 9th, 2016, 4:20 am

Welcome, Solar. :)

I have never been MC for a project, and I'm sure there are reasons why all this stuff is contained in the first post, but why don't you just choose a project that sounds interesting, and then post and ask what you want to know? People here are very friendly and helpful, and I'm sure you'll get a helpful reply. :)

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Post by annise » January 9th, 2016, 4:32 am

It is hard at first but there really isn't much in the first post that isn't needed by someone who will read it. The really important thing about picking something to read is to pick something that interests you personally . I know we always say pick something short and if you haven't done any recording before that is a good plan but if you have joined to read Beowulf in middle English , you are not likely to want to read Mary had a little lamb .
Everyone who joins has different levels of experience and different interests, and projects also vary.
As for special newbie projects - everyone here started sometime and expect group projects to have a range of skills from good to excellent and persnally I think a newbie only project would been seen to equate to a "not very good" one.


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Post by Elizabby » January 9th, 2016, 4:55 am

I would suggest looking in the "Short Works" forum. Even if poetry isn't normally your thing, it might be a good way to get your first recording under your belt. There's stuff there apart from poetry as well. One project which has been attracting a few newbies is the blue link in my signature - the short story collection.

The template has lots of information, but it really is all necessary I'm afraid. Once you have read it a few times you will get used to it - which is why NEW stuff tends to be added in different colours or fonts - to prevent the "oldies" from missing it! :roll:

In order to decide if I want to read for a project, I tend to just look at the quote box right under the project title - that's the book summary and often tells me if I want to read this or not. I don't bother reading all the other stuff unless I plan to claim a part in it. If I do, I scroll down inside the Magic Window until I see a blue section marked "Open" and then I claim that on the project thread and wait for the BC to give me any further instructions! (Once you have a part assigned, that is plenty early enough to read the rest of the first post.

Good luck! The first section is probably the hardest - once you've done that, you'll get used to the system. :thumbs:

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Post by Solar16 » January 9th, 2016, 10:52 am

Thanks for the encouragement. Everyone's been really helpful. I'll try and use some of your suggestions. (Although probably not the poetry one, since reciting poetry is a very different skill from telling a story.)
Last edited by Solar16 on January 9th, 2016, 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by philchenevert » January 9th, 2016, 11:17 am

Hi Solar16. Yeah, it sure does seem like a lot of gibberish and jargon when it hits you right off the bat. But as has been said above, it's been hammered out over 10 years to be sure the necessary info is there. Here is a little video I made called Getting To Know our Forums which explains some of the jargon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnxpcbnEjoQ&feature=youtu.be

I have gravitated to offering 'newbie' type of projects for either new readers or for English as a SEcond Language readers over the years and in fact right now have one called Alice In Wonderland In Words of One Syllable somewhere out there. Thanks for the observations and the advice. We ain't perfect but we are friendly and helpful as possible with everyone being a volunteer. Keep asking questions if anything is confusing. Image
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Post by VfkaBT » January 9th, 2016, 9:20 pm

Some short works suggestions:

sci-fi story for the latest collection

Jackdaw or any other short entry from Encyclopedia Britannica (Project Gutenberg has A-M at least, many volumes) is good for Non-Fiction Collections

These are short sermons aimed for kids -- Non-fiction collection

A set of minute mysteries from 1932; these could go into Short Stories Collection

American patriotism Non-fic

50 celebs (past) Non-fic profiles of famous people, mostly 19th century

'curiousities of literature' non-fic

Wit and Humor of America, volume 1 of 10 -- lots to choose here for short stories or poetry

These are some short works from famous wise-guys Ben Hecht, Noel Coward, and one other

ye olde standby -- can't fail with Aesop -- Short Stories or Short Children's Works
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Post by carteki » January 10th, 2016, 7:13 am

I understand your concerns. At least at librivox.org there is a summary of the book. I found that missing at Project Gutenberg. I look at the word counts for the chapters as well as the books linked in the signatures of people on the forum for ideas.
Hope that helps.

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