This is a Journal entry by Skankyrich [?]

AV annoyance

Post 1

Skankyrich [?]

Wow... so it seems the Aviators have been swallowed up into something greater without anyone having the courtesy of letting us know!

I knew there was some talk of the group being assimilated into a wider group but I think it's a bit rude for that to just happen without anyone being informed. Particularly the contributors. I'm hugely annoyed that I did virtually all the work on the Aviators, yet my views have been entirely ignored by the new Aviators team. I don't even know who the new Aviators team are. Have any of them made any videos for h2g2? Or for themselves? Nobody has come in and said hi, we're the new chaps, we love/hate your clips and would love/hate it if you were involved.

To get to the point: I personally made all nine of the nine videos that have been made so far to accompany EG entries. I also started the group and produced the Beeblecast, which was our massive chance to get a mass community-owned AV project going. And I championed AV when I was Editor at the Post and we had a couple of great radio plays that got roundly ignored. We didn't have a massive impact, no - but we did show how AV and audio-only projects could be produced, and the views on our YouTube channel alone number around 50,000. It's a huge area for h2g2 to pull punters in, if only it could attract the right people to make the vids in the first place.

This might sound trivial but since h2g2 became independent I've been filming various bits with the idea that I might write entries that cross over more (eg I've filmed a route on a local mountain bike circuit that I could easily write an Entry to go alongside). I think the videos pull people in and, if not, at least increase awareness of the site.

In the past I would have submitted the entry to PR with a link to the video (if it was done) and asked if it added to the Entry. If the Entry was already in the EG I would ask the group first, then the Editors for approval.

I definitely think that killing the old Yahoo group was a mistake - if you'd said to the Aviators 'come up with SOMETHING' we would have. Honestly - we'd have had a podcast by now or an EG video. I'm sure that if you'd brought the Aviators in independently rather than trying to lump us in with a bigger group we'd have all had more fun and got a hell of a lot more done. But the group has just been allowed to disintegrate.

If anyone knows the new process, I'd appreciate it if you'd give me a link to how it all works. I still don't understand why it had to change so much without explanation, but if there is a new Aviators group I'd like to be involved. It would be great to meet other people who are making videos for h2g2 at last...

AV annoyance

Post 2

I'm not really here

I've been told that the yahoo groups, if run by the staff, are now unavailable as nobody knows the log in details anymore, but I wasn't sure that works for the AV account? Everything now has to run through the forum that belongs to some of the new part owners.

There are lots of areas and things that have been changed without Community discussion, and when it happens we're rudely told it suits one of the very few people who seem to have got their foot in the door and so we should stop talking about it.

The site has now become a place you have to prove your real life identity before you can even join some of the volunteer groups, so it doesn't surprise me that you've been ignored. Although I hadn't heard anything about a new group starting. I started the Community Artists, and although I don't expect to be kept informed of anything that goes on there (lot of water and time gone by) they never, even once, think to ask questions I could answer easily, they just bimble on blindly.

AV annoyance

Post 3

Icy North

Hi Rich,

Swallowed up into something greater, eh? Do you have a link? smiley - winkeye

AV annoyance

Post 4

aka Bel - A87832164


Look under: Audio-visual content.

And this was what I remembered:



so it looks as if it was suggested we keep it separated.

Now I look at the Arts Editors Page U14916409 and see that lil and 2legs are the only ones listed as AViators. Yes, rrright.

AV annoyance

Post 5


Hey Guys,

This is purely miscommunication, I'm sorry about that.

We've been having to move quite fast in some areas, other have been stagnant, and other have at times got out of control. It's not an excuse though, and again I apologise.

So how has this happened, I'll do my best to explain because you guys deserve it.

As you know, prior to us getting the site h2g2 wasn't exactly moving with the times. If you wanted to put an image into an entry, there were hoops to jump through, everything went through the beeb, there was voting malarchy, it took ages, yadda, yadda. If you wanted to get some audio or visual content in, well you guys are in a much better position than I am to say how much effort that required. The fact that you've had to set up your own website and do stuff off your own backs shows that it wasn't easy, but that you were not only willing to do it, but you did.

The internet has moved on from the time when flat text was seen as "the way to go" sites absolutely must have images now at the very least. Peoples internet connection speeds are increasing, disk drive space to host files is getting cheaper, and let's face it, images and video make an average site look a *lot* better. We know that.

Because we know that, we're *really* wanting to increase their use in h2g2. The problem is, prior to us getting the site it was all a bit disjointed, and we want to stop that. We want to bring in a way where everyone who wants to contribute art, in whichever digitised form they choose, can do so. This is obviously easier at the moment with the artists and photographers. And so we've combined them. Tavaron heads up the new team of arts editors and they're working on ways to simplify and speed up the process of getting images into the Guide. I know because I'm building the tools for them. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks there'll be a proper image library. Searchable and everything. We're also looking at developing some online basic editing tools, as well as ways of allowing entry authors to include images in their entries once they're at Peer Review stage.

We also want AV content. This is *definitely* coming. We want the AViators to be part of the Artists group. At the moment you're not, not because we're ignoring you, not because we don't care about you guys, but simply because we're still getting the static art sorted out. We want the AViators to be part of the artists because, first what you guys do *is* art, and secondly we want to be able to provide you with all the assistance and resources that you should have got when you started up. Animation is not easy, even simple animation is a labourious, time consuming chore at times. The software is expensive, the disk space needed is ridiculous, and the time taken... it just seems to go on and on. I know this because I used to do a fair bit of Flash work as part of my job. Again the fact that you guys did so much off your own backs shows not only your dedication to this, but that having to do it off your own back shows the lack of "official" help you got.

We want to change that.

The paragraph A87725073 is a little short, terse, possibly inaccurate. It was written for when we hoped that you had all joined us in an official capacity, and it was put up now so that it was not forgotten. We don't want to make that same mistake. The way we describe the sub-group is how we would like to see you working, kinda similar to the Gurus and Tech. Gurus are a sub-group of tech and as the head of tech I'm responsible for them. How it actually works though is that Peet is the chief guru, handles it day to day, does all the hard work, runs the gurus, and then comes to me if they need anything. And we'd like that for the AViators too. Tavaron is the head artist, but already there are projects springing up that I hope you'll be excited about and want to join in, because they'll *really* be able to show of what you guys can do, and they're not all on site. Each area within the artists has a leader, Mala's responsible for the smilies, and has done the advent calender for example.

Again, this purely has been a case of miscommunication on our side and please accept my apologies for that. We *really* want to see AV content in the Guide, and the other projects we're doing, and we *really* want you guys in on this.

If you've any questions about this stuff, fancy a chat about it, or even want to just shout and scream at me, please do so smiley - smiley We want to work *with* the volunteers that have been putting in the time and effort, not put brick walls up to hamper them.

smiley - rose

AV annoyance

Post 6


Hi There Rich.

I hate to see someone's who's contributed so much to h2g2, including some really fantastic AV content feel like this. I've always loved your work and your AV content. I'm really really pleased you've been filming stuff.

I do remember trying to get in touch a couple of times.

Er.. could you drop me an e mail to [email protected]?

smiley - ta

AV annoyance

Post 7

Skankyrich [?]

Thanks very much, Pastey, for the long and considered explanation. I was most annoyed when I saw the bit of text in one of the pages Bel linked to, which says:

'The AViators were a separate volunteer group that worked on projects like the Guidecast and the Beeblecast. To encourage collaborative work this is now a sub-group of the Community Artists.'

That to me says that the Aviators have already been incorporated and suggests that there is already a sub-group working. If that isn't the case, that text needs changing. And 'to encourage collaborative work'? Seriously? Bel and I spent about four months chasing people all over the site trying to get them to send us mobile phone clips, audio recordings, music, photographs, film and animations and it was insanely hard work. We couldn't have done any more to try to get people involved and get collaborations going.

I know your priorities have been elsewhere and AV is a tiny part of the site, so I'm not in the slightest bit bothered about us being low down on the list of things to do. We haven't done very much for quite a while anyway, and 'we' is a very loose term. The number of active people in the group has always been tiny and the only really regular contributors have been me, 2legs and Bel. I would say that we have battled apathy more than the BBC for most our our life.

I disagree with you that making EG clips is 'art'. The process of making a documentary-style clip is more like writing than drawing. A couple of very short sections aside we haven't done any animation - everything is film-based. There was a discussion somewhere where I tried to explain how we run the group and why moving it would be pointless and a bit inconvenient, but I'm not sure I was listened to. In terms of 'assistance and resources' the stuff we actually need is mostly more techical: the facility to have completed videos and audio clips onsite rather than having to host them externally, and a bit of promotion now and then. The thing we really need though is more people that can make AV.

The fact is, I'm going to be making videos in the spring anyway as I've got some new kit to mess about with and I want to film some stuff for the cricket team and on the bike trails (once I've got the gear working as I want - a first trial is online at but I want to do some a bit more sophisticated than that). The footage I shoot could probably be adapted quite easily for h2g2. I think I'll wait until I have something filmed and then see what the situation is here - to be honest if I have to join a forum just to get a video linked up it probably isn't worth my time.

AV annoyance

Post 8

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

Hi Rich.smiley - smiley

Sorry I have to get in here now.

I remember the conversations we had and I rearead it all yesterday and in fact you said something like 'the AViators are dead, there is nobody anymore, I don't care what you do'. I invited *everyobody* to discussions but nobody turned up. If you spent the last few months searching for people to help I am very sorry, but we have been there all the time and I never heard about it. smiley - erm

If you want it I will delete any references of the AViators and also the link to the AViator's homepage from the new Arts Ediotrs homepage and will just write that we also make AV content in the Community Artists group, because this is what we plan to do.smiley - ok

I had really hoped that there could be some way of collaboration, but you say there is none, that's ok. I didn't want that anyone gets left behind, that's why I started discussions in spring. I remember Bel was there and 2legs and lil I think, probably others.

Well, as I said, I can just delete all mention of the AViators. smiley - ok

AV annoyance

Post 9

Skankyrich [?]

Hi Tav,

First of all let me apologise - I couldn't find a 'person' to raise my concerns to, and as many of my friends were among the Beeblecast Aviators I pressed into service the best place for me to have a moan was here. If I had known you were the one making the decisions, I would have approached you directly rather than starting a public debate.

Just a quick clarification - the four months I was talking about were the time we spent on the Beeblecast: A29618427

I am now more confused than ever. Is there a seperate Aviators sub-group within the Arts Editors now or not? The volunteers group page says that there is, Pastey says there will be but at the moment there isn't, you say that there are new Aviators ready to go. This is really important and if you read the last paragraph of my journal it was the point of the whole post - if there is a new process and a new group, what is it, how does it work, how do I get involved?

If there is a new sub-group, well, I'm obviously not happy about having the rug pulled from underneath me, but shouldn't we at least let the members of the old group know what's going on and how the new group will work so they can choose whether or not to be part of it? It's actually quite exciting to think there are other film-makers on h2g2 at last, hence my asking if anyone knew how to get involved in the 'new' group.

If there isn't a new sub-group, then I don't quite see the need to change it. Why get those few of us who are still involved to sign up somewhere else just to carry on doing exactly the same stuff?

I don't even understand all this talk of 'no collaboration', what do you mean? We've collaborated with CAs, EG writers, Post Artists, Photographers, the UnderGuide and Post - all parts of h2g2. So I don't quite get the idea that we haven't collaborated with anyone either. We worked with anyone who would let us, and even worked with some people against their own will :D

Look, I just want to know what's going on, whether the old group will be involved, whether what I/we think even matters any more. If we're fired, we're fired. Everything moves on at some point and some people are gonna get left behind. I don't mind too much if that happens - everything gets hosted on my own websites anyway.

If I do make a video that I think would be suitable for h2g2, how would I get it applied?

AV annoyance

Post 10

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

Hi smiley - smiley

We don't have any AV stuff *yet* because we were very busy with just usual pictures until now. We had to reorganize ourselves completely and are just about to get it running smoothly.

We will definitely have AV projects in the future and there has be some talking here and there about ideas. Once we really are ready we would really like to get the AViators involved. We will certainly contact you!

AV annoyance

Post 11



>>> Look, I just want to know what's going on, whether the old group will be involved, whether what I/we think even matters any more.

What's going on is we are preparing for success, once we have a little groundwork laid, all researchers will be invited to participate.

Rich, this isn't some sudden thing. The first time you and I talked about the AViators, you told me something like, thanks for your interest, unfortunately the group was inactive. The second time was in this thread: F4758237?thread=8129129

smiley - smiley

AV annoyance

Post 12

Skankyrich [?]

Tav, would it help for you to be a member of the Aviators email group? At least you could relay any info or news there and let us know how to become involved as/when it happens. My email is on my PS. If you can do that it might even bring back one or two disillusioned Researchers who got fed up with the lack of AV progress at the BBC.

Happy Nerd, my recollection is that we had a lot of friendly (and I thought at the time quite constructive) discussion re the Aviators but there has been nothing since F21537567?thread=8244226 when we were told by an italicised account that 'We will of course continue with the existing volunteer schemes...' So the bit that is a 'sudden thing' is that we 'were [sic] a separate volunteer group...' because it's a bit of a shock to be working on a few bits that might help the new site only to find you apparently don't exist any more.

AV annoyance

Post 13


Rich, I've sent you an email or at least I hope I did, to the AVators group email addy.

Happy Nerd

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