Active On Da Scene!
Written by Paranoid
This is a reply to Makke's article last issue about being active in the scene... I'm writing this because:
1) Makke said he never got any replies to his articles! :)
2) It got me thinking....
I'm currently suffering from the condition known as 'headswim', which is a common disorder suffered after staring at a screen too long, and lack of caffeine. So, I have no idea how this article will turn out, or if it makes any sense............. As usual.
Well, in case you don't remember, Makke was talking about being active on the scene, specifically whether doing something like writing articles for a mag would be classified as 'active'. A brief description, I know, but get the last issue and read it for more info! :)
It's a tough topic to deal with, what classifies a person as being active on the scene? But after seconds of deep-thought (after which I almost blacked-out... maybe that's what caused the headswim?) I decided that someone can indeed be a scener (i.e. active on the scene) by writing a few articles. I mean, look at the indifference and apathy of people out there, who just don't bother to do _anything_ whatsoever. Writing an article for a mag is not so difficult, well, it can be, but anyone can do it. Coding/Gfx/Sfx cannot be done by anyone, you need talent and experience for 'em. Anyone can write an article and speak their mind. The problem is that so few actually do this. I know myself, because of the ill-fated diskmag I attempted myself. Getting people to write an article was like trying to get blood from a stone!
It all really depends on how important you see diskmags as being to the scene. Of course, I think they're very important in creating that community feeling. If you release a demo, for example, and it won something at a party then great, you enjoy the few moments. But then what? Maybe chat to a few people on #coders? Isn't it a lot nicer to read about your production from other sceners in a diskmag? If you think about it, nobody can deny that after reading a diskmag for a few issues you get to know people and groups, from their own articles and from what others are saying in the mag. This is what bonds people together, and what gives a familiar community feel to the scene. So, I've qualified my statement that diskmags are important to the scene, therefore someone who contributes to a mag is important to the scene. It could even be argued that someone who gives a scene-production to a friend is active on the scene, coz they're spreading the production. So to be active on the scene you need to be interested in it, follow the goings-on of it, and do something to help it in some way (however small you might feel it is).
There are some people out there who think that they ARE the scene, just because of some past glory, like doing a demo or something a year or two ago, and nothing else since then. But who cares? I don't wanna attack people in any article, I'm just using them as an example.
The people who do the most work, and the hardest work will usually (though not always e.g. diskmag-editors!) get the highest acclaim. And they deserve it, I mean they spent a lot of time and effort in making something, so they should be respected. But does that make them any more active than someone who writes a few articles for a mag? Logically, nope. And, just in case you think that I'm only saying this because all I have done in the scene in the past couple of years is some articles, that's not true, I've been doing a lot of work which is as yet unreleased (Adok knows what I'm talking about! :)). The time I put into doing this scene related work was unbelieveable! But because none of the work is out there yet, people would say I've been inactive. I really think 'inactive' applies to someone who is not working on anything in the scene and has no interest in it anymore.
When I was modem-trading (ah... here we go!) sometimes the cards dried up and died, and traders couldn't get them in their country. This could last for weeks or even a couple of months, usually the hassle of getting new suppliers etc... Modem-trading was something that one had to constantly be involved in for any success. Even a couple of minutes delay in uploading the latest big release could mean someone else would get it up before you. There wasn't really a second-place. So if someone dropped out of the modem-scene for a month were they inactive? No way. Their names were still on the top uploaders list or traderscharts, the fact was that nobody can be 100% active all the time. I remember when I was kicked from a group for 'inactivity' before. I had been in Fairlight for a short time when my computer (an a1200 at the time) failed. Total hard-drive meltdown. Now this was a time when I was still in school, and my money went on trading. I had to wait for some time to order an overseas drive, when a friend (also in FLT) told me what happened. Kicked out for inactivity!?? After 3-4 weeks! When I got my new HD I resumed my trading, as much uploading as ever, and continued for a year or more after that.....
The people who aren't active on the scene are the many many people who couldn't be bothered with ever using their skills to do anything, and the people who aren't interested in contributing, or have left. Being active on the scene is a relative thing nowadays anyway. Someone can emerge from being an unknown and suddenly become famous all over the scene, and then disappear just as quickly. Consistency is a wonderful thing, no matter what way you're contributing to things... So keep it up Makke!