* How can I become more involved with the community/promote my site/be an ‘active’ member?
- and -
* What’s up with/what are the Chops/Director’s Chair/(insert name of regular feature here)?
That being the case – and this being a community that welcomes new members and brings them on literally every day – a post like this is about two years overdue. For that, I apologize – I think I take for granted that many people might be aware of what all of these these features, and it can be easy to forget that with all of the new members there might also be a lot of confusion. Hopefully, this post will go a long ways towards remedying that.
Should you not get an answer to a question you might have had, please do not hesitate to either ask it in the comments below or send it via email to email@example.com.
A GUIDE TO SOME OF OUR CURRENT REGULAR FEATURES
Classic Chops (posted every Wednesday): Same general idea as above, save for two things:
1) this is targeted to posts about classic films, the criteria of which was eloquently defined by Classic Chops Master Ivan as “and even though I originally set the criterion at films released in 1965 and before, I have “cheated” a little and included films after that date that I don’t think too many people would dispute are “classics.”
2) the submission email address, which is firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAMB MOTM (Movie of the Month): A monthly poll where LAMBs and non LAMBs vote for a movie to get the MOTM treatment consisting of a link round-up by LAMB members but the film also get to be the feature discussion on an episode pf the LAMB podcast the LAMBcast.
We have also introduced a new wrinkle to the selection of Movie of the Month – MOTM Champions. The gist is this: I ask for volunteers – people to select a film to be placed on the poll (up to 10 per month, as usual), then promote it, be that on their site, Facebook, Twitter, whatever. Should their film win, they are guaranteed a spot on the LAMBcast episode where we will discuss said film. As a bonus (?), they will also get to host that segment of the show.
LAMBs in the Director’s Chair (often shortened to Director’s Chair; posted almost-monthly): A regular blog-a-thon, each revolving around a different director(s). This was started just over a year ago and has been a pretty popular series. Instructions are doled out with each new intro post, which generally is put up a few weeks before the event takes place, with several reminders along the way. Articles can be overviews of the director’s filmography, reviews of one or more films – basically anything you like so long as it’s about the subject at hand. Articles can be brand new or archival pieces.
LAMB Acting School 101 (posted somewhat sporadically): Essentially the same as the Director’s Chair, only about a specific actor instead.
LAMBScores (posted every Friday): LAMBScores was developed in an effort to come to some kind of community-based overall grade to a film.
The scores are submitted in its own section of the LAMB Forums – and Rachel posts ‘em every Friday. Additionally, I keep a widget with some of the most recent ones in the sidebar, with the average score and number of scores given for each film. The guidelines for posting are a bit more complicated – if you’re interested, please go to the Forums and check out the Posting Schedule and Rules threads that Rachel has set up there.
LAMB Photoshops (season based with monthly editions): Jason gives you a theme, and using any photo editing software you want (Photoshop, Paint, whatever else is out there), you make a picture that relates to that theme. You email him your pictures and they are posted on the LAMB! Where everyone votes on which is the funniest/best etc. In the end there’s a final showdown of all the individual winners in a clash of the titans poll for the bragging right of being the LAMB’s photoshopper of that season.
Trailer Talk Thursday (scheduled for, you guessed it, Thursdays): Fairly simple – One newly released trailer gets blustered.
LAMB of the Month (scheduled during the first week of the month): A LAMB member gets some well deserved attention in this monthly plug that also features an podcast episode of from the last month by a Podcasting LAMB (in the future the podcast highlight will be limited to the LAMB podcasting network members. Also featured on this post is a monthly tally by the LAMB’s that newbie LAMB’s say referred them to the LAMB to begin with.
Stump the LAMBs (sporadically posted, but when they are, it’s on Sundays): Just a fun quiz to keep you on your toes – difficulty level is usually set to Expert!
LAMBCasting (sporadic): It’s easy to cast projects that have yet to be made – in this feature, we ask you to re-cast a film from days gone by. LAMBs are invited to send in a re-imagined cast, then we all vote on which we think is best.
Pitch the LAMB (sporadic): You’re given a genre and a select few words/phrases to get you started – your job is to pitch the best movie treatment you can get from that information. Then they’re all gathered and posted here on the same day (and can be posted to your site – or not – whenever you see fit).
The LAMBcast (weekly): The LAMB’s official podcast, featuring a revolving cast of characters – no less than 50 people over 100+ episodes. Covers a feature discussion each week, followed by the panels rants and raves and our game, Last LAMB Standing. If you’d like to join us for an episode or twelve, see the thread at the forums for much, much more information.
Brutally Blunt Blog Blustering (sporadic): Want your site constructively criticized? What’s working, what ain’t, but in an honest fashion? That’s what BBBB is for – guest judges are instructed to “go anon” for the comments, where they can freely say whatever’s on their mind (without being rude, of course) for the benefit of the site in question. If you’d like your site to get Blustered, just send an email to email@example.com with the subject “Bluster Me!”
Top 10s (sporadic): The AFI put out their lists of top 10 films by genre – I thought, “hey, why can’t we do the same thing?” It’s pretty simple: I’ll put up an intro post with the genre of the day, send you all to a Mister Poll survey, you take a few minutes to fill it out, and a few weeks later I post the results.
LIONs for LAMBs (aka The LION Awards; annually): Building on the Top 10s, this is our version of the Oscars, in which I’ll not only ask you for your top 10 films of the year, but your best/worst in several other categories.
The LAMB Devours the Oscars (annually): Another one of our oldest features, and a long-time crowd favorite. Right after the nominations are announced, I’ll put out the call for volunteers for this 30+ day blog-a-thon, in which one category will be posted every day (one each for each Best Pic nom, adding up to 33 total posts) leading up to the day before the Oscars.
The LAMB Leaderboard (widget): At the beginning of each new month, I head on over to my Google Analytics account and check to see which sites sent the most traffic to the LAMB during the previous month – the top 20 make the Leaderboard, and the top site gets special mention in the monthly post that accompanies my updating of the leaderboard. For more info, go here.
Random LAMB Banner (widget): Send me a 200 pixels wide X 90 pixels high banner advertisement for your site. Doing so will get it placed into the widget (right sidebar) and the Gallery. For more info, go here.
The LAMMYs (annual): The awards show where we award each other. This is where bloggers vote for their peers in a variety of categories, from Best Design to Best Podcast to the big kahuna itself, Best Blog. Goes down around May-June.
It’s likely I’ve forgotten something, but I think that’s a pretty decent start. Like I said, if you have any questions about any of these (or one that I missed), please don’t hesitate to ask.
Hopefully, the listing of all of these features should go a long ways towards answering that second question, which was “how do I get involved, etc.” Basically, take part in any or all of these things; I’m a firm believer that you get what you give. Participating gets you more known amongst folks that visit the LAMB, and of course most all features will deliver links and hits (however modest) to your site. I know it’s hard to stand out amongst hundreds (soon to be more than a thousand!) of LAMBs, so every little bit counts.
Also, if you’ve got an idea for a new feature, or would like to pick up one that might’ve gotten lost in the shuffle somewhere along the way, the LAMB would love to have you as a contributing author and, in general, is always looking for fresh ideas on how to make this place not only better, but more able to accomplish its purpose of serving the movie blog community.
While new features/ideas are always welcome (many are often first discussed over at the LAMB Forums), here’s a sampling of some older features that I’d love to see reinstated (but don’t have the time to do myself):
* Another “battle” event (like LAMB Action Hero) – A fun creative writing exercise involving movie characters
* It’s A Wonderful LAMB – Celebrate a LAMB you love.
* Invasion of the LAMBs – Screencap quiz with a twist.
…and more I’m forgetting at the moment, to be sure.