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Community discussion - encouraging more critiques/comments

This is the discussion thread for the recent proposal by the AC (

This discussion is now concluded. The AC has submitted a substantially different proposal that takes into account community feedback:

support this whole heartedly

thank you Sir !!!

author comment

So you have to comment on other folks stuff even if you don't want to? I don't read anyone else's stuff, I only ask for help with mine.

What this will start is people putting comments on stuff just to earn a credit so they can post more of their stuff. So you will have people making comments on stuff they don't genuinely care about which is just going to clutter up your page!

I think it's the stupidest thing I've read all day. In all honesty it would put me off wanting to post at all knowing I'm going to get spammed by people wanting credits!

I want people to like my work because they like it not to get points!

Yes, there are disingenuous people everywhere,
usually not hard to discern. There is no perfect
system to communication between humans, you'd
think by now we'd have something better, but ....

Every poet here wants to be read and to know they
were at least heard ... it really isn't that hard to point
out what you do or don't like about another poem, I
challenge you to try it.

author comment

My illness makes me very self centred and when trying to read others work I find myself losing interest very easily. I dodge human interaction when I can, because I don't do "human bonding" well. I do all my food, clothes and game shopping online, I make friends online. I haven't properly left the house since November 2017 and that was to go to hospital.

It's like someone coming to you with their holiday snaps or pictures of their children on the potty for the first time or whatever. It matters to them, it means something to them. It means nothing to me however.

Its not really a difficult concept to grasp, you start rewarding people with "credits" for their communication so they can then fill the page with their dreary dirges and those of us who are a little bit more candid suffer, because we don't wish to make comment on works we don't care about.

And so we don't get published but the spammers and those who will gladly whore out their opinion out for a few credits will flood the page with their inane scribblings, their reward for their 16 words of facile prattle.

Again I want people to comment, If my work has moved them somehow not for an ulterior motive. And again if I thought people were just commenting on my work to get credits I wouldn't want to post at all.

You are trying to force people to comment when maybe they don't want to. Paying people for their opinions won't end well and people will start commenting on works without probably reading them did you think about that?

I heard you the first time. You want people to comment
on your work if they are moved but you don't seem to think
they may have the ability to move you to comment ...
Is that what you are saying?

author comment

When I have submitted my poetry and I look at it on the feed I may catch the first 4 lines or the title of someone's work but my mind just switches off and then I just leave the page.

Some moron has commented on my latest poem and it's cut and paste bulls$%# self promotion ! You havent even started this credits reward scheme for the truly narcissistic and im getting spammed already!

I heard you and your conscious speak above. Honestly since you are part of this community I would urge you to first feel good about yourself and make comments on poems which you feel are worthy for you to comment...please try and take a step in that direction..of course keep expressing yourself through the medium of poetry...

best wishes

raj (sublime_ocean)

I'm 37 years old and have depression and BPD I don't ever feel good about myself, I've been conditioned to not think of myself of any value or merit since I was 6.

I get by, I don't have the concentration to offer anyone any words of wisdom because the cupboard is bare. I'm an uneducated B ark hairdresser, if my IQ was any lower I'd need watering! I don't pretend to be anything other than what I am.

I write poetry to release stress and anguish.People's enjoyment of it or lack of is merely a by-product. I cannot offer any advice to anyone because :

1. I don't intend to read any of anyone's work
2. I'm quite immovable
3. I don't have anything intelligible or helpful to say
4. "A wise person speaks when they have something to say, a wise ass speaks because they have to say something"
5. "All I know is I know nothing"
6. I don't honestly care

OK. Be well

raj (sublime_ocean)

if I am, but if I'm understanding you, you want us to care about your work enough to give a genuine comment (not for credits) but you freely admit you don't care about anyone else's and won't reciprocate?

That's not how workshops work, I'm afraid, and this is a workshop.


Critique, don't comment.
Community guidelines:

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

Altruism may be the highest form of self-serving behaviour and many of us love giving but eventually it starts to feel like work if you don't get anything back.

People will still try to help you, for a while, best of luck.

If you get any spam at all report it immediately to the AC, it will be addressed. The current AC members are: themoonman, Eumolpus and mark

chevyvent is always like that, it's nothing to do with the new incentives but report him anyway. The AC should know how many people also feel his feedback is self-serving irrelevant tripe.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

So I am expected to comment on others work so they comment on mine? I answer their comments on mine but i dont read theirs? I didnt know it was compulsory.

So it's not like moonman said which is to comment when something "moves you" it's a quid pro quo ?

I was just trying to explain the philosophy and reasons behind it, which I do better in my comment further down this thread. By participating in critique it will help your own poetry and sense of community. You did say you make friends online. Richard is exactly right, if you spot something in the Stream that draws your interest, if you read it and find it moves you in some way then that is the time to offer feedback. But you've said that won't happen.

It is not a rule now. At the moment the 'only' incentives to give critique are to improve your own work, make friends and that eventually people will probably stop if you give nothing back.

If the proposal is accepted, and I think it will, then yes, it will become a rule. Since you have stated unequivocally that you are immovable then that will probably mean byebye. If it doesn't then people will eventually get tired of putting their efforts into a black hole and stop commenting so that will also mean byebye.

I mostly want to point out that there are real benefits to you from participating in the site, rule or no rule.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

What you are confiming then is it's not about appreciation of each other's work it's socialising? I respond to comments on my poetry with comments so how that is a black hole I don't know. And then when they have liked something I've written and commented on it, I have to then trawl through their account to find something I like so the quid pro quo is complete?

I guess it is human nature to want to only receive help without being expected to give any. What you apparently don't realize is that by taking the time to analyze flaws in others' poetry a person is also subconsciously making notes on how one's own poetry can be improved. It's kinda like the old saying about the teacher learning from the student. Perhaps it helps to think in terms of "Now, if I'd written this poem what would I have done differently?" The good thing about this is the by product that by studying and commenting on others it makes it more likely that you will receive feed back on your own poetry. It's a synergistic thing. An additional benefit is it grows connections between oneself and others which makes you realize you are becoming a part of this community instead of an isolated entity.
Now this doesn't mean you should comment on every poem you read here. Nobody does that because nobody has that much free time. But I'm pretty sure you will run across some poems here which move you. Analyze Why they move and tell author these reasons. This study will help you write your own poems which will move others......lecture over lol......stan

I don't comment because I have no help to give them. Poetry is very personal. I don't like the idea that it seems to be compulsory for me to go through someone's profile commenting on their work, not because I want to but because I have to because that's what is socially acceptable? I don't have real life friends my main friends base is fellow gamers and horror fans, and we chat about those subjects. There's no compulsory "I must comment on your post as you commented on mine"

I can't help or advise anyone about poetry or anything really. It's better to say nothing because a) I don't really read much poetry, I more write it b) if I wanted to socialise I'd be on Facebook.

I see your point, and i want to remind you that often people write the comment in hope that you will be interested in returning the favor. That is the idea underlining any human interaction.


So it's not about them about them actually liking my work it's about a quid pro quo. I will comment on yours if you comment on mine?

I only want people to comment on my work if they are genuinely interested or moved by it. For all I know they could of not read the poem and skipped straight to comment, made a random comment like "good work" or "I liked it" and they expect me to then traul through their stuff looking for something to like because its the "done thing to do" Is that what's expected of me?

If I want "human interaction" I go on Facebook. I come here to submit my work For review. And if folk wish to review it after they've actually read it then that's great, but if they comment to merely plug themselves then I think that is really a very sorry state of affairs.

Do not trivialize my words. Focusing on expecting reward from your audience is unproductive, lack of interest in your reader takes away a pleasure of having a comment at all! Comments tell you more about your readers than about your poem, my friend. If you don't want to continue the conversation on the next level by reading what poem they wrote you will not understand their words and their critique.
Egocentric attitude makes you a lesser poet.


I want people to comment on my work if it moves them not to get points. I do care about what the readers think of course I do, and if someone comments on my stuff I reply. What I didn't realise is people are commenting on others work not because it meant something to them but to 'plug' themselves in hope you will read their stuff and I don't have the time or the patience to traul through their stuff looking for something to like because its the done thing to and maybe that person will be friends with me if I do respond in kind to their work.

It seems more and more about social interaction than actual poetry and writing. If I wanted social interaction I would go to Facebook and Twitter, I'm not forced there to comment on others posts and threatened with if i do not i will not be able to post my own stuff.

It is not mercenary or quid pro quo. Giving thoughtful, meaningful feedback requires effort and generosity of spirit. When it is not reciprocated it can start to feel like a chore.
More, it is valuable to the person giving it.
Each of your responses on this thread has picked on your perceived negative aspects.
You really seem to have given up on yourself.
I'm so sorry.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

But being forced to critiquè others work seems very disingenuous. You're suggesting forcing people to comment, (who would not normally want to) is a good idea. Wouldn't you rather someone comment on your work because it moved them instead of commenting, not because they like your work or respect you as a writer but because they want to "make friends" and earn points.

I'm not here to make friends, I have Facebook and Twitter for that, and no one forces me to like anything there!

"It is not mercenary or quid pro quo. Giving thoughtful, meaningful feedback requires effort and generosity of spirit. When it is not reciprocated it can start to feel like a chore."

I've not been active for a bit for a lot of reasons but the most pressing is the tendency of folks to flood the site with their submissions while asking less than raw feedback. It's not worth my time to wade through it all while they consume and refuse to contribute.

This is a community, it exists for all of the participants, not just those few who want to take advantage of the the time and talent of others while they give nothing back.

If this drives some people away, excellent.


Jonathan Moore

What's your point exactly?

People who are unwilling to contribute but demand to consume the time and talent of others, are parasites.

Not to worry, parasite infest all sorts of communities and Neopoet will always have it fair share of folks who believe they are God's gift to poetry, that everything they write is perfect, that people should always tell them they are pretty, that any critique is a personal attack that will be met with whing, stomping of feet, and a demand that the offender be punished.

Your best bet is to ignore me. I will never read your work, will never comment on it, and will only interact with you if you ask me a direct question.

Like now.

I get that you have depression and BPD. These are real things that have serious and lasting effects. I will never dismiss nor diminish your situation. But your situation does not require me to be miserable in the hopes that you might be happy. And your depression and BPD does not require that I sacrifice my joy and happiness.

This is why we should both have our honest and honestly expressed opinions and not interact. We are not compatible.

I wish you the best.


Jonathan Moore

The credit system definitely will lead to
misuse, but I believe it will be easy enough
to see who is serious and who isn't.

Poetry is subjective but yes, I agree it isn't
all good, in fact, most isn't, but what do I know.

Under Resources choose "curated resources"
and dive in, if you have any ideas for improvements,
we welcome them.

author comment

For the "credit" system plus keeping the one day post as this would at least minimize the posts' number per day and give everyone a chance to read the newly posted pieces.
I also encourage more workshops on how to offer a constructive feedback. I think the last one offered was by swamp-witch (Kelsy)three years ago or even more.


Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me

thank you !!!

author comment

There have been a few others workshops on constructive feedback, if I remember correctly. I think Jess, Pugilist, Wesley, and a few other folks have offered some over the years.

If there was another workshop on constructive feedback, what would you want to see there?


Critique, don't comment.
Community guidelines:

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

I offer total support. Just don't feel quite up to running it myself at the moment.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

the only one I joined was yours. I think the others were before coming to Neopoet I think.
Nothing in particular to think of. I trust you know what is needed to offer.
My point was if we need a quality in the comments, let 's help people know what we want
Appreciate that you have taken the suggestion so seriously


Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me

in this thread but not what is being thought of by the administrative council to limit poetry submission. Until reading it, it would be hard to respond with a comment.

raj (sublime_ocean)

in stream whereas I was looking for it at the top of this page.

Although keeping a criteria of commenting on other's poem/s is good through a system of giving credits based on length of the comment, my concern is how quality and relevance of comment would be assessed / measured.

Unless there is an easy way to monitor and measure comments, I fear this could become a very tough task for whosoever is given this responsibility. Besides there is likelihood of some members contesting if the score is right .

My question is if this proposed system would over ride the current mandate of 1 poem allowed to be posted 23 hours after posting the previous one?

raj (sublime_ocean)

I share some of your same concerns and as far
as I understand it so far, it will be done automatically
by a counter, three credits at 16 or more words per
poem within thirty days.
I don't know if it will overrule the 1per day we have
now in place ... I would hope not, we need help from
everyone to keep an eye on things.

author comment

A couple of thoughts I would like to add

Whatever criteria the AC freezes upon, it should have clarity without ambiguity. Regarding the criteria of posting 1 poem after lapse of 23 hours after the previous one, there is an ambiguity as to if poem to workshop [excluded from the criteria] is to be posted before or after posting a non workshop poem. I have noticed that I simply can't post a poem to work shop if it is less than 23 hours after posting the previous non workshop poem

If as you say the counting of words is through an automated system, how would the system distinguish between a comment and signature? You must have noticed that there are many members who have long signatures.

The revised criteria should not discourage new entrants to the site especially who are taking baby steps into writing poetry and may not be able to comment on works of others.

raj (sublime_ocean)

And I wish I had the answers, we'll have to ask
Andrew, he is our wizard, but you are right, the
signatures shouldn't count as part of the count.

author comment

good to know you agree about the certainly don't have the

raj (sublime_ocean)

The signature wouldn't count toward the number of words.

This is a WORKSHOP site. Not a place to simply post you poems so people can click "Loved your poem" or put a thumbs up. The idea is to get feedback- WHY you like or dislike the poem. This is how we grow as poets and as critics. For too many poets this site has become a "hooray fro me" place to post their poems and not be engaged with others.
We all want to be read and have comments posted. That's why we write, to share our work. This action is well conceived, and will hopefully not be misused.

It will force poets like Eccentric Poet to comment on other poets. This poet has posted several times, and tracking this person I cannot find one comment for another poet made by this person.

We can only hope that all comments will show depth and thought. That is the purpose of workshop. Bravo Neopoet!!!

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

is the first step to delay
why can't you just reintroduce
how many read you
all poets
not only Lovedly
want to be read

it's like the 99 percent theory

''all do it
the remaining are liars...
we all by now know it!!!

If you look under your poem where the social media links are you will see the number of times it has been read.
It's in the Stream too-
Read more    Add new comment     6 reads     Bookmark this

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

I am a member at a site which requires 2 comments on others before posting a poem. Indeed, there are a lot of "great job", "wonderful" act. type comments left just to meet the requirement but there is also a core of people there who really offer good suggestions. And that site Doesn't call itself a workshop site. So here, where we Do claim to be a workshop site I suspect the quality of commentary, even Required commentary will remain fairly high. Now I suppose we could require each comment be a minimum length in order to qualify. If a moderate sized comment is required it would only take a minimum of additional effort to go ahead and make a comment useful.
But whatever is decided if it turns out not working it can always be changed so I see little harm in trying Something to increase commentary

If you give it a try.

Remember everyone, Neopoet has been going for 11 years. During that time, with ups and downs and lots of changes it has always come down to a core group giving critique, which is the life-blood of Neopoet. Some people join, get enthusiastic for a while then drift away for a variety of reasons which we try to ascertain and address. That is one of the main jobs of Mark, our Director of Community Outreach. Yet we always have a shortfall of critique for poems posted.

Eleven years and we have tried many ways of encouraging members to stay and give critique. Just staying is not enough, as I said, critique is the life-blood of Neopoet. This may discourage potential new members, even cause some current members to leave. To be blunt, those are not members we need anyway. Not only do they not contribute, they don't get the full benefit that comes of giving critique to others and being part of a community. Who can say they haven't learned a lot from giving critique? Who can say that they have not benefited from our sense of community? Even the most misanthropic of us need other people at times.

It is sad that some feel they can't give, or have nothing to offer. I've seen that change. By just joining in and saying a little of what they feel about others' works they start to feel the benefit almost immediately. That is one way in which this new incentive will work.

It has been discussed many times before and we know people will try to dodge it. That will show pretty quickly and they won't 'feel the benefit' even if they continue to post poems for a while. Give rubbish and you can expect nothing or rubbish back. That is not a threat, it only makes sense.

I am optimistic about this. Apart from raising the amount of feedback it will highlight members who try to dodge it and the drop in feedback to them will be immediately apparent. But I have a high opinion of people in general, only proved wrong for some people. The mere fact that we have not only survived but grown and flourished, despite all the setbacks, for eleven years, that we are still the only dedicated poetry workshop site on the web, proves that poets want somewhere like this and are prepared to give to get it.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

I'm probably not eligible for commentary as I haven't been an active member in NEOPOET for quite some time, though I tried to return a couple of times for different reasons.

The original NEOPOET (when I joined way back when) was filled with different poets from every part of the world, all good poets in their own way. The poems and the exchanges came naturally. No one had to make rules. Then the site crashed and most of the original poets did not come back and subsequent rules upon rules were made by the then AC.

I totally get that folks are comfortable in whichever side they put their 2cents in. I totally get that the site is struggling. Its developers and AC don't want it to disappear in the netherworld of cyber space. I totally get that some folks thrive on rules like this would-be one.

Imo Rules stifle creativity, unless one wants to write in a particular format like the Americanized Haiku, and poems with rhyme patterns. You can always change the rules again if they don't work.

Lastly, it's a good thing that everyone's mileage can, does and will vary; however, you might want to go beyond the obvious.

Kailashana/Anna Ruiz

p.s. My best to one and all.
p.p.s.: Moreover, keep on writing. That's the best advice I was ever given.

"You can always change the rules again if they don't work." Yes, of course, it's been done before. We are flexible.

However you painted a bleak and incorrect picture of why we are trying it. We have struggled since the site's inception to increase critique beyond the small core group of committed members and the short-lived groups of enthusiastic newcomers. Most members who have left have cited a lack of feedback as the reason. On investigation most of them gave none. I love poets but we do have a tendency to egocentricity.

If you were active you would know the site is not struggling. We are getting record numbers of new members and everything is running smoothly. This is is just the most recent idea in how to encourage critique.

True, no poets like rules. All sites have them and this one is not draconian, it is very fair. It might be hard on some but as I said above if they give it a try they will feel the benefits to themselves.
Thanks for your input.
(((miss you)))

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

I do not see it as the site is "struggling", rather trying to be a slightly different prompting so poets don't abuse the site and just post their work, enjoying the feedback, and never give any comments to others. As we all know, in a real workshop each poet brings copies of a poem or two and everyone gets a chance to read and get feedback from the others in the group. This will help assimilate that into the site, so it becomes a true "workshop"

As we know, most other sites only use the "loved your poem" click. I would rather get a whole bunch of comments of poets telling me why they dislike my poem in detail rather then one "thumbs up." Of course, wouldn't mind some positive feedback too!

I can't believe these cry babies who now have to actually comment on other poems rather than just post (Hooray for me!) In the long run they will benefit as I have, and all the others who give our best in the comments. It helps develop an aesthetic which makes us all better poets. It creates relationships. It creates engagement. It is not such a big deal or time consuming really. And once you start, the habit of critique becomes part of the experience, so I now read the "greats" and Pulitzer prize winners with a much more critical approach.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

but feel no sympathy for poets that don't
want to do what they should be doing without
being asked to ... The good thing is, it is still
a choice.

author comment


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