Update - September 2022

Greetings, free folk of Middle-earth!

Apologies for disappearing for months. I caught COVID just after Mythmoot in June, lost all my energy and stamina, and have been very slowly recovering ever since. I’m still not back to full health but I am keen to get back to this project!

For those of you who were not at Mythmoot this year (and those who were there but busy doing other activities), I hosted a discussion session about the ExLOTR Legacy Project with some of the attendees, and we had a really good conversation about where the project is at, and where to take it from here.

I have made the decision, based on that discussion, to keep the initial focus of this project relatively narrow. We don’t want to bite off more than we can chew to start with, and I think the most important thing right now is to get a basic wiki up and running. There are endless possibilities of what this website could become in the future, but for now we need to focus on the core functions which will be most useful for Corey and the rest of us Explorers in the near future:
  • Preserving the detailed knowledge
  • Long term tracking of themes
  • Providing a vault of future questions
  • Summarising, and reducing the barrier to entry
In order to really get this project going, I think it would be a good idea to migrate some of our discussions across to an app such as Slack or Discord. That way we can get notifications when there is action, and organise meetings or events more easily. If we do this, I will work to keep the forums up to date with any new progress for those who don’t want to use an app. There is also the possibility of using a project app such as Trello in the future, to keep track of tasks and to-do lists.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I am looking forward to building up some momentum on this project once more. Thanks for your patience!

Cheers
Jenni aka Smaug the Mighty
 

Arnorion

Active Member
Hey there, welcome back and so sorry to hear of your health challenges. My family all caught covid as soon as the kids went back to school and though the kids bounced back quickly my wife and I are taking longer to feel fully normal. Can totally relate to the decreased energy and capacity.

As to the ExLOTR project, I'm very excited to hear that things are beginning to move forward. Can you explain a bit more about the initially narrow scope of the project? Are you looking to create notes of each session discussion or link themes together when they come up across different episodes (like Strider/Aragorn's progression towards kingship or uses of light or wind in different instances)? I'm just starting to get more involved in the SilmFilm project but as a long-time asynchronous listener to ExLOTR I'd like to make some contributions to that project as well. I'm just not sure what tasks to start in on.

I have very limited experience setting up wikis and other collaboration tools, but I can write or edit content if that would be helpful.
 
Hi Arnorion, nice to hear from you, I hope you and your wife continue improving too!

Tony Meade has already been making summary notes of each session, these will form the episodes pages of our wiki. I think the linking of themes and episodes together will happen more easily once the wiki is up and we can actually link pages together.

Content-wise, there are a few tasks which I think will be the most important to start with:
Theme pages - we should write up a page for each of the themes we are identifying (see the "Brainstorming Themes and Categories" thread in the Content forum). Jonah has made excellent progress on this task by collecting references to Theological, Moral and Spiritual themes (also in the Content forum).
Episode transcripts - some people have already started working on these, they will be another useful resource for the wiki.
Future questions - we should go through the archive of episodes to find any questions which have been raised which have been put off for the future. It will be useful to have a collection of these which we can answer as we go through the text, and we can add to it whenever more questions come up.
Further summarising - to reduce the barrier to entry it would be great to have a summary page for each chapter, outlining the main themes, questions, and discussion points.

For those of you more interested in the tech side, I think we should use one of the existing wiki platforms that have been suggested for the initial stage of making this website. There's no point re-inventing the wheel, at least while the scope of the project is relatively narrow. @FirstFish made a nice little example wiki for us to look at in the Implementation forum, we could expand on this idea to launch an initial wiki. Then if we decide to expand the site to include more functionality, we can consider changing to a different platform.

This is where my thoughts are at currently. If anyone has any questions or suggestions, please let me know!
I will work on getting a Slack or Discord up and running to liven up the discussion.

Cheers, Jenni
 

Arnorion

Active Member
Thanks for the response, we're doing better each week - almost back to normal!

This sounds like an excellent approach, getting after both the individual episodes as we progress through the text and building lateral themes that cut across many individual sessions. I see myself likely getting involved in the chapter summary areas, as that aligns with some of my own research tool building projects. I'm a bit tied up at the moment with some of the SilmFilm work but as I get caught up there, I hope to be able to devote more time to this project. I suppose the good news is that this effort will go on for a long time so room for many hands to get involved at different points.
 
Another quick update for any of you following along here.

I am very busy at work until late November, but after then I will have much more free time to dedicate to this project. My health has finally gotten close to normal again too.

Looking forward to marching ahead soon! I will be in touch.

And thanks Arnorion, it would be great to have you working on some chapter summaries, whenever your time allows. I love how you said that: "room for many hands to get involved at different points," that is exactly how this project will work!
 
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