Tuesday, August 1, 2017

PulpRev and the Gatekeepers

A PulpRev gatekeeper issues a warning to the PulpRev community. “Some folks worried about the Pulp Rev ossifying because I was gonna maybe go invite only in a year and a half from now.” P. Alexander publishes a seminal PulpRev magazine, Cirsova. This quote isn’t his warning, but I use it to illustrate he is a gatekeeper. I believe at the heart of his warning to the PulpRev community is a warning about gatekeepers.

“Having a Pulp Rev website signals cliquishness akin to what the Superversives suffer from. Outsiders will see a website and assume that the Pulp Rev is the website and the website is the Pulp Rev, and people not writing for the website are not part of the movement. It’s a perception thing. Just as a singular Superversive site dominates the Superversive movement and potentially stifles its growth, a PulpRev website could do the same.”

PulpRev.com has issued an open welcome to its Discord. Anyone that has asked to contribute to the website has been welcomed with open arms. PulpRev.com has, from the start, emphasized its openness to not only authors, but also blog writers, critics, artists, and readers. As a community, PulpRev.com can’t be more open at this point. It was named after the movement for that very reason, to bring PulpRev fans together. And upon entering the PulpRev Discord it will be clear there are no gatekeepers. Cirsova was listed as a member of the Discord before I joined. Yes, the website itself could make it more clear with a disclaimer, but no one has yet come up with a disclaimer that is succinct enough to stand both as a disclaimer and a welcome. Only those with the initiative make things happen around here.

Perhaps the real concern is quality control. He goes on to discuss the difference between brands and movements. The real difference between the two is ownership. With ownership you have quality control. You control not only the quality of the product but also the quality people associated with your product. You also control the direction. No one can sell merchandise you think isn’t worthy of the brand. No one can make a podcast with poor audio under your brand. Please read the Cirsova article if you haven't already to understand those references.

Anyone in a movement has a right to be concerned about infiltrators, new folks giving the movement a bad name, or folks who are just counter productive. And every movement has to deal with those problems. This is where the movement really takes shape though, in how they handle it. It might be scary to think of it all going in the wrong direction after putting so much of your own sweat into it. Yes, I get it. I also want to make it clear I harbor no ill will and have taken no offense from this warning or any previous warnings. Everyone gets to have their say and share their opinions to push the movement in the direction they desire.Yes they are power plays, but aren’t all expressed opinions in some sense a power play to persuade? I also believe it's important to come out and say what you really mean in a professional manner.

Everyone is working on growing the movement right now. It's still so small, we have't had to address even a bad apple. We're here for open and honest conversations, not only on this site but every site associated with PulpRev.

Disclaimer: This isn't the first time the PulpRev T shirts have come up and I am responsible for them.

Anyway there is no payoff to offering them right now. There are no sales, no social media interest, not enough social capital on the PulpRev front from yours truly to continue pushing them. It was really just to test the waters while seeing if I could give back to the community. I did make it clear all proceeds would be put back into the community.


  1. Thanks for this. I have no doubts about the intentions of anyone involve and don't want to impugn anyone's motives; I do think that outsiders' perception of the movement is important if we want it to keep growing, and Brian Niemeier's analysis of Superversive really nails a lot of the problems that they have and presents an opportunity to highlight some of our own. There's been a lot of good work done and worthwhile content here; I just don't want things to get stuck in the growth-rut that Superversive finds itself in or in the death-spiral that the Sad PuppiesTM have ended up in.

  2. I'll take rut over death,spiral. You can get out of a rut with good ideas and elbow grease, but it takes a heck of a lot of effort to reverse a death spiral!

  3. I'm really pleased to see the community thinking these topics through instead turning the discussion into a soap opera.
    It speaks volumes about the community itself.