cupidsbow (cupidsbow) wrote,

Reccing Survey -- Reflecting on Crack Van

I have just finished my most recent stint reccing for crack_van, and, as you do, I'm now pondering the ideal rec set.

This time around, I was called up to drive two fandoms in the same month: Stargate: Atlantis, and Torchwood. Actually, the mods and I laugh about my habit of double reccing now, as it's happened nearly every time I've done a stint on the Van. Hahaha. Such are the perils of volunteering in multiple fandoms at once!

Because I can't keep up with reccing two sets on the fly, I've refined my method for putting together sets for the Van -- I basically pick the stories and vids and do all the coding the weekend before I start reccing, and then I just copy/paste the individual recs every other day or so until I've posted them all. That way, even if life goes insane (which it invariably does), I can fulfil my commitment.

It's good fun, although it does take a wee bit of work. Worth it though. If you want to have a go, you can sign up here: Drivers Needed! Sign-up Sheets. Doooooo eeeeeeet. The world needs more recs. :)

Anyway, I thought it was time to reflect on how I rec, and especially how I rec on the Van -- I don't want to go stale! And a good reflection is always best with feedback, dear readers, so please, tell me what you like in a reccer in general, and on crack_van in particular.

If you've never looked at the rules for the Van, they are here: Posting Guidelines. The short version is: a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 12 recs per month, plus a songvid and a crossover.

Here are some of the specific things I'm pondering, in my quest for the ideal rec set:

  • Do you want a reccer to always do the maximum number of recs at a nice steady pace throughout the month (assuming there are that many stories/vids/crossovers in the fandom)?
    (I have recced fandoms so small I couldn't fill a standard set, although I nearly always do the maximum number.)

  • Do you prefer the reccer to focus just on the absolute stand-out stories -- the classics of the fandom -- plus maybe controversial stories that sparked big meta discussions? Even if that means they only post four recs?
    (I try to pick a mix of the 'big' stories, and lesser-known ones that I really liked and think deserve a wider audience.)

  • Do you like a reccer to stick with one genre per rec set, ie. slash, femslash, het or gen? Or do you like a mix? Do you likewise prefer one pairing per set, or a mix?
    (I try to mix it up a bit, usually with a focus on gen and the main pairing I follow, as that's what I read most. The 'pairing' I follow is not always slash -- eg. Spuffy, or Matt/Ben/Jen.)

  • Do you like the reccer to use a consistent icon for a set in a given fandom, so it's easy to see when they have posted?
    (I use one icon for SGA, one for Torchwood, etc -- always the same one for the whole set.)

  • Do you like short, to-the-point recs? Or long, loving explanations and teaser excerpts?
    (I do the short ones, as my own preference is to be teased with just enough info to intrigue me, but not enough to spoil.)

  • Are there reccers you look for and follow? And if so, what is it about their recs that works for you? Or is there some other way you regularly choose between recs?
    (Outside of the Van, I like reccers who give a general sense of the plot -- more than just the author's summary or a quote, eg. "This is a great take on the marriage of convenience plot." Plus, I like lots of tags, so I can see if it's got pairings I hate or non-con or other things I avoid... or things I love love love, like transformations or fairy tales. Dorothy Marley is a reccer I like.)

  • Do you have some other preference?

Talk to me.

PS -- If it is helpful, you can find my own recs on rec_room. All my crack_van recs are in my memories... good grief, there are over 400 entries *boggles* I honestly had no idea I'd done that many.

This entry was originally posted at
Tags: crack_van, discussion, meta, recommendations
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