Quote Originally Posted by Jen
Do you know that before most of you joined, the application requirement was eight reviews? xD But perhaps I'll change the post about applying so it says that if you don't have a wide range of reviews I might ask for more.
Wow, I was thinking I did eight reviews so I'm pleased you cleared that one up for me, LOL. And since the point of eight reviews was to show the range of stories, etc., you could review, and your ability to both give praise and concrit, raising the review requirement to five is a good idea, imo.

On the 50 posts in the hospital wing, I agree with changing this to posts anywhere. I don't think it matters where you're posting, because I can't see somebody leaving 50 completely unhelpful posts. I think every forum counts, I really do. And if somebody's applying for SPEW, I believe they've generally put some thought into their posts elsewhere, whether it's discussion in the CR, or critique of a banner. In the least, 50 posts shows their participation in general around the boards, and if their reviews are good, then chances are their 50 posts are too.

Quote Originally Posted by Emma
With SPEW being seen as elite - I totally get that. That's why I was so scared of applying. I mean, I didn't think my reviews were all that fabulous. But I wanted to learn how to improve them, and develop and hone my reviewing skills. Which is why I eventually applied. And I'm still a bit amazed I was accepted >.>
I totally agree with this. It tooks me months to pluck up the courage to send a PM to Jenna, and then it took me ages to choose which reviews to send. To me, as a member of SPEW, I now see SPEW on no higher level than the rest of the forums -- it's just a group where we all have a common interest/goal, really -- but when I was plucking up the courage to apply, all the reviews I read by SPEWers seemed amazingly good compared to my own. But looking back I realise that didn't really matter, because by applying for SPEW I showed my willingness to improve my reviews, and my reviews do improve with every one posted, I believe.

Linking to this is the subject of referees. I think I would've been reluctant to ask anyone to be my referee should I get rejected, which is kinda silly, but there we go. If I'd needed a referee however, I would've been a lot more comfortable asking somebody I knew than somebody in SPEW, because I'm not sure I'd ever spoke to anybody in SPEW before I joined. I think one referee should be a SPEW member, I'm not sure why I think that I just do. However the other two would be beneficial if they vouched for somebody's commitment to another part of the forums, such as the SBBC or TTB, or their enthusiasm in partaking in discussion-type activities within their house, etc. I'm not sure everybody needs referees, though, because if somebody's reviews are good and they have fifty+ posts, to me that says a lot already. Although, if somebody does participate a lot around the boards, fifty posts isn't really that many, so a raise to maybe seventy-five or a hundred could be helpful, and referees asked for post counts below that.

Or even instead of having a 5th review, you could review a review. It could be a review left on one of your stories, or even a SPEW review left on someone else's. You could analyse the things they mentioned, their tone, what concrit they left, how helpful it was, what they could have emphasised on more. Yes? No?
And I like this idea, although maybe in addition to the fifth review, because when you think about it, five reviews isn't really that much to ask. I did something similar to this for one of my own reviews in Bine's reviewing class a few terms ago, and it was a really helpful exercise, because it made me see how I'd improved since I'd written said review, and made me feel a little more confident. Reviewing somebody elses review would work in a similar fashion, and it would emphasise the fact that you have the ability to write a good review alongside the ones Jen would be looking at.

Quote Originally Posted by Shar
I feel that from that stage, my reviews have come a long way. SPEW inspires me to get better, and even today, above all else, I learn each time I review.
Aw, I really like your phrasing. I think that sums up SPEW well, from the perspective of the author you're reviewing and you as the reviewer.

And I haven't written this very chronologically, more as thoughts come to me, so I hope you follow it all right >.> And sorry for the ridiculously long post.