Thursday, December 17, 2009

Television Tropes

I normally update the blog on Mondays. I'm going to experiment with doing less serious mid week posts to change things up a bit. Let me know if you enjoy the post. I will continue to do the usual Monday posts.

Today I'm going to talk about a marvelous time waster. If you have anything that you need to get done today then you probably shouldn't click on any of the links below. The site I'm about to link you to can be highly addictive and incredibly entertaining.

The site is tv tropes and it's an entertaining wiki that talks about many of the common conventions of television shows, as well as books, films, comics and other forms of entertainment. It's a fun site and a great time waster.

Most people associate the term wiki with the ubiquitous wikipedia, but there are quite a few wikis out there. Wikis have a few interesting properties.

First of all, you can utilize the collaborative nature of the wiki to quickly produce a lot of content. The result is that sites like wikipedia and tv tropes have thousands of pages.

Secondly, because they are extensively cross-linked, wikis make it easy to define new terms. You just create a page describing the term and link it. If the term is popular it catches on and soon everyone on the wiki will start using it. If the wiki is possible enough the term starts to crop up in other parts of the internet as well. (I personally found tv tropes when I was reading a forum discussion about whether or not a particular character qualified as a magnificent bastard.)

For example, many of you may know that the phrase "jumping the shark" refers to the moment when a good show begins to decline in quality. But do you know a phrase that describes that moment when an initially poor show starts getting better? On tv tropes it's called "growing the beard".

The end result, at least in the case of tv tropes, is that once you start reading you'll spend hours following all of the links and learning about all of the strange tropes and conventions used in fiction of various types. Which is why I told you not to click any of the links if you have stuff that you need to do today.

I'm sorry about that.

1 comment:

  1. I love that site, it helped me deal with one of my favorite Character's death on a show. The term for what the writers did is an "ass pull" and that's definitely what it felt like.