The Internet Forums of Public Opinion are SO Unforgiving   Leave a comment

I thought about saying social media but message boards have been around long before the Facebook, Twitter and MySpace were even thought of. Basically, if Internet Message Boards was Judge, Jury and Executioner anyone who wasn’t a celebrity or had alot of money to swim in would be dead or in prison. As a friend of mine put it last year, the trouble with message boards is since everyone has an opinion, no one does.

That said, while nothing would please me more than to name and shame my two worst offenders I don’t want to give them the attention those websites feed off of. Feel free to ask me via email what websites I’m talking about, though.

Moving on, I can remember just 20 years ago (like I pointed out in previous blog post I’ll be 31 at the end of the month) the days of America Online and having internet safety drilled into you. You know, don’t share personal information with strangers and all that. As more ISPs popped up, IRC (short for Internet Relay Chat) was like the black market of the internet. Only those who were involved in nefarious internet-related activities–and I’ll leave the rest to your imagination–used them after 2000. It was around this time the Tech Bubble burst. The few years between then and the inception of Social Media websites saw the popularity of Message Boards and Blog Sites (Blogger, Xanga and Live Journal to name a few) explode into the stratosphere.

Internet communities then are of course very different from how they are now. No place is this more apparent than Message Boards. Just ten years ago, having an opinion was considered something positive. Now, it can put a target on your back or in extreme cases, turn an entire internet community on someone. You express you dislike something really popular somewhere and you’re automatically branded a hater or a troll. Those who’ve been in that position know what I’m talking about.

While keeping to my promise of not naming specific websites, the one subject both sites I have in mind have in common is video games. To scratch the surface a little bit: All of the talk you may have heard about there being a “Console War” between Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft going back now 10 years is a lie. The only people who see “competition” are the gaming community itself. The industry only sees $$$$ so…yeah. The problem is fans and gaming news sites misquote statements put out by developers to support their viewpoint for or against one of The Three.

With PC Gaming, it’s actually worse though from what I’ve been seeing folks are starting to wake up and small the coffee. The long-standing mantra of your textbook PC Gamer is “PCs are better than consoles”. From what I’ve observed on several websites, that mindset has begun to change in just the last year. What IS true is while consoles have an average lifespan of 5 to 8 years, PCs have no such limitations. What’s also true is PC Online Gaming has almost 10 years on consoles (The Dreamcast being the first console to make online console gaming mainstream). The biggest sticking point PC Gamers like to tout is with PCs, you can more easily mod your game in most cases. Modding your console is forbidden by all of the Console makers and in fact, you can get in alot of trouble if you’re caught.

That’s just platforms.

Individual games…whew. I could write 10 blog posts and only scratch the surface! Emotions are just too high xD

…Look, I’ve been there. If you asked me in 1999 if I would start blogging, I’d probably look at you as if you have two heads. I didn’t even know what a blog was after I randomly made my Xanga account in 2001. It wasn’t until 2011 that I seriously revisited the subject. 4 years later, I haven’t looked back. Remember: I once ran my own website 😄

That crazy time from 1999 to 2010 saw me bounce from one Internet Community to another. It wasn’t just for the topics of interest but wanting to fit in with like-minded folks that saw me go from one site to the next. I had enough trying to prop up my website Serene Adventure.net in 2010 and retired it for good the following year in favor of doing the WordPress thing instead.

I haven’t looked back.

Given between my five blogs I’ve written over 400 posts in 3 and a half years, I figure if someone wants my opinion, they should just come here. With my blogs, I don’t have to feel like I spent alot of time or effort posting something only for my post to either be ignored or deliberately misquoted out of context.

I look at certain websites and I look at how unhappy so many people in the forum community are. Most folks will get frustrated and either move on to another forum community or just lurk. I found my own way thanks to WordPress. Folks can chose to read or they can chose not to. Some folks will find this very hard to believe but I know more than “just a few people” read my blogs. Unlike forums and social media, a lack of comments doesn’t necessarily mean no one is watching.

…So I will continue to blog.

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