Archive for the ‘Forums’ Tag

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 XD

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.

My forums are still a work in progress   Leave a comment

I realize it’s been a few months since I took The Serene Adventure Forums offline and I’ve had alot going on since then. I plan to reopen the forums a few hours from now and man, have things changed. The biggest changes are in the Video Games and Anime Sections, which were both consolidated into about 5 boards total. I have also added links to all five of my WordPress Blogs.

Over the last 8 or so years I used parts of it as an organizer for the Serene Adventure stories and other things these blogs have taken over as. This paves the way for me to use the forums as an extension of my website and now by blogs as I originally intended. I can only hope there’s a little something for everyone on the Serene Adventure forums. I think the reason the forums never got much traffic before was because I set my expectations too high. Now that I have blogs I feel a whole lot less pressured to succeed in that regard.

One other thing for those connected via Facebook: Hopefully the cropped picture of myself will replace the PayPal Logo you keep seeing. Speaking of which the PayPal Link is for those folks to give me money if they are both able and willing to. Any amount is fine. Of course if you don’t have the means don’t worry about it. All content on my blogs and forums are free. The Paypal Links are for gratuity purposes only.

Consolidating My Forums Again   Leave a comment

I’d say it’s about time for my forums to undergo a reduction in size.

To those who’ve never seen it before–I assume most of you–I first made it in 2007. Before I found Invision Free (which later merged with Zeta Boards) I used a few temporary forums here and there from 2002 to 2007. The board I made through CJB.net (back when everything was free lol) lasted three years and it got a small following, mostly from my buddies at TPPC. Now I have my current board through Invision Free/Zeta Boards. The one advantage it has over the CJB.net board I had back in the day is the board will stay up indefinitely regardless of forum activity. Considering my board’s been pretty dead since I made it 6 years ago this is a major plus for me.

I’m going to set up my forums to better tailor fit with my WordPress Blogs. I anticipate 75% of the forums will be removed. Most of the posts will be saved if deemed relevant as well. I figure in time the site might have that many forums again but given how quiet it is, I need to drastically shrink the forums and let traffic dictate the forum’s growth. I’m going to do it later tonight and expect the process to take an hour. During that time the forums will be offline–the first time I’ve done that since the redesign. When it reopens I doubt you’ll recognize it!

One interesting note: Never once have my forums been mass-spammed. I don’t use Capcha either which is pretty interesting. To those using PHPbb boards dealing with Spambots, that’s something to think about.

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