Who Are We?

Extraneous communication, genuflection, adulation, dissection and admiration should make its way in here.

Who Are We?

Postby Ghurlag » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:00 pm

Before this post even gets started, I want to make something quite clear. See this, in my hand? It's my mod hat. And I'm putting it down, over here, on this fictional table. And no-one's going to touch it while we're in here, especially not me.

What I want to discuss here is the question of identity. Specifically, OUR identity, the thing we share. Consider, if you will, the Bolthole's personality. It seems to me that the Bolthole is a few different things to different people, and I want to find out what those things are, and, if possible, whether there are underlying connections between them.

I have some license to at least start this discussion, since I was there literally from the start, if not actually all the way through. It was during a conversation between myself and our good Pyroriffic about the Black Library Publishing forum migration that the idea for a 'temporary retreat' for Black Library addicts came up - though I can't quite remember how, but there was a funny video made about it.

At that time, the Bolthole was just a temporary measure, somewhere to hang out for a month or so while the BL site moved. We dropped a message on the BL boards for people to come join us, and contacted people we knew from the board. Essentially, we were temporarily re-homing an existing community, and as any of the 'oldies' could tell you much better than I, this would not be the first time that the forum has moved.

Weeks dragged to months, and it eventually emerged that the old forums would not be coming back. We lamented, raged, grieved and moved on. People trickled in from here and there, gathering as if from after a storm. Tatters of fiction were saved, but more importantly, people continued to write. Writing fiction, to me, is possibly the strongest tie we all have. Some of us write rarely, some of us often. Some people are dying to be published, others just enjoy creating. But we all seem to have some finger in the writing of fanfiction for the Black Library worlds.

As the board pulled itself together, it became obvious that things were a little different to when we had been hosted by the official Black Library people. This was a fan site, now, like Warseer or all those other ones I can't remember properly. On the old boards, our interaction was limited to commentary appended to topical posts, else the mods would come in and frown at us. But we were now 'free' from that, to a certain extent, and so there was no reason that there couldn't be an area for discussing tabletop gaming, or RPGs, or just generally 'anything'. Key, here, was Pyroriffic's (I believe reluctant) creation of the Insanely Off-Topic board, on which I am now posting.

So here we see the basis for a certain broadening of purpose, a kind of mission creep. We were no longer just creating Warhammer fiction and discussing Warhammer fluff (I'll defend my right to use that word to the death!), but also discussing other things, interacting as a more general community. And that's good, I think. There are interesting people here.

But simultaneously with this sort of expansion into a community, the board was (and maybe still is) struggling to define its relation to the official Black Library. We are 'not theirs', but the stuff we talk and write about most certainly is. We have no official connection to them, but the authors from the Black Library have appeared, almost by magic, and suffer us to ask them questions and bustle past them on the board index. Yes, the Black Library don't recognise us as such, but there is a certain unofficial grace towards us. It's a very confusing situation.

So, especially with the Insanely Off-Topic board, we try to act in the way we think the Black Library would want us to. The old forums were maintained as family-friendly, and monitored for content that would be harmful to the Black Library. So that happens here. I will say at this point that I personally don't give a fig about family-friendly language, piracy, or things that make the BL look bad (though I should stress again that my mod hat is firmly off as I say this, and as a moderator I will care quite a bit about these things). I care about reading, writing and reviewing fiction, and about having interesting discussions. I also have a mild urge to keep electronic things tidy, which completely contrasts with my approach to physical things, and I can be good at organising things if I put my mind to it.

Now, the problems we've had with the IoT board mostly stem from different people viewing it in completely different ways. I'm not going to be all passive-aggressive about it and avoid naming names. Green River, Xisor, you seemed to view the IoT board as a place for free speech, for discussions on any topic. Others (Ballistichimp, to pluck an example) don't see it as quite the same sort of thing. Some people don't even use the board, and don't see the need for it at all. Some people view the Bolthole as a free internet forum, where practically anything should go, to be managed by the flow of public opinion. Others view it more like a walled garden, an area where the worst of the internet is kept out so we can quietly exchange stories and discuss our chosen topic. To be honest, I'm not sure it's either of those. I'm not sure how many of you will agree or disagree.

The reason this discussion is important is because the board no longer has a clear guiding philosophy. We have policy, to be sure, but policy is only meant to be an implementation of a philosophy. Not to tout the benefits of a dictatorship too loudly, but when Pyroriffic was in charge, the philosophy was clear - it was whatever she thought the Bolthole was. But that's no longer true. The Bolthole is now managed entirely by the moderator team. I think that team's reasonably solid (and solidly reasonable), but we were appointed by the 'old regime'. We maintain the board, but we don't supply it with its purpose - that's basically down to the community, the rest of you.

What is most important to you about the Bolthole? What do you come here for, what do you identify with other members over? If you were to run the board, how would you manage the conflicting interests? Should we be a libertarian writer's society, or a place where you can feel close to the creators of the real Black Library material?

And I'll finish as I started - this is me, not moderator me. This isn't a plea for guidance from the moderator team, or a promise that your ideas will be implemented, this is me wondering what everyone else thinks of our community as being.

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Re: Who Are We?

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:02 pm

I went from the final incarnation of the BL site to the last incarnation of this site to, well, this site. All three have always been, to me, places to meet and converse with similarly-minded people; to post up things I've written for comment; to comment on things others have written. But most of us have lives and interests outside BL, and the Bolthole is better than the old official site precisely for its relaxing of BL's rules (and thus enabling the inclusion of the IoT, the non-Warhammer Fiction section, and suchlike), allowing these other matters expression amongst friends and acquaintances made through the overarching BL connection.

I think the way the site is presentlsegregateded works well, with areas of free comment clearly labelled as such. I do not believe it would be a good idea, though, to let such freedom spread to all aspects of the Bolthole - more specifically to anything to do directly with BL (whether fan-fic or comment upon published works). BL is the connection betwixt us all, and has always been clear in its manner of execution as a publishing company. I see no need open the floodgates of absolute freedom of expression here when younger eyes will almosdefinitelyly be reading - they being BL's target audience (for all that there are, of course, many 'older' readers). I'm also pretty sure that BL themselves would not be pleased about such a change of policy, which, considering how many here would like to be published by them, would surely be like shootinourselveses in our collective foot).

Keep the segregation as is. Allow more freedom in the non-BL sections (though still remaining within the realms of what is considered polite and reasoned, of course). Keep to BL's way of doing things in the bits that apply to BL.

In other words, carry on as you are.
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Re: Who Are We?

Postby Athelassan » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:30 pm

It's difficult to say how I view this forum. I've been a member of one GW forum or another pretty much since they opened, and I've been a participant on the BL forum in particular for about as long as I recognise this incarnation of my being. It's not really a question therefore of why I'm a member; it's simply unthinkable to me that I wouldn't be.

I suppose there was a time when I viewed this as a useful discussion forum for stuff to do with WHF/40K background, especially during the "black" era of the forum when it first separated into different boards and background discussion became more commonplace (previously it had really been a venue for book discussion and fan fiction almost exclusively). Although there were other venues for this on the internet, of course, I generally found the audience at the BL fora the most sympathetic and easy to deal with. You didn't have to spend two posts outlining the textual basis for your argument. At Warseer there'll be people who'll dispute the canonicity of everything, or who simply don't read BL on point of (inexplicable) principle and disregard everything it says. At StS there'll be the guy who hasn't read anything since Power Behind the Throne and disregards everything GW have said since 1989. At BI, they'd listen politely to what you had to say and then explain in great detail how this meant that 2nd edition sucked. And so forth.

But in recent times that's fallen away a bit. Partly this is down, I think, to the inherent 40K bias of the forum. In the last several years my interest has been largely fantasy-centric, and I've steadily lost interest in 40K ever since the C'Tan reared their head. There was a time I could hold my own in discussion, but the longer you spend away from the texts the more out-of-touch you become, and I lost pace with 40K quite a while ago. Part of it is that after a while you get tired of seeing the same old questions over and over again, and just stop replying; Ive become a grognard now; one of the oldest remaining members of the forum, and there isn't the population of senior members I used to hope would answer my questions. And part of it is that I'm less fussed about the official version any more than about how it fits into my version of things. I'm comfortable ignoring the stuff I don't like, and making up my own version in its place.

I do still consider myself a writer, but I haven't written anything of substance in years. So the main reason I come here now is for the community. The community here is still friendly and there's no-one here who gives me a headache just seeing their name at the top of a thread, unlike some other communities I could name. I do worry, though, that the community is becoming a little far-flung and disparate. There are too many sub-boards and too little interaction between them. The post rate on each forum is pretty low, so it's less rewarding to follow discussions actively. There is a community, but it's not as tightly-knit as previous incarnations have been. I only visit four or five of the sub-boards regularly because I just can't be bothered clicking on the rest, since there's a good chance there won't be anything interesting to me there. As such I probably miss some good stuff and some interesting discussions. I do visit the IOT forum (incidentally, I dislike the "I" in that) but post rarely. What its purpose is, meh, I don't know. It's just somewhere to discuss things that are of community interest but aren't BL-relevant, I guess.

Still, that's me. Others no doubt have a different opinion.

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Re: Who Are We?

Postby Vivia » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:54 pm

With free speech do you mean where everything goes? Discussion about personal stuff, politics, swearing freely?
(I'm in Sweden and people talk about everything, and people don't use honorifics. Polite yes, but it's very open. The idea is that everybody are equal and such. There is also very little age-rating, if you're 11 almost everything goes, very little is censored, this can be bad. Yet society hasn't collapsed.)

In that case, then I see the forum as a walled garden. I was a member of the old BL forum years ago and I say Bolthole is better.
Last week I decided to join one of the big WH forums but I'm not sure I'll participate, the harsh tone is rather unappealing and the black/white view on things and people don't make much effort on keeping a polite tone, it have this chill around it. The one I joined yesterday is pretty much the same. The Bolthole rules are very clear on being polite to your fellow forumites and to stay away from personal attacks.
I can't see the same sort of interest in the other places to discuss topics in-depth like here because there isn't many comms like the Bolthole.

I also agree with Ath that the forum is strongly biased to WH40k and I know BL is the same. It wasn't four years ago and I almost forgot about the Blood Dragons. This is what BLP have decided and it's too bad.
The Insanely-off forum should be easier to see, it's easy to forget. The look of the forum should be changed in order to encompass everything, I don't know how.

I think it works the way it is, a fan forum for BL with many other things . :) I agree with Chun too.

Shouldn't this be in the Forum Announcement?
Last edited by Vivia on Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who Are We?

Postby Raziel4707 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:58 pm

I see the Bolt Hole as, for the most part, a forum centred around those who wish to write and read fan-fiction, news and discussion pertaining to the Black Library and Gamesworkshop IPs. It's a friendly place where we can generally discuss a view without some utter pillock picking apart every single nuance of the way you have written a particular statement, such as I know for a fact myself and others have experienced on other forums. Here, you can have a sniper's rifle in the cockpit of a Sentinel. Your Space Marines can wear tweed armour and go by the names of Eric, Steve and Phil and no-one will lambast you about canonicity, historical president and ill-fitting etymology. They might say "those names aren't that inspiring," but they won't treat you like crap over it.

The IoT forum was, not long ago, a free place where your own common sense dictated the mod treatment you received based upon your behaviour. It's fairly common knowledge that I myself have fallen foul of the mods and other members due to my conduct, and the vast majority of it was my fault. Not all of it, and there are times when I feel that flare-ups could have been avoided if the mods had taken a more stern line with the likes of Big Barney Ross and Bigger Trent Mauser, but things generally ended up trundling along well due to the overwhelming level of maturity present on the board as a whole. Having spent some time as a mod on this forum, I can fairly say that the IoT board is a massive pain in the ass when trying to keep what is said in line with policy and rules. The alternative to that has been to clamp down, compartmentalise and filter what is allowed to be discussed all the way from topic to discourse. In my view, it works, as the place is a great deal calmer now.

I have no issue with open, free discussion, but not here. Warseer has open discussion, Heresy Online has open discussion, and you know what? I don't use either forum because the vitriol is a detracting factor from the quality of the boards as a whole in my opinion, and I don't see any reason to emulate that here when those places are but a click away for anyone who desires the more open approach.

I like the board as it is now, if I'm honest, which I invariably am. To me it's a bit like a book shop, convention centre, RPG club, writer's guild and support group all rolled into one, with a cafe attached. Not like Waterstones where they sell you cheap books and then try to flog you a horrible muffin either, but a nice cafe run by an old woman who might clip you around the ear if she sees you looking at porn on your iPhone. (And yes, Ghurlag, that old woman is you. Nice apron.)

Do we really want to take away the friendly cafe and replace it with a Weatherspoons? (This and many more bad analogys are available in my new book, "How to sound like an electoral candidate when you aren't one.)

If there were not a bajillion or so speak-easys on the internet, I'd say that we could open up a niche. But there are. If you take away the safe, friendly atmosphere and true sense of community here you will take away its charm also. So what if it costs us members? Do we win something for our numbers? Most of the 400 are ghosts anyway and serve only to gain us lovely exclusive clips from the BL fairies from time to time.

The small(ish) numbers, stern mods and atmosphere are what makes this more of a community than any other forum I've visited. That's what I love about it and would hate to see altered from the current status quo.
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Re: Who Are We?

Postby Ballistichimp » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:59 pm

I've already posted my views in the thread on the "Forum Announcements", but in essence -

Others view it more like a walled garden, an area where the worst of the internet is kept out so we can quietly exchange stories and discuss our chosen topic.


For me, that is the Bolthole and the reason that I linger here like an untidy relative.

I have had cause to visit other forums (both GW/BL and otherwise) and have found them to be much the way Vivia describes - harsh toned, black and white with little effort given to civility and courtesy.

Edit : Having just read what Raz has said just as I was about to post -

I don't use either forum because the vitriol is a detracting factor from the quality of the boards as a whole in my opinion


This.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

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Re: Who Are We?

Postby Xisor » Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:44 am

I'd say the Bolthole's a walled beer garden, to slightly extend Vivia's and Raz's point. I.e. we're holding a reading group/writer's group in a nice pub where, realistically, anyone could walk in, but it's almost always just regulars/new-regulars. Ostensibly we're here to talk about the matter at hand (our shared interest in BLP and loosely related stuff, e.g. other books, other media, things which inform books that sort of thing), to share ideas and follow the progress of conversations.

To that extent, I think the 'walled beer garden' is about right. We're here for frankness and honesty, though held up in such a manner that it wouldn't get you kicked out of a really nice, pleasant pub. Sunday afternoon chat. Work, kids, politics and current affairs informs a lot of what's going on in anyone's mind, even given to writing, but that's often tangential.

For me, the Bolthole's one of my treasured tangents.
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Re: Who Are We?

Postby Maugan Ra » Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:07 am

Ah, the Bolthole. Far as I'm concerned, this place is an asylum. For a long time, this was where I came if I wanted to meet wonderfully mental people and read the twisted stories that poured from their lunatic minds.

*pauses*

Actually, that might have just been me and LL. And occassionally Pyro, when she was feeling a bit down and demanded sillyness to cheer her up. I have many fond memories of those long, rambling shoutbox conversations, wherein I somehow became a black marketeer who supplied Night Haunter with his Batman magazines and promised to kick Jaghahti Khan in the nuts because he stole Pyro's money. And then LL would show up and suddenly I'd be chasing him through alternate realities and dodging multiphasic rubber balls. Also, I think there were monkeys involved. Or was it suits made out of monkeys?

Sadly, those days have declined somewhat, since the Shoutbox became it's own seperate thing rather than simply being appended to the bottom of the page for all to see. Don't suppose that could be brought back some time?

Anyway. Having recently been reading Terry Pratchet, I think of the bolthole like the drinking dens of Ephebe. A place for eccentric philiosophers to gather and ramble on about anything that comes to mind, hurling the occassional insult at each other in the name of stimulating conversation. Without, of course, crossing the invisible line of "good taste".
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Re: Who Are We?

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:54 am

If I remember a conversation with Ragnar correctly, having the shoutbox appended at the bottom causes quite a few loading issues and what not. Not to mention it slows down the whole thing as well.
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Re: Who Are We?

Postby Mossy Toes » Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:38 am

IIRC, it was removed because it "may have been the avenue by which some hackers attacked," or something.
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Re: Who Are We?

Postby LordLucan » Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:29 pm

I consider the bolthole to be just what the name implies; a retreat and shelter from the cruder, unreasonable aspects of other discussion forums.

Long may it continue.
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Re: Who Are We?

Postby sam vimes » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:43 pm

LordLucan wrote:I consider the bolthole to be just what the name implies; a retreat and shelter from the cruder, unreasonable aspects of other discussion forums.

Long may it continue.

Agreed, I also view it as place to discuss the fluff that surrounds the hobby as sadly I can't afford to play the TT as often as I want but I am able to find out what's going on and keep up with whats going on in both worlds and to be able to discuss the highs and lows of the novels and characters, and also a place I can say "oh btw this novel by x author is really good give it a whirl" without getting funny looks as when I took the old war dog that is Eisenhorn along to a reading group I ended up by mistake at my central library I was up against a massive bias as even though crap like twlight gets discussed, the BL stuff they wouldn't touch even though a Thousand sons sold a million copies IRC and got onto the best sellers list, I also like to come on here and see other peoples opinions on the books as sadly a staff member at my GW in bolton left and by sigmar was he enthusiastic about the hobby, he was always good to talk to about the novels and he made games so fun for the kids (big and small lol) really do miss Dan and seeing him do intro games for people and my two house mates whilst TT players don't seem to read the novels much
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Re: Who Are We?

Postby LordLucan » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:59 pm

sam vimes wrote:Agreed, I also view it as place to discuss the fluff


*hits with ruler* Background materials! Not fluff! :P

But seriously I agree with your post there. I am glad this place allows you to express yourself more openly than would otherwise be possible.

(Incidentally, twilight is considered legitimate literature these days? *shakes head sadly* ;) )
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Re: Who Are We?

Postby sam vimes » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:38 pm

LordLucan wrote:
sam vimes wrote:Agreed, I also view it as place to discuss the fluff


*hits with ruler* Background materials! Not fluff! :P

But seriously I agree with your post there. I am glad this place allows you to express yourself more openly than would otherwise be possible.

(Incidentally, twilight is considered legitimate literature these days? *shakes head sadly* ;) )


*ducks ruler* yes sadly twilight is considered "legitimate literature" I believe andy parsons on mock the week said it best when discussing the no 15 all things lol:

"how old you have to be for the twilight films/books not to be s***"

back on topic I wonder what the guys and gals at BL think of this place and what it means to them, as I'm sure we kidnapped some of them and have them here, the authors too are switched between fourmites basements IIRC lol.
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Re: Who Are We?

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:14 am

I AM AWESOME AND YOU ARE ALL PRETENDERS.

What more needs to be said than that?

Probably allot more things are more complicated than that though the truth of my initial statement rings truer than a mobile phone on which the ringtone has been set to Richard Nixon's explanation for the gaps in the watergate tapes.

Lets begin with some context for where I am coming from considering that seems somewhat par for the course for many of the statements. We all need to provide validation for our own opinions as we air them so that we know who airs the best one (I know, stupid to compete really it is going to be me). Internet Fora have been my primary mode of social interaction since I was 14 because I'm odd like that and the internet is easy (right now, I'm pretty sure if I wasn't in possession of Shadowhawks Games Day ticket I'd probably blow off the event despite having a ticket for months because I'm not in the position for dealing with people right now). I've been on a Black Library forum of some sort since I was 16-17 (back when it was amongst the terrible GW forums of doom which were really dodgy so I didn't post that much) and have been a legend in my own mind ever since (I am now 24 which means I've spent almost a third of my life spending probably far too long on BL forums) I've had quiet months, I had two months before I went to the first Bolthole but I've seen it all, I've done too much much too young I'm talking about the metaphysical nature of an internet community when I should be having fun with The Specials, I know what I'm talking about Willis.

I've essentially grown up on BL forums, don't believe me, ask the old guard, I can be reasonably assured that I was terrible, that but for the grace of Ragnar and Marc I should've been done away with but I managed to survive what must have been modbaiting times and I came out of it better than the rest of you. Not only have I changed but so has the BL forums (several times) and the community that went along with it until we come to this place and this place is cool.

Back in the day the forums were operated by BL, so they had the moderation requirements of a company that took responsibility for what got put on the forum. Which is fair enough, I was a volunteer moderator on some forums set up by a TV production company, got into all sorts of arguments and made all sorts of decisions I didn't agree with because the standards existed to protect the interests of the people supplying the site. It was restrictive in content (though Doctor Who threads always got through the net) but that was OK because I liked talking about the worlds that GW/BL build and explore and it was always nice to have some "grown up" fantastical exploration and debate with regards the nature of various (un-)realities away from the fools who don't grasp that the game is a representation of a world that has been altered in favour of fair game mechanics. Some people need to be told that Napoleonic warfare didn't operate in the same way Risk does, well they don't that misconception won't do anyone any harm unless they are drafted back in time into an historical war and that seems unlikely. I'll agree with Ath that there is a 40k bias which is sometimes a bit grating and there can be repeat offender questions but the nature of the universes mean that given enough time I will think of a new madcap theory to answer a question and argue how it is a valid representation of the universe in question.

Anyways moving on, we're here now and away from the Yoke of Black Library. We're still arguably a Black Library Fan-site though, only we're only a forum not a proper site (I'll get back to this point later) and thus we're free to talk about other things which is cool and awesome and sometimes a bit of a bother and has left the forum a bit too long in the board list and with some bothersome bits of history. Earlier in the Summer I was tempted to give up on this forum and I was feeling really bad about it, some moderation that seemed distasteful and the deal about the debaters lounge just kind of messed me about a bit. What had always seemed to be a natural exploration and expansion of the boundaries now freed from corporate considerations that had rarely stepped across the bounds of decency (either in legality or in tone of politeness/language) was being messed up because we seemed to have some sort of existential crisis on our hands which this thread may suggest is still going on. Me I'll back up the mod staff 100% and never want to see moderation reversed however it has always been my opinion that good moderation requires clarity (the moderated and all others should know what is going on and for why to stop repeat offences), consistency (though this is the least important because people can come onto the forum with otherworldly (read real life) issues weighing on their minds and their moods and all the moderators are separate people not mindless factory produced automatons that we all want moderating us instead) and communication between the moderators and the community (I'm not keen on there being accountability for moderation actions, the mob should never rule but issues come up, discussions happen if we're all going to be reasonable adults (and every semi-regular or above here is capable of reason and ageing) figuring out where the community stands on a subject is smart. If it was decided that Doctor Who didn't fit the remit of the forum and the associated threads were taken down that hypothetical situation wouldn't chime with what the community here wants and would arguably be a bit of dodgy moderation (though it would've been good moderation if this was still a BL run board, freedom means that this forum exists to cater for the community rather than being a marketing tool for evil capitalist Librarians). So I wasn't happy back then, but we got over it, we had a moderation policy knocked up, the staff decided that they didn't want to be policing threads so often and thus certain topics should be avoided (though they have cropped up and successfully been chaperoned by moderators who made it clear that they were watching and we had to play nice) and a dodgy compromise that undermined everything and I am against in principle with the debaters lounge cropped up to appease those who needed appeasing we got past it and all is well in the world.

Personally I love it here, there was only that one time when I didn't because things seemed to be becoming a mess and I didn't see why it was going so wrong (certainly there was no real shift in the tone or nature of the forums and threads being posted evident to myself) and when I was showing my dissatisfaction some of the responses were satisfying only my sense of infuriation because whilst the tidbits from BL staffers are nice and the talking to authors and asking them questions is cool and a unique selling point it is far from the bread and butter of the forum which seems to be fanfiction, writing, discussing writing and critiquing stuff, idle chit chat about BL products, fluff discussion and general idle chit chat so some of the reasoning on display seemed off the mark.

That's all history now, though I've got over it, the site has moved on and all is good with the world. Arguably I'd not have the organisation that the forum has at the moment if I was truly honest, I think we could lose some of the Black Library hang overs and free ourselves up more. The trend of separation that beset the site has always been troublesome, nothing to complain strongly about but remember the disaster of having separate discussion and story threads for each story being posted? The more disperse stuff is and longer the forum is the more chance stuff won't be read or noticed or got to.

I'd lose insanely off topic and just have a general discussion board for generally discussing stuff "what are you reading" doesn't always have BL books being talked about, there seems to be a fair bit of cross pollination between BL announcements and the General Discussion board at the moment. My Forum map would probably adjust the current site to look a bit like

Black Library, Warhammer and General Discussion
BL News/Announcements
General Discussion
Spoiler Zone-Book Reviews (BL or not, lets bung it all in one place)
Ask the Authors
Worlds of Warhammer

Writers Output
Writers Workshop (The General fiction discussion board thing)
GW Fan Fiction.
WHFB Fan Fiction
40k Fan Fiction
Competitions and Challenges
Alternative Fiction (original works and other fan fiction)
Writers Workshop Board.

Collaborative Fiction
Discussion Board
Group Stories Board
RPG running/Discussing board.

We've just dropped a sub-category of boards, (arguably you could make the WHFB and 40k boards sub boards of the general GW fan fiction board but I can imagine there being words against that) and things can be spritely again (Forum/Site issues and the Members area/Debaters lounge need not be tampered with, unless we're going to do away with the debaters lounge and let discussion be free (within reason) everywhere or just outlaw the more political/philosophical/religious nonsense that can happen. I can side with either outcome to be honest and that way I either don't miss out or everyone misses out which is almost as good. Either way this'll save me time and effort and just consolidates the bits of the forum that matter, idle chit chat (on warhammer, BL releases and generally) and producing fiction.

Now to go back to an earlier point about being a proper website and to pose some questions I've been sort of considering posing to you lot for a while. The internet is about content, for a community of creators we're doing it in a way that isn't very accessible or easy to promote or sell (figuratively are we? The whole nonsense about discussion threads for stories came about because the threaded message board format may not be the greatest medium for the stories being told to be told over. It is functional, it works but it may not be the best. Many folks blog, the community has produced a PDF of stories the one time, the tools for getting content on the internet is reasonably easy and there has been talk of community newsletters and the like to foster an engaging site mythos to inspire the community and keep them coming here to participate and keep the forum alive. There is an issue with sites that are only message boards that they live or die on the conversation being produced. We need "new" people or talking points or what not to keep things fresh and people coming back and engaging regularly and sometimes just sometimes this site has off weeks with regards that. We just about get by with the constant trickle of BL and GW releases, we do far better because we talk generally about what we read, watch on TV, the films we see and there is a steady undercurrent of fiction being produced and discussed that I am largely ignorant of due to my inherent laziness so the site isn't that bad but I think Ath has a point with fatigue with it and some memorable members are notable for their absences for large periods of times (or old guard who just haven't posted much/at all despite signing up here). So should we be doing more/looking into doing more or something else. I seem to recall that the last talk of a e-zine/newsletter kinda broke down because of the legal issues concerning GWIP and again, I'd suggest the bolthole may be ready to shift away from BL slightly and being more about a "writers/creators/imaginators/fantasists site where writers/creators/imaginators/fantasists who like the worlds of the GW IPs and the fiction of the Black Library produce and discuss stuff for writers/creators/imaginators/fantasists of similar tastes and considerations". Obviously such an endeavour lives or dies on community support and effort (and may require financing of some sort that could be trickier as it'd be unfair to leave that on Pyro's door, that said I was considering getting a quote from Ragnar on what it'd be like to get webspace from him for the forums I run (badly) and I'd not be opposed to paying for both so long as it was less than double my current annual outlay for webspace).

If no one can be bothered though it'd be easier for all, so I'd be more fine with the lazy option being taken to be honest.

Did I define what we are beyond my initial truthful expression?

I think we're OK, we're cool people talking about cool stuff and society just pretends to misunderstand us and label us with bad names because they're jealous at how awesome I am and how good you look in my reflected glory.
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Re: Who Are We?

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:21 am

Sorry I may have rambled, the first few words of that big post are the most important.
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Re: Who Are We?

Postby Xisor » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:30 am

I like paragraphs. Apology accepted.
"When my housemate puts his bike in the middle of the living room floor, I find that inordinately jarring, annoying and rude, but for me to refer to it as "genocide" would be incorrect." -Ath
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Re: Who Are We?

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:33 am

Xisor wrote:I like paragraphs. Apology accepted.

Wait until you see how long some of those sentences are you'll regret accepting my apology so readily.
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Re: Who Are We?

Postby Xisor » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:37 am

schaferwhat‽ wrote:
Xisor wrote:I like paragraphs. Apology accepted.

Wait until you see how long some of those sentences are you'll regret accepting my apology so readily.


Don't worry, I read the whole (damn) thing. I still like paragraphs.
"When my housemate puts his bike in the middle of the living room floor, I find that inordinately jarring, annoying and rude, but for me to refer to it as "genocide" would be incorrect." -Ath
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Re: Who Are We?

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:39 am

Least I got one victim.
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