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On the Front Page, New Users, Hostility, and Community Attitude

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This post is made here because it is long, but it was initially part of a response to certain commentary made in the Front Page post in Announcements and further commentary that resulted about my post on the off-site discord chat. I realize that this doesn't have a lot to do with the Front Page, hence why I moved a considerable portion of it here, not only for that reason but because I think that this is an important problem that needs to have a place where it doesn't just get buried, whether you bury me as a result of it or not.

Honestly? I know that I am probably wasting my time and energy by doing this. However, the Front Page thread's proposed purpose was to discuss how to make the front page a better landing spot in great part for new visitors. Making it less obscure so that they might be persuaded to join more than they already are now. My responses to this thread, as a result, have almost entirely been focused on making points related to making the BL environment more welcoming to new members. Apparently new members and additional traffic is something that is desired... by mAc and l3uster.

Before I continue, I want to make it clear that I know the following things: 1) the discord chat is not directly reflective of BL, nor does it fall under the same (or any, that I can tell) rules of moderation that BL does, 2) I was not actually really invited to join in discussion in discord except very indirectly and because of events that transpired after this occurred, I have never participated except to look occasionally to see if there might be a place for me to speak, and 3) I believe discord to be a place where certain BL members go specifically to be beyond the reaches of moderation so as to say what they actually think.

While I do not think that there is anything wrong with not allowing your forum to become a police state where everything you say to its members is recorded and monitored everywhere on the internet, I think that when it becomes clear that there is a particular hive that generally bears the name of the BL community where certain other members are not welcome and discussed behind their backs in a semi-public forum that it is fair game to address that this is the case. It is not my intention to monitor or even care about every mean thing you decide to find bantering mirth in outside BL, but my earlier post was brought up very specifically.

Given this, I have come back here to discuss this for this purpose: discussion about the Front Page has addressed the idea that BL should be more accessible to new members. Also discussed has been the kind of environment BL wishes to present itself to be to potential new members. My concluded answer, based on the following, is: they are not wanted.

The following is a transcript of a certain portion of the discord chat. Certain comments in it are completely unrelated to the topic at hand, and one portion was removed because it was completely unrelated. It is not my intention to level a specific accusation against a particular user because of a discussion held outside the moderation of BL administration, and some of the people talking here are completely unrelated to the vitriol I am here to document because it was spurred by discussion of something I said earlier. However, certain users are discussing things here that they could not or would not say on the forum in a communal, semi-public way that I think are poisonous to any intention of ever drawing a userbase that is not solely made up of "older users." Furthermore, certain members who were not and have never been on discord or in any way involved in the discussion were mentioned by their usernames in a rude way, which I mention so that other forum users may take discretion if they read this post. There is also one instance of banned user Chirstemo using the "n-word" in a passage of this. I have posted this as completely as I have and without censorship because I don't want there to be any thought that I somehow tampered with this to suit myself.

E: I removed to screencap logs from this post due to a calmer state of mind making me realize that to some people whose quotes were not largely relevant to what I was saying that this might have been an unfair invasion of privacy. Nonetheless, I can't roll back time and change that I used them. I wanted to be clear that the reason I used them was not intended to be rude or cruel to anyone but rather to make sure that I was referencing and responding to the topics brought up that I was bothered by that seemed to be in pretty clear response to the linking to my post. Hopefully, if and for as long as I remain on BL, I won't feel as stuck and without options except to publicly say something again. If I do, I will limit any quote from anywhere to what is immediately relevant. Furthermore, I think I've tried to clear the air with regard to discord, and I might not have made everyone happy with me again, but if and when I do anything that hurts or scares anyone, I want to do my best to make amends for it. So, I'm sorry to anyone who inadvertently felt that they were caught unawares in something that had nothing to do with them, and it won't happen again.

And my response: I thought this was relevant to the post in which I was originally going to put this because of how I think that what is expressed above impacts the way your community behaves and operates because of certain popular members. As long as this just exists in the free seas while it's pretended that it's not an issue on the forum proper, no amount of red carpet on your front page will make any difference.

This, by the way, is a quick link to the post that Leftovers described as "awkward." And if you think it's awkward? Fine. I'm not trying to say that you aren't entitled to your opinion of my viewpoint, of me, of anything. But I believe that what I said was true. The reason this is awkward is because no matter what kind of Type Moon haven this place might hypothetically be, it does not matter what you put on your front page if just beyond it there is a pervasive attitude that only certain parts and certain degrees of completion of Type Moon material are acceptable to be a fan.

You (general, now) might have experiences of certain fans who had one particular Type Moon property or character they were interested in and that was it, end of story. There are certain individuals who consume fandom that way, and I am not in any way suggesting that it might not be frustrating to have a general discussion of Type Moon as a whole hinge around one or two very popular things when you are most interested in something that isn't so popular. However, the solution is not to disdain or dislike the people who have those opinions. If there is legitimately such a narrow reason for them to be here, they will eventually find elsewhere on their own or find a niche and call it a day.

Fate is the most well-known, "mainstream" aspect of Type Moon. Whether or not you think that should be case or whether you like Fate, it is simply the case. This entire forum either complains about or celebrates that fact on a regular basis. But the thing is, there are people who are learning about a new anime, a new VN, a new LN, a new whatever, all the time. So if people want to bond over the fact that they have read Fate/Stay Night? Why should that be a bad thing here? Where, exactly, do you want to relegate them to? Because if it is inadvisable or against the rules to be really excited because you read the most-mainstream and popular and available part of a broader universe and to join the forum to learn more about this thing you are excited about, by all means put that in big red letters at the top of every page. Every time you mention "new members" and describe qualities that might make them acceptable to you and place in opposition the idea that they have only been exposed to one particular part of Type Moon, you are making it clear that you don't allow for the fact that there is anyone who has not been into this for as long as you have. People can only read so fast. People can only play games so fast, and so on.

Some people take time to process something before they launch into reading another material. Some people, shockingly, get attached to a particular part of a narrative that they want to think about more, learn about more, focus on more, before they move on to have a completed set in their minds. Some people respond to fandom in a way that is not from the role of a completionist or an archivist. Now, there are completionists and archivists who are also extremely valid, valuable fans. Unbelievably valuable fans who make it possible for other fans to read and learn more about things that do not have English translations and so on. And those fans have a pretty safe, fun time here. I'm grateful for those people and I have never said any different. But the attitude that someone who wants to think about a particular character or series of events more thoroughly before they move on is a bad, weak fan means that you will probably never have a new member you like again.

- this is the time to diss secondaries

- i don't think the issue is dissing in itself
but rather the awareness that it's perfectly legit for older members to haze you if you don't know the basics

- yeah I know
it's something that should be expected

- there is no social contract of BL that binds us categorically and a priori

- like a natural order of sorts

- pecking order is good
This particular part of this conversation is the main reason I decided to address this on the forum itself. I honestly really hate that I am addressing this, and I wouldn't if I didn't think that this kind of thing is the exact reason that even when people say it matters to them nothing ever actually changes here.

You do not have a social contract of BL that categorically binds you before you know whether a user passes your content knowledge test or if you like them or not? Yes, you do. You have forum rules. One of the reasons that those forum rules exist is so that there is an environment where new people can come along and join a website that, in theory, exists to facilitate a fandom community.

From your forum rules:

What's not okay

[...]

- Discomforting others. Remember, this is a PUBLIC place. Please treat others like you would like to be.
And while you have not directly insulted anyone on the forum, since the flame rule was brought up:

Quote Originally Posted by Altima of the Gates View Post
Addendum to Rules:
1.) Blatant douchery and antagonism shall not be tolerated. Insults to others, direct or otherwise, will be met with a warning, and then a ban. Do not seek to provoke others. We don't care how bored you are, don't start flamefests.

Also, it doesn't matter if you don't mean to do it, antagonism is still antagonism. Try to settle your disputes peacefully, or take them to PM/Visitor Messaging.

This, like the old rule, expects people to treat others as they want to be treated, so essentially, The Golden Rule.
Seika has also said in her post that you are expected to abide by "fairly basic netiquette," provided that this is an adult forum where swearing and properly tagged porn are fine.

So yes, there is (or should be) an expectation that you are bound by a certain degree of a social contract on BL regardless of how informed that fan is or how much you like their posts. The word "dissing" means "disrespecting." You can, obviously, do whatever you want on discord, but you are not entitled to disrespect the members of this forum here.

There is also the extensive discussion of how a hypothetical front page chat-tab or sticky chat-tab or something of that nature might provide a "reason" to close the Random Thoughts thread in particular or the 7th in general. As Leftovers pointed out, a reasonable response if you don't like RT or the 7th would be to avoid them altogether. You have other options. However:

- no you close RT on the pretense
that is is pointless now
Again, you're entitled to your opinion. But what is being suggested here (among a general consensus that RT and the discussions it contains are 'trash'), I'm sure pretty totally-joking, as you do, is that the thread be closed on a pretense that there is a reason to do so simply because you don't like it. Again, like Leftovers said, because "no fun i don't find fun allowed."

I realize from every possible direction that this is probably supposed to be read in a fun-having tone. I'm not denying that. But I will say this: when I mentioned earlier that there were four or five threads that I felt welcome in on BL, RT is one of them. That probably, in some people's eyes, discounts the entire content of this post if it has not been already. However, due to the extremely high level of expectation to avoid hazing, dissing, or bullying elsewhere, RT is one of the reasons I didn't leave. RT actually is a place where certain questions about Type Moon material get asked because it would result in berating on the Questions thread or in any more "appropriate" venue.

You can have an attitude all you want about whether or not you consider the quality of conversation that sometimes happens in RT entertaining or not, but what you are saying by insisting (even as a "meme") that you want it gone constantly (and this happens on the forum too) is that you do not want there to be a place where certain individuals feel comfortable socially interacting, on or off-topic. Bridge makes the suggestion: "Environments shape behavior, it's not solely a matter of driving out certain posters"

It's not solely a matter of driving out certain posters, but it certainly is a matter of driving out certain posters. If "Environments" shape behavior, then perhaps the rule to simply follow the Golden Rule you learned in Kindergarten or your equivalent thereof should shape some kind of behavior. If you don't like RT, don't go in it. But again, this is the very kind of attitude that makes it very clear that any discussion of a growing or changing userbase is wholly unwelcome by certain users who have responded to my earlier discussion.

And finally, there is some discussion of the recent post that was made to replace the old IRC post since whatever-happened-with-the-IRC and the fact that it has attracted certain "undesirable" users to it. You know what? If you don't want certain people who are users on this forum to come, tell them up front. Or don't post it on the site itself. Again, it does not matter whether you like them or whether their post quality is high enough for you or not. In your personal, outside-BL chats, you are not bound by BL rules, but when you effectively advertise on BL itself, you do involve it with BL in a certain way.

And GayBeamu, Ghost, etc, and anyone else I talk to on RT, I'm honestly sorry for posting that particular part of the conversation that addresses you in a negative light. I mean, I think we're all mature enough to know that not everyone's personalities will mesh. It is not a requirement that you like everyone in the world. But it is my understanding that both these users are relatively young in terms of the general userbase of this community. And this circles right back around to my assertion that the importance of this topic directly involves whether or not new users will ever be or feel welcome here. Whether they are new by join date or whether they are new by being younger than the average 20-something here, it is this kind of dismissal of any kind of change or attempt at learning (personal, interpersonal, or about Type Moon) that is dismissed as bad here. It is unfair, and it is hostile, as I said this morning.

And yes, there has been a downturn in RT posting since certain things last week in particular. You might treat this as a victory, but I honestly don't think you should. First of all, if you didn't like RT and didn't go there, it had nothing to do with you. What the downturn in RT posting indicates to me, as a person who had been posting there regularly for a while, is that what little shared-community experience there was there to allow individuals to randomly discuss things and get to know each other outside more formal threads has been damaged by this hostility. It has been damaged by a lack of care for the feelings of others, it has been damaged by a lack of respect for other users, and it has been damaged by the fact that it is repeatedly made clear that there is a 'pecking order,' as was said. You know what you do to people who are, quite obviously, at the bottom of that pecking order in your opinion? You hurt them. You make them angry. You make them find better things to do. You make them no longer have a place where they can engage in this fandom as actively as they can here. You make them leave. And you might call that a victory. I call if shameful and the very reason that I do not think that this website will ever see a substantive refreshment in its userbase ever as long as this attitude continues.

Updated February 25th, 2016 at 02:25 AM by Prix with a Silent X

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  1. Petrikow's Avatar
    hmm

    damn i should talk more in discord

    just kinda make a lil cameo here
  2. Pillzman's Avatar
    you could be famous too, petri
  3. You's Avatar
    prix for mod.

    delete everyone.
  4. just Beamu's Avatar
    How did I even come to be known as mememan?
  5. You's Avatar
    You make them no longer have a place where they can engage in this fandom as actively as they can here. You make them leave. And you might call that a victory. I call if shameful and the very reason that I do not think that this website will ever see a substantive refreshment in its userbase ever as long as this attitude continues.
    it's actually happened a lot...
    First the Zero anime
    and now GO.
    There's been a lot of turnover.
  6. LJ3's Avatar
    tbh, the vitriol I'm seeing is of course from Christemo.

    The mentions on GB and Ghost seem fairly neutral, to me I guess. Just pointing out they're pretty prolific users on that thread.

    This is a harsh site on misinformation. BL is guilty of it too.

    I guess I'm used to the teasing and ridicule that's done here? Kind of how filthy a military unit can get. That was an awkward comparison.

    It's a meme at this point to complain about how Fate is hogging the limelight in Type Moon, part of which is genuine frustration that other properties are being ignored. Shouldn't use that to flame others though.

    Thick skin site. Elitism too. I don't think you're wrong, but neither are the guys who offended you if that makes sense?

    I dunno.

    ^pretty much any new work that gets released gets us an influx.
    Updated February 24th, 2016 at 10:39 PM by LJ3
  7. Petrikow's Avatar
    And finally, there is some discussion of the recent post that was made to replace the old IRC post since whatever-happened-with-the-IRC and the fact that it has attracted certain "undesirable" users to it. You know what? If you don't want certain people who are users on this forum to come, tell them up front. Or don't post it on the site itself. Again, it does not matter whether you like them or whether their post quality is high enough for you or not. In your personal, outside-BL chats, you are not bound by BL rules, but when you effectively advertise on BL itself, you do involve it with BL in a certain way.*
    Since I made the new IRC thread I will adress this passage.

    The people in the discord are generally distinct from the people in the IRC (for various reasons). The very reason I felt it wise to create the new thread was precisely so anyone who wanted could join the channel to contrast it with the more "exclusive" discord.

    Now you cut this out in the screencaps (not sure why?) but I do actually make an attempt to stop the discord people from being so sneaky with their insults. That said the discord itself is a more private platform and while I do not exactly agree in this function I have to emphasise that the people in discord who suddenly complain about the new people in IRC usually do not even go there themselves. The IRC is public so we take for granted that anyone might join and some of us encourage that quite heavily.
  8. Tobias's Avatar
    I dont know what a discord chat is.

    on the other hand, doesnt seem like I am missing much.
  9. Petrikow's Avatar
    It is The New Skype.
  10. Siriel's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias
    I dont know what a discord chat is.

    on the other hand, doesnt seem like I am missing much.
    It's literally just skype except slightly better.
    Updated February 24th, 2016 at 10:46 PM by Siriel
  11. Tobias's Avatar
    in that case. it doesnt seem like I am missing anything at all. Ok then.
  12. You's Avatar
    so on discord you have nice grey backgrounds like that?
    I want in.
  13. GhostDIGIT's Avatar
    So, should I pay a visit to the new #Notes? I'm curious.
  14. Siriel's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias
    in that case. it doesnt seem like I am missing anything at all. Ok then.
    Not anything of particular value no.

    This entire blog post is kind of silly because really, responding to a chat outside of that chat?
  15. You's Avatar
    nvm discord looks dumb
    i'll invest in their stock if they ever go public though
  16. Pillzman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Petrikow
    the people in discord who suddenly complain about the new people in IRC usually do not even go there themselves
    True. I do it for the banter, anyways.
  17. Pillzman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Siriel
    Not anything of particular value no.

    This entire blog post is kind of silly because really, responding to a chat outside of that chat?
    This is my main problem with this post, it seems really pointless.
  18. Petrikow's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by GhostDIGIT
    So, should I pay a visit to the new #Notes? I'm curious.
    its up to you

    mostly just f/go talk atm
  19. GhostDIGIT's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Petrikow
    its up to you

    mostly just f/go talk atm
    ...It really has consumed everything.
  20. You's Avatar
    tbh i liked this post but i didn't understand half of it.
    Especially the parts about Random Thoughts.
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