posted on Nov, 16 2005 @ 11:36 PM
Ya just gotta give it time... but you might not like what happens when it does.
I'm a refugee from the IMDb Soapbox board. IMDb's a movie site (for those who don't already know). They've had message boards for movies for
many years. Maybe six years ago, they created a few general discussion boards, including one named the Sandbox, originally for test messages and such
and one called the Soapbox, for debate. They mostly languished for a couple of years with only a small group of regular posters, until a group of
refugees from the recently closed A&E message board moved there. The curious thing is that that influx of posters marked the first time that the old
guard left in a huff, upset by the sheer number of newcomers and their insolent manners.
I started posting there about three years ago, and at that time it was pretty busy, but there was a stable community of some old-timers, the A&E
refugees and some newcomers. While I was there it grew steadily, until it reached some sort of critical mass and suddenly there were more newcomers
than there were old-timers. Again, the tone of the board changed, and again the old-timers left in a huff, except that I was then one of them.
The board's doing just fine, I guess. I don't know what their post count is on a given day, but I'm sure it's FAR above this one. I know that
generally the oldest post on the front page of the forum is no more than an hour or two old, and at their peak there's a new post every few
But the feel of it has changed-- it seems shallower and less interesting now, and I suspect that it really is-- that it's not just sour grapes. With
each influx of new posters, there have been more juvenile chatspeakers and more trolls and more idiots, and fewer quality posters. That just seems to
be the way that growth works-- the more popular a thing becomes, the more pedestrian and generic it becomes.
The thing that I find most attractive about this board is the quality of the posters, and, ironically, that's probably one of the things that works
against it from a simple popularity standpoint. The chatspeakers and the trolls don't find anything of interest here. They can't write as we do,
they aren't interested in the same things, and there aren't enough of us to make it worth their while to troll us. That's part of what I like.
Yeah-- there aren't a lot of members here at any given time, but that's really okay, in a way. The posts are almost uniformly interesting,
well-thought-out and well written. There are a minimum of flame wars, blatant trolls and other idiots, and it's just pleasant to spend time here.
The place will grow. More people will discover it and join and post, and as that happens, the overall quality of the posts will, unfortunately, go
down. I don't think that will happen for a while now-- there's still room for it to grow and keep the quality that it already has. But, over time,
there will come to be more nonsense, more chatspeak, more trolls, more sockpuppets, more flame wars and more idiots. And it will continue to grow.
And, no doubt, some of you, and I, will one day tire of it all and, hearkening back to the "good old days," will leave in a huff and go in search of
another place much like this one is right now.