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Old 10-27-2004, 02:47 PM   #1
zefrank
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deconstructing message boards

i'd be interested on your thoughts.


------

often when things get hairy on the board, i see more posts that tell the community to "calm down", and "not take this so seriously" - that its "only a message board".

in physical space i've only seen this used as a tension breaker in gaming environments - bowling parties, pool tables, dart leagues etc... (try saying something similar in an argument with someone you love..."come on honey...its only a relationship")

the play quality of the board functions on a few levels. it reduces the entry cost to posting for new members. its easy to post in an ironic thread about david hasselhof (who i saw in heathrow recently). you can add value to the conversation by following the simple rules of the game without knowing the overall social structure of the environment.

once you become a regular player you enter into the community of players. i would argue that this is no longer a play space, but a hierarchical social environment that is "serious".
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:15 PM   #2
Audreyvgs
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Well, there seems to be a natural progression to "proprietary" when it comes to the board. The longer one is on, the tendency to pull up a chair and hold court becomes irresistable.

There will be threads that we get fights, and generally they spill over to a couple others, but the play aspect of the board is why we're here, not the fights.

Unkindness to others, outed from a private forum (that unfortunately would have been outed anyway, in time) is the cause of much consternation with the people on this board, and we have a responsibility as basically kind people to try and stamp it out. Good parenting/bad parenting different manners of discipline are involved in this process, and like a family, it will blow over, most likely.

In a place like this, in the serendipitous manner it was discovered by all of us, I feel a sort of destiny, like we're all here and we're all really really alike in some strange way. I dont know what it is.

This is a microcosm of society, but in this case, ha, you're god. I like the way you hands-off the thing. I did ask you once whether you did this message board for a study of human psychology or something like that. Guess we'll never know. How like real life.

All in all, in real life, some are goanna like each other, some not. Tough beans. You have a unique board made up of very creative people, some loony tunes, some happy with themselves, some very very lonely. hahhaaa
Whats not to like. The board changes every single day, and has congealed into someplace we keep coming back to.

Its almost like, for the majority, (if i may say so, if not, somebody will correct me) that if one disses somebody on this board, they diss all of us. The ones who dont get that, dont get it. We can't fix it but we sure as hell can try.
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:30 PM   #3
trisherina
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This is the third online community I've involved myself in over the course of my lifetime.

The first was local -- I met RatMan through it, and we attended a few weddings of people in that community. It was not impersonal at all. Even so, the community dispersed with the growth of the internet and the decline of local services. I see some of those people locally still, but there is very little closeness without the frequent contact and interchange of ideas we once had.

The next was global -- the Compu$erve Litforum. I met a lot of interesting people through the Litfarm, but the vast bulk of the community is itinerant. It serves to support members who want to improve their writing and marketing, and today many of the original participants have over a dozen years' tenure there. We dropped off participating when it just got too expensive for us back then, and again, no big loss was felt.

The zeboard, of course, is the most recent. I have met no one here IRL, in contrast to my other two experiences. I stayed away from all contact here for a while -- six or eight months? -- when I felt I had to quit dicking around so much to improve my GPA, and I disliked all the bickering that was going on. It was much more difficult to "quit" here than it was to drop off contact with other communities. I never did erase the link in my Favorites.

Anyway, I think when people say "it's just a message board," it has to do with the obvious impermanence of the relationships. You can just stop showing up, and maybe someone will send you an email, but if you ignore it, that's it. Or the board itself can disappear, say due to loss of hosting. Or the technology can change, and people will find it boring. FTF contact rarely fades off that easily.
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:33 PM   #4
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I am an infrequent poster to this board, as I have said elsewhere I come here to see how nice, reasonably polite as well as humorously sarcastic, play together. From my limited experience this board seems to function well. People are good to each other, they are even nice to a stranger such as myself.

It is a completely different matter on the board (fearbush.com) I frequent that I have mentioned elsewhere on this site. You have to always be on your gaurd, there are insulting and demeaning people showing up all the time. just last evening over a dozen members of F*ckFrance.com descended upon the board and filled it with flames, the moderator is still weeding through the crap. it's all politics and it is as though they are playing for blood.

You are always going to have the random Troll drop by just to piss people off but I don't see that as much here. You will always have similiar people group up due to common interests and you will always have the random factor butting in to tell you your interest suck and you suck and you are a fool for sucking so bad. Often these people will scream freedom of speech as a defense to their behavior but the fact is the message board is a private entity and the moderator can do what ever he/she pleases. it is not censorship, it is the right of a proprietor to control their establishment.
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Old 10-27-2004, 05:52 PM   #5
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yes. I agree. its sort of like what happened at the place where i work. there was a job for a head waiter coming up and then they got a new person in for the job but the other waiters didn't understand why they couldnt be the head waiter seeing as they had been there a long time and should have got the chance to be promoted but then it turned out that the head waiter was a really nice person and very good at his job and then it turned out that he taught all the other waiters some new tricks and got them to look at things in a different way and now things run even better, so it turned out that the new waiter was a good thing in the end because it made the whole place a more fun place to be and showed everyone that there was more to it than what they thought there was and thats sort of what i think the secret place darkroom is like. i still cant see it though, it just looks exactly the same as it always does.
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Old 10-27-2004, 06:11 PM   #6
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i post because i find the color yellow very soothing.
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Old 10-27-2004, 06:47 PM   #7
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This message board is many things to many people.
I have fallen in love (different kinds of love) with a number of people on this board. Some feel like family. Some, I can't wait to meet! Others... well, let's just say there's a reason why the ignore function was created.

As Auds said - it's just like life. You get out of it what you put into it. If you treat people like crap, you're gonna get crap back. If you pour your love into something, it's very likely you'll receive something precious, whether it's new friends, important lessons, inspiration.

That secret room... It bothers me that people seem to be so offended by it. It kind of reminds me of that plot thread in "A Christmas Story", when Ralphie collects enough Ovaltine proofs of purchase to get the coveted Secret Decoder ring, waits with bated breath for its arrival, and then discovers that the message he's been waiting to reveal is "Drink more Ovaltine".
I'm not saying the darkroom is worthless... Ovaltine is good for you! And it's nice to have a place that some of the older members, who felt like the board was getting too saturated with people who didn't seem to share the same values as we oldies began with, can hang out. But it isn't the same... just like it's not a nice feeling for me to have some people on "Ignore"...

Again - just like life. We make compromises. Nothing ever stays the same. Burning Man, for example. Disneyland. Love.

You have to re-evaluate all relationships at some point; make adjustments, sacrifices. If the relationship is worth it to you (and my relationship with the people on this board is important to me, for whatever reasons) you do what you need to to keep it alive, refresh it. Some things are successful, some aren't as successful.

I think it's great that Ze isn't just letting the board plod along; that he's trying new things, risking a bit. That's what makes him the kind of person whose board we visit every day, sometimes multiple times, for hours. I'm really grateful to be exposed to his example.
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Old 10-27-2004, 07:31 PM   #8
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huh?
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Old 10-27-2004, 08:55 PM   #9
Mocha
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i like to shake my money maker when the eworld is boring when it is three in the morning most everybody else is snoring i donít care what you think about if you try to pick a fight i will ignore you forever yo but without a hint of spite i hate to smite but i sometimes do when people get too smart i can be sweet as a muffin but i am meaner than wal*mart so donít be messin yo donít be testin poppin an attitude i ainít gonna be nice and feed you all kinds of platitudes my name is Mocha Sugar and iím totally sweet if you are hungry sugar baby iíve got something you can eat.
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Old 10-27-2004, 09:04 PM   #10
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interactive fiction. interactive non-fiction. imaginary friends.

sometimes, rarely, the imaginary is made real.

until it is, until you know what someone looks like in the quiet moments while waiting for the waitress to bring back your check, until you know what someoen's hair smells like fresh out of the shower... it's all just imaginary.

"if we shadows have offended..."

it might as well be interesting. if not, what is the point? fellowship? what good is fellowship without a real hand to hold? communion? what good is communion without welling eyes to look into? if it's just going to be banter, if it's just going to be pablum, if it's just going to be... boring, why bother opening the link?
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Old 10-27-2004, 09:52 PM   #11
priceyfatprude
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Re: deconstructing message boards

Quote:
Originally posted by zefrank
i'd be interested on your thoughts.


------

its easy to post in an ironic thread about david hasselhof (who i saw in heathrow recently).
My thoughts are:

YOU SAW DAVID ****ING HASSELHOFF & YOU DIDN'T GO GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN WITH HIM????? WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Seriously, I will be back to discuss this in a bit.
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Old 10-27-2004, 11:36 PM   #12
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Dude.. I heard Hasselhof is going to be in the next Harry Potter film.. *shudders*
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Old 10-28-2004, 12:23 AM   #13
madasacutsnake
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Quote:
in physical space i've only seen this used as a tension breaker in gaming environments - bowling parties, pool tables, dart leagues etc... (try saying something similar in an argument with someone you love..."come on honey...its only a relationship")
I strongly disagree. I take your criticism personally but not lightly.

The point is not that it is "only a relationship" but that it's "only an issue".

And I DO use it in physical space. "Is the issue important enough to break up a good friendship over?" is always a darn good way of making warring parties put things in perspective.

Humour is also a very good tension breaker.

I apologise if you felt my thread was flippant. That was not the intention - the intention was to defuse a serious situation in which real and on-line friendships were threatened.

So au contraire ze. If I didn't think it was serious I would not have posted.
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Old 10-28-2004, 12:38 AM   #14
Klynne
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Quote:
[i]
once you become a regular player you enter into the community of players. i would argue that this is no longer a play space, but a hierarchical social environment that is "serious". [/b]
I agree with you, and I think this is why some monkeys will take offense to what other monkeys might say. The longer I have been on this board, the more I feel like I really know these people. Many of us have asked each other for advice, and have received it. But, there are members (some of them entirely new to the board) that will have something really nasty and mean spirited to say. Most of the members will come to the defense of the person being attacked. I don't think we have ever totally shut out someone that was being mean or idiotic. Everyone deserves a second chance.

I think we are on this board to be creative, have fun, vent, and when needed, be a source of support for each other.

Edited: However, I must say these are my personal views, and not necessarily the opinions of the Zefrank community

Last edited by Klynne : 10-28-2004 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 10-28-2004, 12:41 AM   #15
trisherina
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(considers snake's missive with thoughtful appreciation, then suddenly notices her new title and lets loose unseemly guffaw)
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