Bryan 'KidHype' Smith
03-22-2004, 06:23 PM
I am not a guy who put things in words eligantly without pissing people off but I am going to try to with this post.
We (Shane and I ) have been kicking around the idea for months to shut down the Retrogaming Radio forums for several reasons.
One of the reasons is because of the redundancy of posts about the topics over and over again. While most of the topics have been great, allot of them have been about things we've covered several times before that basically get to the point of flame wars before i either lock or delete the topic.
What has bothered me (Bryan) is that I don't like being challenged or questioned on why I did something as a moderator. We have allowed people to voice their opinions even if they are negative and go totally against what Shane and I believe in. I don't appreciate certain forum members trying to change "my" forums. You cannot go to any forum on the internet you like and change what the forum stands for. I've seen this time and time again (and so has Shane) in the past 9 years i've been online. I've seen programming forums turned into music forums, arcade forums turn into rom begging forums and so on and so on. What gets me is that you try and set guidelines and explain what the forums are for and for some odd reason, people feel they have this weird "right" to skew the forums to the way they want it. Retrogaming Radio for the past 6 months has been slowly changing into something that Shane and I just were not having the pleasure of moderating. Like i said, back in January we had planned on taking down the forums temporarly then bringing them back but we both were in a "lets just give it one more chance" type of mode but the forums just started digressing even more
We created the forums to have fun and to interact with our listeners. Not play babysitter and policemen. We are not the almighty moderator gods that need primming and ass kissing and that was never the intention of the RGR forums. Allot of people thought differently of us and found the need to challenge us over and over again. So instead of becoming forum nazi's and really going haywire with the moderating we thought it would be allot simplier to just shut down the forums.
Shane and I really had a great time with the forums and allot of people who posted there will be missed horribly. If anyone wants to carry the torch and put up a RGR Fan Forum, knock yourself out. You have our blessing. After 2 years, we've just plain run out of steam.
So with all that said, here are the rules for the rest of the Monroeworld Forums. Anything RGR related about the show needs to be sent via e-mail. We will try to the best of our ability to answer any questions you have about the show. Any posts related to the show on these forums will be deleted , no questions asked. If you continue to post RGR related material on the forums, you will be banned from these forums.
Any comments related to this post also need to be replied to via e-mail as well. If you send a e-mail trying to challenge this post you will be ignored so don't even waste your time e-mailing us your personal tantrums. You are probably one of the reasons there is no more RGR forums in the first place.
Again, thanks for the ride. We both had a blast and the show will still keep on going so look for us in April :)
Shane R. Monroe
03-23-2004, 06:10 AM
I've crafted this message about 10 times now - and I'm not sure I can do this any better than this - so here it goes.
When I started RetroGaming Radio (as Retro Radio) almost 6 years ago, it was for the same reason any other true artist does something; out of anger and passion. The IDSA was being a gestapo company, bringing their own passive terrorism on those of us that love emulation. Sure there were dozens (literally) of emulation news sites (we're down to a few now) but I felt the need to get closer to the audience. Let them HEAR the passion in my voice that simply could NOT be felt in an email or news posting. Its a lot more interesting to WATCH news happening on TV than to read about it after the fact. Those of us that watched the WTC towers fall live on TV, as it happened, have a much greater appreciation for the event (so to speak) than those that will read about it a week later in the paper. I'm sure SEEING the Declaration of Independance signed in person would have been FAR more interesting than reading about it. I know when I went to Jerusalem and Bethlaham I got more information, appreciation, and inspiration than I could EVER have gotten from a book. This was the founding principle of Retro Radio. Inspire, inform, and work people up about a topic that went largely underappreciated and often overlooked.
I went four years without a message forum - and this was by design. I'd been members of DOZENS of message boards before on numerous topics. But they all shared a common result; their destruction into oblivion. Just as death is sealed for a human the moment they come out of the womb, death of a message forum is INEVITABLE. Oh, they may NEVER close, but they become a place where the dead simply refuse to acknowledge they are dead and walk around pretending they are still alive ("UPN?" - Chris). I knew that the day I opened a message forum for ANY topic (be it Blitz, Family Guy, RGR) that I would have to have a death certificate ready. The VERY NATURE of message forums is to collapse - even WITH "tough love" moderation. I'd seen it time and time again. No matter HOW good the people are. No matter HOW non-controversial the subject matter is. When you get 100 people in one spot with at least 10% of them passionate about something - Something Bad(tm) will happen. 100 people cannot be self-governing. They must be governed by another body. And that body must make decisions that are for the GOOD OF THE COLLECTIVE - regardless of what INDIVIDUAL they trample on to get it done. I'm not a governor. I'm not a police state. I simply refuse to be part of something that is policed, repressed, or mitigated to a level where it DEFEATS THE PURPOSE TO BEGIN WITH. This is why I refused to open forums for four years.
When the show was reborn about two years ago, mostly thanks to Bryan, we had LONG TALKS about the concept of putting up a message board. We weren't keen on the idea, and the show was running JUST FINE without it. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", right? Well, Bryan and I agreed two years ago, the day we opened the doors, that when the board began the downward spiral - like an aged, loved pet - you simply know when they are ready to be put down - you don't plan the day to euthenize them; one day they look at you with those sad eyes, begging to be released from this world - that we would close the doors as good owners SHOULD. I told Bryan that when we were no longer comfortable on our own forums, or we had to become the Secret Police to maintain order, that the forums would close - no questions about it. When we felt there was a time when the situation couldn't be controlled by diplomatic means; when people weren't respecting us or others - we'd pull the plug and not pussy out about it.
Over the last 3 months or so, the forum has begun to crumble. We've been through numerous gestapo instances that should have red-flagged us and made us close the forum. We've had to do things I NEVER WANTED TO DO. This ranged from deleting posts, pruning threads, BANNING USERS (christ, the doors should have been closed the day I had to ban a visitor), justifying our ownership of the forum, and the list goes on and on. You got three months of forum time I never intended FROM THE BEGINNING to allow. Some call this MODERATING of the forums. I call it destruction of the forums. When a forum talking about freedom starts becoming the opposite of it, you MUST close the doors before the ONLY thing people remember you for is the hard ass secret police tactics of the moderators, the asshole posts of the disgruntled minority, and the flame wars that only a message forum seems to be able to incite.
Most forums have a half-life of about 3-6 months after they get "popular" and have serious traffic (as those of you who plan to suck up this void will soon learn harshly). We lasted over 2 years. I'm planning on calling Guiness over the issue.
The crumbling of the forums was preordained, but not the sole and only cause of its closure.
Let me give you a scenario. Let's say you read the newspaper every morning religiously. You decide to start watching the news at 9 before bed; see if you can get some fresh information for the day - maybe a different perspective on things. You soon realize that everything you're watching every night was covered well enough in the paper - and that the nightly news couldn't offer you anything new. Over the last 6 months or so, I've felt that the forums have come to REPLACE the show in many ways. I've thrown away MORE than one segment because after I recorded it, someone posted something about it on the forums, it was talked to oblivion, and I was forced to respond to the message because it was largely aimed at me. This isn't what I want with RetroGaming Radio. I wanted a feedback section where we could discuss the show AFTERWARDS .. not before the show happened. The forums were becoming no longer complimentary - but as a REPLACEMENT for the show. This just added to things.
Now, I know everyone hates us; its seems to be the fashion of the month ANYWAY. The forums have been reflecting everyone's unhappiness with us lately (not because we've changed at all- but because we've started cracking down and trying to take control of things) which helped convince us that the forums are no longer being successful. That's fine. We knew that no one would understand and that everyone would hate us and the show after we closed the doors. Its a completely normal reaction - and we expected it and felt that the great good of closing the doors was worth the handful of people that we would piss off. I secretly hoped that our audience was bigger than that - but I can see from postings on other forums that my hope was largely misplaced. Unless you've done something similar to RGR and ran message forums like this before - I know you can't understand (we actually got an email from a moderator from another forum that assured us that they understood COMPLETELY why we closed and supported us completely - so we're pretty sure the logic behind this is sound).
Now, if you want to STOP listening to the show; stop supporting the show, etc. because we no longer have a forum then that is a choice that every single one of you will have to make individually. You should know by now that we're NOT trying to drive you away from the show. We're not TRYING to get rid of you so that we don't have to do any work. Maybe some of you think that we're trying to stop doing the show, so we're shutting everyone out. Not true. None of it. However, we understand that there will be endless theories, posts, and drama everywhere about it; that's a backlash of any forum closing down. Our decision could NOT be summarized in a single simple post - even all this we're typing it probably won't help. Personally, I think that the show has never been better and it will get even better in Year 6. The Year 5 DVDROM is coming along AMAZINGLY - it will be the best set by far. I hope you join us for this very cool event.
Now before I go ... (the final paragraphs that will likely piss off everyone that I haven't already pissed off)
We wish luck to the other forums that plan to suck up the void here. Opening new doors will reset the clock back a good year, and you guys will buy some more time for the group. That's good.
I would like to offer a couple of suggestions to people for this new start - something I think people overlook after they've been involved with forums for a long time. I'm sure this will come off smug and assinine, but ... well, if you hate us already, then this won't matter.
First off, forums are a privilage, not a right. A simple truth that many people overlook.
Second, forums are someone else's home. You are a visitor. When you go to someone's home - even a close family member - and they ask you to do (or not to do) something in their home, you need to respect that or simply don't visit. If they ask you to leave your shoes at the door, you do it - or you don't go over. If you're not allowed to smoke in the house, you don't smoke in the house. This doesn't take away your rights to smoke or wear shoes - but in someone else's home, you should give them the respect you would expect of them visiting your home. You don't go over there and argue with them about the virtues of smoking INSIDE instead of outside.
Finally, respect each other. When the respect is fleeting, so does the integrity of the board.
Well, I guess that's all I have to say. We hope you stick around here for the other things we'll be working on. Of course, the show WILL go on - as always. This is another growing pain to go through - that's all. As with every other spurt we've gone through, we'll lose some people - gain others. I'm hoping we don't lose a lot of the great people that have been here since the beginning.
This is not the end; but just another new beginning.
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