by Fan Forever
Upon the occasion of the "old" boards being forced to change over to a standardized boxy mb format, 6/04

The message boards have evolved with us being part of them day after day. For many of us they have become a home, a place where we can live, a family even, to some. But a family remains a family, I thought like others, wherever it is living, and is above all a family of the heart; our bonds can hardly be broken just because we are all moving (forced to move, to be precise) into a new place! So I kept asking myself what might be felt as so threatening in changing the format of the boards (I personally don't like the new format they are thinking about but can live with it, I suppose).

Well, this morning I thought how much this whole family was also like some sort of “ecosystem”, where living species actually function together, and evolve closely to each other within their physical environment, writing and creating and sharing and reacting to each other's contributions, and being inspired by them even.

Decipher has not taken into consideration the fact that there has been, indeed, an “ecosystem” created by years of “living together” in the LOTR Fan Club MBs. Maybe someone at Decipher just thought changing the format of the boards was a technicality (and a welcome one at that), and that one handle is just a handle, but it is a whole living system that is being uprooted here, where handles are representatives of actual living beings, with feelings and lives through the MB, no less, not just anonymous names used to convey info/stuff to a group of fans. No wonder reactions are so strong!!

I went and checked at the Star Trek MB, just to see if things were the same, and well, nobody has even reacted to the “New Message Boards” post, and besides, a whole page covers about 3 months of posting. Maybe Decipher thought Message Boards were all the same (?) but they are not. Maybe they did not think about it, but telling us (and with no warning) that they would change the way the boards would work and that our board names were to be no longer valid, that is the equivalent of transplanting a chunk of the rainforest into a fenced park downtown Montreal. There were bound to be some ‘reactions’.

We are strong as a community, and because we are (almost) like a living entity we will survive, but it takes time to recreate a community, however we wish it would be easy, it takes time to rebuild a safe environment where the muse feels comfortable enough to go outside of her den and share; you can kick an ant hill and it recreates itself in a matter of hours, but you destroy wetlands or a tropical forest, and a whole population of species have no home to live for a long while. Some species build their nest slowly and carefully and their very home becomes part of the natural environment, others make their home anywhere and if destroyed will make a new one in no time. It’s the same with us and these MB, we are not all the same and yes some of us will take it pretty badly. Because there is nothing technical in these boards, and frankly not much left anonymous in these handles we are forced to let go.

Let's try to remember that and understand it's still very possible to reconstruct our world in a new formatted board, but it might not be so easy for everyone.

I really hope Decipher is made aware of what their decision is creating among our group, they might not care, but at least they could acknowledge it.