by Fan Forever
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names were to be no longer valid, that is the equivalent of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