Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Death of a Forum (?)

Well, as has been happening for years, once again it is time for the rumours of KVRAudio's death to begin circulating again.

As always, these are being circulated by a small number of disgruntled, self-important drama queens who cannot see past their own issues and obsessions.

And as always, they are wrong. Look at the sheer number of people on KVR. Look at the number of topics and replies posted every day. Look at all the new members all the time. KVR is so much bigger than the temper tantrums thrown by any given member that it's not going away. It's a great site for a lot of people. So I'm happy to say that you don't need to pay any attention to this whining - it's all being so badly overblown it's almost hilarious.

Except that it's not funny at all. What isn't being overblown (or reported at all up to this point) is my decision to withdraw my participation. Yes, I recognize that this makes me a self-important drama queen as well, and I'm OK with that. I don't think my issues with KVR are any larger and more important than the forum and what it offers to members, so you won't see any predictions of its death from me. Just this one bitter notice that I'm leaving behind what once was an excellent community and a big part of my online life.

It's gotten to the point where I just cannot bear the snipes and attacks and baiting by so many members. I recall fondly a time when KVR was filled with open-minded musicians who were excited to have a place to discuss and share music. Sadly I feel those days are long gone. You can still find that stuff, for sure, however you have to wade through endless posts by people attacking others for their beliefs, for their sexuality, for their lifestyle, hell, for their choice in music software. Just the number of signature messages that have been designed to bait and insult people with differing beliefs is stunning. Sure this has been going on for a long time, but either it has gotten far worse, or my patience for it all has finally disappeared.

This is something that could be handled with moderation. It SHOULD be handled with moderation. However the members (at least a large number of the frequently posting and vocal members) have seemingly determined that they are above the moderators, and should be able to direct the actions of the mods. Any thread lock or movement is now subject to inquisition by these self-appointed dictators, and while the moderators 'officially' have the final say, the forum quickly fills up with the whines of those who would rather turn the place into their own kind of closed-minded hell, and the signal-to-noise ratio worsens immensely.

To illustrate the point, a music-related post by a member of a specific religious faith this morning was answered with comments such as "The only good Christian is a dead Christian", which was followed up by laughs and back-slapping by a large bandwagon of regulars. Now I'm certainly not the most highly moral individual you'll find, but I'm honest and caring, and more to the point I believe in respecting others. The attitude I see is so far from what I expect from artists and musicians that I no longer feel any affinity or sense of belonging to this place at all, only disgust.

Which tells me that it's time.

As as wise man once wrote, "So long and thanks for all the fish".


Tom Bailey said...

"The only good Christian is a dead Christian", which was followed up by laughs and back-slapping by a large bandwagon of regulars."

I just think when I hear comments like these that they are coming from people that have not been beaten up enough times over saying something stupid. Now I am not a person that resorts to violence but there are people that are just having a bad day .... and guess what you say that on the wrong day and the wrong person hears it.

Well the consequences can be severe. Excellent post.

Michael said...

I've been absent from KVR for a LONG while, as well as a good many forums I used to participate in. The cycles always continue that way, which is sad because if it wasn't for forums like KVR I wouldn't have met alot of very close friends - yourself included!

Muff Wiggler said...

I agree.... obviously there's a lot to miss in a place like that - which is probably what keeps us hanging on for so long when we (probably) already knew the time was up.

The good news is the rest of the Internet is catching up quickly in terms of interactivity, I have no fear of losing track of people like yourself. I mean look at what we are doing right here. Unimaginable a couple years ago.


SIGHUP said...

I just think you've had your fill of the place, I don't think it has changed that much over the years. Might just seem that way since there are more regulars than ever before. According to its stats page, 1500 members have posted in the last week. For the longest time it barely cracked 1000.

There are of course many foul things at KVR, but foul things abound all over. You might be a little sensitive, though, maybe because you've had enough of it.

Regarding the Christian thing, it's a Jim Thurwell quote (the Foetus guy), and was only used in that thread to be deliberately inflammatory. It wasn't called for, but some folk just live their lives over the top. I generally view anti-Christian sentiment in much the way I view Christian sentiment, it's all just people expressing their points of view (and only two people laughed at it).

I haven't really gotten involved in any of the shitstorm threads there in well over a year, just because I don't see any point. There'll be another thread exactly like it a month later. But it has ever been that way. Still the best place to get information on music software, and it's such a busy place, so well-suited to web addiciton.

One thing I'm really disappointed in is the change in the Music Cafe in the past year or so. Used to be lots of willing listeners and reviewers (not for every thread, but a lot of them), now it's mostly people posting their own tracks and not talking about others' work. Threads slide of the front page in less than 6 hours most days.

You're still a mod there though, I tried muting you for the novelty factor, but still couldn't. We do at least have some fairly easy alternatives for the virtual hang out, so leaving there doesn't cut you off from the good folk, which is alright.

SIGHUP said...

Wow, some days my wind is long.

Muff Wiggler said...

Thanks for the comments Steve - I pretty much agree with you. I wasn't really saying the forum has changed that much - perhaps that I just don't have the patience anymore.

As you point out, a lot more people are posting. Almost all 'stuff' is the same as it's always been, but with more posters, there's more viciousness. Which is to be expected I suppose, I do have faith in my fellow humans to be fairly vicious entities, and i'm not too surprised when they are. I guess that is par for the course when things grow to have a lot more people. Is it? Does more people mean that lowered standards are acceptable? I don't know.

It's just sad seeing what was once an open-minded, friendly and above all artistic forum, slowly transmutate itself into the opposite of almost all those things. Sad for me anyway - I do agree it's not ALL that different than it has always been. But it's the little things that make the difference - the devil is in the details don't you know.

And I can be pretty damn long-winded myself, so don't sweat it