I haven’t owned/administered a community forum for several years now. The last time I was an admin/owner of a forum I think was back in the late 2000s… around 2008 or 2009 maybe? Because the lack of time, loss of interest, and other personal related issues that I decided to back away from forums, vowing myself never to run another forum, let alone being part of a forum staff. I would write about this in The NINPOJineous, but I decided to write it here.
So, why am I mentioning about forums now? It’s because I’m working on opening one right now. I actually began working on it last year out of frustration and disappointment1 that I wanted to plan a new forum that is completely open and inclusive for everyone who feels neglected, left out, and most of all, bullied. Looking back several years, I’ve noticed how much I’ve changed today compared to who I was before. I made a lot of mistakes as a member, a moderator, and eventually an admin/owner of a forum, and I feel that I have learned a lot from them. After all, what kind of a human being would one be if one does not make any mistakes in the long run?
Most of the forums I owned/run back then were all fandom-based. I’ve never run a general, niche-less forum before, but I have joined a few. I used to be very active with forums those years ago, but real life and other things, you know? In fact, back in those days, I used to worry a lot about people not always active, to the point where I would get so depressed over it and even threatened to just shut it down and move on with my life. Luckily, it didn’t get to that point, but what made me change, altogether, was just the lack of interest or that I found a new interest that may or may not deserve a community forum.
I wanted something completely new and completely different. You know me, I’m always out for new things. After going through research, I’ve found a particular forum script that I feel is fresh, different, and new. The script isn’t perfect yet, therefore I decided to be a contributor to that open source community by using it, checking around for bugs, and even offer suggestions for upcoming features. I thought it would be fun if I can create a (small?) community forum where friends, old and new, would be able to help me out in addressing tech issues and bugs.
I have an alternative forum script reserved right now2 should things go really wrong with the current one I’m working on, which is why I’m starting very small. Starting small is always a good thing. I don’t have any expectations whether this forum will grow or not for obvious reasons, but at least, I’d be able to grow a community with only one family and no little cliques here and there that would divide this one community. If one person has a problem with another person, first thing would be that they should settle the issue in private to themselves before they start involving other people. I find it rather cowardly that one person calls out another person, then spreads it around the entire community, and then the entire community suddenly goes against that other person.
I also find it cowardly when these same people start trolling/invading that said person’s site under anonymous/different aliases and start attacking that person. It’s happened to me before, no surprise there. If we were supposed to be a free and open community to all, then we should act on those words. One particular forum that I know of doesn’t do that, and you being the “victim” of the issue is required to do something about the problem, rather than both sides work on it by themselves.
We will not encourage troubled members to “stay silent” in the forums just for the sake of the other party, because that would mean that we would be prioritizing the forum and the “veteran” members there first before anyone else unfamiliar. That pretty much sounds like a dictatorship to me.
I’ll talk about the forum script that I’m currently using on The NINPOJineous later, but this is all I got for now.