Page 9 of 9 FirstFirst ... 789
Results 121 to 122 of 122

Thread: A message about Unforumzed

  1. #121
    Senior Member eresos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,410
    I don’t post much anymore, but I still love this place.
    All the tori chatter, but also discovered so many other great artists here, and always great discussion on so many topics
    So appreciative that it’s still around after all these years.
    There will be no substitute.
    Going to miss it awful
    "this way, that way, i am of two minds" -sappho
    http://classicpersuasion.org/pw/sappho/index.htm

  2. #122
    Let them eat cheese flan Nancy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    4,847
    Quote Originally Posted by JAE View Post
    It's taken me a while to post in this thread because I wanted time to reflect on everything and gather my thoughts.

    This is a hugely sad announcement but not surprising to me - the Internet has changed massively since the glory days of fan forums and it was only a matter of time before @/unf got swept away too. I lurked and joined back during the time between Scarlet and TBK and at that time I was involved in several forums based on things that I loved.

    It's quite ironic in the era of social media to look back at that time and envy the sense of community and shared history that drove those forums back then - it's something that I don't experience today on social media in the same way. Each of those forums was a vibrant community that felt almost like a self contained city with various hang out spots, from the major public spaces to the more niche and alternative areas. Those communities also felt very "real" because they spawned their own mythologies, histories and even languages (a lot of people have referenced aspects of @ and unf history and mythology already that will always live with me and be impossible to explain to anyone else).

    These communities also inevitably came with their hierarchies, and there were more "famous" posters that stood out because of their personalities or alliances, or "old-timers" who earned their status through the length of time they'd been around or their number of posts. I know there have always been complaints of cliques, and this was common across all my online homes (that's just a natural part of humans organising together) but something I always felt about @ was that while it could be quite hard to break into, once you "got" the snark and if you were confident enough to back up your own views, it felt a lot more open minded than other places overall.

    The snark itself was infamous and unique and was part of the reason it became one of my favourite places to visit. As the years moved on and society changed (and yes, the average age of users probably got older) it died down significantly and I'd say most of us (even ones who were there at the time) would be shocked at how different it used to be and how direct and cutting some of the comments could be (speaking as someone who felt the hot end of more than one old fashioned flame war). I can see how many people wouldn't like that or might have been scared off by it but I loved it and I miss it, because people weren't treated with kid gloves and I think it made everyone slightly more resilient and feel like they'd "earned" their position in the community. Even from a practical perspective, it took WORK to be part of that community because you weren't accessing that shit on your phone in between checking Facebook - I remember sitting for hours in the evenings after school and work sitting at my desktop computer checking into the forums.

    It absolutely was not an echo chamber despite most of us having similar views on major political issues, and as much as there was a hierarchy of users, this didn't mean that anyone was untouchable or unaccountable for their views or words. It's strange looking back on this as we all live in our own curated echo chambers online now.

    In saying that, Unf became a much more mellow place and to be honest it's maybe no bad thing given how the world has changed. This place has been a real support network and oasis of sanity over the past few horrible years and I think others probably feel a similar way.

    My love of Tori Amos isn't the same as it was when I was a teen and I'm OK with that - I really enjoyed the last album and I still love all the classics but I just don't feel motivated to talk about her the way I used to. This place evolved into something more than that and to be honest I haven't ever really thought of Unf in particular as a Tori Amos forum. In saying that, I'm sure it'll feel very weird when the next album comes out and I don't have this place to visit.

    All my online communities eventually died off (most of them over a decade ago) and this is the last of those types of places that I check into. The collapse of @ and evolution into Unf was another really interesting and vibrant time period and I'm so glad that the community was allowed to wind down the way it has rather than collapse in a sea of drama or through shady dealings like some others I was a member of did. I also appreciate that we have these last few months with a bit of warning to reflect on everything and make arrangements to stay in touch with people etc.

    I know I'm waffling but I also do need to talk about these forums as a sanctuary for this closeted teenager in Belfast and as an important queer space. It felt amazing to have a community where I felt welcome and where I could talk about things that I couldn't "IRL". These were some of the first interactions I had with other queer people where I felt like I could be myself (ironic behind a username and avatar) and talk about things that I liked on an equal footing with them, without being ashamed or worried that I would be exposed as being gay. It was a place where I truly discovered what I liked and didn't like (culturally, socially, politically) purely on its own terms. It's not an exaggeration to say that the openly gay man in his mid 30s currently writing this wouldn't have been the same person without that space and the people I interacted with.

    In closing I would like to say a massive thanks to Ryan in particular (and the mods and everyone who has worked on these places) for being a huge part of the creation and maintenance of this community that has been such a formative and important part of my life and development. I've always tried to contribute financially where possible and the impact the place still has on me is not reflected in my post count which is low these days - I still check in here at least once a day and its one of the only websites (rather than apps) that I still use. Thanks also to all those people and users who have been a part of this community - you'll never know the impact each of you have had on me just by existing and posting. Most people aren't here any more and even seeing old usernames is giving me bolts of nostalgia and memories (I have to mention Rachel who I considered to be a good friend and I still miss terribly). I am so sad that this is all coming to an end but I appreciate that it's the right time - I'll still laugh at all those old jokes and memes (the ones I can remember) and I'll cherish my memories of what we all built together.

    I'm on one of (I don't know if there are multiple ones) the Facebook group/s and I'll certainly check out any future developments such as Reddit, however I can't see anything replacing this place in a similar way. If any of the people who recognise me would personally like to stay in touch (and I appreciate that my lack of posting over the past few years means that number is likely to be low) please send me a wee PM and I can share Facebook or WhatsApp details or whatever's relevant.

    So long and thanks for all the fish ❤

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •