What have we lost in the Online Vampire Community
This is the question that I ask in all sincerity, since the beginning of the EZboard era where we have quietly yet firmly begun to display our websites and forums to more members of the internet (ie: the long gone discussions about protecting our websites from browsers that filter information for children), has the online VC lost some of the glue that held it together and made it the supportive community that it once was?
With all of the new people who flock to the boards and ask their questions have we lost part of that wholeness that we had at one point in time? It seems that some things stay the same, there are still trolls, slayers, flamers, newbies, and those who simply wish to be unknown. However it seems that with the dawn of this new era there is something we have lost, our real community. At one time there were a few small boards like Sarasvati's, Bloody Minded, and the Vampiric Community forums that were small and quiet and more in depth. It seems that now people think less, snap more and allow themselves to fall into the rut of answering others questions, instead of supporting each other. This is not to say that there are no longer places online where members of the VC can find their support, and it is not to say that because we are becoming a larger force on the internet that we are somehow cheapening ourselves, it is simply that with the expansion and release of more information that we have lost a lot of the close knit fabric of our complicated weave.
Yes Vampires are different and we are not something that falls into the basic areas of the 'real world' however it seems that now with the real world coming to 'us' we have forgotten what made us what we are. There are many of us who are still prideful and able to hold their head high and proclaim to other members of the community that they are a Sanguinarian, a Psi'Vamp, a Donor, Bloodfetishest, or any of the multitude of people that are in the VC. Yet there seems to be more children among us, this is not to say that children applies to those who are not of 18 years of age, but also to those who simply do not have the maturity to handle and comprehend the information presented. With the ability for more people to jump in and ask questions many of the discussions that once made the community something about self exploration has faded into the background. The long old arguments about Sangi's vs. Psi and other such topics are still there but the long community wide discussions about joint articles, and topics that mean something to everyone are dispersed and must be categorized into the correct forum or you may not have your article or thought read at all. And yet it used to be that people didn't need to be classified, donors didn't need to have their own forum because they were able to post their thoughts on a board and have EVERYONE'S responses to it if those people so chose. Now that there are forums and separations between so many things it seems that one must be dedicated to reading each and every forum to sift through to those subjects that they feel the need to read. It was my impression that we were trying to break free of boundaries, classifications, and categories for members of the VC. So that you could be anyone and be a member of the VC. Long gone are the days of coffee in the morning while reading one board at your leisure and taking 20 minutes to write each response. Now is the power coffee and quickly sifting through the multitude of your preferred boards to see what forums have the 'new message' icon and peruse through the many new topics that are one line questions like: "Wondering if there is any way to numb the skin before cutting it? Thanks!" that have been answered millions of times before but people won't take the time to read the FAQ's because they can simply click on a forum and type out a one line question and have it all brought to them.
Why is it that we must force ourselves onto these forums, sure there were EZboard accounts for Vampire forums but the fact is, we didn't always need them. When we had the troll attack last year that victimized Bloody Minded, Vampire Community, and Sarasvati's boards suddenly people began the move to Ezboards because of the things that could be done with the EZboard, but we as a community did not just move because of the fact they had the possibility to be more functional but because we were afraid and tired of trolls. Well now we don't have the old trolls around as much, we have the mindnumbing peons who ask questions that only take time and make it harder to find the real issues that made the community what it was.
So many people have disappeared from the community that it is amazing, all for different reasons but it seems that we don't seem to remember them. Sonja Blue left us because it was time to move on in her life yet not many people seem to remember that, her site that filled so many people with information and support, Mom/Sps who now maintains the old Vampire Community boards and can be reached in email but no longer lends her amazingly gentle hands to the new boards because well, they don't feel like home. Where is home these days? Nobody seems to remember people, like the normal people who used to pop around on the boards, people like Bane. If Sphynxcat leaves the VC will we remember her, do some of you know her? Will we remember people who have donated to the community in ways we can never understand? Like Johor and Lono, Sanguinarius, Tattunigma, Memory and Dream. Sure there are wonderful and amazing new people who have been brought to the OVC by the Ezboards but there is still a hole in the center of everything, there is no longer a connected vice of people.
Yes granted there are exceptions and as always there are still the amazing people that hold the VC together. There are still amazing discussions and ideas, it is the act of sifting through the multitude of worthless posts that make it so difficult for them to find. Yes there were problems in the old OVC, trolls and stupid posts that meant nothing, but they didn't remain long it was the good old 'delete' button to the rescue. I am sad, I am mourning I am wearing my black and bearing the flag of overreaction because I am saddened and disgusted by what I see. A loss of people who care, or maybe I am not looking in the right places....When I find one I'll let you know.
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