by

“If a sufficient number of people who wanted to st

“If a sufficient number of people who wanted to stop war really did gather together, they would first of all begin by making war upon those who disagreed with them. And it is still more certain that they would make war on people who also want to stop wars but in another way.” — Gurdjieff.

For everyone looking for Sunsword, he’s over here now. For everyone looking for Arcadian del Sol, his statement is over here. For everyone looking for redheads, you have excellent taste.

For everyone who wrote in about My Date With Hooters (you pr0n producers, feel free to use that title), thanks for your concern and assuagement of my ego, even though “assuagement” isn’t technically a word. The consensus is that the wedding band on my finger was a big red “Safe To Play With” sign. Funny, I thought it was supposed to be the other way around.

Waterthread has a problem.

The site was begun by Joe as a site with little pretension to much of anything beyond a weblog where Joe could bitch about his job. Then Bucky Carooe was given the keys to the Chevy, and all hell was set loose. No, I don’t understand the whole “Carooe” thing, either. When I asked, I was told they were “literate tribbles”. This particular literate tribble began writing passionately about gaming, at a time when writing passionately and literately seemed the exclusive preserve of Shadowbane fan sites. A small group of fans began to develop, who shared an appetite for snarky writing and cynical, world-weary bitching. (deadpan) Wow, that never happened before.

Then player2player.net blew up, and blew up again, and blew up again, and blew up again, and finally apparently blew up and didn’t come back. Many of the player2player.net message board habitues had no interest in snarky writing, or passion on gaming, or, well much else beyond posting blind links to Doug Winger. Without getting too deeply into the politics involved, player2player’s community and waterthread’s community, although both originating from a tiny little corner of the Internet I used to be involved with, were entirely different.

Not that different is bad, mind you. Some of the most ferociously content-free “spammers” of the LtM boards ended up as the Morlocks, and they’ll kick you in the pancake if you bad mouth them. Definitely a niche. Not the same niche. Not the same community. But a niche.

Except that player2player’s users lost their niche, and waterthread’s niche looked homey and niche-like. So they settled in. And became uncomfortable. And were berated.

You see, communities aren’t monolithic. You can’t control them. You can’t drive them. You can claim not to be one, but it won’t help – you’ll become one anyway. They will grow beyond your intentions. They will take root, and become something you had no intention of raising. And Joe is looking at a $200 monthly server bill.

And waterthread.org’s lead story currently, without any apparent irony, is how MMO companies lose control of their message forums.

Fear community – it’s not afraid of you.