Topic: Once Upon A Newbie (or Our Forums here)

I had a experience just recently and it's left me to reflect on our forums here.

In readying myself for the Flash '90 podcast, I did as I did for the Sliders podcast. Searched for information. I did the same with Lois and Clark. Now for Sliders, I was already HERE and commenting quite a bit about my crush on Wade Wells/Sabrina Llyod as ireactions posted enticing picture after picture to drive me mad. With Lois and Clark I found the Zoomway forums and despite their being stuck in a certain mindset that caused some disagreement about things, they were generally just as welcoming as you all here.

That brings me to my search for Flash '90 info. I ended up finding a forum that had some people who had posted topics related to that show. They're were a few general comments and a few dedicated threads to the individual episodes. I thought, well this looks great! I shall join and let these guys know of new content coming concerning a show they seemed to be interested in. I posted! It didn't appear. I waited. Tried again in a few weeks. Nothing. I posted on their help forums. Nothing. Another month or so and I tried again to post. Nothing.

Finally today the moderator responded. I ad apparently broken a rule that like a computer software's EULA, I had not read. I was a newbie to their forum and I had dared to promote my own project. Thus my post was banned automatically.

Now truthfully I understand the rules they had set up. I hasn't read them because I assumed the experience there would be like the experience here and at Zoomway. I assumed that people would be happy with new content for old favorite shows! So I was smacked down. Ouch.

I reached out on Twitter to the owner of the site, someone that I heard guest star on that other Lois and Clark podcast that seemed to have stalled out at the end of season one. He was also on a documentary about Smallville as well apparently. Quite the Superman fan for sure. You can see my Twitter feed if you feel like reading the convo (@tom2pt0). Basically we had some back and forth and I did apologize for breaking the rules and not coming to him personally first. But... I didn't know him. I never thought about contacting the owner of a forum before posting before. It just kind of soured me on that forum. He did say he would fix things and I assume let my posts finally go through. That's great and all but still... what a way to be greeted.

The rules state that I needed to be a standing member of the community first before posting about my own projects. So just go and discuss things here and there first and then after some time I would be allowed to post. I suppose I understand that but I just feel like it's anti-newbie. I know it's supposed to cut down on hacker spam and people posting illegal download things and such but still. It was quite an off-putting thing to be told yeah you just spammed us with news of your podcast. Really took me by surprise.

Anyway, I guess I just wanted to say thanks for this forum as I've always felt accepted right away. Thanks!

Re: Once Upon A Newbie (or Our Forums here)

Hmm. I ran into something similar on Reddit back in 2015; when sharing SLIDERS REBORN, my posts were blocked as spam and I had to contact the moderator who made me a pre-approved poster. It happens. Still...

Craig Byrne, the creator of KSiteTV is a very interesting figure in fandom. Full disclosure: there is bad blood between us. Fuller disclosure: I was entirely in the wrong in our dispute as I was an impulsive teenager who had yet to learn that my crazy rage should be put into fiction as opposed to interaction on Byrne's SMALLVILLE message board. It would drive me crazy that Clark/Lana fans would mock Chloe and I was vitriolic and insulting. It would drive me crazy that fans would ship Clark and Lex when I saw them as brothers.

Today, I realize that people enjoy art on their own terms and see no need to demand that anyone appreciate content with my views, but at the time, I considered anyone who disagreed with me on highly subjective matters to be deficient and malicious. I must confess that I am deeply ashamed of my behaviour, particularly for how my remarks came off as homophobic. Byrne banned me. He was right to do it.

Anyway. We sometimes run afoul of the specific culture in different fandoms. The culture of KSiteTV is, I find, decidedly corporate; Byrne didn't actually enjoy SMALLVILLE despite creating the premier SMALLVILLE site, KryptonSite. In his personal blog, he was very critical and mocking of the show and on the boards themselves, he was indifferent.

But because he ran KryptonSite, he opened the door to networking with the show's staff and this led to Byrne writing the official guides and companion books for SMALLVILLE as well as creating KSiteTV, a sci-fi fantasy TV news site. While Byrne made fan interaction available, it was all to build an audience for his empire and he served fans in order to monetize fandom (and feed some of that money back into serving fans).

We should all admire how he took his hobby, writing about TV, and turned it into a career. However, the KSiteTV empire is ultimately to serve Craig Byrne, to fuel his books, to develop his audience and to increase his ad revenue. That is perfectly fair; it's his website. Why shouldn't he find a way to earn money from doing what he loves?

But as a result, the corporate culture of KSiteTV is at odds with promoting other people's tie-in materials because it was designed to promote KSiteTV's materials.

With the LOIS & CLARK fandom, Tom and I encountered a set of fans who saw LOIS & CLARK as a cult show with a specific narrative around the behind the scenes story. That narrative was entirely about blaming the Season 2 - 4 producers for any story directions the fans didn't like, much like we do in SLIDERS fandom.

However, in my research, I found that the Season 2 - 4 producers were actually working under severe duress from network directives. I pointed this out, Tom pointed this out, and the L&C fans got upset because our information did not reinforce the cult TV culture of blaming the names that appeared in the L&C credits as opposed to finding fault with the ABC network administration.

And with SLIDERS, Tom and Cory fit right in because SLIDERS' fan culture is that of a Do-It-Yourself group. SLIDERS was so badly mistreated and neglected that we fans had to do everything short of making the show by ourselves.

We couldn't trust the actual producers on the show to be honest with fans; Temporal Flux and the Expert had to offer their services and when Season 5 story editor Keith Damron portrayed TF and the Expert as delusional liars, fandom considered TF and the Expert to be far more credulous and reliable than an official staff member and history proved this view to be correct.

We had to make our own DVDs because Universal's box set put them out in the wrong order. We had to make our own DVD cases because of the ridiculous foam cases. We had to make our own episode guides because the one written and published for a price was based on scripts rather than episode viewings.

We had to make our own tie-in novels because Universal couldn't be bothered. We had to make our own twentieth anniversary special.

I've been informed that it was insane to write a six-part screenplay series for a third-tier 90s show that collapsed upon itself after 22 episodes and that it was even crazier to rope the two premier podcasters for the show into recording an installment that mocks my plotholes and pokes fun at my misjudgements and lapses of logic.

But that's the DIY nature of SLIDERS -- which is why Rewatch Podcast fit right into our multiverse.

Re: Once Upon A Newbie (or Our Forums here)

Great, thoughtful post, ireactions!

I appreciate your honesty in acknowledging your own mistakes; I can relate. I made huge mistakes in the early days of online fandom (nobody knows this better than anyone on the old Universal forums), and every so often I slip into those old bad habits. I'm much better than I used to be, but I'm not perfect.

It is interesting to see how different communities will relate to certain types of posts better or worse than others. Sliders thrives on fan fiction, but in the Narnia community, fan fiction is strictly forbidden. (They mistakenly believe it to be piracy, even though it's non-profit.) While some things are right or wrong across the board, it takes a while sometimes to learn the unique intricacies of each fandom.

Re: Once Upon A Newbie (or Our Forums here)

And then there is the Supernatural fandom, which is made up of loudmouth psychopaths.

Re: Once Upon A Newbie (or Our Forums here)

tom.holste wrote:

in the Narnia community, fan fiction is strictly forbidden. (They mistakenly believe it to be piracy, even though it's non-profit.)

Something can be piracy even if not done for profit.