Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Giant In the Playground Forum Rant

I'm typing up this rant here instead of actually expressing my opinions over on the site because I'm apparently one flame post warning away from being banned, and I don't want to lose my access to the site where I waste the majority of my time on the internet.

The mods over on the boards there are more draconian than any I've seen on the web, and tend to equate "a bit of harsh language" with "flaming troll post". Two prominent members, EvilElitest and Rutee, who were frequent posters, got banned over the time I've been at the forum (basically since I started college) for the occasional arguments that one gets into when one posts several thousand times. But I digress.

Recently, bceause of both the popularity of the comic and the general size of the forum, the site's been either ridiculously laggy or just plain down. It's a crapshoot as to whether or not I'll be able to get on and check both the games I play in over there and the other regular threads I post in. The administrators and the Giant have said many times that they're aware of the problem and working on it- they've asked people not to refresh so much, purged a bunch of old threads to ease the actual physical content on the server, etc. Nothing's worked. The site still goes down every time there's a new comic, and occasionally just when it feels like it.

Many posters have spoken up, stating that they ....

And for some reason the power just went off while I was typing this. Weird, as the weather can be described as "typical Rochester"- that is, it's a snow shower. Hopefully this'll mean class is cancelled, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Aaaanyways, many posters have spoken up, stating that they want better reliability on the forums, and they're willing to pay for it. The Giant has categorically refused any and all suggestions from forumgoers that he take donations or place banner ads on the site in order to raise additional revenue. He has accused several people of "entitlement" for wanting to have a smooth-running forum, claiming that the problem will only get worse if he starts accepting donations.

Seriously, man? Seriously? Give me a break here. I'm looking at this from an economic perspective right now. I'm a poor college student. I...

Power's back. Nuts, class is still on.

I have a very limited income. That means I've got to be fairly thrifty and decide carefully what I want to spend my money on. I am perfectly willing to spend $20 in order to be able to have a faster server and avoid the ridiculous downtimes that plague this site. It's a purely economic analysis- this is a product I enjoy a great deal, hence my willingness to spend money on it. That would not grant me any extra priviliges within the community, it would not mean that I think I could say whatever I want and not get banned for it, et cetra. It means that I want more reliable access to the site, and I'm willing to pay for it. The fact that the Giant is completely disregarding this option in favor of doing nothing instead makes me very, very irritated. I'm sure I'm not the only one (I know it for a fact), and I think that there's a large enough number of regular posters who want reliable forum access that they'd be willing to pay the first fee for the new server and continue to pay the fees for running it, purely because they want to have continued access to the forums. I don't think I'll ever pay the $10 it costs to sign up for Something Awful, largely because there's no guarantee I'd get a return on my money. Here, I know I'd get that return. So Giant? Come on, man. I'm not looking for the comic to be updated faster or to pressure you into allowing a bit more freedom with the rules, or anything of that sort. What I am saying is that I will pay for a more reliable forum. Plain and simple. That's not entitlement, regardless of the fac that the site is free now. That's pure capitalism right there. Gah, this bugs me.

Edit: Once again ranting here because I don't want to get hit with the banhammer. There was a thread in the "Board Issues" board dealing with site connectivity in which there was a debate going on that the Giant got involved in. Both sides getting fairly heated. Aaaand then Roland St. Jude, the mod who's handed down both of my flaming warnings and the only real Mod on the site, so far as I can tell (haven't seen Gorbash in months, which is a shame as he used to post on the anime thread quite a bit), goes and locks it. That's counterproductive and it's going to piss a lot of people off. Like me, for instance. But, since I'm out of wiggle room and the dude's already proved himself draconian, here I am. Gaah! It bugs me that they've got this very uppity attitude about the whole thing. We want to give money to get a faster server. I don't want to give charity. I want to participate in a movement that'll get me a better forum.

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