Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Public servant or drug dealer?

Public servant or drug dealer?

It all started when Ironside contacted me to ask if I knew what had happened to The Three Aguidos forum. I replied that I didn't, because I had not progressed far enough through my daily reads to discover the server not found message yet. I only knew that there had been an internal row with the administrators over whether a particular poster should be banned. I didn't know whether this led to the plug being pulled. Later, a story circulated that there had been a serious fire at the building hosting the server.

In any event, I thought there would be hell of a lot of internet junkies looking for their fix and rattling on cold turkey. Internet Addiction Disorder is serious, don't you know? Therefore, on the spur of the moment, I decided I would set up a forum and provide shelter for all the waifs and strays. I Googled the question 'How do I set up a forum?', and the first result looked promising. However, the stupid thing kept telling me to use a genuine email address. Of course, I effed and blind at the thing shouting that it was genuine, all to no avail. So, I tried another and this one had no problem accepting my email address. I was up and running in minutes, later I realised I should have learnt to walk first, and announced on my two blogs (here and here) what the forum address is. Very shortly, the place was full of refugees from the 3As forum.

For most it was a port in a storm. However, there were a few very vociferous ones screaming axe-murderer this, that, and the other. And trading insults with each other. I had to delete comments, lock a thread down, warn a few, and banned others. Some left because they found the insults too shocking. Luckily, I have a thick skin. But, I just wish those who sling mud got it right in the first place. Axe-killer or axe-manslaugterer, to be precise. As some pointed out, it's no secret and the info is on my blog, at least I was open and honest whereas how many of those who keep their identity secret on-line have skeletons in their closet?

The stats on both my blogs went through the roof for a couple of days, and there were dozens of posts and thousands of views and hundreds of comments on the forum. I needed to split the first category into sections. Er? I didn't know how to do it. I phoned a blogging mate who has ME, and me with my AS, and we stumbled and bumbled around in the admin section for hours trying to sort it. He tired first around midnight, I poured a whisky and made a spliff and carried on trying to figure it all out. I was reading the bold print and knew it was important, it was stating that I had to allow permissions. But, how? Then I read on a bit and there it was. More info in the manual click here. That was the piece of the jigsaw puzzle I was looking for.

Then the anti-climax. This morning the flock had all gone. I checked to see whether the 3As was up and running again. It was. Relief and yet at the same time disappointment. I had not been king for a day, but for about 3 days. We are a community out there in cyber-space. Its supply and demand. As one drug dealer gets busted by the police another starts to deal, and the junkies are happy. How long I could have maintained the supply I don't know. But, I do feel as though for awhile I was providing a public service.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Trust me, JHL, administering a forum soon becomes a mill stone around your neck. I think I took my first one on about 8 years ago ~ which was mainly populated by people I actually knew in real life, or had met a competitions. The anonymity and lack of physical feedback that a forum provides soon turns rational people into crazed ranting fools, and minor disagreements into Cuban Missile sized international catastrophes.
Playing nurse maid to this soon becomes tiresome.

Ironically, despite forum moderating HH being a calm, polite soother of troubled waters, and blogging HH being a swearing, mouthy gobshite with extreme opinions, I get less grief from my blog than I did looking after various forums. Go figure.

jailhouselawyer said...

HH: I did notice this morning that the kitchen was in a mess!

The pressure will be off now that the 3As is back online again. I will see if the numbers warrant keeping it going.

As you say, the blogs are a lot less hassle. But, as you've observed it brings out the best and worst in you. I did once equate blog rage with road rage...

jmb said...

Goodness that does make me laugh, sorry JHL. Makes my problems look very tame by comparison but I do have to bite my tongue a lot!
Blog rage compared to road rage? Good analogy.

Anonymous said...

You were a brilliant combination of public servant & drug dealer! Thanks for the fix. =)

poster nutbag

CherryPie said...

Those forums are a little confusing to set up aren't they. The admin function are in unexpected places making it difficult!

jailhouselawyer said...

Cherrypie: Setting it up was easy. Administering it something of a headache. My friend had an old forum and his was different in language to the one I had set up. So, when we are speaking down the phone he is telling me one thing and I am seeing another. I had to make him an administrator to get in and see what I was seeing. He's a bit of a techie and even he was confused. Sheer determination got me there in the end, with a little help from my friend.

jmb: Rocky was chuffed because I was so busy he could take over my side of the bed for long periods at a time.

nutbag: Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much John Hirst. You did a brilliant job and I believe you are enjoying a much deserved rest, now:-)
Of course you will remain king; once coronated you don't loose your crown so easily (even if the kingdom is slightly emptier). You'll always have our apreciation for having built a shelter for the "lost children" of 3A.
Keep strong.
Luz

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

...you don't loose your crown so easily...

'Loose' is an American spelling for something or someone which escapes. 'Lose' is used in the context of 'I might lose my sanity if people don't spell this correctly.'

Sorry to be a pedant.

Bag said...

Drug dealers are public servants. In fact they are much better because people only go to them when they want something unlike real *cough* public servants who are never servile nor any help at all.

Julie said...

You were excellent, John - I was there, skulking for my fix, too. :-)