Home > Something Wicked > A Note To Niche Communities

A Note To Niche Communities

This rant comes from a region fairly close to my heart. One of my ribs or something. And just as in the book, god created Eve from a rib of Adam, so do I on the internet create a rant from a metaphorical rib. Pretty poor metaphor at that.

Anyway, let’s begin.

There’s a lot of nice communities and subcultures around, and with the dawn of the internet it has become easier for them to discuss and co-ordinate, ranging from quiet hobbyists, to anime clubs, sci-fi groups and the gothic/alternative communities.  But the problem with the internet is that people forget that there are other human beings on the internet, too. Or maybe they don’t. I’m not sure how the minds of these people work.

What I am here to discuss is the pathetic in-fighting that ravages these communities regularly. Not only are most of them ostracised from regular society because of their lifestyle choices, there’s an amazing amount of cliques within the damn groups themselves; a subculture that contains all of twenty people could have upwards of three groups of people who treat each other like dirt.

Most of us, if not all of us have been privy to this kind of thing; friend drama, animosity and for lack of a better phrase, bullshit. You all know what I mean, you’ll have that one friend who has an argument or mishap with another friend and then they drift apart and suddenly one or both of them is making you choose between them. Not only is this completely unfair, it’s also entirely too common.

Niche communities should not be doing this. It’s bad enough that they’re rejected from mainstream culture, if they don’t choose to hide it, anyway. These people are the worst; if you’re not going to let your friends be themselves around other people you know, then that too, is unfair.

In-fighting and drama makes for a hostile environment that everyone can feel from the first encounter, and it often makes people feel unwelcome, out of place or even unsafe, and there’s been many a newcomer who’ve never returned due to it. I usually stick it out but even I tend to shy away from groups where I can feel that this kind of thing is happening.

So take a note, please.

  • To all of you drama mongers, fuck you and grow up. You’re killing the community with your pathetic shit. And to the drama mongers that drag other people into the drama just because they choose to talk to someone you don’t like? Go die somewhere. The community sure as hell doesn’t want you and I sure as hell don’t like you.
  • To the older members, be nice to the newbies. There’s a lot of older members who treat newbies like shit, and that’s gotta stop. I mean, yes there is the long and cherished tradition of hazing new members, but there’s a difference between a bit of friendly spanking and being a complete asshat.
  • To people in general; stop being so abusive and bitchy. You may think it’s funny but your sense of humour isn’t always shared, nor is everyone used to it. Your poking of fun might be severe abuse to a more sensitive person.
  • Forum mods: I know you have a job to do. I’m a forum moderator myself. But seriously, sometimes people in that position can be utter jerks who overuse the edit button or banhammer. Do nto be one of these people.
  • In regard to genuine drama, you know, serious business, keep it out of the forums. I don’t care if you flood each other’s e-mail accounts or anything, just keep it out of the forums. Ignore the other person’s posts if you like. Just keep it private. I’m sick of it.

But you know what? It’s not all bad. Because there are the nicer folk who stay in the communities. They’re the ones who welcome newbs and ignore the drama, even after they get dragged into it. There’s not enough of these good people around. I salute each and every one of these guys. The helpers, the welcomers, the jokers, the people that give advice or just generally go out of their way to make sure that the forum or message board’s atmosphere isn’t completely terrible.

I’ll remain part of these communities because I couldn’t imagine life without a decent amount of similarly like-minded folk around me, but it comes at a cost, and the cost is dealing with fuckholes like those noted above.

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  1. Coral Edwards
    March 11, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    G`day Mike. What a beautiful rant. I think I love you…lol. Just kidding. It is fab of you to take charge and put the nasties in their place. THANK YOU. xxxcoralxxx

    • March 11, 2010 at 12:36 pm

      I’m Someone Wicked and I approve of this message. I’ve seen a lot of this bullshit unfold and there is not an arguing point above that I haven’t personally witnessed.

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