Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The wonderful global community!


I'm one of the unfortunate mugs who cannot make it to any tutorials, so I'm making up for my physical absence with a (hopefully) meaningful online presence. At this stage I'm feeling like Doogie Howser (anyone remembers this TV show?) writing his diary on his PC.

Anyway, I had a conversation with Kevin during class break today about online communities and so I would like to share my experiences with online forums.

I play a fantasy Football Manager game online ( but its in german!) and have an online presence through their forum, on which I have been fore more than 3 years. Despite hardly knowing any of them personally I have had visitor from Austria and Germany only based on their behaviour on this particular forum. For what I know they could be serial killers on the run but I have trusted that their online presence is similar to their "real" presence. I have not been disappointed as they all were pleasent and we continue to be friends in real life.

Which brings me to the minor debate of moderated vs unmoderated forums. I present for your consideration

(a) the Trade Me messageboards
(b) Crown Princess Marie Chantal of Greece

The Trade Me messageboards, despite having sub topics, are cluttered and particular subjects are hard to follow. During 2 months of spending time on this messageboard I am put off by discussions ranging from particular women's problems to cheating husbands, misbehaving kids, political rants very much in the style of blogs within a messageboard which makes it nearly impossible to keep track of any discussions. Also spelling and grammar on this board is abhorrent and the issues discussed are probably a generalisation of "Mainstream NZ'ers" Don Brash is trying to reach. Absolutely not my crowd.

On the other side Crown Princess Marie Chantal of Greece has been set up after the Fametracker forums have been discontinued. This forum is moderated by someone who spent a lot of time on this forum and couldn't handle the fact that her favourite Celebrity, Film, TV, Books, etc discussion board was gone. So she used free software to host her own message board which is closely guarded and moderated. Topics which are slightly similar are immediately deleted and a high standard of spelling and grammar are expected, otherwise your account will be deleted. Certainly a crowd I would like to be part of.

OK, anyone of this class wants to share their experiences with online forums?

On a humurous note, I finally got my hands on the new Chris Morris comedy "Nathan Barley" a self professed 'media facilitating node' who runs the fictional website Its a great satire on the mediascape in London, where magazines are kept alive by advertising rather than the subscriber's money or hard-hitting journalism. But like most good comedy it will take years before it comes to New Zealand television.

Take care,


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