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Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA]  |  Vampires & Vampirism  |  Vampire Community & Subcultural Discussion (Moderators: Merticus, SoulSplat, Eclecta, Maloryn, Zero)  |  State Of The Online Vampire Community 2010: Declining Participation Levels? 0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: State Of The Online Vampire Community 2010: Declining Participation Levels?  (Read 94593 times)
Merticus
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« on: July 14, 2010, 08:52:33 pm »

State Of The Online Vampire Community 2010:  Declining Participation Levels?

There have been a variety of threads posted to forums and groups in recent months and years discussing the possibility that the vampire community may be declining, shifting, fluctuating, and/or contracting.  The following relates to online participation in the 'community'; not the numbers of individuals who identify as 'real vampires'.

Decline Of The OVC - http://www.vcmb.org/family/index.php?showtopic=16440&hl=
Contraction Within The Community - http://www.atlantavampirealliance.com/forum/index.php?topic=154.0
Vampires:  Our Dying Subculture - http://www.darknessembraced.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=6
Is The Online Vampire Community Dissolving? - http://www.darknessembraced.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=813

There have been noticeable overall activity declines in Community Forums, Yahoo Groups, MySpace Groups, Meetup Groups, NING Groups, LiveJournal Groups, etc.  At the same time there have been noticeable overall activity increases with Twitter, Facebook, web chats, and other direct peer-to-peer networking.  Granted there are exceptions to everything and not all social networking and information sites have seen declines in participation.

Quite a few explanations have been offered...

- What decline?
- There is no decline; the community is just participating elsewhere.
- The decline is temporary; community participation is cyclic.
- Everyone is spread out to more sites and groups than before.
- There are fewer established forums, groups, and web sites in existence today than five or ten years ago and this has left many displaced.
- Leaders and elders have left the community and this has left a void in mentorship and resource sites.
- Leaders and elders are disinterested or condescending towards newly awakened vampires.
- The global economy is affecting participation.
- The internet is evolving in a manner which is decreasing posts and articles while increasing real-time discussion.
- The vampire community is an aging demographic and younger members are not coming along at the rates they once did.
- Twilight, TrueBlood, and the recent media attention have driven vampires underground.
- Twilight and TrueBlood fans will soon infiltrate our community and everyone is hiding.
- There is a growing divide between those who view vampire as a condition and those who view it as metaphysical or spiritual.
- The vampire community is growing faster offline than online.
- Not enough resources are available to connect vampires offline and thus they are remaining solitary or leaving the community.
- The increased quality of posts and discussions in the vampire community has discouraged would-be trolls and lurkers from participating.
- The vampire community has reached a plateau of information or knowledge base and has lost considerable momentum.
- The increase of publications and information available about real vampirism has created less of a need to participate or seek support from others.
- Vampirism is evolving and/or blending with other communities.


In 2007 I compiled data on activity levels of the major Yahoo Groups in order to chart participation trends in the vampire community.  The Yahoo Groups represent the longest running and often most active sites for the vampire community dating back to 1998.  Three years later I've now updated those charts and with few exceptions the declining trend remains the same.  I've also compared posting-to-account levels on a variety of the remaining vampire community forums (we've lost many in recent years) and found anywhere from a 8% to 40% or greater decline in overall postings for vampirism and support specific topics (not off-topic/introductions/etc.).  More interestingly, I've identified up to an average 20-25 post decrease in the number of posts per registered user account compared to levels in 2005 and 2006 for several forums.  While there are greater numbers of users on these sites there are considerably less material contributions to the groups and forums.  NING, Facebook, MySpace, LiveJournal, and Meetup also share similar declines and the recent move of some NING sites to Spruz and some Meetup Groups to Facebook Groups failed to match the posting levels and growth of the original.

What are your thoughts on participation levels in the vampire community?  Are we growing, staying the same, or shrinking in numbers?  If we're declining in numbers but increasing in quality of resources and information is this a desired trade-off?  Please share your thoughts and opinions.

Smaller Chart Images:  http://www.suscitatio.com/images/YahooVampireGroupActivity1998-2010.jpg

Yahoo Discussion Groups/eLists - Activity Levels Composite Chart 1998 To 2010:




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SangSavvy
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 01:45:29 am »

Greetings. 

I must say, I am slightly surprised that there has not been any responses to this post as of yet.  At any rate, I would like to take the time to share my opinion on this matter. 

I came to the OVC within the same week that I awoke as a vampire over 4 years ago.  Since that time, I have endured a spectrum of experiences as a member of 4-5 different forums within the Real Vampire web rings and the members there.

From my experience, I agree with the theory that community participation is cyclic, not only in the OVC, but in life in general.  I feel that life adheres to an overall ebb and flow dynamic.  More specifically, I feel that some of the reasoning behind a cyclic effect in the OVC has to do with old generations finding certain realities that are displeasing and/or disconcerting to them, while new waves of awakening vampires begin the process of these discoveries from the beginning again.

I feel that in this community, vampiric  interactions are full of emotional drive within interpersonal relationships and friendships.  Where energetic manipulation is involved, I feel there is a whole new layer added to the dynamic of the interactions of those who are vampiric, on top of the typical dynamics with those who are not of any vampiric or otherkin affiliation.  I have experienced personally and objectively from others the consistent awareness each person seems to have regarding their power of intention, and how that awareness creates an understanding of being able to influence others, even through a computer screen.  There have been different topics in different forums regarding the opinions of time/space, and I have found one major perspective of this topic to be true; The ability to manipulate another persons energy is not stopped when a computer is involved between two or more people.  Occurrences have happened repeatedly regarding the energy levels of different folks involved in various situations with others that have proven to be harmful in many different ways.  I am of the opinion that the world of energetic manipulation is real, it is dangerous, and I feel it is one of the major reasons why there has been a decline in activity.  I feel that many people cannot deal with that constant threat of being energetically taken advantage of, and the only real defense seems to be to take themselves off the radar as it were. 
Please note:  I am not saying the decline in activity of the OVC is due to psychic vampires.  I am specifically siting the *abuse* of these abilities, from my personal experience. 

The other major topic I want to discuss involves Elitism, and the negative and dangerous effects I feel this has on all vampires, online and offline alike.  I have seen a recurrent pattern since my time of awakening that expressing myself typically leads to a dark path, filled with suspicion, alienation, degradation, judgement, egoism, and elitism, to name a few things.  I am going to get daring here and specifically cite a webforum I feel has cornered the market on this mentality and behavior, and that is the VCMB.  I feel that site highlights many of the dangers causing division within our community, with the consistent examples of appalling amounts of degradation to the new members of the site.  I feel that regardless of if someone is a "poser" or not, nothing gives someone the right to throw away human decency, and allow all members of a forum a chance to rip them apart, like that is going to solve ANYTHING.  I see the practice of having a "troll bin" on any forum as a disgraceful attempt at justifying these poor behaviors, and creates a mentality that throwing someone in a cage and wheeling them to the center of town to be hung while a crowd of people throw trash and rotten fruit is okay.  There is an existence of such a thing as dignity, and I feel in some places such as that forum, the concept is lost.  Why do I bring it up as something to be spoken out loud about?  Because I feel the message it sends to not only the members of the OVC, but the newly awakened vampires is most certainly the wrong one, as many of them typically put up and shut up, out of wanting to be accepted.  This in turn creates a dynamic that it must be the right thing to do to pride ones self on being an elitist and judgemental person, and as well, the owners and thus the implied mentors of that group not only practice those things, but use it as a disciplinary measure.  It gives moderators of all these communities a significant amount of power, and with that, a significant amount of ability to abuse that power, when its able to go unchecked, as it has been.  Eventually, no one is ready to speak up about anything, because if it is anything different than the views of the moderators or "inner circle" of members, that person will automatically be chastised, degraded, and ripped apart, including things as simple as a lowercase i as opposed to a capital one. 

Give me a break.  Are we really wondering why there is a decline? 

Furthermore, I feel as though the more I get to know the community through web chats or PMs with members of all various standings, the more I find an overwhelming sense of secrets, and also a strong sense that I am being watched, over the course of my time in the OVC.  Again, transparency doesn't seem very obvious to me.  I wouldn't mind so much of being watched, if only I knew why.  Unfortunately I have found that many of the full members of the community who seem to be quite genuine in citing themselves as a real vampire, are also sometimes those who have the least transparency, and exhibit signs that they practice indulgence of the darkest sides of their natures.  Regardless, how am I to really know? 

Furthermore, the older and more experienced mods seem to have their own beef with one another, and unfortunately I think that bleeds onto the newer members, and the newly awakened.  Subsequently, it leads to those various moderators keeping their own processes and "ways" of their lifestyle not only more defined in contrast to other mods, but it ends up causing disruption for the advice that is really needed in the end to the newly awakened.  I feel it is they who really suffer as a result, and I feel that is significantly overlooked.  Many mods seem to be so fed up with it after several years or decades of dealing with it that they sink into the shadows.  I am beginning to understand why, as more time goes by. 

I'll also take the time to state for the record that I am not simply trying to use newly awakened vampires as my soapbox, or as a crutch.  Furthermore, this is not an attempt I have created to try to seek revenge from the specific treatment I endured personally, but it is something I have witnessed in the lives of others as well, repeatedly, as I have stated. 

One of my bottom lines here is that honesty seems to be something not able to be had in this community.  At the very least not without a severe backlash, of which few people would like to risk or chance. 

I've heard many opinions about our community, one of them being that nothing just ever gets solved. 

I support acceptance of individuality, of human flaws, of change and differences of opinion.  What I didn't appreciate within my awakening was help for the chaotic and mysterious experiences I was enduring to be held hostage over my head because I didn't act the way someone else saw fit.  Sometimes this is needed to put a fledgling in check, but not to the degree that I have seen and felt.  Everyone makes an ass out of themselves in the beginning.  Or at least, many of us have.  I noticed in the most recent Global Chat, some people had dubbed it a name, the "stupid phase".  It's understood this happens.  To capitalize on that is not being a Moderator, its being a Jerk. 

Lets get it out in the open, and lets get our act together, most of all for those young ones.  They may sound out of their mind, but they really only have the same thing that the posers have to go off of before they come to the forums, and that is things like Twilight and the rest of the stereotypes of Hollywood.  Of course they are going to ask if real vampires sparkle, or if they can fly, or if they are going to die if they don't get what they need.  They don't know any better, and they have a longing to be accepted.  And furthermore, vampiric nature is NOT an easy thing to cope with in the beginning, and I think we can *all* vouch for that. 

Im just sick and tired of being judged.  If you want to take my words and use them as a weapon against me, you are welcome to do so.  Have at it.  I've reached a point where I just don't care anymore.  I decided to come on here and state my opinion, at my own risk.  At the very least, give me some credit for that alone. 
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Darklilone
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 01:16:44 pm »

I don't have much of an opinion on the matter.
Is participation in the Online Vampire Community declining? I don't know.
I joined on the 'outskirts' of sorts about or over 4 years ago. Those small, and not really connected to the Community, forums pretty much have died over the years. Interest at least seems to have declined there. I have gained admin status on those 'mini-forums' and watch for new members regularly. while posts are near to none, i see at least one new member every day, to couple of days.

Over the course of those 4 years i've joined other various online forums, more closely connected to the OVC. Participation in those, though i've had considerably less time as a member, seem to have been about the same since i joined. Though it also ebs and flows.

So, i can't say if it's declining as a whole, or if it's just hitting a low point, sure some forums have lessened in activity, but i'm not and have not been involved enough to feel that i have a solid, well-informed opinion about it.
With the Twilight, True-Blood and other vampire-related media out there, there's bound to be curiosity, but with so much information and FAQs available, maybe they just are reading, with little need or desire to post and respond?
Posts may seem to be declining but how is membership overall? How often are these sites being visited or viewed?
How exactly are we defining "activity" here? (in case i missed it)
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WingedWolfPsion
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 01:39:13 pm »

Wow, sounds like you had a bad social interaction there.  I've been a member of VCMB for a long time, and it is actually one of the MOST accepting and accommodating vamp message boards out there.  All forums have these issues...I hope you realize that?  A troll bin is there so that members can get their aggression out on those who break the rules without disrupting the rest of the forum.  I have one on our Psion Guild forum as well.  You have to do quite a bit in order to have your post lobbed into the troll bin.  There is also a rants area, where people can feel free to lay into each other and make their opinions known in as vulgar a fashion as they please.  Again, it is to prevent that from happening in OTHER areas of the forum.  There is absolutely no obligation for ANYONE to ever click the link to either of those two areas.  People are not always going to get along.  Pretending otherwise is pointless.

Forums have rules.  Some people just can't seem to follow rules.  It's an ongoing issue.  I don't think there is any need to be sympathetic to those who refuse to follow rules, lol.

But really, off the top of my head, I cannot think of a single message board, including this one, that is more kindly to newcomers, or friendlier.  If some individuals treats a person harshly, 3 others step up to their defense. 

The basic problem you're also talking about--older vampires, tired of silliness, taking out their frustration on ignorant newbies--isn't brand new.  The supposed decline in the OVC is brand new.  So I don't see why the same behavior that has been around since the 90s should suddenly become the primary issue now.
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masticina
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 01:42:58 pm »

Ah yes the issue of participation levels. In my Introduction post I already have told that I am like the waning moon sometimes. Life for me goes through cycles sometimes I need to put my attention on one thing and sometimes another. This also means that I "wander"  and " travel"  through the forums I am a member off. Some see me once each 3 months if they are lucky.

I feel that with the summer vacations for many many members.. it is inevitable that less activity is there. And less to resonance them self with hence less reason to post. The waning and gaining is a force in nature we are bound to as much as anybody else. As vampires though we are a bit more sensitive.

In short I agree with that there has been a slowing of the community it is a great time for learning. For studying for self growth and once the cycle goes up again we shall meet again more learned and understanding.

Masticina Akicta
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ClawOfBastet
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 04:20:53 pm »

Only reason I haven't responded is because I was still waiting on my forum membership to be approved (which it just did yesterday!).

Though I really don't have to really say. I've been trying to get into the vampire community since 2004. Every forum I have signed up for seems to just... die off. Or noone wanted to really talk to me or just... I honestly don't know.

I read about all these people stating of great times of forum and meetings in the past, but I never have been able to get to one. Now that I am, I'm kicked in the face with lack of anyone doing it anymore and just feel I was really unfortunate since it seems like I'll never get to know what all the older people got to experience when the community was in boom.
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Demzon
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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 05:53:31 pm »

I can agree with you SangSavvy. The other side that is missing from your talk of elitism through out the community in general is the judgmental views. I for one was told once by a group that I was obviously not a vampire because of not conducting myself in a manner that they were in agreement with; I was too polite most times it would seem for their taste. This making judgements can run off a person who otherwise should belong.
There is another segment that I would like to add as well that might be skimming off like so much slag; the ones that have been baldfaced lying to fit in to an edgy group. That is one downfall with online interaction, anyone can say whatever they want and there is no easy verification. From what I see out of everyday people, the idea of vampires in becoming more accepted as just something else rather than the "super-evil devil spawn nasty dead thing" that was the view before. That leads back to why some have been pretending from the beginning; it gets attention, and most often they were the types that only could understand negative attention. There has been the other type as well that it is fun the play pretend online. This type is not seeing that as fun anymore now that they can play pretend on Facebook and reach a larger audience.
If it is my top three list of annoying people leaving I have no problem with that. That list would be this; first, the psychologically unstable, them that had no power as a victim at some point in their lives and see being a vampire as taking that power back, or those that have real problems determining their fantasy from the reality; second, the pretender, because life is better when people think they are interesting and wildly different from everyone else, even if it is only online; third, the "life-styler" that plays the part and gets attention that way so that they can feel special as a parody of their own lives.
I do agree that we need to get some better information out there and get the spotlight off of the pretenders. That can not be done hiding behind code names; and some have realized that long ago. Me? I'm at a point where it's not going to mater much if people know who I am; as some may have noticed when Merticus posted those magazine articles I came across a week or two ago. (I should get an apology in there for the bad quality while I'm thinking about it too...) I make jewelry and my business is not going to be affected by someone thinking I'm nuts, if thats what they want to think, most artists have been when you come down to it; in fact, it might even help sales. At the same time I'm not likely to push that on everyone soon. There are those that know because they have asked or I had a reason to talk to them about it.
(Before anyone mentions it: yes I do realize I semi-decried Facebook and I use it.)

I did want to address the idea of "troll folders" on forums before I end this; they are just an excuse. The admins don't have to really deal with punishment of members that are truly causing problems; as was done here with two individuals not long ago. At the same time the members have less responsibility to think about what they say as it will just be put in a special place and they can cary on with no consequences. This will end up causing more problems, and more work for the admins and moderators in the end; as I said, there are some that enjoy negative attention, and a "troll folder" does just that by putting those that have been nasty enough on display in a special place.

Thanks for reading,
Joseph MacGonegal
dba: Demzon Creations
Demzon Creations Tracker blog
Facebook: Demzon
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Alison Demzon
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sandmanbrian777
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2010, 07:15:37 pm »

Greetings:

Numbers ..numbers...can they be analyzed to show anything you want?
In studying Growth and Decline patterns in various socities since the dawn of recorded history in the form of fired clay tablets
it seems patterns do emerge.   I agree with points made in previous posts.  Some forums have a group dynamic in which the Admins
edit or fail to release posts because it doesn't fit into thier subjective interpretations.  One Website accepted my published article and had
individuals look at it from over 20 countries.  I know this because the Editor checked the magazines article useage by the amount and
location of those looking at it.  But the website for the article deletes the old issue magazines due to the advertizers not
wishing to show old prices for their Locks and Keys. 

The article was about the Egyptian Empires Ankh and how the Vatican used the same traditonal beliefs to explain the Popes Crossed Keys. 
Yes I quoted the Bible and compared each entry with the same Egyptian historical interpretations.
So the article could no longer be accessed when the new edition of the magazine came out  in the next Quarter.   To solve this I
cut and pasted the article onto the same Vamp forum.  It was declined because they were worried about copyrights.  After explaining I held
the copyright and the Editor OK'd the follow-on release I ran into further problems.  I was informed that too many Biblical quotes appeared? 
My article was denied even though it was on the forum for 3 months before.  Several forum members wrote and said they enjoyed the
information and asked for notification of any more articles I wrote.

Due to this interpretation and other issues with my posts I stopped posting.  Actually every post I made there after was met with criticism.
Now I just concentrate on researching and submitting  my original articles for publication instead of banging heads.  The last post I made was
giving some information about the "hard knocks" of getting into the writers market and having your articles published.  May I state that some
appear to enjoy the power of rejecting or accepting posts for unkown and subjective reasons.    So why do some decline to post or interact
with some forums ?

Additionaly manners have taken several steps back.  If a person provides some insight to the problems others are facing and tries to help them
because they have undergone similar experiences the only reply returned is Zero?
So why provide any other information or sharing of experiences ?  I became aware of awakening back in the late 1960's when the community
was tiny and the means to interact was severly limited.  Others who were around for decades prior to myself helped, and I thought they were
really ancient  in terms of my short life up to that point.  Now I find myself in the reverse position.  But the dynamics have changed and 99%
of those seeking information won't bother to say the magic words of "thank you"  It seems that asking is all that is required with no follow-up
or any sort of appreciation what-so-ever.  Just a general responce such as "thanks to all those who replied"  Mean while only 3 others replied. 
I know it takes a massive effort to reply to 3 other people who took the time to provide some sort of feedback to help others?   

Brian ...........................................V""V....................
*****************************************************************





 

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Dantess
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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2010, 07:26:13 pm »

I can understand the frustration you feel, but I have never had a problem with anyone maybe a small quarrel with someone, but it was more of a misunderstanding if anything. I have never felt as accepted anywhere as I do here, and they offer loads of information for others to easily see. My fiance had a really bad fight with someone on another forum, that's why the troll bin is in need.
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Criophix
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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2010, 07:54:37 pm »

Although numbers are interesting its hard to really say if the OVC is growing or declining.  The internet is a vast and almost unending place where if you dig enough you find a wealth of information.  Posts and numbers also don't quantify if the community is growing or shrinking.  I can recall back to the Order of the Crimson Tongue on yahoo which had 10,000 members and all it was was spam mail for products.

As to progress in the positive and negative growth.  There are a number of niche groups on Ning that took off and a few when forced with paying chose to open their own sites.  I know that a majority of the older individuals who've dealt with the community over the years have retreated away from the open and have gone into private forums or offline community groups.  Some individuals have become trolls in forums simply there to see if anything new comes about.  Others have become private forsaking all online contact.  These groups also have a surprising wealth of knowledge and interaction which would put some to shame.

In a world with so many connections and privacy becoming a standard of the past online communities find themselves exposed.  I will take for instance myself.  I work in a very public job.  Say I moved companies and left my email address on my application and they decided to Google it.  Just with my name Criophix alone there are ten pages and five of which relate to vampires which are posts on private forums.  This could bar someone from a job.  I've known a many a individual to drop from the community because of this and change their nickname and sn for fear of connecting the dots.

To the treatment from the moderators a variety of boards have a habit of forcing their teachings and ideals among those who are new in our community (vampires or no).  I can't say this is right or wrong.  I'm not here to judge.  I do note however this causes conflict between individuals looking to join another house or group.  Its very confusing going into some groups when I was younger and having The Black Veil posted and yet topics relating to the hatred and bashing of the man who made it.

I think with this data provided groups, houses, covens, or what ever you wish to call them should step back and ask questions on how they can become more productive, provide a more enriching experience, and help further their own groups image as well.  I think its also important to note that if the community is shrinking or growing is it for the best?  Are we trimming the fat or loosing who we are to hypocrisy?  '

Sincerely
Katac Cerrus Criophix
 
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SangSavvy
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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2010, 09:53:45 pm »

Greetings again.

I would like to take the time to respond to a couple of the replies here. 

WingedWolf, you said:

"A troll bin is there so that members can get their aggression out on those who break the rules without disrupting the rest of the forum.  I have one on our Psion Guild forum as well.  You have to do quite a bit in order to have your post lobbed into the troll bin.  There is also a rants area, where people can feel free to lay into each other and make their opinions known in as vulgar a fashion as they please.  Again, it is to prevent that from happening in OTHER areas of the forum.  There is absolutely no obligation for ANYONE to ever click the link to either of those two areas."

I would like to ask you why you think its necessary to have this practice instated, rather than the moderators and full members of a forum taking responsibilty to have some compassion and mindfulness for another person.  As I said, its called dignity, as well as integrity.  My opinion is that the solution to curb problems from happening on a forum is not to allow it in one area.  That is like telling a group of wifebeaters, "Well, us congressmen came to a decision.  You can beat your wife....but just.......do it over there in the designated areas.....sometimes we'll come in and offer you a hand with a billyclub or two!  Sound good?  Fab." 

Furthermore, citing the "choice" factor as part of your defense is even more appalling to me.  That is also like saying, "Hey wifebeaters, just so you know, some people will come to the edge of your designated areas and watch you for a while.  Don't mind them, its free game.  Just....Have Fun.  :-)  " 

I will ALSO add, while I am being so up front with you, have you ever been in a situation where you were not on the "inner circle" of members on that site? 

You also said: 
"People are not always going to get along.  Pretending otherwise is pointless." 

I agree with this statement fully.  What I care about is keeping each situation in context. 

You also said,
"I don't think there is any need to be sympathetic to those who refuse to follow rules, lol"

Time and time again I witnessed the context and definition of what "breaking rules" was on the VCMB.  It is based on a mentality of conformity, and judgement.  Furthermore, Gosh I don't even know how else to say it;  WingedWolf, that is appalling to me. 

You also said,
"If some individuals treats a person harshly, 3 others step up to their defense." 

My answer:  Who's vote counts at the end of the harsh argument?  And is there or isn't there a dynamic of lots of folks using that harsh argument as a means to "prove themselves" to the overseers of that site? 

Finally, you said: 
"So I don't see why the same behavior that has been around since the 90s should suddenly become the primary issue now."

Wow you know, I never thought of it that way.  It's been going on for years......lets just.....sweep it under the carpet of "Who Cares why the OVC is declining! PARTY!"  My point being, tradition is no excuse. 

Note my signifigant amount of sarcasm if you please. 


To Demzon, I liked this point you made here:
"At the same time the members have less responsibility to think about what they say as it will just be put in a special place and they can cary on with no consequences. This will end up causing more problems, and more work for the admins and moderators in the end."

I loved this point a lot, Demzon.  Well said. 

I think there is a huge point I did not cite, and that is the fact that many of the interactions on the forums are filled with the newer generations of kids that seem to be more dramatic, more lazy, more focused on entitlement, self-absorbed, and are not supported by our advertisments and tv shows in terms of enlightenment and accountability.  Moreover, the government in the current times seemed to be delighted with drowning intelligence in a sea of validation to feed indulgence and personal vices.  I worry about what the next generations will be like when they were raised by movies of hamsters dancing to the Black-Eyed Peas. 

However, there are also many kids and young adults out there that are actually very smart.  They pride themselves on getting their work done, on meeting their responsibilities.  However, they may not come off in a forum post as being the brightest, for the many reasons I have stated. 
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Sassy
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« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2010, 11:46:13 pm »

  In all honestly I feel that the true vampire community has expanded beyond the OVC. I have many friends in the OVC, yet when I talk with them about my personal experiences and belief I get 'They don't exist, there is no such thing as a long lived vampire.' So many of us have chosen to go beyond the OVC and commune with the population out there that does not have to listen to judgmental admins, members that are rude to the point of telling a member that they are a poser because they do not believe that they exist. I was gifted with the power to taste vampires. I do know that they exist, and have many friends online and offline that are long lived. I chose as many others to weed through the thousands of boards that give false, judgmental information that they think is correct without even doing research and trying to find the truth. I have been watched for the past year because of this, and honestly it does not bother me, for I taste who it out there. I have been metaphysically attacked on numerous occasions, as well as all of my staff for the same reasons. There are more than just Sangs and psychic vampires out there, and when the OVC opens their eyes to this and starts treating ALL of the community the same then and only then will it start to grow again. We are tired of watching our long lived friends being judged, so we chose to stay with them and give them a place to commune. Twilight and True Blood only makes things harder on them, and I have the most respect for them as well for the things that they have to go through in their long lives.

Sassy
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RKCoon
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2010, 01:25:01 am »

SangSavvy - I dont know who you are, but I think Im in love. XDD

Now, in regards to the decline of the online communities as a whole - In VERY large part, the communities have done this to themselves. Many of the points were VERY nicely put by Savvy, but I will summarize - between the sycophantic entities running rampant within damn near every community that has ever popped up, the general aging of the peoples within the community (and with that, taking on adult responsibilities and not having time for the silliness), and to some effect, the general degradation of the image of the vampire publicly, its safe to say that the general interest has gone down in being part of any community.  Im going to delve into these points a bit deeper --


For those that spent time on the communities, the incessant, unceasing drama, politics and general bullsh!t that has gone one since day one drives many away. Indeed, if we could figure out how to power a starship with drama, or with sycophantic egos, we could easily fly to the Andromeda galaxy. in a short span, and ive personally seen this, boards can and have gone from sprawlingly large groups of people discussing vampirism to a small cluster of ego strokers and the few within living off said ego.

Along with that, we as a community have grown. What a real world vamp is has gone from mysterious to generally well known, if divided into two groups, the psis and sangs. Many sites now have at least basic information, and not a lot new - that Ive seen at any rate - has surfaced in the past few years, and lack of new knowledge tends to have people drift away, and not draw newcomers - at least where things that aren't religion are concerned.

Past those two, the vampire as a mythical entity has gone from the mysterious lone being that seemingly could turn into a bat or mist at whim, seducing helpless maidens before vanishing into the night, into a collection of sparkly wussy gaydar jammers - NOT something that is going to draw a lot of curiosity. In some ways, people like me would consider this a mixed blessing - less wannabes, and less people going WTF regarding us.  Further, the public appearances of certain individuals have left many going, what, "I'm like that? Like hells, I want nothing to do with it." 

That last statement, actually, is a very deep one - for every person who doesn't care who knows what they are, I am quite certain there's ten more that  have NO interest in being public. Family, friends, religion (there's that word again), and work/carriers are ALL extremely realistic, valid reasons to keep in the coffin and not want any undue attention.


In the end, I would say that in no small part, the communities, as a whole, did it to themselves, and had this decline coming to them.  But hey  what do i know? Ive just been around a decade with this.
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Oculus
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They are coming.


« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2010, 02:56:55 am »

I used to be a member on vampires.nu; the roleplayers and its members killed interest in the site. I would also say the perpetual "moderating" by members of the forum gave the site a unwelcome atmosphere. You can go to that site and ask something very simple and get several responses from members who "moderate" in hopes of one day getting an actual moderator position. I can recall a certain member who would toss information into certain sections, but did not know anything about it himself. So when other members posted asking where he got his info, the person in question would get confrontational and then start another topic with nearly the same information. The issue was that this person causing problems was a moderator. I highly disagree with whatever reasoning that would allow for someone who is 16 years old to become a moderator, and I think other members did as well. So, a large amount of us left for greener pastures and to share our information and knowledge with people who could use it. I highly respect the administrator of that site, but, things change. Hotel California, (the site's nickname) is no more.

There is no "one" source for vampire information, and I think that is the major problem. This AVA site is one among many and to someone who has not dealt with the occult before, it is not a site that people with visit immediately. I think that accounts for some of the variation among membership numbers.
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Darklilone
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2010, 04:47:11 am »

Oculus, how long ago were you on that forum? I just joined recently and have not had a problem since. things seem to have gotten better and leveled out a bit. the "roleplayers" still come along from time to time, but there's information and helpful members that show them reality or show them the way out.
It seems to be run just like any other vampire forum i've been on. They have their set of beliefs, they enforce rules, etc..
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