Maybe a whole lot of you weren’t aware of this, but RLSH forums used to be different than they tend to be at this particular moment in time. There is a current upheaval.
Some of us have seen the hey-day of years ago and frankly, this ain’t it. I’m not meaning to criticize and believe me, I couldn’t do better and I’m in regret for not living up to my own part as a Moderator in a previous forum when I said I would.
I failed. And here’s what’s happened as a partial result.
We seem to be seeing an evolution of ALL of the RLSH forums at the same exact time.
It’s come to my notice because of some dissatisfaction among some of my elder RLSH friends and now I’m being contacted by newer Real-Life Superheroes asking, “Where are the cool forums?” And I guide them to where I can, including here at www.reallifesuperheroes.org. But this is not a self-promotional rant. Not at all.
Okay, I think I know the reason “the times, they are a’ changing.”
Facebook. That’s how we’re now communicating and networking among RLSHs and also our “civilian” friends. And that’s very incredibly awesome. But not good enough.
Wonderful, but take it for what it’s worth. It doesn’t fill our needs. Not at all, if you’re a Real-Life Superhero. Fine if you “Like” us, but if you’re actually one of us, it leaves us lacking support from our specifically-RLSH friends and even our detractors who we could be on a conversational level with. But we’re not. Not really. Not on facebook. It’s really just sort of throwing comments out there and there’s little, if any discussion.
RLSH forums are also steering to a “this is just information and not conversational” and frankly, I think any kind of exclusiveness if going to kill a forum.
My former favorite forum of Heroes Network was in my opinion, killed by being just a bit more exclusive by membership requirements. Yes, the Admins were INCREDIBLY awesome (Love ya both!), but we never really got the nut-jobs or the whackos to debate with to make the efficiently-run forum truly interesting enough to visit often. I’m truly not criticizing the folks who ran it. I just wonder if it wouldn’t have been more active if it was a bit more loose. I appreciate the dedication, hard work and the concept, regardless.
I loved the idea. It was well-run and we’ve never seen anything quite like it before. Who knew that if you only got the “best and tried and true people” (and that I would be lucky enough to be in that group) into it, that they’d be of little interest and have little to talk about? I was honored to have counted myself among that number. But I know how boring I can be. Go figure.
Back to the “No Privacy” thing…
If you’re a Real-Life Superhero: You’re getting back from a patrol, hot and sweaty, or maybe cold and chilled and you want to talk some things out with someone on your level, who can understand or assume what your night or day might have been like. You want to avoid all the chit-chat BS. Or maybe you need to find some diversion among friends who understand what we do. You don’t want to be confronted by a random fb friend showing all of his friends his favorite Youtube video of a random band.
They don’t know what you did that night. -Or couldn’t prevent being done.
You want to commiserate and relate… make inside jokes and maybe kid around with your best RLSH friend who is also online, but in front of your other friends so that they can see how much mutual respect you have for each other to treat them like you do.
You need an RLSH private area.
No media AT ALL. Few, if any, kind “civilians” (No disrespect intended, My Friends.) Where we can just be among ourselves and sort of let down our guard and be our occasional asshole-selves and enjoy those moments with people who also have done the stupid things we’ve done. -(“Dude, don’t hand the guy an ice-cold Pepsi in a blizzard. Wouldn’t a hot coffee been a better idea? You’re such an A-hole, Geist ;)”)
Facebook is absolutely a wonderful thing. And media-friendly forums ABOUT Real-Life Superheros are a wonderful thing.
But if people with secret identities can’t have a place where, as a somewhat exclusive group can’t talk in privacy, then what’s the point of a forum FOR RLSHs?
I might for instance, want to give Razorhawk a hard time about his white and black costume concept, I might want to kid Superhero about his constant smile, I might want to wonder outloud why Watchman is never actually on the forums, and give a hard time to my Buddy Blue for thinking I’m not thinking of him. These are all dear friends of mine. And yeah, I want to give them some kidding. Can I do that in front of the world without you getting the wrong ideas? Not really.
But also, and more importantly, we need a place where RLSHs can speak of issues out of the media eye. I mean, we need to talk about potential press coverage and whether “this or that” might be a good idea, based partially upon our friends’ opinions. Or whether “this or that” was the right approach on a patrol we just had.
“What would you have done? I’m such an F-up. How can I do better next time?”
Over the years, some incredibly private issues have been brought up from our number of RLSH friends. Some of them even put to group discussions. Granted, I’m thinking back to when there were fifty of us online and not 750 or whatever. But there are still some things that I would like to hear about or talk about that are JUST private and among like-minded friends. No offense…
That’s just my take on the current trends.
All My Best,