One of the things we’ve decided to fore go with the new There is the hosting of forums. The reason for this is that moderating the forums is a
full-time job (or more!), and is impossible to do well if you happen to be an “interested party”, as we would be. There are all kinds of contradictions
and conundrums, such as “Ok, No hate speech, except if it’s hate speech against Makena for raising prices on Funzones, then moderating it
would be violating our right of Free Speech” (a real example, I’m afraid). It goes the other way, too. If Makena is hosting the forums, and there
is any hint of favoritism (real or imagined) towards a member, or designer, that becomes a problem.
When you consider that we would have to pay people to do this, along with their benefits, etc, etc, and pay someone like me for the occasional “we have to talk to the manager” type deals, you can well imagine it doesn’t fit with There’s new “lean and mean” lifestyle.
But, we know that forums are an important part of any community, for a whole list of reasons.
That’s why we have decided to officially suggest There members use Thumdar’s Virtual World Community site as their forum for There discussion. To that end, Makena Technologies is covering the cost of moving Thumdar.com to what we hope will be a faster server to not only make Thumdar.com faster for everyone, but to make sure an influx of There members doesn’t cause a problem.
There are some nuances to this arrangement worth noting:
. We don’t control what Thumdar does. We generally believe the community and standards of behavior there are representative of the There Community, so we’re not very concerned about what goes on. Like most online communities, Thumdar.com has it’s own standards and rules, which you can read about here:
. We don’t say how the funds will be used. It’s not enough for Thumdar to run off to Mexico and retire, so we’re pretty sure they’ll use it to benefit their community by putting Thumdar.com on faster servers. Depending on how things go, we may contribute more money, so they can do other things. The important thing is, we think this will benefit all members of Thumdar.com, whether or not they are There members. Heck, even banned There members.
. We really don’t care what you say there, it’s up to you. If you want to create 43 threads on “Why Michael Wilson is a ButtHead”, go for it. If you want to create 12 threads on “Demand Cats”, go for it. Thumdar wouldn’t allow us to interfere with that, and that’s just how we like it.
When we were setting this up, Thumdar asked us for a list of the old forums from There.com. We don’t have one, which is ok, since I think the first topic should be “How should we organize the There Forums”. We think you guys should work it out. You may even want to create a Forum Advisory Board, if nothing else so you can call it the FAB.
Of course, we will be reading the forums, and will figure out how best we should participate in them. It’s to our advantage to be active as appropriate, but now
it’s our choice as “Citizens of Thumdar” rather than “Welllll, we really don’t want to get involved in this discussion, but it is on our forums…”
Finally, we don’t know what we’re going to do about Club Forums yet. We might abandon them. We might support them on There.com. We might find a way
to move the to Thumdar.com. We don’t know yet.
We hope you’re as excited about this as we are. Over time, you will see the links to the forums change to point to Thumdar.com, so it will all be “automatic”.
And now, a word from Thumdar:
It’s a thrill and an honor to have been selected for the opportunity to work with Makena Technologies and be associated more directly with the brilliant virtual world of There.com. Members of the social 3D virtual world community have learned a lot about what makes a virtual world enjoyable and, with the closing of There back in March 2010, we learned how truly incredible There really is (and how much we missed it). Now that There is reopening, the excitement is palpable and we here at Thumdar.com are eager to get things rolling!
Through the past 7 years Thumdar.com has enjoyed being a part of the There community and have had fun doing so. We have always encouraged members to express themselves, be creative, make friends and contribute and now this is more true than ever. Since we will be supporting There more directly, we continue to promote open dialog and freedom of speech. That being said, we encourage everyone to read the “Rules” page at the top of the Thumdar.com forums to better understand what is expected.
Clearly this announcement from Michael Wilson indicates his commitment to the There community and that we are that much closer to seeing There opened to the public. How exciting is that?! I personally look forward to seeing you all in There and discussing it in the Thumdar.com forums!
Thanks to everyone, and have fun over there!