Forums

As I said in my last post, the lampworking community and my place in it has a lot to do with my current state of mind. Last year I started the Glass Haven as a response to what I thought was what people were saying about the existing forums:

  • The Big Forum (BF) is too big, too snarky, and has a ridiculous signal/noise ratio and way too much drama.
  • The Old Forum (OF) is not very friendly (they ran off the BF people) and a wasteland.
  • The Hostile Forum (HF) had gotten, well, really really hostile and full of drama as well.

People were saying that they wanted a friendly place to talk lampworking and hang out, one that was moderated just enough so that you could freely express yourself as long as it was done in a civilized manner. They wanted a place where you weren’t going to be viciously attacked just for saying something that someone else disagreed with, a place where name-calling and gratuitous insults weren’t allowed, a drama-free zone.

So I set up the Glass Haven. People came, for a while. But after six months or so, the traffic started to dwindle, and by now is down to a slow crawl. So now it’s a catch-22 situation — I’ve been told by a number of former regulars that they don’t visit because it’s slow and there’s not that much to talk about, but it’s slow because people aren’t visiting and talking!? Hel-LO!!!? Tell me, just what am I supposed to do about that? Talk to myself all the time?

Instead, they spend their time at BF and HF, and they are still griping about those forums’ same old flaws. I feel like a lot of the people who claimed to want a friendly drama-free zone to actually discuss glass really weren’t telling the truth, and that the drama is a huge part of the draw of those two forums. People say they don’t want it but they are almost like junkies.

I’ve invested a crazy amount of time over the past fourteen months in TGH, and now I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if it’s worthwhile to continue, or to scale back, or just let it go. It makes me want to cry (or maybe throw up) when I think about all that I’ve put into it, at the expense of my own lampworking and growing my own business. The rather small amount of money I’ve invested isn’t the issue — it’s all about the TIME.? With all that time I could have been melting glass, experimenting with new techniques, taking photographs, getting my own works out there on the Web and advertising them so people would be aware of them and BUY them. But here I am, frustrated and disappointed.

I know better than to make any major decision in the throes of a depressive episode, so nothing’s going to happen right away.? But still…


3 comments

    • Amy K on October 31, 2008 at 9:23 am

    I know you were already tagged, so you don’t have to DO this, but you were my pick! 🙂

    http://blog.torchbynight.com/?p=188

    As for the forum- I have a bad habit of getting into things, spending a lot of time on it, then slowly moving away from it. After a while, I’ve been away long enough that I’m just EMBARRASSED to go back. Isn’t that stupid?? As for the OF, BF, and HF, I don’t go there at all. Just being antisocial, I guess. And that’s stupid too! I will go check in there today!

    • A on October 31, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    HUGS. I have felt the same way. Didn’t put in the hours you did –can’t code PHP — but I’ve tried to keep it going and have just gotten tired.

    Lessee if we can round people up!

    • Marcy on October 31, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    If it makes you feel better, it seems like most of my etsy street teams’ forums are so much slower and less attended. It’s been decreasing over the last half a year at least.

    I’m sorry it’s contributing to your depression and I wish I had an answer for you, but I wonder whether it will change again when the economy does.

    Marcy

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