|Except I'm not NEARLY that attractive!|
Years and years ago, so many that even historians have now lost count, I helped administrate an online forum community. The moderator staff was great, and I would buy any one of them a beer if I ran into them. That was never the problem. The joy of discussion with interesting, like-minded individuals from around the world quickly waned as I had to deal with all kinds of blah-blah and drama and hate (even a few threats) on every level. Finally, a minor issue arose and it became the straw that broke my back. I was bleary-eyed and sallow-skinned from so many hours inside, on the keyboard, explaining yet again that calling other people names is NOT a valid argument strategy. After the dust settled, I resigned my position.
Suddenly, I didn’t know what to do with myself.
I went outside, and discovered the sun still shone, birds sang, children played (and not just with electronic devices).
I vowed to never administrate another online group!
Well, that worked really well for about ten years. After I published my first group, I joined all kinds of Facebook communities to try to learn, gain assistance, and (hopefully) promote. I stumbled into a group—Fantasy & Science Fiction Writers—and . . . nothing. The group was kind of dead. There were a few stalwart members, but nothing of note was occurring. There was no drama, no hate, no angry arguments dealing with the Nth degree of pedantry. Days or even a full week would pass where no discussions happened.
The thing was, there were a couple of very smart, very dedicated, even professional, writers in the group. If I had a real problem, I could post my question, and count on them to actually answer it! The only trouble was that the guy running the place wasn’t the original founder, and he didn’t really have time to manage it effectively.
One day, he posted that he was going to shut it down.
|This never gets old.|
I wasn’t too heart-broken. There wasn’t much community to the group and there a ba-jillion other groups where similar information can be had—after sorting through all the folk who tell you why it can’t be done the way you want to do it. But I did like the intimacy of posting and receiving a direct answer.
I made a mistake. I spoke to the guy directly, offered some of my administrator advice and lessons-learned. Stupid, stupid, stupid. The guy offered me a job. I’m pretty certain I turned him down flat the first time. He offered again. He talked me into it, the jerk.
That was some four years ago, almost to the day.
This morning, as I was going about my duties, checking flagged posts and whatnot, we suddenly had an influx of nearly 100 new members. That never happens. At most, we get twenty, and that’s if none of the other moderators have done any work over the weekend. Turns out, we’re internet famous, and it’s exactly how I would want to be described:
Fantasy & Science Fiction Writers
Are you into Sci-Fi and world building? Then you’ll love the Fantasy & Science Fiction Writers group on Facebook. You can post small pieces of work for critique and exchange ideas with other like-minded writers. You’ll get valuable feedback without ridicule or sarcasm. They like to focus on the actual writing part, not on promoting themselves to the group. Spam and promotion are anathema, so only join this group if you’re a serious Sci-Fi / Fantasy writer who wants to learn the craft from other, more experienced authors.
It's not me. I can assure you. Anyone who knows me will attest to this in court.
It’s all the hard work and dedication of the other moderators that we’ve added over the years, and the core of dedicated writers who work very hard to answer questions that are being asked. It’s a really nice feeling to be part of something that has been recognized in this way.