I finally had (read: took) some time to sit down and actually comb through some of the site's old content for the first time since the week of release.
I decided I'd start in the old Kickback Cafe threads where topics were general and relatively pointless. I'm about to walk the fine line of my own rules here...
I started at the earliest posts and worked my way forward in time...until I ran into a thread from Sept 2004 where a number of people voiced their concerns about how the content started to get pointless. Names were named, fingers were pointed, and confessional apologies were offered otherwise.
September 2004 - the site was launched mid-April 2003, and rebuilt from scratch January 2004, and the content had already started to stagnate 9 months later. Granted, we lost all the content from the previous year - where another member had somewhere around 4000 posts, and was out-doing my own post-count on the site. So it was a good chunk of content.
But in this thread of frustration, many people decried the content, except one who had been going through a tough time, and wanted to post more serious stuff related to their current experiences, but held back because they didn't think it fit with the overall topic of the site.
The site was intended to be about anything and everything - but I guess it got to be about very little and nothing, devolving into what exists as the current social media offerings: tell me more about me.
This reboot is supposed to bring people face to face with their past mistakes so they can learn from them. I have found myself correcting some of my behaviors even here on the site compared to how I would have handled them in the past - I am trying to be more open and understanding when presented with any frustrations or suggestions related to the site...to try and see it from the user's point of view and find a solution that makes it better for everyone.
One of those behaviors that I haven't fixed yet, but intend to tonight, is to actually try and do what I set out to do with this reboot of the site - start real discussions where they otherwise couldn't be held. So you'll see some topics that touch on some issues that would otherwise cause you to hide the post on Facebook - or roll your eyes with distaste as the comment section gets rent asunder.
Not here though - if you have something you want to talk about, let's make this site about that - no matter how serious. Use fake names, use fake people... "I've got a friend who...my thoughts are...your thoughts?"...don't be afraid to post something you think might not be taken well.
I'll make the first move.
"Because I choose to."