Forums: Can't live with em, can't live without em

esart

esart.com
Founding member
Over 500 posts
I recently got chased out of another forum that I frequented for about a year and a half. It was an arts forum, and the main one I sought for refuge.

I was just wondering if this is your only forum or if you are part of others, or one other, or several. Or maybe it's just all about Bukowski, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year?

For me, I am quite obsessed about art. I can talk about it, think about it, read about it for the above duration. Now I'm pretty much left with nadda. The forum I just left - even that one was never enough action for me. Ha!

There were some problems with that forum as well. I was basically anonymous (a good thing actually) but a few people began to figure out who I was. MJP pointed out that the place was "beneath" me, and without sounding conceited, it was for the majority of the members, so I wound up helping people more than I received peer advice.

About a year ago, I started my own "Pro" arts forum, but it was really hard to keep it flowing and to get people to participate. It made me see what a major endeavor and undertaking MJP had in putting this place together to make it what it is today.

Then there are my thought about how much time one should even spend on a forum at all. I find a lot of satisfaction in it, while others feel it is a waste of time. Life is short. Do what makes you feel good. Your take?

And this was all TMI, right? The very reason I was chased out of my old forum: over-sharing.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Over 5000 posts
This, of course, the ONLY forum that matters. I have gone on a few others from time to time, but feel like an intruder. I am on the other side of the in-jokes, etc...

I am the member of a couple e-mail groups. In those cases, they are full of people that I would never want to meet and have nothing, except letterpress (and then maybe not so much) in common with them.

Bill
 

gbsupbowl

Over 100 posts
i've checked out some other literature forums, but this is the only one i've frequently returned to
 

esart

esart.com
Founding member
Over 500 posts
This, of course, the ONLY forum that matters. I have gone on a few others from time to time, but feel like an intruder. I am on the other side of the in-jokes, etc...

I am the member of a couple e-mail groups. In those cases, they are full of people that I would never want to meet and have nothing, except letterpress (and then maybe not so much) in common with them.
And I feel like the outsider here. Heh.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
I've been to a few different forums, a jazz one, baseball and a writing one. I still lurk them, but rarely participate. they were fine, but this one feels like home.

I've made a lot of "friends"* here, which never happened at the others.


*are people on the internet that you've never met in person still friends? I think so.
 

Joseph K

Over 100 posts
I used to go to a David Lynch forum (Twin Peaks Gazette) for about 6 years. During the last two years fewer regular members posted and the pages became silted up with some weirdos and one guy with Apserger's (I mean, he genuinely had it, he wasn't some disaffected teenager). It was so depressing to see the forum replies all by one or two members that I went there even more infrequently until I went by in January and found the place had closed. A real shame. I don't really have time for more than one (or possibly two) forum as I have a heap of work.
(That's why I haven't played a computer game since the age of 13 - I just know it would swallow up my time if I gave in to it.)
I like this place because members seem like rounded people (well, most), with normal lives and other interests. I think Buk's writing doesn't really encourage slavish following but tells you to think for yourself. So it breeds fans and enthusiasts rather than fanboys. Also helps that the average age of members here must be in the late 30s or 40s.
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
Over 1000 posts
This is my first and only forum. Five years ago, when I read my first msn message, I nearly checked the house to see if I were alone.

I find that I am a lot less physically active than I was before entering the forum, but a question such as what is fine art? for instance, has kept my mind busy for days.

I also made friends here, met a few fine ones in person too.
 

esart

esart.com
Founding member
Over 500 posts
I find that I am a lot less physically active than I was before entering the forum, but a question such as what is fine art? for instance, has kept my mind busy for days.
Yeah, I feel like that one won me some real popularity points here too.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Over 5000 posts
Hoochm*****9 asked if internet friends are REAL friends. Usually I would say, NO, but I have talked daily on this forum with many of you for almost 6 years now. I have met, in person and spent time with probably a dozen of you. Frankly, I know more about you folks than most of my other friends. One day we should schedule a large meeting in the US. L.A. would be the best place, probably. It would be cool to drink pitchers with more of you.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
I'm also a member of a history forum and a comic book forum, but Buknet is the only forum where I've met people I can relate to in many other ways than "just" Bukowski. It's also the forum where I feel best at home and where I feel we all have become friends over the years despite the fact I have'nt met any of you in person yet. I think the way we have been able to share not only the good things in our lives but also the bad things such as health problems, etc., says a lot about the high quality of our forum. So, to quote Bill, "This, of course, is the ONLY forum"!
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
Over 1000 posts
i used to post on a forum for a hardcore band (the "off topic" board was the most active, so it wasn't just a music forum), but i left after a few years when it seemed like every frequent poster became a caricature of him or herself. the only other forum i frequent nowadays is a general interest forum that i rarely post on, but i do read it every day. it's a lot of people whipping themselves into hysterics over nothing in particular. buk.net is the best forum.
 

esart

esart.com
Founding member
Over 500 posts
I think the way we have been able to share not only the good things in our lives but also the bad things such as health problems, etc., says a lot about the high quality of our forum.!
This is exactly where I ran into trouble. Specifically the sharing of the fact that I take meds, but it was added to all the other stuff I have shared, as my life and my art has no real separation. My part family dysfunction and the things I have been through are part of my art and my writing. It's on my blog and part of my public persona as an artist. Many of the artists on that forum spoke out about how "unwise" it was for me to divulge so much of this information and it put me into a tail spin. I realized I could not trust their advice as peers and left.

Still confused, I'm left to my own devices. But I came here to "over share" this information.

I have followed Bukowski's lead my whole life, but he did fictionalize himself as Chinaski. It makes me wonder if I should have created a bit of a mask for protection sake. But maybe the mask ate my face.
 

Digney in Burnaby

donkeys live a long time
Over 1000 posts
Registered at a few, mostly motorsport history. I tend to lurk, haven't much to contribute unless it's very local as some of the members on those groups are very knowledgeable. Probably have made more posts here than all the others added up.

And it's hard to remember some of these computer generated passwords. Little pieces of paper scattered around my laptop or I'd be hooped.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
This is exactly where I ran into trouble. Specifically the sharing of the fact that I take meds, but it was added to all the other stuff I have shared, as my life and my art has no real separation. My part family dysfunction and the things I have been through are part of my art and my writing. It's on my blog and part of my public persona as an artist. Many of the artists on that forum spoke out about how "unwise" it was for me to divulge so much of this information and it put me into a tail spin. I realized I could not trust their advice as peers and left.

Still confused, I'm left to my own devices. But I came here to "over share" this information.

I have followed Bukowski's lead my whole life, but he did fictionalize himself as Chinaski. It makes me wonder if I should have created a bit of a mask for protection sake. But maybe the mask ate my face.
Yes, of course your life is part of your art and writing, just as Bukowski's life, with all its problems, was part of his writings too. I don't see any reason why you should hide certain parts of your life from the public. The people who told you so probably meant well, but I don't think it was good advice. As for meds, hell, half the western world is on meds so it should'nt be something one needs to hide. Plus, the burden of having to hide parts of one's life is probably bigger than being open about it (I think for instance gay people would agree), and if some people can't handle the truth, then it's their problem and not yours, I think. Just my two cents...
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
Over 1000 posts
I've participated in other forums but for one reason or another, I've left all of them. The music forum became over-populated with general ass-holery and trolls. The trivia group went "right-wing" and intolerant when Bush got elected in 2000. An all-music trivia forum just died of attrition.

This forum is one of the best I've ever seen, much less participated in. One of its strongest qualities, in my opinion, is the near-zero tolerance of trolls. Occasionally they have short-term "punching-bag" value. Then they get disposed of. Why in the hell some forums want to be seen as super tolerant and non-judgmental is beyond me. Trolls waste everybody's time.

I don't feel I've spent "too much" time on any given forum. Maybe what it really comes down to is the members themselves. Everybody here is smart, interesting, and talented. They probably smell good too. And as much as I love Bukowski's writings, I know I would move on if it were run by jerks. Personally, I think online friends can count as "real" friends, whether or not you ever meet them. I would love to see a meet-up at some point but the actual logistics of that are probably tougher than I want to admit. But what the hell, here goes: Chicago is in the middle of the country with an international airport. My apartment could accommodate a few people. You guys figure out the details :)

But maybe the mask ate my face.
This made me laugh. I'm stealing it !
 

esart

esart.com
Founding member
Over 500 posts
number6horse: There is something out there, but I could not find it that entails "eating the mask," so I was referring to that, but it was hard to make a joke on something I can't find to reference (dammit!) But as I remember it, having the persona (mask) allows you to basically save your face. Let the public devour (eat) the mask, not you. But you already get it. Yeah. I just wonder where this comes from. I obsess on shit like that for days!
 
I'm a member on a climbing website that has a pretty good off-topic forum. I've been a member there since 2007 and my participation in the chatter and shenanigans there has waxed and waned over the years. Sometimes, I just get tired of it and lay off for awhile. Then, I'll go through a period where I'm on there a lot. I'm kinda this way with people. I like most of my friends in small doses. Then I gotta lay off and get back to myself.

Esart, I have an interest in the arts too. After putting it off for twenty years, I recently enrolled as a part-time art student. I was a husband, engineer and father for fifteen years, with no time for art. I recently unloaded some "dead weight" and now I've got time to do it. It's been good for me.
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
I'm a member of countless forums, be it about linux, animal rights, writing, books, ... let me think ... some about psychedelic drugs, marihuana, some technical stuff like the notebook and cellphone-brand I use and so on. Can't remember them all now. Some I post in, some I just read.

This one sticks out, I can verify that.

I get the cold turkey every time it goes down.
 

Rob.

Over 100 posts
The first forum I ever joined was for The Dresden Dolls. I still visit regularly, but rarely post as the membership has become younger and much less interesting.

I joined a spin off of that one when a member decided that more intelligent discussions could and should be held elsewhere.

I spend a lot of time on the Coachella forum- especially this time of year.

Finally, obviously, I visit here on occasion. I enjoy the conversations here, but feel that I rarely have anything of consequence to contribute. Maybe I'm the dumb one in this room.
 

growing beard

Over 100 posts
i joined this forum a long time ago like maybe in 2008 and some guys pissed me off and i didn't come back until now. i'll probably stick around this time. have the sense that i'm more apt to partake in stable long term relationships lol.

my two cents on 'why this forum' is that bukowski paved it, so it's got to be good. he had two qualities that while paradoxical and difficult to reconcile, make better people of all those who follow in his footsteps: 1. he would say things that other people wouldn't, in ways that they wouldn't dare ... a 'say anything' kind of guy. 2: his standards of language use were very high, so he made people more self conscious.

glad you all are still here. any road paved by buk deserves to be well traveled.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
glad you all are still here.
Well, we took a vote after you left the first time and it was very close. A lot of people wanted to close down the forum, but there were three more votes to keep it open, so the "keep it open" crowd won, but only by a narrow margin.

Just don't leave again, because I'm not sure the vote would turn out the same way if you did.
 

growing beard

Over 100 posts
the "keep it open" crowd won
aw. you remembered. i'm in the process of trying to change my username because the beard thing was a dark time that i'd rather not relive whenever it comes time to carouse in the forum. but i'll still use the fallout shelter image so everybody will know where to hide when things get crazy.

so what did i miss? has anything cool happened around here in the last four five years?
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
forums forums forums
forums forums forums
forums forums forums forums forums.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
Speaking of other forums, I have to spend some time on a forum about this forum software, and they had a long discussion about the death of forums, and how Facebook killed, or will eventually kill, all forums.

I think that's a foolish thing to believe if you know anything about how humans work, so I've never bought into the "forums are dead" mindset. I don't think they're killable.

This article, about how the tide is turning against Facebook, makes the point that forums will never die (though the author starts the article with the assumption that forums died a long time ago). Anyway, it's a good read.

A lot of private "community" (i.e. forum) software has come down the pipe, and it continues to come down the pipe, but nothing will ever beat a public forum. A well-moderated public forum is still essentially a private community. As I think we've proven.
 

zobraks

Moderator
Over 1000 posts
I've been a member of various forums from 2005 on and I still don't have a Facebook account.

A well-moderated public forum is still essentially a private community. As I think we've proven.
Hear, hear, hear...
 
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