EDIT: SOME PEOPLE DON'T KNOW SPONSOR CHAT EXISTS. PLOT TWIST, IT DOES. IT'S HERE: http://roosterteeth.com/group/sponsors/chat AND IT'S 95% FUNCTIONAL. COME SAY HI!
In Gotham, they have this piece of technology that they use to notify the city of danger. We know it as a giant spotlight with a bat symbol on it, and it shines into the night sky for all to see. This journal is my spotlight into the night sky of RT. Mine doesn't have a symbol because I don't know what can save us or what hope we have (it probably looks like a team web developers--kind of a lame silhouette if you ask me). If that sounds super doom and gloomy, GOOD, BECAUSE IT SHOULD.
The new site is destroying (destroyed?) the RT Community as we know it.
In 2003, I signed up to the site. It was a phpbb forum and I became a forum kid because that was all we had unless you lurked or didn't participate. Then in October 2004, I threw away my forum kid ways to become a journal kid because that was a thing. It was a natural fit for my narcisstic tendencies (I have 86 pages of journals). And I could write a hundred more journals on the differences between forums and journals, about the wars between the two types of people, etc. but it doesn't matter, they are both dying. I think.
HUGE DISCLAIMER: Everything I write might be wrong. The site is humongous. The nooks and crannies I have made my home on the site might be the only ones dying, and I'll never know how thriving the community actually is because I am too lazy to look outside my front door at the rest of the site. BUT I am too lazy to do the research and back up my claim because of how awful the new site is. I am going off hearsay, vibes, mumblings, rumblings, feelings, and the evidence in my own tiny parts of the RT site, so the grain of salt you take this with is pictured below. It's huge.
HOWEVER, the fact that you're reading this means you're in the nooks and/or crannies that I am in, so this will likely ring true for you. If I am wrong, please tell me what you see differently and where. Give me hope, please. Either way, this is still how I perceive the site and I don't think I am alone in that. And that is very sad.
Sponsor chat has been on life support ever since. It's tucked away in a corner of the site which doesn't help. You have to run the gauntlet of 30 clicks before you can get to it. A lot of my friends have already up and left. The threads I watch have a fraction of the activity in them compared to before. There are no moderators and that doesn't seem to even be a problem...I am guessing because there's nothing to moderate...because there's NO ACTIVITY ANYMORE. Just about no one I watch posts journals anymore. I don't even post journals anymore! I am the poster child for the journal kid community and I haven't posted a journal in 5 months (when sponsor chat came back and I needed to rally the santa hat avatar troops).
I'm not even going to get into the issues with the site, there have been threads already about that, months have gone by, and I STILL HAVE RANDOM PICTURES IN MY IMAGE GALLERY THAT ARE NOT MY OWN. What is going on?!
WAKE UP SHEEPLE! (I've always wanted to use that phrase) Aren't you angry? Your third place is dying! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_place) I wish I knew how to fix this. I feel helpless.
And this is tricky, because it might sound like I blame the developers for this, but I don't! The ones I know and have met seem to be good people. They aren't malicious and trying to kill the site on purpose. They might not care as much about the community as some of us, which certainly sucks, but that's not a fault. It's a sucky situation for everyone to be in. The site was rushed, came out well before it was polished and stable, some issues were fixed shortly after, then Barb posted a survey asking about what the community's issues were...we rallied and vented because we care so much, some of us felt good about it...aaaaaaaand then...has anything happened since? http://roosterteeth.com/post/51183792 That was six months ago!
The RT Community used to be so much more. We were enabled and mobilized by the site. The site is currently crippled. Nowadays I think of the RT Community as random people online all buying stuff from the same company and that's it. As time goes on that's probably going to become more and more true. Unless something changes.
And none of this is the worst part. The worst thing about it all is the Screw Attack merger with RT. They had a community site. It worked fine for them. Granted, it was a generic forum pre-packaged site that had their logo and color scheme slapped on it and nothing else, but it was highly functional. I signed up there to talk with the ones that were still clinging on for dear life. It was like being in a building as it slowly burned down. And they were told their content would be merged with this site. This...hot mess of a community site is now theirs. And they have to like it, or else! Some people said they weren't going to bother, and I don't even blame them, I just feel sorry for them.
If you're going to RTX this year, I hope you have fun. It may be the last place you can feel like you belong to something bigger than yourself without buying merch, tweeting, or sitting alone in front of a youtube machine.
Unless something changes.
*fade to black*
*lingering sense of uncertainty regarding the mic ever being picked up again*
Oh yeah it'll be my 13th year anniversary for the site (phpbb) in about a month. Starting to sound pretty unlucky.
*fade to black*