LL have finally made the announcement we have been dreading. On the 9th of February 2010 Linden Labs will close the current vBulletin Forums and everyone is expected to use their new integrated Clearspace software blog style forums. This move has made me sad, but also pretty angry. The Linden refuse to listen to their customers, and insist on shooting themselves in the foot at every step. I'm disappointed that they insist on going ahead with such a stupid move to blog software which is, to put it simply - utter shit. I won't go into detail, just take a look at the discussion. The more I read the angrier I got. I wont post a response, because it wont do any good. I can't work the blog-forums - they are too buggy and the layout/colours give me a major headache, so I'm not going to moving with them. Neither, I suspect, will a lot of people.
I first found the SL Forums back in October 2007, and immediately found a home, first as a lurker, then as a regular poster. I felt nervous at joining what was clearly a well established community, and yet they all were so very kind to me. Sally and Bilbo welcomed me and made me part of the Brit club lol, while Brenda, Trout, Chris, Ann, and many others managed to give me a big laugh every day. Many of the people I know from the forums have moved on to other places, however I still remember them, and am grateful every day for the fun they added to the place - for making me feel like family. They also invited me to the Forum Cartel Hangout where I've had many many fun times and is always my home point when I have no land in SL.
The most memorable part of the forums has probably been the infamous "just ignore and let this one die" thread. Its the one I've often referred to as the Undead Thread because it just wont die.
It started off with one of the forumites asking for help with something, realising how to fix it, then editing the post to ak people to ignore the thread. People immediately jumped in, joking while keeping the thread in view. Adding more an more posts. Noone thought it would last, people were wishing it would die. I completely ignored it as I had been away for a while and hadn't kept up with it. Finally it got to about 100 pages long and I thought I might as well jump in.
I've been a part of it ever since. I've been and gone and come back again and the Thread has remained to welcome me back.
This thread has spawned many laughs, which have often bled inworld (such as me gaining my very own stalker!). There have been picture days, where everyone posts a picture of a particular theme, and food posted everyday by the lovely Maureen. Party invites have been issued, attended, and dissected the next day on there. I find the thread to be like a home for me. Even when there are disagreements, I love the place. I count many of the posters as friends and family.
The Undead thread has now grown to over 100,000 posts, 6700 pages, 900,000 views...its truly immense. And yet its is still a very friendly place.
Not for much longer though. In just a few days it is all going to be scrapped, and we're all going to have to go our own ways. Some will go to other forums, some will stay with LL, some will leave altogether. I for one, will be heading over to SCII where I hope to find my new home. No doubt I will pop into the odd place here and there, and I'll probably see people inworld, but it feels like the end of an era - and it is. It wont ever be the same again.
I'm going to make the most of the rest of the week we have left, but I know, when the time comes, saying goodbye will be incredibly difficult. I don't have the words to express how I feel at the loss of such a place, and I know there will be more tears.