Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

My Website Forums

This will all sound stupid but damn I've got to let it out. Spacefem is what I've been on the 'net for almost five years now, and starting was a dream more fulfilling than I ever thought it'd be. People visiting my personality on the internet. Thousands a week. Getting my message out and telling 15 year old girls what I wish someone had told me when I was 15: be yourself. be strong. you don't need a boyfriend. you don't need to give yourself up like you see girls your age doing. Be a feminist. Be aware.

The problem I'm running into is this: I have a full-time job that does not involve being Spacefem, it involves being a 23 year old engineer in the middle of Kansas. It keeps me from spending time on my site. Issue? I didn't think so. I mean, why do I have to babysit a website?

I will tell you story.

There was a website and it was mine. I decided to start some forums. The forums got big. 400 members in three months. I got some moderators and put them in charge of everything. I picked moderators who I trusted, who'd been on the forums all along. But I didn't like how things were run. People were scared of the moderators... mods had power, they didn't. So I took away the roving band of moderators and gave them each a small part of the forums to look over, just to make sure people didn't go nuts and SPAM the hell out of the place. The moderators weren't happy with losing power, but the new people weren't as scared of the moderators. Time went on.

The moderators grew less and less happy. "The forums are going downhill," they said. "We are tired of reading middle schoolers writing rants about how they hate preps and school cafeteria food."

"Quit whining," I replied. "What's important is my message, and my site, and if middle schoolers are the ones posting here, then middle schoolers are the ones I care about."

The problem was that I wanted older, responsible moderators, who I trusted, in charge of a site full of young, crazy spacefemmers who I loved. The younger people who couldn't write very well were the majority. I said, "Why turn it into a bloodbath? Why can't the moderators just settle down? They can't beat them, so why not join them?" I told the moderators this, and they doubted me. I took away the modertor's power some more. "If they're going to try to make my site something it's not," I said to myself, "I'll make them less powerful, so it won't be as painful to the younger members."

The moderators bitched, whined, complained, and started leaving. I was left with a few that seemed loyal, but still very unhappy. The moderators said the forums would keep going downhill. The moderators did not remind me that they were there every day reading posts, and I was working as an engineer and visiting the forums only to do administrative maintenance, but I know that's what they were thinking. I know that's what I was thinking.

I started to wonder if I was catering to not only the younger members, but the stupider, younger members. I started to worry about losing my moderators who I trusted.

Then I thought, "People are still joining. I do not need those moderators, I have an endless supply of members wanting to moderate. is great. is not like other forums, where moderators are in short supply. has made it this far, and I don't care what form it's in, it will continue to make it."

I think there is a natural cycle to everything internet. People join a site, love a site, leave a site, sometimes in a matter of weeks, sometimes in a matter of seconds. My moderators who worked hard for me... they would have left eventually, no matter what I tried to do. There will always be new people that the moderators can not relate to. So far, there've been 100 new members this month. That's who I'm going to cater to.

Spacefem is the internet, the internet is spacefem. Looking ahead, seeking out what's new, going with whatever comes. Not trying to be something she's not. When friends visit your house, you serve food you know they'll like. When they move in, they'll eat whatever you bought at the store that week. If they don't like it, they move out, but still meet you from time to time at a restaurant where you can both eat what you like and share a pleasant conversation. is my house that people move in to. They get what they get.

I'm going to be okay with that from now on.
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