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  1. #1

    We don't need a new forum, we need a new fandom

    I'm seeing this discussion go on FAF about the future of that forum, or if it has one. I think it's fitting to start a similar thread here but I'm going to come at it from another angle. In their thread, the discussion has already started to turn to what looks like an emphasis on the reality that it's not really even the administrators and moderators that are the problem, though they're an important part of it. From what I read, people are starting to wake up the realization that it's really a new kind of fandom we need.

    When I first started exploring the furry fandom, it was through the therian/otherkin (but mostly therian) communities. Yeah, see, even though it was called "the were community" by a lot of people, we also understood that realistically, every site, forum, chat, whatever the social "hub" was at the time, that's its own community for all intents and purposes. So, that community always had a struggle between its ideals and reality. The most notable difference about furry I found back then aside from the emphasis on sexuality was there being a sense of a broader community within and even on the periphery of the furry fandom. There was not nearly the excessive levels of anger, hate, intolerance, ignorance, or petty, interpersonal politics that I see now.

    I couldn't tell you exactly when all this started or how. But what I'm saying is, we've turned into a culture of assholes. This isn't a good look for us. I'm not even talking about as a fandom. Do you seriously think I give a big empty field of fucks about our reputation? I'm talking about as a community, we need to stop this bullshit. I don't believe for a moment that any furry who really is a furry joins and involves themselves in the fandom just to be a professional prick. I certainly didn't. But it's what happens. The problem I'm faced with here is I know the how... But not the why.

    That is what I'm going to need your help with. That and how to change not a forum or a fandom, but a culture. If you're going to try to argue it's a losing battle, futile, etc, you might as well turn around because you clearly do not know precisely the kind of hard-headed, hard-nosed, foot-in-your-ass, stubborn son of a bitch I am if you think I just "give up" on things once my mind is made up.

  2. #2
    Senior Rilvor's Avatar
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    Frankly from what I've found after all these years, the why really isn't important. Be the change you want to see and people will rally around you. Cut the bad influences out of your life is common wisdom, so cut the bad influences out of your social circles. But I guess that's easier said than done, for most people.

  3. #3
    Senior Vae's Avatar
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    I think a large amount of the problem is simply that people become too entrenched in their fandoms and their subcultures.

    Rather than exercising appropriate caution and praising or chastising certain exhibited behaviors by (what is often) complete strangers,
    people overlook this process, because they've established an emotional connection out of mutual interest, being a part of the fandom. This creates a sense of bond or kinship, when really, I think there needs to be more of a detachment there.

    I'm not saying that people in fandoms shouldn't become friends.
    I've made some good friends out of fandom.
    But furries should not feel a need to associate exclusively within the furry "community," or feel a sense of connection with individual people in the fandom when they haven't done anything to validate that connection yet.
    Same with any group. Same with goths. Same with gamers. Same with Homer Simpson tentacle mpreg business suit enthusiasts.

    Furries stick with furry sites. With furry groups. With other furries.
    And that's why things like FA can thrive, despite all their bullshit, because furries still feel a need to congregate exclusively amongst "their own."

    I don't think furries need a new fandom.
    I just think they need to learn how to dip their hands in the pool just a little bit without diving headlong and letting it control what sites they should be using and what groups and people they should be associating with.
    Cut down the people who exhibit shitty behaviors not as "cleaning the fandom," but just as them being shitty people.
    Move away from sites that screw over their user bases.
    Spice up their lives with more flavors than just the ones that taste of fur.


    I apologize if this doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
    My brain's still half asleep.
    Resident Koopa Trash

  4. #4
    Senior Rilvor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vae View Post
    I think a large amount of the problem is simply that people become too entrenched in their fandoms and their subcultures.

    Rather than exercising appropriate caution and praising or chastising certain exhibited behaviors by (what is often) complete strangers,
    people overlook this process, because they've established an emotional connection out of mutual interest, being a part of the fandom. This creates a sense of bond or kinship, when really, I think there needs to be more of a detachment there.

    I'm not saying that people in fandoms shouldn't become friends.
    I've made some good friends out of fandom.
    But furries should not feel a need to associate exclusively within the furry "community," or feel a sense of connection with individual people in the fandom when they haven't done anything to validate that connection yet.
    Same with any group. Same with goths. Same with gamers. Same with Homer Simpson tentacle mpreg business suit enthusiasts.

    Furries stick with furry sites. With furry groups. With other furries.
    And that's why things like FA can thrive, despite all their bullshit, because furries still feel a need to congregate exclusively amongst "their own."

    I don't think furries need a new fandom.
    I just think they need to learn how to dip their hands in the pool just a little bit without diving headlong and letting it control what sites they should be using and what groups and people they should be associating with.
    Cut down the people who exhibit shitty behaviors not as "cleaning the fandom," but just as them being shitty people.
    Move away from sites that screw over their user bases.
    Spice up their lives with more flavors than just the ones that taste of fur.


    I apologize if this doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
    My brain's still half asleep.
    It makes perfect sense, it's essentially what I am saying but with far more elaboration. You and I are good examples of people that exist in multiple groups but are not chained to any of them.

  5. #5
    Well, obvious we don't literally need a new fandom. The furry fandom will always be the furry fandom until something magically stops people from being furries. What I mean is we need to be a new kind of fandom. The therian community pretty much no longer exists. Not the way it once did, that's for damn sure. And in terms of how the various hubs and nodes of the community were run and the prevailing culture in them, you'll just have to take my word that I noticed a decline in one when I noticed a decline in the other. And people in those corners of the internet wondered aloud, much like they are now on our side, things like "what's the future of x-forum or site, where do we go from here?" and, yes, "why has everyone in power suddenly vanished?".

    Now, there will always be a furry fandom, because there will always be furries being fans until, again, things change much more drastically than they have in the past 20 years let alone the past 2 months. And there are still plenty of therians and otherkin. But if you see what constitutes a "community" for them, bluntly, it's really sad and pitiful to look at. And if there being much of a community at all for furries matters to furries, they need to start tackling those questions and start coming up with better answers than what the therians did.

    But really, their biggest mistake was most of them sat on their hands and waited for "smarter people" to fix everything. You know who the smarter people ended up being for most of those at the time? The furry fandom. It just made more sense on way more levels once the were community became what it did, which is turning into a reflection of us, now. Basically they couldn't come up with a good foundation to base a community on, there was no one in the middle to help bridge those gaps, and people mistook people with big personalities and big ideas for problem solvers and real, outside the box thinkers.

    Well, already, one forum has been hollowed out only to be filled to the brim with utter shite. Sure, it's entertaining, but so was Beavis and Butthead. You didn't care that much about the Beavis and Butthead fandom, though, did you? I did for about a day, then after reading enough Geocities pages dedicated to the duo, I realized there really isn't much more to the shit than meets the eye and moved on to more interesting and fulfilling things. And, while Weasyl hasn't had a massive influx of users yet, you do see a trickle. With FAF's future seemingly in limbo right now, y'all ought to not assume it will stay at a trickle.

    And then what? What does this community really want for itself, that's the question.

  6. #6
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    It's hard to give an honest answer right now. I am terribly detached from communities such as this, so I feel what little input I have is not what others are looking for. This community definitely needs to decide what it wants, and definitely needs to start putting a bit more thought into the way it expresses itself.

    For me, it is hard to not see it as the cyclical nature of things.

  7. #7
    Well yeah, it's all cyclical. Like, I'm not entirely without faith that even therianthropy could find itself again, be something good. Maybe not exactly like it started out. Maybe how it started out was part of what led to its decline. And I've seen plenty of sites and communities go through troubles and bounce back. The difference is which ones know what part of a cycle they're in and how to take it as the opportunity it is to change course.

    Really, my only decent suggestion I can come up with other than more people starting their own sites for the sake of having lots of sites which is I actually believe what was one of the original problems with therianthropy (again, it puzzles me exactly how furry started out similarly but, initially, managed to largely avoid the tribalism involved) is to think outside the box and I guess that goes back to what's been mentioned several times here: a tangible connection to the community as in our sites and forums is not necessary and could even be an advantage. Free speech can only ever truly be free when either there's no delete/ban button nearby or the one with his finger on it doesn't give enough of a shit about your rep or your grievances to be your personal call center any time someone on the internet calls you a bad name or even criticizes you for anything. If they have no personal ties or investments in the fandom, where do their loyalties lie? Somewhere other than either party and that's crucial.

    I think I might have stumbled onto one of my own answers there though, or at least started getting somewhere. Originally in the fandom, the were community, like in pretty much all the internet back then, most if not everything was self-made, self-produced, self-directed, and made with self-purpose. So the individuals were the ones responsible mostly for their own success and failure, and there was enough degrees of separation between various actors that even petty personal disputes could be easily kept between said individuals without dragging huge chunks of the community in.

    How to replicate that kind of ethos now, I'm not sure but yes, I think clearly part of the problem is the "top down" model the modern, commercial internet has created and spoon fed for us since (or probably just before) the "web 2.0" era. Furries and therians alike tried to be more like "social media" but didn't realize they had neither the tools, the tech, the training or even the right demographics for anything remotely close to what they probably envisioned. They were trying to apply new concepts they barely understood to old, rickety structures and only proved how flawed the model is.

    Look man, the kind of shit you see in the fandom now, where an entire community can pretty much be centered around a single person or a handful of people, I saw it start happening in the were community before I saw it here but the results were the same. And the difference was in theory, it should have worked out better for the therians because they had more, smaller "cults of personality" revolving around whatever middling success of an artist or thinker cared enough to shamelessly self-promote. So there were all these alternatives at the time, and they all dried up one by one? Why? Because, same fucking politics, same fucking entirely different culture to use as an alternative to that entire community. So, same results.

    I almost think furries need to come up with like, a constitution or something to prevent certain shit we just don't want ever happening again from happening. Let's face it it's why the original one was done up. Maybe the first thing we need to do is just realize we all need boundaries, guidelines, at least some modicum of respect for others rights and boundaries. I feel like I'm repeating history here, like someone might have tried this once, but, um...

    Fuck 'em. They can suck these fresh debut LP nuts, while you at it gimme them Jordans.

  8. #8
    Regular redregon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf-Bone View Post
    I'm seeing this discussion go on FAF about the future of that forum --- That and how to change not a forum or a fandom, but a culture. If you're going to try to argue it's a losing battle, futile, etc, you might as well turn around because you clearly do not know precisely the kind of hard-headed, hard-nosed, foot-in-your-ass, stubborn son of a bitch I am if you think I just "give up" on things once my mind is made up.
    You can never change "the" world. You can only change "your" world.

    What I mean by this is that you can only be assured of ever being able to change one person's behaviour, mannerisms, attitude, etc... And that's you.

    There's no practical way to change how other people behave without risking far more which tarnishes the moral high ground required when demanding people adhere to a particular set of philosophical goals or a social mandate.

    You can only change how you are...

    And really, saying "The fandom is the one to blame"...?

    Really? You're blaming everyone else for your jerkish-ness?

    Dude, nobody forced you to become a jerk. You chose to become a jerk. The fandom does indeed HAVE jerks within it but every community ever alive has had jerks. It's the "Village Idiot" theory. Every village has em. No exceptions.

    Besides, whether you have the ability to do so is inconsequential when you should be asking if you have the right to do so in the first place.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf-Bone View Post
    What I mean is we need to be a new kind of fandom.
    Because the burned furs worked out really well last time, eh?

  9. #9
    Senior Kurk2288's Avatar
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    I don't think Wolf-bone is trying to say "The fandom is the one to blame". I also don't really see how he's "blaming" everyone else for his "jerkish-ness". If you got spats with him, why not take the fisty-cuffs to PM Redregon?

    Village idiot =/= Jerk.
    Besides those are typically used for "people that don't agree with me" or "I don't like your tone Mr".

    Back ontopic,
    I wouldn't consider myself apart of the furry fandom, but I do dwell these forums. Honestly, you can't change cultures- but you can always create new ones. As for community, specifically this forum and website. It's a matter of cultivating what kind of neighborhood you want, and what kind of people you want to attract or move in. Too simplified I know, but maybe next post?

  10. #10
    Regular redregon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurk2288 View Post
    I don't think Wolf-bone is trying to say "The fandom is the one to blame". I also don't really see how he's "blaming" everyone else for his "jerkish-ness". If you got spats with him, why not take the fisty-cuffs to PM Redregon?

    Village idiot =/= Jerk.
    Besides those are typically used for "people that don't agree with me" or "I don't like your tone Mr".

    Back ontopic,
    I wouldn't consider myself apart of the furry fandom, but I do dwell these forums. Honestly, you can't change cultures- but you can always create new ones. As for community, specifically this forum and website. It's a matter of cultivating what kind of neighborhood you want, and what kind of people you want to attract or move in. Too simplified I know, but maybe next post?
    No, I'm pretty sure he's saying that the fandom is shaping how he conducts himself...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf-Bone View Post
    I don't believe for a moment that any furry who really is a furry joins and involves themselves in the fandom just to be a professional prick. I certainly didn't. But it's what happens.
    When one chooses to abandon accountability towards certain behaviour they show, they are essentially trying to shift the blame on to someone or something else rather than accepting their share of responsibility in allowing said behaviour to take hold and flourish in their psyche. IT's also why people like to lie... We want the comfort of being secure in our selves (or our sense of selves) but we often don't want to face the struggle or the consequences associated with those comforts (either attaining or maintaining them.)

 

 

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