So I have for a long time been around the inter-webs, I remember the old days of BBS and MUDS and stuff like that. Hell I remember telnetting into data directories because it was fun to learn (gasp!). When they began, 4CHAN and /B and other places of redundant logic I used to find funny, now that I am older, I don't.
What am I getting at?
In the last six months in particular the online groups dedicated to hobby have seen some pretty vicious flame-wars, personal attacks (online and offline), and a massive growth of profanity that is getting well and truly out of control. I used to be a regular on the old GW hobby forums, and after a while they got carried away, notice how they got the axe when the new revamps of the site happened. I am sure if the members where better behaved they would have stayed, although that is speculation on my part that you can feel free to dismiss if you are so inclined. BOLS I used to frequent almost daily, this has stopped with the recent wave of spite spreading across the group. Hell, Spencer over at 40K Radio shut his podcast down because of threats/abuse levelled against him and his family by gutless people who, quite clearly, have no sense of honour or integrity.
So You're Saying What Now?
We are all fans of little plastic and metal collectable models...
We all have "Real Lives."
Many of us have Wives/Kids/Family, some of us Are Kids or have kids that browse!
Occasionally we ALL need to take a deep breath before we hit that "send" button and realise we need to grow up and be decent members of society.
Do I agree with everything everyone says online? Of course not, I am human and like to form my own opinions, and it is unhealthy not to. However belittling, threatening or abusing Fellow Hobbyists because they have a different opinion is just downright low. Period. Using profanity or sexualised commentary for the sake of it, and for attention grabbing factors are just immature and a downright waste of space. There really is no excuse for it.
So What Am I Getting At?
I want to thank Ron, and all the other members of FTW for running a tight ship. The rules are easy to stick to and well written, so you are well aware if you are doing anything wrong. John Lambshead, Drax, Mr Justin, Dave Taylor and Corbs, Mike & John at Santa Cruz are among the list of bloggers I have the greatest respect for. They contribute great things in a well spoken manner that should be an example to all of us. As a group I think that FTW is one of the best groups online, member-wise and content-wise, because of the rules rather than in spite of them. The things you say and do define how people perceive and remember you. The fact it has great tips and content is what made me join FTW. The mature, well-written posts by the members is what makes me stay and promote the group. It is the same thing that has lead Ron and the Boys to take on the Storm Wardens Charity Project. Giving your time, for free, to something greater than yourself is a great thing. While time issues prevents me from chipping in, I applaud the team and will definitely be doing some Ticket shopping as soon as my pay check clears.
So Thanks FTW Members for being a shining beacon in the darkness.
Lastly; If you read this and have a similar story of why you like/joined FTW or a particular blog, drop us a line. You never know it might kick off something regular or, at the very least, spark some interesting intellectual stimulation.