As a relative newcomer, I'd like to stand up for this forum and, in particular, its users.
There is nothing in the world that would keep me here if it were not for the warmth and welcome that I found. I am amazed, daily, at the LACK of "clique-y" ness and the number of knowledgeable and caring people.
I've participated in many forums in my day (since 1994 when they were BBSes). I've run my own forums and have even been a moderator for a professional game developer's forum.
I have seen flame wars, hacking attempts, personal attacks against myself and other users, insults, friendships broken and yes, even cliques and elitist clubs. Eventually, I stopped joining forums because people argue over the littlest things or drive away newbies with careless words. It takes something special for me to join a forum nowadays.
I've seen the nasty and this place isn't it.
I'm already at 300+ posts. Unheard of for me. Usually I bolt if I get a whiff of elitism or I feel talked down to. Posting here has actually renewed my faith in internet communities.
I'm not saying that it's all sunshine, daisies, and rainbow bettas. Words can be misunderstood and opinions heated. We're entitled to our opinions and entitled to vent about them as long as no one gets hurt or feels like they're being singled out.
This forum and its users succeed on so many levels, I would hate to see any of it sold short :)
I've also yet to see someone be denied the ability to get to know other members. I recently got to know the user fishcurl, and I really like her. She seems to be making "friends" on this site easily.
Thank you, this made me smile :)
I have been making friends on this site easily because there are so many helpful and open people here. In the short time I've been here I've seen newbies turn into regulars - this would not be an easy thing to do if there were a bunch of cliques running around the forum.
Pew - you've especially made me feel welcome. I know I've asked some pretty painfull newbie questions but never once have you treated me unkindly or made me feel stoopid. I am really sorry you feel you must take leave of this place. It's suddenly a lot less happy around here without your sense of humour and help. If you should come back, I'll keep a planted tank warm for you :)
now while i can see a reason for a rant thread to complain about school, work, how life is so unfair that no one understands (dripping with sarcasm) ...
Please understand that I have the highest respect for moderators. I would sooner jump in a beehive than speak out against anything they say. However, this one line above has me uncharacteristically needing to respond.
I hope, for the sake of many people on these forums, that this sentence was not referring to those with mental health issues who feel like "no one understands." Mental health issues are serious and complex. Often people suffer silently from it and yes, feel like no one understands. Feelings like this are valid and not to be taken lightly because they can lead down the path of self-harm.
Again, I have the utmost respect for moderators - I am sure this is not what was meant by the sentence, but had to make my views known because I feel so passionately about it.