How the possibility of making money morphed message boards.
You join a message board. Over time, it starts to feel
like home. You compose responses in your mind when you
are away from the computer. You think about discussions
You might spend mornings doing research to prove or disprove
a point. You might quote posts made by your cyber friends
(or enemies), and reference them in your real life speech.
This Cyber Meeting Place is as tangible as your living room.
People whom you may know only by nickname, are as real to you
as those you see at the supermarket.
There’s nothing odd about this. Users of Social Networking
Sites develop a proprietary concern. This is “their” place
and they feel a sense of belonging.
What happens on these sites is Real. It is a “Second Life”
without the graphics.
In the early days of Message Board culture, this sentiment
was all the Owner/Moderator wanted. To have a comfortable
place where people who shared interests could meet and talk.
Unfortunately, this changed.
Although there are Message Boards which keep to the original
‘culture’, many more operate as advertising space.
The more hits, the more advertisers will pay for a spot.
Getting more hits is what the Message Board is about.
The Owner/Mod isn’t interested in the content of the
discussions but in getting hits. It doesn’t matter what
is posted, as long as advertisers see increasing hits,
they’re happy. If the advertisers are happy, so is the
Posters on Message Boards don’t see themselves as unpaid
content providers. They believe they are sharing thoughts,
giving or receiving advice, not providing the “product” from
which the Owner gains revenue.
Those accustomed to the “old days” might report a poster
who has made a lewd or offense remark and expect him to
be removed. Today, that lewd or offense remark might
contain a “trigger” word, which will gain hundreds of
Googlers to that Message Board.
Sure, a poster who is discussing the television program
C.S.I. might find a lurid description of having sex with
a dead woman offensive. Reporting that post, expecting it
to be removed could have the opposite result.
The Owner of the Message Board, seeing her site popping
up on a search of “necrophilia” noting hundreds of men
logging on, will sooner ban the poster discussing the
television program, than a guy describing what he did
when he worked at the funeral parlor.
This is because Hits equal Cash.
An “official site” of a celebrity, movie, cause, which
is paid for by the Owner and does not allow advertising,
Hence, an official C.S.I. site can not degenerate into
an orgy of necrophiliacs, an unofficial, which permits
advertising or depends on it, will.
Instead of complaining to the deaf ears of the Mod or
the greed of an Owner, once a site “changes”, leave it.
Follow the procedure set out in “How to Escape from a Message
Recognize that whatever the MB was when you first joined,
the smell of money has corrupted the Owner.