...to all the mods/admins from AI.com to lay down what happened and or may happen in *their* eyes. There was a good thread going on at AI, but (unfortunately) it's been deleted. I think all of us would benefit from some frank discussion of current events. ALL are welcome.
Kasper, James, Eric, Jamie, Jack, Jon, everyone.....you know who you are....we as a community deserve nothing less.
I'm posting both my long version of events, and the short version of events. I posted the short one to another AI member who had arrived at the party late. The long letter was a public response to the fiasco I posted in a thread in the Suggestions forum.
"what's this all about?"
Here's the short version of events from yesterday. It's quite sad actually.
Kasper, the site owner, and Brad, the forums admin, were fighting about the content of the advertising here for some time. Brad would step on Kasper's toes and alter the ads in the forums and Kasper was non-responsive to Brad's objections and messages. Brad and LoCash started a thread in a hidden forum called "Dr. Ander's Tension Relief Clinic" that rallied some users against the ads Kasper was arranging. This thread snowballed from complaints about the ads into the idea that they would take the forums and their content and put them on a new site out of Kasper's domain. Kasper, as the owner of the site including the forums, discovered this thread yesterday. He banned Brad and LoCash from the forums and has threatened legal action if they take forum content. LoCash had already registered the domains AppleInsider.org and AppleInsider.net for himself and has rudimentary forums set up there (without the content of these forums of course). So Kasper is busy this weekend, stripping these forums of the handiwork of Brad and LoCash. It's returning to a bunch of default graphics and parameters that come with vB. That's why thing are in a state of disarray around here, both in terms of the forum code and in terms of the forum members.
Hopefully, cooler heads will prevails and we can settle our differences. Unfortunately, some people are taking sides and worsening the situation, but we're trying to settle everyone down and maybe heal the wounds a bit. There are a lot of confused people, a lot of hurt feelings, and a lot of people caught in the middle right now. It's all very ridiculous when you come down to it.
I guess it's not that short. :D
The Original Long Version with some inaccurate info about the early history of the forums re: Brad, Jonathan & Co.:
I don't see any reason to be cagy about what's happened or rather what's led to this. I think people are taking sides without quite understanding what's led to this. Here's the big picture, or at least a more complete outline of what's happened:
After the Great Blackout, the AI forums were recreated at the address, www.appleinsider.com The old cast (Brad, Amorph, Kichaha, LoCash, etc.) came together on their own time to rebuild these forums from that address. Kasper, who was also involved in the early days of Reality/AppleInsider, bought the rights to the domain from MacNN. So we already had the forums up and running but the volunteers who made the forums didn't have rights to the domain. MacNN just looked the other way with regard to the forums and was anxious to get the AI albatross off its neck I think, but that's another story. So Kasper was and is the rightful owner of this domain and its contents. Naturally, there was some concern then about the future of the forums since those who ran them weren't in control of them, legally, technically, whatever.
Kasper gave the volunteers a great deal of leeway about the management of the forums, and has full access and ultimate control of the forum server and software. He was mostly hands off about it, and eventually got the front page up and running, starting posting articles and so forth. Now the basic conflict stems from the addition and control of the advertising on the site. Kasper naturally controls the agreements for the ads, which means he goes in and alters the forums to fit them, show them, etc. Brad and others objected to the taste of some of the advertising: the Tina ad, flashing banners, etc. The conflict was exacerbated by small changes to the forum layouts and links by Kasper to which Brad and others took objection. For example, the AppleInsider logo brought the user to the forums page originally, but it was changed to bring the visitor to the front page instead. Communication broke down and animosity grew. Brad's nose was bent out of shape by the changes and felt slighted by the lack of response from Kasper to his objections. Brad eventually started posting these complaints in private forums like the now-extinct Moderator's forum and vented sometimes in the Suggestions forum. Kasper in turn felt his toes were being stepped on by Brad, that his authority was being defied, and that the semi-public complaints were an attempt to embarrass him and paint him in a negative light.
The basic problems IMO here were that 1. Brad considered the forums as his possession, and 2. Kasper didn't feel he had to explain himself or consider the forums' volunteers in his decisions. AppleInsider has led a schizophrenic existence. There is the legal owner of the forums and the people who actually run them. There were the new forums vs. the new front page, the old members vs. the new ownership, the volunteers vs. the management, etc.
Brad has worked very hard on these forums and done a great job with them. Kasper has worked very hard at getting the front page up and getting some credibility back to the site, and has done a great job with that as well. Both have put a lot of emotion and energy into these things. Neither seems to appreciate what the other has invested in this place. Both have been very territorial. So before people take sides, understand that both parties have improved your time here, and that both have made mistakes in this ordeal. There is plenty of culpability to go around. That includes me for sure.
I saw the fighting and the animosity and I chose to stay on the sidelines. I neglected warning signs that something was going to give at some point, the proverbial shit would hit the fan sooner than later. I saw that thread in the Tension Relief forum and never bothered to even peek in. I only accepted my moderator role here in narrow terms, and now my negligence has been exposed. Amorph and Kickaha have taken the blame on their shoulders here, and I think they bear too much of a burden as it is. While I feel the situation is just ridiculous to have gotten to this point, and I think we'll look back at our reactions to it and think the same thing. In the meantime, I have let down not only Kasper and Brad but also Amorph, Kickaha, murbot, LoCash, alcimedes, all the other mods and of course the rest of you who should not have had to deal with this in the first place. I'm sorry to all of you for this. I hope with the rest of us remaining admins and mods that we can again earn your respect and repair this small community in our little corner of the internet.
Take them for what they're worth. Hope this helps,
a well considered post...
i got the "Beloved Mods Thread" copied to a pdf before it was deleted over at .com.
it contained a lot of very good postings by the mods/admins, as well a good number of members. the contents can be downloaded here (http://www.alcimedes.com/AI/beloved_mods.pdf)
i agree...i loved that thread before it disappeared... everyone was being so mature and thoughtful...was nice to see...great bunch of people at both sites
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