So here I was very unhappy and not in a position to practically do anything.
Clearly something had to change, and I was willing to give up my stake in the site for the good of it. I made a post outlining my desire to find a replacement admin for NZism. I even got a few replies, which I replied to with reasonably positive feelings about the candidates. One said he’d talk to the Auckland crew to see how they felt. This was, I believe, the gestation of the standing fierce site. I presume there was talk of whether it would be better to take over NZism, or make a separate entity to deal with the events side, so they could do all that they could have a more hands on approach with a site, and leave NZism to deal with the rest. After which they decided on the latter course, and the email referred to in my previous post was written.
Personally I would have thought the goodwill and clout that the name and spirit of NZism had (I had written several interviews and articles for websites and magazines, the name was definitely out there) would have made it at least somewhat attractive to take over. Apparently there were some issues with sponsorship under the title NZism due to some failed efforts previously, although seeing as they ALREADY had some sponsors using NZism as a cover I find that slightly hard to believe.
I do believe there was intention to contact me further about the two sites and how they would interact. At one point in the IRC channel at #NZism I made a flippant joke about “Aucklandism” and perhaps that got the relationship on the wrong foot, although from what I understand there was still intention to contact me even after this. Why this never happened I really don’t know. I assume they thought I would be too much hassle to deal with or something.
Due to all the dramas and dealings in the past, I didn’t particularly feel it was my place to push the issue. For all I knew it was still a pipe dream and the launch time frame was way off. Additionally I had no idea who was actually involved in the project, although I had some educated guesses. I even made some probing investigations with people I thought would know something, but they weren’t able to give me anything. So I shared the email with a close friend because I wanted someone else’s take on the whole thing.
I also believe the initial intention of having the two sites coexist was truthful. Obviously however this changed as time went on, I don’t really have any guesses as to why. Maybe because if they were going as far as they were, might as well go the rest of the way too. Maybe they simply didn’t want to deal with me at all anymore (which certainly fits with other evidence about general communication).
So, when the site appeared, taking all this into account I redirected NZism to standingfierce and people were surprised. I hope these longwinded diatribes give people some insight into why it happened.
I’m sorry to the people that aren’t particularly enthusiastic about signing up to a new site, or having to start new threads to make up for the old ones, or having their content disappear. On the last part at least I have some plans that might make you less unhappy. The others I suppose you have to weigh that up yourself. In time I’m sure standingfierce will be enticing enough member wise, feature wise, or thread wise that you will just decide to join anyway. It’s not really that big an effort, and it’s a community of people you already know. Seeing people ask why the NZism posts weren’t migrated across was both cute and a bit sad. However, it would have undoubtedly been too much work, and clearly no-one asked me about it anyway. The posts responding to what happened (including in the NZism thread) are kind of amusing. Its a bit hard to read some of them with a straight face.
Looking back on it all, I can’t help but feel very sad. Knowing the difference between the enthusiasm and positivity I felt at the start, to the exact opposite I was feeling by the end, is truly depressing. I’m also very sad at how things ended, some people I considered pretty good friends seem to have left me in the dust, but perhaps I brought that upon myself.
To anyone that I had personal problems with at some point, think back to whenever we first met and how I behaved then. I am always inclusive and friendly with people until they give me reason to be otherwise. And it wasn’t just a me-vs-them thing, other people have problems with them too. Sometimes it was personality, sometimes lack of insight into the community while strangely being in an elevated position of power, or even both. All I can say is I wasn’t alone in the way I felt about certain people. There’s only really one person who I have any beef with now though.
Of course, sometimes I had little disagreements and quibbles with various people. This is completely to be expected when people are passionate about a subject, but I think some people got the wrong idea because of the impersonal nature of the internet, the lack of ability to meet up and sort things out really hurt. I also have no problem apologizing after a debate or whatever when I feel it necessary, I think that’s an important part of clearing the air, and I did it several times.
With all that in mind, I would like to thank a few people.
Andy, for running that first tournament and starting it all off. It provided the kick start that the community really needed, and I’m not sure anyone else would have stepped up to actually do it.
Lenny, for keeping things going, and producing the period I consider NZism’s golden era, with interesting, useful, and popular events that were run regularly and well.
Cpt Munta, for showing that NZ isn’t just Auckland and nothing else. I honestly think that in NZ you have the best philosophy on how to run a community and events. I’ll expand on this in a later article, but just know you have my full support.
And thanks to the people that supported the events and showed up, and was active in the community. That’s what it’s all about really.
next: the future