So I’m sure a few of you are wondering what happened to NZism, or at least why it disappeared so abruptly. This account is going to be entirely factual, I’ll leave the expanded version with a bit more emotion and drama for a slightly later post.
For a year or so the events up in Auckland have been run under the NZism banner by a group of people with little to no input from me, due to various reasons. While that is perfectly fine (and for them was no doubt even beneficial), as admin and the founder of NZism, the lack of involvement and even communication seriously impacted on the intended utility of the site, and didn’t do justice to their events either.
A month and a half ago I received an email stating that the former NZism tournament organisers were going to split off a website with the intention of making things easier for the both of us. In particular, sponsorship and autonomy for them (and the liability it entails), and lack of sponsorship (and lack of liability) for NZism. I was assured that the sites would be complementary, their site specific to their events and articles, and NZism for maintaining the ‘community aspect’.
Since then, I have not been contacted further about any aspects whatsoever of the new site, or its possible interaction with NZism, even to this moment in time. I had been proceeding with the intention of ‘rebooting’ NZism in the near future when the new version of the forum software it ran on was released, with many new features, blogs, media integration, social networking integration, like/dislike etc. And likely a complete forum wipe too, because there was a LOT of cruft, and a fresh start would have been nice (although the membership would have carried across so you wouldn’t have had to sign up again).
This past weekend saw the Random Ultra tournament event run by the same group of organisers. You may notice a lack of any NZism logo on the poster, only a text URL for further details, which I have no complaints about, but it shows the direction and fracture between the two parties. No front page news post was made on NZism either, which is usually something done for events by the organisers (although I’ll be the first to admit that the front page was sorely in need of overhaul and regular updates). So the link presented on the poster didn’t actually lead to any obvious further details anyway.
After a tournament has finished, generally a post is made with results and feedback. This did not occur, and I was a little surprised. Through a friend, I knew that the website under development was to be at standingfierce.com, so I thought “wonder what they’ve gotten up to”, expecting to find a password protected page.
What I found was a site with much larger ambitions than I was informed of.
Blogs and articles is one thing, although some of what I saw contents wise surprised me. Social networking integration is hardly rocket science for people trying to gain awareness of events. Google calendar integration is equally obvious, and something NZism had for years. A forum was mentioned in the email solely as a place to comment on their content. It was certainly not described as a practical carbon copy of the NZism forums (even to the point of restarting several of the more popular posts), which is what I saw. The intention and vision of the site was blatantly obvious, and equally obvious was that a group of people working together were serious about the site and organisation (for want of a better term). Which had not been happening with NZism for many many months.
I had had enough. Clearly there was no point in doing the NZism reboot that I was planning. So, rather than continue supporting NZism while the users slowly join standingfierce (which is absolutely inevitable), forcing unnecessary effort on both the admin staff on each site AND the users, I decided to simply close NZism and redirect to standingfierce, forcing users to switch and get used to the change. This was done with as much communication as had been afforded me, i.e. none, which is why the standingfierce admins were as surprised as NZism users were.
So that was the end of four and a half years of NZism as a community site.
next: Emotions, The Future.