Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Death of a forum: death of the RD.net forum

Good morning everyone,

A lot of people may already know that until yesterday I was a global moderator on RDF and went by the same name as I write here: Darkchilde.

The RDF staff had no idea what was going to happen; we only knew that there was going to be a new site, and nothing much else. We made a couple of threads in the moderator's subforum, trying to pitch on ideas about the new forum, what we would like to see and other similar things. We also tried telling Josh and Andrew what the forum community is. But they did not listen, I think they were even worse than creotards in that respect.

Anyway, I  don't know if a lot people know what has happened; Josh and Andrew have deleted the New Forum discussion, because both members and staff were very unhappy with the decision, and were speaking their minds. Also because of this they took the forum down last night. Now members cannot post anything, just use PM.

This is going to cost to the RDFRS cause a lot, and the fools do not understand it. I am sorry, but I will not be supporting it any more. The site techs and admins have shown that they do not respect the people that have contributed so much there. I am not going to get involved in the new sanitized and borged new area of theirs. I like the chaos and feel of forums, I like the live community of forums, the banter, the silly threads, the serious threads... After all I am human, and that's what a forum community is about: being human, being able to let go and many times say things you were not able to say in your every day life.

For me, the RD.net forum became over the 2 years I have been there, like a second home, somewhere where I could let off steam, I could talk to like-minded people, and more. It also was a place that helped me get through the first anniversary of my little sister's death, in 2008.

I am sorry that Josh and Andrew feel they had to axe the forum. I don't know why, and right now, I don't care why. All I care is that I am so angry and frustrated, and going totally in emotional circles. Because I had invested a lot of work in the forum, I knew certain areas of the forum quite well, and the community therein. A lot of people contributing hours in order to post a rebuttal to creationist posts, or to debunk alien conspiracy videos... Hours to write one essay for the science competition Mazille started, and more.

Some people are trying to save a lot of the threads there. There are threads, like the debate threads, and the huge flood debate thread that should be visible and accessible to everyone on the net.

And all that for what? This is not just a rant, but an obituary. An obituary about the death of a wonderful community.

Goodbye forever, forum.richarddawkins.net

PS. RDF = Richard Dawkins Forum

Update: it seems that Josh Timonen has deleted one of the science mods, Mazille along with all the posts he made, just because he spoke his mind aloud. Mazille is one of the newest mods, and the one who made the science competition happen.  More updates on the situation as information comes in.

More blogposts about the RD.net death: Jerome - The End of an Era: Richard Dawkins Forum to Close

Update 2: Josh also deleted another user's account, CJ, along with all his posts. CJ was a global moderator until October of 2008. Seems like Josh really doesn't like all the criticism he is getting.

Frankly, after all this, I would not go back to the forum if it was reopened unless Josh and Andrew were fired, and people who respect the community are hired. Josh has shown that he is not interested in the membership, nor the volunteer staff, like me, like Topsy, Sciwoman, Ilovelucy, Mazille, Gallstones and more. However, with decisions like this he is hurting the Foundation, because most members were also a driving force that actively supported the Foundation. Don't count on any contribution from me on the next fundraiser, if things go like this. Josh has shown no respect for me or the other staff, and this is the only way I have of making my displeasure known. By blogging and by withdrawing any support for the foundation.

Oh, and please join me and other staff from RDF over at rationalia: http://rationalia.com

Another update: more staff and user deletions by Josh Timonen on RD.net forum. Darwinsbulldog has been confirmed as deleted along with the thousands of his posts. From science articles he himself wrote, to posts debunking creationism a lot of useful information is now gone from the site. There are more users who have been deleted but cannot confirm.


natselrox said...

I submitted an article for Mazille's competition just yesterday. It was almost four hours of labour. Not that, I was going to win or anything but it kinda hurt! :(

I can feel what you are going through.

hackenslash said...

Just so you know, I have all entries for the competition saved offline, and we are going to work to run the comp at rationalia when the fuss dies down.


Darkchilde said...

Deletions are now confirmed to 5 users: The three I mentioned in the post plus Valden and Kiki.

natselrox said...

Check these out, darkchilde.



shh said...

You know, the best way to vent over this? Find out the name of Josh's company (upperbranch or summat) and post blogs on that. 85,000 users searching should put that near the top of google results.
PR from this is bad for Dawkins, but there's no reason Josh would give a shit, and no price to be paid by him. Unless potential customers see that he's capable of costing them so much goodwill.
Web design is PR, no matter how good a designer you are, no one's going to hire you if you're going to offend their entire customer base.
Shh.(lol, "Shh" from rd.net,not "shh you!"

fried said...

@ssh, Richard Dawkins is Josh's customer. The forum users never were customers. Dawkins isn't offended, he paid for this.

This isn't bad PR for Dawkins at all, why don't you read this? http://jerome23.wordpress.com/2010/02/23/the-end-of-an-era-richard-dawkins-forum-to-close/#comment-900

JeremyP said...


This is bad PR for Richard Dawkins. His name is at the top of the site. In many people's minds, he is indistinguishable from the site admins. I've seen comments on other message boards and forums where people are saying things like "Dawkins has scored an own goal here" or worse.

shh said...

This is bad PR for a designer not for an atheist group (although it certainly is that imo) Viral marketing is one of the most important and cheapest forms of marketing out there, and Josh has given RD a tonne of awful viral marketing here.
The point being that Josh's customers should know how much Josh is willing to wreck relationships with their customers.
Dawkins may have lots of "high end" donaters, but bugger all other businesses do, and frankly, with the new site, Josh is going to have to find more customers.
I'm a designer myself, and the bahaviour at Rd.net is beyond "bad design", it's incompetent.

Wonderist said...

Darkchilde, sorry to hear about this tragic event. I hope you don't mind my posting this link as an additional option for any RDFugees looking for another forum community (I link to your blog post from there): http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/19801