Making WOWAY Great Again: A History Of What Went Wrong

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Making WOWAY Great Again: A History Of What Went Wrong

Postby Mystik Tomato » Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:35 pm

G'day, folks. My name's Chris, but in all likelihood, you'll know me better as Mystik Tomato or HeyThatsMyLeg if you follow me outside of the forum. I've been a member of the forum for ten years now, and we are right on the cusp of something incredibly important; The WOWAY Presidential election. I'm sure many of you will see this as yet another reality show game with a good gimmick. And it is. But the promise to make WOWAY great again is an important one because we need it. The forum has been in dire straits for many years and while I honestly doubt we'll ever reach the peak of activity that we had in the mid-to-late 2000's, if we can even capture a chunk of those glory days, the promise to make it great again will be fufilled.

But those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, so we need to take a look back on what went wrong so we can move forward. I'm going to say right now that this is going to be all from my perspective, so obviously, there's going to be a bias and there's going to be gaps and mistakes in the timeline because either my memory isn't as good as what it was or because of extended time that I took off. I'm going to attempt objectivity, but there may end up being "villains" as such and for that, I can only apologise.

Travel back to 2005, I was a 13-year-old upstart who got PH and RWS for his birthday and everyone was right in the middle of speculation for album 12. The moderators were, at the time, Elvis, Anthontherun, Driew_La_27, Teh Dingo (then known as Spacedingo) and Scottidog. Rules were strict; no off topic discussions, no excessive smileys, pretty standard stuff, honestly. Then as the next couple of years went on, many major members of Generation Lynwood would arrive. The Doctor, Yankochick38, Mashed Potato, weirdalisthephantomoftheopera, JEDM, Amzo39, Big Spoon... Plenty others, but that was basically the crew back then. And, as with every new generation, there's inevitably tension between the new kids and the OGs of the forum. That's the way the world goes, man. Anyway, for one reason or another, the strictest mod, Scottidog wasn't frequenting the forum nearly as much over that time, and things got lax. Things were still dealt with when it got too far, but the line for what was acceptable kept getting pushed a little bit further until around 2009.

Enter Bruce The Duck. He was one of WOWAYs OG, having been a member since 2003, and with the forum being one topic, it was easy enough to tolerate him. Then we had The Debate Topic. You know that whole 'don't discuss religion and politics because holy smurf guys' rule that basically everywhere has? It got a beatdown like you wouldn't believe. A good chunk of it was Bruce The Duck vs TMBDon. Jeremy vs Jon: Clash of the titans. Inevitably, Scottidog came back and saw how out of hand things had gotten and clamped down on it, among other things. That didn't go down so well, because the two contestants believed that it was a civil debate, while it was quickly starting to degrade. There were also some elitist stunts, that while they had been huge successes in the past, such as the police sketch avatar and the introduction of Crazy Cow Therapist, these new ones were targetting specific users. Aiming a prank at a specific person always ends in hurt feelings and that's just what happened. So basically, around that time, there was a shitstorm of bad vibes haing around the place. We tried to sort it all out with the Colemanental Congress, but that just led in circles like any other government body trying to fix things. (Also, at some point in all of this, to alleviate some of the pressure from mods who were struggling, Jigawatt became a mod.)

The result of this was the first WOWAY Uncensored board, a "secret" board that was, in theory, meant to allow for the debates and swearing that were't allowed on WOWAY. In reality, it was a bunch of nasty sniping about people behind their back, but it was popular so a whole chunk of major users (everyone in Generation SOL that I mentioned, Anth, Dingo, Well Well Well, Jon, Jeremy, weirdojace) were on there and not posting on the main forum. There were tensions bubbling underneath within this splinter faction, too. Eventually, the board was shut down due to a forum server just deleting itself one day, but another came into play; Gary Coleman Reborn. All the tensions that were bubbling under came to a head here; Jeremy was not invited back so we were free to bitch about him, my personal issues with Stephen left with me leaving. Meanwhile, Jeremy was getting more and more vicious on the main board, along with long-time concert goer alinite27 getting into feuds with Jon and other members of the board. There was also the Al's Band song topic, which was a very polarising song and led to a lot of Scotsman's Fallacies and increased nastiness. All this occured around somewhere between 2009 and 2011, where I posted the original Save WOWAY topic.

Eventually, betwen then and now even more stuff happened that made the forum die off a bit. A lot. Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media became popular and allowed people to keep in touch with the people they liked, JEDM got fed up with the way Gary Coleman Reborn was and shut it down and stopped posting on WOWAY altogether, the biggest draw of TTR had to be put on hiatus (for good reason), and I guess for some people, they just grew out of liking Weird Al. And that's fine. But in previous years, there'd be a new generation to fill in the gaps. There's less and less now. I even stopped coming here for a long time -- There are huge gaps in my posting history over the past 5 years. But there's been other changes, too. Scottidog wound up stepping down as a mod, putting yankochick38 in her position. Bruce The Duck was banned so there's no chance of eruptions of nastiness and fights spilling into other topics.

I'm sorry for not doing this in character as Larry King or something, but I wanted to put it in perspective to Well Well Well, Wizzerkat and especially BullMoose why this campign is important. You're basically having to fix the past 6 years of nastiness, personal strife, and lack of interest in the forum. I have no doubt that each one of you will be able to do so. And I really hope that everyone reads this to understand why it's important to vote in the upcoming election. To fix the mistakes of the past and to make the future of WOWAY one that we can all be proud of.

God bless WOWAY.
Sever your leg, please. It's the greatest day.
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Re: Making WOWAY Great Again: A History Of What Went Wrong

Postby Heds » Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:51 pm

You forgot 2015. That was a good year for WOWAY. I came along, so did Sappho and Mo33. Yankochick Central was created and is still going 1 year on. Donald Trump finally sponsored us and got us a show on the telly I was in!
We should know better than this for a full blown history of what went wrong.
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Re: Making WOWAY Great Again: A History Of What Went Wrong

Postby Mystik Tomato » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:07 pm

I didn't make this a timeline (Unlike my History of TTR and Crazy Cow Therapist posts) for the simple fact that I'd be including years that I wasn't here for, and that a large amount of posts that I discuss are in the mod forum. It was also a personal account of everything that happened, and I wasn't really around WOWAY in 2015.

In any case, the forum tanked years ago and 2015 isn't really relevant to that whole scenario, especially if the forum is on an upswing again.
Sever your leg, please. It's the greatest day.
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Re: Making WOWAY Great Again: A History Of What Went Wrong

Postby yankochick38 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:15 am

2015 was a pretty great year, actually. We had the best WOWAY Awards ever, the first leg of the Mandatory Fun tour, and a better feeling of acceptance and community amongst each other. I don't think the forum "tanked." It has its ups and downs just like anything else in life. If you're not around, you can't really be the best judge of how things are going around here. 2015 has been one of our best years in a while, and we got a lot of new awesome members who stuck around to Make WOWAY Great Again, and both Jeremys were finally banned for good. I think WOWAY is already being made great again! :flower:

However, I am enjoying this trip down memory lane. :wacko: I can hear Abed narrating this as it happens.
I also like being referred to as part of "Generation Lynwood." That makes me feel cooler than I actually am. :lol:
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Re: Making WOWAY Great Again: A History Of What Went Wrong

Postby anthontherun » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:37 am

As always, MT is WOWAY's greatest historian. Very nice work. While it may be true that the glory days are behind us--as a result of the Lovers not embracing elitist stunts the way we once did; losing some of our greatest members like Greg, Jackie, sarley, and others due to some...difficult posters (and, admittedly, the mods' inability to control them); and the general trend of social media usurping online forums--I agree with Alicia that overall there has been a renaissance of sorts since Mandatory Fun. No, the forum may not get as much action as it used to, but I find it to be more productive and pleasant than it was a few years ago. There was a time when it became a bit of a draining chore to visit, either because of insane spammer attacks or the overall negativity that was plaguing what is and always will be my online home. But I'm really happy to say that's not the case anymore. I totes love WOWAY again.

And any time I want to reminisce about Dave's caulk, it's just a search away.

One slight correction: The original WOWAY Uncensored was not brought down by a server failure. But that's all I'll say. :F
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Re: Making WOWAY Great Again: A History Of What Went Wrong

Postby minnick27 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:46 am

I agree , 2015 was definitely one of the best years we have had in a long time. But that also comes with a new album and new tour, but the games have definitely helped alot. I'm a grumpy old man, but have really enjoyed following along with the games and the WOWAY awards definitely kept me excited week to week. In fact, I would say that this was the best year we've had since 2010. Only thing I missed, yes I am about to say this, Jeremys reviews. I had my issues with him, but when he wasn't being antagonistic he had some good stuff to say
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Re: Making WOWAY Great Again: A History Of What Went Wrong

Postby Mystik Tomato » Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:31 am

anthontherun wrote:One slight correction: The original WOWAY Uncensored was not brought down by a server failure. But that's all I'll say. :F

Was it not because of the mass shutdown of iPBfree back in 2010? According to my records, (a PM i got and never deleted) that's when Gary Coleman Reborn was created by JEDM. Although, now that you say it, the first one was shut down by Jeremy in a huff because something? I want to say because he threw a tanty and took his ball and went home but you're implying some invervention there. Yeah, so there were four of the bloody things.

I am definitely seeing the forum getting better over 2015 on. I know that inherently comes with a new album and new tour and all that, but Alpocalypse and the resulting fans that came from it was a lot more contentious than previous years. Some of the members didn't really get along with others (Remember Ryan vs Killingsworth? That smurf got tiresome) And I think just in general, people were burned out from everything that had happened. I know I was, and after 2011 I only ever visited sporadically and there was a couple of times where I could catch up on six months of posts in a couple of hours because of how quiet everything was.
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Re: Making WOWAY Great Again: A History Of What Went Wrong

Postby Well, Well, Well » Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:14 am

The first uncensored forum was shut down by Jeremy after other members of the forum discovered his name and picture, of which he was apperently embarrassed. Also I don't believe dingo was ever a member of the uncensored forums...
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Re: Making WOWAY Great Again: A History Of What Went Wrong

Postby anthontherun » Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:05 am

Mystik Tomato wrote:
anthontherun wrote:One slight correction: The original WOWAY Uncensored was not brought down by a server failure. But that's all I'll say. :F

Was it not because of the mass shutdown of iPBfree back in 2010? According to my records, (a PM i got and never deleted) that's when Gary Coleman Reborn was created by JEDM. Although, now that you say it, the first one was shut down by Jeremy in a huff because something? I want to say because he threw a tanty and took his ball and went home but you're implying some invervention there.


Well, Well, Well wrote:The first uncensored forum was shut down by Jeremy after other members of the forum discovered his name and picture, of which he was apperently embarrassed.


Not to focus too much on this guy, but yep, that's how it went down (although now that you mention it, I do remember the shutdown too...I don't remember where it fell in the timeline though, but I trust your records). There was no intervention; and everything that embarrassed/annoyed him was all stuff that he had posted on WOWAY. It's not like anyone went and did any detective work to find it. We probably shouldn't have spread it around, but he probably shouldn't have been reading everyone's PMs behind our backs either. (For the record: as far as I'm aware, the only time any of the mods/admins ever read other peoples' PMs on WOWAY was to alleviate a very unfortunate he said/she said situation waaaaaaay back in the day between two members who haven't posted in years. No, I won't say who they were.)

Other fun things we had a long time ago that need to return...
-Every year on the board's anniversary, the mods created a trivia quiz and the winners became Lovers
-Scavenger hunt (or maybe the mods just talked about doing this?)
-Fan videos/Rifftrax
-Survivor (but not, like, all the time)
-A search function that actually works
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Re: Making WOWAY Great Again: A History Of What Went Wrong

Postby IFoundMyYankochicks » Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:26 am

*sigh...* this is why I wish I became a fan of weird al earlier, when this forum first started (even though I was a baby) I really wish that I was born earlier, so I could've been there to see what it was like... see all his albums come out, the anticipation of the release dates, the more concerts I could of gone to. (god, the concert one makes me sad every time I think about it). Idk whats wrong with me, but this bothers me so much and I think about it all the time... It would've been nice to see the forum so busy all the time. :?
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