What online communities do you use?

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What online communities do you use?

Unread postby Jacketh » 2 December 2019, 07:49

Social sites and online communities have been a fixture of my life since I was... 9. I've literally grown up with, and on, them, so the way they've changed, are changing, and may change intrigue me. People I'm closest to and have known longest have been from forums who I've then met in RL (I'm meeting Stark in a few days if anyone knows him from GTF!). For a lot of my childhood it was Habbo Hotel (I met a certain user on here on it in 2006 and only realised last year it was him :D) and an online forum centered about a football game. But it felt like forums were always the place to go. Cheats for a game or wanted a mod for a game? Find a forum. Needed advice? Find a forum. Had a question about practically anything? Google would probably return Yahoo Answers (:lol:) or a forum.

I find it really sad how forums have died. This is literally the only one I'm on now - everything else has died and/or been replaced by a migration to Discord. I spent a ridiculous amount of time on GTF for a couple of years there trying (and annoying) Rene to find ways GTF could be saved, but in hindsight, it was a losing battle really - GTF relied on a stream of younger people coming through, and it just wasn't happening, especially with the rise of Discord. If younger people want a gay community, then they look at Twitter, Reddit, Facebook groups, Discord.

And I think that's true elsewhere too though. Any hobby or topic can be found on them places so people don't need to search out forums anyway. What's great about the forums is they aren't too anonymous like Reddit is, but don't reveal everything about who you are like a Facebook group would. They just have an independent vibe about them and every forum would have its own atmosphere you don't get elsewhere. I wouldn't ever meet someone of Reddit or a Facebook group, I think.

The 00s and up to about 2012-2013 were defined by forums. Then from there did Reddit/FB/Social media really start replacing them. So it'll be interesting to see what the 20s bring. Maybe forums will see a revival, who knows? But maybe Facebook groups and the likes of Reddit are just too big to fail now. I enjoy Reddit and use it the most, but it did take me a long while to come around to it - only when I was left without any forums I guess.

But yeah, interested to see what you guys still use/have any sites you used died/how you mainly interact online these days/how do you think social interaction will develop?
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Re: What online communities do you use?

Unread postby LostGuy94 » 2 December 2019, 15:31

Similar for me really, I have been on forums for hobbies and interests that I have and have gotten to know people through it and met up with some of them and are friends with em. Said forum has totally died out in the last year or so and there is just no connection between the members still there especially as it's mainly the idiot posters posting the same uneducated views and opinions that it's barely worth bothering with.

Most of us have now moved onto Facebook groups and just adding each other as friends on there, whilst there is some connections on there I don't feel it is quite the same as the days of forums for me at least.

I have stuff like Kik, Instagram & Snapchat mainly as another source to chat with guys I've sorta made friends with off Grindr as don't like giving out my Facebook as I keep my private life separate to my general public life (although thinking of binning off Grindr due to it causing problems with mental health due to constant rejections).
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Re: What online communities do you use?

Unread postby Brenden » 2 December 2019, 16:44

Besides GTF/GFO I never really was one for forums. I especially find tech support forums annoying to have to use.

I have a Facebook but I don’t post on it much; most of my Facebook profile is stuff that others have tagged me in (mostly René’s family).

I use Twitter mainly to complain to companies.

I have an Instagram but I never post anything to it and use it mainly to follow cartoonists.

Reddit is where I spend most of my time on the Internet. I have an older account with 20,000 karma and a newer more anonymous account with 9,000.
Disclaimer: All views expressed in my posts are my own and do not reflect the views of this forum except when otherwise stated or this signature is not present.

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Re: What online communities do you use?

Unread postby Jzone » 2 December 2019, 20:53

I think this is a fascinating topic. Born in the 1960's, I was in my 30's when the early internet became available. Newspapers, magazines, inter-library loan, and actual physical bulletin boards were some of the best sources of information before then. For hobbies we had things called 'newsletters' with paper copies that came in the post monthly. Conversations with international pen-pals would unfold over months, since long-distance phone charges were too high to actually talk. (Damn, I feel like I have one foot in the grave already.)

There was one other gay forum I joined before it imploded in fabulous drama years ago. I don't remember the name. I have one friend from that who I keep in contact.

I have a Facebook account to promote my business. Personally I use it to stay connected to old friends and distant friends, or to embarrass my kids, of course. I have never made friends through FB, but have lost a few. Lately I have taken on a personal challenge to disagree with friends on FB while maintaining a respectful tone and continuing the argument. It stretches my communication muscles.

Maybe I'm old, but I can't keep track of the others. Twitter, Insta, Twitch, Snap, Reddit, etc. just don't rise in my priorities. I would rather text; or better yet — phone; or better yet — meet for coffee, beer, game night, or a walk in the woods.
Just an everyday boy — doing everyday things
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Re: What online communities do you use?

Unread postby GearFetTwinkRomance » 3 December 2019, 08:16

I came to use the internet by self taught computer use around 1997 and so had some hopes trying to connect to people with similar interests after I had returned from Canada and the RL homie crew being a continent away.
I always had a hard time getting along with other Germans in RL. It's tough autism-alien and flaws related, anyway. However, I had quite some pen acquaintances all over the world, from a Poetry magazine I was the sole subscriber at my school.

I've been into forums and chat rooms from my start on pretty well. First chat room was called "Allegra" and ran by some women's magazine. It was supposed to be an early version of what later would be a common crowd flirt chat, I guess. There was a crowd that would use the main room for just random and fun talk and my first ever online acquaintance was the person I had my very first chat with - some lady at the city of Hamburg who then became a mail friend for 14 years. I think I had some dozen of girl chat and mail contacts after chatting in there. :)
Early on I've been at the forums of Harmony Central - for midi music and software /DAW based music production input. I figured out how to work with Cakewalk.
I found forums for almost any of my weird interests, especially the science ones, philosophical, Canada-lovers and for writers, musicians, art folks, it was like new frontiers for these lonely within their mind.
Sadly most of these forums have died around the last 10 years more or less. Even the sports forums, surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, that like, when people would become addicts to their mobiles.
As I never used phone, i didn't get into the mobile use at all. It's an universe I don't enter. Bit of an anachronistic thing I guess.

I was very anxiously in trying to access gay chat rooms back then, as I was living back at my old folks' for some years. So I kept it anonymous and very secretly. Things at home went to pot eventually. Told the story some other place, had to move several times and change ID.

I went to penpals NZ, later closed down or made payment mandatory, something like that. My mail friend from there would introduce me to Facebook, so we would keep on 'meeting' on there. I guess FB had like 5000 members then and no one knew it.
Later I reconnected to more people on there, so the very few that know about the full version of me, meaning the gay aspect.
Also was on OUT-UK for quite some time, where I would enjoy the boards and wrote with someone from Wales. Lost the contact in the years moving about and the homeless years though. I know he found his mate and they seemed very happy together.
About in the same years I found the AVEN-network and learned I was not the only freak being sort of nontypical gay. Meaning romantics, monogamy ideas, not into the fuck2go-scheme and all that.

One thing I have tried a lot was getting into contact to other gay guys at various places like craigslist, GF, Recon and parship sites, but usually I couldn't afford the deluxe access, premium, that like. The most decent guys usually are set with their life mate already, as it seems, so mail acquaintance or FB-connection, correspondence on a respectful level can be really great. As experience would show, single guys are of most interest, if they are heterosexuals, into board sports and like to get advise on how to meet nice girls. :lol:

I was on gearfetish.com for years, they had a nice main chat going on there, many US, UK, Aussie based people. They had some owner change and web space payment issues, as far as I heard, then closed down. The former owner wanted to restart a new community, but I never caught on to where or how they did. I would guess it to be discord or one of these new fancy things I don't use anyway.

I was kind of relieved to learn, there are other people that like gear fetishes, and I'm not just some sick mental freak because of this. Similar experience as back then, late eighties, when the Canadians would tell me, being gay was not identical with being a sick mental freak.

Nowadays I'm still with AVEN, Deviant art, several music amateur places like soundcloud, myownmusic, literature café and a poetry writer's community. Many forums I have left since they died down or have been closed. Sadly though, a lot of quality interaction via internet broke off. Even the few chat rooms left, people seem to prefer 1 on 1 with their friends and intimate contacts and the main chat's 'silent' most of the time. Had a discussion the other day at a latex fetish chat, to whether it was another crowd of people that used to connect back in the nineties and 00 years. I can't say about that, really, but people, who seem to communicate in abbreviations and Steno style, Emoji Rebu's puzzle fashion definitely have become more and more. I think the future rather will go back to be spent lonely and hermit in one's own mind. Good thing there's thousands of fair books I have not yet read. :D

P.s.: I still can enjoy the walk in the woods, lying in the clover, and the surf in the wave. :)
If ya want to hang with me, let's go windsurfing!

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