So, a week ago, I said goodbye to IAB. The website had several serious problems and after mulling it over for months, I'd come to two conclusions: First, that things were unlikely to change here anytime soon; and, second, that this had become an unhealthy environment.
Much to my surprise, that farewell post seemed to be a catalyst for change. In the following 48 hours, one IAB'er, who'd gone way off the rails with mutilated, bloody squirrel photos and some vile invective (and had lashed out with over-the-top attacks that upended this community multiple times before) was finally banned by the chief owner of the website. Moderators, which IAB had been lacking for years, were appointed. And the issue of sock puppets is now being taken seriously, with promising talk of new verification procedures on the horizon.
If someone had told me two weeks ago that these positive changes would be coming to IAB this quickly, I simply would not have believed it. The website is now significantly different, and better, than the one I was saying goodbye to a week ago. For that reason, I'm rescinding my farewell, so to speak, and returning to frolic at I-Am-Bored. I am hopeful that we can all make this place a website we're all happy to call home, a place where silliness, jousting, and debate are welcomed, but implicit threats of violence and shockingly vile invective are not.
As I see it, we've all been given a website reset, if you will, by Fancy. I don't think we're completely out of the woods yet, but things are headed in the right direction in a big way. Let's run with it and make IAB shine like it never has before. There is an abundance of great content out there to share and discuss and there is a large stable of talent in-house. So let's do it, dammit: Let's have some fun and get this place humming like a top.
Fancy, thanks for making it all possible and thanks for listening to your users.
Lastly, I have one thing more to share. In the days after my farewell post, I was stunned by the quality and quantity of messages of support I received on here. I also received so many personal emails--some from people who haven't even registered with the website--that it took me the better part of two nights to respond to them all.
Here's what I took away from all that: When you communicate on IAB, when you share your thoughts, you are touching lives you don't even know. The emotions and relationships that are developed on here, in some cases spanning years, are real. Don't think for a moment this is all just an exchange of ones and zeros in an electronic Neverland. It is a community. I hardly know what to say except that you IAB'ers are amazing.
I'll see you in the threads. I've got some great content I hope you'll enjoy.