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What killed Mike Wong's StarDestroyer.net?

Discussion in 'General' started by Vashon, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. 1986ctcel

    1986ctcel Connoisseur.

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    Yeah that was just dumb.
     
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  2. MadGreenSon

    MadGreenSon Verified Devil Tiger

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    I went and looked again and he was exactly the kind of incoherent mess you see on tumblr now. Which means what he really was, was a pioneer. He was a tumblrina 5 years before such a thing even existed.:p
     
  3. darthdavid

    darthdavid That Guy

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    I actually have fairly bittersweet memories of SDN since it was, I think, the second forum I ever registered for and the first one I participated in seriously (and was actually how I found out about SB in the first place, though I didn't start going there regularly until well after I was basically done with SDN). I was around middleschool age, and had just recently gotten internet access at home. I got into this tick-based online strategy game called Dark Galaxy and ended up poking around on the forums a bit. Someone started an ST vs SW debate and SDN ended up getting linked. The whole ethos there of 'it doesn't matter how an argument is presented, just whether or not it's logically/factually sound' that defined the site at it's peak really resonated with me and reading and participating there really had a big impact on me, as I went through middle and highschool. I ended up falling out with the place after an extremely ill-advised April Fools' 'prank' on my part towards the end of HS got me slapped with a hefty temp-ban and then no avatar or sig privileges and an insulting custom title after it expired. I came back a few times (including a while I spent participating at SDN's own splinter-board, New Testingstan), but I was never able to get my account privileges returned or my custom title revoked, so it always felt awkward trying to hold conversations with people when I was effectively wearing a dunce-cap for something I did as an idiot teenager.

    Still, even with some of the obvious flaws in SDN's approach (and some of the flaws mirroring that approach created in me) I still can't help but look back on the place with fondness as the site that helped me articulate my feelings on religion, first got me interested in debating people and introduced me to fandom and fanfiction.
     
  4. Teln

    Teln Pweeease?

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    To be fair, neither the Old or New Republics had the greatest experience with democracy (curse you, Borsk Fey'lya!) Back in those days, even a fair chunk of SB believed that democracy simply couldn't work on a galactic scale in the SW-verse.
     
  5. Space Penguin

    Space Penguin Boring person

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    It works just not very well.
     
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  6. Coiler

    Coiler Not too sore, are you?

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    I was a member of SDN back in the day. In fact, the main site was how I found SB (in a roundabout way that started with me googling "M2 Bradley" and ended with me seeing one of Wong's rants on Spacebattles and deciding to see what that 'SB' he was talking about was). Ok, here's my opinion on why it failed:

    In some ways, SDN was doomed from the start. That's probably hyperbolic and exaggerated, but it did have major structural weaknesses. The first and most prominent was that it was basically an extension of an old Usenet group. Take a look at any one big Usenet furball on any subject and you can see some similarities. Widespread flaming, and an attitude among many that any restraint or civility is a sign of wimpy weakness to be shown nothing but contempt. Many Usenet-izens also took that 'logic' and applied to boards-by their standards, board rules are nothing more than a shield for those weak wimps to hide beyond (a lot of groups were unmmoderated, and proudly so). So trying to take a lot of those attitudes and applying them to a structured, rule-filled board was bound to be tricky.

    So it was always more insular than SB, and always had more of a "dominated by an old group of ol' buddies" feel even as many of the specific users left/got banned. It was also smaller than SB even at its height-slightly smaller rather than massively smaller, and SB was a fraction of its later size, but still generally had fewer users on. And it felt like it. The setup and culture basically enforced a lot of that insularity, with the Hall of Shaming and banning trophies, along with a feeling of "tread lightly or you'll get roasted" that SB never quite had. This was not conducive to new users. I could go on and on, but that's by far the biggest reason.

    I have no schadenfreude at seeing SDN decline-there were good people there, and I did spend a lot of time there. But I nonetheless quietly slunk away, and many others evidently did the same. And I could see why.
     
  7. Master Basher

    Master Basher Gummy Bear from Hell.

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    Dunno how much of a necro this post is, but the thread caught my eye, and I may as well throw a few cents (even if I wasn't fortunately? A member of StarDestroyer)
    ... Dunno how valid that stands today/this month, or if it's crawled to just as much posts as a niché as hell FFN Forum (if anyone still cares about them lol.)
    ... And by the looks of it being apparently on 'auto-pilot', and among likely if quoting some Kier like response, this;
    ... I'll probably say that it appears that overall, SD Will likely die in a whimper, like a Server being shut down to save costs, with no forewarning and all.

    And more seriously, RL and such has likely changed in atmosphere since the days of StarDestroyer. Not only due to the likely veterans being stuck with jobs to have much time to update things, or end up 'moving on' to other pursuits, and such.

    Not helped, by the rise of alternative sites like say, Facebook, and Twitter. Speaking of;
    Off the top of my head, unless it could maybe pull some last minute revival stunt like that "Fanfiction Forum" I don't really check much... It's probably going to die not with a bang, but without notice...

    Especially given from what I've lightly still heard of for all I know or recall, lack of new membership options, and a likely escalating ban atmosphere of Tyranny worse than SB at it's worst? That it'd eventually be like that game of risk legacy, except you throw army figurines away at the end of the original board game instead, and don't play with replacements.
     
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  8. Coiler

    Coiler Not too sore, are you?

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    The non-bot users it has online can generally be counted on two hands at best. Just looking at the title page, there's a few posts with today's date on them. So it's not at the level of another board I knew/know that also imploded[1] to the point where it's frequent to find ZERO registered users on and the most recent post was from yesterday (as of this post time). But it's still a teetering wreck.

    If SDN's internal search is accurate, Wong's last substantive posts that weren't memorials or announcements were in late 2012.

    [1]In a way very similar to SDN, to boot. Obnoxious culture that puffed up its self-proclaimed superiority by attacking easy targets, flamed away newer users who dared to differ even slightly, and then collapsed when its flametastic members began to turn on each other.
     
  9. Inteb

    Inteb Getting out there.

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    I lurked there for a long time, found SB that way too. I could never register because IIRC they wouldn't accept free email accounts like hotmail, and I have to say I'm glad they didn't. The place was pretty oppressive and even though I often agreed with the 'establishment' at the time (mostly the anti-religion, anti-conservative stuff) I could see that they were just driving away users by discouraging, to put it mildly, any exchange of viewpoints. The history forum was pretty good but once that came under the tyranny of Thanas I rarely went back.
     
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  10. Omegastar

    Omegastar may america not fall to the {censored}

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    who?
     
  11. Coiler

    Coiler Not too sore, are you?

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    I'm sure it was an anti-spam feature. Both it and another board I knew that used phpBB as well had such a problem that they had to resort to that sort of harsher anti-spam measure. I don't know, and don't have the qualifications to answer how much of that was the forum software's fault and how much was lack of effort or ineptitude on the admin's end.

    My most active time there actually coincided with the board's implosion beginning in earnest, with old-timers engaging in suicidal flamewars before my very eyes. The moment the viritol began being aimed inward, the whole board was bound to dissolve

    Their 180 degree turn on Stuart Slade and his works (which arguably propped the board up for a little longer) was something to behold. He went from being a True Expert who was massively 'respected' by the entire board to someone who got heavily criticized, chased off, banned, and then mocked by all but his few remaining diehard supporters. When you combine that sort of "Oceania Has Always Been At War With ______Asia" shift with their attitudes, it wasn't a good sign.
     
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  12. Inteb

    Inteb Getting out there.

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    I think it was the guy with a West Wing character for an avatar. He was given the history section and he mercilessly closed any thread that was even close to not being solely about history and any thread he considered that had gone off-point.

    I somewhat recall that I should have had a premium email as in an account I should have had to pay for. From what I have seen in this thread, ineptitude would explain it.

    I distinctly remember that, he got fawned over by everyone, highest staff included, for the Salvation War with everyone being inserted as "characters", and them writing fan-fiction for it. IIRC Mike Wong was inserted as a flight lieutenant that shot down a monster, and someone was inserted as a psychic that went on all fours and had a guy holding them on a leash.

    Then the whole tearing that facade down with that fiction where magically the Japanese and Chinese joined together as the 'Chipanese', and all of Middle East, Sunnis and Shia's alike came together into a Caliphate. I think it was The Norseman who picked all that apart. Stuart Slade knew his nuclear weapons and bombers though, but not much else. Afaik he went on to found a forum that was diametrically opposed to SDN, which lead me to wonder why was he there in the first place.

    But yeah, the place has a history, and I read The Salvation War as it was coming out like the naive 20-something I was :D Though it soon became clear it was an uninteresting curb-stomp where a piece of hardware had more character than any person.
     
  13. fishbait08

    fishbait08 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Actually, Stuart's board (HPCA) has been around since well before the blowup that led to his exit from SDN- IIRC, its earliest versions were from sometime before 2004, as it started as a place for him to post 'The Big One' verse stories, as well as cross-posting of stories from Navweaps & similar sites, and a place where the... more aggressively & vocally political... people from those communities to have a place where they could vent freely on those subjects; the metadata on the copy of the original TBO I copypastaed into a word doc right before it got taken down so Stuart could try publishing it says it was first created in 2006.
     
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  14. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

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    Is it actually called HPCA, or is that an abbreviation (it's easier to find things when you have the name, and I don't think I've seen 'HPCA' before)?

    EDIT: Admittedly, I'm not sure how much I want to find it, but you have my curiousity.
     
  15. fishbait08

    fishbait08 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    It's an abbreviation for History, Politics and Current Affairs.

    http://www.tboverse.us/HPCAFORUM/phpBB3/

    Registration is required in order to even see a lot of the content though.
     
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  16. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

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    OK. Probably won't bother, then.
     
  17. Coiler

    Coiler Not too sore, are you?

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    Not to mention that conventional registration has been disabled there for some time. To what extent it's their stated reason of being the only thing that can keep the spambots away (It's the other board I mentioned in my above post) and to what extent it's to keep their close knit er-"circle" 'pure' I don't know.
     
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