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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Other Side Of The Coin 

I was going to let the story line on FORT drop, but I got this note from an ex-FORT member and transcriber. Though it has the usual self centrism of many of these diatribes, the central message is something I see over and over again - websites take it very personally when a member, especially valuable members, move themselves to another site, for whatever reason.

I can understand the emotion - even in business when an employee takes another job emotions run high - betrayal, grief, anger. And web communities are closer to family than they are businesses, so those are amplified. So websites do what normal people do, they act like nothing has happened, or they rage against the injustice, or they ostracize the prodigal. And of course the prodigal's feelings for their parent are not always the most mature in the world either.

But let's be unreal - people, and potential members, judge a site not only how it treats its members, but how it treats it former members and its guests. Many times it is best to swallow your pride and wish these people good luck in their endeavours - in the long run that will reap more and tastier fruit than the bitter fruit that comes from banning.

Now on with the show:

You haven't heard from me in a long time (assuming you are the same person I talked with when you wrote the story "Fort Loses A Warrior.") I'm Catniptoy.

I read your recent story about John from FORT kicking people off his forum for starting a game-playing site, and then turning around and posting the same sort of games himself, with interest. I agree with your first comments, in that it must be very difficult to run a site and have to deal with disgruntled former members. However, as a moderator of another site (non-reality t.v. related), I know the value of being courteous and fair to site members. Power is something that should be handled carefully, instead of brutally, or without reason. John doesn't understand that, in my opinion.

After you wrote your story called "Fort Loses a Warrior," I transcribed for Morty's as a roving reporter last year. They were really nice and appreciative there. I'm not sure what I will do this year; I haven't decided. At the beginning of the season last year (7/25/05, to be exact, because I kept the PM's sent to me--as I'm sure some people would be dismayed to know), I tried posting again at FORT. I hadn't been banned (which was sensible, as I had done nothing wrong), and I missed the people I used to talk with about Big Brother. So, my former friend, Suncat7 (Who had wanted me to come back to FORT, where we had previously had fun posting transcriptions) and I went to FORT again and posted some transcriptions in the Discussion thread. After what happened to me the year before, I didn't feel good about posting official transcriptions there, so between us Suncat7 and I decided to post them and talk about them at the same time in the Spoiler Discussions thread, which allowed us more freedom to talk and discuss. A person named Leo immediately wrote me and told me to stop writing transcriptions in that thread, as they belonged in the feed transcriptions thread. I wrote the moderator, Hepcat, and asked about this. (I later found out that Leo was a "mod assistant" at the time). Hepcat wrote me a very ugly note (which I kept, and in which she called Reality Enquirer a "juvenile Internet tabloid"--so I'm surprised John even reads it) which basically said that she was surprised I was posting, and that I had a lot of nerve to do so. She also falsely claimed that I made assertions to you that John should not have given a reward for transcription to anyone but me, which is a lie--plain and simple. She claimed that I said that John and the mods read e-mails, which is also untrue--I said I felt that John reads e-mails, as some of mine were kept open even after people had responded to them and sent me PM's in return. She did stress that I was not banned permanently, and that if I could enjoy FORT "without drama," I was welcome there.

I wrote her back (I still have the PM, of course) and told her that I felt it was only fair to set the record straight. I told her that I did want to enjoy FORT and my friends there, and that I was a human with feelings, so I had been hurt by the things that went on the year before. I told her that I had never said that a mod had read my e-mail. I also never said that I thought I should get the prize for transcription; I only felt bad about the prize because John offered it when I took a few days off due to a death in the family, and he said that "it is hard to get people interested in doing transcriptions," so he was offering the reward. I told her that it made me feel bad that he chose to do it at that time--when I had taken a few days off--because it made me feel that I wasn't doing a good job. (And although I didn't say it to her, it was easy to feel that I wasn't doing a good job, considering the fact that John had never thanked me or told me I was doing a good job. Although Hepcat did write and tell me that John told her I was "valuable" one time a couple of years ago--whatever that means.) I told her that my feelings were hurt about the way things were handled before, and yet I had never posted a post on FORT that was dramatic, or one that said goodbye in any way--I had never broken the rules. That remains true to this day, by the way.

After the PM from Hepcat, I went voluntarily to post at Morty's, where they made me feel welcome, and I again didn't post goodbye or anything at FORT. I continued to check my PM's at FORT, and I was not banned. Right after that, Suncat7 took down her "Missing Catniptoy" signature line, saying that a mod told her that it "probably drove John crazy." She told me that she was told by a mod that she should "go green" as that was a path to becoming a mod. She didn't do that, as she told me she didn't want to give John her money. Then, she was asked to write for FORT (and now she is a mod). At this point, she dropped me as a friend, after over two years of friendship. She used to tell me that my transcriptions were the reason she joined FORT anyway, so our friendship went way back, even talking about family. Just before she dropped me as a friend, she wrote me many e-mails (which I kept, of course) saying how horrible she thought John was, and she didn't want to put money in his pocket in any way, and she felt like a traitor to me, but she did feel honored to be asked to write.....And I wrote her and told her that she should be honored, and she should take the position and have fun, and I would always be her friend. But being friends with me must have been off limits for mods there, huh? Sorta makes you feel all warm inside. That's the way things were left, and I hadn't checked my PM's for around 3 months, but I was still a member of FORT.

Imagine my surprise this week, when I went to check my PM's at FORT and found that I was banned! The notice said I "broke the rules," and the time they would lift the ban would be "never." So, apparently, I broke the rules between the end of last year's Big Brother and now, when I haven't posted at all during that time? I didn't badmouth FORT, even in "private" PM's. The notice said that if I tried to sign on as another name, I would be banned from reading the forums, as well. I would never do that--I had decided to just let the banning happen, as I had no real desire to post there, after that note from Hepcat. But when I went back to read the forum to see what was going on this year on Big Brother--I was banned from reading it, anyway, without ever having tried to sign on as another person! After this, I think I can safely be placed in the "disgruntled former member" category. But you know, when it comes to FORT, there are real, honest, good reasons to be disgruntled. By the way, when John talks about his membership, I wonder how many of those people are banned? I do believe that I am still listed in the membership rolls, but if John had his way (and in this case, he doesn't), I wouldn't even be able to view the board!

I guess what really happened is that they didn't close the door on me at first because I was "valuable" for my transcriptions. Then, when they saw that I was posting transcriptions for Morty, I guess they decided it was okay to slam the door, even though I still hadn't broken rules. After I started posting at Morty's, FORT got rid of their transcription feeds thread, and they made it a rule that you should post transcriptions in the Discussions thread. Which is what I had been doing with Suncat7 last year when Leo wrote me the note telling me to stop. It almost sounds schizophrenic, doesn't it?

Keep on keeping on and
Happy hamster watching,

Friday, May 26, 2006

You Can't Argue With Sucess 

Below is an email I received from John at FORT. But a few comments before you read it.

I agree with John. He suffers the same thing successful site owners have to deal with over and over. People become disgruntled because they don't like how things are run - or more specifically that things aren't run the way they want them, then some decide on civil disobedience as the only solution. If that doesn't work, or they are kicked out of the community for their actions, they start another site, ostensibly to be able to exercise their internet given rights, but almost always starting out as a bashing site of the parent.

Inevitably the new site people continue to frequent the older site, if only to read, and some return to the fold and are branded as traitors. And of course there is every effort for each site to discredit the other.

Here is some news, though - in most cases the successful site isn't going anywhere. Sure the new site is an irritant, but the fact is the things that made the parent site successful in the first place are still there, and people will continue to frequent the site. This can't be said about the offspring.

So grow up you dissidents - the internet is a large place, and if your new ideas and new community have any merit you will grow without the need for petty board wars. The effort you spend on fighting is better spent on improving what you have to offer, not in trying to destroy others.

Yeah this stuff is great fodder for my rag and I would hate to see it go away, but I must applaud the site owners that put up with these attacks and continue to supply us with quality places to visit on the internet.

Here is the email:

I’d just like to correct a few things, if I may:

1) “Coming like Christmas” is a direct quote from Ray, on The Amazing Race. We’ve used quotes from reality shows in our tag-line for several years, and will continue to do so.

2) There are 1288 sites with the arcade installed, it’s a “hack of the month” from vbulletin.org, and it’s one of the very most popular installs on vbulletin.

3) As for losing members, I just checked our stats, and we have consistently averaged 1,000 new members per month over the last 8 months (the beginning of RTVG). That’s more than RTVG has in total, each month.

4) One last thing. Let’s talk originality, since I’ve been accused of not having any. My staff and I have built this site from nothing, over the course of 4 years. A small group of our members started another site which looks exactly like ours, has the same forums and features as ours, and attempted to recruit our membership because they couldn’t build a site that would attract people any other way. The people who decided to leave have been re-registering on our site and of course banned again, repeatedly (including the one who sent that e-mail to you, with at least 7 different accounts). Of course, there are many, many members of both sites who are wonderful and continue to be, with no problems at all. Those members are, of course, very welcome.

Site Owner
Fans of Reality TV

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Never Say You're Sorry 

Seems bad feelings just have a hard time going away. From the mailbox:

Originally Posted by britty05
Something else that truly grates - I hate when I'm waiting for a parking
spot in a crowded parking lot and the person whose spot I'm waiting on takes
their slow time getting out of the spot, after shifting the car in reverse
(I can tell, cause the reverse lights are on). Some will get on their
cell-phones, put on make-up, etc. That really bugs me. I'm always tempted to
blow my horn to remind them that someone is waiting for the spot.

I have to tell you, no matter what this might say about me as a human being,
if someone were to beep at me because they wanted my parking spot, there'd
be a 100% chance that I'd turn the car off and not be going anywhere until
they'd moved on. If I had to spend the night in my car, I just might do

This is a typical hostile REPLY in a Pet Peeve discussion from the angry,
nasty girlfend of a reality tv discussion board owner who has ‘COMING LIKE
CRISTMAS” as the discussion boards tag line. What a sick attempt to slam
the exwife.

Who’s the board owner?

The same idiot who had his evil, alkie moderators ban all the people on the
sight who were interested in playing reality TV games. The banned players
went on to form their on web site, Reality TV Games and they got an arcade.
They did great with their new sight and just moved forward in their new
forum. After RTVG got their arcade, the moron owner of the sight that
banned all the gamers got an arcade too. He copied the people he banned.
Original much, eh?

I am surprised "he" would even allow it, especially with all the HOOPALA
about how reality tv games detracted sooooo much attention from reality tv
discussion or whatever. It's like, “Yeah reality TV games have so little to
do with reality TV,” but dammit, “Snake” and “Tetris” go hand in hand with
Survivior, ANTM, Big Brother and AI.” What an idiot.

He probably was losin posters to this site. this coming from A guy who
stopped the reality games because we spent our time there. That moron don't
have a original idea in his brain at all.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sincerest Form Of Flattery 

Looks like the reality tv gossip rag world is getting crowded.

Message Board Drama by Reality Dirt.

Unfeigned Reality ostensibly by Independent/JP.

Reality Drama by Phusion.

I have no idea who reality dirt is, but I am pretty sure Unfeigned Reality is penned by Independent of Jokers Updates/JP of Reality TV Gossip. And Phusion has admitted his authorship of Reality Drama.

And just to keep the heat on, I have noticed that though several of the sites have vowed frequent, if not daily, updates, they are already lagging behind.

Good luck to you all and may the best woman win!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Chatus Requiem 

From the mailbox:

It seems as though there was another mysterious "chat death" that happened. Lauderdalesooner has "passed away" according to emails from his "brother". Those who knew lauder aka 'Rich Matthews' knew how he was a country music singer, working on his CD. He spent his days on RealityBBQ and in #survivor-central. Last I had talked to him he was on his way to Brazil for a little tour. Months passed with no word from him.
One day I check my email and WOW a message from lauder, only NOT. It was from his "brother, Jason" using his address. His 'brother' goes on to tell me that Rich has died in a plane crash in December. So of course, I immediately go to google and try to get info....no luck. So I replied for more info. "Jason" goes on to give details:

"The plane crashed right off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale on Dec. 30th of last year. He was returning home from the Bahamas where he performed a few shows at a new casino that opened over there. He was scheduled to open up for Jamie Johnson at a show here in Ft. Lauderdale on New Years Eve. The obituary was listed in the local paper here, The Sun-Sentinel. I'm not sure if it's still available on their website or not."

"This was a small private cessna plane that was owned by the casino."

Now lets count the points that do not add up:

1. No plane crash was noted anywhere....
2. Jamie Johnson and his band was not in Fort Lauderdale for New Years Eve, they were in Nashville.
3. No obituary to be found, anywhere.
4. I called "Jason's" house, to get info and a foreign lady answered and told me that he wasn't home. When I called back later, a man answered and when I asked for Jason, he paused and said that no one named Jason lives there. Fishy huh
5. Lonestar isn't even touring South America (Rich told me that he was going on tour with them this spring in South America)
6. Before lauder left for Brazil, he told me that he had his cd's in his possession and was going to be sending me one before he left. His "brother" had the following to say about the cd's:
"At some point in time we may get them to release the tracks to us and I will have some cd's pressed for family and friends."
7. According to him, he was a vertran, wouldn't a vets death make the news?
8. Columbia records never heard of him.

I could go on, but I already feel like an idiot for believing his bullshit. I am now wondering whose songs I have? He sent me 3 of "his" songs. Supposedly one was recorded with Sara Evans as a duet and was going to be on her next album. Spammy called him out as a liar a long time ago but I didn't believe her. I just figured that those two hated each other and I was going to stay out of it.

What is the big deal with chat deaths! Why do it? It is the Internet! Why lie? For a long time I didn't want to believe that it was all lies. But nothing adds up.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Where's Deano? 

Looks like there is another new reality tv site out there.

Reality Rat Pack

Already up t 54 registered member, it looks like a fairly active board. But what do I know - go check it out yourself!