Author Topic: This place is impressive. I'm curious how it got that way.  (Read 721 times)

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wilberfan

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This place is impressive. I'm curious how it got that way.
« on: November 28, 2017, 05:10:00 PM »
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I've been online since the early 90s, and I can't remember a more thoughtful, insightful, and articulate group of humans.    It's impressive as hell.  (Seriously.)  And intimidating, too, were I to be honest.

I now find I'm very curious to know more about the place and it's inhabitants.   I think there are some "history-of" posts, and that's useful, but I'd like to know about the people here.

How many of us are there?  What is the poster-to-lurker ratio?  Is the forum exclusively male?  Do we have a sense of the age-distribution?  How have you avoided all of the rudeness, trollery, and general de-evolution that seems to be so prevalent elsewhere?  What kind of housekeeping/policing is necessary?   

What are you proudest of here?   Is there something you wish you could change about how things work, but can't? 

I get the sense that some of you have been here a very long time and that there's a core group that knows each other very well (or at least as well as you can in an online setting)*.   Is there any sense that the people (film makers) we admire, think and pontificate about are present occasionally?  (If I made films, I think it would be irresistable to poke my nose in here occasionally and see what the Xixaxians thought.)

So, congratulations.  Yer awesome.    Keep up the good work.  And thanks for letting me be the New-Guy-that's-kind-of-annoying-at-first-but-who's-kind-of-adorable-too-so-maybe-we'll-let-him-be-the-mascot-eventually. 

(Now, who's available to PM me with a personality thumbnail sketch of each of the regular posters?)  ;)
 
* I actually had the good fortune to meet a long-time member last week (it was his largesse that got me into the Phantom Thread screening).  I was fascinated to learn that he's met a dozen or more of us face-to-face in his decade-plus with the organization.  That suggests something positive about the group, too, I think?
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: This place is impressive. I'm curious how it got that way.
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2017, 06:42:11 PM »
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Oh my goodness.  :oops:

I can try to answer a couple of these...

Is the forum exclusively male?  Do we have a sense of the age-distribution?

Exclusively male at the moment, from what I know. We have had several female posters over the years, though, who were quite active. I would say the average age is maybe 33.

How have you avoided all of the rudeness, trollery, and general de-evolution that seems to be so prevalent elsewhere?  What kind of housekeeping/policing is necessary?

Much of that just came with people getting older, I think. In the early days, around the release of Punch-Drunk Love, drama was liable to flare up, because many of us were still teenagers. So moderating the forum at that point became a trial by fire situation. Some people had to be permanently banned.

At this point, we rarely have to moderate things, because people are generally nice and can handle conflict. When something crazy does happen, though, we don't hesitate to stamp it out.

In terms of specifics, we might delete/split a post (or rarely, several posts) and then discuss it among the moderators. We've banned a couple people from the shoutbox. It's been a long time since we actually did a permanent ban for a whole user account, unless it was a spammer.

Is there any sense that the people (film makers) we admire, think and pontificate about are present occasionally?  (If I made films, I think it would be irresistable to poke my nose in here occasionally and see what the Xixaxians thought.)

Unfortunately, no, not that I'm aware. Modage once interviewed PTA with questions from Xixax users, though.

David Lowery was one of our original admins and is still around.
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ono

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Re: This place is impressive. I'm curious how it got that way.
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2017, 06:44:10 PM »
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Yeah, it's a good group.  I've been here on and off since 2003, almost since the beginning.  From what I understand, this place was borne out of the defunct PTA message boards and the IMDb PTA boards (which are also now defunct).  I imagine there are 50-100 active users, and the stats can tell you more about the 10 best, most active.  We've lost some people over the years.  Pubrick (I think he probably lurks still), godardian (no clue where he went), Cinephile (ditto), NEON MERCURY, Weak2ndAct, MacGuffin -- where did MAC go?  Did he turn in to jenkins or something?  There are some newer people who have definitely stepped up, people like Reelist, jenkins, and wilder.  We have had some people be successful in the industry.  mutinyco was way back when, I think, but I forget what he did.  I think it was some sort of journalism.  pete has done some music videos.  matt35mm has completed a feature.  I think polkablues wrote something that got produced.  And of course, Ghostboy is David Lowery.  Yeah, that David Lowery.  So that's kind of cool.  I've written a couple things, but am nowhere near where I'd like to be.  I think most people here have some sort of film aspirations, which leads to the quality of this site.

As to whether there are any women, there used to be a few more, but none that I'm aware of right now.  For some reason, they don't seem to stick around.  I think it's a parallel to how it works in the industry as well.  A shame.

This place has had a colored history of which I used to have a somewhat encyclopedic knowledge.  But my lack of participation has eroded that a bit over the years.  Many threads and inside jokes from those times.  Along with Mac and modage (who we came to depend on for most news), I was known for being able to either reference or quickly find information from threads of months or years past, and that helped build out this history and make this a more useful resource to people.  Unrelated, I think at one time Jeremy Blackman put together a wiki of resources compiled by another user, whose name I'm blanking on right now.

My interest and participation levels have waxed and waned throughout time.  The early 2000s were the golden age of film and Xixax itself.  I've learned so much from participating, but most importantly from lurking.  I wish I could say my interest in film criticism is what it was back when, but it's not.  Slowly trying to work my way back into it, but you never have as much time as when you were younger.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: This place is impressive. I'm curious how it got that way.
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2017, 06:54:00 PM »
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Unrelated, I think at one time Jeremy Blackman put together a wiki of resources compiled by another user, whose name I'm blanking on right now.

http://xixax.com/wiki/index.php?title=Film_History_Resources

Wilder put all of that together.

(I only set up the blank wiki... which, incidentally, gets incessantly spammed/hacked if we make it editable, so it's a static page.)
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wilberfan

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Re: This place is impressive. I'm curious how it got that way.
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2017, 06:55:58 PM »
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I would say the average age is maybe 33.

Yeah, it's a good group. I imagine there are 50-100 active users.

That's fascinating.  I was asking the Xixaxer with whom I saw PT about the forum, he cited those exact numbers.
"Trying to fit in since 2017."

 

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