General Ceel & Unity
Posts: 5375
  • Posted On: Mar 7 2006 4:30pm
How many slow and/or dead Star Wars communities have you seen laying around the internet? Are there fewer active Star Wars communities than there were when you started posting on your first?

The nature of Star Wars Fandom on the internet is changing. For a combination of reasons it has become harder and harder for small Star Wars communities to find success. In the face of these problems we all need to change if we hope to survive.

The primary obstacle standing in the way of Star Wars communities today is the decline of Star Wars fandom on the net. Lets face it, things are not like they were in 1999 when The Phantom Menace brought new members to our communities by the hundreds and even thousands. We no longer benefit from the "universal love" of Star Wars that existed prior to Episode I, and the release of the final Star Wars film was nearly a year ago, leaving fans with no more big events to countdown to. Additionally, there is more competition for the interests of Star Wars fans today than there once was. A wave of video games such as Star Wars Galaxies have cut us off from a main source of new members.

Outside of Star Wars itself, the internet is also changing. It has become harder and harder for the amateur to "make it big" in a market that is increasingly dominated by large, costly, professional sites. Furthermore, changes in how search engines work, as well as increases in the cost of advertising, have made it more difficult for sites such as ours to gain exposure.

While the long term situation appears to be bleak for us all, after discussing it with a number of present and former members, it has occurred to us that there is a solution, a solution that would ensure that the legacy of our communities lives on

The primary genesis of the wave of communities that most of us are part of is the original forums which came to ezboard at the dawn of the system in early 1999. Swfans led to, and then The Gungan Council. led to The Swamps Of Dagobah. The Gungan Council resulted in The Rebel Faction, Legends of Destiny, Jedi Praxeum. Some of these communities left ezboard and spawned even more communities on other systems.

At various stages many other communities, both large and small, have been spawned from members passing between communities with direct or indirect connectsion to some of the above message boards. Through a process of break-ups and friendly departures, the Star Wars fans of our little corner of the internet have become increasingly more scattered and divided.

If we wish to carry on into the next decade is is necessary for some, or all, of these communities to begin the process of reconciliation. Some of our communities are mildly successful, but many are on the verge of death. None, however, are even a shadow of what the original Swfans was between 1999 and late 2000.

No, this is not a publicity stunt to bring more members to The Gungan Council. As with many of you, these message boards represent a memorable era in my life. With this message I simply hope to get the ball rolling by encouraging you all to start opening discussions between the various communities, so that the thing that I came to enjoy 6 or 7 years ago as a teen might be able to live on for the next generation to experience.

-General Ceel

PS: Below is a partial list of links to communities that might you might find useful in your efforts toward unity and reconciliation among Star Wars fans.

If somebody would like to set up a thread or forum about this topic on their (non TGC) site let me know, i'd love to have a chance to read your comments and would be happy to work with you on your efforts to contact and unite other communities.

Yoda's Yarns: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Star Wars Evolution: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
GOTOR: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
The Marzullo Clan: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Shadows in the Force: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Star Wars Hyperspace: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Aramir: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
SithLore: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Unforeseen Destiny: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Star Wars: Destiny: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Star Wars: Millennium: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Non Ezboard
TRF: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Star Wars Epics: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Jedi Praxeum: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
LOD: <a href="" target="_blank"></a> <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Meras.Org: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
StarWarsRPG.Net: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Order of the Oaken Dawn: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

General Ceel asked me to post this here, and since I had no decent reason not to, I decided I might as well.

It nothing else, it's an interesting perspective.
Posts: 573
  • Posted On: Mar 7 2006 5:03pm
I, for one, am perfectly content with TRF the way it is right now.
Posts: 2558
  • Posted On: Mar 7 2006 5:50pm
Last I checked we aren't dying....
Posts: 4178
  • Posted On: Mar 7 2006 7:02pm
With this message I simply hope to get the ball rolling by encouraging you all to start opening discussions between the various communities, so that the thing that I came to enjoy 6 or 7 years ago as a teen might be able to live on for the next generation to experience.

That's great but the idea here is incomplete. Reconciliation to what? Unity to what end? There are no specifics.

But in my opinion, given all these splinters (mostly off TGC) really spawned taking a cue from the the original split from SWFans, if there was a great enough desire for reconciliation and unity, then (as the main motivator) TGC should reconcile back with SWFans and unite. If that can happen, then there may be something to the idea.

Still, I do not think ourselves and others (Epics specifically) are quite as near to death as some may wish. ;)

We recognize that some times people just want to do their own thing and that's cool. Unfortunately, not every effort is successful. I know TRF in the past has offered to take on and archive the stories of a dying board, even going so far as to alter their Timeline to make such transitions easier for all parties. That board ultimately chose to go another way which is fine and I hope those people are doing ok. Still, I don't see why we wouldn't offer the option again if the issue rose once more.

I mean, we could be dicks and say, let the other boards die so they have no choice but to come to TRF :ohwell

... but that just wouldn't be us. :)
Posts: 2453
  • Posted On: Mar 7 2006 7:25pm
I'd like to know how he would manage it. While some of the boards may have had a bit of a similar timeline at one point, since then each one has had their own history. Everyone's characters have taken their own path, their factions have taken their own path and each galaxy has different power balances and alliances. It would either require a new galaxy to start and wasting everyone's previous hard work, or for people to join in an existing one, once again giving up their hard work.
Posts: 111
  • Posted On: Mar 7 2006 7:31pm
Last I checked, most of the SW boards I frequent are doing quite well, some even flourishing since parting ways from TGC. The only thing Ceel cares about is TGC itself. He doesn't care if the other boards do well or not, unless it some how boosts TGC's spam post numbers and helps bolster his membership numbers script.
Posts: 5375
  • Posted On: Mar 7 2006 7:52pm

March 7, 2006
Yesterday I sent out an email announcing a need for greater unity among Star Wars communities. Today set up the "SW: Board Unity Hub" on TGC and began going from board to board to spread the word to those who may have not recieved an email. Although it is early in the game, the results are not turning out as I would have liked, although this is not altogether unexpected. There are too many bitter feuds among board members, and too many unable to give up old grudges. Furthermore there is a class of people who do not quite grasp that their communities are not nearly so active as they believe. This all began with Swfans in 1999, a board that recieved thousands of messages each day. Boards with a handful of members, crawling along with a few dozen posts each day, seem unable to grasp that even the 1234 daily posts of TGC (Daily Visits: 10266) not not compare to what role playing once was and should be again. Its a shame. This way of online life is going to die in the next few years and too few people are willing to do anything about it.
Posts: 2453
  • Posted On: Mar 7 2006 8:26pm
But what happens if we like to read most, if not all, of the new posts each day, but don't have time to read 1234 posts a day?
Posts: 1142
  • Posted On: Mar 7 2006 8:54pm
Meh, we never had any connection whatsoever to SWFans. We have in fact been around just as long as SWFans. And the schism that exists between Epics and TGC is one Ceel himself created by and calling us elitist while at the same time mining our site for the slightest mention of his name or his board.

But hey, free advertising. Schweet.
Posts: 1772
  • Posted On: Mar 7 2006 8:54pm
You do know Ceel is reading this?