Thursday, March 12, 2009

Glass Board Migration - Torchbugs

I've been around the block as far as the glass boards go. "Way back when" the only discussion board available to the glass beadmaker was the ISGB forum. I was a newbie and read it voraciously. After awhile some members decided it shouldn't be open to anyone to read, it should be open to members only. As a newbie, at the time, I wasn't a professional beadmaker. I couldn't afford the membership fee and afterall, it had been open, why close it now? The ISGB forum lost its friendly feeling and suddenly felt cold.

So I was forced to migrate over to WC! I went from a newbie to beginner to intermediate/advanced beadmaker while reading WC! over my morning coffee. WC! even had the beginnings of the Beads of Clay group on it for awhile - clay glazes are glass afterall.

Any board is an interesting social scene. Since tone of voice and facial expression is missing, I spent alot of time avoiding any controversy or expressing too much of an opinion. It's too easily misunderstood - besides the reason I read a board is for information not necessarily to get into a heated discussion about a subject. I wanted to know about ventilation, torches, properties of glass, colors, etc. I go to the group for information.

WC! is the place where I wrote my first glass tutorial - Fuse Your Glass Rod Shorts. Cool! So, WC! has a special place in my heart.

Not everyone reads a board for the same reason I do so there's lots of variety and expressing of opinions.

That open expression of opinions can cause a forum split, which it did from WC! to Lampworketc. I never knew what the uproar was but lots of people migrated over to LE. I guess some felt "stifled" on WC and a change that didn't allow any mention of suppliers in a thread.

I joined LE... but... because I had been making beads so long, the glass questions were no longer informative to me. I suppose if I wanted to talk off topic more, I'd be more active but it's difficult to ignore the nasty comments you can receive. You can be anonymous on a board and that can embolden people to say things they might not ever say in person. Boards have to set up politeness rules because the heat of the moment can make things get out of hand. If there aren't any politeness rules the board dies or people leave and start a new board.

So say hello to a new glass board - Torch Bugs. Torchbugs offers something I haven't see on any other board - Color Theory - full of inspirational color threads and all things color, it will make me visit daily.

Why do you go to discussion boards? For information? To chat?


Deb said...

Great blog post Cindy!
I agree with it in it's entirety!!

I go for information primarily, & inspiration at times...especially the times when I am trying to figure what to do with a tricky glass that I purchased with no real idea of how to work it into designs.

rosebud101 said...

I'm interested in inspiration. I hate the negativity that has crept into some of the more popular forums. It seems to be bringing the forums down and the members.
Ooops! Did I say too much?

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Hi Deb and Mallory,

Each board starts out with good intentions and then over time, things degrade. Some get angry over strict politeness rules but if you don't have those rules in place, people let themselves get nasty. So I'm all for etiquette on the net. Afterall, we can't see each other or hear tone of voice so we're easily misunderstood.

Thanks for commenting - no, Mallory, you didn't say too much! :-)