For too long the webring has been influenced by the whims of /tech/ wizards and xenophobia rather than by those who wish to have fun with like-minded individuals. The purpose of imageboards has always been a gathering point for discussion and creation of OC, and yet increasingly we see the webring eroding away as boards find themselves unable to retain users as bad actors continue to abuse the naturally reclusive nature of anon to force those who hold out into tighter-knit communities that continuously eat away at their own userbase in the hopes of maintaining the illusion of an organized state of affairs that simply no longer exists, and shutting up any dissent to this status quo. 8chan is dead. 4chan is controlled by the enemy. The anonymous alternatives outside of the webring are generally cancer, and the deep web and peer-to-peer websites will always be too niche. The old gods of lulz have lead to a warlord-like state that is not conducive to generating discussion, while the bastions of culture and historical precedence we have held up as the new gods of the webring have failed to provide us with a means of retention as they cannibalize their own and grow increasingly corrupt. We talk of fallbacks and archives, and yet in the midst of a new season of anime boards like /animu/ and /a/ are at all-time lows during the cusp of a new season, with core members of the old 8chan stronghold being chased away from even engaging in the webring over technicalities and us-vs-them mentalities. Some even go so far as to violate the essence of the webring at the mere mention of outsiders appearing, while others actively stab their counterparts in the back to hold onto these few users that still hold out for a brighter future.
What do we have to show for our preservation of the old guard? Absolutely nothing. A dying userbase across a scattering of websites where even those who considered themselves defenders of this status quo are unable to come to grips with the reality that they are a dying breed, or who try to stand stoicly in the face of death when they could so easily roll out of the way of the death blow because they lack the courage to face the future head-on. When others notice these things and address the elephant in the room, they are smacked down by their peers like crabs in a bucket, or the /tech/ wizards who lord over their serfs look upon them with disdain and cackle about how they can always start their own imageboard whilst smacking down any attempts by the serfs to rise above their masters with ridicule and scorn, as was seen first-hand by many after the fall of Julay last year when several attempts at a better tomorrow were snuffed out, entirely ignored after pledging technical support, or mocked by the "elite" in charge of the most popular webring websites.
I'm not here to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt, but I won't play around with formalities and putting on appearances to suck up to the current "heads of state" as they be either. If I thought this was a problem that could be fixed by money I'd be more than willing to throw four figures worth (USD) at the problem, but the only solutions money can buy require time and investments, as well as a willingness on the part of either the acting front-runners of the webring (something they would never agree to given the radically different approach I propose) or third parties that would naturally not be trusted. The fact of the matter is, when an organization of any kind is faced with a looming, imminent death, they have three choices:
2) Die like dogs.
I propose that it is high time that the webring as we know it adapt if it wishes to see a future that isn't a slow, bleak, death march that can never be recovered from since we are well into this critical juncture. One must adapt, yet we are constantly in fear of adaptation as it brings the unknown, an uncertainty that what we know and love may just disappear. I propose an alternate interpretation based on my personal interactions within and outside the webring as a wandering imageboard nomad:
Your childhood is dead. Everything you know and love has already dissipated into archival obscurity.
Rejoice, for you now have the option to become your own man not tied and bound to the whims of anyone. As the Greek philosophers of the past had reasoned, you have actualized and are not bound by the whims of those who wish to control you. Do not fall for the chaotic memes of many bad actors in this newfound enlightenment. There are those who seek you harm, there are those who seek to control you, and no rules the likes of which many have tried to espouse after becoming drunk off this realization.
I propose a new imageboard, or rather a new paradigm shift. I propose an adaptation that seeks to keep the spirit of anonymity and preserve anon's right to post loli cunny and say nigger without being beholden by the strict xenophobia of the webring or drowning in an ocean of cancerous piss the likes of 4chan. A board that is driven by tbe ideals of an old, forgotten time but that is willing to put the webring's policies where their json file is by being radically different. Rules, but no rulers. I propose a new charter to guide a new imageboard based on the following principles as old as human civilization itself:
1) A clean slate that is not subject to the hearsay, prejudices, and superstitions that stifle the modern webring. An entirely new imageboard that respects the old as a dead civilization while carving out a new existence that recruits by word-of-mouth from 'any and all' websites without prejudice, be they 4chan, Meguca, the webring, the alt-webring, standalone websites, or even social media. Let anons stand on the content of their character and their ability to follow the website's charter and ideals, not on their history. A leviathan that grows both naturally from within and artificially from bad actors who are scoffed and laughed at as everyone else has already pissed on that street corner. A platform that is much like the Ellis Island of America. Civic pride in one's culture without xenophobia, if you will.
2) A platform in which advertising from outside and from within is mutual, protected, and guaranteed in at least one thread present on every board.
3) A platform where all boards on it are subject to the same global charter on user treatment and moderation transparency that set an even playing field, but that allows autonomy so long as this global charter, which shall be a 'living document', is abided by.
4) A platform in which a board owner council consisting of equals may have veto power to accepting new boards, but also the power to veto another's veto.
5) A platform in which no board owner's coveted position is sacred, and for which this veto power may never be used to stifle or snuff out competition.
6) A platform in which all board owners are first among equals and have an ethical duty to globally moderate one another and take part in the FULL charter in order to secure their own presence on the platform, to encourage open dialogue where there is currently only censorship.
7) A platform that seeks to actively compete with 'every member of the webring, as a member of the webring,' to encourage growth amongst one another even if it may kill or injure those who have dug their heels in waiting for their slow demise.
8) A platform that embodies being a gentlemen's club and seeing themselves as associates, even friends in friendly competition with one another rather than as enemies working together against a mutual threat.
9) A platform that discourages bunkers and dead boards. All boards will be required to show they are being meaningfully used (even if just by two or three people) in order to justify their existence. Quotas, but in a meaningful and involved way that understands nuance.
10) A platform that does not seek to become the next 8chan and that does not seek growth for the sake of growth, but who's ideals will allow the ability to grow if users want it enough.
I really hate this autistic captcha since it's not even clear what it means by filled grid spaces and I lost my image/subject field trying to figure it out.
A project that might be likened to the phrase "globalism without globalists," a Hungary to the European Union, I am looking into whether there are any left who would be interested in this radically different, very ideologically driven approach to an imageboard. Many will complain endlessly that the old guard must remain resolute, or that what I'm suggesting is anarchy (I fundamentally disagree with this notion), but I'm not interested any more in watching a slowly dying relic. That's what the webring is, is a slowly dying relic cobbled together. Refugees (the webring) who formed a culture based on the mockery culture (8chan) of the country they originally fled from (4chan). You can continue this death march, or together we can respect what once was while seeking to form a new order based on new principles. I don't mind accepting the death of imageboards if that is our fate. I'm scared, terrified at what I'm suggesting, but I've witnessed great deaths of organizations that seemed resolute and great comebacks from those that seemed already gone. I can't promise it will be good, I know there will be hiccups along the way, those hurt, and those who feel like this radical new approach ruined everything. This new approach could even be a death blow to the webring or completely irrelevant instead of a revitalization since what I propose is a shaky future that preserves culture but not mentality, but I would still like to say that at least we tried.
If you are in any way interested in this new paradigm, I need anon's answer and I need it soon. I'm experimenting offline on a burner laptop right now with the intention of buying a VPS. I plan to buy the domain next week if I have anons interested, but I am not a CompSci guy. My skills are with material tools and concepts, not with running a website. I am not a /tech/ wizard and I despise Linux despite knowing the basics,
>NEW BOARD = PROBLEM SOLVED
It takes a metric fuckton of time for anons to re-acclimate and find their bearings on every migration. Petition to Sturg to remove fuckups, recognize your charter and every problem magically resolves itself.
>having trouble with the captcha
However, I will add that once they almost inevitably fail to do that (we would not be in this situation otherwise), it will become necessary to wage another HYPER BOARD WAR, Sekigahara-style and realize your ambitions.
That was a lot of empty blather to say "lower your standards and add bureaucracy".
Projects off for now.
>NEW BOARD = PROBLEM SOLVED
I haven't had to solve it in months and the mechanism is not 100% clear until you've actually solved it once since "solid/filled icon" can refer to seeing the entire image as a grid rather than just the symbols.
> 1) A clean slate ... that recruits by word-of-mouth from 'any and all' websites without prejudice. ... Let anons stand on the content of their character and their ability to follow the website's charter and ideals, not on their history. ... A platform that is much like the Ellis Island of America. Civic pride in one's culture without xenophobia, if you will.
> 3) A platform where all boards on it are subject to the same global charter on user treatment and moderation transparency that set an even playing field, but that allows autonomy so long as this global charter, which shall be a 'living document', is abided by.
As much as I agree with the earlier sentiment of your post, I don't understand why you would model a community off a failed state. Whatever the original merits of the American constitution and its principles were, and I do appreciate them, they are long dead now. I don't think that view is controversial around here, I doubt you'd even strongly disagree. Why pursue this old naive idealism? We have an opportunity to explore new frontiers.
> 2) A platform in which advertising from outside and from within is mutual, protected, and guaranteed in at least one thread present on every board.
Encouraging interboard advertising is good. Requiring it seems like overreach though, and a potential threat to niche groups. Unless you mean by mutual that this would be opt in.
> 4) A platform in which a board owner council consisting of equals may have veto power to accepting new boards, but also the power to veto another's veto.
> 5) A platform in which no board owner's coveted position is sacred, and for which this veto power may never be used to stifle or snuff out competition.
> 9) A platform that discourages bunkers and dead boards. All boards will be required to show they are being meaningfully used (even if just by two or three people) in order to justify their existence. Quotas, but in a meaningful and involved way that understands nuance.
This needs more elaboration. This would likely impose a limit on the size of the council, (say 50+) past which no decision can be made without it likely being countered by
someone. How does one enter this council anyway? If you just give anyone a board and membership of the council, it will just be 8chan. You'd need to add a probation period for new board owners before they are full members of the council. Then, those who don't meet quota requirements are booted.
So what will the quotas be? I can't think of any hard metric (pph, unique ip count, etc) that can't be gamed. I can't think of any soft metric (OC, post quality™, etc) that won't lead to massive disagreements and conflict over the decision making process. Do you have something? You need to explain what it is or else it's unclear that this can work.
Anyways, it sounds like we share the same goal, despite having opposite ideas about how it should be achieved. I honestly feel that the webring has been a step in the right direction, with the exception of the many anons lost along the way. I'm not interested in creating a new platform. We need something that better consolidates our communities without infringing on interests and territory. I think the best way to achieve that is to make minor additions and alterations to imageboards as a medium, just by improving the software itself. The webring is a good example of that kind of improvement.