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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > Does anyone give a flying fuck?
Does anyone give a flying fuck?  [message #68099] Mon, 11 November 2013 16:01 Go to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13516



There are very few posts, which means no discussions. The sole thing that happens here on a daily basis is that spammers join and put nasty spammy links in their signatures. I am fast coming to the conclusion that no-one here gives a flying fuck whether this place lives or dies.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Does anyone give a flying fuck?  [message #68100 is a reply to message #68099] Mon, 11 November 2013 18:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW   United Kingdom

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1531



I'd be sorry to see the forums here go: I've spent several very happy years here. But you may be right, Timmy: certainly the mix of posters (from those taking the first tentative steps towards the closet door, to those like me who've been fully out for well over half a lifetime) is not what it was, nor is the mix of ages. Which has led to fewer posters, fewer discussions, and so on.

I don't think there's any specific reason, but a host of smaller ones. A biggie is that being gay is in many places no longer seen as exceptional,or even unusual, so kids may be less worried. Further, there are many more sites on the net which mix and match a more fluid variety of support, often by age peers, on a mix of smartphones/tablets/computers. This site doesn't do that well, nor do I think it would be good to try to follow where others have led.

One of the minor ones of me stems indirectly from the "new" software: I used to manage to follow the old one on my RSS reader, and was alerted to new posts. I don't get that any longer ... and I don't always think to check the site regularly.

And, of course, many former forum stalwarts have moved on. Some of us have died. Some of the younger ones have moved on - hopefully to happy and fulfilled lives.

All of which may be pointing towards closure. If you decide to do that (the forums, I mean - definitely not the main site which remains both popular and greatly-loved!) ... well, there are other forums around.

But on the whole, I do think it's worth keeping some version of the forums going, even if only for the archive value. There have been many wise words typed on here, and I'm fairly sure that those new to the forum - even if they never post anything at all - do go back and read previous discussions. Timmy probably has access to the metrics which would show this ...  And, even if there's little activity, I'd be sad to lose even one place where the unsure can ask basic questions and get a sympathetic reply.

Ultimately Timmy, as always, it's up to you. We all know that you'll do what you feel is for the best, and you certainly won't get any flak from me over it.

And - because I think you need it - warm hugs and best wishes.

Nick W



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: Does anyone give a flying fuck?  [message #68101 is a reply to message #68100] Mon, 11 November 2013 23:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13516



The RSS feed is better than ever, just different

Check out and subscribe to feed://forum.iomfats.org/feed.php?mode=m&l=1&basic=1 &frm=4 and http://forum.iomfats.org/feed.php?mode=m&l=1&ba sic=1&frm=6&n=10 both of which I have in NetNewsWire, by RSS feed reader

The other points you make are reasonable.

I hesitate to close the forums since, as I have said so many times before, while we create them it is the silent readers who benefit from the content.

Some have died. Many have passed through and moved to lives that are probably better for having passed through here. Some misbehaved and I had to enforce their own decisions to depart.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Does anyone give a flying fuck?  [message #68102 is a reply to message #68101] Tue, 12 November 2013 00:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
kiwi is currently offline  kiwi   New Zealand

Likes it here
Location: New Zealand
Registered: August 2009
Messages: 317



Well i do!

Thank you, NW. Once again, you say what i'm thinking but have trouble expressing.
Re: Does anyone give a flying fuck?  [message #68103 is a reply to message #68102] Tue, 12 November 2013 00:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
kiwi is currently offline  kiwi   New Zealand

Likes it here
Location: New Zealand
Registered: August 2009
Messages: 317



Speaking of spam - had to stop & restart the 'puter there because the anti-virus program insisted that i did.

It must be soul destroying coming in here day after day & finding nothing but spam. You do a good job, timmy, cleaning it up so that no-one else has to look at it. Thanks for all the work you put into iomfats & more hugs to you too.

cheers
Re: Does anyone give a flying fuck?  [message #68104 is a reply to message #68103] Tue, 12 November 2013 00:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13516



"kiwi wrote on Tue, 12 November 2013 00:33"
Speaking of spam - had to stop & restart the 'puter there because the anti-virus program insisted that i did.

It must be soul destroying coming in here day after day & finding nothing but spam. You do a good job, timmy, cleaning it up so that no-one else has to look at it. Thanks for all the work you put into iomfats & more hugs to you too.

cheers

--
What was more soul destroying was being bullied here by someone I had thought to be way above that sort of thing (and, with his status in his professional life ought to know far, far better), who, when called out for his behaviour, seems to have gone silent. I can deal with spammers, they are beneath contempt and beneath my notice. I would not piss in their mouths of their throats were on fire. But being goaded, prodded, poked, that was soul destroying.

That incident seemed to me to have pretty much wrecked the forums by sucking the joy out of them. They fell silent. No-one seemed to want to break the silence, least of all the person who chose to attack me.

And that is what brought me to wonder if anyone gave a flying fuck. I know several folk do I have had private emails deprecating the public behaviour.

At times I wonder what happened to all the boys, men now, who passed through here. We saved more than one from suicide, though one, bless him, threatened it without meaning to do it and was roused from his bed by a student officer checking on his safety, and got upset afterwards!



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Does anyone give a flying fuck?  [message #68105 is a reply to message #68104] Tue, 12 November 2013 10:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jolyon Lewes   United Kingdom

Toe is in the water
Location: SW England
Registered: September 2012
Messages: 58



This is my first post in this part of the Forum and I'm writing it to represent at least some of the people who read, learn from and value many of the items here. 

I don't feel I have any worthwhile contribution to make to the topics under discussion but I find it interesting to note the sometimes diverse views presented. I don't often read newspapers and visit no other sites featuring the sort of real-life subjects Timmy and others bring to my attention, so this Forum is, to me, unique.

I am sure that there are many people, much younger than me, who value the Forum and IOMFATS website in general and find it literally a Place of Safety but who lack the confidence to make themselves known. It has been suggested that to some young men this place has proved a vital lifeline. If it has helped people too scared to approach their family and friends about their sexual orientation, let alone assisted in preventing suicide, then its worth cannot be measured.

Bravo, Timmy!



Jolyon
Re: Does anyone give a flying fuck?  [message #68107 is a reply to message #68099] Tue, 12 November 2013 11:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma   United Kingdom

Likes it here

Registered: March 2012
Messages: 215



Here, in no particular order,  are some of my random thoughts on this topic. They represent my impressions rather than facts, so the thoughts may be inaccurate as well as irrelevant. Any questions are rhetorical.

There have been two specific requests for advice (both from the same person) in the past few months. How many people receiving help/advice per year are required to justify the existence of the forum?

There is no way to assess how many people have been helped simply by reading the posts. There is no way to assess how many silent 'lurkers' feel better just because they know such a place exists if they need to use it. A lighthouse keeper may not know how many (if any) ships have been saved because he keeps the light on. The ships' captains may not realise that visibility of the lighthouse prevented disaster. Given a lack of feedback, should the lighthouse keeper give up his onerous and lonely job?

The polls generally get hundreds of responses. The poll results are often both informative and surprising. At the very least, the results may indicate to people who thought that they were unusual that they are in fact not at all unusual. This doesn't necessarily mean that they will discuss this in the forum, but if the forum did not exists then they wouldn't even get the chance to do so.

As a gay man, I appreciate having a forum in which to read and express different opinions. As an author, I very much appreciate having a forum where I can see readers' feedback and interact with them.

Recently, there seems to have been more posts and readers in the Literary Merits forum than the General Talk. There may be several reasons for that, not least the fact that it's easier and more pleasant to express opinions on a story than on complex issues such as bullying and suicide. Most stories have happy endings that raise spirits and that may encourage posts. Sometimes posts in General Talk just evoke feelings of impotent anger.

Many posts in General Talk are about dark subjects such as teen suicide, school bullying. Those posts often contain expressions of righteous indignation and anger about injustices. As most readers will agree with the sentiments expressed in the posts, there may be little that can actually be discussed and follow-up posts can really only be variations on 'I agree' or 'me too'.  This does not mean that darker posts should be avoided. Indeed,  I think such posts can be very useful. I merely point out that they might not be expected to generate many replies.

Of course, the general forum can be used for any subject and (as far as I'm aware) the topic doesn't have to relate to sexuality. In the past there seems to have been a wider selection of 'lighter topics'. So I wonder why recently things have been darker as well as quieter.

I've been 'active on the internet' for about 15 years. Over the last decade I've noticed that usage of the web based forums I've been associated with has declined. Many of those (e.g. one for discussing my ISP) are not related in any way to sexuality. The owner of one story site turned his forum off because it was apparently too much effort to maintain something which was rarely used. I've no idea if that affected the number of stories posted but personally I'd rather send my stories to a site where discussion is at least possible.

The decline in forum usage may, I think, be part of the progression of technology since I started using the internet. When I first got into it the usenet newsgroups were where all the 'action' was. Then that shifted to web-based forums  because they were easier and quicker to use and access than the old usenet groups. Now I think that the web-based forums may in turn be being superseded by more 'instant' social networking activities such as facebook, twitter, etc.

Being a bit of a fuddy-duddy I take no part in internet social networking and have no intention of ever doing so. Indeed I still frequent some of the old newsgroups such as uk.comp.sys.mac though I long ago gave up on uk.legal and some of the groups I used in the past (uk.motss) seem to have disappeared.

So web based forums are where I continue to interact with the outside world and from a purely selfish perspective I would be very sad to see this forum disappear.

[edited for typos]

[Updated on: Tue, 12 November 2013 15:01]

I'm thinking about this one.  [message #68109 is a reply to message #68099] Tue, 12 November 2013 14:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
The Gay Deceiver is currently offline  The Gay Deceiver   

Really getting into it
Location: Canada
Registered: December 2003
Messages: 869




I will reply within 24-hours.

Warren
Re: I'm thinking about this one.  [message #68113 is a reply to message #68109] Tue, 12 November 2013 22:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Smokr is currently offline  Smokr   United States

Likes it here
Location: the burning former USofA
Registered: July 2010
Messages: 399



I'd hate to see it go.
So it's quiet. It's been quiet before. No good in having dozens of useless posts and several "last to post wins' threads and other garbage.
Most of the purpose is to be read, anyway. I'm sure plenty of the previous posts and threads get read and the reader feels better and never posts.
So there was an argument/dispute/disagreement. I had nothing to add, so I didn't add. I don't poke my nose in when I don't know all the facts and wasn't specifically asked. I'm sure you guys have things to discuss and smooth out, and maybe you won't. But if we all got along, it'd be the only place on the internet.
You're both over ten, so deal with it. Even if you were both wrong or neither were, or one took offense not intended or one intended that offense. Deal with it. If you need a mediator, ask for one.
Like I said, this place gets quiet. I don't mind. It also has some very interesting and entertaining things going on at times too.
Want more going on? Post things. Don't sit and wait for others to. If you find something interesting in news or music or something, post it. It will get replies. Always do. Make it your personal sounding board. It's your forums, after all.
And cleaning spam is a pain, yup, I know, I have a VERY quiet forum myself, and I have to clean spam WAY more often than read an actual post. But oh well. It's part and parcel of a forum these days. DIE SPAMMERS!!!
*sorry*
If you do close the forums, I'll have to come over the pond and beat you senseless with a pool noodle.
But if you close the Book Shelf I'll sell everything I can and come beat you to a pulp with an old Kindle. If there's anything left of you by the time I get there. I'm sure I won't be the first.



raysstories.com
Re: I'm thinking about this one.  [message #68124 is a reply to message #68113] Thu, 14 November 2013 19:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Nick Deverill is currently offline  Nick Deverill   United Kingdom

Toe is in the water

Registered: November 2012
Messages: 78



To add my tupporth, I read most but post very little. From my point of view, it's nice to see stories talked about,we all learn things that way.

Nick - with a new computer that thinks 'updates' are the new in thing.
Every few years this topic seems to resurface; usually ...  [message #68125 is a reply to message #68099] Fri, 15 November 2013 07:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
The Gay Deceiver is currently offline  The Gay Deceiver   

Really getting into it
Location: Canada
Registered: December 2003
Messages: 869




... during a period of some anxiety or duress; often coinciding with conflict amongst the membership.

Each time I respond with much the same comments (this time voiced not here, but in my response to the "New Postings" thread) as do many of the then active membership in the Forum.

My position on whether the Forum remains open or not is this:

1) I like it here.  I'm comfortable expressing myself on a variety of topics where I might not otherwise voice any thoughts at all elsewhere.  I feel the same about only one other internet venue which is comprised largely of APOS alumni of one description or another; and whilst hosted by web-servers in Sweden is administered jointly from Australia and Canada.

2) Like a goodly number of others that call APOS their home, I arrived here damaged to one degree or another.  I found welcome, healing and friendship when I came knocking, with nary a judgmental soul to be found.

3) I continue to remain because once having embraced the collective purpose of APOS, I have been reluctant to let go just on the off-chance that some world-weary soul like myself might once again darken our doorstep looking for welcoming solace just as I had once been.

Warren C. E. Austin
The Gay Deceiver
Toronto, Canada
Re: Every few years this topic seems to resurface; usually ...  [message #68126 is a reply to message #68125] Fri, 15 November 2013 09:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13516



It's not going anywhere. But I think I am entitled to have an occasional outburst. The trigger for that outburst seems to be 'away'. Since he has been hitherto always polite and well mannered I am assuming he will make an apology when he returns.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Every few years this topic seems to resurface; usually ...  [message #68142 is a reply to message #68126] Sat, 16 November 2013 19:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Smokr is currently offline  Smokr   United States

Likes it here
Location: the burning former USofA
Registered: July 2010
Messages: 399



Even the best of friends, the closest of brothers, and the most ardent of lovers will have rabid disagreements.

[Updated on: Sat, 16 November 2013 19:36]




raysstories.com
Re: Every few years this topic seems to resurface; usually ...  [message #68143 is a reply to message #68142] Sun, 17 November 2013 09:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13516



Quote:
Smokr wrote on Sat, 16 November 2013 19:33Even the best of friends, the closest of brothers, and the most ardent of lovers will have rabid disagreements.

--
It is not that, or even how, one disagrees that is important. It is how one makes up after disagreement that matters.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Does anyone give a flying fuck?  [message #68187 is a reply to message #68099] Mon, 16 December 2013 20:55 Go to previous message
Camy is currently offline  Camy   United Kingdom

Likes it here
Location: UK
Registered: February 2008
Messages: 114



An absolute yes to the 'give a flying fuck' question. I might not visit often, but it always cheers me up when I do.



"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: Music and Cats." - Albert Schweitzer

It's like Mad Max out here: guys doing guys, girls doing girls, girls turning into guys and doing girls that used to do girls and guys!
- from Alex Truelove
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