Wednesday, 13 April 2011

If you think this is over then you're wrong...

Ok blog number 2. Yes I am shamelessly stealing mini’s lyric-title idea, deal with it. It’s been a while since my first blog post. To be honest I find the whole process quite challenging. I’ve actually written a couple of entries but not posted them. I figure with a blog you’ve got to be either thought provoking or entertaining, without being too self-involved. The ones I didn’t post... well the first was full of sentimental bullshit about a girl and her religion, and the second was full of inconsequential opinions about films and sport. I think it’s probably best if they stay hidden away in some forgotten corner of my hard drive, gathering dust (or whatever the digital equivalent is). Anyway I have found something to write about that is relevant to most of you so we’ll go with that and see how it pans out.

At some point during the last month, the Forum died. Attempts to resuscitate it seem to have failed. No doubt it will linger on for a while yet, with the occasional post or two, but these are just the twitches of a deceased body - really it has been dead for a while now. It had a good run, five years on 12th March and over 88,000 posts. It has gone through a number of different incarnations and been the setting for profound debate, violent slanging matches, incisive wit and a huge amount of nonsensical wittering. What follows is a brief account of the Forum’s life: its beginnings, the glory years, and its eventual decline.

The Forum was born on 12th March 2006 as a medium through which members of the Arbiters alliance in Ogame could discuss tactics and other pressing matters. All the members were boys from Beaumont School year 9, who seemingly had nothing better to do than squabble over internet games. Alliance politics, in particular the leadership issue, poured over into the Forum, making it a turbulent and exciting place. Disputes could be vicious and personal; however they would rarely extend into real life. With the death of the Arbiters alliance came the end of the Forum’s first incarnation, but it would not be down for long.

The forum was re-imagined and remodelled, transformed into a general discussion board for our year group at Beaumont. The old guard remained, but a new breed of poster was emerging that would revolutionise the board - for the first time the Forum had a significant female contingent. This period can in some respects be regarded as the glory years of the Forum, though this was probably not appreciated at the time. Forum politics remained a bitter issue. Law and order was maintained through warning points and bannings, though these were hotly disputed. Despite these arguments, the Forum was in general a happy place. Plans were made, interesting discussions were had, and humour of the highest calibre was always to be found. Perhaps the Forum’s most glorious moment was its role in securing St Albans victory in the ‘Here and Now’ Monopoly competition. A moment of unity and inspiration, remembered by all those involved.

Such good times could not last forever. As the years progressed new challengers began to threaten the Forum’s position on the digital stage. Facebook emerged as a more efficient way for peers to interact. Gradually use of the Forum declined, and all but it’s core members drifted away. It continued, at a slower pace, but still alive for a while, with the ‘Crappy Times’ thread in particular getting a lot of use. More recently Twitter and Blogspot have been adapted as alternative mediums through which to share our thoughts, and thus the Forum ceases to hold a unique purpose. There have been several revival attempts, but all have petered out fairly quickly.

Ok brace yourself for a sentimental conclusion. Yes it is sad that the Forum has died. It was fun while it lasted. But in a way it lives on. Today I went to the cinema with seven of the top posters on the Forum. A group that, to some extent, was brought together by an internet message board.

The Forum is dead, long live the Forum.


  1. A perfect eulogy if ever there was one. It is decided, I'm going to get off my butt and blog something today. Anything, even if it just ends up being a glorified link to this blog post.