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Author Topic: Candid conversation with the community
Charles
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Hey there folks. I'd like to share my thoughts and feelings with everyone here in a positive and honest and sincere spirit on my part.

Earlier today I saw something that I've never seen posted on the forums before in the nearly 10 years I've been hosting AN. A direct link to hardcore pornography left by a long term member whom I trusted and consider to be one of my closest friends here.

It was immediately deleted of course, along with the rest of the post, which I figured wasn't worth reading.

I'm not going to go into the official administrator/moderator mode about this. I'm sure everyone who uses the AN forums knows that as a condition of your account, you agree not to publish malicious messages or engage in hostile behavior and you also agree not to use the forums to link to pornography or to post pornography. Everyone who registers maintains their account based upon their acceptance of these conditions. It's the contract that you have with us. When a member breaches these conditions, justification is established and their account is usually closed as a result.

That's been a problem periodically over the years off and on. People registering with the site and disregarding the contract they have with us. Every site similar to this one that's responsibley managed maintains guidelines for editorial use. We're no different. In fact, AN was among the first forums of its kind to insist on responsible use.

After this took place today, a thought entered my mind as I considered what to do. For the first time, I didn't think of closing the account. Instead, I came very close to closing the forums altogether and for good, and using the domain of AnimationNation.com for something completely different.

Maintained an online forum can be difficult. It wasn't my idea to launch a discussion forum in 1999. It was something my webmaster did at the time on his own. All I cared about was doing something about the situation that was emerging in the industry in LA. I didn't want to hear the complaints of my colleagues anymore. I was compelled to do something at a moment in the history of the industry as far as the artists were concerned that would help make us stronger. I wanted to organize a day of alliance and unity and to get artists to come together, to get the union off of its ass and to get the leaders among us to lead. My webmaster thought that a discussion aspect to supplement the articles I was publishing would help in this regard. That's how AN as it is today came to be.

To what degree the site succeeded in inspiring positive reform, I leave that to the future to determine. You can follow the history of the animation community for 10 solid years within the archives of AnimationNation.com. You can see it and read and experience it as it happened, it's all there in the many thousands of comments that've been left since 1999.

One of the things I've struggled with the most as far as the operation of the site is concerned, is that anyone who is registered can use the forums in just about any way they like. That in and of itself is not a problem. The difficulty lies in trying to live a somewhat normal life with the thought always in the back of my mind as to what abusive behavior is going on while I'm away from the boards. With a blog, it's not a concern since there's always the option of screening messages. On a sidenote, I find it a particularly humorous irony that among the most notorious trolls we ever had on the forums maintains a blog whereby comments are screened beforehand. So while AnimationNation is open, the controls of blog technology to protect one from the very thing they scorned AN for is available to all others.

If blogs existed in 1999, I'm certain I would've considered going this way in developing.

So I look at what a blog can do, and I compare it with the abuse that still goes on here on AN, and I ask myself, what the hell am I doing? If after all this time members are going to use AN in a manner that's contrary to the most basic aspects of common sense and responsible consideration, why maintain a forum?

I'll continue in a minute. Thanks as always for your indulgence.

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Charles
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As a moderator and the lead administrator of the site, as someone who cares very much about our community, I admit I've made my share of mistakes. It's always been a matter of trying to maintain a balance on my part. You can't make everyone happy no matter how hard you try. Especially with some of the volitile personalities we've had here over the years, but I have to be true to myself and use my discretion and best judgement as I see fit to use it, even if it falls short at times. I always tried to be fair.

Maybe I should've stuck strictly to animation oriented subjects like all these other sites out there. I think things certainly would've been more stable, but look at what was accomplished as a result. We know how the animation community feels as a whole about a great variety of issues. For example, where could you find a place that asked and surveyed the animation community if they believe in God?

We're getting ready to change certain aspects of the site soon. Those changes will be very positive, at least from my perspective, a transition that's long overdo, and is on its way. There's been discussions about retiring the forums as part of the transition, but I'm open to keeping them functioning as long as our members would like to use them in an appropriate manner. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for our members and I value very highly your continued participation and friendship. I know there's no place else in the animation world like AnimationNation and I honor the legacy of the site and the special relationship I enjoy with a great group of truly extraordinary people.

As long as we can keep positively creating, we can keep the AN forums going.

Thanks very much for reading this, and please respect the forums with your use of this editorial and publishing medium.

Respectfully submitted.

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bigshot
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I've always felt that an individual is responsible for his own comments. If he says something inappropriate, it reflects on him and not the discussion board he said it in. People should be allowed to hang themselves with their words.

A strong community polices itself and doesn't need much moderation. There really should be no reason to lock threads or delete on topic posts if the community itself is strong. Obviously, spam and links to hardcore porn are nothing but noise and should be pruned, but discussion- even heated discussion- is the whole point of a discussion board. If a lot of moderation is required, there's something wrong... either the with the community or the moderation itself.

A blog is a totally different thing than a discussion board. It's a way for someone to express their personal opinions and get feedback if they choose. Discussion boards on the other hand, are open forums where everyone is on an equal level- everyone has a chance to speak on whatever they'd like. The supported opinion is the one that makes an impact. I like both ways of communicating. One doesn't replace the other.

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SNAKEBITE
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I agree with Bigshot.

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Charles
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I'll tell ya guys, when it comes to a forum like AN, it's a lot easier said than done when it comes to an online community policing itself or closing topics or not closing topics, etc.

The AN forums are different. I didn't wake up one day and just for the fun of it start a discussion forum. AN was launched as a movement, which is something that is overlooked by many. Unless you've been behind the scenes here you can't truly appreciate the dynamics of a forum like this and the excentrisities of some of the personalities that orbit this place.

If blogs were happening in '99 I would've chosen that format for communicating my ideas and spared myself dealing with an open forum. I wouldn't mind converting AN to a blog. I'd be the first one in favor of it, and I wouldn't miss this format in the least. Set the controls to review incoming comments like they do at other blogs and I'd have it made in the shade.

Anyway, it is what it is and that's all there is to it. So let's make the best of it.

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raymundio
IE # 35
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Animation nation has always been a source of inspiration and creative forum.
Don't let a bad apple dicourage the discourse.
I'm with you Charles.

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SNAKEBITE
IE # 101
Member # 17

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I support any decision you make, bro! I get it, totally. Although I agree with Bigshot, I also know the behind the scenes bullpucky. I would like to see the board move in the direction it was originally intended to move.

I think the dynamic of the board will change when the site changes.

for one man, you're doing one hell of a job. just imagine what three men could do. four.five.

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Charles
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You're the inspiration raymundio. Thanks.

The apple ain't bad, the fellow's a good guy. It's a matter of the nature of this particular medium/format and how individuals choose to use it within the parameters that've been established here over a long period of time. The Web gives everyone the opportunity to express themselves the way they want to, so if someone wants to publish whatever they want they can do it on their own if it's not right for this place. On these forums, there's reasonable, long standing guidlines that I ask ANers to respect, and sometimes they're not respected. I don't want an ongoing battle managing a forum anymore. Blogs are easy, forums are difficult.

Snake, it's not just about semantics, or how a forum is defined as opposed to a blog, or how an individual feels about the use of each and how they're supposed to operate. There's nothing etched in stone about what AN has to be. It's not worth it for me if the freedom of a forum is consistently abused.

It's almost 10 years now, still willing to make the best of it.

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Greg B
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Perhaps Charles, one day you'll post a timeline of the highlights of the AN board.

That way members old and new can look at the achievements made and understand the responsibilities of management and community.

It would help orient the community as to what the true goals of AN are.

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Charles
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There's another aspect that makes managing a forum like this a vastly different matter than what you'd experience with something like the Guild's blog, or Cartoonbrew, Coldhardflash, ASIFA's, etc, all of which are blog based formats. These guys aren't faced with attacks to their core purpose. They're in complete control of what goes on editorially.

On a forum like AN where our specific purpose is inspring industry reform, and with the editorial freedom we've given anyone and everyone who's been interested. Let me repeat that for the record... anyone and everyone... the forum's exposed to hijacking and attacks against its purpose that goes beyond a healthy intellectual challenge. This forum by virtue of its format is exposed to ideological take over. We had to deal with the worst of the worst when it came to trolls. The guys that run those blogs never have to worry about that. Amid didn't even allow comments at his blog until a couple years ago. That's the lap of luxury man. If you can get away with that in this biz, hey I'll take it. And if he does accept comments, he and everyone else has the option of controlling what the public reads before it goes up.

On AN, I'd come back after a night off and find the boards flooded with trolls from Velvana. Or some kid out there who saw a negative comment about anime from an anonymous post and then flooded the boards with attacks along with his friends. Or a single member, who still has an account by the way, who posted here using 7 seperate accounts and made it appear like a group of people were talking.

AN has been like Sparta!!! We held them off at the hot gates!

Then there's the elites who come here and treat this place as if we're lucky to have them and doing the site a favor by being here.

Cartoonbrew, Coldhardflash, Animationmeat, Animation Archive, everyone else, you all have it made. What you do is fun and easy. This has been a tough job managing this place on top of these guys giving this community little to no love, but that's okay. We got the love of very cool people and that's fine by me. On to new things.

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Charles
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Greg! You are reading my mind brother! I was gonna start on that at the end of the month around the Super Bowl. The history of AN, planning to go year by year and hit the highlights of what was happening and what AN was doing and where it all was at. Be confident that your place in its history is assured!

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toonedbob
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I think you should make it a blog format Charles. I feel that you have given plenty to the community, and unfortunately the "community" hasn't quite given back. Myself included.

You have a vision and an agenda, as do most of us. And in my opinion you need to clear up time, resources etc. and secure your mental health to keep focused on getting your message and point of view across.

Nobody could dare question your passion for the community and your crusade to help fix the biz. I am one of the ones who has definately benefitted from this site, and feel if you were to alter it as a blog - I would still benefit.

You have a wealth of experience and contacts that you can share with the community. Much like John K., Cartoon Brew etal, your POV is what needs to be out there. And you should secure yourself from trolls and hijackers.
Keep your IE prospering, use this site to promote what you feel is important and filter out the nonsense.

Animation Nation has been a gift for all of us for the past 10 years. Nobody needs to deal with uneccessary stress. So whatever you decide to do, you have my enthusiastic support. I can't wait to see what you got going on.

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SNAKEBITE
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What Greg and Bob said!! [cheers]

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Greg B
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Okay Charles. Thanks!

I came to AN by sheer accident because back in the late 90's I was asked by friends in the animation biz to look at the industry. They knew I grew up in corporate news having worked for the Gannett News Service just out of high school many moons ago. I worked for Gannett for many, many years, then on to other news and communications services from Time Warner to AOL etc. At the time in the late 90's I had several comic books that had been optioned for film and I had the option of suggestion animation for the development but realized I hadn't been in in depth communication with the industry as I felt I should. For some reason I found AN. I listened to the animators and realized no one in the mainstream news industry was giving the work force any attention. I knew, being a corporate type that it had to do with stocks. Every major union and investment portfolio had Disney stock and no one was going to rock that boat.

I found out from AN that the majority of animators had no sense of how corporations worked and didn't realize the odds they were up against. The common man, the corporations, the news media, the various branches of government were unsympathetic to the plight of the animator because their stock portfolios were PHAT with the profits made from the animator's exploitation. No one wanted to listen to me in the news industry so I had to go to the alternative press like Jeff Rense, Alex Jones, Art Bell/George Noory. Only they listened.

Now here's the irony. A few months ago my old pals in the Gannett News Service and pals at the major newspapers asked me if I could help with getting them jobs or assist in shoring up the industry because ad revenue has fallen, the news industry is collapsing but the independent press like Rense, Noory, Jones, even Matt Drudge whom I remember used to visit my alternate press forum on AOL years ago are now exploding in attention, ad revenue and profits.

The people are choosing the information sources that told them the truth and supported the people over the past 15 years instead of the government controlled mainstream press.

Oh how the tables have turned!

Yes, we were called conspiracy theorists and whackos and other such derogatory names but take a look at the world now. Economic devestation, lack of trust in every major institution except the Red Cross and Salvation Army. Greedy men and women and institutions bullied the and lied and now America is fighting for it's survival. Our oldest financial institutions, globally, some as old as 500 years old and more are teetering.

Why? Because too many people turned their heads, condoned criminal behavior.

I'm still unclear as to what the state of 2D animation is here in the states as my options for production of the comics I do is now limited to live action or CG. No argument there anymore. Investors don't even want to hear about 2D.

I can say I expect some of the most brilliant art and 2D animation to emerge over the next few years as people are backed up against the wall.

Like in those days of the Depression and WWII Americans will erupt with new creative ideas and means but this time with forums like AN and alternative press venues the small guy will have a better chance as long as he doesn't get lazy.

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Charles
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I had similar problems Greg. I went to grade school with a girl who grew up to be a Pulitzer Prize winning writer for the Wall Street Journal. We reconnected as adults about 5 years prior to AN. When I contacted her and asked for help in exposing the practices of some studios, it was all for naught. I mentioned that some artists had even commited suicide, but it wasn't enough to get her to pick up on it.

I think we can survive as a forum for a while longer. AN's new webmaster as well as myself and Snakebite who's helping with the process are all confident that the nature of the forums will change as the new AN emerges. If it doesn't we'll take care of lingering issues with the very very few problematic accounts that still exist. And if that don't solve it then we'll blog.

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Greg B
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Charles, in regard to your friend from the WSJ you've just seen the true nature of the field.

WSJ is falling in sales and ad revenue. Maybe one day she'll come looking to you for work.

Bottom line is that AN has a collection of the best inside look at the animation industry ever. In the past 10 years we've seen the best and worst in the industry, the arts, politics, news, law, finance.

Those who cowered and hid are recorded here as well as those who turned out to be real stand up people and leaders. All the juicy details are here and it's clear as a bell who the good guys are and aren't. You can add a blog as well as run a forum. Both help each other.

Lots of people came to AN and used it as a springboard for furthering themselves and others came to use it as a weapon. Santa Zembillas knows who has been naughty and nice.

Please keep the site open for research. Whenever I get the urge to search for the name of a cartoon or artist or resource I'm glad AN still has a search function for that.

Now if you really wanna get things jumpin' round these parts put up a dating option for artists looking for artists and really watch the sparks fly.

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jeffnevins
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Interesting topic. You have my support if you need help in the proccess.

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bigshot
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Well, either type of format is fine, but they're two different things. A discussion board is a community and a blog is a method of individual communication. With a discussion board, the person operating it is focused on building an interesting and articulate user base- the audience is the message. With a blog, the person operating it needs to be interesting and articulate himself- the operator is the message.

It isn't an either/or thing, but I can see how participating in the discussion forum has dropped over the past year or two, and many of the posts are articles created by you with few comments, so it may already be a blog- just running on discussion forum software. It's not much work to maintain a discussion board that isn't getting many posts though. I maintain one for ASIFA and it takes just minutes a day to scan for spam posts to delete.

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SNAKEBITE
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The one thing I see thts the biggest difference between AN and any other industry site is that we're not backed by any organization. We're kinda on the out skirts of the industry with no real support. This site gets trolls galore...and whats worse is that these trolls are well respected or known professionals. they think they are sneaky but its easy to track IPs. its easy to find out whos lurking and whos participating and whos causing a disturbance in the force. We know who you are, mwahahahahahaha.

For as much trouble as a lot of the pros on this site cause I was always the voice to tell Charles to cut them loose. but he feels the need to give everyone a voice, no matter how much stress they try to throw his way. I respect Charles for working through it and I respect him more for holding his ground to see his vision come to life.

and now his vision is growing. I'm honored to be apart of that growth and we have a killer alliance with someone that can technically pull it off...and we still have no corporate backing or organization that has our back. we're still just 3, now, individuals giving all of our community an equal voice. it sucks that most people come here to bitch, but I agree with Bigshot when he says that there voice only represents the person talking....and oh how they represent themselves.

I'm sure plenty of people have their issues with me, but I have no regrets. I changed my approach and my attitude but I don't regret who I once was on this board.I had to fight fire with fire...and, I hate to say it, it kinda worked.

I think once this site changes so will its members. I'm confident that the conversation will continue on a more positive and progressive level.

So I'm very excited about the next tier of AN. Its a slow burn but it will be a good thing. Marathons not sprints.

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Charles
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It's great to have you back, Greg.

I don't want to make it about the past or dwell on the past, this is really about the future, but AN simply has not been equitabley represented by the official historians of our industry, I use that term official loosely. Most don't know what was going on behind the scenes for years, and most I'd say don't know, or forgot, or trivialize the significance of AN overall.

As for those trolls Snakebite mentioned, they blew it in the summer of '07 when they sent a malicious email to our staff. They screwed up so profoundly bigtime that we were able to trace the route of the message and find out exactly who it was. It absolutely confirmed our suspicions once and for all as to not just who these individuals are, but the community that they originate from. This is in addition to a malicious email campaign that was inadvertently sent to us a few years ago that included individuals associated with this community, so it's no secret anymore. Since that time, if something happens, we laugh about it cuz we know and I don't think they know that we know. Anyway, that's old news. Those days are over, on to new things.

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Charles
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The Animation Archive has ASIFA-Hollywood and all its resources backing it up. The Guild has the Animation Union and all its resources backing it up. We have no formal organization but our community. We don't even enjoy the goodwill of people we considered to be associates and friends. Even certain people we did business with. The only thing backing up AN is The Animation Academy, a small private school in Burbank that has classes once a week and operates out of a temporary location. That, and a fantastic community of great people who frequent the site and who don't let petty attitudes get in their way or drag them down into negativity.

It really is time to change and I'm looking forward to what will be happening here. The fun thing about it is that even we don't know what's going to be happening. The new format will provide lots of possibilities that we're just beginning to explore. So far, we've been successful with certain technical challenges facing us and some of the biggest ones have been overcome, which is great news.

We're going to take it a step at a time at a steady pace and see where it goes.

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Greg B
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Reminds me of the old fable The Little Red Hen.

Ja Charles, those other organizations have backing and that's the difference. They can't get as radical or courageous as AN or they'll get retaliation from their economic ties. Makes them less effective if you ask me. Us guys in the independent press are rolling on the floor laughing our butts off. From Matt Drudge to Jeff Rense and on as I mentioned earlier we covered the animation industry and it's a matter of historic fact even when the neocons made with the insults.

The 'officials' or 'mainstream' won't give AN it's props? That's an indicator of their true intention all along. When things get raggedy for them again they'll be back 'fronting' and making face time.

I wonder, was there ever a follow up to that documentary "Dream On Silly Dreamer"?

In retrospect, what happened to the animation community was a forerunner of what's happened to America. The creative work forces and citizenry set upon by greed and cowards and it fell on deaf ears. AN was here the biggest way to thwart and remedy the situation for the animators but there was no AN for the American people because the communication lines such as the mainstream media laid down like dogs, got Rush Limbaugh fleas and now even they are sick with the plague.

Even the formerly invincible have been hit hard in the likes of Berhard Madoff the bigshot hedge fund investor who screwed up tens of billions if not more of top celebrity's money. When we mentioned he was on shakey ground years ago we were scoffed at.

When the people's right to communicate and write freely is compromised you end up in dire straits. This is a hard pencil to chew but karma has a way of biting them buns don't it?

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Charles
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I really don't want to walk the path of negativity. I have a very high regard for both ASIFA and the Guild, it's not my intention of getting down on either of them. A few individuals here and there who might have a chip on their shoulder do not the organization make.

My focus lies on moving forward with AN and leaving the past in the past. I'll document what I've experienced over the last 10 years, and some folks may not like the way it's going to read, especially if they've got an iconic image of what an organization is about and how they think it should ideally function.

But that's what made AN unique and vital over the past 10 years. We're free and independent. We can take the risks that others can't. And for that I'd say, alot of the animosity arises. So we don't get the support from others that we should have, even though they've been getting support from us. That's the way it goes.

Another thing I'd like to communicate. The site that you see and experience here isn't what I originally had in mind for AnimationNation. When I first discovered the Internet, I immediately projected its possibilities and foresaw a time when it would evolve from a page based medium to video. I was teaching at Associates In Art in Sherman Oaks (LA) in the mid 90s and telling my students over and over and anyone else who would listen, the day is coming and will soon be here when individuals will have their own TV station on the Web.

What I had in mind for AN originally was to broadcast animated content independently produced. I didn't have the technical skills or the resources to position myself for it, but I had the concept. I registered the domain name only to discover more than a year later that the Web guy I was using took my $35 and never bothered to pay for the domain. AnimationNation.com was not secured! By that time I figured out how to do it myself. Nobody thought of getting the domain during that period, I really lucked out.

A few months later, a chance meeting with Bronnie and Joe Suggs at the Burbank Museum on Super Bowl Sunday '99 lead to what would become the AN you see here. I used the domain name to start the revolution as best I could.

Well, we've had our revolution and it's time to move along and do something else with AN. If we can work it towards what I originally had in mind, it would be truer to the vision of the site than a discussion forum only. Of course there's a myriad of other sites that are doing what I saw would be happening from back in the 90s, and now it's our turn to adapt. Let's see what happens and how things turn out.

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Gagne Michel
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Hi Charles, I just want to let you know that I, for one enjoy Animation Nation and I'm glad for its existence. I often come to the board to check for news or excellent topics. I've carried a link to Animation Nation on my site for many years: http://www.gagneint.com/Final%20site/links/animationlinks.htm

Anyway, I looked forward to what's coming. I agree that the current Message Board needs to be updated somehow and I look forward to see what you come up with. Best of luck to you.

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Charles
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Member # 7

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Back at ya, Michel. Thanks for being a major part of AN for a very long time. Meeting you and getting to know you better has been a huge plus for me and I'm certain that many others appreciate your involvement here in a big way.

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SNAKEBITE
IE # 101
Member # 17

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Absolutely! we have some great players here and a strong banner. we should all be proud.

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contact@animationnation.com
www.artbysnakebite.com
www.myspace.com/mrbite
www.redskystudio.com
www.myspace.com/redskystudio

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siskavard
Member
Member # 3175

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Hi Charles

I just want to chime in and say that I've been in and around these forums since about 2005 ish I think, mostly as a casual peruser and occasional question-asker. I really enjoy this place as I know everyone here is friendly and always helpful.

This site has helped me a lot in the past and still does today, I've learned so much about the animation industry just by reading these forums.

So, thanks & I hope you continue to keep the forums going.

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Charles
Administrator
Member # 7

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Hey, thanks for dropping by siskavard. Always nice to see ya here.

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Ganklin
IE # 14
Member # 1864

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i really don't know how long i've been coming here... since around '00? anywho, clearly, i think AN needs some sort of updating. the site isn't what it used to be as i think the community has changed or moved on. i'm not trying to come off as negative, i just think that charles is correct in moving forward with the site into a new direction/what he originally imaged it to be.

that said, i would not like to see the forums closed. i'm going to come right out and say it. i am never going back to cartoonbrew...well, i won't be going there as regularly as i once have. i have had several of my comments deleted in posts by amid that i simply did not agree with. so charles is correct in his view of what a blog is. amid is without a doubt deleting comments that he does not like or is in contrary to what he has to say.

i have never had any of my comments deleted here at AN. for this reason alone i think the forums should continue in some form in whatever shape AN takes in the future.

as for the porn spam...is it possible this member's account was hyjacked by a friend or co-worker of his perhaps playing a joke? just a thought.

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http://fsummers.blogspot.com/
www.shamoozal.com

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Michael
IE # 179
Member # 104

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Charles, the advances in web technologies might just be catching up with your train of thought. There's some intense activity surrounding the bridge between PHPBB and WordPress....

If you have time, listen to the podcast on this page:
WordPress + PHPBB Podcast

It heralds a tight interaction between blogging and bulletin boards. The future is a wonderful place to live! And it's here real soon now! [Wink]

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dermot
IE # 193
Member # 1575

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It's a community.....and there's good and bad in every culture . Thanks for providing the real estate where we passers-by can come and go as we please !

As for the occasional awkward posting I suppose things like that will happen once in a while........maybe outlaw aliases or something in the future hehehe

D

http://zoomfrog.blogspot.com/

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http://zoomfrog.blogspot.com/

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Greg B
IE # 118
Member # 886

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Michael is spot on.

I started a couple of blogging businesses a little over a year ago and they've turned into a great income. I had to study wordpress, plugins, etc. My overhead for my blogs is $9.95 a month. I get ridiculous amounts of bandwidth and every bell and whistle you could want.

I even build blog sites for friends and clients and I mean I've made major news features which got me asked to come back into the news business.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the greatest value on the web is one's experience and expertise in a subject. A combination of blog/forum from a professional like yourself Charles and the people who contribute here should be quite the equitable venture to say the least. It's easy to program too with the right plugins.

Easy to setup, easy to maintain and all you have to do is update a few times a week and have an SEO savvy person chime in. You'll do swell.

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http://www.boonestoons.com
http://www.spacefool.com

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Charles
Administrator
Member # 7

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Thanks for the link Michael. I've been trying to get AN updated for a long time. I haven't had much luck finding technical help in this area. In other aspects of the site, a year ago I asked if there was someone willing to take over the Poll AN forum but received no response. I thought I had a contest moderator but nothing has happened there. It's not possible for me to continually work the site. It seems that everyone's waiting around to see what I have to say or to be entertained, when they could be contributing at least in the area of topic activity and discussion as much or better than what I can do.

Recently I've found someone through Snakebite that's taken on the task of revamping AN. With what he's doing, it'll give us a lot of options that we didn't have before.

Ganklin, you're not alone. Others have experienced the same thing at CB. I frequently hear complaints about good ol sugar and cream. He was a highly regarded member here but got upset at something I posted, called me a racist and demanded to have his account closed. Jerry Beck is a long time AN member but hasn't checked in to say hello in a year. Most of my experiences with Cartoonbrew have been very negative and I no longer frequent the site. Plus, they've never featured a link to AN, not even as a courtesy, so they can go to blazes for all I care. I have no interest in petty, hostile people in this biz anymore.

Something else I wanted to mention from earlier, the reason why we were able to positively identify the worst of the trolls was due entirely to the efforts and ingenuity of Tom Narey. They sent that fateful email to him. When he shared the results of his findings with me, I was able to combine it with data that I had from before and positively identify these creeps once and for all. So thanks Tom, you really changed things for the better with that.

I'm not inclined to close the forums when the discourse is civil, tolerant and respectful to our members, and considerate of our common sense guidelines. It's when that very accommodating line is crossed that I tend to get fed up, but with the changes coming I'm hopeful this won't be as big a problem as before.

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bigshot
Member
Member # 1024

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A blog is a place for personal commentary by the person writing it. It's not necessarily a back and forth conversation like with a discussion forum. Sometimes blogs have comments, sometimes they don't. Sometimes a blogger allows all comments, sometimes he picks and chooses which get posted. If you decide to go with a blog, you don't have to allow comments. In fact, it's been my experience that comments on blogs are usually pretty much worthless. The signal to noise is generally very low.
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Law
IE # 112
Member # 1348

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Hey bro!
I love this message board, and I've enjoyed the window that it's provided into our industry throughout the years. It's hard enough for me to stomach participation in discussions, that I can't imagine the stress and emotional strain of the responsibility of a site like this.

I'm sure you'll have the gratitude and support of the larger part of this membership no matter what you do. You've given a lot and asked nothing in return, or have asked so little you have every right to wonder what's wrong with a community that's content to watch and give nothing back.

You will always be one of my heroes.
Watching from the shadows...

-L

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www.lawrencejackson.com

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Michael
IE # 179
Member # 104

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Another example of the imaginative use of new web technologies can be found at debategraph.org.
It combines discussion with mind mapping, which sounds weird at first, but when you start to use it, you quickly grasp the subtle and flexible dynamics under the skin. You could even make a self censoring discussion group. Read the blog, it's full of intetesting examples.

I'm not trying to hijack the thread, honest. I'm just trying to see if AN might be better served by newer media tools than the plain old, maintenance heavy, bulletin board!

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hamsterbite
IE # 3
Member # 277

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Charles-
I sure feel indebted to you, and to so many others here at AN. Your spirit of generosity seems to be at least as contagious as any other attitude. People I didn’t even know have outright *given* me DVD’s, bandwidth, advice and critiques… not to mention good ol’ moral support and friendship. All because we just know each other soley from this board.

I’ve been kind of dogpaddlin’ in my own life in recent months and years, so I’m not able to participate nearly as much as I used to. I guess I’m reluctant to start a topic if I know I won’t be able to come back soon and kind of keep my replies frequent enough. But if you’re feeling like there aren’t enough contributors lately, hey, I’ve always got ideas from time to time. My response time just may be a bit slower (which is true with me face-to-face these days, too, I guess… heh).

The guys are right. No one could blame you if you wanted to convert completely to a blog, but I know a lot of us sure would miss the old interchange of ideas on the messageboard, too. Bless you for keeping it going so long. I wish I could offer support in more tangible ways, Charles. Thank you for your patience and goodwill.

John “hamsterbite” Richardson

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Dennis Woodyard
IE # 81
Member # 2314

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Charles, I hope you find a way to keep Animation Nation going in whatever form you feel works best for you.

I like the wide range of topics that pop up here. Yes, our core self-interest may be animation, the art form and business, but side topics, and other discussions continue to illuminate and enrich us. Sharing knowledge and ideas is a key step way to building a community, company, or friendship, online or off.

I look forward to seeing what changes you plan for AN. Whatever it is I'll be there to support it.

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The Gods that smiled when you were born are Laughing now - My Favorite Fortune Cookie Saying

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SNAKEBITE
IE # 101
Member # 17

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I made some killer progress last night on the design and concept of the new home page. I'm really excited!!!!!!

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contact@animationnation.com
www.artbysnakebite.com
www.myspace.com/mrbite
www.redskystudio.com
www.myspace.com/redskystudio

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Mr. Fun
IE # 63
Member # 352

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One of the things I loved about my old Disney days was the fact that the artists all shared different points of view. These guys were everything. Socialists, conservatives, liberals and radicals all in the same studio. They voiced their opinions, and did so loudly. At the end of the day, they went out for a drink together. When it all came down to it -- they were all artists.

Personally, I love that kind of exchange. I also know that it scares the heck out of a lot of people -- so different points of view are now always welcome or accepted.

However, that depends on the “sandbox,” and who owns it. Walt Disney didn’t care. A staunch conservative, he welcomed liberals -- and even a few radicals into his studio. All that mattered was who did the best work.

I’m just saying...

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