Here’s how the story begins, it came to me in the shower. Surely, I thought, such a place must exist for surely everyone hates their message board sometimes, if only just a little. Just as one comes to hate – if only just a little – everything that becomes too familiar. Family, friends, work, television shows, I could go on, everything grates eventually.

It’s like any other love, you start out and everything is grand, the people are so friendly, the conversation is good and witty, you’ve become part of a community and it’s wonderful. Then gradually you realize that the conversation is often a bit lacking in style and substance. There are spurts of wit here and there, but more often it’s the same tired, obvious jokes made over and over and you begin to want to strangle the people who quote them and reply with a smiley face. Or worse “OMG – ROFLMAO!!!!” and then a smiley face.

The people are friendly, yes, but you begin to notice the undercurrents of bitchiness and passive aggressiveness. The whining. The neediness. Oh, the neediness! The attention whorery! Can you believe she started another thread? Has anyone heard of Google? Why can’t anyone spell “definitely”? Are all those !!! really necessary? READ THE DAMN THREAD.

You begin to fantasize about sneaking into people’s houses to disassemble their computers and leave the pieces neatly arranged on their coffee table. Or at least rearranging the keyboard, it might improve the quality of their posting. The enchantment is gone and you realize these are just people after all and your vent place has become the place you need to vent about.

So, it was very disappointing to me to find that did not, in fact, exist. How this could be, I had no idea; certainly there were thousands of people needing such a place. I wasn’t really serious about being the person to provide it for them, I’m more of an idea person, but I married an action person and he bought the domain for me, and then threw in message board software. The idea was to start a blog about my adventures looking for another message board and the message board was to be a place for my own private support group, which I had on the message board I now hated, just a little.

It was pure serendipity that just as he had this place up and running there was a revolt on the message board I frequented. It’s a long story, probably only interesting to the people involved, but the end result was over a hundred people boycotting the place, needing a place to go. And silly person that I am, I offered it to them. I was expecting maybe a few dozen would show up, bitch for a while and then go back; what happened was a few hundred came, registered, liked what they saw and said “you know what, I like it here, and I think I’ll stay”.

One month later and they’re still here and I find myself the owner and administrator of a thriving little board. We’re just people, we’re friendly and witty, we bicker and grate, we probably all hate each other just a little, just enough to know we really care. And I find myself wondering what will eventually become.

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