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>Bans not stickingSo this is no longer some big secret but another major shift in 420chan culture has occured due to bans not sticking anymore. The rise of the smartphone really changed so much. When 420chan was created, it was for people who used a desktop PC in their living room or bedroom. If you got banned, you were kinda fucked, because in those days, you're IP was normally highly static. Bans used to be SUCH a big deal here. I remember in the early days of being a mod, I would have to have these knockdown, drag-out fights with people in #420chan on IRC over bans I'd given out, because people would fight to the death if their IP got hit, even if it was a ban only for a week or even a few days. Ban really, really mattered then. Smartphones, smart devices and to a certain degree VPNs changed all that. No one's IP is static anymore, they change multiple times a day. And so the bans mods hand out didn't stick and people realised this, and started taking advantage. Serial ban evaders became common and we would (and do) see people the entire community hates, the mods hate and we do everything we can to remove them and they just refuse to go. They'll spend hours and hours making posts that are only up 30 seconds but they'll keep at for some insane mental reason.
So because of that, A) it became a lot harder to moderate imageboards, all of them (we all have the same issue: We're all websites that allow anyone to post without registration, but the only way to stop people is IP based) and B) because of that we have a whole segment of the userbase who feel "the rules don't apply to me because I know how to change my IP right away" and will do toxic shit over and over again no matter how hard you try and stop them. Across the board we need a solution to that problem but alas, it's not on the horizon as far as I know.
>IRC and Taima.tvIRC was still kinda a big deal back when I came to 420chan. A large percentage of the users knew how to use IRC, both on /wooo/ and /420/chan in general. /wooo/ specifically would have hundreds of users on IRC together for WWE PPVs. That's all gone away with now. For the general population, IRC just seemed to fall out of favour, I don't know if there was any specific reason but I feel like IRC clients never really evolved with the times and as the years when on they just seem more and more like relics of an era gone like AIM messenger or something. For /wooo/ it was sort of different, our community just as IRC was dying saw the rise of taima.tv as a vital part of the community and functionally what ended up happening is taima.tv took over the role IRC had played for us.
For /wooo/ specifically, taima.tv had a huge impact that imo was largely positive. /wooo/ went from being highly, highly WWE based to understanding and watching almost all genres of pro wrestling. If you're not a wrestling or even a sports fan, this is kinda hard to explain but watching wrestling is very communal. It's not like watching a normal TV show, wrestling is very much a thing where watching together is really much more enjoyable as an experience, even if that experience is only through a chatbox. So anyway, taima.tv allowing that communal experience really helped keep /wooo/ together in many ways and grow. For example, 4chen bans the use of most streaming sites, or at least used to, and that gave /wooo/ a massive advantage when imitators came along. 4chen created their own wrestling board in like 2016 and a major reason they fell flat on their face was at that time they weren't allowed post links to a streaming site like a taima.tv, and so /wooo/ came off looking A) more established, B) more free and C) more functional, and that really saved us from getting swallowed up from a potential monster.
>"420chan is dying"This is something that affects all boards: The accusation that now the board or the site, in general, is dying. What people tend to actually mean by that is "the board seems slow to me now". Well why is that? In my view, 85% of that criticism comes from the fact that 4chen and Riddit had EXPLOSIVE growth over the last 5 years. As I explained earlier, 2016 saw a massive influx of new users into 4chen thanks to Old media (fuckshitfuckingbastardsfuck). In the same period, circlejerk surged in usership. In fact last week I read circlejerk is now more used than facebook. That's insane. Anyway, both of those things have consequences. And the consequences are people who use those sites get used to new content coming in at an unholy fast rate. You don't have to wait for stuff, it's almost instant.
Usership on 420chan has actually maintained growth (at least overall, whatever about specific boards) year and year. However, it hasn't kept pace with 4chen and circlejerk. And we can't deliver the blistering pace of the big boys. And we're not going to any time soon. I think for most people this is fine, especially those who are long term users. For a few users, they don't like it, they feel like have to wait around too long. Personally, I don't know what those people expect to happen even in the event we agreed we need to surge growth. We can't just magic new users out of nowhere (at least, not for free) but even if we did, as we've seen with other sites, a surge of new users who don't know the old culture can be highly damaging.
>Final general thoughtsI don't like to romance the past and I don't like nostalgia much. I think too often we get blinded by nostalgia and look past valid criticisms of the past. So I don't want to sit here and paint a rosy picture of 2012 420chan and say it clearly trumps 2018. There was plenty of fighting back then, plenty of drama, plenty of having to manage egos. But it had positives and I those were a strong sense of community, it was less politicised, and it was a bit more friendly in vibe (not always). I don't think the loss of the friendliness is 420chan's fault so much. I think the internet, in general, got much, much, much more aggressive and that's not something 420chan was going to be able to be an island apart from.
I still think 420chan has a lot of great qualities in 2018. The entire website still means a lot to me, not just /wooo/. I do think 420chan retains its own identity and it's own sensibilities, although sometimes we could be more robust with that. The site has been around 12 or 13 years now and it's proven it's stability over and over. Unfortunately, I think going forward we're going to be at the mercy of wider internet trends just as we have been up until this point. So I'm praying that the internet, in general, gets less angry and less divisive in the years to come and that the boards can be a place to blow off steam like they used to be for the most part. But truth be told, I really don't see that occurring for at least the next 4 years. So really we as a site to do is part of what we've been doing recently, doing our best to keep that negativity and angst out of here. Killing /pol/ and not allowing political discussions on non-political boards is probably better for the health of the website long term. We should able to enjoy our hobbies and interests online without this constant pressure to be angry about something and hopefully that can be possible on 420chan.