I wanted to write here under my own steam if you don't mind.I've been somewhat coy about my involvement with blogging. It's public here that I've run a successful blog in another area (that I choose to keep private) for a number of years. But I also have published on virtual communities for a number of years as well, and have presented papers at a number of conferences (in a variety of disciplines). All of that has meant a ten year study of blogs, many like this one.Yet, I've never seen an online community quite like CM. There is an authentic display of personhood here that simply is not seen in the communities I've been a part of our studied.There are characters on CM that are absolutely breathtaking. Yaro is one. For me, Yaro is enough reason for one to want to enter the profession. And his contributions (actually tiny in number) overwhelm years of academic misery and overshadow scores of miserable colleagues and students. And Walter, the polarizing, wicked one from Texas. His transformation over the years (since RYS) is something I've never actually seen before. He retains some of his "crazziness," but has tempered his worst features, in part (and I'm guessing, but I'm sure!) because of the kindness and even-temper of this larger community.Of course there are more characters than I could name who make this place as rich as it is, Ben, Stella, the Cynic, the Monkey, and the list could extend a full page.I rarely see the kind of openness and honest interaction that I see on CM. I do not hesitate in saying that CM is the finest online community of academics I've ever seen. It's a delight to be a part of it. I am richer for knowing all of you.And Fab? Poor Fab, who, I know, sometimes feels put-upon, sometimes feels as if he's not giving the page enough, doing enough to build the community. Well, he's a shepherd every community, real or virtual, should have.Leslie K
The moderators set the tone of the blog. Other people might write the posts but the moderators structure the community to an extent that the blog attracts certain types of readers and writers. CM started out much like RYS ended, a rough, crazy place. That ended because Fab enforced the Rules of Misery (e.g. be nice, don't eat somebody's lunch in the compound frig, etc) and we have comments. Comments allow us to form relationships with each other. Actually knowing readers (or thinking that I know them) makes it harder to write a post that I anticipate would piss people off. Things get less rough and less crazy as a result. At times, I think more craziness would be fun (can we piss of Katie again, please?) but having a friendly community is certainly nice too. And besides, why dump on each other when we have students?
This should have appeared as a reply to Leslie's post. For Fab, the Founding Father of CM, I wish you all the best. May the duck be with you.
In my short time as moderator, I was knocked out by the good humor of so many folks. Of course the complaints are legendary, but I often got follow up comments from people apologizing for freaking out about their fonts or positions on the page! And during it Fab and Cal were both endlessly patient and kind helping me run the page nearly into the ground...haha.I love Leslie K's view on things, and I, too, think Fab is the greatest.Be well, my friend, and come back soon.
This place is my solace and keeps me going on most days. Thank you to everyone who makes it possible to continue the community we have.
There's college misery, and then there's grief. And when they meet one another, here we are. It's lovely. I'm so glad you shared your loss, Fab, sorry as I am that you have had to go through it.
Fab, my father was so proud that I was a college professor. He was a hard man, much like yours, but I remember that frequently with loving thoughts.Kisses to you Fab always!
I'm so sorry for your loss, Fab. It sounds like you did your best, and your kindest, in a difficult situation (which, come to think of it, is also what you do when things get fractious here). I hope knowing that is some comfort.