Monday, June 14, 2010

14/06/10 – Discovering the Forums

Well it was December 2008. I had a day off work and was at home and thinking of going to visit my local Parlour Studio 54. I wanted to give them a ring and find out if any specials were on. Anyways I did a Google search on Studio 54 and this site called Fun In Australia came up. What’s this I thought to myself? So I created a profile and had a bit of a look around. I had no idea that sites like this existed and I was amazed to find that people actually reviewed Working Ladies. What a cack! So off I went exploring some of my old haunts to see if there were reviews of any ladies I had seen. This is when I stumbled up on a review of a lady I had seen as a regular at 20 Hocking Street by a man called Princely. Wow what a great piece of writing I thought. So I clicked on the link in his signature and found a total of more than 200 reviews by the same man. I was amazed.

Well reading all these reviews kept me very busy and I didn’t post much at all. However noticed there was a chat room so decided to jump in and see what was going on. Well on my first ever night in the chat room there were 2 ladies in the room and they were very welcoming. Their names were MaryJane and Abagail of Sydney. It didn’t take long and I became a bit of a chat room regular and was amazed to find out that MaryJane worked at my local parlour Studio 54. The one I was looking for info on when I found the forum. So after getting to know her a little via the chat room I decided that I would make a booking wither and make her my first ever review.

After this I went to a couple of drinks nights and met some pretty cool people. It was at this point I started to notice the forum politics that was happening at the time and decided I would steer clear of it as best I could. (Wishful thinking considering the forum wars which ensued just a few months later) It was at that point I was befriended by a gentleman known in the forums as ‘the rock’. He seemed like a nice enough fella. He gave me a lift to and from a couple of drinks nights. Well ‘Rocko’ was banned from the FIA chat room. It was a little strange in my opinion. Anyways he told me to join up at this other site called SDU which was a little bit like FIA so I joined up.

This was in May 09. When I joined SDU it was like a ghost town. There would be lucky to have been one or two posts a day. The only regular contributors at that stage were bbt, OMS, mw, Robyn, alias, Lani, Ambrosia and EggShen. At that time the site just had its first drinks night. I made a casual suggestion in a thread that maybe they should consider Melbourne for a drinks night and next thing you know bbt is on the phone asking me if I’d like to organize it. So began my semi-official involvement in SDU.

At this stage the truth came out about ‘the rock’ and he was banned from all the forums. When I read about his banning I never contacted him again. What also happened was I discovered that SDU wasn’t just a mini FIA, it was a community with a totally different focus. Don’t get me wrong FIA is a fantastic site and I love reading the reviews and interacting with people there. I just think SDU is much more all encompassing of all parts of the industry where as FIA is more ‘buyer protection’ focused. So over the ensuing months our membership increased and people started to contribute more. The night after the SDU Christmas Party in December I had Dinner with Tony and he asked me if I’d like to come on board as a moderator. I got the feeling there was not a lot of choice in it so I accepted and the next day SDUModBot was born.

It was a baptism of fire. I had planned on not only being anonymous to the community but to the other Mods as well. At the time there was a lot of turmoil on SDU so I had to reveal myself to the other members of the team as PM communication was not fast enough when I had the guys on my personal MSN lol. During this time I have been able to separate my modding duties and my punting. I have made some great friends from the forum and think I have become a better person from all of it. Yes I am broken yes I am sad sometimes, yes SDU takes up a lot of my time with no financial reward. But the reward for me is seeing how this community has evolved from the ‘Tumbleweed’ days when I first joined and having some friendships which I hope will continue after I hang up the punting boots.