Okay, I created an entry. I'm gonna copy it here, cos I have an inkling it'll be sabotaged.
==The Teenage Wildlife Forum==
The 'Teenage Wildlife Forum' (known as 'Conversation Piece' by regular users) is an interactive message board for the David Bowie fan site, 'Teenage Wildlife'. It has existed in various guises since the late 1990s and has retained its present layout since 2000. The owner of the site, Evan Torrie, has largely abandoned updating news and information pages, making the forum the only section of the site that receives daily updates. The lax restrictions of the forum and the length of its existence have attracted some of the most terrifying message board personae to have ever surfed the web.
===The Different Fora===
At present there are seven different fora that act as a means of enabling users to find relevant information more easily. These are:
* Coffee Shop -- A general discussion forum. Topics usually include music discussion (non-Bowie), television, cinema, politics, masturbation, pictures of one's pets, poster introductions, masturbation, photographs of the forum's users, drunken jeremiads and masturbation.
* Views and Questions -- Formerly News, Views and Questions. This is the forum usually awash with newbies spouting half-baked opinions about Bowie's music despite displaying little or no awareness about pop music or Bowie in general. Usual topics include ranking Bowie's albums in order of preference, asking the meaning behind that Bowie joke in the Simpsons, asking how to access the easter eggs on Bowie dvds, and other equally vapid competitions pitching Bowie's various songs/eras/hairstyles against each other. Of the forum's 7000-or-so existing threads, it is estimated that at least 3,500 of them were squandered on the monumentally tedious 'Alphabet Survivor' series.
* The News Today -- After the cessation of regular News updates on the main site, this forum was designed to replace its functions. Topics usually include photographs of Bowie walking down the street to his local shop, what Bowie ate for breakfast, and the impending releases of utterly useless EMI anniversary editions that anyone with half a brain wouldn't dare touch.
* Interpretation -- A forum where fans spin their interpretations of Bowie's lyrical masterpieces 'Don't Sit Down' and 'Eight Line Poem'.
* I Was An Artiste -- An angst-fuelled, painful-to-read conglomeration of teenyboppers who write Labyrinth slash.
* Site Feedback -- Where users air their opinions over the fora's facilities and their degree of moderation. The diverse walks of life and posting styles that visit the site, however, mean that consensus is rarely achieved. The forum is regularly (and successfully) used as the final outpost of the site's older posters to bludgeon disagreeable newbies on issues of netiquette.
* Quotes Database -- A highly-popular reference-only section that compiles quotations about Bowie from other musicians/celebrities and vice versa.
In addition, there's a section of the message board called 'Collector's Corner' (presumably because only one person visits it?) jokingly referred to as 'Paedophiles' Corner' by more established posters. Often the scarily obsessive/stalkerish Bowie fan posts here. It is rumoured that the site's moderators hold emergency conferences to report these users to the relevant authorities in order to implement restraining orders.
===Hierarchies and Poster Titles===
The number of posts a user makes dictates their own title within the social hierarchy of the board. The titles are as follows:
*absolute beginner (0-5 posts)
*mortal with potential (5-20)
*grinning soul (20-70)
*wild eyed peoploid (70-200)
*electric tomato (400-700)
*crash course raver (700-1100)
*cracked actor (1100-1600)
*stardust savant (1600-2500)
Users with more than 5000 are allowed to adopt their own personal title to create their unique identity, provided it is based on a Bowie lyric. Other non-Bowie titles have been suggested among newer posters, such as 'I'm sad' and 'I need a life desperately'.
Curiously, posters who have achieved custom titles are among the least popular on the board. Claude, for example, was runner-up in the Board's Most Horrible Poster competition, and Diamondogz74 still receives persistent nominations for his banning despite having had that honour once before. Sysiyo, one of the board's moderators, is frequently accused of 'wasting' posts in pointing out obvious facts and making humourless jokes, thus earning him his custom title in a much shortened space of time. The term first coined to refer to this style of frenetic posting was 'Claudeology'.
In accordance with popular opinion/ennui, popularity contests are occasionally held among the board's users. The contests usually act as a clarion call to re-energise dormant posters and thus present an opportunity for satirical commentary about the condition of the site and on elections in general.
Although not announced as a Mr/Ms TW contest as such, Monkeyboy came out trumps in the first informal strawpoll of the site's most popular posters. His abrasive skill and wit often rank him among the funniest contributors to the board.
The second Mr/Ms TW competition became entrenched in controversy when Twister and 96dbfreak engaged in a lengthy confrontation over disputed votes. Votes were taken in anonymous polls and voting irregularities led to the suspicion of 'alter egos' or secondary users being created expressly for the purpose of swinging the election. On the disqualification of a number of votes, 96dbfreak labelled Twister a 'cheat' and 'puppy' and smeared his campaign, allowing Power2Charm, a shy, retiring man of letters, to take the contest with characteristic modesty.
The third and most recent contest adopted a system of publicly-nominated votes after further vote fixing in the initial stages. An independent adjudicator ruled that 96dbfreak had rigged his group on account of his receiving an explosion of votes to his name in the closing ten minutes of voting, and he was subsequently banned from the competition. Many 'newer' faces made the final stages, among them Phoenix, ohramona, White Prism, Ziggfried, Marquis, Wraith2, Starlite, Strawman and Rabbitfighter. Fears that TW would elect its third consecutive male winner, however, were dispersed when Dara made an unannounced return to the site to destroy the field and capture the title as her own.
As an antidote to the self congratulatory back-patting of Mr/Ms TW, the Most Horrible Poster competition ran shortly afterwards, and was won comfortably by NomDePlume.
Some of the most heated debates in the fora have occurred over the issue of free speech and what constitutes acceptable posting behaviour. While most posters are willing to accept diversity of opinion by different users, a minority have used the tactics of 'trolling' or have posted deliberately to excess in attempts to disrupt free discourse among law-abiding users.
Most pornographic images are deleted on sight by the moderators. They argue that users who access the site through public computers could be reprimanded unfairly because of library or campus rules. The mods then repost the pictures in their 'secret' mod forum for their own purposes.
One particularly prolific offender is Claude. Although keen on photography, Claude posted a series of questionable images depicting a camp of masturbating marines that were removed by the moderator, Adam, after a public outcry. This and the indeterminably dull 'Dirty Show' thread, which was subsequently locked, earned Claude the monikers 'PornoClaude' and 'Claude the Cabbage', the latter owing to his inability to compute basic sentences in English.
Flooding is the action of posting a great number of times to any one thread for the purposes of 1) keeping the thread (usually created by the flooder) in hot topics for a great length of time 2) abusing a particular poster in a protracted argument that lasts many posts and falls foul to repetition and name-calling.
The origin of flooding at TW is difficult to determine, although the two most pertinent (and annoying) examples are attributed to the many twister/96dbfreak arguments, and the anonymous poster BoeS.
Attempts at curbing excessive posting have been various, ranging from bozoing the offender, to informal communal laws such as 'The Thomaswood Rule' (later 'The Eraserhead Rule').
The recent banning of Diamondogz74 suggests that the fora's users and moderators take a serious view of flooding and that threads that are steered off-topic by such methods are to their detriment. Diamondogz74 invariably responded to every comment that mentioned his name (and every comment that didn't), leading to moderator EJSunday arguing that Dogz killed interaction on the boards. Dogz was dealt a temporary restriction on his daily allowance of posts and, with his obnoxious presence still being thought intolerable, he was given a temporary ban. The ban has since been much criticised, and had arguably mixed results. Repeated calls for his permanent banning have been ignored despite him still being the site's most bozoed user.
One of the most controversial aspects of the fora is the use of alter egos. The fora allow users to create multiple accounts that can be used for creating false identities. These are usually either famous celebrities/characters, or other apparently genuine Bowie fans. The most criticised aspect of alter egos is their harassing of other users from a 'faceless' account. The effect may be humorous for those 'in' on the joke, or the effect may be to simply drive away users who are not in-keeping with the spirit of the site.
Arguably, the most infamous attempt to dupe TWers into believing a poster was somebody else occurred at the end of TJ Newton's Reign of Terror. Posing as his brother, TJ wrote an emotional farewell, detailing the horrific car accident in which he had died, to elicit sympathy from the many TWers with whom he had jousted in written combat. The attempt, however, backfired, since, to paraphrase Glitterbot, the only people dumb enough to fall for it were the ones dumb enough to like TJ in the first place.
[neon]I'm not trolling; I'm moderating. [/neon]