Please Give Astibus some Courtesy and Respect~If you have Nothing to Say with REGARDS to Astibus leaving then you have No Reason to post in THIS thread!
I removed any post that did not pertain to the above, stick to topics or start a new one.
Nearly seven years ago I accidentally stumbled across a vibrant dog community named Molosserdogs. I was truly stunned by the rich abundance and diversity of ongoing discussions. At any time there were dozens of live forum threads with so many daily posts that one could barely keep up with just a few selected threads. The picture gallery was just as lively, dozens of uploads within hours, sometimes hundreds of comments on a single day created "twitter" like mini-discussions in real time. Lastly, the website had the broadest collection of breed profiles anywhere in the world. I learned about breeds that I had never even heard of. I joined. It was awesome!
Back then, Molosserdogs had another important feature. The chatroom. The public chatroom was often so crowded with several discussions going on in parallel, that one frequently had to resort to private chatrooms to connect with dog buddies. The latter turned out to be the most valuable aspect of all. It created personal bonds among members and so during this time I made many friends across the US and even abroad. Somewhow most of us managed to eventually meet each other in person and transform virtual friendships into real ones. Best of all, Gary the site owner himself became one of those close friends. We all shared many exciting events and stories and also lived together through the worst personal tragedies as well. In short, we became a family.
Fast forward to today, things have changed. Most of the old members aren't here anymore. Meanwhile the moderators I called personal friends have left as well. Slowly but surely, a new guard has taken over. What's more, the vibrant discussions have somehow faded. I so wanted to hold on to the former glory of MD, but in recent weeks I began to observe the site without my prevalent positive bias from old times and came to a realization. I have virtually nothing in common with the new members of this site. This is not meant in a judging way, in itself it is neither good nor bad, it just happens to be what it is. I used to come here and share thoughts with great dog men, who often challenged my world views ... and once in a while I may have challenged theirs. We all learned a lot from each other in the process, despite (or maybe because of) very different backgrounds and experiences. Today, instead I feel like being worlds apart from the other MD members, like I am talking Swedish to a bunch of Chinese. Rather than being part of a community, lately I feel like an "odd duckling" in a foreign culture. My world view almost seems antithetical to the prevailing consensus, appearing strangely incompatible instead of being a part of a heterogeneous compilation of a variety of philosophies. Sure, I still consider Gary a good friend of mine and there are certainly people who I really like and respect. But Molosserdogs as a community just isn't what it used to be. Not even remotely.
That may very well be a subjective view, as others may feel perfectly at home right now. And there would be nothing wrong with that per se. However, there are also objective indicators, which remind me that things have changed. When I look at the photo gallery, I see less than one(!) image upload per day, hardly any comments anymore. The forum isn't in any better shape either really, there may be solitary heart beats of life here and there, but the variety of discussion topics has already flat lined.
I have always been a very private person. Molosserdogs happened to be my one and only guilty pleasure online. Otherwise my real life is way too busy to crawl the web and waste valuable time. For those reasons I never participated in social networks, don't frequent other forums, I don't even have TV at home. Instead I have the very best job in the world and find myself surrounded by phenomenal human beings, awesome wilderness and fantastic dogs. I believe it is time for me to end this chapter of my online presence and focus more on the important things in life. For now I have a new litter of Sharplaninec puppies on the ground that keeps me entertained enough (nope, none are available, they are all spoken for and will be placed on various Montana ranches as working LGDs). I also have a fascinating young dog that seems to have huge potential, so I decided to spend a lot of my spare time working with him.
It is important to me that I clarify that there is no frustration on my part whatsoever. Molosserdogs was always a source of outstanding entertainment for me, a good way to spend some leisure time reading meaningful information. If anything, I am very grateful for the good times I had in all these years.
I decided to close my account at Molosserdogs. So I would like to wish everyone all the best in their respective lives and dog speed of course. Most of all though I want to thank Gary as well as the remaining and former moderators for all their efforts and hard work that made this place so awesome. For those of you who would like to contact me, my email will remain astibus(AT)sharplaninec(DOT)com.
So long, and thanks for all the fish,
P.S.: I may leave the account in tact for a short while, as I don't know what happens to a thread once the OP is deleted.
Apart from the dramatic drop in activity, I think perhaps you're also referring to the fact MD used to be way more LGD-focussed than the small bits of activity are today.
To be honest I was really turned off the site when it was like that, I don't know if anyone noticed but I just wasn't posting and was fairly bitter about it all too. But that doesn't mean I'm happy with things the way they are now, far from it. A balance would be ideal, and yes a lot more activity. You leaving hardly helps in either regard, but it's your decision and I don't blame you at all.
Thanks for the discussions we had, one of the stand out posters in my posting career for sure. We don't have a lot in common as far as the types of dogs we're interested in, but somehow I feel we still found a lot of commonality in our passion for dogs.
Dan - I fully understand. Many members are now used to Facebook and Twitter also and MD does not yet offer those kinds of functionality. Every time I try to find a similar solution it turns out to be too costly for me to switch over to such a system. Regardless, your points are well made. In the past I had to make changes to the system based on features vs security - and due to the amount of time I spent recovering from hackers - security won out. The chat room was removed because no one used it anymore. The integrated gallery showed current info on the newest photos and comments the current setup does not show this info on the front page. (I know this is a problem but the integrated gallery is no longer supported by the developers).
Several years ago I had rented two dedicated servers when the site was very busy because it could not be hosted on shared hosting. This proved to be very costly at almost $3,000 per year... Today the site is on shared hosting again because server prices have gone up. The unfortunate thing is that most hosts will only allow 200,000 files on the account - so I removed systems and files that are no longer used (like the chatroom) I also had to slim down the gallery and removed unused themes.. anyway, those are just some of the things that visitors and members are not aware of.
Factor in family, home, work, and studies and we have some other limitations. I just started a new career in Houston, TX and so don't spend much time here. Will settle down in a few weeks and have more time to once again investigate other options and study the feasibility of continuing a site like this.
Thank you for the time you spent here and the knowledge you shared with us. I have enabled the delete function on the user info page for those who desire to leave. Since the site does not sent out daily emails or advertising it is probably just easier to stop visiting instead of deleting an account. At least the posts and info remains for others who may come later to learn from.
Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge here.
Astibus, I don't want to see you leave either. You have something to offer the forum. Before you leave...I would like to ask you to read my post and would like to ask you if you would stay IF some things changed here. Of course, this would need to be done by Gary...but I am sure Gary, being your friend, would appreciate your input on my thoughts concerning how to improve MDs.
I have been here for a while...6 years with my current account, and I believe I had an account here prior to this one as well...but lost the info.
Anyway, over the years I have seen this site go from Bandog to Neapolitan, to Bandog, to LGD to...the ___. I have seen posts discuss show breeding and form breeding. It cycles. When bandog topics or working dog topics come up, I find myself interested in participating in the site...but generally speaking have refrained from posting on show topics or topics about other breeds of interest, such as the LGD topics. Just not my cup of tea so to speak...so I don't frequent those topics. HOWEVER...that doesn't mean there isn't any common ground...for there is (I will come back to this later). When the topics I am interested in are not being made, I tend to disappear and lose interest. I think this is where you are at now...as the LGD topics are on decline here now.
[quote1333933719=LeeRobinson] I personally think the site would benefit if about 75% or more of the forums were consolidated. This would increase activity in each folder by "unifying similar subjects," and ALSO decrease the activity in the general forum...and thereby decreasing unnecessary conflict between members.
Thanks Lee and Tonedog - I'll take it one at a time. Tomorrow night I'll start shrinking the forums - It is something that I think would be beneficial also. I have other admins and mods who could assist with this and get it done. (admins, mods - in the forum view it is the Move Thread option - if you want to get started) I'll try to implement the other suggestions in the following days where possible given the system constraints.
I'm not going to lie astibus I'm effin butt hurt like lee Gary babigirl and tonedog YOU are one of the reasons I joined this forum and still continue to read the threads I've learned years of book knowledge and experience in a matter of 2 years of lurking and finally getting an account I can't help but feel im losing a huge side to my knowledge it blows who's gonna be my LGD knowledge now if you don't like the the threads start one....I read I post I learn..... DON'T STOP TEACHING!!!
[quote1334079371=JesusChrist, Vorax, Il-Leone, KeyserSoze, BVLGARI]
Funny how someone switches the lights off and all the dark critters start coming out and taking over the kitchen floor. LOL
it is probably just easier to stop visiting instead of deleting an account. At least the posts and info remains for others who may come later to learn from.
OK, I will just do that, so I don't poke holes into past discussions.
Bye everyone and thanks for the kind words.
I am a member almost from day one and i totaly understand the way you feel because i feel the same.I was here everyday,well you know that, andsomehow things changed.
I wish you goodluck,enjoy the pups and take care.
Always loved your participation here.
Iam going to miss reading your posts. Which I have learned
a great deal from. Ive visited your website several times and
have enjoyed that as well. Their are Shar breeders not far from me. When I meet these dogs I will think about the great info
you have provided over the years.
All the Best,