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Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange 10th Anniversary

It may not be as prestigious as ” The First Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence” but is ten years old today. I was a late comer to the site, in that I joined 9 years and 10 months ago, instead of the full 10 years. 

Back at the beginning was a different time. Not just because it was in the “before times.” When new sites launched back then there were promotions and giveaways. You could get actual physical prizes for participation, from comic books to DVD and BluRay box sets, to New York Comic Con passes

After nearly a year in beta, it graduated on December 13, 2011. And with it came a thriving community. The chat room became a great place for friendships and comradery. The channel would regularly engage in Live Chat movie and tv viewings [not all of them received a blog entry]. A couple years later, we see the first Jack’s Bad Movies, a hilarious if not controversial staple of the blog for years to come. 

The years on the site have not been without their own challenges. Several site policies, moderator changes, and chat room restructurings have rocked the community. Many original users and some moderators have resigned and left. New blood came in, and the site goes on. 

We’re heading into a new year and new decade of Here’s to hoping for the best. 

Here are some of the user comments about the site over the ages. 

b_jonas: It’s still fun, even after 8 years. I can’t vouch for all 10 years though.

Rand al’Thor: The first year was the worst. And the second year, that was the worst too. The third year I didn’t enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of decline. It’s the people you meet on this site that really get you down. The best conversation I had was over four years ago, and that was with a comment bot.

Edlothiad: Neat I guess.

ibid: Very cool. Maybe we should make a blog?

phantom42: It’s gone downhill. 

PearsonArtPhoto: LOL, in my mind, the first few years of SFF were the best years, when it was young and trying to figure out what it would be. We even made the top 100 list for new websites. I think in 2012 or so. 

Valorum: I joined nearly ten year ago, and during that time I’ve come to think of you as … people I met.

AncientSwordRage: Has it really been that long? I still remember getting comic books from Brett for answering the some questions on them… Feels like yesterday.

Jack B Nimble: I don’t see how the site could be up for 10 years with 4 moderator elections and I didn’t win a single one. 

CreationEdge: I feel that I was an active member during the site’s peak, where it was an active and collaborative venture, with various sub-communities finding fulfillment. It was fun, interesting, and people of all types could feel included or successful by some measure.

I was also there during its decline, when specific sub-communities began being catered to at the expense of the others, and the Stack Exchange corporation became increasingly antagonistic and hostile towards the SciFi.SE community as a whole. I am grateful for the time I enjoyed there, and the people I met. I regret that the best parts of it have been replaced by a minority of personalities, or excised by the parent company.

Unfortunately, even if a certain state of community could be restored to what it was about 5 years ago, there’s no undoing the fact that the site is hosted by a for-profit entity whose actions I find increasingly unethical, and so I can’t in good conscience participate in their services or give them any measure of support. Where I once felt proud of my contributions to SciFi and Fantasy geekdom and knowledge, I now feel ashamed to have them associated with Stack Exchange/Stack Overflow.

Ringing endorsements if I ever heard them.

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