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Petrie

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Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« on: October 12, 2018, 06:18:32 AM »

15 years.  Wow!  A picture says 1,000 words.  The picture above is truly my own reaction to the reality that the Gang of Five forum has been online for 15 years now.  Granted we’ve had our shares of road hazards, and have had to move the forum on four different hosting platforms (hence why the founding date does not say October 12, 2003), but we’ve come through it all!  At this stage, we are in the most stable situation we possibly could find ourselves in as the GOF pays for its own hosting and domain name, no longer at the whim of any free web host, plus we are ad-free too!

I won’t make a big speech like I did for year 10.  My role is quite different now, consulting for the forum, and basically running the GOF Discord Server.  To keep things about the forum, its memories, its good times, and even its bad times, I would like everyone—no matter how long you’ve been here—15 years or 15 days—to share a memory of this place!

Thank you all! :D :D :D  :cheers

Adam (Petrie/Chipper Blu-wolf)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 06:21:28 AM by Petrie »

Petrie

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2018, 06:25:47 AM »
The only memory I never forget is one I never took part in because I had a class that night (the April Fool’s day where the admins got into an “argument” and started banning each other) so I really can’t share much about it.

What I’ve decided to share instead is a bit of how thankful I am of individuals that helped get the GOF off the ground, even before its official founding date.  Some of here on the forum have known each for longer than some members have been alive.  Malte and Jason (Littlefoot1616) have been good friends of mine for 17 years now.  We got to know each other through Network54’s Land Before Time board.  Eventually, I was able to convince Malte to help me run and set up what was going to be the largest (and accurate) Land Before Time site online (in 2002 mind you).  Out of those talks came treestars.net and for its day, it was a good site.  You have to remember the web was very different then and there was no reliable Land Before Time information site out there.  Malte also was very kind to provide the first fan art for the site, and Jason offered some as well.  We also put reviews and screen pictures (from VHS tapes, remember those) up on the site, which was unheard of at the time and not very common.

The forum’s creation was simply a feedback forum for those who wanted to comment on the art we posted.  It was not intended to be a discussion forum.  I already had another dinosaur themed message board online and didn’t feel I needed to have a second one.  Nick22 came along and joined us on this feedback board and eventually Nick and myself decided to run a separate site called “Welcome to the Great Valley” with a really bright neon green and salmon coloring for text.  I don’t know what we were thinking. :P  This message board, perhaps is about as close to the Gang of Five’s predecessor as they come.  I cannot remember the founding date, save that it was 2002.  As time went on, us four really kept these sites all updated and working.  Eventually though it made no sense for me to run three message boards essentially overlapping thematically.  The question became what to do, and Malte, Jason and I decided to keep putting our energy into the feedback board, which had grown by now to include discussion areas to keep people around.  We also gave it a new name, The Gang of Five on October 12, 2003.  Nick agreed to keep WTTGV online alongside it for historical purposes, and keep it going as long as it had activity.  Eventually we moved off our original host onto invisionfree, and that is where the majority of our time has been spent of the 15 years we have been around.

If I didn’t have these three with me—Malte, Jason and Nick—there’s a good chance I wouldn’t have kept at it and decided to hang around to see the Gang of Five succeed.  Together we managed to keep people interested and coming, offering them reviews and discussions of the LBT movies as they still were coming out at this time.  Together we were able to build the concrete foundations of the board you all know and love today.  While it is true that three of us have moved on to other things and are no longer active administrators of the forum, our friendship shows what great things can happen when we work together for the larger community. :)

Thank you Malte!
Thank you Jason!
Thank you Nick!


-Adam (Petrie/Chipper Blu-wolf)

Mumbling

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2018, 06:31:31 AM »
I was asked to write a little bit about my time here on the GoF. Instead of focussing on certain events that took place (haha, that April Fools with the admin fight was great, Adam!), I'd rather tell about the impact this board has had on me.

Over 10 years ago, a young teenage girl joined this very forum. She was insecure about life and her ability to communicate in English. Not long after she joined, the kind people of this forum asked her to join in on the activities. Draw, write, play in role plays, sing along with others, do all these things you never dared of doing before. These lovely people drew her out of her shell and let her explore her abilities. They also helped her get rid of an abusive relationship, and managed to create everlasting friendships instead.

My first few years on this forum were a turmoil. My personal life was a mess and everyone here was nice enough to listen to my stories and help me get to a better life. I truly believe that if it weren’t for the Gang of Five, I would not be the person I am today. I might not even have been here anymore! My depression was really quite severe and I am not sure what would’ve happened without the people here supporting me and helping me find my way.

Thanks to this forum I have:

-   Been in a really wonderful relationship
-   Traveled more of the world than I would ever think I would do
-   Gained friendships more true than any other in my life
-   Developed into a healthy adult with a lot of confidence

There have been good times and bad. People I used to get along with, but no longer wish to see. People who I would wish to see, but no longer visit the Gang of Five or other social media. Decisions that had to be made that no one was really happy about. Decisions that had to be made right away. Tears of sadness, tears of joy and tears of laughter too. You have given me wonderful memories that I will always keep close to my heart.

I’ve been away from the Gang of Five for a few years after a bad break-up in real life while also starting my professional career and just not having much time on my hands, but I believe rejoining the forum and its very active Discord server has reopened my eyes as to what an amazing place this forum is. Even though I am not as interested in LBT as I used to be, this forum welcomed me back with open arms and many new friendly faces. This community is very unique and very special, and I wish the whole world could learn from it. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for a very special time here. Now that we have our own host, I hope this place will live on for years to come. Happy birthday, Gang of Five!

Sneak

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2018, 08:43:52 AM »
I can't describe how much I love to see this forum well and alive, love to see it has a deep history already, love to see people who keeps its rising and shining. I love to be part of this community.
Thank you to group of people who brought this community to live, who made this beautiful place.

Happy Starday, Gang of Five!!!!
Play Mr. Stick adventure forum game!:
http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=15974

-----------------------

ask me thread: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=15601

dinosaur in the bushes: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=15412

------------------



---------


Ducky123

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2018, 10:11:53 AM »
Cheers.

Don't feel like writing a lot so I'll just second what mumbling said for it's a very similar story for me. Wouldn't be who I am today. Period :)
Note to self: finally create that signature lazy bum! :P

OwlsCantRead

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2018, 10:30:38 AM »
I'm probably one of the newest ones to post in this thread... :nyah Nevertheless, reading about the tumultuous times, I find it truly remarkable that this community has made it through fifteen whole years.

As I've been here for barely two months, I haven't had much life-shattering experience or changes to my psyche yet, unlike the prior replies. That said, even in such a short span of time, I will say that this place has already made quite an impact on me. For those who read my welcome message, the reason I'd held off on joining in the first place was due to the mistaken belief that Land Before Time would be an incredibly niche community and hence, would be very hard to find a cohesive group with it... well, I was 100% wrong there once I gave it a chance and looked up this place. And since then, this community has been incredibly nice and pretty much welcomed me with wide open arms. And for that, I'm truly grateful.

Funnily enough, the most significant and telling memory of this forum was before I'd even joined as a member: it was when I was applying for membership! Although I didn't know it at the time, I'd joined when a spam wave of banned members trying to regain access - probably the most inopportune time to join. As a result, my application was basically lost (it didn't help that I physically lived around the same general vicinity as that guy... the staff probably though I was an alternate IP alt account! :lol)

Well, I didn't know any of that back then when I sent in my registration, so for twenty-four goshdarned hours I waited on my application for a confirmation email that never came. It really didn't help that the site taunted me by saying I was the "newest member" when I couldn't even log in. It was driving me up the wall, let me tell you! Eventually, even though I was heavily reluctant to, I pretty much last-resorted my way to find out what was going on by going on the staff list and trying to contact them. I went with Rhombus, and sent him an email to inquire on the status of my "lost" account application.

Now this is the part which really speaks volumes about this community. I pretty much got a prompt email reply and an apology explaining the situation. The whole thing was resolved promptly, and thus here I am now. Now, speaking as someone who has moderated other people in another community before, it really shows an intimate touch by a staff member settling the situation as quickly as it did (trust me, I almost expected to wait a week for it, let alone prepared to never receive any reply) Real life takes priority, so I'm touched that the staff here cared and trusted me enough to invest and dedicate their time to fix the problem, even though I was practically nobody.

It was pretty much my first actual experience with a GOF member (reading people's fanfics on FFN didn't count :P), and thus a taste of the welcoming and nice community that the GOF is, setting up a wonderful tone for my experience thus far, and hopefully in the future.

But that's enough of my super long essay. It's been a good run for those here longer than me, and I hope for more sweet memories, experiences and interactions here in the future. Happy 15th Anniversary to the GOF it is! :birthday
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 10:33:09 AM by OwlsCantRead »
A quaint creature who soars when the Night Circle is highest in the dark sky, messing up his circadian rhythm in the process. Truly, a tragic flyer.

When it comes to LBT, I love to write stories! :)
Current Fics: Waves Crashing Upon the Sky, The Threehorn Way, Five Stages of Grief, Scrambled Eggs, and Our Safe Haven.



jassy

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2018, 11:28:40 AM »
I’ve only been here since May, but it’s wild that this forum has been here almost as long as I’ve been alive  :wow  but even though I am still a bit new, this place has helped me become more confident with sharing my art and my writing, and has also helped me improved both of those skills. I probably wouldn’t be as active with either of those things as much today if it wasn’t for this place, and I hope it’ll still be here for many more years to come. Happy birthday Gang of Five!!  :^^spike
I love the rainbow faces from the bottom of my heart!

My stories:

Across The Seasons
Worlds Apart
Deliver Us
Under The Stars

Stay tuned for more!

DiddyKF1

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2018, 11:45:29 AM »
I've only been here since February, but this place has changed the way I write fanfiction stories. I may not be a very social person, not even on the internet, but this place already feels like a home to me, because it's the one and only place where I've found people who love to talk freely about The Land Before Time. I'm still trying to work on my artwork, even though it's been very slow, but my fanfiction writing styles have taken a big change, thanks largely to this forum.  In a way, @Sovereign, in particular, reminds me of my creative writing professor during my college years. He was so impressed that an individual with Asperger's Syndrome could write such astonishing content. Sovereign's feedback has played a big role in changing the way I write stories, and I'll never forget what he taught me through his feedback.  :)

Happy birthday, Gang of Five! I can't believe it's been 15 years, even though it's still my first year here!

zero-point

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2018, 02:42:48 PM »
 I've only been here since last Summer, but over that time I've managed to gain new friends, new hobbies, and it's had an overall positive effect on me and my personality. I enjoyed the time I spend with others trying to figure out, first, how to make the Zeta forum look acceptable, and recently, figuring out how to transport the forum to an entirely new, self-hosted site.

 Again, I've been here since last Summer. How I found here is an interesting story. It all started with me coming across FanFiction.net and finding fanfictions about cartoon that I've always known, but never really remembered knowing until I stumbled upon a particular one called The Seven Hunters, written by rhombus. After that, I started working of DA, creating drawings and some short stories about The Land Before Time. Around that time did I stumble upon fantastic pieces of paleoart by various artists, and that's when I really decided to learn to draw better, and have been practising, although with shorter-longer breaks here and there, eversince. Rhombus and Ducky123 were the ones that commented on a lot of my works, and they were the ones urging me to join the forum. So I did.

 This forum is also a place for me to share my drawings, and get feedback and responses to them. I've tried many mediums, from pencils, through ink, even watercolour, and so did I try digital. My drawings may not be the most anatomically accurate, or have the best shading and colouring in the world, but they are my works and even though I often despise how they look, they are my works to share. As for writing, I still haven't figured that out. :p

 Fifteen whole years. I was 4 years old when this forum came to be, which is a thought that makes me realise how young I still am. I've had good and bad days, but people on the Discord servers were always there to help me out, for which I am most thankful.

Happy 15th Anniversary.
"The fire flickers with possibilities, I wonder what happens if you get a little closer?"

Sovereign

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2018, 02:56:50 PM »
Thank you very much for your kind words, Diddy! :)littlefoot

I doubt I'll have as much to tell as some others but it has been a real pleasure to have been an active member for the past two years and it's also great to see the entrance of many new members during this time. To me, the best moments have been relate to the Fanfic section and I still remember the thrill I felt when I received my first reviews on Under the Cave of Many Voices nearly two years ago! You gave me the motivation to continue improving my skills and those experiences have influenced a lot in my current life. There have been many great memories, like our attempts to contact the very people who created the films we love and I still relish the fact that we were so often successful.

There have been many members with whom I've enjoyed discussing a variety of different things and in that way, this site has provided me with many helpful ideas considering real life too. I may not always have been the nicest member but again and again, things have worked out well in the end which has been a great thing to notice on this site. I'll certainly look forward to seeing what future will hold for GoF but for now, good job keeping this site alive for 15 years and happy starday to Gang of Five! :^^spike


rhombus

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2018, 04:40:18 PM »
It is certainly hard to believe that this forum is now celebrating its fifteenth year online.  Though I have only been a member of the forum for one-third of that span, and thus cannot claim to have as much knowledge of the forum as the members who have been here since the beginning, I do have many memories of fun, friendship, and goodwill from this wonderful little place on the Internet.

One memory that will never leave me is how I was originally greeted on this site.  I was quite hesitant to join a forum for some time due to the general lack of civility and maturity in many forums.  However once I discovered the Gang of Five I began to sense that it was different.  I lurked for quite some time (I think it was 6-9 months) and was quite impressed by the community that it showcased.  As my interest in the Land Before time had been rekindled since 2011 or so, I finally decided to take the plunge and to join the forum in August 2013.  Much to my relief the other members and the admins welcomed me warmly and encouraged me as I slowly got the hang of being an active member of an Internet community.  In particular, jansenov, Malte, Mumbling, Ducky123, and bushwacked made me feel right at home.

Another thing that I will never forget is how this forum came together during the recent hard times.  More specifically, the Photobucket crisis, the Zetaboard transfer, and finally our transfer to our own VPS.  There are many forums on the Internet that were devastated by Photobucket holding their images hostage and that eventually died as active communities, but in our community we actually had a team that was willing to save as many of these images as possible.  No less than 400 images were saved by the dedicated work of our members.  But that paled in comparison to what happened next, the forced transfer to Zetaboards, and then, TapaTalk.  The details of this probably need no introduction as it is all fresh in our minds, but the dedicated efforts of zero-point and James Gryphon effectively saved the forum from being degraded into the TapaTalk system.  And the amazing support from the membership itself has kept the forum up and running.  The fact that so many are willing to dedicate their time and money to maintain our little home on the World Wide Web is a testament to the good character of the people here.

Finally I do remember the incident that led me to becoming a fanfiction author, which is another important change that is thanks to this forum.  Way back in 2013 I already had the basic idea of the Seven Hunters in my head, but it was not until I joked about it on the "What Would They Do" topic that I got the motivation to act upon it.  Because it was then that Ducky123 suggested that it would not only be a good idea for a fanfic, but also a roleplay.  Though the roleplay sadly went extinct, the Seven Hunters was born from that encouragement.  My continued writings as an author and my desire to start with Horizon the fanfiction prompt challenge all date back to that critical event.  I will always be grateful to this forum for giving me the initial motivation to pursue creative writing.  :)

There are so many more memories and recollections that I could recall on this day, but I think that I will leave it there.  I will simply say that I wish the Gang of Five a happy 15th starday, and I wish it a long life ahead!  :)littlefoot
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 04:55:22 PM by rhombus »


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale
Mender's Tale.

Flathead770

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2018, 08:31:53 PM »
15 years, wow!

Though I joined around 11 years ago I want to instead mention how glad I am on deciding to come back a year and a half ago. I wasn't sure if I would keep my rekindled interest in LBT for long but that hasn't been the case. In fact, you guys have helped me grow as an artist (something I never thought I would even say about myself a year ago) with your feedback and support. Although my drawing isn't as frequent as when I first started, I still plan to keep at it in the foreseeable future and I don't think I could have done it or keep doing it without you guys. I'm also pleased to have made a good number of friends along the way. This truly is one of the nicest places on the internet!

Happy starday GoF and here's to many more! :celebrate

LeventeII

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2018, 08:46:37 PM »
I have been here for 10 months now and I'm sure that those 10 months were not meaningless. I would like to take this opportunity to summarize what this time has brought me. And I am sure that this is not little.

I am sure that The Land Before Time and The Gang of Five have influenced the progress of my life, at least in some way. It may be that for my young age I am not really allowed to write about my life that way. Nevertheless, I am very sure that with The Gang of Five, in 10 years I will be a different person than if I had never discovered it. I have become more open-minded and tolerant. Also, I lost many of my preconceptions, a trait that characterized me only a year ago. The Gang of Five made sure that I didn't lose my interest in The Land Before Time.

I started with Fanart. Before that, art was "Just such a thing" for me. But now I am working with it. The same applies to music. I've always listened to music, but I only really pay attention to the musical content since I've been interessted in the soundtrack of The Land Before Time, which I first noticed through The Gang of Five. I started playing these soundtracks on a keyboard, although I never had anything to do with it before.

If I could tell all this to my past me a year ago, he would laugh about it. Pretty much even. Nevertheless, today I can say with satisfaction that, thanks to The Gang of Five, I have now become a better person.

Thanks a lot for that and happy 15th anniversary, The Gang of Five!  :birthday

The Lone Dragon

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2018, 11:43:27 PM »
I've been around for around three years now, since 2015 but I have memory's before I started to join the forum that directly link with it. When I first started to get back into LBT, I had found 19 years of Land Before Time of YouTube which was of course made by one of GoFs members and when I actually found GoF I lingered as a guest for a year before joining it was during that time that I read The Seven Hunters and started thinking of writing my own fanfic.

Once I joined my I found a very friendly community and it was the first online forum I'd been too and the welcoming atmosphere was something that I really liked and once I started writing The Swimmer Trials I was able to grow as an author and the feedback and comments I received were especially helpful.

Once I joined Skype and later the discord chats I made some great friends which I continually chat to today. This community has been one that I really hope lasts many years as it has touched so many people from so many different places yet everyone is real friendly here. It truly is a Great Valley in the internet.

Happy 15th Birthday The Gang of Five! :celebrate :birthday
What's the point in being mad if you don't do mad things now and again?


Serris

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2018, 12:33:26 AM »
Fifteen years. It's amazing to think that a forum dedicated to what would be considered a small fandom to last this long.

I joined back in 2008 to post my now long dormant war story, Twilight Valley. It's been with me through high school, college and now graduate school. And I've met some truly great people on the forum. And it is here that I'd say that I found my passion for writing.

I hope that it will last for many more years to come!  :cheers :birthday :celebrate

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Please read and rate: Land Before Time: Twilight Valley - The GOF's original LBT war story.

aabicus (LettuceBacon&Tomato)

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2018, 01:48:39 PM »
It's weird to think I've been here for 2/3rds of the GoF's history. I've always felt like a relative newcomer, with so many longstanding users that have stuck around since the forum's inception. I was one of many users who all joined the GoF at the same time due to pokeplayer's LBT song vids on YouTube.

The GoF is something truly remarkable. It's far and away the oldest self-sufficient community I've been a part of, and the fact that it's humming along 15 years later is so great to witness and participate in. Honestly I'm glad we finally have a Patreon so I can give a little back. Lord knows the forum's earned it after all this time!

Littlefoot505

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2018, 02:57:54 PM »
I joined this forum one year ago today. In that short time, I've come to feel as if I've been here a lot longer than that. I have become great friends with a lot of members here, often finding that I have way more in common with them than a shared love of an animated dinosaur movie. This community has been nothing but friendly and welcoming. I did recently get a personal friend of mine who is a fellow LBT fan to join, so I'm looking forward to him becoming part of our community.

Here's to the last year, the last 15 years, and many more years to come!! :)littlefoot :celebrate

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RubberDucky

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2018, 05:25:46 PM »
It is truly amazing that the forum has been around for 15 whole years. I've only been here since August (but a few days newer than OwlsCantRead :p), but it's been wonderful to be here so far. The community is truly very, very nice. This is one of the only forums I post in quite regularly! Happy Starday GoF and hopefully many more! :celebrate :birthday
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f-22 "raptor" ace

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2018, 10:30:19 PM »
I joined bout a year or two after the forum was founded. I mainly remember all the wonderful RP's I have taken part in. many sadly which died but a few did come to an end.

DarkWolf91

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Re: Happy 15th Anniversary - GOF Forum!
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2018, 03:29:41 PM »
Wow, I guess I've been a member for a little over ten years now! Though at times my participation has been a bit spotty, I always tried to check in at least once per year, when without fail the "happy birthday" thread would be filled with kind messages :lol

I remember I first stumbled across the link to this forum in a youtube video one of the members had posted, and I was another user who lurked for a while due to bad experiences with forums in the past. Fortunately I stuck around to see that this place is truly one of a kind, and I'm happy that I've been a part of it for so many years.

I've seen a lot of members come and go, a lot of projects begin and end, some fights and disagreements, periods of high and low activity, but somehow the community always comes out on top in the end. I certainly hope it continues far into the future :smile