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no more Beets

I know a few of my readers here are people I know through Delphi Forums; I'm sure they all already know what's going on, and the rest of you who haven't been Delphi members probably won't be interested. But, since it involves one of my goals for this year, I'm going to write about it.

I originally joined Delphi right before I moved to Seattle. My former roommate back east, James, had been a forum member for a while, and had started his own forum at the end of November 2001, four years ago today. I joined because I figured it'd be a good way to stay in touch with James. James named his forum "Beets Are Yummy" on a whim. I started spending a fair amount of online time in the Beets forum, and then on a few other Delphi forums as well. I made a bunch of new friends, some of whom I even met in person when we organized a gathering (or "drink-up" in typical Delphi parlance) during my first visit back East at Christmas-time 2002.

James is a complicated, troubled person, and due to complicated, troublesome reasons, he drastically cut back his forum time and eventually entirely gave up visiting Delphi. When he first cut back his time, for a while several of us passed around ownership of the Beets forum, but eventually I took that on permanently as the new owner. I enjoyed hosting the forum and hoped to see it continue indefinitely, but even at that point participation had already started dropping, and a few of the other most active members also stopped visiting for reasons of their own. One of my goals for this year was to "post more often in my Delphi forum and try to start some actual discussions." Well, I'm not sure if I actually posted more than I did in the previous year - I'll have to check the numbers - but I did try a few times to start some actual discussions. It turns out though that I don't seem to be a good forum host, at least in that aspect of starting conversations. Instead, most of my posts were about events in my personal life, essentially extra LiveJournal posts (sometimes actually cross-posting between the two).

Meanwhile, in recent events the owner and chief members/moderators of one of the other forums I visit, "The V," finally became exasperated with Delphi's management and decided to leave en masse and set up their own forum using the free Beehive open-source forum software. The V was consistently one of Delphi's top forums, with a large and active membership. When they announced their exodus, they offered a new home to any other forums run by regular members of The V, although they expressed a preference not to include every single small "vanity" forum with little activity. Nearly all the forums I visit took up that offer, and now they can all be found at their new home, The VHive.

I don't consider the Beets forum to be a "vanity" one; although it was started by James just as his own fun little place, as its inheritor I feel that it was an established group of friends having conversations together. It certainly wasn't "vanity" in the sense of being "all about me," and it wasn't even all about James before that. However, I never considered asking The V for a new home for Beets in the VHive. The sad truth is that the Beets forum has been moribund this year, with fewer people posting every couple months and fewer posts being made almost each month. People have moved on and are either active in other forums or simply aren't visiting any of them anymore. And now, with everyone leaving Delphi for The VHive, there's no real reason to keep the Beets forum open any longer. I won't actually be closing it immediately, as both the forum's status and my own membership is paid up to early next April, but unless something draws everyone back to Delphi and brings some of them to start posting in the Beets forum again, I'll be closing it down at that time.

I do feel a little sad about it, as it was my home on Delphi, and it's been a fairly big part of my life in the past three and a half years since moving to Seattle. But everyone moves on, and now at least I won't be splitting my journal-keeping attention between here and there. Besides, I'll still be interacting with most of the friends I made there, who've moved on to the VHive; and the lovely and talented Anna, formerly one of the top Beet-niks, can be found here on LiveJournal, as mondoagogo.


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