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Thread: A letter from mol on 10 years of MW

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    an island in the Chesapeake

    A letter from mol on 10 years of MW

    Quote Originally Posted by mol
    So, it's been ten years. 10. Ten. One, Zero. Hell, it’s even binary. In binary it means TWO. That would equate to ten whole years. All of you should feel a bit of pride right now. It's because of you that this site even exists. I am not spewing bullshit here. My wife asked me to write this letter. I would venture to guess that 95% of you don't even know who I am. I know I don’t know who any of you are…and I don’t really care to. So, I was really surprised when she asked me to write a letter to the community. I mean, I used to do it all the time, but that was many tears ago. So, I had to think about this.

    That is the reason this letter is coming a bit late. After all, the anniversary or bicentennial has come and gone already. I was stuck thinking. What do I say to people I don't even know? What could I possibly say that would have any meaning to you? I know that if I read some post from some forgotten dinosaur, I wouldn't think twice about clicking some button that would get me the hell out of here. In fact, I know I wouldn’t read it. If 10% of you got this far, I applaud you for being freaks of nature. You are the truly curious. You are the next generation of weird. So, it is with that attitude in which you find this letter to the community. I don't think many will read this. However, I do know that those of you who *do* read it, will appreciate it. With all that said, here we go....

    It's been ten whole years and everything has changed. Wars have been fought (and I mean REAL wars…with guns, mortars, and weapons of MASS destruction), leaders have changed, countries have been turned inside out, recessions, and whatever else you can think of. If you really look at the world, and I mean take a HARD look at it, you will see what I am talking about. Almost everything has been changing constantly. However, one thing that hasn't changed is this community.

    I know that sounds cheesy, but really, think about it. Just think for a minute or two. The faces and usernames have changed, but the community here is the community it always has been. You know I am not talking smack. This isn't some pitch. I am not asking for money or advertising. I don't really have a stake in this place anymore at all, other than the money I pay out each month (and believe me, I still pay through the nose). Even that, I don’t have a stake in. My wife says “PAY”, so I pay. I am strictly speaking from a totally unbiased point of view.

    This place is life. It's no different from walking down the street, having dinner with friends or family, arguing with siblings or your significant other over the phone or email. It is life. It is alive. It is a community. It's not just a label. It's something that we have to beat into our heads about this place. I know I have. People come and go, but this place has remained through it all. That is because it is a world within THE world. It's THE community. It’s OUR community. It’s YOUR community.

    I have been working in the *internet* industry for a long time. I have grown several forums, I have several patents, worked for several banks, fortune 500’s, and blah, blah, and blah. I am NOT trying to make a case for myself, so that you will see that I am not spewing out bullshit because this is an anniversary...or a birthday. I am just telling you what I think. I am just telling you what I feel. I suppose the best way to show you that I am telling the truth is to tell you I simply don’t care anymore. I really don’t.

    The truth is that this place has stood the test of time and the only reason it HAS is because of you. Truthfully, I would have shut this place down long ago. I have said it time and time again to GEBS, but she wouldn’t let me.

    That sucks to read, doesn’t it? It doesn’t make it any less true. I would love to apologize, but it would be a total lie. I have said it many times to my wife (GEBS). I will have to get personal to explain this, so bear with me, because here I go...

    Once upon a time, I was the *leader* of this place. Hell, some people even called me the “site god”. That was awesome, by the way, as it went right to my head. As a geek it really made me feel important. So, I focused a lot of my time and energy on the site. Anyway, I WAS married to a woman that was obviously referred to as the site goddess (Semele) and so the site was built quickly and opened up.

    So, along came Mysticwicks. My wife at the time wanted to start a candle shop. The name Mysticwicks seems fairly good for place like that. I told her I wanted to have a forum on the website. I said this would help encourage people to buy the candles she wanted to make.

    We ran this place. We paid for all of the expenses out of pocket. It wasn’t cheap, believe me. It still isn’t (trust me…or don’t…trust GEBS). Since I was a tech guy, I knew what it would take to grow a website that would support thousands of users. So, I made the budget happen. My wife at the time (Semele) was all for it, because she was sure that she and her brother could make a candle business out of the site.

    Even with all the money we were throwing at the site. The “candle” site just never happened. I have to admit that I didn’t care one iota about the candle site. If it failed, it failed. I was more interested in the forum. The forum…wasn’t failing.

    One day the community (people of the forum) started bitching about the fact that things didn’t run as fast as they wanted. Well, I told them this was all we could afford. They (now YOU) believed otherwise. I was told that I needed to have some subscription system. I was totally against it. After all, the only reason I set this place up was because of my own inadequacy of having a place to talk about the things I was *really* thinking and seeing. Not just things, but *things*. These things had to do with stuff that went against everything that I was taught all of my life. I wanted a place to be me. If you don’t believe me, as some elders’ around here….if you can’t find someone to ask…then “oh well”. It is the truth. I don’t care if you believe it or not.

    My wife (Semele) still thought that my main focus was on the candle shop. Ladies and gentlemen, that was complete bullshit. I wanted the forum for my own personal reasons. My wife wanted to make candles and I wanted someone to talk to about. That shit happened to be closely related to subjects like Wicca, witchcraft, and Druidry. All of which, she thought I was crazy for thinking about.

    Anyway, I am putting all of the stupid little details so that you will hopefully trust the truth I am bringing to you. The site came up. It was a candle site with a forum. Candles appealed to people who were more *mystical*, so that is what fueled the existence of the forum. I started putting links up everywhere. I started getting some registrations, but no one would ever talk. I realized that the only way to make people talk here would be to show that people were already talking.

    I registered about 20 different users myself and I proceeded to talk to myself about a multitude of subjects. Out of the woodwork a few of the folks that already registered started chiming into the conversation. From there, newly register people started jumping into the talk immediately.

    It wasn’t too long that I was able to abandon talking to myself with my fake accounts. People were talking. Real people. They were talking about stuff that I identified with. It was amazing. I started talking and exploring things about myself that I never was able to do so. In return, I was talking about things with people who were having the same problems and the ideas I was also having. They were exploring things about themselves that they never were able to do so.

    A fast forwarded is needed here (mostly because I a tired of writing). Anyway, the long story short, the candle shop died. The forum, the community, went on strong. Years and years have gone by, people have come and gone. I even left for brief periods because of life. Life does happen, unfortunately.

    Life happens everywhere. Towards the end of my life in this community, I was betrayed. That is right, betrayed. People that I had considered my friends turned on me without reason. I was in the middle of a horrible divorce and instead of support, I received grief and ridicule. I did the only thing that a sane person would do in my position. I said: “hug you.”

    So, I haven’t been around that much for years. My wife (GEBS) runs the community in the fashion that I always did. I just take care of the servers and software. I do this because no matter what betrayal I felt, I know that the main goal of what I had started is still going strong.

    It is you all that makes this community strong. It always has been…it always will be. New names, new faces, new administrators, new moderators (or whatever they call them these days)…it doesn’t matter. What matters is that 10 years have passed and we are still here. That makes me proud…and it should make you proud, too. If it doesn’t, then maybe it will in 10 more years.

    Where his MW story ends mine begins....

    About five years ago my husband wanted to be rid of MW. It was causing him more pain that he felt it was worth. It was a financial burden, a headache to keep up with and most significantly (to him) a heartache. He wouldn't even talk about MW without getting a look of disgust on his face. He wanted to be done.

    I pressured him to keep MW running. It was a difficult transition for all of us – mol, the staff, me and for you, the Community. Loyalties were split. I was relatively unknown on MW. I was always a quiet one. In fact, my first username here was deleted in a purge because of lack of posts. I didn't start posting much until mol told me I had to if we were going to keep going. I tried. I am not a talker but I did make the effort to get my name seen.

    Behind the scenes is where I felt more comfortable. I don't mean in the Admin forum. I don't mean working with staff. I mean working truly behind the scenes – servers, admin cp, planning, budget, etc. That's still where I feel most comfortable. I am not the chatty type and I prefer to hide in the shadows.

    I had a vision for what this place could become. I have always had the desire to be a voice for those without one. I would love to be a religious tolerance activist. That's not easy when talking to people is difficult. My initial attempts to grow this Community were full of my passion for tolerance. I wanted to grow us to be a real presence in the web community.

    Over time my passion changed. Maybe I should say my perception changed. I still have the passion for tolerance. I still have the desire to stand up for those that can't. I realized that MW doesn't need to be “the largest Pagan forum” (even thought we are) or offer the most to our users. What we needed to be is where we started. I don't mean the candle shop. I mean a place to talk to each other. We needed to be a place where those without a sounding board in their life could throw ideas around and discover just what it was they were feeling or thinking. We needed to be the Sanctuary you built. We didn't need to offer the world. We needed to be our Community.

    We had so much going on. We had the magazine, Mwad, MWDark, the CoT (Circle of Teaching), a blog community and plans for more. I think, in the end, I was the only one that wanted all of that. What people wanted was a place to talk. Sure, there was some interest in each of those projects but few shared the passion enough to complete the tasks. I would love to see those projects revived and maybe sometime in the future they will be. Ebb and flow...

    For now I am satisfied being just MW, the place to talk. The place to find yourself. Or to help someone else find their way. Or to connect with old friends. Make new ones. The place you can come when you discover something new about your Spirituality or lose your spirituality. We are the place to come when you need support or need to be silly. We are here. We are family. We are the Community. This is our Sanctuary. We will be here as long as there are people still searching for their voice, or their path. We will be here for those that need acceptance, to know they are not the only one. We will be here to hold your hand through life's transitions, tragedies and triumphs. We will be here. Your Sanctuary. Your home.

    Support MW by subscribing

    We don't exist without your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Sonoma County, CA, USA
    I love hearing from both of you. I remember the days that mol was around more, and I've missed having him.

    Anyone remember this one?
    "The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star stuff.
    We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."

    Carl Sagan, as quoted by The Symphony of Science

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Thank you so much for everything.

    I am a shy person, in real life and online. But here, I do have a voice. So mission accomplished, yes?

    I love this forum, and I am so happy you guys continued this throughout everything. Thank you,from the bottom of my heart.
    Even when your hope is gone, move along just to make it through the night.
    my blog

    Accepting Tarot Requests

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Sequoia View Post
    I love hearing from both of you. I remember the days that mol was around more, and I've missed having him.

    Anyone remember this one?
    MYSTIC WICKS Needs your help!Please donate or subscribe!

    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    South Africa
    There's plenty of cheaper ways to host a forum. It's silly to waste so much money if you're running this place at a loss.

    ~ Blog: Kitten of Discord ~ Twitter: @DiscordianKitty ~

    "Demons have existed [...] for at least as long as the gods, who in many ways they closely resemble.
    The difference is basically the same as that between terrorists and freedom fighters." Terry Pratchett, Eric

    Respect is earned. So is disrespect.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Who are you?

    I appreciate that, despite the heartache and difficulty, you've both kept this place going.

  7. #7
     is offline I was not born under a rhyming planet.
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Down Under
    I spent some of the most turbulent years of my life on this forum. No matter how much I bitch and moan about it sometimes, it's family. Just like annoying siblings and relatives.
    I've gone through a lot with the help of some of the members here. Some still come here, some are long gone. Some I can barely remember.

    I'm coming up to my 7th year here. I've tried to leave a couple of time, people have pissed me off, have made me think "hug it". But I always come back. I'm a masochist in that way, and I don't give up.

    I met my husband here. I think that's a cool part of MW. It's created a lot of couples from all over the world. Had it not been for MW I wouldn't be sitting in Australia now, married to a wonderful Aussie man.

    This place has been good for a lot of people, and despite the fact that some people might not believe me, MW is the place that has brought me to where I am today "lack of spirituality" wise.

    It's a cool place, and I appreciate the sacrifices that have been made by mol and GEBS to keep the place up. It's brilliant that this place is still going.

    And I do remember mol. *chuckles* site god extraordinaire.
    Last edited by Aeon Flux; February 17th, 2011 at 01:20 AM.
    Previously known as Njorun Alma

    "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Love stories.
    btw, are there any pictures of how the candle shop looked like

  9. #9
    Gareth's Avatar
     is offline Silence! I will smite you!
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    In the depths of whatever.
    I have been here for a little while now.(close to 8 years)

    I have made some friends along the way.
    Don't care if I made enemies.

    I used to be here everyday, posting silly stuff.
    Occasionally I'd post some serious stuff.

    This is not a bad place to hang out.

    You've done a great job mol and GEBS!!!

    I still come around,not posting anywhere near as much as I used to.
    But I still come around!

    Oh, BTW........

    In memory of my brother.
    July 12 1965-July 7 2005.
    May you find peace on your journey.

    "To be a man you must have honor, honor and a penis!"
    ~ Shin Chan ~

    Tormentor of Fairywolf!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    In the land of Dementedness....
    Mol I know the heartache and pain you have gone threw, I have been here a Looooooong time I just want to thank the both of you for keeping this site up and running even with all the heartache it has caused.

    I do miss having the sitegod around but I understand why you stay away. But don't forget not all of us "old timers" were against you. I have always considered you a friend and I wish you and GEBS the best in what ever you choose to do.
    ~*"The only true deity is the one that you believe in"*~
    Stalker of Gareth!

    Stabbing the Captain with a pickle

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