A few external grumbles from members of late has caused me to pause and simply enjoy being in TIWWA for a few seconds before posting. I think we all, without question, realise what a wonderful little corner of the web has been created here. Yup, we may venture south to the badlands once in while but I, and I know I'm not alone, have yet to venture into any online concern as friendly and respectful and encouraging as this one. We all of us have had 'those' experiences of slowly becoming cognisant that you are posting a forum somewhere that is currently embroiled in a world war of sorts, boy you guys should visit the Madonna Forums; members choose your weapons. I have oft wondered if said Madonna Forums have a code of conduct as such, my guess is that if they do it comprises of two points: slaughter your opponents mercilessly and ensure the optimum use of expletives in your posts. I am staggered to see staff members openly embroiled in conflict, members banned for standing up to said bullies and posts whose content veers dangerously into the slanderous or outright libelous. Is the aforementioned board alone in allowing itself to degenerate into some sort of theatre of personal conflict, hell no. We've all experienced situations such as these on boards across every spectrum and yet here, at TIWWA, it remains a constant haven of wonderful people engaging in only the most polite of discussions.
Of course this is due in no small part to the way in which Graham and others created, and contributed to, this place conceptually. It has in place a tight system of operations designed to ensure that we all continue to enjoy our time here in only the most pleasant of surroundings. Common sense? Apparently not from the experiences a few of us have recently discussed elsewhere.
Elder's often joke about the mythical 'big stick', a colloquial term for the additional tools at our disposal and let me let you into a big secret. Nothing scares you more when you are a junior Elder. Worrying about that 'big stick' and when and how to use it doesn't half play on your mind when you're new, I spent countless hours reading the 'terms and conditions' if you will to ensure my own conduct met up to the impeccable standard set by those who proceeded me in the role. For this reason, I take my hat off to you all for never giving me a reason to worry about the 'big stick'. The conduct and friendliness shown by all who come here is a credit to you all. If I was on the Madonna board, said 'big stick' would be whittled down to a 'pencil thin stick' by now but the people who come here have made, and continue to make, it a joy to contribute to the moderation of the community. There's an old chestnut that states that only actors are paid for doing something they love but I would contend that. Elder's here are paid in friendship and kindness for a job that is both an honor and a pleasure to do. So the next time you put something a little stronger than tea in your glass raise a toast to yourself and each other and more importantly to TIWWA. Cheers TIWWA, long may you reign.