Author Topic: The State of Our Community - Transcripts & Your Thoughts  (Read 18959 times)

Offline Phillip Dampier

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The State of Our Community - Transcripts & Your Thoughts
« on: March 27, 2007, 11:05:43 pm »
Audio Archive of the State of Our Community 2006-2007 Presentation

An online "play" button is forthcoming which will let you listen without having to download anything.  This production was designed to be an audio experience, but for the benefit of those who would like written transcripts, you'll find that information below.  Versions for dial-up and broadband listeners are provided.  I strongly recommend the broadband version, especially for part two.

<a href="http://phillipdampier.net/radio/State of Our Community 2006-2007 Part 1 -broadband-.mp3">BetterMost State of Our Community 2006-2007 Part One (Broadband)[/url]
<a href="http://phillipdampier.net/radio/State of Our Community 2006-2007 Part 2 -broadband-.mp3">BetterMost State of Our Community 2006-2007 Part Two (Broadband)[/url]
<a href="http://phillipdampier.net/radio/State of Our Community 2006-2007 Part 1 -dialup-.mp3">BetterMost State of Our Community 2006-2007 Part One (Dial-up)[/url]
<a href="http://phillipdampier.net/radio/State of Our Community 2006-2007 Part 2 -dialup-.mp3">BetterMost State of Our Community 2006-2007 Part Two (Dial-up)[/url]

BetterMost State of Our Community 2006-2007 Part One (Alternate Broadband/Streaming Link)
BetterMost State of Our Community 2006-2007 Part Two (Alternate Broadband/Streaming Link)

<a href="http://phillipdampier.net/radio/Phillip Dampier - Homage to Brokeback Mountain.mp3">Phillip Dampier - Homage to Brokeback Mountain.mp3[/url]



Written Transcripts
Portions were improvised during presentation, so this is not a precise transcript, but is at least 98% complete.

The Presentation of 'The State of Our Community'

Phillip: Good evening.  Before we get started, some thoughts to reflect on from our BetterMost Sage, Daniel.

Daniel: Brokeback Mountain opens the hearts of most viewers to the possibility of love and that is a beautiful thing.  It also questions life and addresses the painful scenario of an unlived life; a life where many possibilities, many opportunities have already passed by.

Ultimately, it asks us and provides some answers to the questions about "what it means to be an effective person" and "how deserving every human is of reaching that goal." As a community, BetterMost has held this goal among its highest.

Human beings called into question two instincts: one of humanity and one of being.  To deny either destroys our most intimate selves. But to accept both means that we must be willing to place aside our differences, but also to embrace them, acknowledging both the individual and the community.

We are growing, changing on a daily basis.  Much of that transformation was brought about by an unique response to a film experience, but now we have the honor, privilege, and duty of responding and creating as a community.

Phillip: On February 10, 2006 at 2:33am, this was the first message written on a website that would go online the following day:

Let me thank you for taking time to join us in this very new project.  Chances are you are among the first to arrive here and you may find the forums aren't exactly buzzing with activity yet.  This is essentially the opening scene of this story, and to be certain this is one that we will all have to come together to write ourselves.

Brokeback Mountain affected me profoundly, just as it likely has touched you in your own life.  Just like many of the rest of you, I spent hours combing the net looking for everything I could find about this film and why it reached me the way it did.  Yes, I learned some new things about scenes I missed the first time around, learned about the background of how the film was made, read the short story, and read lots of articles and messages from people disturbed about just how strongly this film impacted on their lives.

One consistent question throughout all of these messages is "what now?"  Clearly, our obsession with the story and its characters is going to fade with time.  It may take a long time, but eventually we will move on.  For some, our emotional involvement with the film is limited to empathy for the characters and the story.  But for me, and perhaps many of you, the film touched the "third rail" in my own life, dredging up realizations, memories, and regrets I'd safely compartmentalized for years and threw them all in my face.

Past memories of relationships, coping with enigmatic friends who might as well have been Ennis, and the recognition of the danger of not following your dreams and dealing with life's lost opportunities were all laid before me.

After dwelling on this for a few days, I came to the conclusion that all of this emotional energy within me could be put to positive use.  Instead of simply trying to understand the story, I decided to follow the advice of the author and finish it by applying the lessons in my own life.  There doesn't seem to be a forum or site for doing that - just a boatload of fan sites that are limited to discussing the movie itself.

So here is something different.

BetterMost was created so that we could explore the movie's themes and its impact on each of us, and then how we can apply those themes to our own lives.  What can we take from this film and build on within ourselves.  Maybe you need encouragement to follow through on your own dreams, but have not done so out of fear or need support so you don't feel like you are doing it all alone.  Perhaps there are issues in your own life dealing with love or sexuality that you want to safely discuss with a compassionate group of people.

Perhaps you fear your life is already destined to end up like Ennis and want to find a way to make sure that doesn't happen.

We all come into this with one point of commonality - we've all been touched by Brokeback Mountain and we can all relate to the characters and the messages of the film.  At first, I'm sure we're all going to dwell heavily on the movie itself, and that's fine.  But eventually I want to see us move forward together as online friends to carry on our lives in a way that honors the film even after it's no longer obsessing us to the point of distraction.

I don't know precisely where this is going to go.  Your input and help is greatly welcomed.  I certainly don't have all the answers, so I hope we can all learn from each other as this thing moves forward.


As BetterMost celebrates its first anniversary this month, I am proud to bring you this State of the Community Report.  In it, I will take some time to review the history of this place, our accomplishments and challenges during the past twelve months, and a vision for where we take this community together as we enter our second year.

A Look Back - BetterMost's First Days

The concept of BetterMost wasn't even something I had considered back in late 2005.  I had heard rumblings about a movie about some "gay cowboys" and think I even saw a trailer for this movie called Brokeback Mountain in the fall of that year. [Audio from trailer] My personal life at the time was definitely one in transition, but not really in a positive way.  Back then, I was coping with news of serious illness in my family and the reality that I wasn't really happy with what I was doing in my life, but I was stuck, bereft of ideas about where to take things next and not very confident I could make a success of them anyway.

I was very much late to the party, as I didn't see the film for the first time until January 24, 2006.  At 9:50pm that evening, shock and awe took on a whole new meaning for me.

After spending a week in total shock, absorbed and obsessed about understanding why a movie would affect me this way, the idea of building a new community for like-minded true believers began to coalesce.  Part of the reason why I felt there was a need to build BetterMost came from my own online journeys around the websites and forums that had launched several months earlier.  Despite thousands of users and tens and thousands of messages, I realized a lot of the discussion centered almost exclusively around understanding the film itself, not the emotional response it provoked.

To be sure, I wanted to understand what every line meant and what significance certain scenes had, and what hidden messages and themes weren't apparent the first time I saw the film.  But more important to me personally was understanding the reasons why a movie would have me falling apart in the shower, or walking around dazed for days.  What is it about this film that was impacting and reflecting on my own life, above and beyond the story of Jack and Ennis, and what should I do about it.

There were several others I encountered asking the same questions, but a lot of them were being lost in a tidal wave of movie trivia and folks with a crush on one or both leading actors, or who limited their comments to the film itself.

As I began laying the foundation for this community, I came to learn more about the messages the film was sending me:  stop missing out on life's opportunities, the need to take risks and chances to guarantee a "sweet life," to embrace positive change, and doing what it takes to avoid being Ennis Del Mar contemplating the price of not doing so 20 years into the future.

And I realized I was missing out, avoiding taking chances and risks, and simply letting the days pass one by one and feeling more and more insecure about why I wasn't able to break free of this pattern.  Finally, I discovered a quote from Annie Proulx herself which brought everything into place and became the overall theme of BetterMost:

"It is my feeling that a story is not finished until it is read, and that the reader finishes it through his or her life experience,
 prejudices, world view and thoughts." - Annie Proulx

BetterMost was envisioned as a place where folks could learn to harness the emotional energy the film generated as a catalyst for real life changes, with the support and encouragement of your neighbors.

I had found a niche and a focus in a community of Brokeback-related websites and forums which seemed more focused on the movie and less on learning the lessons to be learned from it.

Further, just how long we can ride this place is something that was considered by me before this site even launched.  The reality is, people absorb movies, become obsessed with some of them, and nearly always eventually move on in their lives to other things.  Creating a fan site about any movie may bring a veritable crowd of users when it's current and the topic of much conversation in the world of popular culture, but if that is all you create, you are guaranteeing a site that will inevitably decline into a niche, a shadow of its former self.

With all of this mind, BetterMost was launched not as a movie fan site but as an online community for and about those who shared a common love for Brokeback Mountain and wanted to apply the lessons of it in an ongoing process of positive change in their own lives.  And it was named after a simple can of beans seen cooking on a campfire for a fleeting few moments that first year up on Brokeback.  It was also one of the few things about the film not subject to copyright, trademark, or rights issues.  The name was easy enough, but the address was less so, as many first time visitors to BetterMost know as they mistakenly begin their journey here first by reviewing the wide array of medical products marketed by a Chinese company which secured the Bettermost.com address long before we existed.  We settled for Bettermost.net instead.

One of the hardest things about launching a new online community is just getting the word out that it exists.  The search engines discovered the site about a week after it started, but most of our early invitations to potential new members were found on the IMDb Brokeback Mountain message forum, which was extraordinarily busy, with folks trying to digest this film.  Along with them were a small but very dedicated group of "trolls" who existed primarily to drive movie fans crazy by attacking the film, jamming the forum with hundreds, if not thousands of identical messages, and even reporting legitimate threads as personal attacks, discovering a loophole that allowed messages to be deleted without cause.  We suggested users might find a friendlier, troll-free environment over here.

Our challenge to get noticed also went to other movie discussion forums, including Annie Proulx's own discussion site.  Efforts to get listed in Wikipedia were hit or miss as self-important, self-declared "editors" elected for themselves to determine what was best contained in a Wikipedia article about Brokeback Mountain, a film most admitted to have never seen.

Amongst our earliest members who found us from one of these promotions are still regularly with us today, in order of registration (and messages entered as of February):

Impish  458 messages
Newyearsday  705 messages  
Sheriff Roland  2016 messages
Scott  640 messages
PatSinnott  106 messages  
Aussie Chris  506 messages
CoyotePiper  46 messages
BBMGrandma  209 messages
Backtobrokeback  12 messages
Wayne1932  4 messages
Denyys  8 messages
Iristarr  115 messages
Kula  8 messages
Br. Patrick  124 messages
Lynne  1718 messages
Oilgun  24 messages
Wxaupe  2 messages    
Daniel  1265 messages
JCinNYC2006  502 messages
Brokeback-fan  6 messages
Stripey  55 messages
Front-Ranger  4421 messages
Tactful  1 message


Whether you entered one or more than four thousand messages here, the very fact you have been with us nearly since the beginning gave me the energy and encouragement to keep this community going.  The self-doubt, the second-guessing, and the inevitable questions about whether it was all worthwhile were answered in those early days by those like yourselves who reassured me that it was.

Early Forums

My previous experience in managing online communities has made me a big believer in delegation and never hogging "the vision thing" just to myself.  BetterMost has been, is, and always will be a canvas on which everyone can paint.  Almost every forum here came about because of an idea from someone just like you.  And those that give of themselves as moderators landed that role simply by asking.  Safe Haven was the first forum independently administered by Impish in the first few days BetterMost came online.  Safe Haven is our effort to reach out to those coping with sexual orientation issues in their own lives, as well as those who've come to accept themselves.  Today, that forum has a large team of moderators to keep the discussions going.  Aussie Chris, Scott, and Shakestheground have all contributed to keeping that special forum alive.  The Ladies Corner was originally launched by BBMGrandma to cope with the male-dominated forums that she had encountered in her online journeys.  My own previous experience with online forums suggested it would be a good idea, because the forums I have seen online were almost always 75% (and usually more) male.  But remarkably, BetterMost has achieved an equal balance between male and female users, making the need for that early forum no longer necessary, especially when we realized BetterMost was becoming a unique place where everyone could feel comfortable.

Our Daily Thoughts was paramount to fulfill the mission of BetterMost.  It's a forum version of personal blogs, where you can feel free to start threads to talk about your own life, the process of coping with life changes provoked by the film, and whatever else in on your mind.  Other users can participate, and especially support you in whatever journey you're on.  You're never alone here.  And instead of having to visit a whole mess of different blog websites, you can find our community all in one place.  And one very special corner of that community has been Jess's Feed Store and Tack Shop, which never seems to close.  The conversation continues well into the wee hours most evenings, and everyone is welcome.  It's been such a success, we handed the keys for the whole forum over to Jess (injest)!

And an essential companion to anyone on a journey to study, understand, and appreciate the movie has been our Movie Resources forum, kept well-organized by Lynne and Aussie Chris who have made the forum an essential place for all devotees to visit.  Lynne has also been someone I can turn to to bounce ideas off, and get a good sense of the state of our community.  She's also one of the friendliest people you'll ever meet here.

Brokeback Mountain Radio

One of the services on offer from BetterMost which has been unique to this community is our gift to the entire fan community with a 24/7 radio station, Brokeback Mountain Radio.  During the filming of Brokeback Mountain Ang Lee spent hours listening to Gustavo Santaolalla's compositions that would become part of the film's score.  He did so to center himself and to keep true to the emotional impact of the story.  Annie Proulx wrote the original short story while listening to a few favorite musical pieces for many of the same reasons.  For a lot of people, the pieces from the score were far too short, and people hungered for more.

Brokeback Mountain Radio was designed to fill that need.  A range of ambient and fitting instrumental pieces, many perfomed on a slide guitar, were programmed on the station, in addition to vocal tracks which stayed true to the spirit and the story.  Literally days and dozens of hours of painstaking work was required to assemble a playlist that really worked.  For every song added, five would have to be rejected.  But the labor of love brought something unique to our community, and it's something that has touched the lives of thousands of listeners over the past year.

Population Growth!

If there was one day during the past year that had the greatest impact on this site, it was March 30, 2006.  Devotees of IMDb's Brokeback Mountain forum had found refuge from trolls in an IMDb forum dedicated to Pierre Tremblay, who worked on the film.  Those clearly devoted fans quietly and privately grew their own community through private messages on IMDb.

The reality that one day, the IMDb troll community would eventually learn of this forum led Yaadpyar to approach me in late March about the possibility of providing a new home for that community.  IMDb administrators, while attempting to delete abusive messages, were also alerting users who complained about the state of their forum that IMDb was not a forum site, and that even using Pierre Tremblay's message board to discuss the film was potentially a violation of their forum rules.  A change of address needed contemplation.

On March 30th, the community of Pierre Tremblay landed here on BetterMost, complete with their own new forum, Chez Tremblay, free from trolling and open to new possibilities.  In the days that followed, the membership of BetterMost increased dramatically.  Our existing community welcomed these treasured folks with open arms, knowing they shared the same dedication and love for Brokeback Mountain the rest of us had, and knowing that they were welcome to keep their community intact here.  BetterMost would have never been the same without our great "CT" friends who have graciously volunteered their time and effort in building this community into what it is today.  David (DavidinHartford) and Meryl are your hosts for the unique experience you'll find in CT.

At the same time, the arrival of devotees to a creative set of online games also arrived here.  The ABCs Game has been a hands-down favorite on BetterMost, with over 400 rounds, 11,000 messages, and nearly 100,000 page views.  Fran and Sandy (Memento) have kept the game running for sometime now, and as anyone who plays will see, it's a labor of love.  For even more fun, Roland (Sheriff Roland) has been hosting I Love the Lighter Side, where you can find limericks galore, a road trip game, photo captions, and more.

By summer, our community began growing primarily through word of mouth recommendations.  From time to time, a recommendation to the right person in the right place could bring a whole new neighborhood of users to our community.

Our good friends from LiveJournal arrived here primarily from the support and recommendation of our very devoted fans of the Fan Fiction genre of original creative writing.  The entire community of BetterMost was introduced to the unique way many people have chosen to carry the story forward by envisioning new chapters and new challenges, particularly for Ennis Del Mar.  Louisev's Ennis and Ellery (The Laramie Saga) has brought more than 9,000 replies to her thread, with nearly 85,000 page views in the past year.  Many others have added their own stories, poems, and essays which speak from the heart about their love for the story and how it touched their lives.  Leslie (MaineWriter) has shared a loyalty and devotion to the original authors here on BetterMost as well, helping to guide and encourage people to keep on writing and share their incredible visions with the rest of us.  It's been such a success we've added a second forum just for our creative writers out there.

Sometimes, it's the smallest things that can make a big difference for some people.  In the middle of summer, BetterMost added the current weather in both Riverton and Childress.  It's been a popular feature, and helps keep the story alive.

The Aspen Leaves Turn & A New Fall Season Begins

One of the things I have always enjoyed is bringing a new look and new colors as the seasons change.  Our banner images change even more frequently.  Our news bar aims to always have something new to report.  BetterMost is a vibrant community, always on the move, and always changing.  As our community has grown, the need to share the responsibilities of administering it have never been greater.  So many things I began have been brilliantly improved upon by people who have taken them on and made them their pride and joy and their contribution back to the community.  Eric (sfericsf)'s amazing work on Brokeback Mountain Radio has brought hours of new music to enjoy, regular additions of new songs, live events, and more.  And we have the listeners to prove it, with the ratings on the upswing.

Even while many of our community members have worked through the movie in their own lives, it's amazing how often we'll return to discussing it and contemplating things about it even after we've thought we got all we could from it.  And there's the joy of sharing our love for the film with people seeing it for the first time, as it was first released as a DVD, as it became available for rental, and when it arrived on Home Box Office.

When the film arrived on pay cable, we welcomed a whole new group of enthusiasts.  BetterMost established a Welcome Wagon to individually greet all of the new members here.  Our Welcome Wagon team, including Rich (wulfar360), David (David), Janice (ifyoucantfixit), RouxB and Barbara (goadra) have made a real difference in making it clear that we're a community free of cliques, and that being a part of our community is as simple as just writing a message.

With so many new people seeing the film for the first time, Katherine (latjoreme) has helped guide Brokies new and old through the many stages of grief and acceptance that Brokeback Mountain has had on so many of us.  There will always be a place for our Brokeback Mountain Open Forum, and we're all drawn back to it from time to time.

For those who have moved beyond the discussions about the movie, BetterMost has tried to be a place to share ideas and discussions of all kinds.  Anything Goes was launched to be a place for all those things that just didn't fit well anywhere else.  And that turned out to be a lot of things.  Roland (Sheriff Roland) has presided over a forum that grew so fast, it has now been split into three -- one for current events, one for arts and entertainment, and the classic original formula Anything Goes with an eclectic mix of discussions, pictures, and more.

As fall arrived, it became clear that our community wasn't going to sit still just parked in front of our computers writing back and forth.  For many, the need to reach out and find other Brokies, to visit the important places, and to just spend time getting to know one another is essential.  And even when you can't be on the road, knowing you can find some great social events online can mean a lot too.  Bringing it all together are Lee (Front-Ranger) and Amanda (atz75) in our all-important Social Events Forum.  In addition to creating BetterMost's first regular newsletter, Lee and Amanda have also coordinated and scheduled chats for important Brokeback Mountain and BetterMost events, making birthdays and anniversaries and full moons extra special, and helping to promote enthusiasm and camaraderie in our community.  Lee has been to the top of the mountain to prove her devotion, and she's got the pictures to prove it!

In the past year, Brokies have met one another in events all over the country, coordinated in part by messages here on BetterMost, including:

Albuquerque, NM
Atlanta (The Fox Theatre)
Boston (Coolidge Corner Theatre)
Boulder, CO (to see Annie Proulx)
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Fieldale, VA
Hico, WV
Laramie, WY (BBM, The Laramie Project, Annie, Mrs. Shepard)
Lightning Flat, Brokenback Mountain, and other movie-significant spots
London, England
Lynchburg, VA
NYC (numerous)
North Richmond (Sydney), Australia
Philadelphia, PA
San Antonio, TX (BBQ)
San Francisco (The Castro + others)
Santa Monica, CA (Aero)
Seattle, WA

To facilitate social connections between members of our community, our very own BetterMost Rural Telephone Co-Op continues to give away free long distance calling cards, and although our free international calling service is on hiatus, we're always looking for new ways to help members reach out and touch someone.  

It's A BetterMost Holiday Season - A Year Since Brokeback & A New Administrator

The holidays are a special time for many of the members of this community, as they reached their first anniversary of seeing Brokeback Mountain.  It's amazing to think it's been an entire year and the movie and its characters have never strayed too far from our hearts.  BetterMost celebrated the season with a special BetterMost Holidays forum with recipes, holiday planning, pictures, and more.  Not everyone celebrates Christmas, of course, and the winter solstice for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere was a topic for discussion as well.

This was also the time of year when BetterMost welcomed its newest administrator, Clarissa (Ellemeno), who had been a moderator here since the arrival of the Tremblay folks.  Clarissa's efforts on behalf of our community have been amazing, and her understanding of my original vision for BetterMost made her the perfect choice to help administer our growing community.  One of the challenges I've faced in the past year is the amount of work behind-the-scenes to keep this place running.  While I've never minded doing it, it has kept me from participating as much as I'd like in the public forums and chat rooms, which for many people here has made me somewhat enigmatic.  I am hoping to make myself more visible around here thanks to Clarissa taking on some of the responsibilities.

As we closed the books on 2006, BetterMost outgrew its original web hosting company in California, resulting in us moving things closer to Jack Twist's home in Texas.  The move was a success, and the site has been able to reduce outages because of it.

Challenges - BetterMost and Beyond

During the past 12 months, BetterMost has faced a number of challenges to our community and in many of our lives.  For me personally, 2006 was the most difficult year of the 39 years I have been alive and kicking.  As most of you know, both of my parents were diagnosed with cancer - my mother's was determined to be terminal.  For much of this past year, my ability to keep in touch with our community and be as accessible as possible was impacted by the needs of my mom, with whom I tried to spend as much time as possible, in addition to helping out with her medical needs.  She passed away November 10th.  Without the support of everyone here, users and moderators alike, I am not sure I could have handled things as well as I did.  I am indebted to all of you for your kind thoughts, emotional support, and helping to keep BetterMost going even during my absence.

In any online community, occasional tension and conflicts can be a major challenge.  Frequently friends are enlisted in the battles that can ensue, and others are encouraged to take sides.  When this place started, I decided we would have only one major, always enforceable rule: no personal attacks.  In addition to creating hurt feelings, such negative energy distracts from the purpose of this place, to foster friendship, support, and help with life changes.  There is nothing worse than feeling awful because of hurtful words put on a website that are seen by your friends.  I won't have that here.  I don't ever want a member of our community fearing their next visit here wondering what could be coming next.  Too many online communities are devastated and split apart by conflicts which, if unresolvable, are dragged out into public forums for all to contemplate.  The resulting battles may be "exciting" to witness as reply piles on top of reply, but in the end nobody ever wins.  We all lose.  We're Better than Most.  We've even got our own BetterMost Sage here - Daniel helps this whole community when personality conflicts do arise, as he tries to engage the parties and remind us all of why negativity does us little good in our personal journeys.

That being said, we did lose some members of our community in this past year.  I thanked all of them for their time spent here, and for the most part, always left an invitation to return.  I've always found it better to leave it at that than have a prolonged, stressful exit.  But one person I would like to especially thank is Victoria, who helped keep our family safe from troll incursions and was a major help to me.  

Another challenge we faced in the past year is what I call "creative differences."  I have tried to apply the same principles to BetterMost as public broadcasting in the United States was founded on - you're not supposed to enjoy everything we do.  In fact, if there isn't a part of BetterMost you could care less about (or even dislike), the community is probably not expansive enough!  Our community, like any, is made up of folks with an incredibly diverse range of interests.  There's room here to share them all, and I encourage and remind members of our community that you should never feel obligated to take interest in all of them.

In the past year, BetterMost has met and overcome a variety of technical challenges with the support of John Passaniti, my partner of 20 years.  While I have always been regarded as the "people person," my technical skills are far more limited, and this site would not exist with the wide range of features it has without John's dedication to our community.  John is also the one responsible to allowing us to keep our track record of not losing any messages, thanks to his nightly backups of the entire site.  

As many of you have attested, BetterMost withdrawal can be a serious affliction.  To limit the impact of this dreaded disease, ask your doctor if www.bettermost.info is right for you!  Bettermost.info was created as a gathering place to report site problems, get updates about outages, and even hang out in an emergency chat room to wait for news that the main site is back online.  The worst part of not being able to reach a favorite website is wondering whether or not the site owners know that the site is down.  No worries on bettermost.info, as you can report it just to make sure!

Our biggest technical challenge during our first year has to have been the chat room system.  We've previewed not less than five different systems in the past year.  Our original chat system is still up and running today, but suffers from an attitude problem if too many users attempt to spend time there.  It's definitely got a low startle point!  Our various other tested chat room "solutions" have not been very successful because of Java or Flash problems, the inability to integrate the chat system with the rest of the site, or its expense.

Speaking of expenses, BetterMost has always been supported by the generous financial contributions of its members in addition to limited advertising.  Contributors receive a "premium membership" here which includes access to a higher quality, commercial-free, and more flexible Brokeback Mountain Radio, advance access to new services and features, and the badge of being a BetterMost Supporter right in your profile.  

When it comes to money, I have always believed in being frugal with the financial resources entrusted to us.  I am not a big believer in sweeping projects requiring the investment of large sums of money, if only because I have found that spending a lot usually requires one to ask for a lot... and often.  I try as hard as possible not to drive the community crazy with "pledge drives."  It comes down simply to this: if you believe in BetterMost, consider supporting it with a contribution of any amount.  The link to Paypal is on your right, or you can find our mailing address in the Town Hall forum.  The contributions we receive pay for our server expenses (which doubled this year), in addition to things like our chat room system and the tools we need to build new services into our community.  'Nuff said.

And now the most important challenge of all - the one I knew this community would face the first day I put this place online - keeping BetterMost a living, vibrant, and relevant community that people will want to spend time in day after day, month after month, year after year.

I knew from the first day I opened the doors here that people have a finite attention span for things that do not change, evolve and adapt.  It was for that reason that BetterMost was never to be just another movie fan site.  Movies like Brokeback touched our lives, perhaps more profoundly than any movie ever had before, but it's a finite story and as time moves forward, people are moving beyond discussing it.  I have noticed other Brokeback-related discussion forums have begun to recognize this too.  Fortunately, I've realized it even before BetterMost began and we've always had a plan in place to carry the vision forward to the next chapter, and beyond.  There will be no online equivalent of a midlife crisis here.

A New Year & A New Vision

For most of us, it's now been a year and some since we first saw the movie which changed our lives.  Back then, many of us thought of nothing except Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar.  It's also been fascinating to explain this obsession we've shared to the non-Brokies out there -- the people who saw the film, thought it was okay, but had absolutely no impact on their lives whatsoever.  With Brokeback Mountain either you "get it" or you don't.  And explaining to someone who doesn't that you've actually created a home where folks can linger on the film even more always results in that look that says "you're crazy."

For me personally, the impact has been both trivial and profound.  Trivial in the sense I can now seek out certain country & western music and not immediately cringe.  Profound in that this very place represents, to me, the beginning of the end of missed opportunities in my own life.

Late last year, I began to consider what it was we had built here together.  I took into account the very real "process" by which people cope with the film, how they incorporate it into their lives, and what happens as the obsession begins to fade.  I've realized that at the end of our journey of accepting this film and finishing it in our own lives, the need to linger on every aspect of it will fade.  That's healthy to me, because if we've managed to do anything here, I hope we've helped you achieve in one year what took Ennis Del Mar 20 - the recognition of who you really are, the idea that it is never too late to accept yourself, and that your chance for happiness begins, in part, by embracing positive change in your life.  That could mean quitting a job you hate to pursue something you love, coming out of your shell and telling the world you're there and worth getting to know, accepting yourself if you happen to be gay, or whatever else you saw about yourself in the lives of Jack, Ennis, Lureen and Alma.

And amongst our population of some 870 plus folks, I see people who are just starting this process, some who are on their way, and some who are already living a different life because of it.  And remarkably, a good number of us are still here no matter where we are in this journey.  What brings many back here day after day is the sense of community that has been created here, with new friends and old to stay in touch with, and things to read and share your thoughts on, or just catch up on the day to day stuff going on in your life.

And it dawned on me that we had, in fact, created a real community here.  

A Community Called BetterMost, Wyoming.

As our second year arrives, I'm thrilled to unveil our town of BetterMost.  It's a might distance from Riverton located near the base of Brokeback Mountain.  It's a small town where everyone seems to know everyone else, especially in their neighborhoods, and BetterMost has several.  Everyone here is a resident, and you're going to be free to pick your own street address in the neighborhood of your choice.  If your neck of the woods is Anything Goes, you might want to move to Dead Horse Road or Limerick Way.  If CT is where you like to hang out, chances are you'll be residing on Knife & Fork Road or Woolie Way.  Don't venture far from Our Daily Thoughts?  If your street address is on Brokeback Ridge or Popo Agie Road, neighbors will know just from where you put down roots.  Just about every section of our forums will have their own neighborhood with their own streets.  And if you're the cosmopolitan type that hangs out everywhere, you'll likely end up on Main Street which cuts through most every neighborhood here.  A map of our entire community will be forthcoming shortly.

Our town is under construction at the moment, but you'll see more and more of it coming alive in the days ahead.  New businesses, a town hall, a community library, the fairgrounds, and more.

What is especially exciting to me is giving you, as a resident here, new tools to build your own custom home here.  I believe that every resident should have their own space to create whatever interests them and invite your neighbors and friends over to your home and see what you've got to share.  Users can find your address in BetterMost on the map and click it to open whatever home you choose to build here.

In year two, BetterMost will be rolling out plenty of new things to keep our community busy.  Many of them will be a part of our new content management system home page.  They include:

Blogging: My own experience with blogging is that it is rarely implemented in a way that provides those who write them the satisfaction of knowing others are reading them.  The problem with a lot of blogs is that they end up on giant blog sites with thousands of people who you don't know and they don't know you.  One adds their daily thoughts to them, realizes that in many instances few, if anyone, is actually reading what you are writing.  Since you have no real connection with the other people on the blog hosting site, it's hardly surprising people don't have an incentive to read what you write.  But here in BetterMost, a lot of us know you already and we have a personal connection to you.  As folks update their entries, everyone in our community will know because the latest updates will be seen on our home page.

You can use your blog for anything you'd like - including embedding audio and video directly in your messages to immediately share with your friends and neighbors here.  It's up to you to decide what you want to write about.

Most of you who have used our chat rooms have already discovered our new chat room service, which will finally be able to integrate with the rest of the site.  You'll know who is chatting before you even enter the system.  You can also directly connect to any existing chat room without having to jump from place to place.  We've made the chat system more personal for BetterMost users as well, with themes and sounds I'm sure you'll recognize.  And continuing our theme for year two of empowering you, the resident of our community - you'll have the ability to create your own chat room, public or private.

A number of residents here have spent hours sharing their photo collections and art with the rest of the members of our community in our forums.  But you'll soon be able to do much more in our new BetterMost Gallery of the Arts, where you can create individual albums of content to share with the rest of the community.  You can edit your albums anytime, create new ones, delete old ones, whatever you'd like.

The BetterMost Community Library will be open soon as well, with an archive of content that has been written here since the first day our community was born.  It will be searchable and exploreable, so you can study the film, its impact on members of our community, original essays, as well as a diverse collection of views.  We'll also have a library of multimedia content with interviews, archived broadcasts from Brokeback Mountain Radio, special features and more.

Our town paper will include regular updates on community activities, upcoming events, news, views and more.

And the place where most of you spend the most time here will continue to undergo changes to better serve you.  New forums have already been launched, and there is always room for more if we're not covering a topic you're interested in.

Year two in BetterMost is not going to be more of the same.  No community can exist, much less thrive and grow without change.  For the past year, all of us have worked very hard to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to this community.  It is a labor of love.  And while change can sometimes be difficult, it is absolutely essential if we are to keep this place alive.

I'd like to thank you for taking the time to hear me out over the past hour.  For our oldest members, a lot of this may have been a trip down memory lane, and for a lot of new members, it's been a chance to catch up.  I hope you'll enjoy our second year as a resident here.  We've never claimed to be the largest Brokeback-related forum, but we have a lot to offer that many others don't, all with that true small-town, friendly feeling.  Our population here is still less than a thousand, but our town residents have remained loyal to the community and still come back day after day, and new folks join us every day.  In 2007, I hope I have the opportunity of meeting at least some of you face-to-face.

A full transcript of tonight's address will be available in our Town Hall forum, which is a place you should visit often for announcements about new services and things to do here.  You can also share your own thoughts about tonight's address by replying in that forum.

With that, all I have left to say is that I respectfully submit this report to our community for your consideration.  I'm Phillip Dampier speaking.



Caller Transcripts

Sheriff Roland #1: Hey there Fellow Brokies! Sheriff Roland here.  Just wanted to call in my little 'Howdy Do.' [I've] been a member of BetterMost since the first week of its inception and although I didn't used to post much, I've certainly gotten into the swing of things of late.

I became a moderator about a year ago too, and I do most of my posting in Anything Goes, where you will find lots of image threads, fun silly threads, and the [recent] start up of a business: The Studs n Spurs Bar & Grill, where, to use Scott's words, you can drop by for a decent meal, a cold one, and shoot the proverbial cowpie!

Congratulations to Phil and BetterMost for a very satisfying and successful first year, and here's hoping that the second year will even outdo the initial run!

David: Hey there BetterMost! First of all, I hope y'all excuse my voice. I've got a bit of a cold here but this is David, your Polling Place moderator, and I'm talking to you from the heart of Hoosier state - Indianapolis, Indiana. You know what, its been really a great year on BetterMost and I am looking forward to the next year too. But since Phillip said we could do a few shout outs: first of all, hello to Melissa in Amsterdam, Holland.  I love you girl!

And to Kerry in Sydney, Australia, and Jess in Texas.  Jess you are crazy!  I just love you too - Also Jerry and Tullio in New York, Wulfie in West Virginia, Nikki and Kelda in Great Britain.  I just can’t remember everybody.  I’m sorry about that but you know who you are if I forgot you. But I think I am starting to ramble a little bit and that is a bad Hoosier habit, sometimes I am guilty of it.  Anyway, folks, keep up the great posting and I'll see you online!

Latjoreme: Hello, Bettermostians. This is Latjoreme a/k/a Katherine. Its been a great year. Its been wonderful getting to know everybody and I look forward to another fun year.

Ifyoucanfixit: Yes - hi this is Janice.  I am so happy to see you guys could all be here at the same time.  This is great! I love this place and I love all of you and Phillip and Louise, Leslie, Karen, Scott, Truman.  Everyone I have talked to is just wonderful. I hope it goes on and on and on! Best wishes!

Kerry: Hello to all my BetterMost friends. I'm Kerry in Sydney, Australia. BetterMost has become for me an integral, much treasured part of my everyday life. I have made wonderful new friends here and you have all contributed to opening up an exciting new window on life for me.

I would like to especially acknowledge and thank Phillip at this time, and also a big thank you and loving best wishes to Annie Proulx for bringing dear sweet Jack and Ennis into my life. They will remain with me now forever.  My most fond best wishes to you all with love from Kerry in Sydney, Australia.

Louisev: Hello this is Louise van Hine.  I am Louise on Tour, and one of the moderators of the Fan Fiction group. I am calling from Melbourne Australia, and I'm welcoming you to Bettermost Wyoming! Have a good day.

Lucise: Hi everyone. This is Milli, or Lucise.  This is [an] awesome idea to be able leave a message for everyone. I just want to say its been a fantastic time - journey is great. You guys are awesome. It's a huge distraction but I wouldn't have it any other way, so I just want to say thank you for making this a wonderful experience for me and I'll be seeing you online!

Katie77: Hi, it's Sheila from Australia. Crikey! Can't believe you'll all hear this! Thank you all my wonderful Brokies for being such a huge part of my life. Brokeback got us all good, and I thank God every day that it did. I hope to get over there and meet up with some of you. I'll redline it all the way. Until then, I'll see you all on the board, take care, my friends!

Sfericsf: Well, Howdy y'all, this is Eric, also known as sfericsf, your Brokeback Mountain Radio DJ, yee-haw! I want to thank everyone for tuning in tonight for our State of the Community broadcast. I hope you've been enjoying the show. But I really want to thank y'all for tuning in and listening to the station on a regular basis.

We try to program a wide variety of music, all related to Brokeback Mountain and it seems that you all are enjoying it, and that makes me smile! I can't thank you enough for your feedback and support of the station over the last few months. It has exceeded my expectations, really.

This is my gift to Brokeback Mountain and to everyone here, all the Brokies. This is my contribution and I'm glad I can share this experience this with you all.  The station continues to change out its playlist of songs from time to time, and your continued feedback is very important. If you really like a song, or you really don't like a song or an artist that's being played on the station, it's important that I know this, okay? Please PM me anytime with your thoughts and feedback. This is your radio station and I want to do everything I can to keep you listening, and to keep Jack and Ennis in our hearts and in our minds, okay? All right, thank y'all, and keep listening, Yee-haw!

Ednbarby: Hey guys! This is Barb, a/k/a Ednbarby, and just wanted to say quickly that I just love you all to pieces, and I am so glad we're all a part of each other's lives and I am so thankful this movie brought us all together.  Love you, peace.

Scott: Hi, everyone this is Scott, as in Scott. Just calling to wish BetterMost a great second year and to thank everyone that made the first year of our little community such a success. Cheers.

Atz75: Hey, friends this is atz75, otherwise known as Amanda.  I can be found on the Social Forum in BetterMost, Wyoming. I'm here to say hi to all our friends and neighbors on BetterMost and thanks for making us a great community, see you all online!

Ellemeno: My fellow BetterMostians, it's Ellemeno here, talking to you from this new-fangled radio. Well, it's a pleasure being with you.  It's nearly a full year now and I look forward to hearing all the other messages.  And I, reading those of you I haven't met, and seeing those of you I've met before again in one place or another.  Take care!

Shakestheground: Hi, this is Shakestheground calling all of my friends out there in BetterMost, Wyoming  It's a beautiful spring day here and I hope everyone is doing well and I'm looking forward to meeting many of you in the future, the near future, the far future, on down the road, wherever and whenever that might be. Take care, and have a nice day, and do something fun.

Sheriff Roland (French): Ici le sheriff Roland. Bonjour à tous les Brokies francophiles à l'écoute.  Que vous soyez en Europe, en Amérique, en Asie ou en Australie, ne vous gênez pas de vous afficher en français, même si votre auditoire en serra réduite; il est important de continuer de faire présence de notre culture.

Je suis gauché, je suis brokie, gaie et francophone - minoritaire dans tous les cas et j'espère m'afficher d'avantage à l'avenir.  Et j'espère que la même chose arrivera à nos membres Allemands, Hollandais ou autres. AFFICHEZ-VOUS! Ça fait partie d'être brokie et de croître. Oh, et pour Jess, qui voulait absolument entendre une salutation spéciales en français ... Yee Haa!

Penthesilea (German & English): Hallo, hier ist Chrissi aus Deutschland. Jetzt versteht zwar kein Mensch, was ich hier rede, aber jetzt wisst ihr wenigstens, wie ich mich normalerweise anhöre, wenn ich nicht in einer Fremdsprache rumstottere. Ich gruesse alle Leute von BetterMost. (In English: Hi, this is Chrissi from Germany. Nobody will understand what I'm saying right now, but at least now you all know how I sound when I'm not spluttering in a foreign language. Greetings to all people on BetterMost.)

OK. These were my German greetings. And now in English. Hi, this is Chrissi from Germany. First, I wanna send a big, big thank you to Phillip and John for providing our place. There are so many people on BetterMost who are close to my heart and who I want to greet, but I think I'd forget at least a few and so I'll keep my greetings more general. I say Hi to all EuroBrokies who will meet next weekend in the Netherlands. Can't wait to see you. And another Hi for the big Denver BBQ crowd. It's only ten weeks from now. I'm overjoyed that I will be able to join you and I'm looking so much forward to it.  Another 'Here you go!' is for the Alberta Pilgrimage people. I hope you'll have a blast of a time. And to all folks who don't belong to any of these groups I send very special greetings.

Did I forget someone? Yeah, there still are two cowboys who are very, very close to my heart and whose story means a lot to me. You all know their names. So thank you Ennis and Jack. And thank you all BetterMost folks for being there.

Front-Ranger: Hi, this is Front-Ranger and I am calling to tell you about the [Social] Events forum that we have on BetterMost and I would like to invite you to participate and extend your BetterMost experience into virtual or real life. We have an active social calender, we have chats, we have get-togethers, both virtual and real. We have birthday celebrations and holiday observances, and coming soon we will open the Reunion Roadhouse on the Social Events forum! Watch for it and we look forward to seeing more of you in the coming year on BetterMost.

BetterMost is the "Jack" of all the Brokeback Mountain sites: it's warm, it's funny, it's loving, it's accepting, it's inclusive, and so we want to see more of you participate.

Kelda : Hi there everybody, my voice might give me away! This is Kelda. Hello to everybody. I'm not going to read out all the names because I forgot to write anything down before I phoned. Just hello. I'm looking forward to hearing everybody's voices. Hope you like mine. Hope you understand it. I'm trying to tone down the Scottishness just now so that you actually understand me. But I'd just like to say thank you very much to Phillip for a wonderful part of my life at BetterMost.  And to all of my lovely friends I've made through BetterMost. Hello, and love you all.  Speak to you soon.  

Pipedream: Hi fellow Brokies, happy greetings from Germany. This is Pipedream speaking, or Anke in real life.  It's been almost exactly a year since Brokeback Mountain came out in Germany and I saw it on the opening day in March 2006.  This has been a terrific year for me.

I made so many online friendships. I traveled to New York City and to London and met some friends from the BetterMost community and of course I’ve spent hours and hours posting on these forums.  I've enjoyed all this so much!

Love to you all and greetings from Northern Bavaria.

Ffrn: Hello this is ffrn or Jocelyn.  I'm a regular in Jess's Feed Store and I just wanted to say hello to Jess and Garry, Andrew, Wayne, David, Roland.  I think I have remembered everybody, and also the other Aussies on the threads - Sue and Kerry.  Just wanted to say how much this little community means to me and hopefully I'll get over to the States next year to meet you all.

RouxB: Hey, BetterMost friends, this is Ruby calling from Santa Barbara, California, and it's 12:07am. I should be asleep but I wanted to get this in before it was too late. Thanks for being there for me and being a community that is supportive and kind, sweet, wonderful and all that good stuff, and I hope that we'll all be around and together for a long time. I've made some great friendships and I really cherish them and hope to make more, and now I'm going to bed.

Belbbmfan: Hello residents of BetterMost, Belgian Brokie calling in. My name is Fabienne, also known as belbbmfan. I just wanted to say that BetterMost has become a big part of my life. I met really good friends here and gained new perspectives discussing the movie and its implications. In the Fan Fiction section I've discovered some wonderful talents and found stories that have really helped me move on from the tragedy of the movie. BetterMost is a wonderful place, the people are nice and they can be serious and utterly silly, sometimes all in one post. I just love it here, so thank you Mayor Phillip for creating this wonderful place and cheers to all BetterMost Brokies.

Lynne: Hi, this is Lynne, and I just wanted to say that the past year at BetterMost has been probably the most significant year of my life. I have really enjoyed getting to know each and everyone of you through the forum, and some more people in person. Its just been fabulous and I cannot wait for all the changes coming up here in number two!

It's only gonna get better from here! I love you all, thank you!

Arad-3: Hey guys, Geri/Arad-3 here.  Just want to shout out to David, Kerry, Leslie/coffeecat, Marlene, Jess, Jane/welliwont - the director of the Performance Thread.  Hi Jane!  All of you guys -- I just want to say hello and it's been real fun hanging out with you.

Acoustic Man: Hey guys! This is the Acoustic Man the official guitar man.  Just wanted to say hi to everybody, and let you guys know its been a blast being on the site.  Wanted to give a special shout out to Cody and my man David, you guys have been great and its been fun, will talk to ya.

Mainewriter: This is Leslie, moderator for [Fan Fiction], also known as Mainewriter.  Just wanted to say congratulations on a wonderful year at BetterMost. I've had a wonderful time on the board.  I love being there, love being a part of the community.  My first year anniversary is on March 30th and I am counting down the minutes!  Congratulations to you and I look forward to another wonderful year at BetterMost.

Sheriff Roland #2: Hey y'all, Sheriff Roland sending you another 'Howdy do!' Just wanted to remind y'all that on the first anniversary of BetterMost three brand new forums were created focusing on news and politics in the Current Events forum, discussions of books, movies, TV shows and music in the Arts and Entertainment forum, and the Creative Writer’s Corner for member’s original writings that are not Brokeback Mountain-related. We're also quite proud to have become the community of BetterMost, Wyoming on that date.

Even more interesting changes will occur as the second year progresses.  Stick around - should be quite a ride.

Injest: Hi, this is Jess/injest. I want to congratulate all of the residents of BetterMost on our first year. Really looking forward to our new year together.

Meryl: Hi Brokies this is Meryl.  I'm co-mod of Chez Tremblay along with David in Hartford, and some of you might know me as the High Priestess of the Brokeback Cult.  In that role let me just say a solemn "Yee Haw" to bless our little town and its citizens.  It's hard to believe I've been at BetterMost almost a year already. Congratulations and a big hug to Phillip and all our terrific members who make it so enjoyable to log in everyday.

Let's get on with year two!
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 06:13:50 pm by Kelda »
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Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: The After-Event Party: The State of Our Community!
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2007, 11:17:27 pm »

Thanks everybody, and you'll find the transcript and download information forthcoming in this message, which will be revised to include it shortly!


Yeehaw!!! Thanks Phillip!! You're my hero!
 :D


I'm so, so, so sorry that I couldn't be here tonight.  This just so happened to be the night that my boss insisted that I go to a dinner-thing with her and it went too long for me to be back online in time.  I'm excited that you're making the transcript and audio file available.

I hope everything went really well tonight!  Again, I'm kicking myself for missing it.
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: The After-Event Party: The State of Our Community!
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2007, 11:33:49 pm »
I loved that song at the end (The Wiz was good too!) and it reminded me a little of a song from my youth...Turn, Turn, Turn, by the Byrds. I'm sure you've never heard it or know who the Byrds were, LOL! But this was a good update of it. That theme is good for every age of humankind.

It has been an incredibly moving night. I was sitting at the kitchen table typing in my chat comments and wearing my earphones, and every once in a while a member of my family would wander by and say, Mom, why are you crying? Mom, why are you laughing? Mom why are you crying and laughing at the same time?? But they've known for a long time that I've gone off the deep end, off a big rock somewhere in Wyoming...

Too much to do. . .I don't have time to get old!

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Re: The After-Event Party: The State of Our Community!
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2007, 12:04:02 am »
Yay, Phillip, that was tremendous!  I really enjoyed listening to the saga of BetterMost that you put together with such love and attention to detail.  You left no stone unturned, and your delivery is as good as any professional out there.  I'm proud of our Mayor!  8)

The greetings from BetterMost residents was a perfect foil to the speech, and they made all that you said come alive even more.  It was fun hearing voices that I'd only imagined, and some were surprisingly different.  We really have a wonderful, varied, engaging family of friends here.  Thanks again for bringing us all together and giving us all the toys we need to be happy citizens.  :-*

Last of all, the sound bites from the movie were a treat.  Can't never get enough of those, never enough!  :)
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Re: The After-Event Party: The State of Our Community!
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2007, 12:13:25 am »
Phillip!  You really out did yourself!  I wasn't sure what to expect this evening.  We were treated to the history of Bettermost, and we re-lived our milestones and events over the past year.  You set the goals for the site, and told us what changes to expect coming forward soon.  It was an excellent speech!

I really want everyone here to embrace the concept going forward here.  It will allow this to be a truly interactive site for all of us.  I think it's brilliant.  We need change and excitement to keep us coming here, without loosing focus of why we're here in the first place.  We are looking forward to it Phillip!  Bring us forward our fearless Leader...  :D


Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: The After-Event Party: The State of Our Community!
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2007, 02:02:59 am »
The uploading of the audio is now complete.  The written transcripts will be up on Wednesday.  Thanks for your patience!
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Offline Kelda

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Re: The After-Event Party: The State of Our Community!
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2007, 03:44:13 am »
C'mo giuys - some gossip puh-leese on this! I have to wait till tomorrow or Friday night until I listen so give me some of the gossip now!!

Looking foreard to hearing it even more now.

x
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Offline Penthesilea

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Re: The After-Event Party: The State of Our Community!
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2007, 07:02:48 am »
What can I say except another Thank You, Phillip? It was great listening to your speech. At first I asked myself 'What could be said about our communitiy for forty minutes??'. But it was very interesting, informing and reflecting. As Meryl already said, we re-lived our milestones over the last year and I also enjoyed the outlook on upcoming things. And it was motivating. I'm glad to be a part of this community.

I loved the greetings. Unfortunately, there were some messages where I wasn't able to catch the name of the person speaking (although I understood what was said).

For all the inquiring minds (like me and obviously Kelda  ;)), who hadn't yet the chance to listen to it, here's a list of people I recognized. Does someone want to help out with the ones I missed?


1. ?
2. Roland (Sheriff Roland)
3. David Indiana
4. Katherine (latjoreme)
5. Janice (Ifyoucantfixit)
6. Kerry from Australia
7. Louise (LouiseV)
8. Milli (Lucise
9. ?
10. Shynne from Australia? (not sure about this one, and not sure about the spelling)
11. Eric (sfericsf)
12. Barb (ednbarby)
13. Scott
14. Amanda (atz75)
15. Clarissa (ellemeno)
16. Truman (shakestheground)
17. Sheriff Roland speaking French
18. Chrissi (Penthesilea)
19. Lee (Front-Ranger)
20. Kelda from Scotland (kelda_shelton)(you were easy to understand)
21. Anke (pipedream) (familiar voice)
22. ffrn from Australia
23. Rouxb
24. Fabienne (belbbmfan) (I recognized your voice immediately, easy to identify  :))
25. Lynne
26. Arad-3
27. Acousticman
28. Leslie (MaineWriter) (your voice is familiar  :))
29. Roland (Sheriff Roland)
30. Jess (injest)
31. Meryl

At my first listening, I also identified Lynne, but missed her the second time. Hi Lynne *waves*, which of the ? is you?

edit note: added my 2n message - got a 3rd one, but I'm not sure where - Sheriff Roland

Edit: I didn't know that Phillip was going to add the transcripts of the greetings, too. I thought only of his speech. Otherwise I wouldn't have posted this list. I think I'll keep it anyway, for a quick overview. - Chrissi
« Last Edit: March 28, 2007, 01:28:47 pm by Penthesilea »

Offline Sheriff Roland

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Re: The After-Event Party: The State of Our Community!
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2007, 07:13:02 am »
Thanks fer this Chrissi - It'll come in handy when I listen in again
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Offline Arad-3

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Re: The After-Event Party: The State of Our Community!
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2007, 11:01:04 am »
WOW!  Phillip what an outstanding job you did on that broadcast! You sound like a professional radio broadcaster!  From start to finish,  I loved the entire journey you took us on!  Just beautiful. Thank you!

It was thrilling to hear all the shout outs. Most sounded different than I imagined. But everyone sounded amazing. Combined with the background music, it was so touching to hear voices and accents from all around the world.  It made me even more proud and happy to be a part of this community!

Next time I think I will write down what I want to say though!  Being under pressure seems to make me go blank. :laugh:
 
Thanks again!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2007, 11:16:59 am by Arad-3 »
" Save a horse... ride a cowboy "