The next addition to the advent calendar has been banned from blonde twice this year. Without doubt he has been the highest maintenance member to deal with from a mods perspective.
Yet, behind the simple facts, there is always a story to tell.....
When we have to ban a member, we know that in many cases there will be "afters". This year, "afters" have included social media smear campaigns, physical threats at venues, verbal abuse at venues and hate mail to a mod's home address. My point is not to elicit sympathy, and not to suggest that mod mistakes weren't made along the way, merely to say that on some occasions the reaction to a ban leaves the individual with very few places to go in terms of a future relationship with the forum.
Fortunately for this member, the bans became a force for good, and a significant change in posting style.
Back to the beginning....
This member signed up to the forum in 2009 but only became active at the beginning of the year. He has a post count of over 4,000 posts this year alone
When he began posting, he was like an internet Bambi on a forum lake of ice. You could see him trying hard, but no matter how hard he tried after a few posts his legs would splay and he'd fall flat on his face, cracking the ice a little every time.
The poster is Jason "Smashedagain" Herbert
sorry that's the wrong image, that's the guy who won in Marrakech. Here is Jason
Through the tricky early months, there were two views
a) He's a troll, he puts people off posting on the forum
b) He means well but posts can cause problems
At times, both views had validity.
On countless occasions a discussion would take place as follows
Mod "Jason, we've deleted the post. You can't say that"
Jason "I'd like to make a point though. How can I say it?"
Mod "Try it this way...."
Despite work on both sides, bans did occur. During the second ban we kept talking, and I paraphrase slightly but the comment came from Jason
"I love the place, I am on there every day, I'm sorry"
He came back, and I think I am right in saying that in the last few months there hasn't been a single deleted post. Of course the odd post might jar, and be expressed in a way you or I might not do, but the change has been remarkable.
During the course of the year I got to know Jason quite well. I found myself updating at DTD most months, and Jason would be playing. We'd sit and chat one on one and the man himself was very different from the internet persona. He listened as I tried to give him some perspective on the forum, the problems with making it work and survive month to month and how his posts impacted on that and I watched him, several months on the trot, try to be taught how to post pictures of his three young sons on the forum. Pride in them oozing out of his whole body, my heart breaking a little each time he failed to upload pictures yet again.
He has been a staunch supporter of the live updates along with the likes of Eso Kral and bobalike, and indeed virtually single handedly paid for a recent live update.
I hope that the perception of Jason on here has caught up with the reality of his current posting. A forum Bambi no more and love him or hate him, he has undeniably been one of the blonde posters of the year.