In The OVC – State of the Nation part one we were joined by three guests who shared with us their insights and opinions to a number of questions about the OVC. Since that time we have seen the conclusion of another survey asking for opinions about the OVC, we have seen that it takes very little; as always, to raise the online community to flashpoint and we have recently witnessed a certain astounding, and frankly quite perturbing, commentary aimed at a certain segment of the “community”.
We have invited three more guest to join us and enlighten us with their opinions on the questions that we posed in part 1 of this presentation.
It gives us great pleasure to welcome, this evening, Tania or as known to the online VCommunity, Hellkat, Cynthia and our regular contributor Starfire.
RVN: Good evening and welcome to Real Vampire News
T: Hi, sorry I am pretty plain and down to earth so you will probably never hear me say a normal gothic greeting. To be honest I am not sure that I even know one.
C: Hello and thank you for interviewing me.
S: Hello, it’s great to be here again.
RVN: To begin, would you tell us a little about yourself, how long you have been active in the VC/OVC and a bit about what have you been up to since you arrived?
C: I have been involved in the OVC since the days of Yahoo groups, maybe about 15 years. I have been involved in some Yahoo groups, some having to do with online games, pets, the paranormal, and the vampire community. Then I was on MySpace for awhile. Now I’m on Facebook and some other online sites.
T: I am a wife, mother of three, step mother of two, student and I have a part-time job. I have been part of the OVC with some personal appearances, as needed and for gatherings, for around 12 or so years. I have been apart of many houses and groups over the years, but one that has stuck with me through the entire 12 years is Smoke and Mirrors. I have admined some places, just was a member of some, and in some held hierarchy spots of stature, as I so call them.
S: I have been in the OVC for 10 plus years. Over the years I have joined different boards/groups in the attempt to learn more about all types of kin and to help others if I could. I have been a moderator or admin of many sites, which has allowed me to impart and gain more knowledge. I still participate in a lot of sites, but you will also find me on facebook. I am many things, mostly: a sister, a daughter, a friend, a psi vampire, a lover of history, a person who sees spirits, etc…
RVN: In your time in the OVC what is/are the most positive thing/s you have encountered?
C: Meeting some of my good online friends has been very positive. I’m the admin in several good Facebook groups.
S: The most positive thing I have encountered in the OVC was some really great people who wished to meet others like themselves to gain knowledge and connect. Some of these people have become like family(as in we have hung out) and have become really great friends.
T: The great people! I have been lucky enough to find people like Lady CG or Deacon Gray. These are people that write and really mentor the new comers. Eventually I was seasoned enough to write and mentor myself. Like if not for CG I would have not found my way, she tool the time to talk to me one on one and really help, she also pointed me to the right direction of article for what I was looking for at the time. Deacon is the type to dig deeper into issues that people like you and I would have. He is comprehensive and really pushes for more information. That is only two examples of the great people that we have in our community.
RVN: and what would be the most negative?
C: The negatives have been the DRAMA and fights in groups, bullying, unhappy, and jealous people.
T: Gossip, Drama and the like. Any group of people is bound to have these types of issues but it seems that, for some reason, our groups are more prone for people to fill the yuku and internet pages with hate and gossip.
S: The most negative thing I have encountered in the OVC is the constant back biting of certain individuals who seem to think they know everything about everything or that they have to belittle others in the community for different views.
RVN: What, do you believe, would be the ultimate best structure for the OVC?(e.g. Individual Houses at a “United Nations” style council, Individuals in a cooperative arena, separate “political” party style arrangement etc.)
T: I have been apart of many types of houses with very different structures and the ones that I found were best and lasted longest was the more casual type of structure. You have a few admins to volunteer and get some things finished, a few moderators to watch for gossipers and post new articles and other than that everyone is even on the playing field. This also stops people on power trips and others that just want the cool name and title but do not put for the effort to help the very community that they are part of.
S: I like the cooperative arena and the United Nations style council for different reasons but I think with the way things are now the UN style council might work better.
C: It doesn’t need a structure; it needs more collaboration or cooperation.
RVN: Do you believe a general set of “guidelines” could be achieved by having as many houses/ groups/ covens etc. sign to accept the guidelines?
C: Some guidelines would be useful. Yes, it would be a good idea to have groups sign on to guidelines and be responsible for enforcing them.
T: I think that we could make general guidelines and ask that they be implemented, but I do not think that all houses would adopt the general guidelines. This is part of what sets houses apart. Some houses have their own way of working things and it works well for them. I say let them use it, but if we make guidelines and a house would love to adopt them and perhaps use a seal to prove it. This may actually set a standard that people can look for the seal and know that guidelines are followed.
S: I think general guidelines could be achieved but only if the people constructing them set aside their differences to construct something for the better good of the group as a whole.
RVN: What would be the best basis for this set of “guidelines”?
T: Of course, the normal Flaming and Slander rules and some general “bill of rights” type information. Like the Vampire Bill of Rights that was introduced (maybe small abridgements.
C: Something like the Facebook Community Standards would be a good basis for some guidelines in the OVC.
S: Basic common sense guidelines when dealing with a group. Things about conduct, respect and like.
RVN: How do you think “leaders” of the community should be identified and elevated to the rank of leader in the eyes of the majority of the community?
C: A good leader would have quite a bit of time in the community, a certain level of knowledge of vampirism and history of the OVC, along with commitment to the OVC, good character, and a lack of favoritism in enforcing community conduct standards.
S: They should be elevated to leader status based on their knowledge and their ability to help others, specially how they handle newbies and role players.
T: I think that the leaders should be people that are seasoned and would be able to mentor others and take that time out to help others along the way. It could be a dot or a simple “mentor” in front of their name nothing extravagant. Then of course if it is online you would need admin for design and moderators for look outs and they could be labelled as just that.
RVN: What would be the best method of resolving major disputes within the community?
T: I would like to say again the word MAJOR, because moderators can handle simple quibbles, I think that major issues depending on the type should be handled be the group that the problem pertains to. For example if it is gossip the moderators should get together and handle it. If it is something in the lines of education or an informational article the mentors would get together to handle it and likewise for the admins.
S: I think resolving disputes within the community is hard to do right now, but if there was a group(made up of people from all over) that held each group(board, etc) accountable for their behaviors etc.. I think it would help. I think the idea of the whole “big brother” would work as long as there are guidelines that address certain issues.
C: I have no idea. Finding common ground and goals will work if people are willing to work together and listen to each other. If they aren’t, not much can be done.
RVN: Do you believe that a system of “censure by vote” would work against OVC members that step “over the line” as determined by the “guidelines” if they were in place?
T: In some cases, those that just cause absolute terror could be handled that way. I do not think that this should be a normal practice because some of our greatest ideas have come from those that think and act differently than the majority.
C: Yes, it might work.
S: A censure by vote would work if the person or group etc being voted upon was well liked. If it wasn’t popular most likely no one would vote for it to do this or be that.
RVN: What do you, personally, think of the current “state” of the OVC?
S: I think the OVC is crumbling and grumbling amongst itself. Too many are all about causing drama instead of imparting their knowledge to others. I came to the OVC so I could learn more about my kind and others experiences, and I know I am not alone in that.
T: I think that it is in a state of slumber. I have not found groups that are very active, if I had I might get back in and help out.
C: On a scale of 1-10, 10 being perfect, 1 being horrible, I’d rate it a 7.
RVN: What, in your opinion, needs to undergo major change in order to improve the OVC?
C: Control the DRAMA by writing and enforcing some rules of behavior.
T: Well we need to realize that we are all here for the same goal education and support, whether it is teaching or learning, being and ear or a shoulder to lean on. If we remember what we are here for every once in a while I think that it would go smoother and the “coffiners” would come out.
S: There needs to be more accountability for ones actions. Everyone should do their part to be themselves, yet be accountable for how they carry themselves. Imagine the OVC is your workplace.
RVN: What “changes” can the individual make to assist this process?
T: Why not start an OVN group, one group to guide everyone. Get everyone in one place and focus on things. The issue is organization and getting this off the ground.
C: Make sure everybody behaves, watch your own behavior and manners, and respect others
S: Individuals need to think before they type and most importantly if all you are going to do is incite drama, do it somewhere else. I don’t want to know that person A said you were a dipstick, I want to know about kin and other aspects of our world.
RVN: What stands in the way of positive changes, in your opinion?
S: The people among the community is what stands in the way of positive changes most of all. There are other little issues, but you gotta deal with the macro before the micro.
T: We are only limited by our own people and imaginations, anything else we can handle.
RVN: What, in your opinion are the TWO biggest problems the on-line vampire community faces today?
T: For me there are three, gossip mongers, numbers, and organization. CG said that the OVC was like herding cats, she was not wrong in that statement for sure.
C: Religion, politics, and bigotry… that’s actually three.
S: Drama and backbiting seem to be two of the biggest problems I see amongst the community right now.
RVN: In summary, have you anything else you would like to add?
T: I really think that with some effort and hard work we can not only get to were we were but exceed what the OVC used to be. I also honest and true vamps that are willing to make this type of thing happen so that everyone can have the education and support that they need.
C: I’ve met a lot of good friends despite the drama, sometimes due to the drama and that’s good.
S: For one who sits back and watches more then speaks up.. I think I have said enough for now. You may not agree with me and that is your right.
RVN: Thank you very much for sharing your insights and opinions with us this evening.
C: Thank you for interviewing me.
S: Thanks for having me once again.
T: A great woman once told me that we as a people could not only survive but thrive. I would like to believe that is very possible. Thank you for allowing me to be here.
It has been said, many times over, that getting vampires to agree on anything is like herding cats; one noted commentator came up with a unique name for a group of vampires, he called it a “bicker”, is there ever going to be a chance to change these perceptions? Is there ever going to be a time of relatively “productive peace” in the OVC? Is the best we can hope for to have the “community” continue exactly as it is ad infinitum and if not who is it up to to change things?
Regardless of your personal views, dear reader, if we are ever going to be able to enjoy a relatively peaceful and desirable OVC something, or things, do need to change. How they change and what effect those changes will have are, in reality, up to the community and its members… not just a few but certainly the majority.
© RVN, Tania (a.k.a Hellkat) Cynthia & Starfire 2012
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