Truth be told, I am one of those people who said, "LtM was way better when it was just LtM." I still believe that. Lum was a funny writer, insightful, vitriolic, literate, and interesting to read. He also became astoundingly popular. Then came a decision to add additional contributing editors to keep the content flowing. I liked the site a little less, though some of his editors were pretty good (plug: Delusion). Then Lum updated less, and it sucked. Then Lum updated more, then it was good. Then Lum updated less, and it sucked again.

Then Lum landed a job at Mythic working on Dark Age of Camelot. As a developer, it made sense that maybe he shouldn’t be owning/writing for/associated with a site that criticizes his own game as well as the competition. Then it sucked quite a lot. Now things get weird.

Even before the whole Mythic thing, the whole running of LtM had grown beyond all reasonability into some monstrous behemoth of administration. Lum therefore split up the captain’s chair with contributing editors Myschyf and Arcadian del Sol. Now personally, I hated Myschyf’s writing, as it always struck me as teen-angsty shallow diatribes followed up by clumsy bullying on the forums over supposed "readers’ comprehension." I sorta kinda liked Arcadian’s, in a lukewarm fashion. Neither were the reason I still visited LtM. However, sometimes when you’re dealing with big freaking headaches, the most important quality in a person is the willingness to do annoying paperwork you don’t want to.

Fast forward through varying periods of interesting stuff and boring stuff being published. Lum becomes more and more the phantom warlord whom nobody sees very much, as he’s looking for a job in the accursed industry, and the site is basically being run by Myschyf and Arcadian. More boring stuff gets published. It comes as no surprise then that following the Sept. 11 attack, LtM is overcome with a case of "Me Too" articles.

Then SOMETHING BAD happens.

I can’t really explain what SOMETHING BAD is. Suffice to say that it is they key to a lot of events surrounding the site’s destruction, it’s really juicy, and I hope you lose sleep wondering what it is. Anyway…

SOMETHING BAD happens. In the fallout, Arcadian is separated from the site’s administration, as a result of SOMETHING BAD. This is done, and then Myschyf decides it’s not really worth the hassle and decides she’s leaving administration, staying on as a writer. Lum doesn’t want to run the site himself; he can’t because of his position, and who the hell would want to? Eldin. Like Hitler in a post-WWI Germany power vaccuum. Nobody else wants to do it, so in he goes.

About the same time, because of SOMETHING BAD, Lum doesn’t want his nick associated with the site anymore. He’s not writing for it anymore, he doesn’t have editorial control, yet he would still get heat if SOMETHING BAD were to happen. This makes sense. Eldin plans to move the site to slownewsday.net. Problem: a lot of the scripts on the site are homegrown things written by Lum, and they’re very cranky things that require a lot of massaging and tweaking, things that people have to get Lum to do. Lum offers to help the site move. Commandant Eldin proceeds to move the whole site over to slownewsday.net by himself, in the process fucking up a lot of the scripts that run it. Lum finds out the scripts are screwed, fixes them, then tells Eldin he has to find another back end to run the site, in effect a cease and desist order against the use of Lum’s intellectual property. (Eldin later said he forgot about it.) This is important, as there was a general assumption that Lum "gave" the scripts to the site. In reality, it doesn’t matter if you "give" someone the use of intellectual property; unless you sign a piece of paper waiving your rights, you can get them to stop using your scripts, your compositions, or any other works of original authorship if you want, for any reason at all. This would later fuel a lot of resentment against Lum, who was viewed as a bad guy for taking the scripts away.

Shortly thereafter, some rather soapish pingponging with both Myschyf and Arcadian ensues. Myschyf and Eldin periodically fight, she leaves, then comes back. Arcadian comes back and writes, then gets angry when Poppinfresh "stole his research" on a BT3025 implosion story and unadmins himself. A bizarre love/hate relationship ensues, with people working on the site while at the same time lambasting it in Samizdata. Meanwhile, in an effort to visibly distance himself from his predecessor, Eldin and company begin making sort of lame attacks on DAoC, way below the standard for editorial flaming that came before them. It still kinda sucks.

Lum eventually renames the database on SND, causing the scripts to break, since Eldin hasn’t complied with the Cease & Desist, and since, uh, they haven’t figured out that it may be bad to be so hostile to someone who has FTP access to your server. FTP is hard. He has a conscience attack 2 minutes later and renames it back. Nevertheless,this spikes a wave of anti-Lum flaming about how bad he was to take away the stuff he "gave" them in the first place. It still sucks.

Somewhere about this time, Illisium mentions his plan in the editors’ mailing list to do some sort of a 2 part "expose" on how Mythic’s customer service is horribly atrocious, probably because Lum and Tweety are involved. Nobody really takes him seriously, except apparently Eldin. Myschyf does not, and casually mentions it to someone at Mythic in passing. BZZZT. Naturally they don’t take it seriously either, and somehow word gets back to SND that they know, and how they know. This is a problem: how can they stop sucking if all their ideas get blathered to the target companies via Myschyf’s big fat mouth? The answer is simple: remove Myschyf from administration. This is done, rightfully so. Myschyf goes nuts, and in the infamous, now deleted Hellthread 2.0 she and Arcadian attack the site viciously. Now it still sucks, but at least it’s amusing in a car crash sort of way.

Things escalate from here. Mark Jacobs at Mythic determines that it’s bad to associate themselves with the playground fight that SND has become, and Eldin replies with all sorts of really fascinating and well thought out articles, like this one…

I almost never write personal things on the front page of SND.net. However, I want to do this, just because. And, if you have a problem, you may contact my minister of drama, Sheallaidh.
There’s a good egg out there, reading the site. His name is Marty. And, from what I hear, he’s feelin a bit under the weather.

As if that’s bad enough, I also hear he’s going to be playing DAoC to cheer himself up.

Well, on behalf of SND.net, I’d just like to tell Marty:

DON’T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For the love of God, man, are you insane? Save yourself! Go to UO! Go to EQ! Go to AC! Don’t do this to yourself!

All joking aside, I just wanted to wish him the best. He’s a good kid (yeah, I’m 22, and I’m callin an 18 year old a kid. Just indulge me).

From SND to Marty, we hope ya feel better.

And we promise to rip someone a new asshole, just to get your day goin, ya know?

Eldin

 

Things just get stupider from here. Eldin’s articles degrade from merely stupid flaming to a schoolyard bully diatribe, "challenging" Mythic people to call him and then getting puffed up when they don’t because he’s just not important enough to hassle with. Eventually it spills over into IRC, as it always does, illustrated here in the chat log from this morning…

[10:51] <LoH> Hi baby
[10:51] <Lum_> whee
[10:51] <InnereNacht> The prodigal son returns!
[10:51] <Mandrik> just as the bible said
[10:51] <LoH> I think Eldin went off his meds
[10:51] <Mezoth|WORK> come to watch the wake for SND?
[10:51] <nixje> And long, drawn-out arguments with the 237 pixel from the left, 43 down. keeps changing color. bastard.
[10:51] <Delusion> I’d take acid before I ever touched codiene again.
[10:51] <Fenris_Wolf> Oh Mahrin has posted… some people shouldn’t have keyboards
[10:52] <Eldin> LOH
[10:52] <SorrowsEnd> word
[10:52] <Eldin> You’re still welcome to blow me
[10:52] <Eldin> If the mood strikes

[10:52] *** Delusion changes topic to ‘Welcome to #switzerland | ALL LOVE ^_^ | I HAVE DROPPED MY GLASS OF COMMUNITY ON THE FLOOR.’
[10:52] <Delusion> eldin
[10:52] <Delusion> stop
[10:52] <AngelStorm> Hiya Lum
You have received a message!
[10:53] <LoH> Eldin, I pity you son – I have no personal agenda against YOU. I don’t know where this persecuation complex came from, but I assure you it’s internal and not from me
[10:53] <Eldin> Can I burn a Bible today? Is it possible?
[10:53] <Boogaleeboo> ….
[10:54] * AngelStorm sighs
[10:54] <Boogaleeboo> That one got a chuckle
[10:54] <NewtonD> Why does this have to be public… what’s the point of the dog and pony show?
[10:54] <Mezoth|WORK> absolutly. You may do so, at your leisure. Others may not approve of you, however.
[10:54] * Boogaleeboo makes popcorn.
[10:54] * Boogaleeboo drops his pants.
[10:54] <Eldin> Hey, I’m only reactionary today
[10:54] <Eldin> I say nothin til I see me own name in comment
[10:54] <Necron> you know, I think we need a relationship counselor in here.
[10:54] <AngelStorm> To the extreme
[10:54] * Fenris_Wolf passes out helmets
[10:54] *** Delusion sets mode: +m
[10:55] <Delusion> I think we can avoid getting ugly here.
[10:55] <Delusion> No?
[10:55] <Delusion> OK then.
[10:55] *** Boogaleeboo is now known as woot
[10:55] <Delusion> Don’t make me play the heavy, it’s a role I’m ill-suited for and one I don’t like.
[10:55] <Delusion> I like it even less when my friends force me into it.
[10:55] <Delusion> Behave.
[10:55] *** Delusion sets mode: -m
[10:56] <Necron> hehe you wish it was switzerland. :P
[10:56] <Eldin> <—–Deist
[10:57] <LoH> Eldin – as I said months ago, your behavior is on your own head. It’s funny how Shepherd totally understood my post, and all you brought away from it was a sense of persecution
[10:57] <SorrowsEnd> i wish it was switzerland, i could use some nice chocolate and a new pocket knife
[10:57] <Mezoth|WORK> Time to restate my opinion – it all needs to go. We need to start anew. New backend, new managment, new board registration. New colorschema.
[10:57] <Lum_> Pat.
[10:57] <Lum_> Stop.
[10:57] <InnereNacht> Regardless, no reason to be beligerant. Please be good, kk thx~
[10:57] * Necron buys some chocolate and a swiss army knife at the local store.
[10:57] <Rial> fondue is so good this time of year
[10:57] <Fenris_Wolf> Don’t forget the cheese
[10:57] *** Joins: Giskard (Giskard@14055b0f.14055a95.213.227.imsk)
[10:58] <Boogaleeboo> Fondue isn’t good ANY time of year.
[10:58] <SorrowsEnd> oooh behold the power of cheese
[10:58] <Fenris_Wolf> CHEESE!
[10:58] <Necron> I know, I live in Switzerland
[10:58] <Boogaleeboo> Cheese, cheese I can get behind.
[10:58] <Eldin> Well, LOH
[10:58] <Boogaleeboo> But fondue?
[10:58] <Sbot> rumour has it fondue is so good this time of year
[10:58] <Eldin> I don’t lose my boyfriend his job because I’m an archaic Bible thumping redneck
[10:58] <Eldin> To each his own, I suppose

[10:58] <Boogaleeboo> ….
[10:58] * Phs sighs.
[10:58] <Eldin> What?!
[10:58] <Eldin> I shut up
[10:58] <Boogaleeboo> You can’t have pretty things.
[10:58] <SorrowsEnd> someone needs a hug heh
[10:58] * Boogaleeboo hugs Eldin.
[10:58] *** Delusion sets mode: +b *!*@6ca5ed5c.6ca5f082.24.17.imsk
[10:59] <Boogaleeboo> Bye bye
[10:59] <Fenris_Wolf> chak chak
[10:59] *** Eldin was kicked by Delusion (Nothing personal, but not todya.)

 

Shotly after this, Eldin decided he was going to take "his" ball and go home, and asked the site host to delete slownewsday.net from the face of the web. FTP is hard. It seems gone now. I can’t say I’m sorry to see it go. Why should I be? There are plenty of AOL chatrooms where you could get the same level of conversation and informed discussion as you could in the site’s waning weeks. So that’s that then, right?

Oh wait. The money.

A while ago, Lum tossed up a Paypal donation thingy in order to try and defray his utterly insane bandwidth bills. Seemed reasonable, considering how horrible his results were with various ad banner schemes, networks, and similar solutions that never work. Paypal did work… impressively so, in fact. There was a considerable amount of money thrown into it by site supporters… considerable, anyway, for a website. More than enough to pay the hosting fees. In fact, it was so successful that Lum would close the donations a couple hours after they were opened every month, as soon as the site’s immediate needs were met. He then posted a detailed record of these donations and expenditures on the site for anyone to look at. Eventually, the donations were left open to provide a buffer against the imploding internet economy, but the records page remained updated so everyone knew what was going on. Several thousand dollars was collected before the change to slownewsday.net… a figure that seems insignificant in the scope of typical small business or nonprofit organizations, but quite substantial for a website dedicated to editorials targeting a fairly narrow scope of readers.

The now-deleted records page had not been updated since August 1, 2001. This makes people wonder. How much money was in the kitty? Who has control over it? The answer to this last question is whomever has control over the paypal account, and that person would be Eldin.

As to what happens to the money, well, that’s an interesting question. There was even some argument over it when the site changed to SND, when some donators felt they had specifically given to lumthemad.net, and didn’t want to fund the new site. (In general though, most people were happy to let it ride to SND.) As far as what happens now, there are a number of interesting ideas. Eldin has said it’s going to charity. Lots of people say that the site hasn’t been paying its bills. Some people wanted to retroactively split the money from LtM donations and give it back to the original authors. Nobody seems to be paying attention to little things like taxes on donated income, something sure to come up when the IRS inevitably audits Paypal.

I have a strong feeling that this story is far from over now, but I’m really just too bored to continue writing at this point. Something good to note here is the way that the "community" acted when given authority. Essentially, LtM moved from being a little site where Lum posted some interesting rants and articles, to a community site. Then the community took over. The community sucks. The community is defined by the crowd that hangs out at the Vault network boards, people trade spamming in the subway, and dorks who emote *ass rape* over PK victims. If you value your legacy, do not give it to these people. They suck, and eventually they will make your legacy suck.

If more stuff happens, I might get around to posting it (especially if it’s really juicy). I’m sure that some of you may have issues with what has been written here. Please send all relevant commentary to tryon@imanewbie.com. Thank you.


Appendix I:  The Reason I Finally Had to Publish

*** Hetrix|lunch is now known as Hetrix|work
<cevik> I think they meant they were all snorting coke and so that’s why this happened
<Zetleft> did you read the last updtate kan
<Lum_> Down in Flames
<Lum_> The long-overdue self-destruction of slownewsday.net
<Lum_> 11/7/01 – Truth be told, I am one of those people who said, "LtM was way better when it was just LtM." I still believe that. Lum was a funny writer, insightful, vitriolic, literate, and interesting to read. He also became astoundingly popular. Then came a decision to add additional contributing editors to keep the content flowing. I liked the site a little less, though some of his editors were pretty good (plug: Delusion). Then Lum updated less, and it sucked. T
<Kandalor> No
<Lum_> Then Lum landed a job at Mythic working on Dark Age of Camelot. As a developer, it made sense that maybe he shouldn’t be owning/writing for/associated with a site that criticizes his own game as well as the competition. Then it sucked quite a lot. Now things get weird.
<Kandalor> I missed the last update
<Lum_> Even before the whole Mythic thing, the whole running of LtM had grown beyond all reasonability into some monstrous behemoth of administration. Lum therefore split up the captain’s chair with contributing editors Myschyf and Arcadian del Sol. Now personally, I hated Myschyf’s writing, as it always struck me as teen-angsty shallow diatribes followed up by clumsy bullying on the forums over supposed "readers’ comprehension." I sorta kinda liked Arcadian’s, in a lu
*** Lum_ has quit IRC (Excess Flood)
<Seros_work> Delusion, since I originally wrote the Chat_Girl script, I demand that you stop using it immediately and write your own.
<Kandalor> Hehe
*** Kalvaril has joined #lummies
*** Lum_ has joined #Lummies
*** ChanServ sets mode: +v Lum_
<Kandalor> Damnit Lum stop spamming.
<Lum_> AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
<Delusion> Seros: flip me for it.
<Mezoth|work> linkage, lum?
<Delusion> Besides, only 60% of it is yours.
<Lum_> um, no
<Kandalor> What was the last update? or is that what lum is posting.
* Hobbes24 greets everyone
<Delusion> Let’s split her like a chicken bone.
<Lum_> thatwasn’t from me
<Seros_work> Deal
<Kandalor> Because I really need to know what is going on.
*** Brellium has quit IRC (Quit: Brellium)
<Seros_work> I get the Chat_ part
<Kandalor> Because I am a nosy ass.
<Lum_> it was in my paste buffer and I r n00b.

 

 


Appendix II:  The Reason I Am Never On IM Clients

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