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mournblade

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Mar 23, 2004
Messages
42
@mournblade, I recognized the Avatar and remember reading a piece you wrote in Cracked (I think) many years ago. Are you still writing?
That's funny you mention that. Cracked has gone to hell in a handbasket over the past several years. They fired 90% of the columnists two or three years ago, and let most of the rest of the staff go a few months back. David Wong (real name: Jason Pargin) resigned about two months ago. They then shut down the photoshop contests (which was my main thing) and the writer's workshop (where I had pitched my giant squid article all those years back--2010, I think it was!).

Anyway, I wrote some particularly nasty things about the site on their Facebook page after all this went down and got the Ban Hammer, as they call it, as a result. I mean, I was a freelancer, not a paid employee, and like I said, they more or less shut everything down that the freelancers did, so it's no big deal. I'll honestly be surprised it if still even exists by the end of the year.

So, to answer your question: No, I'm not still writing for them.
 

tonmo

Cthulhu
Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 30, 2000
Messages
10,364
They then shut down the photoshop contests (which was my main thing) and the writer's workshop (where I had pitched my giant squid article all those years back--2010, I think it was!).
Oh, I remember those contests -- and that article!! That is indeed a long time ago, lol!
I'll honestly be surprised it if still even exists by the end of the year.
Sounds like they goofed and/or gave up. I'm still holding out for the forum resurgence :lol: :waiting:
 

mournblade

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Mar 23, 2004
Messages
42
Oh, I remember those contests -- and that article!! That is indeed a long time ago, lol!

Sounds like they goofed and/or gave up. I'm still holding out for the forum resurgence :lol: :waiting:
Wow, I'm so glad the admins here remember that article! I actually gave a "shout out" to TONMO and Dr. Steve O'Shea in that article. Also, I recall running it by here to make sure I got all my facts straight, and you folks were truly helpful in that regard.

What really happened was the great online writers crash from a few years ago, when so many websites started to go under (CollegeHumor, FunnyOrDie, et al.). Cracked was one of the few that remained, but it was left a shell of its former self. Cracked bounced back and forth between one corporate owner after the next, each of which didn't know jack **** about comedy.

Anyway, when you say the "forum resurgence," if you're talking about the PWoT (Pointless Waste of Time) forum at Cracked.com, I'm sorry to say that it is no more, and hasn't been since November, 2018. David Wong (Jason Pargin) created PWoT back around the year 2000 or thereabouts, and was bought out by Cracked.com around 2007. With the firing of most of the staff, he was unable to keep it running, and it has been reduced to nothing but the Photoplasty (Photoshop contest) forum and the Writers' Workshop, both of which are on hiatus (probably permanently, as to my best guess).

If you care to know more, David Wong wrote about it here:


Anyhoo, it was great while it lasted. I learned a lot there, made some great friends, had more than a few genuine belly laughs, made a few thousand bucks over the years from writing articles and photoshop contest winnings, and was able to spread my love/obsession with giant cephalopods to literally millions of viewers.

And I couldn't have done it without the support of the great folks at TONMO! (Well, my squid writings, anyway!)
 

tonmo

Cthulhu
Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 30, 2000
Messages
10,364
Also, I recall running it by here to make sure I got all my facts straight, and you folks were truly helpful in that regard.
reference for the lurkers:
What really happened was the great online writers crash from a few years ago, when so many websites started to go under (CollegeHumor, FunnyOrDie, et al.). Cracked was one of the few that remained, but it was left a shell of its former self. Cracked bounced back and forth between one corporate owner after the next, each of which didn't know jack **** about comedy.
Sad stuff, and I'm all too aware. TONMO was truly amazing in the mid-2000's. Social Media sucked all the life out of the room, although they connected everyone on a much larger scale. So some good and bad came with that... quite bad for the likes of TONMO, though, because all our traffic went to, shall we say, more shallow cephalopod interest groups which are adept at collecting "likes". Also, forums USED to be THE place to go and interact with others, engage in some small talk, whatever. FB and Twitter pretty much took all of that away, leaving some thin gruel in our own forums as far as dynamic personality and friendly interactions go...

TONMO has always had a policy that requires seed posts (those which start a thread) must be about cephalopods (except for our Supporters forum), but when social media is the first place people go for conversation, it doesn't leave much left for our forums. Still, since our info is so rich, and we have amazing contributors on our staff and in our community, and also since there is still so much left to learn about cephalopods, we are still here. A bit of a shadow of our former selves, but still here... And I'd say stronger than we were a few years ago.
made some great friends
I'm straight-up proud of the relationships made on TONMO, around the world. People like @OB got to partake in an actual colossal squid (mesonychoteuthis) dissection, highly publicized, simply due to interactions made here. The ALCES crew (@Tintenfisch, @GPO87, @Heather Braid) all met each other, and @Steve O'Shea, here on this forum. Many folks don't stop by anymore because of the availability of other platforms for collaboration and reach, but it still blows my mind that some of these people moved their lives to the other side of the planet (NZ) to launch their careers in cephalopod study, and it all germinated right here.

There are many more interactions, like @DWhatley's numerous mini-cons, and @Colin and @Nancy paired up to author a much-cited book on keeping cephalopods.

The relationships I've made for myself are irreplaceable. The TONMOCONs are incredible experiences, it's so thrilling to meet up with the people I've been interacting with for so many years -- and the content is among the most advanced research available, coupled with impressive student / intern presentations, and that of hobbyists. It's all quite special.
And I couldn't have done it without the support of the great folks at TONMO! (Well, my squid writings, anyway!)
:cheers:
 

GPO87

Sepia elegans
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
836
I too am extremely thankful for this forum; thanks for the memories Tony. Coming from a small town in Canada (Vancouver being the largest nearby city), it was inspiring to find out that there were people around the world that had the same passion for cephalopods that I did. I didn't realize for a moment how greatly it would end up impacting my life.
I look forward to whenever the world will allow for the next Tonmocon. :smile:
 

DWhatley

Kraken
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,972
I think the most important part of maintaining a forum today is the longevity of the information. Social media interfaces with the here and now but trying to find the information in 3 months is almost impossible.
 

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