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Old 05-11-2005, 07:25 PM   #1
Hawg73
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So who is this FallingAlice? A brief history of the Planet

(Since it came up on the Well,well, well thread and I would guess that some of the members that joined in the last year or so might still be curious about the FallingAlice phenomena, then here is a little story that I wrote that gives a little background on her and on the site.

It was written with the understanding that she would not be returning and we (the 25 mods) wanted her to know that she was not forgotten, but had not put the story on the main page yet.

Now she returns and screws up my maudlin attempt at a tribute. Nevertheless, here it is. )

Gisoolg is the Great Spirit Creator who is the one who made everything. The word Gisoolg in Mik'Maq means " you have been created ". It also means " the one credited for your existence".

The word does not imply gender. Gisoolg is not a He or a She, it is not important whether the Great Spirit is a He or a She.

The Mik'Maq people do not explain how the Great Spirit came into existence only that Gisoolg is responsible for everything being where it is today. Gisoolg made everything.

----- taken from a Micmac indian creation myth


In the beginning there was only Patriots.com and the technologically primitive message board there. That was the starting point.

At some point during the 2001 season I became aware of a new member there who went by the handle of Puckstopper. He was apparently a goalie on some kind of hockey team and I was drawn to his posts/thoughts because of their style, insight and crackling intelligence.

Soon it became apparent that Puckstopper was actually a woman, not that it mattered that much. In addition to her gender, several other things about her became known:

1) She is a former midwesterner who had adopted the Patriots as her team and was passionate in her support of them.

2) She is an excellent writer, with a breezy, converstational style and had a knack for knowing what kind of topics would be interesting and generate a lot of response.

3) She hated the format of that board and wanted to do something about it.

Of course, we all hated it. It was the digital equivalent of sharp sticks and mud tablets, but we didn't really have much of an alternative and had by this time had formed a loosely-knit cirle of people who enjoyed mixing it up with each other despite the inherent difficulties in doing so. It was the message, not the medium that was most important, but still.....it wasn't easy.

So, one day I was surfing that forum and saw a thread that she had started that said something like "What if I had a new message board created with all the bells and whistles? Would anyone join me over there? It took me about two seconds to say "Yes". I was not the only one.

She went on to explain that she loved the forum at www.Chiefsplanet.com and had been in touch with some people there about creating a board that would emulate Chiefsplanet. I logged on over there and was pretty impressed with the large and active membership, the ease and capability of their software and especially the humor and intelligence that seemed characteristic of so many of their members. Sports was supposed to be entertaining and fun and they seemed to have a kind of "virtual sports bar" philosophy.

I was immediately jealous. She was onto something there.

She then indicated that she would be working to make this board happen and pretty much disappeared from Patriots.com for a period of months. Then, just about when we had given up hope that a new board would happen, she reappeared under a new name: FallingAlice. This name was taken from the story of Alice in Wonderland and reflected Alice's fateful fall down a rabbit hole and into a strange new world. The choice of name was both ironic (one of her trademarks) and humorous.

She had some exciting news for us. Somehow she was able to convince the gurus at Chiefsplanet to create a board for us using their own server space and completely free of charge. I'm not sure who did what, but a guy who is known as Austin/Kyle did at least some of it and we were also introduced to Phobia who was a mover and shaker at that outstanding community.

We were in without having to invest a dime. Alice was nothing if not persuasive and I'm sure turned on some potent midwestern charm to con these guys into creating Patriotsplanet, which they graciously did.

And so the planet was zapped into existence and a small group of refugees arrived on its not-yet-teeming shores to kick the tires and experiment with it's full complement of features, which many of us had never used. We furiously tried to find snappy avatars and attached pictures to our posts with a fervor-- similar in a way to a bunch of farm-raised immigrants from the old country who couldn't get over the fact that they now had electric lights and indoor plumbing in the New World.

Alice was, of course, a major presence here and continued being her always amusing self and lent her substantial influence to the site in many ways. It began as an empty shell and soon began to fill up with the old crew from Patriots.com and gradually some new voices who seemed to "get" the community here were added to the mix and decided to stick around and hang out with us.

As a moderator she liked to practice what she termed "benign neglect" and that lent itself to our practice of letting people behave like adults and taking action in only extreme cases. She also had a knack for making people feel at home here and was quite encouraging and friendly to newbies, in direct contrast to the style of many similar sites. I would describe that as a form of maternal instinct, but she would probably get upset at me for suggesting it.

In general, she was into being relaxed and having fun with football, sports and the world outside of the arena and that is another example of her influence that still reverberates in the site today. People can discuss whatever they feel like discussing, and that seems to work out well for the most part. The members are trusted to behave themselves, and whattaya know? They do.

This site began early in the 2002 season and after some slow growth and some rocky times her little pipedream has found it's niche on the web and has made some major strides. Strides that I'm sure she finds amusing.

Unfortunately, for those newer members that may not know the story she is unable to participate in the site for personal reasons that I will not get into here, but suffice it to say it was not her wish to leave. Nor was it ours.

We won't go into all the gory details. It boiled down to a whole
lot of schadenfreude emanating from her doppelganger. It was a dark time. It's over now. She remains with us in spirit.

So if you enjoy the Planet and like hanging out here for whatever reason, whether you are a lurker or a badly addicted poster, you should know that this site will always remain FallingAlice's legacy and a small testament to people that aren't happy with the status quo so they get off their butts and do something about it.

I think she might like that.

Thank you, Alice.
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