March 6, 2010
I joined Model Mayhem in October of 2006 when it was mentioned to me by a model I had tested. I didn’t know much about the site at the time but it was free and I was already in the middle of establishing accounts on Myspace and other social networking sites to get my name out there. Initially, my profile just sat there and I wasn’t very active at all. My presence on the forums really started with a tongue and cheek critique thread I started just to kill some time while retouching photos. That’s where I met Jenna (my BFF in the Matrix), Nicole, Shon D, Megan Mariee, and Jaime who quickly introduced me to her twin Jen. Along the way I have made many other friends like Lestari, Engel (who has transformed like a butterfly), Elle with her infectious laughter, Kelly Watkins with her unmatched wit, Christina S, StaceyS, Ada, and many others like that pesky bug name Becks. Some of those online friendships have moved into the real world where I have spent time with some members. There are many others too numerous to name. They know who they are and they know how I feel about them.
Much has changed with Model Mayhem since 2006. Tyler sold it to Internet Brands last year and overall there has been steady improvements along with many missteps. Throughout my active participation in the forums, I have guided my actions with only one driving motive and that is to try to help the community. I do not have a competing site, I have no hatred for those who run or moderate the site. There has been countless times when I have taken the owners and management to task over stupid things they have done that were harmful to the members and the community. I have argued against policies I felt were bad for the community and I have spoken up when the management or moderators have screwed up. Contrary to a lot of other members, I do not bitch about site outages because that is beyond the control of those running and managing the day to day activities of the site. What I do speak loudly about are policy decisions that affect members. When Internet Brands rolled out a half hazard terms of service early in 2009 that amounted to a rights grab, I was very public in my objections. When they decided to revise the TOS and rules late in 2009, I was invited to offer my thoughts on the revisions and I fought vigorously behind the scenes for changes that would bring balance to the needs and rights of the membership. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not claiming to be an angel and I do my share of screwing around and adding to the mayhem but when I put on my serious hat, it is to speak for those who are unwilling to speak. Unlike the moderators, I did not sign any agreement to keep my trap shut so I exercise that option frequently.
Many who participate in the forum will no doubt notice my presence. It is sometimes just to screw around and sometimes to answer questions. I often answer questions with relevant links in conjunction with or in place of a typed out response. I do this for two reasons. Usually, it’s the same old questions with the same old answers so no need to reinvent the wheel. I have some stock answers that I just paste. For other subjects, I have written an extensive FAQ that I often reference. The second reason I do not post some answers and use links instead is because of licensing issues. The way the Model Mayhem TOS is written, I lose certain control over content I post on the site. For the most part, I do not care but there are some content that I license under Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike. Posting that content on Model Mayhem would violate that license.
So if you are still with me at this point, I will go on to explain why I will no longer be participating substantively in the forums. The situation is still fluid and as of now, I will keep my profiles up and may occasionally participate in non-informational threads. But my days of answering questions and giving out advice on Model Mayhem forums are effectively over. I have no illusions this will have any impact on Model Mayhem or the membership. There are plenty of other talented and experienced members who share their knowledge freely so life moves on. Read on to learn about the sequence of events that led to this decision.