I joined this community on April 10th 2014, just about three years ago. I don't recall ever doing a 'forumversary' blog here, and I suspect that the reason why was simple; outside of some form of self-congratulatory pat on the back it seemed rather pointless for me. Basically, I didn't think I had much to say other than, 'I have been here x years'. This year though, I have words. I think that taking stock of where you have been, where your are now, and where you are going helps with perspective. I look back at the last three years with shock at how everything has changed in my life. Recalling what my life looked like in April 2014 and comparing it to April 2017 leads to mindbogglingly insane realizations of how dynamic our world can be. I want to use this blog series as a roadmap of sorts of my history here. Highlight my favorite events and times. I need to say this though. I will obviously mention other users who have impacted my time here, but I will try and stay clear of some highly emotionally charged moments. This time the elephant in the room and I will make peace. Basically, if you are looking for me to talk about forum drama, you will be disappointed. Over the next month I will focus on why I came here, and a few of the most impactful moments of my time among you all.
*I am also publishing this a bit early since this week has quite a bit going on. Star Wars Celebration, Easter, Pony Premiers ... lots.
April 2014 - A Wild Jeric Appeared
There are some amusing lines in that first post. For one, you can plainly see that I had yet to become the "Prophet of Rarity" as I was called once. My first words on MLPF were a quote from the Princess Bride, and I talked briefly about my current job, family, and hinted at how I became a fan. I smile seeing who welcomed be to this forum. There were Destiny, a former head of Poniverse PR)who can be seen as @zenyatta, and Magos Amphrose currently going by @Bedman. Destiny in particular makes me smile knowing that several months later I would be working with her on staff. Magos though, I recall what I was thinking when I read his post. It confused the living hell out of me. What the hell is a Nyx? I love that comment about my avatar, which is what I am wearing today. There were members on this forum I noticed almost immediately. Some are no longer part of this community, and some are. Anyway, at this point, I was a Twifan. Rarity was waiting in the wings though.
The World Cup - The Dawn of Fabulosity
So for those that don't know, there used to be a strong vocal minority of Rarity fans on this forum. Forgotten names like @ghostfacekiller39, @Obsidian Sky, @GlowingFlask, @Blobulle @Andaasonsan and more were core people who you could find in the Rarity Fan Club. Others like @Woohoo, @ooBrony, @Sunny Fox, @A.V., and @Radiance64 would also heavily contribute to the fan club as well. It was something I noticed. Back then there was this sense that many disliked the character of Rarity, and that characters most fierce defenders did a hellova lot of in depth analysis on her virtues and flaws. I paid attention. It was impossible not to. Rarity started off being my least favorite of the mane six. I character I dismissed readily. I joined the forum as a fan of Twilight, and was still catching up watching the show, and what started happening was shocking.
An early post, just four days after I joined, is found here
I often post on social media and forum platforms with casual musings. I find it illuminating to go back and see what my train of thought was, and how it ended. I wonder if I ever did elevate Rarity to Best Pony status?
The MLPF World Cup 2014
During this time there was a user created event called the MLPF 2014 World Cup. It basically amounted to a popularity poll with various characters facing off while the fans of the characters posted text and images to root them on and try and get support from other members. I wish I could say I was immune from that sort of thing. I am not. Actually I am being extremely unfair here. The users involved actually put together one hell of a topic This was @Sterling Crimson's brainchild but quite a few contributed. @Batbrony used his word crafting to actually do mock interviews with the characters whole RP'ing as Derpy and Dinky. There were anthems for each character, and flags designed as well. The conclusion was high drama as it turned out Luna fans created a few sock puppet accounts to cheat causing that characters disqualification. Fluttershy faced off against Rarity and eventually it was a Flutters vs. Twilight battle with Twilight taking the prize. Good times. Before the main matches began I made my first post in the RFC as they were asking for people to basically post ponies.
There was no going back. Not satisfied with simply posting fabulous pony pics, I created a serious of nonsense short stories that became referred to as the Rarity Bible (and my role name).
Celestia tells Rarity she is to face three tests here
Rarity vs. Tom here
Yeah. Jeric does ridiculous ... kinda bad and overly punny ... but I do it.
Seriously though, that was a fun moment for most of the people who participated. Rarity came in third, which was surprising to even her die hard fans. It was during that time that I saw the first hints of this being different than most internet communities. The diversity here was off the charts, it felt a more welcoming than YouTube comments, and when I felt so inclined I could easily switch for choas mode to thoughtful and be taken seriously. I decided during the World Cup that this place may be worth chilling out at. That is a relative term since I tend to make posts in between or concurrently with IRL activities, but this was a time sink I felt was deserving of my spare moments. It wasn't because of what I felt I could contribute that kept me here, it was the interaction with the users and seeing the community at large that made it worthwhile. The crazies, the fierce debaters, the relaxed ones, the passionate types, and the philosophers seemed to congregate together. Don't get me wrong, I know I come across as this unrealistically optimistic goofball, but that is only one part of who I am. I suspected that there was simply more to this community that met the eye. Was there some high drama at this time. Of course! But, the moments of merriment outweighed the more explosive ones by far.
I'm not a fan of the concept of a 'Golden Age'. Experiences are relative, yanno? This is more like that moment of discovery. There would be experiences down the road that would lead to immense highs, but this was an era that had its own charm to it. It is easy to lose site of that sometimes.
That's it for now, but next up - Waifu Marriages by a real (not really) Minister. Yes, I am dead serious, this was a thing!