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Reply  Message 1 of 8 on the subject 
From: timber  (Original message) Sent: 15/07/2017 19:04
I apologize for the length of this message, but I ask you to read it, please.

I had the occasion to re-read the Code of Conduct for Gabitos yesterday, and it states, "I understand that I’m not allowed to create a group with the intention to use it as a private storage, since the only purpose of this site is to promote the formation of communities for people to meet, exchange ideas, knowledge and to make friends. If I do so, I risk the closure of such group, jeopardizing all stored information, understanding that GABITOS reserves the right to warn previously or to proceed to elimination without warning."

Because of my ill health in the last few years, I had many times where I would go absent from the group for months at a time. If this were to happen again, I could lose everything I spend time putting into this group. And during those absences, I have noticed participation drops very low.

Animations & Smilies began at MSN Groups many, many years ago. I started as a member and because of my love for smileys and animations, I was promoted to assist the owner. When MSN Groups closed, I made the decision to keep it alive and so I moved it to Yuku. That was almost 10 years ago (I can`t believe it`s been that long).

Back in the old days, before the first move, the group was set up as mostly a storage group. In those days, members had access to all the smileys in the picture albums that they could use to insert into their messages in any of their other MSN Groups. There were many members (over 400, I think) that rarely, if ever, posted on the message boards and that was fine. There were some of you who also participated in the conversations, games, etc.

When I moved the group to Yuku, I lost the ability to house the smileys in a local group and allow members to access them at their fingertips like we could at MSN Groups. So I created a Photobucket account to upload all the smileys that we had at MSN A&S. Members could access the smileys and direct link to them and use them in their groups. Photobucket has changed their TOU and this option is no longer available.

Many of the members followed us to Yuku, but the change from the simplicity of MSN Groups to the alien environment of a forum left many members unsettled. Over time, we got used to how things worked and where to post this or that.

There was some participation on the boards but it was mostly saying hello from a new member or signing in once a month. There was some smiley sharing but not much. I was busy with my PSP group which is where I did the majority of my participation. I was used to A&S being a laid back place and people came and went as they pleased, so I didn`t put much into the group except to be available to welcome new members or answer questions.

I thought it would be similar when I came here. But after re-reading the COC, I have to give this group a re-think. I don`t want to spend the hours that it takes to add content to the group if I don`t know if members are using it. At Yuku I could see if people visited the group, so I got an idea of the traffic. I have no option to view that here.

For all I know, I`m mostly sitting here talking to myself LOL. You know, which is actually fine with me, but not with the COC. I need to evaluate whether moving here, or anywhere else for that matter, is worth my time any longer.

It has always been a joy to me to be with friends of like interests. I can still remember when I first found Animations & Smilies. I felt like I found a home. I thought I was the only person who loved animated smiley faces as much as I did, and then I found a whole group who was all about it. I jumped right into the group and shared smileys to people who were looking for something specific or to help with a computer issue, or whatever. Helping people has always been an impulse for me.

I am still, and probably always will be, a lover and collector of animations and smiley faces. But it isn`t necessary for me to continue to manage a group unless there is a reason to. A group is about people not person. If I wanted to, I could create a blog and share smileys and not be a part of a group environment.

Animations & Smilies isn`t a blog, it`s a group, and it needs members who want to keep it as such. I know that probably most of you are busy with all the changes that are going on at this time. You will need to register, or re-register, or upload content, or get used to a new forum. It is understandable if you are spending your time with that rather than coming here to check in.

Checking in here has never been an urgent matter. I never wanted it to be. But it makes sense that a group is not a group if the members are only holding a place on a list and coming by once in a blue moon to visit or snag. I guess A&S was never really that kind of group with mandatory participation. So the members are not used to coming by and taking part in a message board conversation. As manager, I am used to leaving notes to members or answering questions, etc.

Alas, this kind of activity is no longer enough to keep A&S going as a group. I still have to wrap my head around what it means to be a group. It means you have to visit and take part in the activities of the group. Or it really isn`t a group anymore.

If it was up to me, I would be okay with how things have gone to this point, but it`s not. The COC says we have to have activity. And me uploading content and talking to myself is not considered group activity. Thank you to the members who have come and taken part in the activity of the group aside from a once-a-month note. It has been nice.

So now, after a very long-winded explanation of the situation, I find myself needing to make a decision. I can hear The Clash in my head singing ♫ Should I stay, or should I go...♫

I really like it here at Gabitos. I like the simplicity of how it works. Managing a group at a forum really does my head in. I suffer from migraine headaches and it has been difficult to look at all those buttons and options and settings, oh my. I will stay here for the present and continue to learn what is possible to do here at Gabitos.

I won`t be spending any more of my time uploading smileys unless a member requests something. I`m happy to put the time in if someone needs something, but I`m not happy to spend the time for no reason. I have other things that I would like to spend my time on as I`m sure you could imagine.

This isn`t the only place where you can find smileys like the ones from Smiley Central. I think I have more of those smileys than anyone else, but they are on my computer so that doesn`t do you any good. I can recommend sites with those kinds of smileys if you would like.

In parting, I just want to say that I didn`t write the COC, so the future of this group is really in your hands, not mine. I leave it to you to create activity in this group to keep it alive or it will vanish.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you will have some feedback about it.

Keep on smilin`!

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Reply  Message 2 of 8 on the subject 
From: SharonK Sent: 15/07/2017 19:43
 I hope you don't leave.  I thought for sure this would be the right place.  So sorry things aren't ging well.  Please try to stay open.  I try to post on other threads to help keep it open.  why oh why did MSN and Yuku have to close or sell out?  Take care and I wish you and the group the best.
 Timber, May I steal your cute name tag and put my name on it.  
 hugs, Sharon

Reply  Message 3 of 8 on the subject 
From: timber Sent: 15/07/2017 20:49
Hey, Sharon...

It isn`t that things aren`t going well. The COC of Gabitos determines what makes a group a group . But to be honest, managing a group is something that I`ve done only because there wasn`t another person to step up to do it. I`m much more contented being a member.

Having you here to chat with and "play talking smileys" with has been a joy , thanks so much for being here! I will remain here for the present probably through the summer and then I will decide whether A&S will stay open or close its doors. A&S needs to become a community instead of a storage building or there`s no point. I don`t want to see it go , but I don`t want to be Hercules holding it together either. If there is interest in the group by way of activity on the message boards, then it will remain and I will continue to steer the ship until I see an iceberg ahead haha.

As to my avatar, I would prefer to keep this one as my own, but you can create an avatar for yourself similar to mine at http://www.abi-station.com/iconmaker/index_en.shtml. Take a look and let me know if you need help with it.

See you on the boards!

Reply  Message 4 of 8 on the subject 
From: Chocy Sent: 20/07/2017 05:54
I read your "long" message and you never lost me. I have a passion for smilies too but not as organized as you are. I am trying to get mine back from Photobucket which is why I haven't been around much. Re-setting up SGS in Aimoo as well and losing our images is keeping us all busy.
 I too am sorry you get migraines. I get them less now. Either I learned what the triggers were or it was a side effect of menopause.
Like Lynn I see empty pages in the Smiley Central section. I thought they just werent finished yet.
I do see your delightful smilies in your message above.
What ever happens Timber I sure would love to have you near.

Reply  Message 5 of 8 on the subject 
From: timber Sent: 20/07/2017 22:44
Thanks, Gran, I don`t intend to disappear.  Sometimes I need to take a break, but I always return.
Were you able to see the smileys that were post at A&S Yuku?  I wonder why people can`t see the smileys here, because I can see them.  Hubby couldn`t see them until he turned off his adblocker.  Maybe it is something similar for you.  The smileys are there, I assure you lol, but that would be a funny April Fools joke to play hahaha.

Reply  Message 6 of 8 on the subject 
From: JossieAnn Sent: 13/10/2017 16:42
so sorry for not being here much. I have been trying to move things from my Photobuckets to fotki. I will be here more often, I promise. I could not stand the losing of any more groups and all my so loved on line friends.
big hugs to all, Jossie

Reply  Message 7 of 8 on the subject 
From: JulieJewels Sent: 24/10/2017 03:43
Thank you for all your hard work and know I do understand 
how it is. I wanted to tell you SharonK invited me to your 
group here, as I do love smilies, and positive things. I would 
like to pm you private message you here if they have that? 
Thanks again, and I know how migraines are, I don't get them
 that often I found drinking lots of water helps as my daughter 
got them if she didn't drink enough. I hope you take care 
of yourself and thanks for having a site here. 

Reply  Message 8 of 8 on the subject 
From: timber Sent: 24/10/2017 04:39
Hi, Julie, we don`t have PM here; it`s old school LOL.
I will send you an email.

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