tonytohono wrote:...The thing is that some people, who are real burners, come on eplaya and are immediately scared off, and do not return. I know of several of these people who are some fucking kick ass people. Is that right that they should stop coming here? I don't think so. But when these new comers get caught in some twisted sock war between socks and the feet and feet and socks of the enemy it can be quite intimidating.
What else can be said?
Leaving aside the finer points of what a "real burner" might be, the "Community Guidelines" linked at page-bottom here says
We encourage you to represent yourself as you are known in everyday life and on the playa. Being yourself on the ePlaya goes a long way to building lasting, trusting relationships. Multiple identities are discouraged.
Burning Man being what it is, there is a lot that's implicitly assumed in the Guidelines -- eg that a wide variety of people are involved in the event, or aspire to be involved, and there is a custom of sorts for many to assume alternate identities that might be long-used personal nicknames, "screen" names, a "playa name" one might have picked up at Burning Man, stage names, and so on. It should be apparent that Burning Man has roots in subcultures in which assumed names, and assumed theatricality, are commonplace.
Some people indulge in a "sock puppet" or two, often in the online-jargon sense of having an Evil Self mask one can assume for whatever theatrical purpose -- see
The Guidelines only caution that multiple logins are "discouraged" because it has gotten out of hand in the past wrt a few people who made use of multiple identities (upwards of 14 in one case) to cause an inordinate amount of bad trouble on the board, rather than minor bits of acting out. And I'd imagine some who might appear to have sock puppets simply spaced out on their login name or password.
Anyhow, the sock puppet thing must not have been the only reason your real burner friends quit using the BBS. Having a medium-high threshold for differently-abled burner behavior verging on the sarcastic or pedantic, I still check in here, albeit with some reservations. For me it's as much a matter of the software, interface and topic organization that throw up barriers to queries, discussions and general ease-of-use. Navigating through the chit-chat of more frequent and more verbose posters, as on any online forum, is an acquired skill.