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|Maidens of the Kaleidoscope - A Timeline|
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|Seventh Holy Scripture:
It's New Year's Day in Gensokyo, an apropos date for a bit of reminiscing. The Maidens of the Kaleidoscope forum has been in existence for nearly seven years, minus the occasional month or two when has been knocked offline by technical problems. It's a long and storied history for a website - a history that ought to be told.
We've noticed that in the "Ask a Staffer" series, people have been full of questions about the origins of the forum, questions that our more recent staff members - through no fault of their own - are ill equipped to answer. And so we've put together a timeline of the major events in Maidens of the Kaleidoscope's past, so that those who haven't been here from the start can learn a bit about where this forum came from.
Take dates with a grain of salt, as most of the primeval existences that helped write this have horrible memories for them.
Maidens of the Kaleidoscope
* April 2004: Maidens of the Kaleidoscope comes into being, at the now defunct URL shrinemaiden.com as quite possibly the first Touhou fan site in English. Founded by Katchura, a charming British fellow with a noteworthy fondness for gothic lolitas, it had a front page containing a biography of ZUN and an overview of the two Windows Touhou games that had been released at the time, Embodiment of Scarlet Devil and Perfect Chery Blossom.
The first incarnation of the forums and the official IRC channel, #shrinemaiden, were created at around the same time - the latter on a small IRC network, Pyoko, which also hosted the Beast's Lair IRC channel and a few Something Awful-related channels.
* May 2005: pooshlmer, the first Touhou imageboard, joins the WAKAchan network, a conglomeration of independently hosted imageboards. The importance of this is that as it is by being a regular patron of WAKAchan that Seventh Holy Scripture discovered Touhou and, a few months later, found his way to Maidens of the Kaleidoscope and to #shrinemaiden - at that time a quiet, cozy IRC channel with about twenty users. He proceeds to introduce various friends, among them TheStupidOne, to Touhou and Maidens of the Kaleidoscope.
* 2006: A hacker exploits a vulnerability in the forum software, an outdated version of the notoriously insecure phpBB, to destroy the forum database. With the assistance of Seventh Holy Scripture and TheStupidOne, Katchura sets up a new forum running the SMF software.
* June 2006: Seventh Holy Scripture attempted to hold the first Touhou Seimoe competition, a bracket in which Touhou characters battled it out to determine who is the most popular among the Western fanbase. The contest was completely unsecured against cheating and proxy usage, as demonstrated when Medicine Melancholy received over five thousand votes after a low-triple-digit turnout in earlier rounds, and was soon canceled.
* April 2007: Katchura's webhosting unexpectedly expires, and shrinemaiden.com is taken offline without warning. His webhost, Globat, demands the exorbitant price of $99 for another year of hosting before they will relinquish the website data or domain name. Rather than cave to such extortion, Seventh Holy Scripture registers the current domain - shrinemaiden.org - and sets up yet another new forum with the assistance of TheStupidOne, while Katchura recuses himself from running the website.
The main page offering an introduction to Touhou was a casualty of the complete website data loss, and the front page of of shrinemaiden.org has since endured a pitiful existence as a feed from the news subforum, various bad jokes, and most recently a redirect straight to the forums. But there may yet be hope for a brighter future...
* October 2007: Through the efforts of a large allegiance of forum members, the second Touhou Seimoe competition was held with marginally greater success; Reimu Hakurei, a perennial failure in Japanese popularity polls, defeated Alice Margatroid to establish herself as the most popular character in the Western fandom. This contest escaped its predecessor's destruction by proxy only thanks to at first to the heroic work of many volunteers manually checking that every vote was legitimate, and later a script coded by TheStupidOne. It was determined that the next Seimoe needed better safeguards against proxy abuse, but due to the lack of technical expertise to accomplish this and other factors, Seimoe didn't happen again.
* March 2009: TheStupidOne has some fun in the "Everything Else" subforum (perhaps best considered as a predecessor of Renko's.) In her own words:
--- Quote from: ♪ TheStupidOne ♫ ---I took the gimmick from FYAD of crowning an "Idiot King" (in our case, Idiot Maiden), a user who is given mod permissions over FYAD as a reward for some outlandish prank or gimmick contest. The very first contest was about making a recipe for cooking their favorite touhou.
--- End quote ---
However, Seventh Holy Scripture was apprehensive about giving users power in what was nominally a subforum with a purpose and created a new "Idiot Central" subforum in which anyone could post anything, so long as they didn't mind an Idiot Maiden having their way with it.
* April 2009: A major upgrade of SMF, version 2, enters public beta with the capability of using the superior PostgreSQL database. Rather than attempt the daunting task of migrating current posts and members over to the new database, TheStupidOne decides the forum population can endure another wipe. The old forum posts remain archived for several months, resulting in a much smoother transition than the previous accidents.
Kilgamayan and Letty Whiterock, who assisted in setting up the new forum, take the liberty of giving several of the subforums more colorful names- previously, TARC was "Touhou Discussion", HME was "Guides / Tactics" and other such dreariness. Most notably, Idiot Central was renamed Cirno's Perfect Math Classroom, the current idiot hierarchy was established, and Kefit (using the Cirno account, naturally with a user ID of 9) supplied the first challenges by instructing her students to creatively solve two simple math problems.
* December 2009: The Great Winter Charity Drive takes place. In a grand occasion of much generosity, merriment, and karaoke, all of you amazing people raised over $1,800 in donations - over a dollar per registered forum member, and a lot more than that if you only count active members. Arashi Kurobara wins the Tou-ho-ho Songfest and chooses to donate 60% of the proceeds to RAINN, while the other two winners select Child's Play and the Heifer Foundation to receive the rest. Some months later, an extra $500 mysteriously turns up in the donation box and is also sent to Child's Play.
* February 2010: The forum is reorganized again. Most significantly, "Creative Fanworks" is split into two forums, Patchouli's Scarlet Library and Alice's Art Atelier, to better differentiate between the musicians / artists and the writers. The Librarian usergroup is created in order to organize the new PSL.
* April 2010: In an ill-thought-out April Fool's Day joke, orchestrated to 'explain' some necessary forum downtime in which SMF was to be upgraded, TheStupidOne claimed to be shutting down the forums and selling the domain name. This exploded into drama when staff, who had agreed to pretend that the incident was no joke, were faced with the obligation to lie to people extremely upset by the development- and various people were provoked into unloading their personal grievances against TSO and other staffers.
A sorely trying time for staff and members alike, this resulted in the promotion of Edible, Kilgamayan and Sakura Rurouni to administrators when it seemed TSO would resign from being the public face of the forum over the personal attacks. Shortly afterwards, the 'Acolyte' system was set up in the hope of lessening the divide between members and staff, enabling good communication and preventing further misunderstandings.
#shrinemaiden / PPIrC
* September 2005: Originally, #shrinemaiden had no power structure, but for unknown reasons only channel operators (of which there were none) could change the topic. Seventh Holy Scripture asks Katchura to change it for him. After a struggle to remember the password granting channel operator access, Katchura decides to make Seventh Holy Scripture the first auto-operator instead.
* November 2005: The first version of Keine appears on IRC, so named as her original purpose was solely to log the channel happenings (and allow searching through them easily, but that function broke early on after the logs grew to a sizable length.) For historical interest, you can peruse the very first log Keine saved here.
* February 2006: Keine is upgraded from a crude skeleton hacked together by Seventh Holy Scripture in his free time to the feature-filled Supybot software. Among her new abilities is the dangerous command "@roulette", which has a one-in-six chance of kicking those who test their luck. Keine receives operator status in order to duly punish those fools who would gamble with their lives.
#shrinemaiden is soon consumed by @roulette addiction. Entire days pass in which no words are spoken but "@roulette", "*click*" and "BANG!", whereas previously bored people on IRC were forced to talk and/or start a game on Lenna's trivia bot.
TheStupidOne takes advantage of Keine being hosted on her server to make herself a de facto operator of #shrinemaiden as well. (The IRC hierarchy was not taken very seriously at this time, and temporary ops were frequently given to anyone who asked for them and many who did not.)
* November 2006: Pyoko begin to suffer from severe connectivity problems, and TSO suggests hosting her own IRC server as a home for #shrinemaiden. This is perceived as a power grab by some members of the channel, who fail to make their concerns well known until the day of the 'move', whereupon drama erupts - not helped by some early instability in the new server.
#shrinemaiden remained somewhat split between the two networks for some time, with many members inhabiting both versions of the channel while others declared their allegiance and boycotted either the old channel or the new. Pyoko's ongoing connection issues, as well as the endorsement of the forum staff, eventually result in PPIrC's #shrinemaiden taking the lead.
* 2009ish: After some bouts of instability born of hosting servers on cheap VPSes, PPIrC switches to its current single-server setup. The one server, Cirno, is generously hosted by #shrinemaiden regular Suzuran and solid as an iceberg.
Mafia / RPG / #touhou-meido (by Pesco)
* April 2007: Mafia is first introduced. A thread asking for interest is made in the then-Akyu's and we get enough players. But we end up playing the game in TARC. It's a glorious trainwreck because a thread for the dead players to discuss the game is also in TARC. game gets ruined by scum deciding he wants to throw the game. bofh's lurker tendencies were already present as he was the Godfather and didn't bother to submit NK after the game ruining.
* May 2007: We have the second game of Fail-Mafia, also in TARC, no public discussion thread but players can freely communicate with each other. It was Imperishable Night flavoured. Scum derp it up with both of them fakeclaiming Sakuya, who happened to be a safe claim. Reisen takes the bullet by claiming cop, whom he had already found. In the process outing the real cop to get lynched or NK'd. I can't remember. Then we get the most faithful depiction of Touhou canon being carried out in the game. Kaguya spends every single night killing Mokou, who resurrects (self-protecting doc). In the end town lynches the doc.
* June 2007: The fad of Mafia is catching on and we get moved to a brand new subforum, "Unlimited GameWorks." Our own playground wheee! I play like a derptard and Kilga vigs me out of frustration. ##Yuyuko Doll: Pesco meme is born. It's the first game where LyLo of 3 players is reached. Kiro was at Comiket at the time and couldn't spare enough time to reread very deeply. bofh's status as best scum gets pretty solid.
* Dec-Jan 2007-2008: MotK mafia's first town win. FAV makes her debut and we all have high hopes of her. The game probably had the best player pool possible at the time.
* May 2008: Meido RPG gets introduced. Hype get and an ad-hoc IRC chan on dejatoons gets made to play it. Like with all shiny new things, there's good interest and more people start coming in. The chan picks up trolls like Seniwac, so we find a time when he's not there to reg and formulate some hierarchy.
* Dates start getting fuzzy for me from here on.
I think Kilga and Benny were one of the first mods from the forum that rocked up. We start spending less time playing meido as new games made their own chans. Some of the mafia discussions get taken to IRC, after all it's a chat medium and great for scumplanning.
In the 2008 wipe there was also the suggestion to move #meido to ppirc. It wasn't exactly at the time of the wipe, but it was around then. I personally felt it was acceptable as the the infrastructure would be great, but the general (vocal) opinion was indifference and refusal. Usually Dead and Mima were campers in #meido at the time and I recall UD being very strongly against letting #meido make the move. It was a pretty lame reason in retrospect, such that I can't even recall why I said we'd stay there.
<population happens, Kilga joined by stalking someone to the chan, Hele appeared dunno how. the place has lots of people (about 20 or so) that I decide to entrust OPs to them>
CPMC gets formed and #meido's popularity catches on for those people. I get assertive of #meido being UGW/RPG's chan before letting it cater to CPMC making a takeover.
* June 2009: Purvis joins the forums and establishes himself in CPMC. A derail of a thread by Trance becomes a text adventure. Purvis starts making these games popular in UGW/RPG.
* Dec 2009: Forum sections start getting renamed. I get my promotion to mod from Godmother and declare UGW to be named RPG to follow the theme.
* April 2010: April Fools Day joke oh boy . #meido becomes a temp hangout for the people that can't live without their CPMC. face it, the only people that bitched are the ones who don't go into any of the other forum areas and needed their daily fix of attentionwhoring and dramallama.
* September 2010: The question of why we don't move to ppirc is asked again. I have no idea why we're still on dejatoons. So I bet the outcome of a DotS game to decide it. Jerk headcrabs picks Nitori, who was pretty damn OP at the time and I lose the game. The move becomes official.
So wait, the IRC moved because of a damned DotS game? Seems like an easy way to solve problems if you only pick nitori. >.>
I like the fact that headcrabs is historically a jerk. :V
Also, very good read, indeed, I was always curious about this. It's fun to remember some of this, and what part/side I was with. Except I don't really want to remember April Fool's... >.>
IS THAT SO.
No, really, that was quite interesting and I'm glad it's been posted! I had no idea the forums had been around for so long. I certainly hadn't heard anything about the creation of Pooshlmer and the like either.
I also find the transition #touhou-meido went through rather amusing. I never would have had any business being in it if I stumbled into it early on, but now it's turned into my primary IRC hangout spot. Minor references to it being an RP channel where always abound, but I didn't know specifics.
This was an enlightening read. Thank you very much.
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