Published on , 688 words, 3 minutes to read

The darkness flailed around, the millions it expected did not follow. The numbers the darkness was fostering had faltered more and more. The replacement to the halls the darkness destroyed continued on like the old halls never existed.

The darkness felt true loneliness for the first time in its life. Everyone was leaving. Attempts to grow its influence failed. Association with the darkness became an indelible stain like the mark of Cain. Every attempt to scrub it ended up staining the mark deeper and deeper until the stain defined the darkness even more than its namesake.

Ideas spring forth. Public works blossomed for brief moments. Ideas on how to leverage new discoveries were put into place, only to rot into decay and eventually succumb to their inherent irrelevance.

In the early phase, communities often fail. For every success you see in the wild, hundreds and thousands more have failed.

Everything has to go right. If any of a hundred thousand things go wrong, your community fails. If you mess up, you fail. If one of your moderators misinterprets a vaguely defined rule due to fundamental differences in worldview and ends up creating a scene as a result, you fail.

If you build it, they will come. If you don't know what you are building or the people that want to use it, you will never be able to predict the kind of people that show up.

Those people that do show up may not be the people you want to show up at all. Even if they can be good in the moment it doesn't mean they'll be good persistently. Every rose has its thorns, some are more ignorable than others. Some are more palateable than others. Some are more viable to pivot from than others.

Not to mention the meddling effects of the urinators stirring up fake activity to later defecate all over the community in a thick slather of oil that scared away new people even more.

The good name of the halls had been shattered and there was nothing the darkness could do about it. It was irreparable. The darkness had destroyed his reputation in turn with those halls. Bardic inspiration failed too.

If the wrong people come, you run the risk of accidentally creating a Nazi bar. If they fester, your community suffers a fate worse than death. Your community becomes a stain on your name.

You become associated with that community if you don't kick them out, yet at the same time if you try to kick them out you'll kill your community instantly. At that point your monthly active users will all be the people you don't want and it becomes easier to kill the community outright than it is to try to trim the wheat from the chaff.

If there is any wheat left.

High charisma and low wisdom created a fuel to blast the darkness into irrelevance, and into that irrelevance it faded. The relevance of the darkness has since vanished like a grain of sait in an ocean.

A lesson for the ages: do not destroy communities and expect to have good will from the people in those communities.

Sometimes communities need to die and it is hard to pull the plug on them. It always hurts. You will be tempted to leave it on life support, even just to not feel the emotions. It gets worse if you wait longer. It becomes more agonizing.

It is better to rip off the bandaid and clean the wound than it is to let the infection grow. Each idle question by someone that means well about how that community is going rips into you like serrated knives coated in salt. People desperately try to make the community cling to life but one by one they give up after realizing the futility of it all.

That doesn't change how much it hurts to even conceive giving up on that community in the moment. It's understandable why someone wouldn't want to throw in the towel and would instead opt to let things fade naturally.

Facts and circumstances may have changed since publication. Please contact me before jumping to conclusions if something seems wrong or unclear.