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LUGNET... do you feel its dead or not, and do you care?

 
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copyrrrrr
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:22 am    Post subject: LUGNET... do you feel its dead or not, and do you care? Reply with quote

When I became an active player in the online LEGO community in late 2001 through early 2002, I lived on LUGNET. As the stuck-up-ness of the LUGNET members became more apparent, and the self-moderation (i.e.: no moderation) allowed many arguments to break out, the community splintered. FBTB grew, Classic-Space, Classic-Castle, and ILTCO carved out their niches, MOCpages took the place of the Bricklink/LUGNET combo for MOC posting and hosting, and LEGOfan became a launchpad for new AFOLs.

I check LUGNET infrequently now and see NO new activity. Only 13 posts for the lugnet.general group in the last week! Sad... 10 years old and now basically dead.

And so I ask... does anyone care?

This post is for those who used and loved LUGNET once, not those who've never heard of it. I would really like to see if anyone would be interested in seeing a revival of LUGNET, and if the AFOL community sees a future where LUGNET has a place.
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Iare Zombite
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My registration is still pending, even now. I tried to register a year before I found FBTB.

Sad, huh?

Not really. I remember very early days, I liked reading that forum, but then things you said happened. I doesn't even think "Lugnut" when I think about Lego communities.
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ZombieDraykov
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only reason I've ever used LUGNET is for set reference and personal collection inventory. I've been a member for a number of years, but by the time I joined, I had already come to rely on places like FBTB and Classic Space for forum stuff.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the two reasons you gave, Jeremy, were the exact same two that caused me to turn away from LUGNET: the massive egos and the lack of moderation. The two went hand in hand. Once people realized they could get away with ganging up on each other and saying whatever they pleased without any kind of enforced repercussions, certain sections of the LUGNET forums became absolutely embarrassing.

I started noticing two distinct groups of people emerging, and left to bicker and butt heads without supervision, their interaction with one another resulted in flame wars daily. There were the people who took the place way too seriously, and other people with seemingly no respect for anyone or anything. The first group thought everything they said or did deserved everyone's attention. Anytime anyone dared challenge them and suggest that they weren't as great as they thought they were, they'd get all defensive. And, challenging them and watching them become defensive became great entertainment for the other group of people, armed with over-the-top sarcasm and foul language.

Eventually, LUGNET seemed to become more about proving you could win an argument then it did about sharing your creations and useful information with other LEGO communities around the world. And, a lot of people I knew who eventually became sick of it all seemed to do so because the place became so utterly un-family friendly. I know LUGNET was meant to be a place for AFOLs to interact. But, it was also a fact that kids and parents all over the world also went there to read and learn and enjoy the hobby. The thought of some little kid and their mom or dad sitting down and sifting though all that garbage was just plain embarrassing and enough to make a person wanna walk away from LUGNET completely.

For me, the moment I knew it was time to leave was when people started bringing their fights into areas of the site where they absolutely had no right to be. I mean, it seemed like they were purposely trying to find sections of LUGNET where they figured it'd take longer for people to find and attack their comments, and they were posting letters to community and statements and whatnot, which were really nothing more than them whining about how much they get picked on -- which was ironic because doing things like this is precisely WHY they got picked on so much. Anyhow, one day, I noticed them spreading into one of the community discussion sections, the one reserved for people with health and personal issues.

Granted, there was always debate about whether or not having social areas like this where LEGO hobbyists could share and support each other in the various non-LEGO areas of their lives which they have in common really belonged on LUGNET in the first place. But, still, this was a section where people talked about things as serious as their struggles with disease and depression, and now there were these people coming in all of a sudden and using these relatively quiet, low-traffic areas to get in the final word in arguments that were taking place elsewhere on LUGNET. I complained to Todd or Christine or Larry or whoever it was in charge then, and they put a stop to that pretty quickly, at least in that section, so that was good. But, still, it was then that I made the decision to leave LUGNET for good. I enjoy LEGO, but I get way more satisfaction and joy from the people I've met than I do building with the product. Seriously, if I didn't have friends like you guys to share my creations with, I doubt I'd make many or even any at all. And, it really rubbed me the wrong way to see so many people disrespecting each other, using the hobby not as a way to make friends and come closer, but rather as a way to make enemies and grow further apart.

I honestly have no idea what LUGNET is like nowadays. Maybe it's totally cleaned up it's act. I'm assuming it has. But, with all the LEGO communities and whatnot I'm involved with, this thread is, to my recollection, the first time I've even heard the word LUGNET mentioned in at least a year. So, that right there makes me inclined to believe that the place has probably become pretty irrelevant at this point.
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Ara



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great posting Mike [You saved me a lot of typing]. I lived on it too. I got tired of all the bickering and lack of Lego too. A lot of negative energy on that site. And I know the two very people that you speak of. One of them I don't hear about at all any more. The last wave of activity I have seen on Lugnet was during the Brickshelf shutdown which I think was the last nail in Lugnet's coffin. That forced a lot of us to Flickr which I think is a far superior interface for the community. I'm of mixed feelings on whether or not to let it die. As Draykov mentioned, there is some good Lego information that can be sifted out of there so for me it stands as a good reference site. Like Iare my registration is about four years pending.
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ZombieAndi
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ara wrote:
Like Iare my registration is about four years pending.


Strangely mine was confirmed 1 day after registering. I did it last month.
Just for fun though, never intended to read in this confusing forums.
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Iare Zombite
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great read, Mike. It makes it clear why lugnut are so messed up.

If I was owner of that site, I would have created a "reboot", a complete and utter restart, with only myself as mod till I find good members. Everyone must earn respect again. That will prevent Ye Olde Member abuses.

That's basically only thing that will save Lugnut now. Right now, it's err lugging too much nuts.. Wink
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copyrrrrr
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If we were to examine where the name LUGNET was derived, it was supposed to be an international network of LEGO USER GROUPs. Though some call the AFOL gatherings "clubs" nowadays, lots of people still call them LUGs. (Off-topic: the new Arizona LEGO Users Group calls itself AZLUG, despite my strong desire against it, since when sounded out it sounds like "a-slug".) If LUGNET were to be rebooted as a system for LEGO clubs to organize into, each being able to launch their own club-specific site, forum, and members area, I'd love to see it. As an all-encompassing community like it once was, LUGNET has no future in that way in my opinion. The community that lived there died in the flames of their own dragon-tongues, and from the ashes were born many new creatures, and though splintered beyond hope for reunification, a new community full of niche sites and a few portals has emerged.

If LUGNET were to continue, I see it continuing only as I previously mentioned. The niche sites like FBTB, C-C, C-S, etc, supported by sites like BrickShelf, Flickr, and MOCpages, and portal driven by LEGOfan (if it ever gets fixed), is the new definition of the online LEGO fan community.

My opinion. Very Happy
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ufjason



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I first got back into lego I was all over lugnet. Their system for posting absolutely sucks. The egos and people being incredibly exclusive and uninviting attitudes kept me from not using it much at all. It's the whole reason I found FBTB.
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Duchessa
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same here. I recently started thinking that I should print the set list in case Lugnet shuts down. Yes, yes - I'm a control freak and I like to keep track of my collection Smile


Draykov wrote:
The only reason I've ever used LUGNET is for set reference and personal collection inventory. I've been a member for a number of years, but by the time I joined, I had already come to rely on places like FBTB and Classic Space for forum stuff.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep track of it via Peeron as well. I use the two as a cross-check to make sure I'm keeping track of everything.
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Padawan716
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was considering joining once, but hearing the problems about registration and seeing the... childishness of a bunch of AFOLs... and then the rise of far better communities... well, it pretty much makes Lugnet irrelevant.

Lugnet needs a major redesign. Maybe better management. Definitely and infusion of fun. People there take themselves way too seriously. Or they did when I was thinking of registering. Who wants to post at a place that's the equivalent of CSPAN?
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Morbie19
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never been a member there and have only heard bad things about their registration process (or lack thereof) and the community in general, nevermind that the place seems to be a labyrinth to actually navigate and use.

Count me in the "don't care" group– I have all the community I need (and more!) from FBTB, FC/KAM, TBB, CC, EB, Flickr, Brickshelf, Bricklink, and Brickset.

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ZombieAndi
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Draykov wrote:
I keep track of it via Peeron as well. I use the two as a cross-check to make sure I'm keeping track of everything.


One stupid question: How actually does that work? I can't find any link at lugnet for creating my set list.
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ZombieDraykov
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andi wrote:

One stupid question: How actually does that work? I can't find any link at lugnet for creating my set list.


While logged in, search the LUGNET Set Reference for the set you want to add to your (virtual) collection. Let's say I just bought a new copy of 7666 Hoth Base. I just log-in, search for 7666, and on the page for that individual set, there are some fields in a section called "My Collection". You just add/edit the number of copies of 7666 you own and then you can click either the HTML Table or Text Table links to view your entire collection inventory.

The only thing I've bothered to keep track of on either site is sets. If there's a way to add individual parts to your collection (e.g. from a Bricklink order) I haven't bothered to learn how.
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Iare Zombite
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morgan19 wrote:
I've never been a member there and have only heard bad things about their registration process (or lack thereof) and the community in general, nevermind that the place seems to be a labyrinth to actually navigate and use.


Agreed. Yeserday I tried to check it out if it were still live or not, and gave up because interface were a mess.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When someone from the LUG I was a member of told me to stop reading their threads, I did just that. And I've barely been back since (3 years ago?).
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Iare Zombite
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's so funny. Someone actually told you that? It's out in public and anyone can read any threads. Razz
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Greg Hyland



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it was that I was getting annoyed with how the LUG I was in was being run, and I was told to stop coming to their meetings (which I had) and to stop reading their LEGNET area, so I wouldn't be annoyed!

To quote somebody else (who I don't remember), "I am now a LUG-less LEGO ronin!" And happy to be that way!
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PJcountach



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I learned about FBTB through Lugnet's Star Wars page. I used to be all over the site, particularly the space section, and the set list area. I liked FBTB and Peeron better, so I abandoned Lugnet without ever signing up as a member. Occassionally i go look at it to reminisce, but it's a mess, especially its posting system. There aren't enough updates to warrant regular visits.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LUGNET served a purpose when the online LEGO community was smaller, less confident and, dare I say, less sophisticated.

The emergence of 'special interest' communities (of which YubYub/FBTB was probably the first) was decried by some at the time as a fragmentation & weakening of the online community - there seemed to be a belief in some quarters that you couldn't be the a member of more than one web community. In hindsight, it was really a natural evolution, and LUGNETs usefulness was already on the slide ...

IMHO the real weakness of LUGNET was ego, and that's what hastened its demise. The ego of the founders, the ego of some of the moderators, and the egos of certain high profile members. I won't bore with specifics but some of the "high drama" was entertaining to watch (from the sidelines) at the time.

LUGNET had an opportunity, and probably still does, to recreate itself as a lightweight portal for the rest of the community sites, maybe along similar lines to what was originally envisioned for 'LEGOfan'.

I'll always have fond memories of LUGNET, as it was my introduction to the online LEGO world & helped kick-start Brickish, but it's usefulness, in its current form, has ended for me.

copyright wrote:
I would really like to see if anyone would be interested in seeing a revival of LUGNET, and if the AFOL community sees a future where LUGNET has a place.


I would like to see a reversal of fortunes for LUGNET, but I don't think there is a future for it in its current form. I think there is the need for a 'hub' site for the online LEGO community beyond what we currently have .... but lessons aught to be learned from what went wrong with LUGNET.

Ian
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SW Fan Goosi



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I feel that way. I used to like LUGNET as a site for instructions or set lists, but with the Collector's Guide Book, that's not neccesary. Yes, LUGNET is all but extinct for me.
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Blacknight



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was not a member of Lugnet but I did read it from time to time and I actually thought it was one of the more placid/peaceful forums I ever visited. Peaceful to the point of being boring, and that I think it why it has died. I did not notice much ego or arguing, certainly I saw less than I see on FBTB or other Lego sites, however maybe it was cleaned up by the time I arrived. No, I chalk up its failure to boring/unexciting discussion, an ugly forum format (threads within threads were difficult to search), and a lack of overall purpose/direction. Not the ego of the members, because almost every forum I've ever visited on the net has its hefty share of arrogant moderators/members. Just my honest 2 cents.
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bluemoose
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blacknight wrote:
I was not a member of Lugnet but I did read it from time to time and I actually thought it was one of the more placid/peaceful forums I ever visited. Peaceful to the point of being boring, and that I think it why it has died. I did not notice much ego or arguing, certainly I saw less than I see on FBTB or other Lego sites, however maybe it was cleaned up by the time I arrived. No, I chalk up its failure to boring/unexciting discussion, an ugly forum format (threads within threads were difficult to search), and a lack of overall purpose/direction. Not the ego of the members, because almost every forum I've ever visited on the net has its hefty share of arrogant moderators/members. Just my honest 2 cents.


All I can say is that you must have been visiting on *very* different days to me Wink

I joined LUGNET in early 2002 - before EuroBricks, before Classic Space, before Classic Castle, before LEGOfan, before Brothers Brick, etc. - at the time the only other brick-oriented websites were FBTB & BZpower, both of which were considered 'kiddie' sites by most AFOLS.

Seriously, LUGNET was at times **far** worse than any other LEGO-oriented forum I've ever seen for arguments & ego trips (and much, much worse than anything I've ever seen here on FTBT in over 7 years as a member). There were, and continue to be, some major feuds that started on LUGNET, but carried on in the real world.

And the battles, for want of a better word, over how LUGNET was run went on for a considerable time & caused a lot of animosity between individuals; some very well respected adult members on LUGNET even quit the hobby due to the grief they were getting from other members over that issue.

Ian
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SavaTheAggie



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I joined Lugnet back in the Summer of 2000, near the launch of BrickBay (now Bricklink), when all there was to see was see and do in the LEGO universe was Lugnet and Brickshelf (and rec.toys.lego), when all of this was orange groves as far as the eye can see. I'm sad to see Lugnet become a shell of its' former self, but a lot of why that is happened has already been discussed. I have participated in my share of Lugnet drama, and in fact, Classic-Castle was created out of some of said drama.

Actually, it seems the recent lack of Lugnet activity has caused some of those who are responsible for much of the drama from days long past to go to the niche sites, probably out of boredom. I've noticed several trolls slithering their away around the LEGOverse, including the first person ever banned from Lugnet. He's already found himself banned in a few places.

Many of the people on Lugnet who derided the different niche sites objected heavily to what has begun the forum standard, the bulletin board system, and I find it amusing that so many who never joined or limitedly participated in Lugnet deride it for its' threaded system. Still, for the Lugnet loyal it has taken years to leave, and some are still there, refusing to read any LEGO site other than Lugnet.

Lugnet's current activity level seems to be focused mainly on trains, robotics, computer aided design, and LEGO events such as Brickfest. You'd be surprised how many Lugnet lurkers there still are, though, talented AFOLs who have been silenced due to the fear of starting drama. I can name a good number that have religated themselves to working in the shadows, stearing clear of posting in any website lest more drama be thrust upon them. They still read all they can, but they think twice about clicking that "post" button, even I have become a bit skiddish thanks to Lugnet.

I really can't see Lugnet reinventing itself. There are too many in too high a place who feel Lugnet is perfect as-is, and will never allow it to change. They will remain bitter to the sites that have "splintered" the community, who have "no time" to visit more than one website. Not that I wouldn't applaud the change.

--Tony
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Duchessa
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps someone out there knows more about the connection between Lugnet and Peeron? Will Peeron still be in business even if Lugnet slows down or is shut down?
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copyrrrrr
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony (didn't you go more by Anthony back in the day), thanks for the input.

As one of the prominent figures back in the days when LUGNET was busier, it is neat to see your input. Some of the things you say make me sad, in fact, especially about people leaving the hobby (that is based on a child's toy) because of the child-like personalities of others.

I think this conversation has been good for me and my perspective on the community and its growth and development over the years. I love the updates Sean has run through on MOCpages that makes it more community-esque, but I still see a need for a central portal for the community, and if what Tony says is true, LUGNET doesn't want to be it, so attention must now turn to LEGOfan to do it. How can we rally for LEGOfan's return... its been dead for over a year already!
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ZombieSeptemris
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember my registration taking something like 4 months on Lugnet. That's probably why I've never felt quite welcomed over there. The only fond memory I have of Lugnet, is that it takes me back to when I got out of my Dark Age.

Despite the unituitive and mazelike thread system, I've managed to read some good stuff in the past. And I've read some of those crasy Internet fights too. Not to name names, but I remember people ganging up on Eric Sophie, for reasons that an outsider like me couldn't understand.

It wasn't long before I stopped getting my LEGO news from there, relying on FBTB, Brickset, and Eurobricks instead.

Anyways, I still use it from time to time to include a link about a set or to "track" my inventory (it's a losing battle). Come to think of it, I don't know why I still do that. I should just switch to Brickset.

If it passed away, I wouldn't miss it.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lugnet was neat but too fractured of an index. Later, I stopped checking there because noone was posting MOCs.

At this time, I like EuroBricks the best because if its broader appeal. It has Star Wars and all of the other themes. Of course, it is having fun with its version of RtB policy.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.mouse-network.com/index.php?page=2&catID=1
Michael wrote:
WTF? Heavy Load?
So I got this message trying to go to LUGNET today:

Server temporarily unavailable due to heavy load.
Please try again in a few minutes.
Since when is LUGNET ever busy? The forums is like a graveyard lately -- everything is pretty much dead. What strangeness is this?

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