Disregard this if you have no care for the ventings of an obsolete relic.
I have been a member of SNN since May of 2009. Over seven and a half years as of this writing. I was there when Userspace sub-pages were common, when SNN had forums for every possible aspect of the the Sonic fandom, even Roleplay and Fanon discussions. People posted comics and artwork and it was a constant bustle of blogs and discussions and debates, though much of it was juvenile and ridiculous looking back almost a decade. Sad to say my memory of all that has faded as the wiki's format has changed and old information has become more difficult to track, but those fond if hazy memories are what have kept me coming back, even in my current sorry state.
Back then I had one of the highest edit counts in the entirety of the community. I wasn't exactly known for my swiftness in editing or constant vigilance in gathering new information. No, nothing like that actually. I was known for my enthusiastic involvement in the social aspect of the wiki. I'd be involved in all sorts of discussions, dealing with any number of issues with members of the wiki, or even just fan discussions and RPing. Just, generally talking or getting involved with anything that caught my interest. It made an impact, and within about a year of my activity I was actually lifted up to the greatest honor one could have; the then-adminship wanted to promote me straight to a position of Bureaucrat. It was and still is an honor that they had so much faith in my abilities and in my way with the community that they believed I was fit to hold such a position. Unfortunately at the time I did not believe such. I believed a friend of mine who I admired- still admire, in fact- deserved the position so much more, due to her seniority and her way with the community that didn't come with my own bevy of issues and flaws. So in my stead I recommended someone only the oldest of members here would know now; Sonicrox14. Instead I became an admin of the site, who most often dealt with the community and vandals. Soon after that I took over the duty of editing Featured User, Featured Article, and Poll of the Month.
Back then, involvement was plentiful and constant because there was just so much to be involved in, and I made so many friends on this site that I became so attached to. Frequently to the detriment of my schoolwork, actually. But despite that, it was fun. I can say without a doubt it was fun. But as with everything... things change. The first thing to change really was the decision to remove SNN's Roleplay and Fanon/Fangame forum sections, as it was decided SNN should focus more on canon content and that anyone interested in fanon could instead take it to SFW. So... people did, myself included. I mean my activity continued here, but the capacity was certainly hit. I went from one of the highest edit counts to no longer qualifying for the Featured User poll. But I still took part in the community, in discussions and blogs and in editing, and generally did my best to do my job as admin and handling the Main Page. There wasn't much for me to do even back then though, because... the wiki was in good hands. It was vibrant and active and any vandalism or trolling was quickly and swiftly dealt with. All I had to do was undo any nonconstructive edits I came across, occasionally deal with vandals and trolls, and on rare occasions put my foot down as admin. But nonetheless as time went on my activity did find itself decaying, and while I didn't immediately notice it.... many of my friends started slowly leaving or quietly disappearing, for one reason or another. Be it life, losing interest in Sonic, or some other set of circumstances. And as the community transitioned, so did the wiki.
The wiki became more focused on the quality and so to speak "business" side of things. At the same time the wiki chat became a thing, further distancing the community aspect from the wiki. My activity waned further as I had little to contribute in the way of information that others couldn't already track down and update infinitely faster than I ever could, and I never held a high opinion of the off-wiki chatroom- I was one of those people quite upset with Wikia's removal of the Monaco format, and thus stuck with Monobook for years out of protest, thus never really using the wiki chat. But I was still an admin, and I still felt an obligation to try and be involved, even if the only method by which I could contribute was updating the Featured User and Article on the main page. But due to... unfortunate circumstances, I found myself shamefully and aggressively stripped of my position as an admin, only barely able to hold onto my job as Featured User interviewer by way of merit and an alteration to editing rights for the page. And though I was late or slow to update far more frequently than I would have liked, I nonetheless took pride in the job. Despite all the changes the wiki went through, despite now knowing only a fraction of the community, it was still something I could do for the wiki, even if it meant sharing the job when I procrastinated too much. It was the one thing that allowed me to stay connected to the wiki, even without anything else to offer it.
And now that's gone, and.... I've really got pretty much nothing. I hold no position of authority by which I can moderate and assist the wiki. The fandom and community creation aspect of the wiki has been kicked to SFW and abandoned almost entirely in the following years. Most of my friends have found themselves departing for one reason or another. The community itself has become increasingly distant and seemingly less invested, even moving off-site almost entirely to the affiliated Discord chat. Shockingly enough I don't even think the community has shrunk; it's just so uninvolved now that it feels small and desolate. I was always a person to be involved in the community, throwing myself into discussions and doing what I could to help SNN be the best it could be. But with the reason decision to remove the Featured User from the Main Page.... it feels like not only have I lost the one remaining way I can provide to the wiki, it feels like the community aspect of it has taken another blow that's made it that much more distant and.... cold.
I made this blog the same year I joined, wondering what the wiki would be like 5 years from then, 10 years from then, maybe even 50 years. And, honestly? I'm really not sure I can say I'm glad with how it's gone. The front page is prettier, we're even more informative and have actual, official connections with some of the more (or most) well-known Sonic news sites. But at the expense of that it feels like the community is almost entirely unsupported. It feels like there's no real room or encouragement for creativity and involvement. The wiki used to be a place where people could talk and share virtually about anything Sonic, even their own ideas. People could chat and discuss and just generally feel like a part of the community, and now it feels like the wiki is missing that. But maybe that's just proof of how far out of touch I am with the SNN of now.
I genuinely don't see what's stopping me from retiring from the site completely, to be perfectly honest. The idea of leaving this site, whether by making a big official departure or just quietly fading from sight and memory pushes me, a grown man of 22 years, to the point of holding back tears because of just how much this site means to me, and the memories and friends I have because of it. But what can I do? What can I do besides quietly lurk and hover over the site now and again, waiting to see if something comes up where I could actually contribute? Seeing the Featured User section removed when it's preceded even my own joining, especially when it still feels like the blame for such is being placed on me, feels like SNN is throwing a piece of its history away. It makes me feel lost and angry and.... heartbroken, because the last real connection I have with the site beyond sentiment has been severed. My last avenue of being genuinely productive to and involved with the wiki, cut off. Now after seven years of involvement, aggravation, and contribution... I've got pretty much nothing. Not even an idea of what to do....