Like the empty space before a drop, the past few days were a dramatic pause for deliberate effect. Reactions have been mixed; positive and negative, public and private, opportunistic and confused. An indefinite timeframe of downtime was specified, yet interpreted by some as final. The questioning call of 'why?' has resounded. We obviously left the finality of it all a little open-ended: for a while we didn't know how long and we didn't want people to know. This wasn't an especially pragmatic move. It was one to instigate a response.
Birthdays are a good time to take stock, evaluate your life and think about the direction you're going in. Closing the forum for a few days has allowed us all to do this. This was the main point of the closure. It was a unanimous decision but all the moderators had their own reasons for going ahead with it as well. We felt the need to do it. Everyone has had the chance to think about what the forum means to them, which we think is a good thing. What if it was the end?
In all honesty, we were getting a headache from the constant noise, so we hit pause in an attempt to try and make people realize what is important to them. Perhaps we failed. Perhaps not. Ending it for good would have been an interesting move but this was never going to be permanent as it's far better to continue, forging the best environment we can for this music to be discussed and disseminated.
The value of any forum is determined by its users. This was always the strength of this forum in the past and perhaps now it is its weakness. This is both a matter of scale and success. Like the sound, 'The Community' has mutated and fragmented and is an entirely different entity today than it was in 2005. This is fine of course; this wasn't an attempt to change this. This wasn't a wheel up to try and take things back. We didn't think it would return things to how they were in the forum's infancy. It wasn't an elitist move. Yes, we would like more decorum and less idiocy but we know this is the internet; a place where currency is information which flows continuously often at the expense of quality. We paused the flow. It was a moment to reflect. All the moderators have and we hope you have too.
We realise that DSF is the online nucleus of the scene and to many away from the more established geographical hubs of the sound, the lifeblood of it. We know it is valued and we just want it to be the best possible place it can be for our users. This forum would not exist without the music or its users. But our users; DJs, producers, promoters and fans are able to shape it by their actions. 3 years in and it's hard to think that this forum has been anything less that catalytic in the music's development. Not specifically its existence but its function; what it has facilitated and what it has fostered - this international community.
So welcome back, make what you will of the past few days and if you haven't already, please download the BunZer0 3rd birthday mix and remember we're all here because of the music.