When I think about the Skype meetings that have taken place on this forum, I remember a lot of camaraderie, laughs, and good discussion about Astro Boy and other appropriate topics. Of course, there would be times where we were all silent for a while and it would be awkward. Once someone started talking again though, the conversation almost always picked up again.
Through these Skype meetings, I've gotten to meet the voices behind the names. Many members have shown up to these Skype meetings through the years and have had the opportunity to talk with other members. AstroBoy Online Forums, I feel, is one of the best forums to do Skype calls on because almost everyone on this forum is friendly and welcoming. When you look elsewhere online on several other message boards, you too often see a lot of toxicity and meanness. AstroBoy Online Forums has had its fair share of toxicity from time to time, but it's nowhere near as bad as some of the cesspools you come across on the internet. Perhaps its because the Astro Boy fandom is so small and so different from other fandoms that we can allow something like a Skype meeting to happen between Astro Boy fans.
I know a lot of you didn't participate in Skype meetings, and I completely understand. It takes bravery to talk to strangers you've never met before on a message board, especially on the internet when you often never find out the face behind the name. I remember attending the very first ABO Skype meeting being nervous and hardly talking at all (though, to be fair, there were 10-12 people in that call at one time).
As time passed though, I felt like I got to know certain ABO members almost like they were friends in real life. Perhaps that's what led me to start hosting Skype meetings. I wanted to get to know other members of AstroBoy Online Forums - the faces behind the names. That's when I hosted Skype Meeting 3 on March 22, 2014, my twenty-second birthday. That Skype meeting ended up being a success, and led me to host more Skype meetings.
Fast-forward twenty-one months, and I've now hosted four normal Skype meetings and a few impromptu Skype meetings. Overall, I believe I hosted about eight Skype meetings in all. It's been a fun ride. However, over the last two or three months, I've contemplated my status as the host of these Skype meetings. I'll be the first to admit that I have had my fair share of problems with them, from an unstable wi-fi connection to having to almost cancel Skype Meeting 7. They are a lot of work to plan, set-up, and keep going. Perhaps it's partly because of that that I've come to the following decision:
I'm stepping down as the primary host for ABO Skype meetings.
Don't get me wrong: Skype meetings are worth it to pull off in the end. They are very enjoyable to host and to attend. However, because of personal reasons, I feel like I need to take a break from hosting them, at least for the foreseeable future.
With that said, I wouldn't mind passing the torch on to someone else. If a certain member or members would like to become the primary host/s for Skype meetings from now on, be my guest. As long as you are a member that abides by the rules of the forum and the ABO Skype meetings you host follow the rules of the forum, then you have my blessing. Heck, I wouldn't mind attending your Skype meeting/s or even being a back-up host if I'm not too busy to do so.
So, to everyone who has attended these Skype meetings as long as I've been the primary host of them, thank you. For anyone to even got a kick out of reading the Skype meeting threads, but never attended the Skype meetings, thank you. It's been fun to host ABO Skype meetings and to get to hear the voices behind the names. Hopefully I'll still get to talk with you guys as a normal attendee as long as I'm not too busy in real life. I'm not sure I'll ever return to being a host for ABO Skype meetings in the future, but I won't rule out that possibility.
Also, sorry if this wall of text seems unnecessary. Having been the primary host for several ABO Skype meetings for a year-and-a-half though, it seemed appropriate.
For the too long; didn't read crowd, here's a bullet point list of what I said in the wall of text above:
- I'm stepping down as the primary host of ABO Skype meetings due to personal reasons. I also feel like I need to take a break from hosting them for an indefinite time. Unless a capable and rule-abiding ABO member wishes to become the new primary host for them, ABO Skype meetings will be put on indefinite hiatus. I may return to hosting them in the distant future, but I'm not sure.
- If a capable and rule-abiding ABO member does take on the role as primary host of ABO Skype meetings, I'll still attend as a normal attendee and/or a back-up host as long as real life allows me to.
- I've enjoyed getting to know the voices behind the names, or in other words, the voices of ABO members who've attended the Skype meetings hosted by me.
- In the end, ABO Skype meetings were fun to set up and host despite some of the issues that I ran into along the way.
- Apologies for the wall of text. After having hosted several Skype meetings, it seemed appropriate to talk about everything retrospectively and prospectively.