Want to know more about what “life on the Boards” will look like? Buckle up, cause it’s time to dive right in!
For a more high-level description 👇
You know what they say, “If we want the rewards of squeeing with others about our latest OTP, we have to submit to the mortifying ordeal of being known”. But while that might be the harsh reality of the larger internet, it’s not how things work around BobaBoard.
Joining a BobaBoard Thread is like trying on a new mask: you’re randomly assigned a secret identity, and for as long as you interact within that Thread—through as many comments and contributions as your heart desires—you’ll keep that same identity, just like the other users will keep theirs. Conversations are easy to follow, everyone knows who’s replying to who, and nobody has to watch their back for saying that the movie was indeed better than the book. Then, when you join a different Thread, the process starts again: new identities, new lives, new yous. Zero baggage.
But, you know, maybe your needs can’t be contained within the chaotic randomness of Bobadex identities. Maybe you need real identities for your real needs, be those having a distinct moderator persona, shamelessly roleplaying your most cursed fave, or letting everyone know you’re that fabled anon with a crush on Elizabeth Warren. Well, never fear: on BobaBoard, you don’t have to choose between the Known and the Unknown.
By leveraging the Roles system, Realm owners can create and assign special identities to specific users, allowing them (and only them) to choose when to use those identities. This allows users to slip in and out of many characters, filling different roles as they see fit, all without being forced to reveal data about their original account, the other conversations they’ve joined within the Realm, or what they’re up to in other communities.
Still, maybe the anonymous life isn’t for you. Maybe you’re in the habit of being loud and proud about your online presence, and no amount of “anonymity is weirdly addictive, I swear!” will convince you otherwise. If so, we’ve got your back: while BobaBoard’s anonymity-first system is a core part of BobaBoard, anonymity-first is not anonymity-only. Different communities have different needs, and if a community requires its members to have actual stable identities, then—pending implementation—actual stable identities, likely selected upon joining the Realm, its members shall have.
Once again, BobaBoard’s philosophy is not to force you into our own view of what’s fun, but to help you choose which communities to join based on your own way of doing fandom. If you’re a rarely spotted cryptid who only comments once in a blue moon, you won’t ever have to reveal your true username; if you’re a personality who simply can’t be contained, you won’t ever have to hide your true username; and if you’re just someone who’s trying to get by, you can pick and choose when to reveal or hide yourself.
Yearning for something a bit more specialized, like, say, letting your friends see your stable identity in a Realm’s !wips Board, but not in !deaddove? Not to worry, so are we!
While it’s still too early to know the final shape of the feature, we want you to be able to adjust your exact flavor of anonymity to your heart’s content, and always be able to grant or revoke identity-sharing privileges as you see fit, where you see fit.
“Good tagging”, it’s a tale as old as time. We’ve all been there, searching for a tag and either getting way fewer results than we absolutely know there must be, or way more. Like, way, way more. Why can’t people just tag right?
Well, tagging’s hard, and the rigidity of most existing tag systems definitely doesn’t help. That’s where BobaBoard comes in with its four tag types, none of which you’re obligated to use—unless, you know, you join a community with specific tagging requirements.
But you know what they say: bullet points speak louder than words. So, without further ado, here’s a rundown of BobaBoard’s tagging system.
+fillsin a kinkmeme Board make it really easy to find what exactly you’re looking for.
Want another example? The
+vent only and
+advice welcome categories have really helped BobaBoard’s !brains community being confident about the type of interaction requested by a Thread!
Of course, these four types can be mixed and matched however you please! But if this system seems overwhelming at first, rest assured: experience tells us you’ll get used to it quite quickly, and will never settle for simple tags again.
With every great fandom platform comes the inevitable rise of a Sexyman (or several dozen). BobaBoard will be no exception, and when—not if—he comes, there will be two types of people: those who welcome him with open
leg— arms, and those not strong enough to go through the whole ordeal again. Whether you can’t get enough of Sexymen or want to avoid them as much as possible, we hope BobaBoard’s structure will be able to help you.
Behind even the greatest Sexyman, there’s a story of humble beginnings—a really exciting, exhilarating time for those of us who welcome them. The problem? During the Sexyman Inception Phase, it’s really hard to find someone to scream about them with. Sure, you could yell in the tags. However, unless you provide something substantial to go with it, you can’t help worrying that no one will care, or worse, that your squeeing will get someone excited about the updated tag only to find your incoherent keysmashing staring back at them. Eventually, your carefully crafted excitement gets a single like from a random blog, and no one follows you back to scream about the Sexyman. Your disappointment is immeasurable and your day is ruined.
But what if you could easily find your fellow Sexyman-lovers? This is where Threads, Boards, and Realms come into play. When you have an entire community dedicated to your passions, finding someone to strike up a no-pressure conversation with becomes much simpler. Not only that, but you can have several distinct conversations at once, with more than one person, and from more than one angle.
Imagine it. You’re back from the latest Sexyman-originating movie, The Avengers (2012). You log onto BobaBoard, you use the search function to look for the appropriate Realms, and you get to work:
+The Avengers (2012), and
+Lokicategories to make your Need™ for some good Loki/Hulk-smashing known. Of course, as required by Board rules, you add the
cn:agegaptag since, after all, he’s 1500 years old.
While the [Realm Name]![Board Name] naming convention has not yet been established, it’s Ms. Boba’s intention to aggressively advocate for it. If nothing else, for the extremely delightful possibilities offered by Boards in the Top/Bottom Realms.
Now this is all fine and dandy if you do like the Sexyman. But what if you refuse to accept them as your Lord and Savior? Well, structured communities make it easier to avoid topics too. Though the spread of Sexymen is impossible to fully contain, Threads, Boards, and Realms help relegate them to specific corners of the site.
Imagine it (again). You’re back from The Avengers (2012), and you can just smell the rise of the Sexyman in the air. You log onto BobaBoard, and you get to work:
+Loki+The Avengers (2012)categories.
#Lokisearch tag, you can merrily look for all the
#Tony Starkcontent, knowing that any forbidden Thread, Board, and Realm will be automatically hidden for you.
Here at BobaBoard, we believe that platforms shouldn’t constrain users within standard views, but give them tools to fulfill all their needs: discuss what they love, showcase what they like, and blog about what they live.
This is why our Threads come in 3 flavors: classic, gallery, and timeline.
But our commitment to flexible creativity extends way beyond different views. As another example, you can add your thoughts to a Thread in two different formats: Contributions and Comments.
Taking a step back: why do we need different types of additions? While we’ve just begun to explore all the possibilities (we’re sure, after all, that our users will keep surprising us with their creative usage), here are some examples:
Having trouble imagining use cases for limiting contributors? Examples include: RP participants keeping the spotlight on their content while still allowing the peanut gallery to aww and cheer them on; group of friends with compatible tastes collecting content in galleries; or livebloggers making sure no one disrupts the flow of their adventures.
We also have heavily invested into our text editor, which can not only search for The Perfect GIF and spoiler text or images as needed, but also embed just about anything. Furthermore, given its open-source nature, we hope BobaBoard’s users will help us continue to extend its capabilities way beyond our current imagination. Or, if they need some ideas: emojis, sparkletext, “photoset-like” features, “read more”, quotes, inline tags... the possibilities are endless!
When it comes to communities, we’re used to splitting users into ‘moderators’ and ‘everyone else’. But that’s not how communities operate in practice: some people can be really good at breaking up conflicts, but can’t consistently run an event; others might excel at event-running, but balk at the idea of playing mediator. For every strength that a potential ‘mod’ may have, chances are they also have a weakness, or at least duties they absolutely hate fulfilling.
To reflect this flexibility, BobaBoard implements Roles. Similar to the Discord counterparts they’re inspired by, Roles can be used to split duties (and pleasures!) across the community. Do you seethe when something is posted in the wrong place? Do you pride yourself on your ability to defuse situations before they escalate? Do you love organizing events, making sure all announcements are made at the right time and all content is correctly categorized, but can’t be hassled to manage anything outside of them? Whether they’re relegated to a Board, or a Realm, or maybe even one Thread, Roles and permissions make it possible for everyone to find (or be assigned) their place.
But as usual, we want to take things a step further: rather than restricting roles to being useful, we want to make them fun. How, you ask? Well, what about giving users that complete NaNoWriMo a special “pen and paper” accessory to identify themselves with? Bestowing the exclusive “Luigi-Fucker” Role to those with significant contributions to His Cause™, which grants them posting privileges on the exclusive !luigi Board? What if particularly infamous users at the core of special Realm events could choose to identify themselves in other Threads as needed (looking at you, previously-mentioned “anonymous user with a crush on Elizabeth Warren”)?
With Roles, our goal is to once again build a flexible tool we hope our users will surprise and delight us with.
Want to leave feedback? Suggest improvements? Head straight to the new Open Feedback Form (Realms Era Edition)!
And, if you haven’t checked it out yet, our Realms overview contains much, much more info on the nature of BobaBoard: