To clarify my last post on this particular subject, hell didn't quite break loose when this person passed away, but it certainly came pretty damn close. It all started on thread called R.I.P. WiP (still there by the way, it hasn't quite vanished yet. if it does, I'll remove the link) that a fellow poster called "Water_Nymph" created as a loving tribute to her memory.
Everyone who had contact with her, both good and not-so-good, came on the thread to pay their respects. For the most part, everyone put aside their differences and played nice. However, there were a few who were determined to create havoc, and ruin the thread, which they came pretty close to doing.
In any event, it got to be impossible to ignore the trolls, and soon the shit was hitting the fan. People who insisted on pushing their views and insulting/degrading the memory of a dead person found that the other people who were reading it, weren't going to simply lay down and take it. They fought back with such a vengeance that the thread had basically disappeared from the Topix landscape.
So a second and more benign thread was created: The New and Improved R.I.P. WiP, and once again people put aside their differences to casually chat and share their memories of W.i.P. However, one little change was done in that none of the trolls that came on the thread to spread their filth were ever acknowledged. Ignoring someone is the absolute worst thing you could ever do online, and we did it well.
And peace came to the last group of people that W.i.P. hung with until she passed away, and all was good in the Topix forums. Well, at least our little corner of it.
The current status of my Topix journey is what can be called, "a holding pattern". I don't surf the forums anymore, I simply stay in Top Stories, plus my local sponsored by the Hartford Courant and one sponsored by The Morning Call. I don't really pick fights anymore, because there is no challenge or comfort in doing so. I won't back down from a fight/debate if one is thrusted upon me, but I don't go looking for one either.
I have made a brand new set of friends, while still maintaining some of the current crop that I gathered from last year. I'm a bit more cynical and lot more jaded now than I was a newbie back in Feb '07. From my experiences with Topix, I've learned not to take things too seriously anymore, and if anything, I've expanded my horizons and my viewpoints.
Topix can indeed be an adventure and it can be a great learning tool. Just ask me about it, and I'll be more than happy to share my knowledge with everyone who's interested in learning more about chat rooms and relationships.
As the "Schoolhouse Rock!" series firmly stated, "Knowledge is Power."