There are many types of people who populate the chat rooms. Today I will cover the specifics of the Topix chat room forums, since it is the forum that I currently participate in the most, and thus have the most knowledge of.
There are basically what I feel, 4 distinct groups of people who post on Topix: The Old Timers, The Regulars, The Newbies and The Toddlers. In addition to these 4 main groups of people, there are a few sub-groupings as well, all of which I will try to explain to all of my readers out there.
Let's start off with the first main group, of which I'm proud to be part of, The Old Timers. My definition of Old Timers, is simply someone who has been on the Topix forum for more that eighteen months. To me, being able to hang around for sixteen months (meaning either one's born on date in the registered persona or common knowledge if they're unregistered), is an accomplishment in and of itself. There are maybe one dozen or so posters out there (including myself, registered and unregistered since 2/07) that have been on Topix for that length of time, consistently posting: GumbyTheCat; Paisley Posey; the various personas of Idiots One; Grace Nerissa; Shilo; TBT; and Rick/Ancient, just to name a few. These people have either experienced Topix from the beginning, or pretty damn close to the beginning, and have a vast knowledge on the workings of Topix, some more deep than others. They seen all, know all, and quite frankly are sometimes amused by it all. There is also a sub-group of posters who have both cracked the 25,000 post mark and been there longer that eighteen months. So far as I know, there has been only three that I have passing knowledge of: Xcentrik InVidor, Mindy (Nascar forums, sitting at 33,000 I believe) and W.i.P (who passed away July 4th).
The second group of people, which are the most predominant of those out there, I call The Regulars. These are the ones who have been around Topix between twelve and eighteen months. As a matter of fact, there is a sub-grouping within called The Old Time Regulars, so noted for the people who have made it past sixteen months and are well on their way to becoming Old Timers. These people have not become as jaded as The Old Timers, but are well on their way to becoming so. They have experience none of the upheaval and growing pains that Topix gave in the Spring/Summer of '07, but have been part of the fine-tuning for the later part of '07 and all of this year. Posters of note who have been here for that length of time include: Jolly 1/Beakerjo; RiverSpirit; Water Nymph; all the good people on the military threads; and all of the good people in the Friendship Thread on the M-Call forum.
The third group of people, which is one of the fastest growing segment, is what I call The Newbies. These people have been on between zero and six months. These are the ones that the above two groups take a keen interest in, if only to protect them from the stupidity that seems to reign in Topix on a given day. They come in mostly through the local forums, tentative and hopelessly naive, make a post about a subject that they feel comfortable with, and get sledgehammered in the process. We (and I mean that in the generic group sense) look out for them and try to enlighten them on the ways of Topix. The sub-group in that (six to twelve months) I would call Regular Newbies. Which basically means that while they're not considered newbies anymore, they still haven't been around long enough to become completely jaded and cynical in Topix. There are too many for me to mention, and if I did mention a few, some of those may take what I said as an insult, and insulting them is truly the very last thing I want to do. I want to say my insults for the next group of people.
Finally, the last group is what I call The Toddlers. These are the numbnuts who either troll the forums attempting to wreck havoc and create dissension, or the people who are under the age of 17 and try to hang with the adults in the main forums (who increase when school is out) and get whacked for it, or are under the age of 14 and in serious violation of the age restrictions that Topix has. These are also the little delinquents whose IQ is about their shoe size and create stupid threads in forums like the WWE. There really is no sub-grouping for these idiots. Everyone else usually can send then scurrying far away with a few short clicks of the mouse. Example: last year, there were a few high school students that were posting on the above mentioned forum, causing a little grief and basically annoying the hell out of everyone. Finally, someone got fed up enough to search out their school and send a few e-mails to their teacher (because they stupidly told everyone that they posting from school). Within a week, they were gone.
So folks, this is the Cyber World that I live in. It ain't pretty, but it's my home away from home. Come by and stop for a visit, you just might be surprised at what you'll find.