SnarkScienceSociety
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The following page has been unaltered from it's anonymously submitted form save for one recent edit*.Well done, anon.
Anon has updated the graph to include changes over August/05. Some estimates and conclusions are drawn in this detailed report so my crappier "raw" version is still up. Much of the source material is listed or linked there. I have added SSS visitor statistics to that raw page and may continue to use it for dumping random bits of anon stats and info. I'll announce here.

-- CloudHelmut/CarnalK

* Aug 4 2005 anonpitmod switched their personal to dormant status and opened the snarkpit community to allow for multiple moderators. August 17th/05 allanonmod deleted his journal He re-opened briefly for part of September and until October 29/2005. Chart updated.
A not-so-brief history of anonymous SDMB communities
(unedited anon submission)

The first anonymous SDMB-related community, ljanonymouslj, arose out of discussions on the #straightdope IRC channel regarding personal journals that solicited honest opinions from anonymous commentary. Hosted on LiveJournal (LJ) and maintained by Mr. Cynical under the ljanonljmod handle, the community allowed "everyone" to "[s]ay what you want...anonymously." With this promise, the community attracted a small following of non-Dopers who, being in the minority, voiced their displeasure with the preponderance of SDMB-centric posts there. This disagreement may or may not have led to a reduction in posting activity, but it's clear that some members have expressed desires for a separate, SDMB-specific, forum. In late 2003, two communities were established to satisfy this desire. Whether it was the intended goal or not, these communities drew enough participants away from ljanonymouslj to leave it moribund until the owner administered a mercy killing in late 2004.

These new communities began in a rather chaotic fashion. Set up by anonymous_doper, sdmb_anonymous was initially configured so that anyone can start threads, which was just as well since the moderator was AWOL much of the time. After five weeks of inattention, the account was handed to a new moderator, who then changes the handle to anonymousmod in February 2004.

Possibly perceiving some heavy-handedness at sdmb_anonymous, anon_sdmb_anon created first a user account, then the anon_sdmb community to satisfy those who "wanted a TRUE anonymous LJ for the SDMB with little to no moderation." No moderation, indeed -- both accounts were essentially abandoned, and the attendant confusion pretty much guaranteed a lame horse right out of the gate. Even repeated offers to take over the forum were ignored.

Unhappy with the situation at anon_sdmb, the account anon_sdmb2 was made. But, this unlucky horse was shot dead as soon as the gate opened and went nowhere.

With this, sdmb_anonymous became the only active anonymous forum. Maintaining it, however, demanded more time than the moderator was able to spare, so early in July 2004 the community went on hiatus. This caused much rejoicing and some gloating from the anti-anons. Hey fellas, hold your horses, because sdmbconfess and trainwreckspot immediately stepped into this void. Initially, each had a slightly different focus and received equal amounts of activity, but traffic eventually migrated to sdmbconfess, and trainwreckspot went into hibernation.

Much like anonymousmod, in time confessmod also grew weary of moderating an anonymous forum. After LJ recovered from its January 2005 outage, claims were made on sdmbconfess that posters' IP addresses had been briefly revealed. Seeing this as an ideal opportunity to quit the scene, confessmod soon deletes the community without warning.

In this period of flux, two new communities came into being. The first was sdljsnark, where the moderator pulled some boneheaded moves in its short existence. Among these was being overly selective on the topics posted, which effectively gave the appearance that nothing was being posted, thus pissing off the topic submitters. The thin-skinned anonther_doper also had difficulty absorbing criticism and turning them into improvements for the forum. The worst blunder, though? Disabling anonymous replies. File this one under "Unclear on the Concept," folks.

With trainwreckspot not yet out of hibernation, sdljsnark's departure left a partial vacuum (it sucked, didn't it?) that was soon filled by allanonplease. Moderated by allanonmod, who was soon dubbed "Allan," the forum sought topics from both the SDMB and the world at large. The last of these wide-ranging subjects, racism, was met with disapproval from Allan's wife, who then forced the community's closing. In this two-week span, however, its participants had adopted the appellations "turd smokers" and "hayters" as their own.

After allanonplease's demise, anon_sashimi was started (seemed that its moderator, snarkzilla, had some sort of a feud going on with allanonmod). By this time, though, trainwreckspot was fully active again. The anti-anons, as always, sought ways to snuff out the anons, and found success when LJ's Abuse Team shut down trainwreckspot after being informed that TubaDiva's address had been posted there.

Right about the time that trainwreckspot was sent to the glue factory, sdmbanonymous was made known. Having received no traffic until then and fearing trainwreckspot's fate, however, dopeanonmod decided to drop the community at that point as well.

If it isn't already clear, there's no shortage of people who want to run anonymous forums. With trainwreckspot and sdmbanonymous out of sight, anonpitmod created the anonpit community in LJ, and Go You Big Red Fire Engine created trainwreckspot accounts on both Blogdrive and Blogger. For a time, anonpit was the most active of the group, with anon_sashimi receiving a less traffic while the Blogdrive account never got off the ground and the Blogger account remained dormant. However, with LJ's ToS enforcers now alerted, it wasn't long before anonpit found itself under the guillotine.

Sensing a hostile host, posters now migrated to the Blogger trainwreckspot account in earnest. Activity also picked up on anon_sashimi, but it surprised no one when LJ's ax fell on it a mere three days after disposing of anonpit. Then, out of nowhere, dope_anonymoose appeared. Its moderator, however, was entirely too sensitive to the opinions of others, and closed the community in record time when the acid-tongued anons (that is, all of them) showed up.

In the eyes of many anons, trainwreckspot on Blogger suffered from its inability to display threaded replies. Amidst this dissatisfaction, posters discussed possible alternatives. The efforts bore fruit when anonpitmod opened an account on DeadJournal (DJ), at which time Blogger trainwreckspot voluntarily went into suspension.

Even an LJ-like interface did not make everyone happy, and some posters balked at anonpitmod's rule to discuss only SDMB-related topics. As if synchronized by some great anon genie, sancho_panzer had set up the discussanon community on LJ to allow non-SDMB subjects to be posted while Allan was simultaneously working on hayters_anon on DJ for the same purpose. Seeing that the anon crowd is already at DJ anyway, sancho_panzer immediately placed discussanon on hold in order not to compete with hayters_anon.

Addenda:

  1. The weedyeaters LJ community appears to allow anonymous posting, but has so far had no activity. Except for its owner's (lemon_eater) membership in the SDMB LJ community, it's unclear how this board relates to the other SDMB-related anonymous forums.
  2. return_anon's LJ profile includes allanonymous (not to be confused with allanonplease) on its friends list. However, that community has been purged, so it may be impossible to determine when it was created or what activities occurred on it.

Just the facts, ma'am
Acct. Name Acct. Type1 Status2 Created On Last Post Moderators
ljanonymouslj LJ community Purged 2003-02-043 2004-11-173 ljanonljmod
sdmb_anonymous LJ community Dormant 2003-12-07 2004-07-02 anonymous_doper, anonymousmod
anon_sdmb_anon LJ user Dormant 2003-12-22 2004-01-20 anon_sdmb_anon
anon_sdmb LJ community Dormant 2003-12-29 2004-03-28 anon_sdmb_anon, return_anon4
anon_sdmb2 LJ user Purged 2004-02-09 ? anon_sdmb2
sdmbconfess LJ community Purged 2004-07-01 2005-01-16 confessmod, trainwreckmod
trainwreckspot5 LJ community Terminated 2004-07-02 2005-03-16 trainwreckmod, confessmod, anonymonster, bigredfirengine
sdljsnark LJ community Purged 2005-01-173 2005-01-20 anonther_doper6
allanonplease LJ community Deleted 2005-01-21 2005-02-02 allanonmod
anon_sashimi LJ community Terminated 2005-02-05 2005-04-07 snarkzilla
sdmbanonymous LJ community Purged ? 2005-03-173 dopeanonmod
anonpit LJ community Terminated 2005-03-17 2005-04-04 anonpitmod
trainwreckspot Blogdrive user Dormant 2005-03-18 2005-03-18 Go You Big Red Fire Engine
trainwreckspot7 Blogger user Dormant 2005-03-18 2005-05-04 Go You Big Red Fire Engine, anonymonster, Darius, myxlpltt, secretdubai, snarkboy, trainwreckmod, sydney snarker8
dope_anonymoose LJ community Deleted 2005-04-143 2005-04-16 ?
weedyeaters LJ community Dormant 2005-04-16 2005-04-16 lemon_eater
anonpitmod DJ user Dormant 2005-04-22 2005-08-04 anonpitmod
discussanon LJ community Dormant 2005-05-18 2005-05-19 sancho_panzer
hayters_anon DJ user Purged 2005-05-18 2005-10-29 hayters_anon allanonmod
allanonymous LJ community Purged ? ? ?
snarkpit DJ community Active 2005-08-04 Ongoing anonpitmod allanonmod anonymonster trainwreckmod

Notes:

  1. LJ = LiveJournal. DJ = DeadJournal. LJ also has two different account types: user and community, although anonymous posts may be made to either.
  2. Deleted: Account deleted by owner, but can be recovered
    Purged: Account deleted by owner; cannot be recovered
    Terminated: Account deleted by LJ Abuse Team; cannot be recovered
    Dormant: Account still visible, but has no activity
  3. Estimated dates based on external evidence.
  4. It's not known whether return_anon was ever able to take over this community.
  5. Estimated dormancy dates are from 2004-10-11 to 2005-02-02.
  6. Circumstantial evidence points to anonther_doper as this community's moderator, though direct links are now missing.
  7. Active from 2005-04-04 to 2005-04-22.
  8. Resigned.

A picture is worth a thousand words
SDMB anon. history timeline
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Remember, you can say it snarky but try to give an objective read of the story.
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