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Monday 8 October 2018

G+ is Shutting Down, Facebook is Horrible, Where To Now? Why not Minds.Com?

This is really bad news.  Google has just announced, under the guise of 'serving us better', that they're shutting down G+.  They're not going to be doing it tomorrow, they're giving us 10 months to get out, but it's done.

Most people who read the news were probably thinking "There's still a G+"?  But if you're a TTRPG gamer, especially in the OSR and the rest of the non-mainstream subculture of gaming, G+ was the best possible place to talk, share info, join groups, and generally celebrate the hobby.

And now, that's going to be lost. And the alternatives people are putting out there are not really good ones.

Facebook is the one most people are trying to promote, but it is just not set up to allow for a serious hobbyist community, because it doesn't let people separate their interests. There's people you don't want seeing your gaming stuff, and there's gamers who you don't want seeing pictures of your co-workers, and none of that is viable in Facebook. The only crowd that will be interested in Facebook will be those who don't use Facebook for any other purpose, or those who want to create a strictly-controlled hobby where the lack of anonymity means that they'll be able to threaten your friends or family if you disagree with them about gaming, politics or anything else.

I think there will need to be a new location for the OSR, in one of the newer social media platforms.. One that can handle groups. I don't know which one that is, where stuff can be shared, discussions had, and material archived.

Discord can do chat, for example. But for something that will fill the gap of G+? I don't know. I don't use snapchat or instagram or tumblr myself, but from what I've seen of those platforms, none of them would be a good fit either.

Twitter has a ton of RPG-related discussion these days, but a fuckton of it is from 5e newbs, and worse, the "Lifestyle Brand" gang who don't so much play D&D as they want to show you drawings they made of characters from youtube shows where other people pretend to be players though they're really improv actors.  And, Twitter is also the toxic no-mans-lands of the Culture Wars. It's the Occupied Poland of the SJW domination of our media discourse.

So, maybe

Minds is really good, but we need a bunch of gamers on there! Right now, the largest RPG 'community' I've found has 29 members.
If people mass-migrated there, it might be perfect to fit our needs as it's super similar to G+ in the ways that matter.
It protects your anonymity, it has a Free Speech ethic, and is generally way less evil than Facebook or Google or Twitter ever were. Certainly less than either is now.

So here I am on Minds:
Feel free to join up, and add me as a friend. And check my friends' list there, where there'll be at least another couple of dozen gamers.

Minds is in one other important way a similar place to G+: at least for now, it's near-empty. It's got a bunch of free-speech libertarians (mostly on the more socially liberal side, because the hardcore social and religious conservatives prefer Gab), and a ton of Vietnamese people (who joined Minds when the Vietnamese government shut down access to facebook). And almost no one else.
In most cases, that would be a bug, but for us, it's a feature. It's the same reason the OSR/Small-Press RPG hobby ended up congregating on G+. It makes it easier for us to find like-minded people, to find contacts and groups, and not get stuck having to add our Aunt or our 2nd cousin or our boss and having them see all the gaming stuff.

So, give a chance. It needs a lot of construction, but we have 10 months. So why not change it into the new haven for OSR gamers?

Meanwhile, I also hope this news might lead some people to look at Forums again, and check out theRPGsite! It's already going and ready for you to chat.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Volcano + C&D's Morning Drive

PS: There is now also an OSR Minds group.


  1. I've seen a few people recommending/suggesting as well, although I can't claim to know much about it.

  2. What about 4Chan, /tg/ specifically? It's 100% anonymous, and there's already a popular OSR general thread.

  3. is going to be the place for me. I'd think about MeWe if I hadn't considered that I'm already banned form that site.

    1. Why were you banned from MeWe? Is that ban permanent?

  4. MeWe seems to be the place where most G+ refugees are going at the moment. Not sure what it takes to get banned from there, but it must've been a doozy.

    1. The MeWe OSR group:

    2. Mewe is a fad. People are signing up for no reason, with no idea.

      10 months is a long time. We'll see who wins out in the end.

      Meanwhile, here's the Minds OSR group:

    3. Is there something that Minds offers that makes it superior to MeWe? What is it about MeWe that makes it a bad choice?

    4. Let's start with this: MeWe's awful for publishers or designers. It's set up so that no one can see your stuff. Non-members can't see anything at all, meaning that if you are a publisher, any time you spend there is promoting ONLY to people who are there already, and then ONLY if they can manage to find you in spite of all the neurotic 'privacy' barriers.

      Second, I think Minds is much more seriously dedicated to free speech.