Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

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Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby Andrew on Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:30 pm

Man, the years sure do fly by quickly these days...

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I'd like to think that I've come a long way, that we're still doing pretty well as a website and community, and that we'll continue to do some great things in the future. I do feel like we've got some stuff lined up that I think most people will enjoy.

Bottom line, I'm still having fun doing this; I wouldn't be doing it. I know 14 seems like a fairly arbitrary number, but putting together the 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content has induced a bit of nostalgia, plus this is my first milestone with the site as a 30-something. And hey, I don't really make a point of making a big deal out of it every year, so...why not 14? Why not indeed.

Again, I appreciate all the support through the years. Like I said, there have been some rough times, some mistakes, and things that I'd do differently, especially now that I'm older and hopefully a little wiser. But I'm also proud of the stuff we've been able to do as a site and a community, and I like to think that I've done my part in all that. Planning on being around for a while yet.
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby Kevin on Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:01 am

Thanks for being one of the best (and coolest) moderators in the world :applaud: .
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby JaoSming on Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:30 am

from emoticons to posting 2 text articles/letters as an image in a year, tisk, tisk :shake:


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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby Andrew on Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:38 am

Sure, but this time I didn't use Comic Sans!
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby el badman on Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:20 am

Congrats Andrew, you rock. :headbang:
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby bigh0rt on Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:31 am

(Y) (Y) (Y) (Y) (Y) (Y) (Y) (Y) (Y) (Y) (Y) (Y) (Y) (Y)
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby Andrew on Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:55 am

Thanks guys. (Y) I could probably take the opportunity to tell some stories and whatnot, if anyone's interested in the reminiscing of an old man of 30.
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby bigh0rt on Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:35 am

Please do.
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby Andrew on Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:41 pm

Anything in particular you've always wanted to know, or care to hear me reminisce about?
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby jenz on Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:22 pm

Hey Andrew, congratulations! I can't believe it's been 8 years since I've joined here. (Y)
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby bigh0rt on Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:27 pm

Andrew wrote:Anything in particular you've always wanted to know, or care to hear me reminisce about?

The early years, I guess. I've been here (with an extended break) for like ten years, so anything that may drum up old memories of the 05/06 era would be cool. Or even an 'Origin' tale, since it looks here like you took over the site as like a teenager??
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby [Q] on Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:55 pm

Holy crap that last logo gave me chills
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby Cpt(K) on Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:02 pm

I'm fascinated. :shock: I want to be a disciple. :bowdown2: Perhaps I'll continue through college, and become a webmaster myself someday.
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby Kevin on Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:50 pm

Tell us about the second world war, gramps.
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby Axel on Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:45 am

TBH, I thought you were older Andrew, just because you've always ran the forums in such a professional and fair way. Knowing that we were both teenagers around the same time and how silly I acted on these forums, I'm a little shocked lol. Congrats and thanks for making this a great place to be. (Y)
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby Andrew on Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:48 am

bigh0rt wrote:The early years, I guess. I've been here (with an extended break) for like ten years, so anything that may drum up old memories of the 05/06 era would be cool. Or even an 'Origin' tale, since it looks here like you took over the site as like a teenager??


Sounds like a good place to start. (Y)

Axel wrote:TBH, I thought you were older Andrew, just because you've always ran the forums in such a professional and fair way. Knowing that we were both teenagers around the same time and how silly I acted on these forums, I'm a little shocked lol. Congrats and thanks for making this a great place to be. (Y)


Thanks, that's certainly flattering to hear. Looking back, I'd say I was less mature than I would've liked, but I held it together pretty well. ;)

Kevin wrote:Tell us about the second world war, gramps.


Ah, war. War never changes.

Alright, story time. I know I've told some of these before, but I'm sure they'll be new for newer folks in the community.

So as noted above, I officially took over running the NLSC on August 26th 2001, a couple of months shy of my 17th birthday. I'd been running the NBA Live Domain for a few years before that, I'd built up a rapport with Tim and the guys, and when he was moving on to EA to join the NBA Live development team, he decided to offer me the post running the NLSC. Needless to say, that was very thrilling.

Like I said, looking back, I was less mature than I would've liked, definitely less mature than I thought I was. You can see it in that first announcement I posted. It's not too bad, all things considered, but it's a teenager trying to sound "grown up" and "professional". The funny thing is, a lot of us were fairly young, but we were kind of guarded about our age because we wanted to be taken seriously. Of course, being careful about disclosing too many details about yourself online isn't an altogether bad idea.

Although I had a lot of support, and Tim mentored me as much as he could, you're kind of thrown in at the deep end when you suddenly take over the most prominent site in any given online community. The NLD had a decent following by the end, but the NLSC was of course much bigger. That meant bigger expectations, and because there was some "learning on the job", I made mistakes, I didn't handle everything as well as I should, and if nothing else, there was a bit of a transitional period where I learned how everything worked and started taking over more duties. This meant a very brief slowdown in a couple of areas, like file additions posts. I remember one person who emailed me about that, starting out by saying he was going to be totally honest with me, before going on to say that since I took over, the site had completely sucked. All because there weren't as many file additions for a few days, while a few things were sorted out. It's not as though we'd gone weeks without an update or anything. My reply was...a little terse, to say the least.

But things got better, I got the hang of the ins and outs, and I've had the opportunity to set up better content management systems and the like as the years have gone by. Mind you, I was promised by our host at the time that I'd be set up with a bunch of great stuff, which they never delivered. We also couldn't use our domain name (except as a redirect) until we left them, which really hurt. We were even down for about a month after their server crashed, and they spent ages getting it back online. Fortunately nothing was lost, at which point I went to a new host as soon as I could. The best I can say about the host we were with when I first took over is that after that big crash, they set me up with access to get all our data and transfer the Forum across, which was the main thing. Apart from that, they didn't make things easy, and didn't deliver on several promises.

On a side note, the host we're with now is awesome, as far as support and up-time is concerned. I've also got a lot more control over troubleshooting these days, so when things do go awry, I'm able to fix most things without even bugging him about it.

Anyway, aside from the technical side of things, and producing new content, the toughest part was dealing with more...problematic members of the community. When you're 17, you don't have the life and work experience of a 30 year old. Even if you're working a part time job in high school - which I wasn't, I got my first job after I finished high school - you're not going to be quite as skilled or experienced at working with difficult customers, or in the case of the NLSC, difficult visitors/Forum users. Your dispute resolution skills aren't polished. Like I said before, I was trying to be professional and mature and in control, but to some extent, I was a kid playing grown up.

I did make mistakes in dealing with some people, and some people were just very, very difficult to deal with. Without getting into it too much, I've made some changes in my life these past six years or so that have allowed me to deal with those situations a lot better, and to have better perspective on negative situations that I've previously found myself in. Ultimately, you learn from your mistakes, and I'd like to think I've done that. I don't dwell on those situations, but I'm always looking to better myself, in anything that I do. Reflection, evaluation, and comparisons to past experiences and decisions are a vital part of that, so while I don't obsess over them, when I need to I do look back at certain situations and wonder what I could've done differently.

To that end, there are situations that I know I'd handle differently now, situations where I now know better. At the same time, hindsight also allows me to see that with some people, it wouldn't really have mattered how I handled the situation. Unless I did everything they wanted, they weren't going to be happy, and would've made a fuss. Unfortunately, we have had some really confrontational and difficult, even downright nasty people come through the community at times. There'd be no placating them unless you met their every demand and request, and those weren't always feasible, fair, or in the best interests of anyone but themselves. And even if you did bend over backwards for them, they'd still be a problem. I can see how I could've handled them better, but the end result almost certainly would've been the same.

That said, there have been situations where I've really overreacted and made an error in judgement, even though the other person was definitely in the wrong. One such example: I tried to keep running the NLD as an "editor's choice" style of website to compliment the NLSC, but at the end of the day, it just meant I was spreading myself too thin, and not doing the things I wanted to do with the NLSC. So, I decided to close the NLD and continue some of its content on the NLSC. It was the right move, but a tough decision to make. The NLD had been my site, something I'd built up from scratch. Even though I was really excited to be running the NLSC, and wanted to do my best with it, it was hard to let go of the NLD.

But I did, and people were supportive. However, one visitor to the NLD was apparently a big fan, and begged me to reconsider. I declined, and explained why I was doing what I was doing, again. He then asked if he could take over the NLD. Again I declined; I explained that I'd be merging the content into the NLSC, and that I wanted to have the NLD go out on a good note. This didn't sit well with him, so he set up his own NBA Live Domain, claiming to be an official continuation of the site, putting up my patches, using the art, etc. His emails to me were quite rude and taunting. For a fan of my work, he sure wasn't treating me with a lot of respect. And I was livid. Livid. And so, I did something that in hindsight, was one of the worst things I've done as a member of this community.

I explained what had happened, and denounced the site on the NLSC and NLD. I posted his name and his email address (which were on the fake NLD site), and asked people who supported me to give him a piece of their mind. And man, did they ever.

You can see the problem with that. Although I didn't give out his home address or any phone numbers or anything, and the details I posted were on the site he made...that's still basically doxxing him, and inviting people to abuse and bully him. What he did was wrong, but what I did wasn't right either. I do think I should've called out the fact the site was a fake and encouraged people not to support it, but I went way over the top. He relented pretty quickly, gave me the login details for his imitation NLD, and I took it down. He was apologetic - he was probably pretty young himself, after all - and he asked if I could call off the campaign. The matter was settled, so I did.

As you can probably guess, it wasn't quite that easy. People didn't stop, just because I asked them to...especially if they hadn't seen my follow-up post. And while it was now water under the bridge, and he wanted to move on and try to make other projects for the community, his reputation had been ruined. I did what I could, explained that all was well between us, and that people shouldn't hold a grudge that I wasn't even holding at that point. It didn't make much difference though. He tried to launch a couple of different sites, but invariably someone would ask "Hey, aren't you the guy who stole Andrew's site?", and then that would come up again. Eventually, he disappeared from the community.

Now, as far as his ruined reputation, you could say that he brought it on himself, but that's not 100% fair. He was, I believe, a kid who made a mistake. It seemed to come from a good place, too: he was a fan of the NLD, was sad to see it closing, and just handled it badly. What he did was disrespectful and low, but what I did in response wasn't right either, and that's something I've learned from. There have been other situations in the years since where annoying and troublesome members have been publicly embarrassed in ways that invaded their privacy. Granted, it's been stuff they've put out elsewhere on the Internet, so it's not like they've been hacked. But it's been photos from social media and other websites, things like that, that they haven't elected to share here. And while it was done for a reason - they were causing problems here and pissing everyone off - it was still bad for us to let it go. That's why we have rules about invading people's privacy. Mind you, we also have rules about public fuss, because of the spectacular tantrums that people have thrown over the years. Those rules don't just come about arbitrarily ("Because of me, there's a warning now!").

Incidentally, I also got a very nice email in the wake of the NLD closing, thanking me for all that I've done, and promising to continue supporting me in my new role. It was sent to an account that's long since closed, since the provider shut up shop, so I wish I'd saved it.

There have been other situations where I've clashed with people in the community, and there's definitely blame on both sides. Some people were definitely looking to complain or cause problems, stir up trouble or start a fight, but I also could have responded to those incidents much better than I did. Again, that takes maturity that you don't necessarily have in your late teens. Hell, I'd suggest that some people never achieve that level of maturity. And again, I can look back on those incidents and see where I went wrong, and how I can handle the situation better should it arise again. I also know that sometimes, people aren't going to play nice or meet you half way, so I don't beat myself up about it. But I also keep in mind ways that won't make the situation worse, or make me the bad guy, or just as responsible for the fallout as they are. In your hot-headed teenage years, you can't have that perspective.

Glancing back at what I've written, this probably isn't the most cheerful story. I do have fun and positive stories to tell, though I do think that this one is ultimately positive. You see, whenever someone says how much they enjoy being a part of our community, or that they like the job I'm doing, or that they think I'm one of the best admins out there, it is very flattering, and I really do appreciate the support. Because there was a time when I really did need to prove myself, a time when I was disliked by some people who were very popular and prominent in the community, and times when I really dropped the ball. So if I am all those nice things that people sometimes say, it's because I've worked hard, and learned from my mistakes. To paraphrase one of my favourite Michael Jordan commercials put it: I've failed over, and over, and over in this gig. And that is why I succeed.

I'm still here because I grew up playing basketball video games and loving the NBA. And I still greatly enjoy those things, and want to do stuff that is creative and fun, and enjoyable for other people who share those interests. I truly believe that's why I've endured some of the rough times, and why the NLSC will be turning 20 next year. The reason I'm running this site, why I haven't just closed up shop, is because I enjoy doing it, I enjoy the hobby it's centred around, and I'm not doing it for any other reason but to have fun and create content for people who share one of my interests. I'm not running it for glory, or fame, or to spite anyone. Sites that are made out of spite or to stroke egos tend to fail, because the people running are them are not doing it out of true enjoyment or passion, and they tend to be combustible personalities which only leads to in-fighting and ultimately, the collapse of the site.

So, that's what brings us to today. Looking back, I had the tools, and certainly the interest and enthusiasm, but I still needed to grow into this role, to grow up as a person, and learn a few things the hard way. But on the whole, it's been positive, and I think it's worked out for the best. The kind of things I've been able to do with the NLSC, especially the last two or three in particular now that developers are really connecting with sites like ours...well, I'm glad I stuck it out. There were a couple of times I wanted to quit, including one time where I came really, really close...but a cooler head prevailed, the passion and the enjoyment won out. And I'm happy that it did, so that I can be here to celebrate fourteen years running the NLSC, and look forward to doing more fun stuff with it in the years to come.

Guess that's pretty much the origin story and reflection on how I got here. I'll leave it at that for now, and think of a few other stories worth sharing. (Y)
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby bigh0rt on Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:45 pm

Amazing stuff. Even having been a mod here a decade ago and then again starting two or three years ago I never had any idea about almost a single word shared there. That's amazing stuff. FWIW, until recently when I found out we were about the same age I had always assumed you were much older when I first joined the site, when I was like 20 or 21, because I was unbearably childish and you always carried yourself in a more mature, professional manner.

I hope there's some other big moments you can recall and share. I know it may not be fun to recollect confrontation and conflict, but they're certainly the most entertaining to read, along with knowing there's been resolution (somewhat).
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby [Q] on Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:34 pm

Andrew you bully :lol:
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby formx on Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:16 pm

Andrew's brief heel turn was rather brilliant I must say. Way better than the heel turns we've seen on WWE television in recent years. Just a shame it has to end abruptly like the Vince McMahon death angle. :lol:
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby Jackal on Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:52 pm

Congrats man, I've given you some grief over the years (probably because I thought you were a ginger) but honestly, you do a good job. You're dedicated and that's saying something in this day and age with sites derailing left and right.

Good times at the NLSC, 12 orso years later and I still have it bookmarked and make a daily browse. One of the few sites (if only) to have accomplished that.

Share more stories, I'm always down for a nostalgia trip.
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby shadowgrin on Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:57 pm

I started hating you when you stopped mentioning the annual Talk Like A Pirate Day in the main site.
That was one of noteworthy public service by the NLSC.
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby NovU on Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:46 pm

Thank you for what you do Andrew. I don't think I'd be still around this forum if it wasn't for your consistent and dedicated presence. I am sure many feel the same too.



Congrats on your another milestone yet again.
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby Stress Fracture on Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:36 am

17 is sure a very young age to run a site.

Congrats Andrew!!!

Care to tell a story on the weird posters you've encountered?
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby Andrew on Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:53 am

bigh0rt wrote:Amazing stuff. Even having been a mod here a decade ago and then again starting two or three years ago I never had any idea about almost a single word shared there. That's amazing stuff. FWIW, until recently when I found out we were about the same age I had always assumed you were much older when I first joined the site, when I was like 20 or 21, because I was unbearably childish and you always carried yourself in a more mature, professional manner.

I hope there's some other big moments you can recall and share. I know it may not be fun to recollect confrontation and conflict, but they're certainly the most entertaining to read, along with knowing there's been resolution (somewhat).


I don't actually remember you being unbearably childish, so I wouldn't worry too much. ;) For my part, I think there was definitely an element of "fake it 'til you make it", as far as being professional and mature, and all that. Like I said, looking back, I wasn't quite as mature or professional as I thought I was, or would've liked to have been.

I actually don't mind recounting some of the more confronting or "negative" stories. As you said, they tend to be more entertaining to read, and I think it's interesting to look back on them and put them in perspective. The only thing is, I'll probably refrain from mentioning any names or getting too specific in some situations. It'd be a bit tacky of me, and I don't want to re-start old wars. Beyond that, I don't want to give them the attention, in some cases!

[Q] wrote:Andrew you bully :lol:


You know what, though? I kind of was, in that situation. I went from someone who was being bullied, insulted, and disrespected to a bully myself...even if it was done in the name of standing up for myself. Standing up for yourself could in some ways be considered "bullying a bully" and a positive thing, but even so, there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. I chose the wrong way, that time.

I'm not sure how I'd handle it these days. In some ways, ignoring it and letting it fall into ruin of its own accord might be the best way to go, but I'd be tempted to at least make some kind of public statement that hey, there is an imitation website out there, don't be fooled, and please don't support what they're doing as it's disrespectful. At the very least, I wouldn't be urging people to go and make things miserable for the other person with all kinds of personal attacks, posting their contact information and whatnot.

Masahiro Chono wrote:Andrew's brief heel turn was rather brilliant I must say. Way better than the heel turns we've seen on WWE television in recent years. Just a shame it has to end abruptly like the Vince McMahon death angle. :lol:


I don't know, I'd say mine was just as ill-conceived. ;) It's not a role I'm particularly comfortable playing. I'm more Jack Tunney than Vince McMahon.

Jackal wrote:Congrats man, I've given you some grief over the years (probably because I thought you were a ginger) but honestly, you do a good job. You're dedicated and that's saying something in this day and age with sites derailing left and right.

Good times at the NLSC, 12 orso years later and I still have it bookmarked and make a daily browse. One of the few sites (if only) to have accomplished that.

Share more stories, I'm always down for a nostalgia trip.


Glad to hear it man, good to see you drop by and post when the mood strikes you. That did puzzle me why you thought I was a ginger; not even close! Well, like a lot of men who are blonde, or were blonde as a kid as I was, I have a bit of red in my beard. That'd be the Irish and Viking ancestry coming through.

Ur Boi Bangs Chol wrote:I started hating you when you stopped mentioning the annual Talk Like A Pirate Day in the main site.
That was one of noteworthy public service by the NLSC.


I used to mention it on the main site as well? I know I did here in the Forum, a few times. Well, it's coming up again, September 19th. I'll have to keep it in mind.

NovU wrote:Thank you for what you do Andrew. I don't think I'd be still around this forum if it wasn't for your consistent and dedicated presence. I am sure many feel the same too.



Congrats on your another milestone yet again.


Thanks, appreciate the kind words!

Stress Fracture wrote:17 is sure a very young age to run a site.

Congrats Andrew!!!

Care to tell a story on the weird posters you've encountered?


It is, but like I said, a lot of us were actually quite young. A couple of people even concocted fake stories about marriage and whatnot, in an effort to appear older.

I'll definitely tell some more stories. I'll have a think back, and try to pick some that I think will be entertaining. Again, I don't want to get too specific with some posters as far as names and such, but there definitely have been some...interesting individuals, through the years. Some tales to tell, for sure.
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Andrew
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Re: Fourteen Years Running the NLSC

Postby Nick on Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:46 pm

Late to the party here, but i just wanted to say: congrats!

What i always appreciated about you was that you were always happy to fully embrace the role of "consummate professional", for the sake of the site, probably at the expense of some of the more light-hearted and cheeky fun the rest of us were having! But you were, and still are, always consistent and level-headed. 14 years of consistency is really something special, and it speaks to your capacities as a human. Well done mate.
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