I wanted to make this today's Junk Drawer but I got to the site too late last night and got beaten out by 2 minutes. Hear me yelling "FAJUNGAAAAAAAA!!!" much the way Kirk yelled "KAAAHHHN!" But maybe it's just as well, as this'll be a whole-community read as much as a JD read.
It's become such a site institution that many probably don't remember how the Junk Drawer started way back in the day. Guess who came up with that brilliant idea? Go on, guess! Einstein? Stephen Hawking? No, indeed. It was ME! MwaahahahahaHA! I don't participate in the JD much, but as the Father of the Junk Drawer I still beam with pride as I see it fill up each day. I also want to take a moment to remember and reaffirm its purpose.
The purpose of the Junk Drawer was simple from its infancy. We wanted a place where people could come and chat about all of the "whatevers" that didn't fit with the rest of the site. The goal was to foster community...to let people who wanted to get to know each other outside of what they could discern from the strictly basketball posts. In that sense the project has been a riotous success. We've had happy JD's, sad ones, drawers that looked like a sharing circle, drawers that resembled open mic night at the comedy club...people have really become a family. A secondary goal was to keep the extra stuff in the drawer so that the rest of the posts stayed about basketball. That has worked too.
From its infancy the drawer also had its dangers. One of them was subject matter. With few exceptions that has turned out to be a false alarm. The JD often treads the edge but it's almost always in a funny, even endearing, way. When it gets crazy it's usually GOOD crazy. That's not an easy line to draw and I appreciate everyone who has managed it over the years.
Another danger, though, is deeper-seeded and less easy to root out, as its inherent in the process. The blessing of family is that you become tight. You know each other. You're protected, familiar and safe. The curse of that protection is that it creates a barrier between the family and the rest of the world. Mostly this is benign. You get regulars who are greeted like "Norm!" from Cheers and that's part of the charm. Sometimes, though, that intimacy can become intimidating when you're outside of the circle. The danger of the Junk Drawer is that it becomes a site-within-a-site where all of the "in" people go. That phenomenon has ruined more than one online community. It's something Blazersedge has to be aware of, as the combination of familiarity among members and quality/quantity of posting already makes the site intimidating for newcomers.
Folks who don't do the Junk Drawer thing need to know that it's just a place where people go to talk...well...junk! It can be very profound or very silly but at its heart it's simply a repository for all of the things people want to say when they get together besides basketball. It helps people refrain from interrupting your deep discussion of pick and roll defense with, "Yo! It's my birthday!" It lets everybody gather around that birthday person to celebrate virtually and affirm them. It's meant to build community and provide an outlet for all of our craziness.
Folks who frequent the Junk Drawer help the site immensely by remembering, and giving off the clear impression, that the Junk Drawer is made for the site, not the site for the Junk Drawer. Welcome newcomers. Invite folks into the family. Most of all, get out and comment on other people's threads too. To that end, remember that the Junk Drawer is for OFF-TOPIC subjects. There's a huge difference between a bunch of cool people sitting around a table talking about fun stuff and a bunch of cool people sitting around a table talking about everyone else in the room. The first seems like a group you'd like to join. The second seems like Mean Girls. The first fosters community, the second fractures it. The Junk Drawer isn't the place to talk about someone else's post. That discussion should happen in the original post. The Junk Drawer isn't the place to hang during a game to talk about the game. That's the Gameday Thread. The Junk Drawer certainly isn't the place to complain about site things. That would be my e-mail inbox or...better yet...venture out and hold good conversation that makes things better and models what you'd like to see.
By following this simple practice--JD is for off-topic stuff and casual discussion of the Blazers which doesn't duplicate what's going on elsewhere at the site--the Junk Drawer serves its intended, beneficial purpose and the potential for misunderstanding and division eases.
Enjoy the Junk Drawer and the rest of Blazersedge. Here's to many hours of fruitful conversation about the Blazers, the lives of Blazer fans, and sometimes nothing at all!