For those who have been around the Internet for a long time the phrase "Eternal September" will ring many bells.
It used to be that Internet access was mainly gained through American Colleges (and UK Universities), so every September there would be a small influx of new people who's conduct was most unbecoming. Eventually, usually a month or so, they would learn the etiquette of the Net (or netiquette if you will).
In September 1993 AOL, then pretty much the single largest ISP in America offered Usenet access to all of its members. This was a massive influx of new members, many of whom were in no real way computer literate or had any understanding that they had just left AOL's walled garden and entered a different area.
It became an impossible task to educate all of these new people and quickly more ISP's started offering Usenet access. A trickle became a torrent and the old guard the ones who understood how things worked, why things worked and curated these areas began leaving unable to continue doing what they enjoyed.
Thus it is/was said that this has become an Eternal September or "the September that never ended".
It's worth remembering that one of the main issues was a lack of preparedness on the part of the denizens of Usenet. Given sufficient run up and notice that this was going to happen things might of gone quite differently for Usenet.
So why am I writing about Eternal September on a BDSM website (or indeed my blog)?
Because we're already looking at our September. The book "50 Shades of Grey" has done much to attract people to our lifestyle and community, people who's knowledge of our etiquette comes solely from this book (and possibly whatever pornography they have seen on xhamster).
As they appear we educate them, advise them, show them how it really is. Many of them undoubtedly run screaming, a fair few will fight and yell that the book can not have got it wrong. Some will listen, learn and become valuable members of our community.
Movies are way more popular than books. Guess which film has a release date of February 13, 2015? A month or so for it to be on general, global, release and well... am I the only one who thinks that'll mean a massive, unrelenting torrent of new people appearing... here?
If I were leading any group on FetLife, organised any Munches or clubs I would be, right now, starting to plan my contingencies. I'd be pondering the question:
How DO you educate that many people in short order? What resources should I be pointing them at? Just how much trouble are they going to cause?
Because unlike the Usenet people: we know it's coming.
Witten, Fri Sep 7668