The Town of Odyssey
- This article is about the internet forum. For the fictional town, see Odyssey.
The Town of Odyssey (or The ToO) is an online Christian message board dedicated to the radio drama Adventures in Odyssey.
The ToO has roots going back over a decade. The forum "The Town Hall" (or "the TH" for short) was originally an HTML/text-based forum, created in the late 1990s. In late November 2002, it opened as a basic phpBB forum with the intent of fostering discussions regarding Adventures in Odyssey and other normal topics.
By late 2004/early 2005, the board had gotten a little heated, with debates and unpopular decisions by the administrators. This led to somewhat poor relations between the members and the leadership. In February 2005 Shadowpaw (Corey), one of the TH's administrators, contacted several prominent members with the intent of creating a new board. The project took shape quickly, and under the utmost secrecy. At the same time Shadowpaw and the members dropped hints that something new was coming.
All this hype led up to an opening amid much fanfare on April 1st, 2005. The board was wildly successful, with 1500 posts made in just that first day. On August 2, 2009, the board was taken down for a day to switch from phpBB2 to phpBB3. The switch took place after a few months of planning and testing by EK and Darcie, along with suggestions from other users.
In 2011 the 6th anniversary of the ToO's founding was overshadowed by the passing of beloved user StrongNChrist a week before.
The board, as of March 2014, has over 1,250 users and over 1,000,000 posts.
Format of the Board
Instead of a normal message board, this phpBB forum, takes on the role of almost an RPG surrounding. Users can make money, purchase items from the shop, and even run for "Mayor" and "Chief of Police" (CoP). There were formerly "degrees" that could be attained and jobs that could be worked at.
The board has places for general talk, AIO-related talk, role-playing, and debating. Users also have the option for creating their own forums on the board for a fee, called factions. Another very unique part of the board is the Non-player characters. In this case, the NPC's are accounts run by a secret team, and are characters from the show. They can interact with real members.
With the NPC's the board has also been able to have 'story arcs', where a mystery is played out (often with the NPC's heavily involved), with members needing to solve the problems presented. The story arcs are often met with much enthusiasm and greatly contribute to the RPG setting of the board. The most notable story arcs are the Bennett Charles Takeover, the Regis Blackgaard Takeover, and the Great TownHall Takeover.
Yet another aspect of the Town of Odyssey's forum set up is the fact that it has subscription based content boards, not unlike factions these are special interest groups to discuss things such as gaming, writing, and spiritual matters, as well as a board dedicated to debating.
The Town of Odyssey has an election system to determine the administrators. This system is in place to avoid the problems between leadership and members that were present at the TH. Every four months teams of two members run for the privilege of being Mayor and Chief of Police, giving them both administrative privileges. In turn, moderators are then selected by the elected administrators to govern over the general parts of the board.
Mayors and CoP's
The history of the leadership is as follows (mayors listed first):
- Term I: The Top Crusader and Eugene Blackgaard
- Term II: Bmuntz and Catspaw
- Term III: JEC: Jonathan and Evil Chick
- Term IV: Trank: Trent DeWhite and Frank
- Term V: DJ: David O and JesusFreak777
- Term VI: EK-man: EK and J-man
- Term VII: S²: Sarai and Sonuna
- Term VIII: Sekha: Seha and EK
- Term IX: CIA: JesusIsAlive and Christina
- Term X: Ryangel: Angel and Azariah Ben Yaakov (Ryan)
- Term XI: CIA v.2: Kait (Christina) and JesusIsAlive
- Term XII: Iron Crusader: Iron and Light and The Top Crusader
- Term XIII: iTaliq: LizzieG and Taq
- Term XIV: EKairi: EK and Kairi; in the second month of the term, EK announced he was leaving for the Marines. JesusIsAlive replaced EK soon after.
- Term XV: racecar: Pseudonym and Sonuna
- Term XVI: King Regis 2.0: Regis Blackbeard and King Butter Turtle
- Term XVII: Enliven: American Eagle and Laura Ingalls
- Term XVIII: Shark Bait: snubs and The Kings Daughter; in the second month of the term, The Kings Daughter announced she had to spend less time on the ToO and more in real life, so Laura Ingalls was made secondary CoP.
- Term XIX: TEAMARIC: Marv and ric
- Term XX: Phoenix: Whitty Whit and Monty
- Term XXI: Sherwood: Knight Fisher and IDANCE4JESUS
- Term XXII: JELLEK: Jelly and EK
- Term XXIII: JPM: Jesus' Princess and Monty
- Term XXIV: *~SamAÈ~*: Samantha14 and American Eagle
- Term XXV: Team Moosewood: Woody and Knight Fisher
- Term XXVI: Team Limedoils: Belle and Limerick
- Term XXVII: The Paws: Catspaw and Shadowpaw; In absence of an elected team, Catspaw and Shadowpaw ran the board during Term XVII.
- Term XXVIII: Team Moosewood 2.0: Woody and Knight Fisher; Term XVIII was a special two-month term.
- Term XXIX: The Change Team: Moontide and snubs
- Term XXX: Doctor Song 2.0: Woody and Belle
- Term XXXI: The Town Constitutional Oligarchy
- Term XXXII: Team International Paperclip
- Term XXXIII: Catspaw and The Top Crusader
- Term XXXIV: Catspaw and The Top Crusader
A change in leadership occurred when Shadowpaw became busy with real life, and handed over his permanent administrator spot to Catspaw. This change of power occurred at the beginning of 2007.
In the Term XX election, none of the teams were able to raise enough money to get on the ballot, so Catspaw became the sole leader. After a short story arc where she became the dictator of "Catsville" a second Term XX election was held, in which only one team raised enough money, but then were voted in in a "yes or no" poll.
A new leadership concept was introduced as a candidate in the Term XXXI election, rather than two-person Mayor/CoP team, it was a "Town Council" consisting of seven members all with administrator status, to better serve the town and avoid the problems that occur when both elected administrators get busy with real life. Members are listed in the Moderators section.
Another aspect of interest in the structure of the ToO is that each administrative team puts into power its own "Police Force," or team of moderators, serving for the same term as the mayor and chief of police.
The list of police officers for each term is as follows:
|Term 1||Term 2||Term 3||Term 4||Term 5||Term 6||Term 7|
|Term 8||Term 9||Term 10||Term 11||Term 12||Term 13||Term 14|
|Term 15||Term 16||Term 17||Term 18||Term 19||Term 20a**||Term 20b|
|Term 21||Term 22||Term 23||Term 24||Term 25||Term 26||Term 27****|
|Term 28||Term 29||Term 30||Term 31*****|
- *Known as the term 13 "midnight appointments"
- **These were "dictator Catspaw's" short-lived police force. The was replaced by a new team after a few weeks of duty.
- ***These were voted into power in the first moderator election.
- ****These were part of a special "Council of Legends" during The Paws' term.
- *****These are all administrators in the Town Council system elected during that term.
Top 10 Posters
- Catspaw: 27755 posts.
- The Top Crusader: 22135 posts.
- Marvin D. 19241 posts.
- EK: 18751 posts.
- COWBOY OF TEXAS: 15731 posts.
- J-man: 15347 posts.
- JesusIsAlive: 14793 posts.
- Laurie: 13633 posts.
- bookworm: 13619 posts.
- KODY 105: 13290 posts.
KODY 105 has had the fastest post count growth in the history of the ToO, having joined on September 7, 2008, and reaching the top 10 on May 22, 2009. Catspaw became the first user to reach 25,000 posts in January 2010, and The Top Crusader became the second user to reach 20,000 posts on June 14, 2010 and again on November 30, 2011. Due to some old post deletions post counts had declined.
(Note that these numbers are subject to change, as post counts fluctuate)