The Mess goes further than a place for the officers to drink or dine. It is where they get to know one another beyond the strict professional interaction of their primary duties. S.L.A. Marshall strongly supported the role of the "primary group" among soldier in combat. I believe that the principle is equally valid across an unit's command environment. Any two company commanders, for example, must know and trust one another as much as any pair of riflemen in a section. The company commanders do not have the opportunity to establish the same bonds as the soldiers through the course of their everyday duties, the Mess has always enabled that very opportunity to build and strengthen such important ties. "The man on the left" of any commander, is the commander of the next similar sized element. Within a unit, they must establish that concept of primary group to maintain the same cohesion throughout the command structure as we perceive is built within any section or fire team, the Mess is the only place this can be done. - M.M. O'Leary, August 2001
It's a name we had been using at militaryphotos for quite a few years for a vetted serving and ex serving members area and it's a name we felt fitted what we wanted this new site to be about.
Speaking of mpnet, there are some who will be in the dark about why it had to die and why this place has spun off with largely the same people in moderator roles.
Mpnet had from very early on in the piece been subjected to claims for compensation for the use of copyrighted work. To our knowledge, none of these claims were ever successful, but the frequency of the claims and the large amount of zeros on the end of them were a drain on hoods desire to keep the site open.
The other issue was that the advertising provider was becoming increasingly demanding in its requests for us to sanitise the content of the site. Hence the painful word filter, the removal of NSFW images and video and the arrival of a new mod, hoods wife, who spent many months combing the forum from start to finish, wiping any and all posts that could lead to a withdrawal of advertising revenue.
Despite contrary claims from some, mpnet was only just covering hosting costs, that ad revenue was what kept it open for a dozen years and without it, we'd have closed up shop long ago.
Hood had lost the desire to endure those stresses and he didn't want to saddle us with that burden so elected to shut down the site, rather than sell a lemon.
So back to The Mess. We used mpnet's demise as a cautionary tale.
We've decided to concentrate on the discussion side of MPnet and bring it here.
We've turned off the ability for us to host images on the site, to keep the site light and reduce our costs so we don't become a slave to the advert provider.
We've decided that only images that have been taken or are owned by the person posting it, to stop the copyright issue.
We're aware that will turn off a significant amount of people who used to participate at MPnet.
We're prepared to run with a smaller site, but hopefully one where the big issues are still discussed, posted here in real time, often with a local who has the inside track on what is going on.
We're essentially the same crew of active mods from mpnet, hood is not involved, although we'd really like to see him here one day and we've added 4 new mods (gaz, TheKiwi, Albatross and Hellfish), all long term mpnetters who will be familiar to most. And I've dragged in a mate of one of the mpnet mods who dropped off the radar to help with the IT nuts and bolts behind the scenes.
There are issues with the platform, version 5 is a bit of a turd compared to the polished version 4 that mpnet was running on and we haven't had 12 years to sort out all of the bugs, but give us and vbulletin time and we hope to have a nice site to call our own.