'We're Takin' Over, We Have The Truth..'
In light of the recent closure of www.maximum-jackson.com, I feel it is necessary to explain to you all the reasons as to why the closure of the domain (maximum-jackson.com) happened so quickly and unexpectedly.
I am the legal owner of the domain www.maximum-jackson.com. The decision was made to close the domain associated with the forum for a number of reasons. As I have already stated on the splash page, ‘irreconcilable differences’ played a strong part.
Firstly, it had become quite clear to me that the original vision of the board had changed dramatically. Its values and initial intended meaning seemed to me to have become blurred.
In December 2007, shortly before MJNewsOnline decided to close, I had the idea of starting my own forum (with site attached) so that I could create a place where all MJ fans could come together to admire and appreciate the music and talent of Michael Jackson.
I began a collective, if you will - asking those close to me at the time if it was a good idea and if they wanted to help. I'm a forward thinking person, and plans had already begun to take shape in my head long before they ever came to fruition.
And so it was set. There were originally 5 Founders including myself.
Chelsey “Chell” was asked. Marni was asked. Daniel was asked. Gary was asked – and, at the last minute, Gary asked my permission to allow his wife, Angie, to join the team as a fellow Founder. I agreed. Bringing the total to 6 Founders.
These were the basic first steps taken in order to accomplish our then dreams. All that we needed was a title, a name. We came up with many - some good, some rubbish. To give credit where credit is due, it was Angie who thought of the name Maximum Jackson. The abbreviated MaxJax stuck a little better, but all the same - that was, and remains hers.
We all had one goal – a unanimous direction in which we all wanted to travel. Honesty and fairness were to be an important part of our vision: an online space where Michael’s devoted fans, and perhaps even friends of Michael, could gather and share his artistry with each other.
In its prime, www.maximum-jackson.com as a forum achieved many great things. Many stones were turned, and many accomplishments were made. Some as individuals, others as a group.
Many believe the reason to blame for the ‘decline’ of online MJ communities in recent years to be Michael’s untimely passing in 2009. Whilst this is undoubtedly the case regarding the lack of ‘news’ or discussion in that niche, it unfortunately is not the reason behind the decline of www.maximum-jackson.com.
As many of you will know, I have always been the calm, collective type. Perhaps I wasn’t as vocal as some others, but my work and dedication in making www.maximum-jackson.com, (and the site the domain pointed to) look the best around never once faltered. The graphics (95% of), the custom coding and all 5 of the forum skins, including the self-coded ‘Off The Wall’ skin were all authored by myself.
(Please note - The initial 'Seasons' skin design was completed by a company - When Maximum-Jackson.com transitioned to vBulletin version 4 - The skin had to be remodelled, re-coded and re-designed from the ground up. The work just for these colour variations took 2 weeks to complete. The 'Off The Wall' skin took, after intial planning - 2 whole weeks to finish and release.)
Sadly, it started to become clear to me sometime in early 2011 that www.maximum-jackson.com was no longer what it used to be. On the rare occasion that I would post, I was starting to see a rapid decline in the ‘family-orientated’ and ‘universally friendly’ vibe of the board which was once so rife and important to us all.
There appeared to be a large amount of bickering and negativity being handed out by other members of the Team. The board was no longer getting the recognition it once had from Michael’s Estate, and it seemed to me that www.maximum-jackson.com had lost its original purpose: Michael.
Despite my initial reservations and thoughts about this, I continued to battle on and pretend things weren't turning as ugly as they seemed. Unfortunately, as things continued to decline, my attempts to intervene in a civil and professional manner were unfortunately overshadowed by much louder and bigger voices than my own. This, of course was not a rarity.
Due to changes in my personal life, I decided to ‘leave’ the forum in July 2011. I would remain for the most part inactive. However, I still remained legal owner of the domain, www.maximum-jackson.com.
I'm aware that many sites are talking about this, and I'm also aware that there has been a response, and there possibly may be a bigger response to this. I believe in my heart that I have done the right thing.
The most important thing to me is Michael - That's the way it always has been. That's the way it always will be. That's what it should be about. I no longer want to be associated in any way with what this site has become, or what it could, or may be in the future. Therefore, what's mine will stay mine.
The only way that I feel the chapter could close, in a positive way - without a full-on-fight - would be to take what is rightfully mine and explain the situation. No associations left. Perhaps we all have different views on how Michael's legacy should be carried, I however – don’t think this was the right one.
For clarification, there is absolutely no reason why a new site or forum (or perhaps even the existing forum) can’t be started by the other remaining Founders with www.maximum-jackson.com – using a different domain.
3 of the Founders, including myself, expressed wishes for the site to close as we felt – and still do feel – that www.maximum-jackson.com has had its heyday. Unfortunately, others did not agree.
The achievements of the past will always continue to hold a place in my heart, but I feel that in order to end my association with www.maximum-jackson.com and what it is at the time of writing this explanation, this is the only way.
I would like to thank the fans for being a part of www.maximum-jackson.com who registered whilst it was in its prime, and I wish you all the best for the future.
Thank you for reading,
Greg Spinks / smooth-c
Note - A coward is a man who does something, and cannot explain his actions due to fear, or worry of others condemning him for his actions. You have the truth here, in black and white.
In the words of an angel, 'In the black, Stab me in the back. In the face, To lie and shame the race' - Tabloid Junkie