Micronational Skype rooms

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Various chatrooms on the instant messaging application Skype have been used by leaders and members of MicroWiki nations since 2009, with most of the core members of the community conversing primarily via Skype by late 2010. While there is no single chatroom in which the entire MicroWiki Community is represented, significant groups of politicians and diplomats are members of several main chatrooms which are used almost daily as one of the primary means of communication within the community.

The following is a list of notable current and former chatrooms, arranged in order of foundation.

Current chatrooms

Micropolitan Lounge

The Micropolitan Lounge (abbreviated as the MPL) was founded in November 2009, and is at present one of the largest Skype rooms used by the MicroWiki community. Will Sörgel was originally an admin,[1] and the MPL had two notable characteristics of being limited to professional discourse and of having those wishing to join voted in by existing members.

A picture of a martini used as the conversation picture for all incarnations of the Micropolitan Lounge.
A picture of a martini used as the conversation picture for all incarnations of the Micropolitan Lounge.

The original room used for the MPL was abandoned in April 2011 due to excessive lag (communication latency). The members of the original room moved to another, sometimes referred to as the Second Micropolitan Lounge. This room had Marka Mejakhansk as admin, and the rules on professional discussion were considerably relaxed to a ban on sexual topics usually enforced only when Mejakhansk was online. The MPL moved to another room, the Micropolitan Lounge III (also with Mejakhansk as admin), in June 2012 after it was found that a technical glitch resulted in Daniel Morris being able to add himself to the Second MPL. Jacob Tierney was appointed a co-admin by Mejakhansk the following month due to the latter spending less time online.

In late September 2012, Mejakhansk stated that he would arbitrarily kick random users from the MPL III if he saw sexual topics being discussed. Opposition to this resulted in Sebastian Linden adding the MPL's members to a room up to that point known as "Casino Micronationale" (a minor chatroom with similar rules as the Micropolitan), now named the Micropolitan Lounge IV, with himself and Tierney as admins. On 1 January 2013 - with the MPL IV still in perfect working order - Daniel Anderson created another room, "Micropolitan Lounge 5", so that he could have a public chatroom to administer himself; the only MPL ever founded purely for self-aggrandizement. Levels of activity then fluctuated between IV and 5, with one room tending to have most activity at the expense of the other for a few months before the situation was reversed. Since October 2015, the MPL IV been the most active of the two rooms, with MPL 5 having gone completely inactive in December 2015. MPL IV continues to be considered the "official" Micropolitan Lounge.

Due to the (now usually lax) policy of the Micropolitan Lounge voting on whether applicant individuals can join, it has been accused in the past by some of holding an elitist attitude towards the community, and sometimes caricatured as an "Illuminati" style organisation secretly controlling the MicroWiki community. These perceptions have come about mainly due to the MPL originally being comprised mainly of those thought most "influential" in the community, but have frequently been ridiculed by its members as conspiracy theories.

Yellow Bear Micronational

The Yellow Bear Micronational (usually known as the YBM) was founded as an entity on 19 August 2010, although the room used by the YBM was actually created on 21 July the previous month. Although the MPL is the oldest chatroom as an "institution" in the MicroWiki Community (having existed since November 2009), the YBM is the oldest actual room still currently used, as its members have not switched rooms several times as those of the MPL have done. For some time the YBM was by far the largest chatroom in the community, but a "purge" of inactive accounts in August 2012 to enable voice calls to more easily take place resulted in it reaching a more conventional size of a few dozen members.

Originally founded by James von Puchow, Jonathan I and Declan I were also appointed admins in late 2010 (Declan I being removed as such on 12 November 2013). Jonathan I remains admin, and shared this position together with the Sultan of Volfa between 2 June and 16 August 2014. Von Puchow left the room on 16 June 2014 in protest at the racial abuse of a user of the room by some other users (one of whom was later kicked) but re-joined a few weeks later.

The YBM hosted frequent voice calls during its first few weeks of existence, and gained huge popularity due to a lack of restriction on conversation topics, in contrast to the MPL - this atmosphere of free conversation developed into a policy of unrestricted free speech, with even copious amounts of spam sometimes being tolerated.[2] The first Microball comic publicly published was done so via being sent over the YBM, and most newly-drawn Microballs were originally sent in the YBM as a means of publishing them - this resulted in great opposition to a claim by Gordon Freeman in 2011 that the OAM had "created Microball", which was speedily withdrawn and retrospectively claimed to have been a joke.

Since 9 November 2012, the YBM has had a link to a YouTube video of the "Music of the day" posted in the conversation topic nearly every day by an admin, the only micronational Skype room to have a daily feature of this sort.

The Yellow Bear Micronational is so named due to having a photograph of Yellow Bear (the Chancellor from Cool Barbie) as its first conversation picture. This was the conversation picture when the chatroom was first named, but has changed several times since then:

  • 19 August 2010 - early September 2010: Yellow Bear
  • Early September 2010 - 28 December 2012: Austenasia and Moylurg as Microballs
  • 28 December 2012 - 2 June 2013: Yellow Bear
  • 2 June 2013 - 7 February 2015: A photograph of Jonathan I with "Shoey" (a toy horseshoe crab given to him by the Countess of Memphis)
    • 3 April 2014: Briefly changed to a cartoon of a baked potato
    • 8 May 2014: Briefly changed to a photograph of a pig
    • 4 June 2014 - 5 June 2014: Changed for several hours to a photograph of Jonathan I edited to have green light shining from his eyes
  • 7 - 15 February 2015: A warped photograph of Joseph Puglisi holding a drink
  • 15 - 22 February 2015: A photograph of Stephen Freayth edited to have Yaroslav Mar's head.
  • 22 February 2015 - 19 August 2015: A photograph of James von Puchow playing a trumpet, edited to give him clearly fake facial hair.
  • 19 August 2015 - present: Yellow Bear

GUM Lounge

The GUM Lounge has, since June 2015, functioned as a professional venue for diplomatic and civil discourse between micronational dignitaries and diplomats. It is administered by the Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational, and is the current incarnation of the Grand Unified Micronational.

While the GUM functioned as an intergovernment organisation, the GUM Lounge served as the primary means of communication between members of the Grand Unified Micronational outside of their fortnightly Quorum meetings. The Lounge was created on 1 January 2012 alongside the status of GUM Observer. A steadily increasing membership in the GUM led to the status of observer being created so that Quorum meetings would not be swamped by too many participants. Observers were nations which were permitted access to Quorum minutes on request, and could propose matters to be discussed in a Quorum, but did not have the right to observe or attend a live Quorum meeting (without the explicit permission of the Chair for that meeting only). Instead, they (and all other member states of the GUM) would have delegates in the GUM Lounge.

The GUM Lounge was limited to delegates from full and provisional members, observers and permanent observers of the GUM, although individuals from non-member states were permitted access by Quorum vote. While the room used for Quorum sessions had strict rules on the way in which delegates could address each other, the Lounge is rather more lax, although there remain bans on ad hominem insults and excessive usage of emoticons.

Micronational Christian Fellowship

The Micronational Christian Fellowship serves as a focal point for discussions of a religious nature between Christian members (and those interested in Christianity) of the community. Originally founded on 15 November 2013 by Yaroslav Mar and known as the Micronational Christian Conference, most members left to create the current room on 21 November 2015 after Mar and Alexander Karapavlovič refused to stop using the room to promote and discuss Islam.

Ragged Flagon

The Ragged Flagon, which has been one of the most active casual chats since mid-2016, is considered to be much like the Yellow Bear Micronational, but originally had a reputation for copious amounts of spam by Ned Greiner, who originally founded it in response to what he saw as objectionable topics of discussion permitted in the YBM. As of 2017, the chat had 60 members, but there have been over 90 members at certain points. It was originally founded by Ned Greiner, and Patrick Renwick and Stephen Freayth are also considered to be founding members. The chat currently has four administrators: Renwick, Freayth, Mike Lewis, and Henry Clément.

Abel to Dabel

The official logo of Abel to Dabel.
Abel to Dabel, a chatroom dedicated for citizens of the Abeldane Empire and non-citizens alike, was founded on 27 June 2016, due to the lack of a chatroom solely for Abeldanes, and is currently one of the most active Skype chatrooms in the community. Abel to Dabel has currently a membership of more than 50 members as of 2018. The chatroom's logo is a picture of Squidward, from Spongebob Squarepants, dabbing on a background of the Abeldane flag. The name of the chatroom was created by Mikael Bokmann from the chatroom's logo.

Founded by Stephen I & II, Abel to Dabel is recognizable for its little to no moderation of debates but has since then implemented rules in order to maintain civility due to the large membership of the chatroom. As of 2018, the present moderators are: Stephen I & II, Thomas Merrell, and Artemis Langford.

Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club

The official logo of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club.
Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club (abbreviated as SGTP), was founded in March 2017, created due to the perceived lack of a well-moderated, active chatroom at the time. Although it is a newer chatroom, it is to date one of the most active Skype chatrooms in the community since its creation. Sgt Pepper's has a notably smaller membership base than chats such as the Ragged Flagon, having nearly 30 members as of September 2017. The chatroom was originally popularized due to its intellectual conversations on topics such as religion, music, and politics.

Founded by Henry Clément, James Reginald Frisch was appointed an admin once the room surpassed 20 members. As of September 2017, the pair remain the chats only two admins. The room is known in the MicroWiki community for its uniquely strict rules, banning memes and internet spam, as well as discouraging swearing. the administration is known to intervene in uncivil arguments and conflicts taking place in the chatroom.

The room thrived early on due to the popularity of its restrictions on spam at a time when several of the community's larger chatrooms - particularly the Ragged Flagon - were consistently filled with spam which at times made civil discussions difficult. The chat's religious conversations were popular early on, and later musical conversations - piloted particularly by Clément and Newton von Uberquie - have been particularly common and have spawned activity in the room. Due to the chatroom's influences from music, the admins run a 'Tune of the Day' similar to that in the YBM.

The room's name being an obvious reference to the Beatles' album of the same name, the chat's conversation picture has for most of its existence been a photo of the the Beatles in 1968. Nonetheless, the conversation picture has on a few occasions changed.

Drunkiz Gadurō

The official logo of the Drunkiz Gadurō.

The Drunkiz Gadurō, often abbreviated as the DG, is a Skype group founded by micronationalist Suzuki Leōcor. Originally known as Drew and Pals, the chatroom was created on 1 March 2017 to serve as part of the now defunct Republic of Drew Star Line's (DSL) community outreach program. When Leōcor left DSL in July of the same year, she took over Drew and Pals and transformed it into a culturally focused community group, renaming it on 9 August 2017.

The DG has a total of 27 active members representing 33 micronations. Its primary focus is on the sharing of micronational culture among its membership, and certain political conversations are unofficially banned. The room has no established leadership, although most look to Leōcor for advice on how the DG should be run. The DG, in a continuation of its culturally focused purpose, hosts several events within the micronational community, such annual coat of arms and flag contests and micronational improv stories. The group recently won the 2017 award for Best Micronational Cultural Project for hosting a micronational flag contest.

The name Drunkiz Gadurō is taken from Proto-Germanic, and means "drunken gathering." Leōcor adopted this name because it was unique, and has admitted on a number of occasions that she believes drinking with friends has likely led to the creation of several micronations. The DG's logo reflects its name, as a large glass pitcher of malt beer.

From Aariania With Love

From Aariania With Love is an Aarianian-based group chat originally established between Aariania and its allies, but soon began accepting many of its citizens. From Aariania With Love experienced backlash of people wishing to switch to Discord for a period of time, but such efforts have since died out. The chat was originally created by Grand Marquette Aaron Green of the Aarianian Union with around 5 people, but suddenly grew to around 34 people, 16 of which are Aarianian citizens, and 9 of those are government members.

The name "From Aariania With Love" is based off the name of the Aarianian anthem, From Dixie With Love.

Former chatrooms

MicroUniverse

MicroUniverse was the name given to a series of micronational chatrooms, the first of which had been founded by 11 August 2010 and the last of which went inactive during February 2013. There were at least fifteen incarnations - many of which were active at the same time as each other - which had various different admins, including Aldrich Lucas and Sebastian Linden.

TASPAC Room

Established on 10 January 2011, the TASPAC Room was used as a means of communication between delegates and observers of the Tasman-Pacific union of Australasian and Indonesian[3] micronations. The room is notable for having played a major part in the Yablokogate scandal of September 2011. By the time of its defunctness in early 2012, it had seen five iterations, TASPAC 2, TASPAC 3 and two special rooms specially established for press conferences during Yablokogate.

Antipolitan

The Antipolitan Lounge was founded on 7 February 2011 by Sebastian Linden as a counterbalance to what was seen as an elitist Micropolitan Lounge. The Antipolitan consisted mostly of Linden's supporters as he attempted to have revoked the ban he was then under, and served as a focal point for the "anti-admin" movement prevalent amongst some members of the community during the Factions Period, a leading member of which was Parker I, one of the most active individuals besides Linden in the Antipolitan.

The Antipolitan was effectively disestablished in a now famous incident on 22 April 2011, while Linden was offline. The then Crown Prince Jonathan added Joseph Puglisi to the Antipolitan, and within a few minutes Puglisi added Will Sörgel. Parker viewed Sörgel as an embodiment of MicroWiki "elitism" and opposing everything he claimed the Antipolitan stood for, and so responded to his addition to the room with a tirade of capitalised abuse. MicroWiki admins Alexander Reinhardt, Pierre d'Égtavie and Gordon Freeman were then added, much to the dismay of Parker, as the Crown Prince sent a well-remembered message jocularly declaring "FREEZE! ADMINS! THIS IS A RAID!". Parker proceeded to flood the chatroom with spam, resulting in its members leaving and the chatroom collapsing.

MicroPub

MicroPub was a room founded in July 2011 by Haakon Lindstrom and Joseph Puglisi. MicroPub heavily declined in activity in late 2012 until it was rarely posted in by anyone other than Prince Ciaran and Carl Miller. The chatroom went permanently inactive after a brief return to activity in late July 2013.

Monarchical Chatroom

The Monarchical Chatroom was founded on 27 December 2012 by Adam I of Überstadt as a chatroom for "regnal monarchs, former monarchs, and heirs". Adam I added several monarchs and relatives of monarchs to the chatroom, with Jonathan of Austenasia naming it the "Monarchical Chatroom" and adding several more members a few minutes later. The chatroom was administered by Adam I, and used for discussions about micronational monarchies. Once per week, the group picture was changed to a new image of an item or items of royal regalia both macro- and micronational. A link to monarchy-related to music of the week was also included in the group description. The chatroom became defunct in June 2015 after a Skype update.

Notes

  1. Skype chatrooms are moderated by their creators and by other users appointed to a "Master" position by the creator. Creators and masters of Skype chatrooms are colloquially known as "admins" (or, more rarely, moderators) - this position should not be confused with the administrators of MicroWiki.
  2. Jonathan I has stated that an exception is the right of himself and the other admins to use their admin powers to edit people's messages to more humorous statements.
  3. Despite being centered around Oceanic micronations, numerous foreign observers, such as Joseph Puglisi and Smyg, were known to have been users of the room.