A few years ago, I joined the ACCEPT forum run by Joe Schlared. I was a later bloomer to the world of online communication and learned of the band's reforming shortly (and sadly) after they'd played shows anywhere near my region of the United States. Joe's forum was one of the first online communities for the band that I discovered, and I was not disappointed--quite the contrary. It soon became one of my favorite hangouts; it was and still is a place that we fans can relax, kid around, debate, agree or disagree in a civilized and peaceful manner, and talk not only about the band but every other thing under the sun too.
This wasn't Joe's first foray into showing support and appreciation for the band. Many of you "die-hards" may remember his Accept website from some years back. At the time, it was somewhat ahead of its time--THE place to go for news, updates, interviews, photos, and other information about Accept. Web archives of the original site exist out there in cyberspace, and if you can find them, they're quite good reading.
Throughout the years, Joe has put a great deal of effort, attention, and personal time into maintaining something for us fans to enjoy and appreciate while showing his support for the band. The current fan forum http://accept1.proboards.com/ has been running for well over seven years. Membership spiked tremendously at the time Blood of the Nations was released, and participation has kept the place buzzing. I encourage you to check it out sometime.
We can surmise that with the advent and constant upgrades of social media and the devices used to access it, attention levels are not at the par they used to be. Busy, busy, busy, we all are--and there are so many places to go, things to do, sites to check, that perhaps our attention levels can only last so long in any given place. People have sadly become accustomed to what is akin to skimming headlines but not bothering to read the details or the article itself. Many wonder if the arts of good conversation and debate have sadly become a thing of the past. Have they? Well, that depends... On all of us. We get out of it what we put into it.
We Ambassadors greatly look forward to all of the discussions, news, and information we will share here, and we welcome participation from YOU, the fans. While the vision and intent of this forum is in a somewhat different direction and a more expanded scope, to me, Joe Schlared and the forum he started is one part of the foundation upon which this one is built, as the camaraderie there has set the standard for Accept fan groups and communities. It is the kind of kinship of fans that I hope we can continue and further develop here, with much appreciation and respect for Joe's large contribution to the history of ACCEPT and in the preservation and maintenance of it.