|"Friendship is Magic"|
|Userbase||Many are first-time imageboard users|
|Estimated Traffic||12-16,000 posts-per-day|
Ponychan.net is a My Little Pony fan imageboard that opened February 8, 2011.
Ponychan was founded by members of the former 4chan pony threads who had split off from the main group. While the original pony fans of 4chan enjoyed, or at least tolerated, the environment of 4chan, they wanted somewhere more private where they would have control over the rules and guidelines and be able to enforce the kind of community they wanted, without all the usual trappings of a 4chan community.
While the original group of Ponychan members were not all that dissimilar from their 4chan progenitors, over time as the only safer alternative to 4chan, it became more and more geared towards younger fans and fans who wanted very secure rules and guidelines for a particular experience. It has gradually changed over its 2+ years of existence into a mix of content-creating groups and social communities that differ a great deal from its origin, but which serves its current community's environment well. While well known in the rest of the fandom for its often rigid guidelines throughout the past or being "cliquey", it maintain a position as an elder statesman in the overall pony website community, despite the falloffs of activity and migrations to other sites.
Main article: Ponychan/History.Ponychan was started in 2011 in the rising demand for a refuge for /b/ronies in February 2011 by a /b/ regular whom posted as
Orange !BLaZE/litY. Prior to these events, there evolved a small group of people that fell in love with the show My Little Pony Friendship is Magic whom did not want to associate themselves with the culture of their previous home board, /co/. Initially, he did not intend for his site to gain so much momentum and was simply there to complement their then home on /b/. At the early days of Ponychan, the site was notorious for attracting unwanted attention from people on /b/ and was targeted in spam attacks and occasionally DDoS attacks. One particularly successful attack at the end of the February bannings cut off services from their host provider, forcing Orange to find another service and reinstall the Kusaba X fork. The site’s programmers had implemented features in an effort to thwart these raids, including an SQL that deletes all reported posts at a click of a button which are likely deprecated today.
The first year
In its first year, Ponychan had a number of recreational boards, such as /fic/, /art/ and /collab/ that still remain today, but the central of most discussion had resided on their /oat/ board. There had been no demand for serials, a roleplay board, or a relaxed board. At the time, Ponychan was the 2nd most trafficked pony site on the internet behind Equestria Daily and the 2nd most active imageboard of the English language, having rates as high as 30,000 posts per day. Moderators originally were asked to keep their personal identity separate from their moderation capcode, though this rule was lifted in early January 2012 soon before the site’s first birthday. Their site’s owner was also notorious for remaining low profile and to keep his personal identity separate from that of his site. !!Celestia later commented that “If you would have told me a year ago that people would be calling me the 'birthday princess' and I'd be okay with it, I would have thrown you out the nearest window.”
The site over time had developed its own culture, including its own taboos that greatly diverged from its previous home site. Ponychan was one of the only sites to be completely tolerable to posters who attached an identity to their posts, despite it being taboo everywhere else. While posting with an identity has its drawbacks, its abundance seemed to befit the users who regularly come there. The main board of the site, /oat/, is very tolerant of derails, and over the summer, had a chronicle of three derails based on the CMC. The first one, the Sweetie Belle Derelle, was by far, the most successful derail type, and later evolved into its own meme. Later it was followed with its other CMC counterparts – Scootastare, and AppleBloomOMFG.
Throughout 2012, the site had undergone hardships with both the community and between its own moderators. On March 16, one of the site’s most active boards, /ef/, was removed within a two hours’ notice. One of the greatest advocates of supporting the defunct board later hosted her own board to refuge the already existing community. Less than a week later came the announcement of the new /gala/ board, which started off as a lounge for socializing but later was revised to become a serial board. It currently remains the most active board and was the solution for the choked out traffic on /chat/. In early May, !!TwilightSparkle, one of the mods regarded as the more popular, decided to resign out of frustration with the way the site was being run at the time. On May 11, it was leaked amongst the community the planning of Orange's retirement along with the upcoming turnover of the Admin rights to his former assistant, Zamoonda. However, Orange later revoked this decision and returned to the site on the next day. The tension remained abundant for a while, though later the site’s admin rights were given to their !!Lyra mod, whom had a solid history of keeping public relations in good hands. However, !!Lyra later retired in the summer of 2013 where Orange returned from his break.
In January, much like /mlp/, though to a milder extent, the site members were shocked from the announcement of Twilight becoming an alicorn. The /pony/ board quickly jumped into discussion on the matter, though many appeared to be losing their faith with the way Hasbro controls the show, critiquing the company for putting their most critically acclaimed and received show in jeopardy for the sake of unmindful marketing strategies. However, their next month wasn’t really looking much better, beginning with the introduction of Equestria Girls and later, the cease and desist letter sent to one of the most promising projects on /collab/, Fighting is Magic. At the end of the season, the hiatus began, and /pony/ would remain skeptical at the coming of the next season.
Meanwhile, Ponychan had a team of staff members and other volunteers that contributed a great deal of graphics designing and programming power. There was one successful theme contest in February, a new settings page, and a newly written ban system that overrides the Kusaba x ban system. The first of May came the announcement of the site’s largest project. Though no name of it was final, it was temporarily dubbed Project May. While the project had a number of other features, the primary goal of it was presented on /meta/ to introduce “user profiling”. Response on the project remained mixed. However, at revelation of the real identity behind !!SweetieBelle, the project was cancelled.
As of August 2013, the site is run by two owners, Orange and Inkwell. However, neither one of them have been very active recently.
The community is spread out through numerous boards throughout Ponychan's existence.
/meta/ – Suggestion Box
└─ The place to discuss site rules and policies, as well as suggesting changes or improvements to the site itself.
/irc/ – IRC
└─ Come chat with the community in real time! We are a member of Equestria Daily's channel group..
/arch/ – Twilight's Library
└─ The resting place for the best threads from Ponychan's past. Don't forget your camera!
/pony/ – Show Discussion
└─ The place to discuss the show and its universe, while gushing over the brilliance of Team Faust.
/pic/ – Pictures
└─ I need pictures. Pictures of ponies!
/merch/ – Fanfiction
└─ Show off your pony merch, official or otherwise.
/oat/ – Roleplaying
└─ Anything related to ponies or the fandom as a whole
/art/ – Pictures
└─ For those who can draw, show off your work and get critiques.
/fic/ – Fanfics
└─ T If you're a writer, this is the place for you. Show off your work, or get help to make it better.
/collab/ – Projects
└─ A hub for long-lasting fan projects, such as video games and (my favorite) desktop ponies. Feel free to jump in and help if you see a need.
/rp/ – Roleplay
└─ The place for, well, roleplaying. Feel free to jump in!
/ooc/ – Roleplay Lounge
└─ Planning for roleplays, and general OC hangout
/g/ – Games
└─ Do not even think about mentioning cake.
/vinyl/ – Music
└─ Exactly what it says on the tin
/chat/ – Chat
└─ The obligatory off-topic board. Kick back, have a 2% milk, and enjoy yourself.
/dis/ – Discussion
└─ The place for serious discussion about whatever weighty subject happens to be on your mind.
/gala/ – Subcommunities
└─ Subcommunities that want to keep it to one thread at a time.
/int/ – World
└─ International users and non-English threads can find a home here.
For the Ponychan Staff Portal, see: List of StaffPonychan is patrolled by a team of volunteer moderators that make sure Ponychan remains clean, fun, and in tact. Generally the site's rules draw the line at anything higher than PG13, on the condition that the users don't spam the site or sabotage the overall quality of the board by trolling, harrassment, or anything of that manner. However, derails and roleplaying are often more tolerated on the site's /oat/ board, the most active "random" board on the site. Ponychan initially had a strict rule of never releasing their own identities. Orange has once taken it as far as to remove file names to secure their anonymity. However, as of January 7th, 2012, this policy was changed, and the mods identities are allowed to be known. Filenames were also restored.
In its first year, Ponychan's mods had made some shaky and some regretful decisions. However, as it currently stands, much of the moderation approach today is based on fixing that past reputation while still remaining within the spirit of the rules. It is often the case that users in violation of the rules would argue technicalities. As a result, the site has a detailed rule section based off the claims made.