There seems to be some confusion in who runs and owns Gotmead.com (based on PMs/emails/etc.), and who is involved in managing it.

I am Vicky Rowe. I started this site back in 1996, hold both the tradmarks on 'Got Mead?' and the graphics here, and have run and maintained Gotmead.com from the start. I am the final decision maker on what happens on the site.

Some of you seem to think that Oskaar runs things. This is not the case. Oskaar is a very good friend, and (in case you haven't noticed) the most prolific poster on the forums. I defer to Oskaar's *long* experience in wine and mead-making on points of technique, frankly just because he's been homebrewing a lot longer than me, and has learned what works and what doesn't. For those of you that don't know him, he's also in the process of going through UC Davis' *extensive* course of study on enology, considered by many to be the end-all in winemaking knowledge.

He is also the chief moderator on the forum simply because I can't do everything I have to do to maintain this site and run my website design business and read every post too, much as I'd like to. Hence, he has also become the forum 'police', and I for one am *seriously* grateful that he is willing to do this for me, since I can't keep up alone.

He has been a *huge* help in the forums, in determining what direction to go next with the site as a whole, and also in helping me forumulate a backup plan to ensure we never again have a loss of data like the one that wrecked the forums a couple years ago. He watches the site, warns me when there are problems, and has managed it for me when I have to travel and can't do day-to-day operations myself. All this out of the goodness of his heart.

Some of you have complained to me that he's a bit too harsh sometimes. Well, that's life. You're here to play, but behind the scenes, those of us that are maintaining this monster of a site (without pay, in our free time, I'd like to point out) spend hundreds of hours every month making sure you have a *place* to play. Oskaar is a straightforward kind of guy, and might come across as a bit harsh sometimes. Oh, well. Deal, dudes. This is the most open, friendliest, spam-free forum you'll find anywhere on the 'net (go ahead, see if I'm not right), and that is *totally* due to the efforts of Oskaar.

However, matters of this website, what gets done, what the rules are, etc. are my decision in the end. If you have a problem with a poster, posts, the site, etc. bring it to *me*. Piss on Oskaar, and you'll likely earn my wrath too. He has given *much* to this site, and that gives him a lot of manuevering room in my book.

Do *not* think we are the end-all *instant* answer to all your mead questions. If you need an answer, use the search option (located in the forum menu in green at the top of the posting area (or click this link)) and you'll find lots of info. If a search doesn't turn up an answer, then you might want to read a few site articles (there are quite a few). If *that* doesn't work, then post your question.

Too lazy to search? Then by all means post your question. But, if it one of the 'beaten to death' areas, don't be surprised if someone tells you to search first (and they might not be really sweet about it, you might be newbie 8,000,000 asking that question). This site wouldn't *be* here if I didn't 'search first' every time I had a question, thats where most of the info comes from....

That's my rant. If you want to bitch, then you have to help on the site. Some, like Oskaar, JAB, Angus, Wrathwilde, Miriam, Dan McFeeley, LostnBronx, David Baldwin, Dmntd and others (folks, sorry if I missed you, I haven't slept in 3 days for a deadline) have given of their time and money, and *earned* the right to both bitch and influence the direction of the site.

Don't want to help, but want a say? Then put your money where your mouth is. Just over 100 people have, to the tune of $25 US/year, paid to be patrons. That gets them lots of cool stuff, but it *also* gets them my personal attention and they get a say in how the site expands.

Want to bitch? Then pay for the privilege. $25 today gets you what? a couple lattes and a gallon of gas?

To those people who have given of their time and money, I have the utmost gratitude for their willingness to help me expand my hobby site here. The rest of you? You're visitors, please try to remember that this is my house, and to follow the rules as they are posted. Here in the South, we offer our hospitality freely, but we also expect our guests to behave themselves while they're visitin'. (And if you don't, then why, Bless yoah heart! - Southerners will know what I mean)

We want this to remain the best place to get mead info, more user-friendly than the usenet groups, but to do that, everyone needs to help keep it orderly. Those who won't play by the rules get booted. We do this for the greater good of the group, and to keep the forum as a good (and more importantly, *reliable*) place to find meadmaking info.

Vicky - GM owner and decider of your fate here (LOL)