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"Is forum participation changing?" Topic


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Mick in Switzerland20 Nov 2017 6:28 a.m. PST

I have a feeling that fewer people are taking an active part in the forum discussions.

I have noticed it, particularly here on The Miniatures Page, but also on other forums too. I wonder if this is really the case or just an illusion.

I have also noticed that a lot of manufacturers are using Facebook to show their new launches and product development. It may be that this is the reason behind reducing traffic on the forums.

What do you think?

Are there fewer active participants in discussions?

Have you changed the way that you use Forums?

Thanks


Mick

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member20 Nov 2017 7:09 a.m. PST

I'm here less often than in the past. Mostly because I now use my computer to watch videos, movies and such. Plus I'm now able to actually find opponents. It's better to game than just talk about gaming. Says me. Nothing against Bill or TMP. It's still just about my favorite site and Bill seems a good egg.

princeman20 Nov 2017 7:12 a.m. PST

Yes too many distractions.

Neal Smith20 Nov 2017 7:15 a.m. PST

I think you are right. I know I see stuff on FB and comment or like there. I come here see the same news and don't comment because I already have. 😀

I also think the buggyness of this site contributes to the lack of responses etc.

Legion 420 Nov 2017 7:24 a.m. PST

Yes, FB and other media like that does take away from me going to TMP … I'm sure many sites face a similar situation with FB and other "newer" mediums …

Northern Monkey20 Nov 2017 7:37 a.m. PST

The bug here is really frustrating. I'm spending more time elsewhere.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Nov 2017 7:38 a.m. PST

+1 Northern Monkey

I find the groups on Facebook are quite good. Great variety, very active, and posting pic and media is very easy. So I spend more time there now.

skipper John Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2017 7:40 a.m. PST

I agree. Face Book pages can be very specific to my particular piece of the hobby. Like Mr Smith, I too comment there to an audience that is more focused, proportionately larger and appreciative of that one aspect of gaming.

TMP is a very enjoyable habit though.

Allen5720 Nov 2017 7:42 a.m. PST

Yes, I participate less. In some ways this seems to be a function of others not posting. I don't feel as inclined to comment unless there is a longer discussion with more info to consider. I also do not have as much interest in miniatures gaming asI used to have and not seen a set of rules in ages that interests me. Also there are fewer periods of interest now.

Loss of so much of the activity about new figures to FB (which I do not read) has not helped either.

Gone Fishing20 Nov 2017 8:39 a.m. PST

To some degree this may be due to a climate shift in the hobby and our use of technology. With TMP specifically there are a few other factors at work.

Like many, I miss the days of threads with dozens of participants – almost all of them highly articulate and knowledgeable – when TMP was in its glory days, the premiere site of the hobby. Most of us know those days are long gone. One has only to check some of the older threads to see how many members have departed and taken their talents elsewhere.

To be blunt, the bug and (how to put this gently?) the style of administration, by all the moderators, have driven many off.
Don't get me wrong, I still visit daily, love many of the discussions and people here, appreciate the resource Bill provides us…but I do miss the old days.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2017 9:02 a.m. PST

Still my go to site – not only for searching for information and opinions – but also for looking across the genre – though would like to see more of the new items featured and discussed.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2017 9:04 a.m. PST

No opinion. I don't do FB because when I had a FB
page, EVERY DAY I received virii. When I stopped
my FB subscription, the virii stopped as well.

Whether or not FB had anything to do with it, I have
no idea, just that the virus-laden e-mails stopped
when I stopped FB.

Now if I could figure out a way to eliminate the SPAM
I receive from g-mail addresses (including my own, which
is very interesting since I've never created a g-mail
account…)

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2017 9:22 a.m. PST

There seems to be a general migration to FB. Which is not a good sign for those of us who do not have a FB account. Fortunately my local club Yahoo! is very active. My ACW game Yahoo! group has migrated to FB. Leaving a Semi-Zombie Yahoo! Group which I still stubbornly post photos to. Curse you FB!

TMP is still my go to site to. Yes there is the annoying bug but the bug is more a mascot than a pest. For me TMP is much more user friendly and easier to join.

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2017 9:26 a.m. PST

I think it has changed. There are some members that used to be frequent that I no longer see. Of course, my interests have changed, though I still go to TMP at least daily. I use it more for help needed like a recent question I posted. (The bugs are bad. Never used to be that way.) There is one sure thing in life: change.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2017 9:29 a.m. PST

No Facebook. Ever. But that's personal. As for discussion, I've pretty well given up on any thread which shades into politics or is non-miniatures-related, and mostly I've regretted the exceptions I've made. Not so many miniatures-related threads.

And I try to immediately leave any thread in which a vendor hops in and announces that "yes! The answer to your problem is my newly-released rules set, good for all periods, scales and levels and simultaneously incredibly accurate and fast-play (link to purchase here)" lest I give a sincere reply and get doghoused. That takes me out of a bunch of threads.

Bill, have you considered charging them for advertising when they do that?

Project Vehemence20 Nov 2017 9:56 a.m. PST

I've been here since 2003, and am still a daily visitor, but…

I find manufacturers Facebook accounts far better to get the latest info (even Osprey and WI have more info on FB than here).

I also find the specialist groups/community groups on FB a good source of info and knowledge. However…

I find TMP a better source (and more trustworthy) for specialist knowledge on specific details.

Martin Rapier20 Nov 2017 9:59 a.m. PST

There are many more varied ways of people to communicate now than even ten years ago, let along twenty. It is just representative of the fragmentation of our society, but social media rules when it comes to wargaming. Blogs are good too.

A million markets of dozens rather than a dozen markets of millions and all that.

There are of course still wargames forums out there if that is what floats your boat. Some of them even work 24x7.

Captain Reid20 Nov 2017 10:18 a.m. PST

Forums seem to be set to go the way of yahoo groups.

Facebook makes it much easier to notice and respond to things, especially using pictures, but its great downside is its rather ephemeral nature.

Forums like TMP have a huge wealth of stored knowledge in past threads. These will generally now be easiest found by most folk using google search rather than by searching the forums.

The ancient and creaking structure of the site (seriously, offline for a whole hour every day?) and its notoriety (loads of people don't post here because they regard some users or the management as unnecessarily condescending or difficult) will not help to stave off decline.

Which is a shame as there is some super stuff on here swimming amidst the flotsam and jetsam of spleen and assumed superiority.

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2017 11:01 a.m. PST

I would post more here, but tend to post general wargaming topics on Tabletop Commanders on FB because posting pics is trivial and doesn't require a hosting site. Same for Saga and Napoleonics--TMP just can't compete.

Tango0120 Nov 2017 11:03 a.m. PST

Mick … your feeling are right…If we take into account the number of people who visited each thread from 4 years ago to our days … the fall, according to my statistics, has been 37% … but … with respect to those who wrote something in the threads … the decrease has been 54% … that is, more than half of them no longer participate / have emigrated / have been expelled / etc …

While not in the same amount … in other forums of other languages … the number of people "disappeared" has been very hight too …

It shows a sad tendency …

Amicalement
Armand

MajorB20 Nov 2017 11:18 a.m. PST

Now if I could figure out a way to eliminate the SPAM
I receive from g-mail addresses (including my own, which
is very interesting since I've never created a g-mail
account…)

Gmail is actually very good at dealing with spam … I very rarely get any spam in my Inbox. Gmail detects it and routes it to my Spam folder automatically.

Darrell B D Day20 Nov 2017 11:18 a.m. PST

Still come here every day but…..spend a lot more time on LAF which seems more vibrant, hobby-specific, lively, diverse etc. So, if forums are becoming passť, that's a pity because LAF is a forum.

Given up on Facebook because it throws so much in the way of "suggestions" ads , "memories" and other crap at you that the good stuff become buried in the rubbish.

DBDD

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2017 12:20 p.m. PST

Declining traffic seems to be a feature of Internet forums in general.

I buy a classic car magazine each month, and coincidentally in this month's issue is a column about this very subject. The author says pretty much the same as has been said on this thread. Facebook is taking over, but the downside is that it is more ephemeral and stuff sinks into oblivion.

He concludes that we may be seeing the beginning of the end for the Internet forum…

Mick in Switzerland20 Nov 2017 1:08 p.m. PST

Thank-you everybody – this is very interesting.

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2017 2:50 p.m. PST

I still visit TMP daily but don't seem to spend as much time on it as in the past. A lot of the people who posted threads that I enjoyed and in which I participated don't post much anymore. I joined FB earlier this year. It's…okay. I only login once every couple weeks. There are some nice groups focused on topics near and dear to my heart but they're mostly for eye candy. There's nothing wrong with that. I like eye candy. Nice to see what other folks are doing. But after a little bit, how much of that do I need? Not that much. Over all, I found FB underwhelming.

Pole Bitwy PL Inactive Member20 Nov 2017 3:09 p.m. PST

Wow! Has this site changed in the last dozen years… and most of the whacko cases are still present :D

Haven't visited in ages but will probably drop in more often now that I managed to restore my membership.

It might even be fun !

durecell Inactive Member20 Nov 2017 3:14 p.m. PST

There are quite a few games where the active community is on facebook and this is becoming more common. Facebook has it's problem though. The poor organisation and search makes it hard to find conversations about specific topic. It breaks down with large groups when posting frequency becomes to fast and some groups seem to be dominated by handful of posters who post photos of their painting seemingly after every brushstroke.

Mick the Metalsmith Inactive Member20 Nov 2017 3:57 p.m. PST

I sometimes find the tone from some of those of the obviously Deleted by Moderator in politics become a bit overbearing and has turned me off of many a discussion. I won't even visit modern or ACW sections, I sometimes like to debate but it has gotten wearisome. If Smokey is in the thread, I go elsewhere.

Personal logo Striker Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2017 4:45 p.m. PST

I find forums useful for news and general info for broad audiences but FB is getting more traffic from me because of the focused groups. I can zero in on the subjects and get specific questions answered regarding rules, minis, and scenarios. Sculptors posting in-progress work is also a lure for me. Instead of hoping to hit a site when they post the final product (or kickstarter) the news "comes to me". I do find the style of forum used here is not as useful to me as other forums I'm on.

D A THB20 Nov 2017 4:47 p.m. PST

This is my third post since the lockdown.

Since paid up members thought that it was a good idea I thought, yeah why do I bother?

I have not posted any links to my Blog and suspect that there are others who have done the same.

I gave up reading this forum for weeks at a time but have lately come back daily as I have not found any other forums that fill the gap. I visit Lead Adventure once or twice a week though.

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2017 6:24 p.m. PST

It seems to have slowed a little bit but not by much. Of the places I visit LAF and TWW I like this lay out the best.FB when you get a good set of posts is very good but for the most part it's more superficial. Blogs are good for the eyecandy and more detailed thought process that goes into them but can be sporadic in posting.

I visit here twice a day and rely on it for news and product discussion. I do have a good number of the boards turned off.
I do feel that for all the faults of it's "personality" TMP is the best site for miniature wargaming but with the bug and other technical issues it could become a challenge to use.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian20 Nov 2017 7:00 p.m. PST

If Smokey is in the thread, I go elsewhere.

Smokey is long gone – you didn't miss him? grin

Great War Ace Inactive Member20 Nov 2017 8:31 p.m. PST

I am a multiple times daily denizen of TMP. And I have been doing this (except during DHings, now much more rare, and the once or twice that I was banned) since 2002. LAF has never caught my attention except superficially. No other forum has crossed my plate. I hear about other forums, but the few times I have checked them out they pale compared to TMP.

Yes, fewer postings than in the past. Many people gone. The world moves on. Social media is in a constant flux. Will TMP endure? If it does, it will probably be smaller.

saltflats192920 Nov 2017 8:39 p.m. PST

I was going to comment on this, but changed my mind for personal reasons.

CATenWolde Inactive Member21 Nov 2017 2:44 a.m. PST

Like many veterans of this site, my participation has been on a long and steady decline for many reasons. I only recently discovered the very active world of Facebook groups, and now my first thought to share news (and photos!) or ask questions is to go to Facebook. Easy, quick, focused, none of the accumulated years of TMP crap, and a multi-media friendly system including reply alerts – what's not to like?

As for TMP – I still generate hits for the site by checking various period forum lists to see if new topics are of interest, but it's a rare day now that I take part. It's sad in a way, but not unforeseen.

The hobby still benefits from a central place to dump news, and it would have been nice if TMP could have lived up to the challenge of providing a centralized place for continued discussion, but I think that boat has sailed. I wonder what a 21st century platform focused purely on news and new products would look like?

Mick the Metalsmith Inactive Member21 Nov 2017 9:46 a.m. PST

The lack of ability to subscribe to a folder in a manner such as Consimworld has does make it hard for me to continue to follow up conversations when new posts occur. I don't always remember which interested me after they fall off the first page. Too many totally inane, not even remotely miniatures topics keep popping up on the front page to sift through. (The which side Jefferson topic and the favorite drinking mug are prime examples).


I think more levels of subfolders with subscriptions to follow would make the pages much easier to use and sift through.

teboj1721 Nov 2017 12:53 p.m. PST

I find more and more people are responding to peoples post without really reading the post; are just responding to make themselves feel special or they think they are funny; to just advertise their own product or their favorite. Also people are more hesitant to respond to posts because they fear they will be attacked if their view is different from someone elses.

I also find myself following more Facebook groups. I like being able to get notification if someone else has posted in the same post or responded back to mine.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian21 Nov 2017 9:18 p.m. PST

TMP uses Facebook to promote TMP, and we sometimes advertise there.

As a user of Facebook, I would like all of the TMP followers on FB to receive our updates, but I understand that is not how FB works – you need to pay to 'promote' your posts.

With the advertising, one problem is that FB is not clear about where the 'hits' are going to. Showing an advertisement to a hobby audience is much more useful than showing it to a general audience.

From the other viewpoint, as a FB consumer, I find it very difficult to follow hobby news on FB. I follow nearly all of the miniature companies, but I rarely see their announcements. I sometimes see announcements from hobby groups. But everything is drowned out by posts from friends and relatives and acquaintances.

Gwydion22 Nov 2017 1:02 a.m. PST

I'm not on Facebook but I sometimes am invited by my wife and daughter to look at it. I agree with Bill re wargaming on Facebook- it may all be there but looking for it unless you have somehow plugged into it via another source (a forum – a blog – handwritten invitation on vellum) is difficult. It's like looking for a bit about you particular niche interest in the Sunday Times – it may be there but finding it is a ******!

The nice thing about forums like TMP over the years is that I have idly clicked on a board and a subject I know little about and found a whole new interest – a sort of directed serendipity.

Mick the Metalsmith Inactive Member22 Nov 2017 11:27 a.m. PST

I am a Luddite whereFacebook is concerned. Any pointing to a FB location is ignored. I was not even that fond of yahoo groups or email listings for much the same reasons: snowstorms of boring chaff to sift through to find one kernel of relevance.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2017 7:25 p.m. PST

Mick Metalsmith just explained my reasons too.

Dan

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Nov 2017 7:58 p.m. PST

Tossing in my dos centavos here…

I'm a member of numerous fb groups and sites, and have noticed that almost all of them have the same people, or a good amount anyway.

I'm a member of a lot of yahoo groups and can tell you that with the exception of a few of them, YG activity is all but nil. There are some groups that only have the monthly announcement message going out, and that's it.

I don't come here as much as I used to simply because I don't have the time. My job takes up a LOT of my time, and I am working on actually gaming, and painting figures. Hell, my blog sites are lacking recent updates.

A lot of people (good and bad) are gone. A couple have passed away, some left in a huff, some got mad at Bill, some were banned due to their own antics, and I suspect that 1-2 of them may have been dragged out back and beat with a rubber hose.
I do think that the dust ups with another site, and the whole issue a while back over the editors drove people away quickly. That was a freaking train wreck and tbh, I almost left myself. I was sick of it. Some of the posts were just absolute bs.
I'm also a member of LAF, but go there even less than here.

All in all, as with other site, I think Internet forum activity is way down…going the way of Yahoo Groups, MSN Groups, and old BBS's…(now I am showing my age).

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP23 Nov 2017 3:38 a.m. PST

Historical wargames activity is down. In France a lot of the old timers are simply gone and not replaced, once active clubs or groups have disapeared, shows of note have withered away. For what I can see in Russia the stuff does not grow for language and prices reasons.( plus space in urban lodgings). The new inhabitants of Europe have no connections with what stirred us about history.
That too would impact such a forum.

Elenderil25 Nov 2017 1:12 p.m. PST

I don't visit as frequently as I used to because of real life getting busy. The bug hasn't hit me too much but I find the image posting a pain in the proverbial. I would post more if there was an easier way to post photos. Like others I find FB good for 6mm groups and the ease of posting images means I have posted things there I haven't posted here. On the plus side TMP is easier to search and dispite many of the old hands leaving there is a wealth of good advice available.

Gone Fishing26 Nov 2017 7:55 a.m. PST

Gwydion, that is a superb post. Very well said. I must remember that phrase, "directed serendipity."

Mick and Murphy make excellent points also. This has been an excellent discussion all round, though a little sad.

Barin127 Nov 2017 4:25 a.m. PST

I wasn't a big fan of Facebook for years, but found some very nice crafting and company- or game-specific groups. Generally it is easier to use, you get notifications, it is more active than a lot of forums I've used to frequent. I've seen that the same happening to music forums, and lot of other boards. New age is coming, and you'll have to adapt.
I still check some boards here, but I definitely see less activity than before.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2017 9:07 a.m. PST

Barin1: "New age is coming, and you'll have to adapt."

That sounds a lot like all the times I've been told "get with the program" or "this will happen, with or without you".*

What's sad is that the "age" we are entering into is one in which people are so incredibly preoccupied with the absolute very latest thing, that most previous things are immediately tossed aside as if they had a use-by date on them. It's an ADHD age, a Groundhog Day loop age, the Dory age, where the wheel is constantly being re-invented for no practical reason (change is only good when there's a reason for it), and the same questions are asked and half-answered every few days, before the topic is considered too old to be discussed fully.

Add to that the fact that everyone nowadays thinks they deserve to have their questions answered directly, without sifting through the answers given to others before them, including solidly good replies to people in groups they think they have nothing in common with, and you have a perfect storm scenario for idiocy.

I think it was Einstein who, just a couple of decades ago, said it best … "I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction, the world will have a generation of idiots."
link

Dan
* I believe some people have already figured out how to use that get-with-the-program "fish school" thinking to their advantage (meaning, against us).

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Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2017 1:23 p.m. PST

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Legion 427 Nov 2017 3:10 p.m. PST

Einstein once again was correct !

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2017 3:21 p.m. PST

I love Einstein. And his new quotes are even better than the old stuff we had to read back in college. :)

Dan
PS. It's awesome being part of the safe and carefree sheep herd, until it's time to compete with the descendants of wolves.

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