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What is going wrong with the Forum?
11 January 2023
7.40pm
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Sea Belt
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That’s cool that the site owner, Joe, weighed in with such a long and thoughtful commentary. I gave the example of Paltalk chat, and I could also cite the example of Twitter where I have been quite active for some 2 years now. On Paltalk, there are some rooms there with 50 to 100 people who are all actively participating, and so my appetite for having vibrant discussion among many people is satisfied on merely a numerical level, but amusingly I have to say most of the time the quality is so abysmal it’s almost not worth it. Similarly for Twitter there’s plenty of participation going on, however, on Twitter there’s almost zero ongoing discussion between people. It just seems odd that on the internet with millions of people as a potential pool to draw from, that It’s So Hard to find any kind of a platform or venue where there’s ongoing discussion, which can range all the way from the respectful but fruitful disagreement & debate, to the silly or abusive, but has a middle range where one must expect — and allow — a little of both in order for a viable center to thrive, in my humble opinion.

I just don’t think there’s any good logical reason to suppress flow of conversation outside of the clear extreme examples of death threats, doxing, repeated abusive speech. One also has to take the structure and nature of the venue into account. For example, on this forum you have an architecture of many different sections, and then within those sections many different subsections, then within that, many different topics. Given that overall architecture, it doesn’t make sense to me to treat one of those little areas of topic within the vast complex beehive of the forum itself, as if it’s somehow threatening and dominating the entire forum. It’s just one cubbyhole within a vast array of cubbyholes organized into different sections. So if inside one of those little cubbyholes called “Paul is dead” a couple of people start posting a lot of stuff that seems wacky or weird or otherwise annoying and they keep on going, it’s not like their activity in that little cubbyhole is spilling out over the whole forum and infecting the whole forum like a poison gas. Reasonable people who don’t like their activity can just ignore particular cubbyhole (or if they had the stamina and patience they could articulate some counter arguments — not to try to persuade those theorists because they’re probably beyond persuasion, but just for the record), and proceed to be active in the hundreds of other honeycombed cubbyholes of the forum. 

Now today I find, you have changed your mind

12 January 2023
12.39am
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Ron Nasty
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The trouble is that they don’t stay cubbyholes when active, @Sea Belt, they become advertisements for the forum content by appearing in the list of the most recent posts on the home page and forum page. And if, as you suggest, reasonable people ignore those conversations because they know from experience the wall they are banging their head against, it creates the impression that Forumpudlians do not disagree with the opinions being put forward. And when reasonable people do disagree to show it is not a widely believed opinion on the forum, say on the PiD conspiracy theory, as you used it as an example, the conversation can get ugly very quickly, which is also discouraging to those looking in on the forum to see if they want to join and participate.

Having such threads open is a no-win situation.

And, @Neely, your posts have been fine, as others have said, and please don’t think you should only post about The Beatles and nothing else. Joe accepts there is a social element to the forum, and that is part of what makes it work. If Joe wanted no non-Beatles conversation at all he would have just locked the All Together Now section completely, while being annoyed at most of his mods for joining in with it. Please continue to contribute to those threads.

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12 January 2023
12.40pm
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meanmistermustard
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The aim is to try and find a balance so the forum retains the community element but ensures that the focus at the heart of the forum is the Beatles, it is a Beatles forum after all. No one will complain if there are discussions about other stuff but at one time people would come on and find Beatle-related topics were heavily buried under so much of that other stuff, it was Beatles+. Joe has spend years creating this site, it seems a shame and a bit disrespectful (tho admittedly not intended to do so) to then take the forum and make it into a place to discuss so much else whilst ignoring the actual intent – that’s certainly my view point.

If anyone does think a useful topic could be added to ATN then suggest it to the Joe/the mods but realistically most of the open topics do allow for a wide range of posts, but if someone wants a deep discussion on the merits of 18th century poetry it’s maybe better to look elsewhere on the net than try and get a thread created for it here.

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15 January 2023
3.00pm
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Tony Japanese
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In the mid-2000s, I was a regular contributor to another music forum. I have never known a place with that kind of buzz before. The community was close-nit, thriving and you could easily spend hours there every evening talking to like-minded fans – especially between 2005 and 2008. I was also at university, free of any responsibility and work (mostly). The place, as lively as it was, suffered the same fate as a lot of dedicated band forums and declined in popularity as Facebook, Twitter etc gained traction. It was closed down completely last year, I’d stopped posting ten years before, and the most recent posts in different topic areas could go back as far as 2014.

I mentioned the Steve Hoffman forum earlier. I wanted to find out more information about the Revolver Special Edition box-set, but the speed at which the thread moved was overwhelming and made it impossible to keep up with. These days I am no longer at university, free of responsibility or work. I am an occasional poster on this forum because that’s what works for me.

This is the only other dedicated band forum I have ever registered with. Considering the band it caters for split up over fifty years ago, it’s perhaps difficult for people talk about anything that hasn’t been discussed before. There are no new singles to look forward to, no new albums to dissect. I sometimes wonder whether focusing on a particular topic for a Eight Days A Week could stimulate conversations. I noticed the Steve Hoffman forum has a lot of song-by-song threads, which I found interesting and entertaining and would welcome that kind of discussion here – everyone talking about one song per day, from ‘That’ll Be The Day’ to ‘Real Love ‘.

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15 January 2023
6.50pm
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Sea Belt
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Well one big factor I think is difference in temperament among people. I seem to be a kind of person who likes controversy and likes to argue and even if I get annoyed by someone else in the argument I consider that just part of the fray, and see the overall context as an atmosphere that helps make ongoing discussion thrive and interesting, certainly more so than no commentary or response at all (see my postings with no responses in the songs category, recording and musicology, John lennon, and Ringo about his drumming, and many others, far more than have received responses), or bland commentary like “boy I really like that album of Paul’s!” Or “Paul was playing great in that concert in 2014!” If that’s the sum of the content it’s not that interesting. Other than that, there are occasional postings where somebody provides some interesting or useful data about the Beatles, and that’s cool, but it’s not really conducive to discussion or conversation, it’s just stuff that one could find anywhere on the internet.

Just as with Twitter, I realize that this forum really isn’t a place for conversation! Sure there have been moments here and there in the last 3 months I’ve been here where the conversation starts and goes on for two or three postings, but if we were to metaphorically compare conversation with a cozy yet roaring fire in a fireplace that lasts all night, the fits and starts of conversation here are like a sputtering Bic lighter that’s running out of oil.

Now today I find, you have changed your mind

19 January 2023
4.29am
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Expert Textpert
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It was super busy 6 or 7 years ago and there was a mass exodus of youngsters who didn’t really discuss The Beatles all that much when the forum owner started locking pointless threads.

Those people have their own place they post now I guess and only come back here occasionally.

I would be happy to have conversations if anyone were interested in discussing the things I find interesting.

It seems like most of the discussion these days is Paul related.

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19 January 2023
4.59am
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Sea Belt
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@Expert Textpert 

I think most people tend to gravitate to discussions that reflect their interests. That’s why I said earlier that the more people you have, the more likely discussions will spark up and then maybe last for a while, just by the sheer numbers because for one thing, there will be more people likely to connect with any given interest some other person posts. I think Joe invoked some principle or “law” about 1% or something, that if you have a thousand people only 1% of them is really going to be active. That may be I don’t know, I’m not so sure it’s some kind of law of nature. I really think the main factor here at Fab Forum currently is just there’s not a big pool of people coming through here, and even worse, of that small pool I think many just drift through on an odd Thursday, take a look at what’s here, maybe read a couple of postings, and then go “Yeah. I got nothing to say.” — and move on to other things in their life.

Now today I find, you have changed your mind

21 January 2023
4.22am
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Expert Textpert
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Sea Belt said
@Expert Textpert 

I think most people tend to gravitate to discussions that reflect their interests. That’s why I said earlier that the more people you have, the more likely discussions will spark up and then maybe last for a while, just by the sheer numbers because for one thing, there will be more people likely to connect with any given interest some other person posts. I think Joe invoked some principle or “law” about 1% or something, that if you have a thousand people only 1% of them is really going to be active. That may be I don’t know, I’m not so sure it’s some kind of law of nature. I really think the main factor here at Fab Forum currently is just there’s not a big pool of people coming through here, and even worse, of that small pool I think many just drift through on an odd Thursday, take a look at what’s here, maybe read a couple of postings, and then go “Yeah. I got nothing to say.” — and move on to other things in their life.

  

That’s pretty much what I do. I’d be all for a discussion about John’s oedipal complex, his bisexuality, the possibility that he was assassinated by a Manchurian candidate programmed by the CIA, or the conspiracy theory that all four Beatles were replaced with body doubles.

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Sea Belt

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21 January 2023
4.46am
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Sea Belt
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@Expert Textpert 

This is the nefarious man behind it all (in the middle in disguise)

bb23.jpgImage Enlarger

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Now today I find, you have changed your mind

25 January 2023
1.53pm
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Ahhh Girl
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@Sea Belt and @Expert Textpert, feel free to discuss these topics in the various threads we have for them. Just be prepared that it just may end up being you two talking to one another. I just can’t guarantee others will be interested. 

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2 November 2023
9.20pm
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sir walter raleigh
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Theres a beauty and a sadness that Ron Nasty isn’t here for the release of Now And Then , the forum is as active as I’ve seen in years. All the Beatles had to do was drop new music and it breathes new life into the forum. I have gone through extended periods of inactivity, and then come back after a while. Anyways Ron is in my thoughts still on the lovely day where we get to hear this release. 

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3 November 2023
12.06pm
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Timothy
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Agreed. I’m loving the forum being more active again. The song has done its job for me and it seems apparent with everyone else. What a great tribute to Ron Nasty with that happening. 

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3 November 2023
11.25pm
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meanmistermustard
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Until the ‘NAT’ announcement last week little has been happening in the Beatles or solo worlds for a while which I would imagine means less traffic and less discussion. 

 

We could discuss Paul’s archive collection. 

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10 April 2024
3.28pm
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LucyInTheSkyWithHackneyDiamonds
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I must bring Ron Nasty’s point up again this April 2024. It seems only about 1-2 (or none) posts are made a day, and no admins active for about a week or two. I think the Beatles craze is being phased out of history, and they are just another piece of the 20th century.

10 April 2024
6.24pm
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Timpetus
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Interesting thread – first time I’ve seen it.

For me personally, I love this site! It is my favorite Beatles resource! I have been a member for 6 years and I visit almost daily to check new comments, forum threads, song of the day, etc., but my forum post count is only like 20, lol. I have an irrational insecurity where my mind says “Why would people with more knowledge than me care about what I have to say”. I know this is silly, but it is why I am mainly a lurker. I wonder how many people feel similarly…

Props to Joe, The Mods, and people who keep the conversations going. I can’t imagine posting 1000 times, much less 20000+ as some people, but if more engagement keeps the site relevant, then I would want to do whatever I can to help – including posting more.

john-lennon-salute_gif

PS – I tell any anyone I know that is interested in The Beatles about this site!

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11 April 2024
12.28am
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Sea Belt
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Timpetus said

my mind says “Why would people with more knowledge than me care about what I have to say”. I know this is silly, but it is why I am mainly a lurker. I wonder how many people feel similarly…
  

I often feel that and hesitate before posting — then my “What the hell” principle kicks in, and it’s bombs away…

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Now today I find, you have changed your mind

11 April 2024
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LucyInTheSkyWithHackneyDiamonds said
I must bring Ron Nasty’s point up again this April 2024. It seems only about 1-2 (or none) posts are made a day, and no admins active for about a week or two. I think the Beatles craze is being phased out of history, and they are just another piece of the 20th century.

  

Hello. 

I try to check in daily but my job is in Social Care where I can work multiple days of 13 – 14 hour shifts. I also don’t believe in posting for postings sake, if there is something to say or ramble on about I will but I’m ok being quiet (“I’ve got nothing to say but it’s ok”).

The forum is ultimately what people make it. Post away, keeping it all within the rules, and it will keep ticking along. Some days/weeks are busier depending on many factors.

Ron’s passing was a massive loss tho, that does need to be noted. He brought a lot to the forum and I don’t think such a contribution can be replicated.

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12 April 2024
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Timothy
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LucyInTheSkyWithHackneyDiamonds said
I must bring Ron Nasty’s point up again this April 2024. It seems only about 1-2 (or none) posts are made a day, and no admins active for about a week or two. I think the Beatles craze is being phased out of history, and they are just another piece of the 20th century.

  

Nope. The Beatles will never be forgotten. We just have busy lives and post when we can, or when a thought about a particular part of the band comes to us. Even if I’m not posting I’m still checking in here. I love this place.

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16 April 2024
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Ahhh Girl
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I’ve had my hands full taking care of Ahhh Mom after her surgery on her broken hip. That’s why I’ve been off the Forum for a few days. 

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