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Members past and present

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:38 pm
by Don Satchley
I miss seeing posts here from the likes of Alistair (or was it Alisdair), Bent Halo, Robin Carmody, Penfold et al to name a few. The forum has gone increasingly quiet over the last 5 years or so. I think some have migrated over exclusively to Roobarbs (I have an account in both places) but some prolific posters seem to have vanished, which is a shame as their posts were often very insightful. I think Ian Wegg is still here hopefully but I think a few of us ourselves have become less frequent posters since the lull as we were probably encouraged by the posting of others. Mark is the exception bless him, soldiering on with multiple posts per visit. I am not trying to make a point with this post, just expressing a sadness I guess that the forum is not what it once was, through no one's fault that I am aware of. I hope that a major contributor hasn't been death of members but sometimes that thought has occurred to me (as Roger Moore might say). Anyway, I think I will try to contribute more here in future as I have found it a great site over the years.
Take care

Re: Members past and present

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:18 pm
by stearn
The first three are all still active, but elsewhere, I don't know about Penfold. Twitter, Facebook etc. have all replaced a more static forum like this for the ease of general chat, but nothing quite matches a static forum for reference and research.

Of course, the glory days of not being able to keep up with archive TV releases on DVD have gone now, and the availability of reference material has exploded with the likes of BBC Genome, various digital newspaper archives, and Google street view, which you put to great use. There is also only so much you can discuss about a subject before there is repetition, so we have reached natural ends in many cases.

Sadly the majority of new sign-ups either haven't grasped what the forum is about and don't stay long (or are nuked) or are sleeper spammers (nuked).

Re: Members past and present

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:51 am
by murphy1961
I’m on Facebook, although I’m not overly keen on it, you do have to wade through a lot of muck to find the good stuff, and often there is no good stuff to be found. Even in specialised Facebook pages dedicated to television subjects it can be very trying. Facebook (and Twitter I guess – I’m not on that one) have their place, but I generally prefer forums like this and others.

I am or was on a forum for Brian Clemens Thriller and whilst even in the good-old-days it never got a huge amount of traffic, it’s lucky to get one or two posts a month now – and that’s probably being very kind – but that is dedicated to one (fairly minor) show, although there are a couple of other side-sections. Just one of those sign-of-the-times things with social media, and also people I think are running out of things to say, as a lot of it relates to archival television. So much has already been said and done.

Re: Members past and present

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 5:49 pm
by Nigel Stapley
I think it's just that internet habits have changed down the years. I remember the heyday of Usenet and how, for instance, used to have so many posts in a day that it was often difficult to keep up. Now, there may be no more than twenty or thirty 'legit' posts in a whole year.

With the coming of Tw!tter, Faecesbook and the rest, the opportunities for (near-) instant communication have become almost limitless (which is one of the reasons that I don't 'do' any of them). However, I'm with stearn in thinking that fora such as these are better for more considered communication and for reference and permanance.

Which is why I still call in here at least once a day.

Re: Members past and present

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:16 pm
by AndrewP
I try to look in every day or two because there's often somebody saying something interesting or worthwhile. I probably post less than I used to because I think I've generally got less to say. I try to keep an eye on Roobarb's as well where there's some people often posting interesting stuff - but I seldom log on so I don't often see a lot of the more involved discussion there.

A *lot* of fora have gone quiet with a general shift towards Twitter and Facebooks (neither of which I really use); and I get that, because I think that they're probably both more flexible platforms in some respects. Twitter I can *just* about follow... but trying to navigate Facebook is something I equate to nailing mercury.

From my perspective though, I think it's probably just that I either have less to say - or less time to say it in. I still like the forum... but with some of my research recently it's fitted better into other projects (as it turns out, dabbling with blogs has turned out to be quite fun - a sentence which I never thought I'd find myself typing).

Certainly, the fact that there is *so* much to watch now means that we no longer have that commonality of discussion - indeed, I was discussing this on the phone today with one of my oldest friends (who is *still* doing brilliant research into a whole lot of old shows some 36 years after we first met and started to work together).

But there's still some very nice stuff posted here and I very much enjoy my visits. And if I come across something which I think others may enjoy too, I always try to post it here.

Anyway, hope everyone is safe and well.

All the best


Re: Members past and present

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 7:11 am
by Ian Wegg
Most of my online interaction these days is through Facebook Groups. The advantage of Facebook is that it is a "push" mechanism, everything from the subjects you follow is aggregated into your feed. I am currently a member of 62 Facebook groups and I get to see the posts from each one as they occur. This is much more convenient than having to visit 62 forums on a regular basis to see if there is anything new.

The downside of Facebook is that it is very much ephemeral. Although in theory posts are stored indefinitely, retrieving old information is not easy. A consequence of that is that it tends to get repetitive. Even active threads very quickly become circular as Facebook focusses on the most recent contributions.

I do still come here at least once a day to catch up and I value the community, but I'm afraid I think it's inevitable that all forums will eventually slip into history. Shame.

Re: Members past and present

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:27 am
by Brian F
I look in here every day and have the site's "New Posts" bookmarked for speed.

Re: Members past and present

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:27 am
by Mark
I think it's still a fantastic forum, it is a shame it's not as a busy as it once was, but I always find everyone's views and opinions very interesting to read and even if Archive TV remains a niche subject, it's still important to try and keep the interest going.

With sat channels starting to show more of the classics again, it will hopefully get more people talking about them.

Re: Members past and present

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:24 pm
by Tim D
I think there are still quite a few of us here lurking from the early days of archive television on the internet. I tend to dip in a few times a week and have a read, but I rarely post these days unless there's something I feel is worth sharing.

I remember around 1995-96 it was possible to start the internet's only website for most of the classic archive television programmes. The Meldrum Home Page was another enjoyable haunt.

So much has changed since those days of blurry multi-generation VHS dubs of British television culled from Australian television repeats or the occasional 16mm print recorded from a wonky projector screen or dining room wall. While things have improved greatly over the last few decades for fans of archive television, I do miss that magical feeling of discovering a 'new' series from a VHS tape.

Re: Members past and present

Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:34 pm
by fatcat
I seem to recall in the early days the traffic was incredibly lively, with many contributors very passionate about something or other which often led to a few threads going up in flames LOL. I am sure admin must have been a bit of a nightmare? Then it seemed literally over night everything seemed to calm down and it became much like it is today, many of the outspoken contributors and even Mr Wolf himself seemed to disappear off the board, so no idea what happened at that particular point?
I had expected we would continue to hear elsewhere on the net from former contributors like 'Cheeseford' but they are all a memory now too.

But as TD implied, its quite amazing that up and till around the last years of the 20th Century the majority of those programmes from the long past were well forgotten
and for example I had wondered if Space Patrol had just been a distorted Gerry Anderson memory rather than an actual programme.With these forums suddenly the fog cleared and the old gems became apparent.

Re: Members past and present

Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:49 pm
by Brock
fatcat wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:34 pm
I had expected we would continue to hear elsewhere on the net from former contributors like 'Cheeseford' but they are all a memory now too.
He's still active on Twitter.

Re: Members past and present

Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:35 pm
by stearn
He also wrote an excellent biography of Ken Dodd last year and is working on his next book.

Re: Members past and present

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:39 am
by Razor Eddie
My impression is that folks seemed to drift away after a forum upgrade a few years ago, but I know from my own websites that traffic to real person run pages has dwindled significantly over the last 5-6 years; the big social sites like Facebook plus Wikipedia suck up content and eyeballs and for most people those sites provide all they care to know.

I know lots of hobbyists who ran do-it-yourself fan sites have given up working on them as they resent seeing their content copy and pasted into the "collaborative" mega sites. The world wide web ain't what it used to be...

Re: Members past and present

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:40 pm
by stearn
So true. I gave up researching for my own site for two reasons. The first was the content was just ripped off and passed off by others as theirs, and the second was review copies of things like DVDs, books, and audio dried up overnight, with the emphasis on promotion through social media. Without those things popping through the letterbox, I couldn't keep the site fresh and there was no way I could afford to buy everything just to give free promotion. At one point I was also able to earn a little bit through commission on Amazon sales. Amazon slowly eroded any benefits from that, so the few quid that I would make over a 6 month period, and promptly spend on things I hadn't been sent, disappeared and my purchases dropped.

Website cost money to run (as does this forum). Social media is far reaching, can get the advertising, and offers access for free because it wants all your personal details to sell on. The idea of paying for membership of something is anathema to most people who use the web - it is seen a free, and the contents are valued in exactly the same way,

We did have a huge problem with spam, so closed membership for a while. Membership is open again now, but I am probably dealing with 10 spam applications for every one who might be genuine. One who looked genuine, and was certainly an actual person, obviously didn't understand what the forum covered and made a long succession of irrelevant posts before being politely removed.

This is another problem with the web - people believe they are instant experts. They've downloaded all the shows from torrents, they've skim read wikipedia, and they'll post loads and loads in a short space of time to back up their claim to being experts, then either get bored, or shouted down when they are found out, and bugger off to do something else. For those of us who survived for years on scraps of information, nth gen video copies of shows, and the occasional broadcast at an event, it is part of our DNA. I welcome new blood, new perspectives, and new information, but in the 'look at me' generation we now have, very few want to actually contribute, they just want an audience.

Re: Members past and present

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:57 pm
by Brock
stearn wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:40 pm
This is another problem with the web - people believe they are instant experts.
Well I suppose I'm one of those "instant experts", although it's taken me many years to become one!

Almost everything I post here is taken from memory, but the resources available on the internet nowadays are so good that I can generally rely on them to back up my memory. Unlike yourself and some other posters here, I don't have access to a huge library of newspapers and other archive material. I'm still pretty confident that most of the stuff I post here is accurate, though of course I do make mistakes like anyone else (and am happy to be corrected).

I admit that Genome has made my life a hell of a lot easier. If only there were an equivalent for ITV!

Re: Members past and present

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:17 pm
by stearn
Not quite the same as what I meant.

I have experienced people suck gbs of data from a torrent site and suddenly pitch themselves as a researcher (and wanting to swap material, compare notes etc.) In fact, the reason I am involved with this forum is because my site had been cut and paste onto another (along with a few other specialist sites) and the person involved wasn't satisfied with that, they tried to get themselves installed as the reviewer for my site (to get the freebies) and decided to claim I had stolen tapes from their Dad to ruin my reputation with posts here and on other boards - even one I ran myself at the time! It all stopped when ll the information was passed to the police!

Apart from my physical collections of Radio Times and TVTimes, the majority of the other publications are through subscriptions - anyone can pay their money if they want.

BTW, there is an ITV version of Genome, of a sorts. The London TVTimes was digitised by Bournemouth University and the results were made available via the BUFVC. Individual Researchers can subscribe (I think it was around £150 plus VAT) and that would cover TVTimes from 1955 to March 1985 and then TRILT, which is digital listings, from around 2000 IIRC. Like all hobbies, it comes down to how much you want to spend. Me? I'd rather spend a few hundred on subscriptions to archives than a seat on some football terrace!