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VintageBMX.com > BMX NOW > BMX Racing
FaithBMX
I used to really enjoy the hearty discussions on this and other forums which seem to be drying up to a trickle.
I've asked before and was told that other social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are replacing forums.
I just don't see how this is happening. How robust of a conversation can you have by just posting short "comments" to posts on decentralized social media accounts?
How do you go back and look at an older conversation? You'd have to remember whose page it was on and then scroll through until you find it.
Is it symptomatic of our society? Is everything just disposable and on to the next disposable thing?
I enjoy the instantaneous nature of social media, but I prefer a centralized archive and in depth discussions.
Why can't we have both?
supercross
Hey Carl,

I agree the new way of Social Media is perfect for the quick bits of disposable material, but not what you want for a good conversation. I wish the Forums could roar alive again, but I guess that is like asking for Cro-mo Frames and Flat Pedals to make a comeback. ( J/K )

I think that peoples attention span has gotten too short.

But it would be great to have both, I would love to see the forums active again.

Have a great day!!

Bill
thebondtrader55
To participate in a real discussion you have to have a point and be able to support it.

In much of today's stuff a point isn't necessary and you don't have to support it. A zinger and BAM! - you're gone. Back to safety.

One thing that my college time taught me was the difference between having a stupid opinion and having a well thought out argument.

Wow, I had two profs that if you threw out a dumb, ignorant, opinion only zinger in place of a well thought out, verifiable, well researched argument - well- they'd just destroy you right in front of the whole class.

That punitive punishment is whats missing in a lot of the modern communication forms.
MikeCarruth
I think there will be room for both to co-exist. The software is evolving now to better enable forum discussions on social media (post a thread, and it automagically goes to FB as a post, and FB comments feed back to the forum, and vice-versa). The software has been evolving quickly--so fast that I have started the upgrade several times, only to see the version I was upgrading to passed by a new version.

It won't happen as organically as it once did--forum operators like me will have to work much harder to bring participation in (not just passive readers). But the good news is that when they come, they will come with bigger diversity, and from new places. And we have 33,000 members who have participated in the past that we can invite back to join the fun. I'm more-than-willing to work hard to build the participation.

For something like BMX, a forum like this is so important to preserve the history of discussion, and to allow a central place to come and continue discussions that are so important to maintaining and growing the sport.

Over the past week or so, there have been a few FB discussions that were of interest to me, I commented in the post, and later tried to find them again--nope not even with FB search could they be found. So, it really is like speaking into an empty room. If people want their opinions heard, I would think they would like them heard now, and forever.


There's a lot we can--and will--do to bring Vintage into the social era. For years, I have been shy about downtime, software updates and that kind of thing, but we are at a place now that I think we can pull it off efficiently and effectively. I have one more week on the road, and I am stoked to get home to start that plan in motion.

Best,

M
g-mo
Are you searching in your activity log on FB? Sometimes things won't show in the main search due to privacy settings.
MikeCarruth
No because, truth be told, I don't care all THAT much. I guess that makes me one of those lazy Facebook users that I always curse.

Thanks for the tip though...gonna put that away for a rainy day.
JMLVMI
You would think a place like this would be buzzing with BMX moms/dads looking for info/experience/opinions on making their kids faster. The number of groups I'm in on FB that have "What size cranks should i be running?" posts daily is ridiculous. Facebook is not the place for that.
BMX56
QUOTE (MikeCarruth @ Feb 23 2016, 02:51 PM) *
I think there will be room for both to co-exist. The software is evolving now to better enable forum discussions on social media (post a thread, and it automagically goes to FB as a post, and FB comments feed back to the forum, and vice-versa). The software has been evolving quickly--so fast that I have started the upgrade several times, only to see the version I was upgrading to passed by a new version.

It won't happen as organically as it once did--forum operators like me will have to work much harder to bring participation in (not just passive readers). But the good news is that when they come, they will come with bigger diversity, and from new places. And we have 33,000 members who have participated in the past that we can invite back to join the fun. I'm more-than-willing to work hard to build the participation.

For something like BMX, a forum like this is so important to preserve the history of discussion, and to allow a central place to come and continue discussions that are so important to maintaining and growing the sport.

Over the past week or so, there have been a few FB discussions that were of interest to me, I commented in the post, and later tried to find them again--nope not even with FB search could they be found. So, it really is like speaking into an empty room. If people want their opinions heard, I would think they would like them heard now, and forever.


There's a lot we can--and will--do to bring Vintage into the social era. For years, I have been shy about downtime, software updates and that kind of thing, but we are at a place now that I think we can pull it off efficiently and effectively. I have one more week on the road, and I am stoked to get home to start that plan in motion.

Best,

M


One thing you could do is make this site more accessible across different devices.
Its perfect on 20 inch screen not so on my wife's mobile phone.
bnd
I can go back to May 2004 on my site and see posts and threads. We have access to thousands of posts in two clicks. I've been grinding it out on our local site since 99' and I can count on both hands how many people have been active posters over the years.

It's a labor of love and I've taken it upon myself to preserve the history of our sport in our state.
It's a tough gig for sure. Couple that with people being too lazy to take the time to actually write something down vs clicking a "like" button......it's no contest.

b.
John De Bruin
QUOTE (MikeCarruth @ Feb 23 2016, 08:51 PM) *
...a forum like this is so important to preserve the history of discussion...


Conversely Mike, I disagree with the value of this. I believe it is a quick and rash conclusion to say that much of the previous content on this site was "valuable". Some if it is, sure...but most (probably 95%) is a combination of speculation not based on facts, misinformation altogether that creates inaccurate history, stories that evolved into truths, opinions that have no value or validity beyond the moment they were voiced, and of course some of it is chump talk that shows the worst side of everyone. And this should be saved for "historical" value?

FB rules b/c of 3 things: 1. no hiding behind screen names (people tend to think more before they speak), 2. everyone has greater control of content, 3. and it IS more like casual face-to-face conversation that goes in one ear and out the other...(unlike forums where it is saved for "historical" reasons).

IMHO, the future would be something that moves closer to a face-to-face conversation. You actually get to know the other people.

I know I've said this before (sorry) but when you took over the site I made 2 suggestions on that suggestion thread and they still hold true to what's trending today: 1. remove post counts and status based on post counts to remove elitist mentality, 2. no hiding behind screen names (FB is built entirely around this, so the value can't be denied). Additionally helpful (especially in our small sport to help get to know people that you might also bump into at races) would be a required profile photo of yourself. Heck, maybe you even tie it together with the USABMX membership # behind the scenes. Keeps the riff-raff out, and why would you want that here anyways?

There still really is no single social web site specific for today's BMX racing, which absolutely amazes me. IMHO I would archive this entire site and start fresh with a new platform. I would also keep it simple, yet very targeted (today's racing only). My $.02
MikeCarruth
QUOTE (John De Bruin @ Feb 24 2016, 10:13 AM) *
Conversely Mike, I disagree with the value of this.


LOL, Imagine my shock biggrin.gif

John, it is neither a quick nor a rash conclusion that the forums here have historical significance. I see the search history, both externally and within the site, and there is no question that thousands of people around the world come here on a daily basis for their taste of BMX as it no longer exists. That tracks back to the 70s and 80s, or as recently as 2011.

Yes, there were a lot of "monkeys throwing feces" moments over the years, there's no denying that. But there are also thousands of threads that have real meaning. Longtime buddies are re-connected here, friends are buried and remembered here. Passions reignited and the first win trophies of the next generation are posted here. The entirety of the end of the NBL and emergence of USA BMX is documented here--from hundreds of perspectives. Those perspectives may not be important to you, but they are to me, and to the community as a whole. Frankly I need to do more to push those discussions back to the top.

All user-generated media is made up exclusively of perspectives from those users. Some you may agree with and others you may dismiss as "chump talk," but that's the nature of the written word. Even "old-fashioned" encyclopedias are written from the perspective of a human being, with his or her own world views "tainting" the soup.

You raise-up social media, and say "most (probably 95%) (of this site) is a combination of speculation not based on facts, misinformation altogether that creates inaccurate history, stories that evolved into truths, opinions that have no value or validity beyond the moment they were voiced" -- put that statement in front of a mirror, and see that this is precisely what Social is as well. There is no escaping the views and opinions of the everyman. I like that fact, but if it's not your flavor of tea, I respect that as well.

This website will be here for a long time to come, and I welcome continuation of the discussion of what's wrong with it.


Best,

M
FaithBMX
Thank God for speculation, opinion, and evolved half truth history.
Can you imagine how boring a conversation would be if everyone had the exact same opinion?

It seems, though, that is what our society is coming to.
How many times do you see on FB, "If you disagree with my idea then unfriend me now." or "If you agree with so and so I'm unfriending you."
We are no longer a society that values diversity of thought.
We'd rather belong to a mutual admiration society where everyone in your circle of friends agrees with you and tells you how wonderful you are. Fragile egos at play here.

My participation in discussions on vintage are one of the most rewarding aspects of my 33 BMX career.
Elvis
The reasons for the shift away from forums are both social and technical: Social media is ultimately self-casting, and self-casting is micro-blogging on a distributed platform.

Micro-blogging is all but purpose-built for smart phones, and smart phones are ubiquitous. Note not just that the number and length of posts shifted, but what was posted about changed as well. Don't think it's an accident that the winds shifted on forum posts about the time smart phones became ubiquitous, and don't think it's an accident social media became a thing about the same time.

Now one can make promotional posts about whatever, including themselves (don't think it's an accident that "personal brand" is now a thing, either) and have utter control over the conversation. Then there was a need for consensus, now if someone doesn't agree you can delete them. Plus the smart phone micro-blogging environment gives you a wider audience. With the new tech more people are online now.

The trouble is, this gives you more information to absorb at any given moment, so short pieces with fewer words are preferred. Another death blow for consensus-conversation.

It's not the end of the world (after all, we're having a convo here) but it does show the social change technology can bring, and how that social change can utterly uproot communication. History abounds with examples of this.





(Aside: The name thing, real v. screen, is a huge deal, with both positive and negative consequence. It's really a subject unto itself, but ultimately it has very little to do with the stickiness of the forum environment. The forum environment, ultimately, is what's to do with the forum environment. The technical environment changed to make access to social media easier, and that same change made social media a more viable environment to express oneself. )


John De Bruin


FWIW, I didn't say shut it down. I said archive it.

The reality of the situation is that classic forum sites are not the places where people go to participate with online content today. I don't disagree with what you are saying, but everything you say is about the past. I envision something to leapfrog to the next "thing" for the future.

You know my domain...and I have thought about this a lot. If I was in your business or had the time, I would have implemented it already. But it's not a priority for me. I genuinely hope it's you, MC, who brings us the next big thing where we can all hang out on a daily basis in large numbers again.

Anyways, just one guys opinion. Take it or leave it, and feel free to look back on it 10 years from now. smile.gif
BMX56
QUOTE (John De Bruin @ Feb 24 2016, 10:13 AM) *
There still really is no single social web site specific for today's BMX racing, which absolutely amazes me. IMHO I would archive this entire site and start fresh with a new platform. I would also keep it simple, yet very targeted (today's racing only). My $.02


I've been calling for this for over 5 years.
This site is poor on image content and how linked info is inserted.

I just posted on this site
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread....98#post34099695
for some info, see at the bottom how the video is inserted.
thebondtrader55
Well...

I guess I disagree that tech is the reason for this little slow period. Don't beat yourself up Mike, theres nothing structurally wrong with the site. It's plenty usable just as it is.

1. This sport is veryyyyy small. And has been for a very long time.

2. Bike buildup is essentially the same as its always been. A bicycle is the same as it was 20 years ago by and large. Once its setup is complete its done. New things are offered each year but it takes about 30 minutes to digest it. A ton of whats offered is, frankly, reinventing the wheel. or nothing more than variations of color schemes.

3. Nothing ever really changes that much. And there is a large contingent that is perfectly happy with that. Elvis says, repeatedly, that "throwing money at the problem won't fix it." Well if someone doesn't throw money at it I have no idea how anythings ever going to change.

4. We are mostly driven by the same people that have been on here for years. Or we are driven by people who are just passing through in a quick way. Neither bodes well for sites or a sport looking for long term success.

Oh well, what are ya gonna do.
FaithBMX
I don't think forums are dead at all.
I'm on pinkbike daily and those forums are robust.

There is not another BMX forum that took over from vintage, so that means one of two things:
1. BMX racers, as a demographic, have changed their social media habits
and/or
2. Something drove away vintage users and is preventing new users from joining the forums.

With the high turn over in BMX it could just be like the local track numbers.
If nobody knows about it then they can't join.

How about we all do a social media campaign to get name recognition for vintage and drive some new eyeballs this way.

It will be easy for me to insert a link to a particular thread into a FB post.
tribalbmx
Just a FYI but I found it quite confusing how to become a member to post on this site when I joined.
I agree a lot of forums are dieing out but many are still thriving. The forum I use for MX for example Thumpertalk is as robust as ever.
With the end of the NBL/ USA BMX debate probably staled things out quite a bit for interesting debate.
We need more controversial subjects to get people fired up and posting.
I just find there's very much subject matter on here that inspires me to post.
ANT DOG 3:16
Elvis is a moderating genius(always wanted to say that)

Joined: 19-May 04

In the 13 years I have been here,I have bumped heads with people, but also made alot of friends, it was through vintagebmx.com Big Jeff came up to me and introduced himself,which led to me having a friend in his son. 2009 being in the hospital reading the get well wishes and checking in on all you meatheads, this site although no as active holds a special place in my heart and soul. Yeah I had some bad times here with people, but that happens anywhere in life.
thebondtrader55
QUOTE (ANT DOG 3:16 @ Feb 25 2016, 09:07 PM) *
Elvis is a moderating genius(always wanted to say that)

Joined: 19-May 04

In the 13 years I have been here,I have bumped heads with people, but also made alot of friends, it was through vintagebmx.com Big Jeff came up to me and introduced himself,which led to me having a friend in his son. 2009 being in the hospital reading the get well wishes and checking in on all you meatheads, this site although no as active holds a special place in my heart and soul. Yeah I had some bad times here with people, but that happens anywhere in life.

Well said.
ANT DOG 3:16
Also wanted to add this site and the "other" site museum have played a huge part in me staying sober since sept 27 2009, I knew if wanted to not only live and race BMX, I had to stay sober.back to back regional 3's and. An NBL national 29, are the highlights in my BMX racing life and Internet forums were a major influence. Mike C also took an awesome picture of me and the wife at South Park thanks for that one. I have made countless friends all over the world because of forum groups. Don't care what anyone says, forums still hold a purposes. The only reason they are slacking is because we let them. With that being said.......
Capt. Caveman
I have been on this site since 2001. I just recently started posting again because my son started racing and I noticed other friends posting about their kids racing. When I wasn't racing or my son wasn't involved I would lurk in the background checking on the site every once in awhile. But I still love the forum for getting good conversation, debate, and information. just my two pennies
mxmug
Great discussions were certainly had on vintage in days gone by. In life there's both information and misinformation. There's much more misinformation on Facebook then there ever was here.

1. Facebook is convenient with apps and all.
2. Facebook has unlimited pictures and videos.
3. As good as Elvis is, on Facebook, you are your own moderator. Anything flies.
BMX56
SIX DEGREES OF RANDOMNESS

A site made up of very different forums
Moderators links posts to other forums that are more appropriate for a wider view.

Example a political post, link it to
http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/forumindex.php?
vincent decastro
QUOTE (Elvis @ Feb 24 2016, 09:18 PM) *
The reasons for the shift away from forums are both social and technical: Social media is ultimately self-casting, and self-casting is micro-blogging on a distributed platform.

Micro-blogging is all but purpose-built for smart phones, and smart phones are ubiquitous. Note not just that the number and length of posts shifted, but what was posted about changed as well. Don't think it's an accident that the winds shifted on forum posts about the time smart phones became ubiquitous, and don't think it's an accident social media became a thing about the same time.

Now one can make promotional posts about whatever, including themselves (don't think it's an accident that "personal brand" is now a thing, either) and have utter control over the conversation. Then there was a need for consensus, now if someone doesn't agree you can delete them. Plus the smart phone micro-blogging environment gives you a wider audience. With the new tech more people are online now.

The trouble is, this gives you more information to absorb at any given moment, so short pieces with fewer words are preferred. Another death blow for consensus-conversation.

It's not the end of the world (after all, we're having a convo here) but it does show the social change technology can bring, and how that social change can utterly uproot communication. History abounds with examples of this.





(Aside: The name thing, real v. screen, is a huge deal, with both positive and negative consequence. It's really a subject unto itself, but ultimately it has very little to do with the stickiness of the forum environment. The forum environment, ultimately, is what's to do with the forum environment. The technical environment changed to make access to social media easier, and that same change made social media a more viable environment to express oneself. )


I think you are overlooking a simple and important component of the lack of participation here on Vintage and it's more a function of usage than platform. 47% of FB users only login on mobile devices and 60% of all FB shares are done on mobile devices. Have you ever tried to post something on a non mobile friendly forum from your iPhone? It's not very user friendly...
Look around the next time your out and notice that 70-80% of the people around you are immersed in an activity on their mobile device.
D_Man
QUOTE (vincent decastro @ Feb 27 2016, 12:09 PM) *
I think you are overlooking a simple and important component of the lack of participation here on Vintage and it's more a function of usage than platform. 47% of FB users only login on mobile devices and 60% of all FB shares are done on mobile devices. Have you ever tried to post something on a non mobile friendly forum from your iPhone? It's not very user friendly...
Look around the next time your out and notice that 70-80% of the people around you are immersed in an activity on their mobile device.


Good points. I am active on mtbr and a couple of road bike oriented forums that are still very active. I would not be reading or participating nearly as much without the ability to use a forum reader like Tapatalk or Forum runner. The interface is much less cumbersome when using a phone or iPad.

I get that it's good to drive people to the full website so they see the advertisers, but it's also true that on average more people will come to the full website if there is a lot of discussion going on. So there is a balance, and places like mtbr decided the trade off was worth it.

All in all, I think there is still a place for forums. I for one would love a place to talk with older guys who still ride bmx--racing, street, whatever--and not just collect.
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