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Old 08-15-2018, 06:19 AM   #11 (permalink)
Juicious Maximus III
 
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My own days of attempting cat herding are definitely over

I quite like Yac and we generally got along well on a personal level. However, while he could be helpful with the little things, I found him to be disappointingly impotent when it came to dealing with the larger issues. It's not necessarily for a lack of want or helpfulness, but rather just that his mandate to rule this site seemed to be fairly limited back then. I assume it still is.

I discussed the state of MB with him years back and he took some opinions / arguments back to the owners, but eventually the message back was that the owners just wanted to leave everything as it was - no big updates or changes or anything. I assume the site creates some revenue as it is, though I'm a little unsure how. I mean, I assume it is through generating ad clicks, but if it's bots or people clicking, I don't know. And as for what happens when it doesn't create revenue or the site needs an update for the old google ads to work, who knows?

Anyways, back then I felt that they should have thrown us a bone or something. The community here is part responsible for why this is a revenue earning site at all (besides age and good google rankings), so it would be cool if they would do something for us. However, I got the impression it would be more cost-effective to do nothing, even if that meant leaving the site to decline in various ways. Or possibly they felt that my radical suggestions were too much of a gamble.. That could be.
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Last edited by tore; 08-15-2018 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:02 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Yes, cat herding must be one of the most frustrating occupations around!

I think most of us have been disappointed at one time or another about the lack of communication/response from the owners and admin. Here's a link to the most recent development in that rather one-sided dialogue:-

https://www.musicbanter.com/lounge/9...-lady-yac.html
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:09 AM   #13 (permalink)
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That is interesting. I'm not that surprised she hasn't answered yet as Advameg owns a lot of sites and forums, so.. I'm sure it may take a while before she notices there's a thread here dedicated to her.

edit:

Would be cool if it meant more changes were in store for the site
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
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It would definitely be sad to see all that posting history go. It's easy to migrate a database containing all threads & posts to a new forum, but indeed that would require some help from Yac / owners and - unless things have changed, I personally don't see that happening. If they were willing to get that involved with the technical side of things, they might as well update this site.
I really know very little about technology and I'm not entirely sure I'm following you here but when you say move to a new forum, you mean a forum not owned by the owners of musicbanter? I don't know why they would be interested in doing that at all. The one thing I hope is that, if the time comes where this place just doesn't pay off to keep, they would let us know and offer us the option to continue by ourselves. I'm not sure what the cost of upkeep for a site like this would be but I imagine it couldn't be more than a private torrents site and those things have (successful) fund raisers all the time. Granted, there are probably more people on those but I figure there would be people here interested to contribute.

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Regarding forums in general, I am a member of several and to me it seems that those which thrive the most (are most active) tend to have meaningful discussions that are on topic and make sense to outsiders. For example, posts generally add meaning to a discussion which doesn't stray off topic to be about some internal drama between members or going-ons in the community (which an outsider wouldn't "get" anyways).
Interesting. I used to be a member of more forums and my experience is that a success of a forum depends also on the topic of the forum. If there is a lot of people interested in what it has to offer, it will thrive regardless of the amount of moderation. I would say the topic also determines what kind of crowd it attracts. Probably the technical forums you mentioned you frequent automatically attract maybe older, more mature people who are very knowledgeable about those things and want to exchange thoughts with fellow knowledgeable people. Music forums attract a much more diverse crowd because everyone can talk about music.

They might be out there, but to be honest, I don't know better, more mature, focused forums dedicated to music. Do you know any? I just googled music forums and I got few results, and the other ones seemed pretty deserted compared to here.

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It takes a lot of moderation to keep forums like that and I genuinely get that not all people enjoy that kind of moderated environment. It would actually make sense that MB today is mostly made up of people who don't like that and who are happy to stay a small, tight, internal community, even if that means there's going to be less participants over time and that the site will become less relevant in the bigger scope of online music discussions. That's a completely legit opinion to have too and I respect that.
I don't really know that it's true that it's becoming less relevant and having less participants. Maybe it goes through ups and downs but if it's failing, it's sure taking its sweet time about it.

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What could still be an issue to any user is - how far can you trust the owners? They're the ones who manage all those posts and threads that we care about. Do you know they're gonna take care of it in a good way? That's the kind of question which increasingly bothered me when I was an active user here. It seemed to me like it could all be gone one day. So, I still have backups in text format of some of my posts here (reviews and guides).

It seems ironic that as a community becomes so entrenched and so tightly knit - everyone knows everyone - that they shouldn't also want ownership and more control of the very platform that enables them to get together.
It makes sense to me. It's just that I don't think that can happen, while keeping all the databases, until this place stops being profitable to the owners, only then could the members think about taking over.

Again, I really hope they wouldn't just pull the plug. I understand that Yac had the decency to announce his departure in the mod cave, I assume the new Yac would announce the possibility of a shutdown in some way and offer us options.

Can you really trust any forum though? What happen at my previous forum was that the owners simply decided to do an upgrade one day from a clean slate, without asking for opinions. So I'm a little weary of updates to honest. And it does seem like the current owners want to spend as little money here as possible. Which kind of makes sense to me. I'm not convinced an update in the software would increase the traffic. Not even sure how much that would cost or how much they're making here, but it can't be that much, or certainly not enough to go into those kinds of expenses.
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Anyways, back then I felt that they should have thrown us a bone or something. The community here is part responsible for why this is a revenue earning site at all (besides age and good google rankings), so it would be cool if they would do something for us. However, I got the impression it would be more cost-effective to do nothing, even if that meant leaving the site to decline in various ways. Or possibly they felt that my radical suggestions were too much of a gamble.. That could be.
But what do the users here want actually?
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:22 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Hosting can cost very little or a lot depending on where you get it. But by and large, the upkeep for a forum like this needn't be much. Possibly, that's part of the problem. With upkeep being cheap, any technical work will soon cost a few years of just running MB as it is.

As for possibilities, the owners can extract the forum database so that it's just a computer file and then that can be used to restore threads / posts on a different forum, essentially restoring a copy/backup of this forum to someplace else. Whether they'd agree to give away their database so that MB could be set up elsewhere.. Well, I agree that's unlikely.

But even if you start over from scratch, the old site might still be around for a long time and serve as an archive of your past deeds. A migration doesn't necessarily mean that this place shuts down (though it could).

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They might be out there, but to be honest, I don't know better, more mature, focused forums dedicated to music. Do you know any? I just googled music forums and I got few results, and the other ones seemed pretty deserted compared to here.
Sure I do From your description, I would recommend the Steve Hoffman forums. I've used them a little bit and find them to be very active, mature and friendly.

URL: Music Corner | Steve Hoffman Music Forums

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I don't really know that it's true that it's becoming less relevant and having less participants. Maybe it goes through ups and downs but if it's failing, it's sure taking its sweet time about it.
Even in an unstoppable decline, it could linger for many years still. From what I can tell from the front page, MB had its activity peak in 2013. Nibbler says activity has dropped the last three months during summer. Alexis gives a downward trend since the start of the year. I feel like the last time this was debated, there was referral to some analysis which showed a decline in activity over years, but I won't say for sure. Possibly it could be fun to rummage through old discussions.

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It makes sense to me. It's just that I don't think that can happen, while keeping all the databases, until this place stops being profitable to the owners, only then could the members think about taking over.
You're probably right about that.

I definitely think the role of "Yac" (administrator) should be given to someone who is an active member here, sees what the mods and regular members get up to and have more of a hands-on management like setting up procedures for moderation etc. Instead of paying someone to do that, I believe Advameg could potentially delegate that responsibility to someone. They'd get better results for less money.

But yes, I do see how difficult it would be to get to such a situation so it's not a likely scenario.

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But what do the users here want actually?
I don't know.. Just that question has been heavily debated and polled over before and then it seemed most members basically wanted things more or less to stay as they are. Today, I don't know.

For things to stay as they are was never my wish or goal (I generally think the goal should be to improve on things), but even so, I think that things are often changing in one way or another and so even maintaining the status quo requires some effort. If nobody steers the ship, you sorta end up wherever the winds take you. To figure out where that is, you need to try and see which way the winds are blowing and that might also require some educated guessing.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:14 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Sure I do From your description, I would recommend the Steve Hoffman forums. I've used them a little bit and find them to be very active, mature and friendly.

URL: Music Corner | Steve Hoffman Music Forums
Thanks. It looks interesting and certainly technologically much more advanced that lil' ole mb. Maybe as a personal preference, I'd prefer something with a set up similar to MB, that one is all just lumped in together. Also, I think it's a little intimidating to have a thread about the new Paul McCartney album that has 20k replies.

Maybe not what I'd look for to actively participate in but possibly to gather information on.

Also, what I said before about the type of crowd that's there stands for that forum, as an offshoot of a technically specialized one it's filled with people who are probably a little older and professionally more involved with music (and also explains why they have the money to be up to date).

I guess there are more forums out there which are more active and have more members, but then maybe it gets too big and intimidating. I've always felt mb straddles the middle quite nicely, it's neither too big nor too small. Time will tell if it will sink or swim ultimately, left largely to its own devices as it seems to be for the past decade (or maybe they're actually doing quite a bit of work in the background, no idea really).

Anyways, nice chatting with you again tore! Congrats on the family and things!
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:48 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks adidasss It's nice to see you again and good that you're still enjoying MB!

While I am a multiple forum user, I would say that I mostly use them for discussing or asking about specific subjects or products. What I mean is I'm no longer that community-minded in my own forum use and not really looking for online friendships. Online friendship interactions I generally get through facebook groups / messenger.

By the way, wasn't there a musicbanter facebook group?
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Old 08-16-2018, 04:45 PM   #18 (permalink)
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To the best of my knowledge, this forum is owned by a company called Advameg. They pay pretty much zero attention to it. It would be nice to see some response from them. I have emailed them personally and received no response. Maybe if we emailed them en masse it would get their attention.
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Old 09-04-2018, 12:36 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I have to say, having been away for some 3 years now, and not really posting much since 2010, I can't really see that much of a difference in activity between then and now? Maybe this place had it's heyday somewhere in between but what I found most surprising nowadays is that it, somehow, improbably, still has members and is actually quite active.

I haven't tried other forums so I don't know how much a new and improved software enhances the experience, but I think this method of communicating really doesn't require much more than what we've already got here (I really don't mind not being able to scroll through this place on my smartphone).

What I would be most sad about actually in case of this idea of moving, is that a large part of my online history would be gone with it. That's something that happened to me on another forum, which didn't bother keeping old archives, and I still haven't gotten over it since I shared some really important moments of my past there that I would have liked to revisit.

What I've found, actually, is that people (apparently, and I'm obviously one of them), despite of a slew of new social media options, still have a need to have more in depth conversations with other people and to form communities, and I think the best way to do that still is via online forums.

So, hopefully musicbanter will keep going for the next 50 years, even if it's in this format forever and ever, at some point, it'll probably become retro or at the least a curio, a blast from the bast, to see something like this still existing (and hopefully functioning). I'd love to come here in 20 years time and go through my old posts and remind myself of all those things that my poor old brain was too small to remember...

Here's to musicbanter, still existing, in whichever form, for a long time to come...

P.s. Nice to see you again...
I have nothing production/important to say really but tore, adidasss it's good to see you guys around!
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