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 Post subject: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 5th, 2018, 8:47 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:14 pm
Posts: 510
I was wondering if Scott has considered going back to his original forum format or some similar version with regional forums instead of the pressent single herping forum, "The Forum'?

Perhaps a survey of participant's opinions on that issue might be informative.

Richard F. Hoyer


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 6th, 2018, 2:15 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:42 am
Posts: 2238
I'd be very happy if regional forums were brought back!


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 6th, 2018, 6:34 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
Posts: 2227
Location: Unicoi, TN
I agree with bringing them back.

The main forum with its great global posts and trips that most can only wish for, disuade the new and very local herpers from posting threads that they may perceive as mundane, inexperienced, or even naive.

With the regionals folks feel free to ask tips, ids, general questions about general localities. The groups were heterogenious on experience and knowledge levels.

IMHO, the facebook posts don't seem to promote discussion. You eat up the pictures leave empty.

I never stopped learning from the regionals.


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 7th, 2018, 8:29 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:14 pm
Posts: 510
Bill McG.,
I believe your analysis likely is correct. I would hate to see this site befall the same decline that occurred on the "not allowed" site and many of that site’s forums when years ago, the leadership of that organization made major changes.

I could be mistaken but now during the prime herping season in the U.S., it appears to me that participation has declined markedly in most forums including the main forum.

I would have considered that participation would be a major objective. But it seems to me that instead of fostering participation, the changed format has done just the opposite.

Richard FH


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 7th, 2018, 10:36 am 
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Joined: April 2nd, 2015, 7:30 am
Posts: 114
Location: Utah
I would enjoy the return of regional subsections. I enjoy learning about local herping and the best way to do that is by narrowing the focus to where one currently is.

The reason, as I understand it, in removing the regional forums was due to lack of participation. I lived in Oregon at the time they were still around and, sure, not many folks herp the PNW. However, by removing the locality forums, it has become even more difficult to connect regional herpers. And I suspect that removing regional focus has not raised the number of individuals coming to this forum, which may have been one of reasons (that is, have more broad discussions rather than have regional discussions).

-Derek


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 7th, 2018, 11:01 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:08 am
Posts: 673
Richard,

For clarity and factual discussion, “The Forum” was created due to other forums at the time having too many sub forums. FHF was not sub forum generating until about 6 years into the existence of FHF. At that point in time sub forums were created to support nafha chapter meetings, etc. Let’s not waiver from the historical facts. :)

The nafha sub forums existed for many years. Many people (far more than opposed) wanted ONE forum again. Nafha had moved on and it didn’t make any sense for FHF to host sub forums for an org that didn’t use them, at least not enough to support continuing. I made the call to return FHF to it’s original status of a one forum style board, The Forum.


Going forward....I’ll host sub forums if I see the relevance. Right now, The Forum and some of the unrelated other forums here are doing great. The numbers here were, as was everywhere else, impacted by social media (Facebook, etc). But not enough for us to end FHF. We have surprisingly strong numbers. It may not look like it to you, but it’s true. If not, I wouldn’t spend time being a part of maintaining FHF.

Thanks
Scott


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 7th, 2018, 11:42 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:11 am
Posts: 2193
Location: Western North Carolina
Another vote for regional subforums again. Scott, I understand your point from a perspective of making this site profitable, but I don't really feel any sense of community with the larger group on the Forum - other than those I know from the days of NAFHA Regional chapters.


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 7th, 2018, 11:50 am 
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Profitable? LOL I made no mention of that, as it’s not reality. Go to a comedy club open mic night, cuz that was hilarious.

In terms of regional forums, I’m for it if it is supported.

Thanks
Scott


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 7th, 2018, 2:16 pm 
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Joined: December 13th, 2014, 5:27 pm
Posts: 75
I loved the regional forums too! It was great having a place carved out that was relevant to where we live and a real treasure trove of information when I returned to the amateur herping hobby a few years ago. I enjoyed seeing posts like Richard Hoyer's "first snake of the year" posts to push me out of my chair in the early season -- now these just get lost in a sea of posts from outside the region. I'm not aware of anywhere else on the internet that does regional field herpetology discussion forums. Unfortunately, there was no substitute when the regional forums were collapsed... at least I haven't found one. We could build one.

-ian


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 8th, 2018, 9:31 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:14 pm
Posts: 510
Scott,
You mentioned, “We have surprisingly strong numbers.”. I have no way of knowing what that means. Not having access to whatever you refer to as being ‘numbers’, I do suspect that both the membership and the number of individuals that view each post are higher than in the past.

To me, that isn’t the most important aspect of your forum. Active participation, not viewing, is what I consider as being most important. Perhaps erroneously, I have the impression that the the number of individuals that once use to post on a fairly regular basis has declined. Secondly, and again only an impression, it seems that the number of individuals that initiate post has fallen.

If as I suspect, there has been an increase in membership, there should be a proportional increase in the number of initial postings. That does not seem to be the case but here again, without having access to the ‘numbers’, I could be mistaken. And it also seems to me that despite a large number of individuals viewing each post, the number of replies per post has diminished in relation to the number of individuals viewing posts. But if your ‘numbers’ indicate that is not the case, so be it.

You also mentioned, “Many people (far more than opposed) wanted ONE forum again.”. Did you conduct a survey at that time? I missed it if you did. If you were to do so now, I wonder what would be the results?

I completely agree that producing innumerable mini-forums would be a flawed policy. But likewise, the clumping of all regional forums into one catch-all, super forum seems to be just as flawed — at least from my admittedly, personal point of view.

Richard F. Hoyer (Corvallis, Oregon)


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 8th, 2018, 9:51 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:08 am
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Hi Richard,

‘Numbers’ doesn’t need to be in quotes. They aren’t my opinion. :) As I’ve said, this board would be gone if I saw usage numbers decimated. That’s just not happened. I thought it would, so even I’m surprised at how much this board is viewed since the social media movement became popular. To me, just my opinion, boards like this are not for those who prefer social media sites like FB, Instagram, Twitter etc. This is a different thing all together.

You raise good points. Engagement is a different metric than just being signed up. For that, phpbb forum style boards all took a hit post-2008, or so. Facebook and other social media outlets obviously impacted traditional boards. For our part, the last time I checked the daily averages (engagement), it was not dropping. Down some, but not dramatically. How it ‘feels’ is different than the actual numbers.

I remain open to any and all suggestions. Let me know! If a survey is to be done regarding the structure of FHF, I am not allowing it unless we conduct the survey. When it comes to how this board is managed, it’s up to FHF to handle that process. If you want a survey, great! Just let me know what you have in mind and we’ll colleftively work on the verbiage.

Thanks
Scott


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 8th, 2018, 10:50 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
Posts: 3430
Location: Illinois
My feeling was that regional forums killed FHF as we used to know it.


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 9th, 2018, 8:26 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:14 pm
Posts: 510
Scott,
I believe your forum has filled a very nice niche and has been a very positive entity in the herping community. When you changed the format and consolidate all forums into one international type forum, I was fearful that wasn’t the best of strategies. I was reminded of the old adage that ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

The reason for my recent August 5th. post was due to my perception that there has been a noticeable dilution in interest. That is, it seems as if the number of initial posts and the number of replies to each initial post and declined. That this could be due to the social media factor you mentioned
but it could also be due to the change in the forum format.

When you had regional forums, every day I believe there were a fair number of posts from Calif. and Arizona and once in awhile, some from here in the northwest. Now, posts from Calif. and Arizona appear to be infrequent in comparison to the past.

I would hate to see this forum deteriorate to the point of no longer being viable.and hence my speaking up. My suggestion of returning to some type of regional forums was to possibly foster greater interest and participation. That could be wishful thinking on my part.

Richard F. Hoyer


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 9th, 2018, 12:24 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1736
Thanks Scott for the "community service" of operating FHF. FWIW I liked having the regionals too, but beggars can't be choosers! Ha ha ha.

I will NEVER go to Facebook. I'd rather just go without the whole damn internet, than go to Facebook.

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 9th, 2018, 4:44 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:25 am
Posts: 1164
Location: Mobile, AL
Glad to see them go. Those groups were too small. Too clique-ish and parochialist.


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 9th, 2018, 7:12 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:08 am
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Richard,

I’ve laid out my position and corrected your rewriting of FHF history multiple times now. Take it or leave it. If it’s not for you, that’s quite alright. No hard feelings. Life is too short to get hung up on, “to sub forum or not to sub forum”. :)

This post is being moved to the Board Line, our extended discussion area. Field herpers want field herping content, not behind the scenes banter. If anyone wants to express their desire for sub forums, contact me. I’m open, as always.

Take care
Scott


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 12th, 2018, 11:20 am 
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Joined: June 11th, 2010, 9:46 am
Posts: 208
Thanks for hosting this site over the years, Scott!

FH


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 Post subject: Re: change of forum format
PostPosted: August 14th, 2018, 1:57 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:42 am
Posts: 2238
Quote:
Thanks for hosting this site over the years, Scott!

FH


I second that emotion. Thank you, Scott Waters.


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