Opinion Piece - Is it just me?

Bluenose

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Interesting article Kevin (and response Graham).

I think that the site has merely evolved, nothing more, nothing less. As with any changes there will be good and bad, depending on your viewpoint.

I still prefer the 'old' yellow and blue format and the particular font and layout that went with it (circa 2003). I liked the simplicity and minimalist style of the 'old' forum headings, but as I troll via 'new posts' anyway the new forum style doesn't hurt me.

As for characters 'lost' the only ones whose contributions I actually genuinely 'miss' are Bazza and Deano, any others who have permanently left I honestly hadn't noticed they've gone, or maybe I've just forgot (sorry!). That said, I do believe that the site still has plenty of 'characters' old and new. There are also a decent number of regular forum contributors whom I don't 'know of' which implies to me that 'active' new member recruitment is reasonable.

I don't read that many articles I'm ashamed to say, but of those I have read recently I wouldn't say any were poorly written, the editorial team are too good for that to happen. Likewise, forum contributions, I asked a centrepin question last night, the responses are superb. If I create a 'crisp' thread I will also get appropriate responses.

All said and done, it's still a very new site, well established with a bit of history, but still shiny new. However we all get fed up sometimes, so when you're on a bit of a downer with something to do with this site, try this simple test, seriously. Simply google the word 'fishingmagic' then look at (but don't click) the 3rd hit down!
 

Stealph Viper

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I was only a member of the old FM for a short time, and i didn't post no where near as often, as i have on this new site.

Sometimes, in all walks of life, when you ask what is an extremely important question for you, it isn't always an important issue for others, and that is why you sometimes getting very few or no responses what so ever.

I am no where near an accomplished Angler, but, even i am guilty of treating New Anglers with what can be deemed as, my god i can not believe that they are asking such a simple question, isn't it obvious to them what the answer is ?
Tha answer to that is obviously, no they are not, which is why they are asking, again, some people feel that the question has been asked so many times in the past it isn't worth answering.

When i do post a serious reply to a question (ok, not often) it is to educate others, not so that i can have a big pat on the back, i do it because i know that i was in their position once, and i will probably more than likely be in that position again, and i would like to think that someone would go out of their way to help and advise me (and they have on numerous occassions) on this new FM and the Old one as well.

It is difficult to come up with new ideas, and questions to post on to FM, that have not already been covered numerous times in the past (i have raised this in earlier threads) and, i for one, sometimes feel uncomfortable by keep asking people questions on how, why, where etc as i sometimes feel like i am badgering them.

I didn't join FM all them years ago (well 2 years actually) to make friends, i joined to try and learn as much about the sport that i love, as i could. The fact that i like to think i have made some online friends along the way, for me, is an additional bonus, to which i am grateful, but, i in no way take for granted.

Thank you to everyone who has made FM possible to us Anglers, and thank you to everyone who contributes to FM because without them, FM would be dead in the water, and a lot of beginners to Angling would struggle to learn, and a lot of People wouldn't have made the friends and associates that they have.

Love it, or Hate it, it is Legendary and a God send to Anglers like me.

Your challenge should be to find something better than this, because, for me it just doesn't exist. Don't moan about how Bad you may feel it has become, contribute to it and make it better (If indeed you can).
 

Fred Bonney

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I have to say, that I thought that FishingForum's may have passed their sell by date, and at the time of Magicalia's withdrawal and indeed Graham's "retirement". I thought it was perfect timing.

Not certain I have changed my views (yet), but with so many other offerings available, such as twitter & facebook and the up and the ever increasingly popular personal blog, there is a lot of distraction for those who think they know it all, and don't want to keep responding to the usual questions.

There are also those, who think they know it all, and do not accept that others have an opinion or view, and soon put an end to interesting threads with their "bullyboy" ( sorry can't think of a better expression)tactics.

My view also with Kevin, is that he started,as I recall, before the closure of old FM, to wonder if it was all worth it, as more often than not his contributions appeared to be ignored.
I know from personal experience, at the time of my very first article for FM, the disappointment I felt when the only real subject of response was what I had put in my breakfast sandwich!
That article was hard work for my first time ever effort, and I suppose I was looking for encouragement to do another.

Perhaps for both of us and others who have contributed,a reader count would have helped and encouraged further effort?

My starting point was,Fishing Forums may be past their sell by date, I'm yet to be persuaded otherwise I'm afraid.
It could be that as I have got older, I've lost interest in talking fishing, the fun has gone. So,perhaps I should concentrate more on actually fishing.
 

Stealph Viper

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I think, if you or anyone else feels that way about FM, then you should be asking yourselves, what if anything did you want from FM when you joined.

That way you can see what you got, did you achieve what you set out to get, and if you have, what has made you stay as long as you have.

Dare i say, that some of the responses i have heard regarding FM sounds like "Apathy" to me .................. I'm alright Jack, so why should i bother anymore. :wh

Remember this, you may not be getting anything out of it anymore for yourselves, but, you may be contributing hugely to someone else who needs it (Is that not enough)?
 
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Jeff Woodhouse

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Can't help but add my contribution to this by agreeing with almost everything Graham has written in his reply, but then (in the words of the infamous Mandy Rice-Davies) "I would, wouldn't I." seeing as he is head-honcho, the big cheese, numero-uno still. And that is the one key factor that has not altered, Graham is still IC (in charge).

The period after the announcement of the closure of the old site was very damaging indeed and even the buy-out by Fish And Fly didn't seem to overwhelm everyone with joy. As Graham has said though, were it not for Fish and Fly (and owner Richard Hewitt) we wouldn't be here at all. We all were aware that changes would be made to the format of the site and when it came about it did look somewhat different.

Therein lies the big problem - different. Some people take a while to get used to things being different, it doesn't feel right, it's not the same, and to that attach much more blame than is warranted. In the Data Processing industry, we branded people like that R.T.C. (Reluctant To Change), but in time they usually accepted the new ways of doing things and soon enough became staunch supporters of the new methods. I hope the same happens with Kevin in time.

Similarly, some people grow really attached to their old cars, wonderful pieces of engineering and reliable as the air we breath. And then they change through necessity and the new car is never quite as good and it gets criticized at every turn until - through necessity, they get another new car. The old one is then held up as the perfect model they will miss forever.

Kevin, with all due respects, are you one of these people?

This site is different and it's not yet how I would like it (Graham and our Techy man will tell you how many times I complain about the look or feel of something, how it could be more "punchy" and less "judy"), but things will only change in time. As GM said, we don't have the staff to change as quickly as Magicalia did, but look at the list of sites they had - golf, outdoors, woodworking, cycling, even having babies for pete's sake.

I miss Kevin's weekly meanderings a lot and I only said to Graham a couple of days ago that we should revive the Donald and Damien stuff and the Silt/Walters letters and re-post it. The editorial rules have certainly NOT changed and I can swear to the fact that Richard (the owner) has never interfered nor even commented on any article that has been published under his new banner. So let's quash that rumour for a start.

I do have a problem in that we get stuff that has no picture, such as Kevin's, but his has been sorted now. We do need pictures, one at least if only for the headline on the front page. Often we get the author to submit one to us, but if we have to go trawling the websites it has to be royalty free, so we don't pay for it. That is the only restriction now, if that's what you can call it.

Just to sum up, I think this website is a reflection on life. People come, people go, some sadly not of their own free will like Barrie Rickards recently. We miss them when they do go, but as one commentator said "In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on." (Robert Frost)

Stick with it, Kevin, it will improve and be all the better for everyone's input.
 

Stealph Viper

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I think you should read my post properly SV!

Then you will realise some of us are still here and it's an Opinion Piece!!
Sorry, Fred.

I did read it properly, and i only gave my opinion.

It wasn't to cause you offence in anyway, but, just how i read it and interpreted it.

I was actually trying to encourage you to spend time on the Forums, as people like yourself with oodles of experience in your field of Angling, are invaluable to people like myself wanting to learn more.
 
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Stealph Viper

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No offence taken, even though your opinion was aimed at me, and not generalised, hence my view that my opinion was specific to FM.
I have to disagree with you Fred,

It was not aimed at you in a personal level, it was in response to your personal opinion.
As it was a comment to FM, that is what we are FM.

I digress, we are in agreement that no offence was meant, or taken, that is enough for me.
 

Xplorer1

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I'm a relative newcomer to FM (18 months or so), have never met any of the forum regulars nor attended any of FM meets/events, and primarily use the forums. I joined when I returned to angling when I retired, primarily to learn. In that I've been successful, and hopefully have answered a few questions myself.

However, I've thought that of late (and really since the switch over), the forums have lost a lot: there's just not the meat there was before. I can't be specific, but there are fewer posts of interest or value. Somehow we lost momentum with the transition to the new site, and have yet to regain it.

I do also now get the feeling that the quality of debate has declined, and that thread hi-jacking - or at least diversion - has become more prevalent: someone asks a question, and gets 3 or 4 responses which don't address the question at all but make some tangential and trivial observation or head off somewhere else altogether. This must be frustrating for all concerned, not least the original poster, and erodes the value of the forum.

I make little use of other areas: tackle reviews are mostly beyond their use-by date; the main articles are generally good reads, but insufficient in number (and I understand the reasons why - I'm not criticizing Graham), and the other content I find of little value.

So, in my view the site is not what it was, but I still visit every day to see what's going on, to learn and to contribute where I can.
 

Graham Marsden

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I have to say, that I thought that FishingForum's may have passed their sell by date, and at the time of Magicalia's withdrawal and indeed Graham's "retirement". I thought it was perfect timing. Not certain I have changed my views (yet), but with so many other offerings available, such as twitter & facebook and the up and the ever increasingly popular personal blog, there is a lot of distraction for those who think they know it all, and don't want to keep responding to the usual questions.
To a great extent you're right Fred, but that observation is not specific to FM. All community websites, including fishing, have lost visitors to the almighty blog and social networking sites.

Several years ago it was the angling print media that lost out to internet sites and it was being widely predicted by those who love to see the negative side of things that angling newspapers and magazines were as good as dead. I said at the time that there was room for both and both would find their niche and learn how to interact with each other. Now you won't find a magazine that hasn't got its own website with each promoting the other.

The same will happen with websites/forums and the bloggers; they'll find their own niche, the weak will go under and the rest will learn how to live with each other. None of them will ever reach the good old days before blogging became popular, but that doesn't mean they're finished by any means. We just have to try harder, offer blogging (as we do) for those who want it, and offer the best we can with what we've got.

I just want to kill the notion that this change is specific to FM because contributors and posters are lacking in quality.

It's as EC says: "the site has merely evolved, nothing more, nothing less."
 

sagalout

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I agree with SV here, I can't see what has changed, maybe some posters have withdrawn, but new posters have joined in. The banter continues and I think the exchange of information continues.
 

Graham Marsden

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However, I've thought that of late (and really since the switch over), the forums have lost a lot: there's just not the meat there was before. I can't be specific, but there are fewer posts of interest or value. Somehow we lost momentum with the transition to the new site, and have yet to regain it. I do also now get the feeling that the quality of debate has declined, and that thread hi-jacking - or at least diversion - has become more prevalent: someone asks a question, and gets 3 or 4 responses which don't address the question at all but make some tangential and trivial observation or head off somewhere else altogether. This must be frustrating for all concerned, not least the original poster, and erodes the value of the forum.
And I thought the forum of late has had some really interesting debates about various topics, but yes, the site did lose momentum; it was inevitable in the upheaval of switching from one platform to another.

As for thread hijacking Neil, it was the most popular complaint on the old site!
 

Stealph Viper

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I view Thread Hi jackings as nothing more than a normal conversation, a subject is raised, it is debated, this triggers other subjects to be raised, and in the speed and heat of the moment things can diversify, but, i do not believe they cause or mean any naughtiness in it, annoying as it may be to some people, it can actually turn in to a very lively discussion.
 

Graham Marsden

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This site is different and it's not yet how I would like it (Graham and our Techy man will tell you how many times I complain about the look or feel of something, how it could be more "punchy" and less "judy"), but things will only change in time. As GM said, we don't have the staff to change as quickly as Magicalia did, but look at the list of sites they had - golf, outdoors, woodworking, cycling, even having babies for pete's sake.
And Jeff won't know about all the times I ask for some design change, etc, but with only one technical man at Fish and Fly, compared to an office full of them at Magicalia there is only so much he can do.
 

Graham Marsden

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I view Thread Hi jackings as nothing more than a normal conversation, a subject is raised, it is debated, this triggers other subjects to be raised, and in the speed and heat of the moment things can diversify, but, i do not believe they cause or mean any naughtiness in it, annoying as it may be to some people, it can actually turn in to a very lively discussion.
They can be annoying at times but the reality is that there is nothing you can do about it. As you say, it's a conversation, and there will always be someone who wants to slip in a witticism or veer off to another topic.
 
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