Archive for August 14th, 2007 loses it’s edge?

There was a post on (wholly owned and operated by James Slattery-Kavanagh) the other day entitled ‘has the forum lost its edge?’. Well I think it has, and here’s why. First off, the reason I’m posting this here and not there is…

1. I’ve reached 200 posts and now have to pay £10 to continue – err, no thanks – you know your content, I helped created that. James gives the reason of costs, and how he barely breaks even – yes I’m sure it’s tough – But we’re talking text here. TEXT! It’s 2007! Jeez, his bandwidth can’t be that much can it? ALso by making people pay you’re naturally going to kill off a percentage of ‘elders’ in the group, people who have contributed the most. Mobile phone companies call this ‘churn’.

2. Over moderation/admin is another charge levelled at James. Natural flow of conversations is cut off with ‘no off topic’ remarks. James and the Mods fuss and fawn over every topic/issue post. Hypocrisy seems rife with some topics being allowed to drift and not others. You know what you’d never see on VN nowadays? Someone announcing something about their life… ‘I just passed my driving test’ or ‘I’ve had a baby boy’. All posts have to be about ‘community’ issues specifically to do with the Upper Norwood environment. People feel scared to post life trivia and it’s this that’s the oil in the community machine.

3. During Sainsbury’s take over in 2006 VN was the place to get all the latest gossip, the conversation flowed at breakneck speed and I for one logged in a couple of times a day. Now its people posting about the colour of paint of the shop next to Paddy Power – yawn – or its people moaning or complaining about things, it’s become very negative, curtain twitching and off putting.

4. Dilution of the Brand. By banning talk on crime on VN and moving it elsewhere, as well as trying to get his wiki project off the ground James is sending too many people to different places. It’s hard to get people to interact and contribute to things. People don’t want to help him build a New Jerusalem; they just want to chat about lots of stuff in one place, which leads us to…

5. The rise of Facebook et al. Does everything VN does but it’s free and integrates with the rest of your life, and these days we’re all lazy as hell right?! It may be the internet data Black hole. It also uses REAL NAMES and user photos so less libelling and fighting and a sense that you know who’s talking. You can also swear, go off topic, rant, rave and no one cares. People can vote with their feet, don’t like the way the group is going? Set your own up! And you can add images, video, apps in a second

I used to really like VN, and the people on it, but the people I liked don’t post anymore. Consequently I feel it’s just become stale. It feels like a family party that’s gone on too long, like the plot of EastEnders it’s lost its way… So I’ll not be paying a tenner; I’ll also not be creating a new account under a different user name and email, as that’s just rude. So some of us have moved on to an un-moderated Facebook groups, here, here and here to get our shits and giggles.

James and VNers, if you’re reading this, I hope you can see that the above are intended as constructive comments about VN and not a personal attack on any one person.


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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
August 2007