This is a thread to continue the conversation started in "My Abba Collection", which became a fiesty and interesting dialogue about our member comments on this forum. That thread can be seen in the link below
My take on the latest post is, Abbaman, I understand your frustration with not getting a response to your first collection video. If I put that much of myself out there I'd like a reaction too. But I'd go as far as to say the Your Collection section is probably not one that gets the higher amounts of traffic on the forum. And evenso, to hold back on commenting on anyone else because of this one thread being overlooked is truly not good for the forum. I've laid a few eggs on here ("Chess in Concert" for example). Doesn't make me want to comment any less when I see a great picture or see in interesting topic.
A year ago we had a vibrant forum on abba4ever. Now many of us have migrated here and as much as I love it (see my posts on "My Abba Collection". I do love it here), it isn't the same. We're very picture heavy. That's fine. But way too light on original comments. The group disbanded decades ago. So what? In the year I was on A4E people still had plenty to say about them. Is it the group? Or is it us? We're all busy. We all have lives. Are we just not communicating because we don't have the same sense of community here?
Post by chelseacharger on Aug 22, 2015 21:23:20 GMT
Different posters have different thresholds on what they need as a reaction to their posts. Abbaman48 has unfortunately removed his original post and videos due to 'lack of interest' even though he acknowledged it had over 250 views. Does every post of a video or picture require a 'That's nice' response? Why not take it as a given that if someone has taken the trouble to view your post that there was at least an interest there? If it involves ABBA then even more so. Yes, an occasional acknowledgement is nice and even encouraging and it's a pity there wasn't in this case. Hopefully abbaman48 will reconsider.
Hi fellow forum members. For those that do not know me, I am Roxanne - forum creator and 'claytons' moderator of late.
Firstly, I would like to apologize for my absence from the forum and my lack of interaction on a regular basis, especially in the last few months. I know that most forum members don't care if I'm here or not (not meaning that in a negative way), but I do realize that as the forum creator and a moderator, I do have responsibilities here - and I have been neglecting those responsibilities.
I have to say that I have felt quite comfortable leaving the forum in the hands of our new Moderator, Mike - and in the hands of forum members themselves. In general, this forum runs quite smoothly without any major interference from myself - and this is how I intended and hoped it would be.
However, I do see that at times, I need to contribute - in one way or another - and I need to engage in more discussion about the forum itself.
As many would know, I created this forum when I heard about ABBA4ever closing down. I understand many fans enjoy the forum environment - and I wanted to give fans a new place to gather, with the security of knowing it would not simply disappear if I lost interest. I was also a member of ABBA4ever and knew the value of a forum, and also the shock for many that the whole forum was about to be deleted. What I did not know at the time of this forum going Live, was that another person was in the process of starting a forum. Herein created the first issue, which was to divide the forum community. This was never my intention - and if I had known another forum was starting up, I would have left it alone. But once ABBAChat started, I couldn't very well shut it down - especially after I made such a point of stating at the very beginning, that this forum would be around permanently ! Anyway, it became apparent very quickly that both forums were taking different directions - catering to the various needs and preferences of fans - with this forum being more focused on images than in-depth discussions. I think it's wonderful that this feature is utilized so much here - it's a veritable treasure trove of ABBA pictures - and I know that many members are here because of this fact. It is a shame that many posts receive no comment at all here (including my own posts as Ausfan which I do 'fan' posts under, separate to my 'Administrator' posts), but it is a clear indication of what is of most interest to members of this forum - and that is fine. I said from the start that this forum would be one that was by the fans, for the fans - that it would be up to members how it developed - and this is the result. Certain topics seem to have plenty of interaction, apart from photo threads - while other topics haven't taken off at all. And in my opinion there are a few reasons for this: 1. Fans that are seriously interested in those particular topics have gravitated to the other forum where there appears to be more interaction in those areas, thus almost ending conversation here. 2. Since the days of full forum involvement on ABBA Mail and ABBA4ever, 'community' has definitely changed - the ABBA fan base has expanded dramatically, but there seems to be less of a connection among fans - much has happened over the years that has contributed to this. 3. A lot of discussions and topics have been done many times already over the years by long term fans 4. Facebook ! It has really become a force to be reckoned with, and many 'chatters' now choose the instant and constant interaction available there, rather than the forum format. It's harder to keep track of everything on Facebook - which I think is actually adding to the disconnection of the community - too fast paced, too easy to miss things - but it's become a major resource for everything ABBA. Every ABBA related site, venue, fan club etc etc, is on facebook now. It's simply the way it is now.
The forum will always have a place in the fan world, but I think it's for different reasons now. I don't think 'community' has totally disappeared, I just think it has shifted.
I am sorry that some members feel ignored here - and I understand the disappointment at getting no comments - especially when sharing your collection. But it seems this forum is simply not that type of forum.
I would sincerely encourage anyone who is not happy here to check out the other forum, which is aptly named ABBA Forum. I am not a member there so can't say exactly what it is like, but you may find what you are looking for there - that is the benefit of having 2 ABBA forums with different formats. Apart from that, definitely check out Facebook - plenty of fabulous ABBA groups and pages - something for everyone - and plenty of 'collection' sharing.
As for this forum, do others feel it needs a bit of a shakeup ? Should I narrow down the topics and make it more clear to any new members what the main focus areas are ? Condense things a bit more maybe ? Make it more obvious that photo galleries are the big thing ? This may help to avoid disappointment in future. And actually, should I change the name of the forum to something that is more reflective ?
Any thoughts on this would be most welcome. I really don't like the thought that people are walking away disappointed when it could possibly be avoided.
But then again, you know only 1 out of 7 dwarfs is Happy
I actually thought that was what was going to happen, Martin.
Personally, I can do without the "nice picture" comments. But that's just me. Hey, all the pictures are of Abba. We all like Abba. So they're all nice pictures. But I'm ok with a brief note of appreciation for posts. We don't always have all the time in the world. Just maybe a brief original thought to go with it? Why is it nice? Why do you like it? Make it worth the extra trip back to the thread when I see it's been updated.
Roxanne, I thank you for your contribution and for starting this forum originally. When I found out Abba4ever was closing I wondered where I would find a new community of Abba fans. I'm not a huge fan of Facebook. Its a bit intrusive for me. I discovered this forum after I'd joined the other new one already. I took to this one right away. I like the loose atmosphere and the free environment. It's like working at Google after leaving IBM.
Maybe we should have an entire "gallery" section divided up by Abba members, topics, and whatever else people want to post pictures of? Then another section for discussion? I think we're capable of being big on both.
roxanne ,,you seem like a nice dedicated person,,you hasen.t come here today,and give up,,and i appreciate that..personally,,i think the moderators need to take a more active roll in trying to keep the discussions goin,i have a autograph forum on ebay called [autograph collectors ttm]its been goin 7 years now,and ppl post on it every day,the membership at one time was over 2000 members,but throughout the years,the ones who were doin the actual posting dwindled down to 20 off the regulars who are dedicated to the idea of autograph collecting,,i presume the facebook group you refer too is abbatalk,i am a member of it ,plus abbaforum and i was a member for a year or so of abba4ever until it closed down and i saw this group spring up and i decided to join,,you was good enough to let me join and because of this reason i posted my videos here first,,but 250 views plus and no comments surely means there is an issue here somewhere and i highlighted it,,,anyways that said,, i am just going to move on and forget about this thread,,and start contributing when i can to other post of intrest in the future on here,,and the reason for this is,,there are so few abba forums left,and i dont want to see another one go the way abba4ever did
I am glad to see further discussion here. I see 2 posts happened while I was composing my post (I take so long to write things !) - and of course, each person has a slightly different view - but it seems everyone has a common goal so hopefully with some adjustments, the forum will be a good interactive place for all members. So many thoughts went through my mind when I read the original thread - and I don't think my little essay above covered everything I was thinking - but I definitely see the areas that need attention. I do actually find it a little strange that the video in question had so many views and no comments, but I can't explain why that is. Obviously there was interest though, if there were 250 plus views - the forum only has 160 members. I know that there is a good deal of conversation on the forum - just certain topics are more popular than others, at different times. I do agree that the Moderators need to take a more active role in keeping things turning over ( I direct this at myself as I know I am the one who is lacking in this area) - but as everyone would understand, I can't make other people chat. I do recognise though that activity encourages further activity. I am pleased to read that you will stay on in this forum abbaman, and haven't given up - I am glad that you chose to speak up rather than just walk away. Issues cannot be addressed if they are not highlighted - and often the ensuing discussion helps to resolve things. I do get the point of what others have said about this situation also - and all points of view have validity. If one expects interaction from other members, one must also interact. As has been pointed out, there are probably quite a few posts by various members that have received little or no attention - and that is just the way it goes sometimes. I wonder, once again, if the format of the forum lends itself to things being overlooked - it is quite a labyrinth of trails compared to some forums. Do others find navigation difficult ?
I thank you for your kind words Damian - and I appreciate your feedback on the forum format. I agree that it is probably a good idea to separate the two areas - galleries and discussion - and I am more than happy to work on changes to the layout - hopefully I can do this without making things more confusing - which is what I think I did when I made significant changes before. I am always scared I'll loose things ! But I will look carefully into this.
I know a lot of fans prefer to avoid Facebook - for a variety of reasons - so a good functioning forum is important.
So thank you to everyone who contributes, and takes an active role on this forum - without you, there is no forum.
btw, I am not involved with abbatalk on facebook - but there are other serious ABBA groups and pages that are worth looking into, if you are into facebook, including ones dedicated to ABBA collections.
I would be pleased if you would consider putting your video back on this forum abbaman. I have no doubt members enjoyed it, even if they didn't comment
I would be very careful about shunting images into their own separate section. This is what abbaforum did late last year and it hasn't really fully recovered since in terms of visitors and activity. Indeed the debate we are now having is like groundhog day to me.
The events at abbaforum can still be viewed in its old thread 'Broadening the abba section', the equivalent of the current thread here. A few of the ex a4e longtimers felt that the image posting was juvenile and those doing it should be (quote) 'shepherded' into a 'children's corner'. The result was the current 'photo archive' section.
This was the signal for several of its most regular contributors to leave. I was one of them. I didn't post many images there myself, but felt that there was an unpleasant campaign by a small number of members to marginalize and ridicule those who did.
I do think that this process gave abbaforum a distinctive character that suits its current regulars, and it is friendly again now. However, there were two consequences that in my opinion would afflict abbachat if it went down the same route. Firstly, the popularity of the images in terms of traffic was underestimated. So when the image posters left, and when the image section was tucked out of sight of the main band/member structure, the site became super quiet.
The second consequence was that chatters were left with very little abba related news to chat about, especially given that the remaining members were ex a4e so had already discussed almost every conceivable abba topic multiple times. As a result, the chat on abbaforum does tend to be very general these days, much of it unconnected with the group itself. The 'person below me' thread gives a flavour of this.
If all this sounds like a gripe about abbaforum, it's not meant to be. The changed approach meant that abbaforum and abbachat developed distinct identities, not competing against each other, which is good. And I hope I can continue to post there too. But we don't need two abbaforums. IMHO abbachat doesn't have any major problems and I worry that segregating the images will lose members rather than gain them.
Thanks very much for your detailed post about changing the forum Martin.
I find the information very interesting - and very useful.
Ok, so there is generally no major issue with the format of ABBAChat in your opinion - and changing it could possibly do more harm than good. Image threads are definitely a major part of this forum, and I certainly had no intention of sending them to a 'children's corner' - but I get your point that full segregation is not necessarily a good path to go down.
I was originally more thinking along the lines of narrowing down categories, to make topics easier to find and follow. I thought maybe I had things too spread out over too many categories, which may minimise discussion in each area.
But I think we've gone over this one before - and the conclusion was that most members were happy with the format as is.
I thank you for the insight into what happened with ABBA Forum - and I will leave ABBAChat the way it is for the time being. Maybe a little tidy up at some point - but no major changes.
You make a similar point to what I said above about topics being covered many times by long term fans, so a lot of the chat is quite general - but hopefully as time goes on, the younger generation of new fans will spice up the ABBA specific discussions.
I kind of cringe a little at the thought that we could end up with threads such as 'person below me' - I'm not even going to try to imagine what the conversation is there LOL
I think the forum is pretty easy to navigate as it is so I'm ok with leaving it alone for the most part. I do have one suggestion though. There is a growing genre of posts for Abba related games and quizes like Abbachronisms, Abbagrams and Abbagaffes. Maybe we should have a separate board for that to make them easier to find?
If they are all together and visible I don't think it will be so quiet. I really enjoyed the games section on the old forum and I think people would here. It would give us a lighthearted way to interact and have fun with our Abba knowledge.