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  1. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 10:26 AM - The Death of TDH... and other forums #1

    We briefly touched on this in another thread, but am I the only one seeing a coloration between the rising interest in social media like facebook and twitter and the decline of forums like TDH, the RPF, and other forums? I know the economy is killing many right now and that is causing people to be more focused on work than posting, but I have also noticed that many of those same people are posting away on facebook and not posting in forums as much.

    I really wonder if forums have seen their heyday and even if the economy bounces back, we will see discussion forums continue to decline as social media sites continue to grow.

    Am I think only one thinking we are on the brink of a major shift?
  2. runJEDIrun's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 10:31 AM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #2

    i will always be here at TDH lol.
  3. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 10:34 AM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #3

    Check this out. In Jan, TDH had its most successful month ever in terms of activity... but notice this trend over the last 100 days. This is a charts of posts per day. While it is up and down like mad (mostly differentiating week days from weekends when there are less posts), I think you can see a pretty significant trend.
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  4. Jango's kid's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 10:34 AM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #4

    Mmmm...maybe??? As long as folks need to get parts or find info on how to build/paint something, I'm sure the forums will remain is some capacity though. Maybe less posting or some decline as you mentioned, but i'm sure they aren't going to die off completely. I hope not anyway!!

    Although i have noticed, that all the forums I visit regularly, are pretty much dead on on the weekends!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe its because of the nice weather???? LOL I know I've been spending alot of time outside now that spring is finally here!!
  5. asok's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 11:17 AM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #5

    I do not see forums going away. To me things like MySpace and Facebook are fads and just need to go away. For example, I don't care what you ate last night. I also don't want to spend my time filling out those dumb question emails to learn more about somebody. If I want to know about you, I will do the personal thing and contact you directly.

    They have nothing to do with props. Why do I want to look at a page about a person where there are more ads and pop-ups than content the person put up? Please try to find me on one of those types of sites. You will not find me there.

    A place like TDH is a great place to find info about a prop. I don't see finding anything useful on Facebook about how to put Boba together.

    Just my 2 cents.
  6. Slowmo's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 11:25 AM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #6

    I think there are probably a few reasons for the decline in posting in forums.

    First is many people jobs are blocking forums with firewalls. I know I read TDH while at work currently, but how long with that last before websense blocks it.

    Second, there is so much information on the forums now that people are finding what they want with the search function. When someone does ask something that has already been covered elsewhere they get a curt reply that directs them to use search or a link to the topic they were asking about.

    Also here we run into the problem of people finish their costume and move on to another project.
  7. OrtharRrith's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 11:30 AM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #7

    I agree with Asok. They're two very different things. You can't find information on something specific on Facebook or Twitter.
    Forums won't disappear, they're too useful to vanish.
  8. DutchFett's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 11:34 AM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #8

    Quote Jango's kid said: View Post
    Mmmm...maybe??? As long as folks need to get parts or find info on how to build/paint something, I'm sure the forums will remain is some capacity though. Maybe less posting or some decline as you mentioned, but i'm sure they aren't going to die off completely. I hope not anyway!!
    I second that, as long as people need Fett info or parts TDH ''will remain in some capacity''

    Compared to other fan boards, TDH is more like a place for info and not just a discussion board. We're not just a Fett fan board. We know more about Fett than any other Fett forum At least that's what I think...
  9. FettFanatic's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 11:35 AM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #9

    What has been the trend over 100 days a year ago? I am wondering if it has to do some with the changing weather. We are getting out of the trapped in the house stage. Also, as the forum is getting older the answers to long time questions are being answered and information is easier to find. I don't think forums will go away. I think people will get tired of facebook etc. over time.
  10. jodo's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 11:38 AM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #10

    Agreed, the TCF board is closing...Alot of people have moved to Facebook,etc. I can't stand sites like that. So I for one would have a hard time keeping up with my friends after the place closes. Just information in gerneral is so easy to find and figure out a forum. IMO, it's alot easier to use forums that sites like myspace,etc. And likewise, I like talking to my web friends, but I don't want to know ALL about you.
  11. batninja's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 11:42 AM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #11

    Quote FettFanatic said: View Post
    What has been the trend over 100 days a year ago? I am wondering if it has to do some with the changing weather. We are getting out of the trapped in the house stage. Also, as the forum is getting older the answers to long time questions are being answered and information is easier to find. I don't think forums will go away. I think people will get tired of facebook etc. over time.
    I'm also wondering how the current status compares with this same time last year. Could it be a seasonal thing?

    We always expect an influx of new members right after DragoCon and around Halloween, right?
  12. I helped at SDCC '08 GCNgamer128's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 12:13 PM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #12

    I just haven't been too active lately because the 501st politics is making me lose motivation.
  13. Flettch's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 12:25 PM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #13

    Quote asok said: View Post
    I do not see forums going away. To me things like MySpace and Facebook are fads and just need to go away. For example, I don't care what you ate last night. I also don't want to spend my time filling out those dumb question emails to learn more about somebody. If I want to know about you, I will do the personal thing and contact you directly.
    I agree totally. I couldn't care less about MySpace, Facebook, Twitter etc. etc. - never registered and never will. I do have a Flickr account, however - but that's because I'm above average interested in photography. Not because I want to know if other people feel bored, or whatnot.
  14. Rich D.'s Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 12:30 PM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #14

    Art, I'm not convinced that message boards in general are going away just yet. I think it's a little early to pronounce TDH dead.

    This site/hobby has a very specific focus, and requires a fair bit of cash if you want to get totally into it. We have the bad economy (I've seen more recent posts about people getting let go from their jobs than ever before) ; People come here in waves, based on excitement/publicity about the SW universe. Interest in SW may be on the downswing at the moment; We haven't talked much about advertising TDH recently; SDCC and D*Con are months away; the weather is nice. Maybe people are out painting their helmets...

    Social sites (TDH included) also can have a fleeting user base, as people's interests change, projects are completed, and new services come along. MySpace is in decline relative to Facebook this year. Facebook copied most of Twitter's UI for their news feed.

    If you're looking for new users, or to connect on a larger scale with people, maybe consider leveraging/modifying the TDH group on Facebook, and let new people who join that group auto-login to this site using Facebook connect:

    http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=198499

    Although, the occasional transactions of unlicensed products that happen on the site don't really mesh with the transparent (real person's name) nature of other social sites.

    It's hard to sustain a community based around finding original parts or tracking history on a prop, when most of that is already done. Really an archive of information like that is better suited to something like Wookieepedia. The best parts of TDH for me are about people making prop/costume parts themselves, and showing others how they did it.

    Ultimately, I bet TDH will outlive vBulletin, which is simply not architected to handle newer social networking features. vB either needs a serious rewrite to interface successfully with all the other networking site APIs (not just adding a Twitter button), or some new forum software needs to come along and take its place.

    Blah blah. This place will go on for as long as The Dent is excited about maintaining the community.
  15. I helped at SDCC '08 NovallTalon's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 12:40 PM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #15

    I think we have to take several things into account here. Most notably is the world's economy and the job loss rate is a biggie. People just don't have the money to put into costuming like they did a year ago. I see it every day on Mercs, someone has lost their job or gotten their hours cut to the point where they can't do as much as they used to.

    I'm posting our last 4 months worth of stats at the bottom, but we have seen a steady increase over at Mercs. We try very hard to push those numbers as much as possible to places like TDH as secondary sources of resources and vendors.

    No I don't think forums are going anywhere. Facebook/Myspace/Twitter are to chaotic to try to sit there and find any type of real resource on. While forums are social networking tools as well, they have the ability to be customized for specific purposes outside of just networking. If anything more people will come to forums because of the networking sites creating a broader advertising base for forum communities.

    A 100 day report is only going to show you the current trend, not your overall trend. Batninja is correct, you have to compare year to date if you want a real figure. So compare this 100 to last years same 100 and you will find a number that is a much better mark for what you are looking for.
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  16. stormtrooperguy's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 12:46 PM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #16

    Quote Count Dookie said: View Post
    Ultimately, I bet TDH will outlive vBulletin, which is simply not architected to handle newer social networking features.
    I think that's the key...

    I do believe that web boards are going to fade. When I first started using the Internet heavily, Usenet was THE place to go for chatting.

    I remember being on alt.gothic when people were planning "Convergence", a meetup of goths all over the world.

    There were also text-only email lists, run by listserv/majordomo type applications. You could subscribe to a list and would get the emails. Some lists had an archive feature where you could go online and get the older posts in batches. I actually remember writing some code to download the archives, convert them to HTML, then run a rudimentary search engine against them, in an effort to make a searchable history of a list.

    Then the fancier apps (mailman, etc...) started to have a web based archive built in.

    Yahoo Groups were all the rage for a while... You could read it through the web or email, you could search it, etc...

    Livejournal and "web logs" became pretty hot too, with web logs evolving into "blogs" as we now know them.

    Somewhere in that timeline forums came along. Right around when I was joining the 501st the push started to transition from Yahoo Groups to phpBB. I helped move the NEG and the whole Legion over to phpBB, and that's when I really came into the joy of the web board.

    But web boards alone aren't great for what we do. Enter the wiki... a collaborative content management system. Now we can build a database of all the research that's been done, that you can read like a book.

    So it makes sense that the web forum isn't the ultimate form of communication.

    I think that content syndication and aggregation are going to be the key concepts of the next transition. Get only the content you want from the people you want to get it from, and not see anything else.

    The mechanics of that are still to be determined, but I'm sure it will happen.

    I think that TDH as a concept can evolve with the trends. The community will change and adapt to new trends, and 3-4 years from now the TDH that we currently know will be something that the old folks talk about, and occasionally remind the new folks about as we walk barefoot up hill both ways in the snow to get home.
  17. TehEl1te's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 12:47 PM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #17

    I don't see forums going away anytime soon... At the same time I don't think myspace and facebook should go away either... It is a very nice way to keep in touch with my friends across the globe. The only thing I don't like about those sites are the bulletins and what not saying "I am eating cheese" "good night"... yah that stuff needs to go... but mysace and facebook are a good way to keep in touch with friends that you can't really access otherwise.

    As far as TDH goes... I'm still a new guy here, but I don't see myself leaving TDH...

    El1te
  18. slave1pilot is offline slave1pilot
    Apr 22, 2009, 12:47 PM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #18

    Quote ART ANDREWS said: View Post
    Check this out. In Jan, TDH had its most successful month ever in terms of activity... but notice this trend over the last 100 days. This is a charts of posts per day. While it is up and down like mad (mostly differentiating week days from weekends when there are less posts), I think you can see a pretty significant trend.

    Looks like it started dropping right after the addition of the Clone section.
    Just an observation.
  19. Kwally89's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 12:55 PM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #19

    Quote slave1pilot said: View Post
    Looks like it started dropping right after the addition of the Clone section.
    Just an observation.
    Strange point! I don't think that an addition would account for the trend we see in Art's graph. I plan on being on the dented helmet when I'm 60....hopefully it is still here. If the dented helmet dies, my escape from reality dies. That is really what props are for me. A nice escape from the mundane existence that is life. I don't know what I would do without this place!
  20. xfettx's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 1:11 PM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #20

    I dont think myspace or facebook has anything to do with the decline in people coming here. It seems like a few more well known member have stopped posting regularly and they usually had alot to contribute, which gets everyone hyped and talking. Also there aren't many good build threads right now either. No new finds. Not many trooping pictures. As weird as this sounds, when FP wasn't around the first time the board died down alot. Then he came back the boards def picked up alot. Now he's not really around and it seems like it's died down. Same with spideyfett. No idea why it happens but it does. . Also it seems like TDH has stopped trying to do stuff for cons and getting it's name out there. Before TDH tried doing the add in insider and was at the major cons but it seems like that's died down. Have the admins given up for now? I still come on here every day though cause I'll always have the passion for fett and my suit.
  21. TR 4059's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 1:11 PM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #21

    Quote asok said: View Post
    I do not see forums going away. To me things like MySpace and Facebook are fads and just need to go away. For example, I don't care what you ate last night. I also don't want to spend my time filling out those dumb question emails to learn more about somebody. If I want to know about you, I will do the personal thing and contact you directly.

    They have nothing to do with props. Why do I want to look at a page about a person where there are more ads and pop-ups than content the person put up? Please try to find me on one of those types of sites. You will not find me there.

    A place like TDH is a great place to find info about a prop. I don't see finding anything useful on Facebook about how to put Boba together.

    Just my 2 cents.
    I agree 100%
    I do not have a facebook, Myspace or Tweet (whatever the hell that means.) When it comes down to it, Myspace, Facebook, ect, are simply large marketing groups. Companys will keep producing more applications that will make it easier for you to know what your friend ate for lunch. And the more way's that you can see this, means more advertisments for everyone. Even if ad's start to get time consuming and are interfering with the purpose of these networking sites people will always return to them. I am amazed that so many people are entertained by what Oprah or any other celebrity's is doing, that will take the time and prescibe to one of their "channels".

    These urban networking sites will not take down traditional forums. As long as forums remain forums and don't start to fade into a networking site. You can not go to myspace and have discussions about research on a topic. If anything people are getting more lazy in research and would rather look at some type of wiki then bother talking to others and finding out more,forums should be more concerned about that then networking sites.
  22. Member Since
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    Apr 22, 2009, 1:25 PM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #22

    I dont have any numbers to back it it up but some forums have slowed down. the RPF seems to be doing just fine, this one has slowed, CE was mostly calm. I know TCF is closing but it it migrating to BSG Fleet, why I have no idea.

    On the other hand the Firearm forums I am part of are absolutly hopping right now. XDTalk is very active, AR15 is going strong (EE is gangbusters).

    Plus the economy is playing a role here too, I know at this point I would rather spend $1,000 on a Ar accessories, new handgun, ammo or even a Suppressor (high on my list) than replica props.
  23. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 1:46 PM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #23

    Wow... I go to class for a couple of hours and look at the response we get! Note to self... talk about the sky falling and people respond in droves! I have to read through the responses again so I can respond appropriately.
  24. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 1:50 PM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #24

    Quote asok said: View Post
    I do not see forums going away. To me things like MySpace and Facebook are fads and just need to go away. For example, I don't care what you ate last night. I also don't want to spend my time filling out those dumb question emails to learn more about somebody. If I want to know about you, I will do the personal thing and contact you directly.

    They have nothing to do with props. Why do I want to look at a page about a person where there are more ads and pop-ups than content the person put up? Please try to find me on one of those types of sites. You will not find me there.
    Bill, I have to respectfully disagree with you and those who think social networking (pick you poison of which one you like; Twitter, Facebook, Myspace) is a fad. In fact, I couldn't disagree more. I could be wrong, but I see it as an emerging trend that is just in the very early stages of spreading its wings. Now, you might not like how particular sites are setup and there may be fads within those sites (like the horrific and unreadable customization that a lot of people do to their Myspace pages) but I think social networking is a trend, not a fad and I don't think it is going anywhere for a long time. It still has a lot of maturing to do, but I think it is here to stay.
  25. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Apr 22, 2009, 1:52 PM - Re: The Death of TDH... and other forums #25

    The tool we use for trending won't let me go past 100 days... although I can do 100 months and graph that.

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