State of the Forum vs Telegram

CrzRsn

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Preface: I know I said I wouldn't bring this up again, but oh well, I lied.

So in a time when pretty much everyone is forced to stay home, surrounded by their desktops and laptops, people are still insisting on choosing a communication medium that's optimized for phones. This place is pretty much a ghost town with the same handful of people posting in the same handful of threads, and that saddens me. Why even bother having a forum? Why did Viper work tirelessly trying to get us onto XenForo when he had other much more important things to worry about? Why pay for the server space and domain name? Why have a donation program? Why donate? Just shut it down, save everyone the headache.

I seriously don't understand the strong aversion to the forum (actually I do, but more on that later). All you people would rather be in a non-stop stream of consciousness that is impossible to follow or catch up on? You go to sleep and when you wake up you have several hundred new messages that jump from topic to topic to topic. You can't even reply to something someone said a few hours ago because the conversation has moved on ten times already. It just doesn't make sense to me. Viper used to rail against our incredibly long Random Thought threads, but at least those were separated into topics, imagine if the whole forum, all 2.3M posts, were done in one or two threads.

And having skimmed the Telegrams in the past, I do know there are certain members the you simply don't like. Whether its for their political views or the way they present their arguments or whatever. That's fine. We're humans afterall, we don't have to love everyone, we're allowed to have opinions on people. I dislike some people on here as well, its natural. But how about we be adults about it, instead of hiding away from the people you dislike and talking shit about them behind their backs, bring it out and say "hey you, stop being a dick." And this is not a one sided attack either, to those people who do tend to bring up stubborn emotional arguments (you know who you are), don't be dicks about it either.

We may not all agree with each other politically, but this is a car forum afterall. Everyone who joined here came because of a shared interest, the irrational love for cars. We all can agree on at least this much. And we can all have fun civil discussion about cars and all things automotive. We can even branch out into other interests such as, oh I don't know, Technology, Entertainment, Photography, Food, Sports and NSFW.

There used to be lots of great conversation and great people on here and I'd love for that to come back. And what better time than now, when we're spending more time than ever infront of our computer screens and could use a distraction from whats going on in the world around us.

So here is what I propose. Lets all shake hands (while keeping social distance of course). Lets drop our prejudices against people. Lets clear our ignore lists. And lets come back to the forum with a vengeance and make it the great place it once was. I think it would be beneficial for everyone, at least at first, to stop all political discussions. Lock and hide the political forum, at least for the early stages of the revival so we can focus on rebuilding the community we once had. And for the love of god, please keep political jabs out of other forums and discussions, that goes to people on both sides of the aisle. Just don't be a dick.

So how about it? Lets all give it a shot? I've gone ahead and cleared out my ignore list and will do my best to facilitate worthwhile and fun discussions with everyone.
 
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CraigB

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I tend to post to Telegram when I'm doing something, but then I try to take that, compile it into something more coherent and post it to the forums later if need be.

They both have their place, Telegram for instant communication, the forums for more in-depth conversation/subjects.
 

LeVeL

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Well said. I do wish the forum would get back to its former glory when we were just a bunch of nerds talking about cars.


And for the love of god, please keep political jabs out of other forums and discussions, that goes to people on both sides of the aisle. Just don't be a dick.
As the person pretty much entirely representing one of the two sides, I've been trying to talk politics less and less; I recently opted out of the political section of the forum so I don't even see it anymore. I'd be happy to re-build bridges with anyone I've argued with in the past via a Skype/Zoom/Hangouts/etc drinking session, with no political discussions of course - open offer to anyone on here.
 

Redliner

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I agree with you on many of the points you bring out.

On the other hand, I think sometimes it's just more practical to just snap a picture and send to Telegram instead of coming here and making a post, or sometimes it's something that isn't worth of a post. The forums will never be like in the old days, that is the sad fact. As far as I know, it's a widespread phenomenon, it's not specific to our community.
With that said (Oh God, I've been reading/writing too many science articles), I hope this is a turn for the better.
I miss the long thread where we discussed about details on obscure cars.
 

avanti

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Forums are dead, in general, can't be news to such a tech savvy bunch of people. I must have been signed up to a different forum for every car/motorcycle I've ever owned, pretty much all of them have been replaced by a facebook group.

Its a miracle there is still activity here, all the activity is by the same 10-15 members. Don't think its because of political differences, just a sign of the times.
 

Matt2000

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Forums are dead, in general, can't be news to such a tech savvy bunch of people.

I would disagree, I joined the unofficial Tesla community forum when I ordered my car and I've never seen a forum so busy for one low volume manufacturer. Plenty of discussion and referring to previous threads and posts to help people out, much like FG was back in the day. Maybe that's the exception but saying the forum format is completely dead is just incorrect.

I could actually understand more if FG moved to Facebook or Instagram or something as posts, pictures and whatnot are still accessible to people who don't regularly visit. Unlike WhatsApp or Telegram. I use WhatsApp all the time but I would never consider it a viable alternative.

This reminds me of a similar discussion I've had with my colleagues at work after Microsoft Teams was adopted, we generally think it's where useful information goes to die as it can be seen once but is very quickly lost in the ether, unlike emails that can be categorised, filed and saved.
 

CrzRsn

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Sorry, but I'm just hearing excuses. Forums are dead. Telegram is easier. Lots of things are easier. Its easier to microwave frozen food than it is to cook. Its easier to watch youtubers gamers than it is to actually play. People don't do things because they're easier, they do them because they want to. And frankly, I still don't understand that argument because I manage to upload photos to imgur and post them into the forum in seconds, even when I'm on my phone.

Like I've said in the past, Telegram is easier for communication that needs to be live - "Hey, I'm at Brünnchen, where is everyone?" Something where you need an immediate response that doesn't need to be debated or discussed. Or even things that need minimal discussion such as "Hey, what time should we start the pubquiz?" But for ongoing conversation, its impossible. Facebook groups are generally a mess too. The best I've seen is Discord, where you can have dozens of channels in the same server, but even then its incredibly hard to follow and react.

In my opinion, a forum such as what we have here is still the best place for community discussion to naturally flow. It fosters debate, lets people chime in, and even provide updates when new information becomes available days, months, years, or even decades later at this point.

But fine, lets say forums ARE dead in general. Whats stopping an established community with an establish forum from continuing to use it as a means of discussion as there is no viable alternative. There is no reason that, with a bit of effort from everyone, we can make this place busy again. The only way this place will truly die is if people don't care to even try.


But I also accept that I just may be behind the times, and having lengthy discussions has fallen out of style in favor of 2-3 replies on a given topic before moving on to something else whether or not everyone has seen it. If that's actually the case, then perhaps I too need to move on to other things.
 
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argatoga

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For what it's worth, until this post I had not heard of Telegram.

This forum has declined with the popularity of Top Gear, and even then it began to decline after the show started airing internationally. If you want this forum to be more popular it needs to offer something to attract new people.
 

gaasc

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I kinda gave up on the whole Telegram thing. Most conversations I want to join in are either long ceased, my post is about six hours too late with the last post being four hours ago. Either that or I will drop in when the chat is on the midst of hating on someone or drama or a blow-by-blow of the politics section so I'll just drop out. Though I still get cool cars and decent advice from there on occasion and that one is nice and appreciated.

I suppose that both of them have different uses. Unfortunately, it seems that most people seem to just enjoy sharing 20-25 message conversations with one another. As for me, I'll keep checking the forums and adding to them, telegram will always be there and when they want me I'm a ping away (thank you whomever added the "shut this group's notifications").
 

93Flareside

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Sorry, but I'm just hearing excuses. Forums are dead. Telegram is easier. Lots of things are easier. Its easier to microwave frozen food than it is to cook. Its easier to watch youtubers gamers than it is to actually play. People don't do things because they're easier, they do them because they want to. And frankly, I still don't understand that argument because I manage to upload photos to imgur and post them into the forum in seconds, even when I'm on my phone.

Like I've said in the past, Telegram is easier for communication that needs to be live - "Hey, I'm at Brünnchen, where is everyone?" Something where you need an immediate response that doesn't need to be debated or discussed. Or even things that need minimal discussion such as "Hey, what time should we start the pubquiz?" But for ongoing conversation, its impossible. Facebook groups are generally a mess too. The best I've seen is Discord, where you can have dozens of channels in the same server, but even then its incredibly hard to follow and react.

In my opinion, a forum such as what we have here is still the best place for community discussion to naturally flow. It fosters debate, lets people chime in, and even provide updates when new information becomes available days, months, years, or even decades later at this point.

But fine, lets say forums ARE dead in general. Whats stopping an established community with an establish forum from continuing to use it as a means of discussion as there is no viable alternative. There is no reason that, with a bit of effort from everyone, we can make this place busy again. The only way this place will truly die is if people don't care to even try.


But I also accept that I just may be behind the times, and having lengthy discussions has fallen out of style in favor of 2-3 replies on a given topic before moving on to something else whether or not everyone has seen it. If that's actually the case, then perhaps I too need to move on to other things.

I used to think that Telegram groups were a sort of "private" way to only chat with those that we really wanted to talk to, but I was never part of the previous chat group that superseded Telegram either and that's where in my opinion most of this came from. Is this another "us vs. them" debate? I don't think so. What I see telegram for is a replacement for the pointless "random thoughts *name subject* edition" threads which honestly from what I've heard, has been the reason why the upgrade took so damn long. Migrating threads that are hundreds of thousands of pages long is a pain in the ass.

I'd rather a quiet forum than one riddled with narrow minded political bullshit. There's enough of that shit in our lives, why stick it in more places that we're trying to escape from? That said, this forum focused on a very specific show, 2 if I remember correctly, Top gear with CHM, and Fifth Gear which both in those original iterations are dead. Does that mean the entire forums should die with it? I'd say that really depends on the dynamics which in this case, many have already made relationships outside of the forums to maintain for years to come.

The forums now for me are great for a few things, maintaining a focus place for meets, our own cars, and some news about upcoming vehicles. For me, forums has lost its way in the old way of thinking where we didn't have so many different ways to contact each other. For the "of the moment" topics, I don't see why Telegram group chats are such a problem, it's really helped me get over the "oh, this is just another forum guy I'll never meet" to "this person is real, they want to be friends, and this is a more reliable way to contact them." Right now, you're relying on somebody to remember the forums, sign in, and then read the messages whereas Telegram, you're signed in, as soon as you open your phone, shits there. If somebody has tagged you, wonderful, press the @ sign and it jumps to the tag.

Also, while we have mods, the biggest issue, we've grown up, @Adunaphel is family man much like (the danish one I forgot her username), and maybe perhaps @thomas as well. @Quiky seems to have moved on with life as well. If you want to keep whatever it is you had 10 years ago, cool, don't let us stop you, but TBH, the random bullshitting back and forth has always gone on in some shape for eons elsewhere and I don't see why this is a problem if it continues. We all make friends in different ways.

But hey, if you think this is an excuse, fine.

Also, @CrzRsn having met you in person, you're not the easiest to get along with either so why would the forums or Telegram make communicating any better?
 
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MWF

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Chris if you think CrzRsn is hard to get along with then you need to take a look at yourself. He's one of the nicest and most chilled people I know.

I echo his thoughts in that it's a shame FG has been dying a slow death for some time and that Telegram groups are impossible to follow.

I also think that closing the political section down and somehow sending a forum wide email to all registered members would be a great idea but not sure how practical or possible that would be.
 

DaBoom

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Chris if you think CrzRsn is hard to get along with then you need to take a look at yourself. He's one of the nicest and most chilled people I know.

The magic of human relations, especially IRL. Some match up very differently.

I dropped out of Telegram some two months ago, as being there was about to put me through another round of depression. I've never left the forums, but as I'm not the most vocal person on any platform that's not helping the activity here. :mrgreen:
 

Der Stig

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Ever since the death of FG in vB4 guise, it hasn't been the same.

Like it or not, FG has always had it's cliques and Telegram was an easy place to migrate to.

It bums me out as I'm luddite who doesn't enjoy the social media hollowness of Instagram or stream of consciousness that Telegram.

Sadly, I feel it was just wishful thinking that the forums would return to normal.

I still enjoy participating and reading other's threads, but it isn't 2008 anymore when we enjoyed a much healthier attendance. Many members have come and gone, but I don't see us returning to the glory years :(
 

93Flareside

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Chris if you think CrzRsn is hard to get along with then you need to take a look at yourself. He's one of the nicest and most chilled people I know.

I also think that closing the political section down and somehow sending a forum wide email to all registered members would be a great idea but not sure how practical or possible that would be.

Sure, but I can’t change if I don’t know I’m being a pain to somebody. Have I pissed some people off? I think so, but don’t know for sure.

As far as the political forums go, there is an option to turn it off in your account settings, Thomas added that last year.


Like it or not, FG has always had it's cliques and Telegram was an easy place to migrate to.

Before all this what was that other chat room thing most people ventured to? The name escapes me at the moment. How is that different from telegram?
 
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public

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For me this is like a total non-issue. Telegram is IRC with Donald Duck reaction stickers and the forums are where I post bullshit about my cars.

Edit: I think CraigB nailed it immediately:

I tend to post to Telegram when I'm doing something, but then I try to take that, compile it into something more coherent and post it to the forums later if need be.

They both have their place, Telegram for instant communication, the forums for more in-depth conversation/subjects.

The forums are for the ages, the history books, for something you want to be able to look up later. Telegram can be used with oily hands when you're in the midst of some shit.
 
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Anesthesia

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For me this is like a total non-issue. Telegram is IRC with Donald Duck reaction stickers and the forums are where I post bullshit about my cars.

Edit: I think CraigB nailed it immediately:



The forums are for the ages, the history books, for something you want to be able to look up later. Telegram can be used with oily hands when you're in the midst of some shit.
This. I'll just add that Irc did not kill the forums, telegram will not kill the forums.
 

DanRoM

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Good thread, I hope the people on Telegram read it.

I think both forms of communication have their place, as has already been said above. Telegram has replaced the old IRC channel (well, perhaps that's still there...) as the place to chat with other forum members. The forum is still here.

I've been through this with several other forums already - time moves on. As soon as the common point of interest - in our case CHM Top Gear - is gone, the forum slowly dies, because no new members show up and also there are no new episodes... I mean topics to talk about. It speaks volumes about the quality of our community that we are still here. :thumbsup: But let's face it, we didn't have a significant number of new members for at least five years, perhaps even since the site stopped linking torrents.

For me, the forum is still very much relevant for anything that should be preserved beyond the current moment and/or anything that should be discussed in a lenghty way and/or anything that people who are not present at the time of discussion should be able to participate.
And yes, that includes many interesting discussions that nowadays happen on Telegram, and I am very much annoyed by this too. I am sure however that ten years ago they would have happened on IRC instead, if there had been a comfortable way to be accessed from a phone. Hell, IRC was never easy for non-tech-savvy people even from a computer. ;)
The "problem" with forums is that posting requires more thought than just chatting along. I would love to have more in-depth discussions, and a forum is the better format for that. People just need to have the patience to wait longer than a few seconds for an answer.
Chatting is better for conversations with short statements that require much interaction.

Also, I've thought about reducing my Telegram usage as well. It requires too much attention and kills my ability to focus on other things. It's far easier to follow a structured communication platform like the forums, where I can much more easily skip over topics that don't interest me.
 

Nabster

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In addition to adding another vote to the 'Telegram being too fast paced with no way to keep up specific sub conversations' thing I also find Telegram confusing because usernames are different. I'm terrible with remembering names, I can barely keep track of the usernames here, then when I go on Telegram everyone has different ones and I've lost track of who anybody is. It's also bad on Facebook, where I've now got several members from the other side of the world on and still can't keep straight what their username here is. :wheelchair:
 
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