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  1. #1
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    Wow

    Not been here in a long time not sure why this forum does not get more posts ............

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    Administrator AirGunEric's Avatar
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    Not advertised or promoted- it's mainly acting as a 'backup' for the day when the main Canadian forum owner has a meltdown or such...which may or may not ever occur.
    I'd say I care- but I'd probably be lying...


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    A newer forum is building content and membership a little at a time. Some of us are there because the atmosphere isn't as, well, stifling as another forum. Some are there by invitation. Others just stumbled upon it. A nice little place,
    http://airgunscanada.freeforums.net/

    Airgun Guild based out of California seems to be pleasant as well. A bit busier, but still has a small town feel to it and a lot of interesting discussions and members. Like the above, a fair bit of membership overlap.
    http://airgunguild.com/
    I check here every month or two but rarely see anything new, so not a lot of point checking more frequently or contributing more content. Over the last 17 years I've seen quite a few forums go sideways then vanish, taking many hundreds of thousands of my words with them along with many millions from other members - mostly tech forums. It's become easier these days to see when it becomes unfruitful to continue contributing.

  4. #4
    Administrator AirGunEric's Avatar
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    I have to ask- what is the point of another 'Canadian' forum? The largest (of which we are all aware) has managed to hang around for years due to the content/volume already there, and any others that have been started to provide an alternate environment (like this one and the newer one posted) tend to stagnate as few people seem to leave the primary one for any length of time, despite the complaints.

    What I find particularly absurd is that I spent a good buck on the software here to provide a useful and functional alternate environment, and a good amount of time posting resources initially, but somebody goes to a 'free' hosting site and creates a 'new' product thatis limited in functionality due to the limitations of the 'free' offering, it absorbs some of the flow of people 'tired' of the other forum- for awhile, until they realize the shortcomings of the 'free' hosting and the lack of historical content and go back to the older forum- and the 'new' forum eventually evaporates.

    Instead of coming to a ready-made, longer-standing 'alternate' forum which has a better layout than any 'freebie' can provide and more initial content (i.e. this one)- thus helping to ensure it stays around as a proper 'alternate' Canadian forum- someone goes out to create their own universe which is, like it or not, is doomed to fail ultimately- thus further ensuring the long-term survival of the forum so many have expressed having issues with.

    Frankly, based on this sort of situation constantly repeating itself every two years or so, I may simply re-package this place as a non-Canadian forum and put the users/posts from two other, larger forums I have operated/am operating into it as a combined, new place.

    This may sound like a *****- but it is really more of a throwing up of my hands trying to figure out why this occurs again and again, especially when a good product (this one) exists, but people resist working together to provide a true 'alternate' to the 'old' Canadian forum. I should add here that in the past, when alternate forums popped up and then were effectively deserted by their creators- I went to them and said 'let me absorb your posts (database) to give them somewhere to live'- no one ever wanted to do it- again allowing the 'old and irritating' forum to continue on with barely any notice of the others existence. As long as people continue to do this, there will never be a proper alternate Canadian forum and everyone is just wasting their time.

    That being said, at this point I think people who are obviously not serious about truly putting a dent in the 'old' forum's effective monopoly should recognize that all that is being done is the creation of a temporary location that provides them somewhere to calm down until they resign themselves to going back to the 'original'- which they will, sooner or later.
    I'd say I care- but I'd probably be lying...


  5. #5
    Administrator AirGunEric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerard View Post
    I check here every month or two but rarely see anything new, so not a lot of point checking more frequently or contributing more content. Over the last 17 years I've seen quite a few forums go sideways then vanish, taking many hundreds of thousands of my words with them along with many millions from other members - mostly tech forums.
    And there, just to mention it, is the proof of my argument- anyone can create a 'free' forum in less than two hours, drag a few people from other forums over, and make it look like a going concern- for a while. What should have differentiated this place from such 'freebies' is that I paid good money for this software and spent dozens of hours initially setting it up and posting content in the main page/initial screens- as in I was 'invested' in it. Part of the reason software was purchased was that then it could not simply 'disappear' like others can if their freebie forum provider dries up or they just walk away because they really don't have anything 'invested' in it. I have full control over the database (most freebie places do not)- so I can ensure posts stay around forever- somewhere- here, another forum, anywhere someone has the ambition to import them if/when the time comes (i.e. like my example above about integrating the data from this and two other forums I have the data on, or my offers to absorb the data from other defunct Canadian forums).

    I do understand where you are coming from Girard- you can only put out so much before it seems pointless to continue doing so in another 'new' environment.
    I'd say I care- but I'd probably be lying...


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    Quote Originally Posted by AirGunEric View Post
    I have to ask- what is the point of another 'Canadian' forum? The largest (of which we are all aware) has managed to hang around for years due to the content/volume already there, and any others that have been started to provide an alternate environment (like this one and the newer one posted) tend to stagnate as few people seem to leave the primary one for any length of time, despite the complaints.
    You've sort of answered your own question haven't you? By your actions I mean. You suggest that there's no point in another 'Canadian' airgun forum, but you spent money and time making just that. Obviously you saw a need.

    Quote Originally Posted by AirGunEric View Post
    What I find particularly absurd is that I spent a good buck on the software here to provide a useful and functional alternate environment, and a good amount of time posting resources initially, but somebody goes to a 'free' hosting site and creates a 'new' product that is limited in functionality due to the limitations of the 'free' offering, it absorbs some of the flow of people 'tired' of the other forum- for awhile, until they realize the shortcomings of the 'free' hosting and the lack of historical content and go back to the older forum- and the 'new' forum eventually evaporates.
    Well, the forums I've seen either dry up or outright crash and burn, taking a lot of mine and other members' words with them, have all been owner-operated forums with extensive time and money having been invested, sometimes to the tune of many thousands of dollars and thousands of hours. Not freebie hobby forums at all. I rarely consider those worth joining as they're usually not all that interesting in the first place. PocketPCPassion.com was the first I saw vanish. Why? RAID. The owner, a very nice pastor who had a second passion, the Pocket PC platform, which he used in his church while also in his growing role with Microsoft as an 'evangelist' for these devices and OS versions - Dale Coffing was one heck of a guy, with loads of energy, who participated heavily in his own rather large forum. At peak it had over 5,000 members and well over 100,000 pages of discussion. It was beginning to pay for itself with the tiny ads rotating in the margins, never offensive, always relevant to content. But Dale committed to RAID servers as his only redundancy. A silly mistake in hindsight, as obviously a real-time mirroring of the database wasn't a proper backup. Server crashed. Content was gone. He paid someone many thousands of dollars to attempt recovery, and some month or two later (can't remember, long time ago) the site was up and running again, with partial restoration of its history. Then a few months later it happened again. Dale gave up. Forum was gone.

    I had well over 1,000 posts on that site... and I was every bit the obnoxiously wordy fellow I am today. Most of my content was scribbled with a stylus on a PPC screen, at least until I started reviewing various brands of external keyboards for the PPC. Even then I used a stylus a lot. So I felt the loss. Back then in various tech forums I rarely asked questions, preferring to study what others had learned, investigate on my own, then report back with better solutions when I found them. Whether I saw someone struggling with basic functionality of their devices or helped in bringing deeper functionality with other 'power users' I was up for it, and shared everything I learned. Earned myself a Microsoft MVP award eventually, which I certainly didn't ask for, but hey, it got me 10 free licenses to the OS versions of my choice so that was nice. It hurt though, seeing all that effort vanish with Dale's forum did. And when other forums died (such as PocketPCBuzz.com) or faded out (PocketPCThoughts.com, Brighthand.com, PDABuzz.com, a few others including PocketPCFAQ.com where I was a moderator for 6 years - huh, just checked and it seems I still am, go figure...), well, it was almost as bad... but eventually MS dropped that line of device and OS, shifted to Windows Phone (what a complete joke), so I moved on. Some of those forums are still there, mostly just for idle chatter among die-hard fans of the platform. I stop in now and then to say hi, but of course there's nothing relevant for my life there now. I've moved on.

    Quote Originally Posted by AirGunEric View Post
    Instead of coming to a ready-made, longer-standing 'alternate' forum which has a better layout than any 'freebie' can provide and more initial content (i.e. this one)- thus helping to ensure it stays around as a proper 'alternate' Canadian forum- someone goes out to create their own universe which is, like it or not, is doomed to fail ultimately- thus further ensuring the long-term survival of the forum so many have expressed having issues with.
    Thing is, as long as Webstein is an absentee landlord and Lauchlin is a halfwitted blunt instrument of a moderator, CAF is going to be less than ideal to hang around. But as you say, they do have a large membership (though largely made up of BB blowback plinkers and the like who contribute little beyond 'hey, look what I bought at Canadian Tire!' posts), a lot of history, and a fair measure of decent new content - though most of the latter comes from a guy who posts everything on about 8 different forums in the name of redundancy. Bob Sterne gets it, that forums vanish. He's backing up his data and hedging his bets. Smart move. Little new universes doomed to failure as you put it don't much matter, but they do provide options for those looking to find something a bit different. The newest forum is building very slowly, but already considerably more active than this one. Why? Attitude in part. It has a different feel to it. Probably borne out of rebellion, folks sharing that space exactly because they left CAF for whatever reasons. I was invited, but that was around the time of my second ban from CAF - got myself kicked out for a few weeks for defending a friend against blind, irrational attacks by moderators. What you get for trying to do the right thing I guess. Since being mysteriously reinstated there, again, I post a lot less. Place doesn't interest me so much any more. Part of that is the moderator misbehaviour, part is just boredom as I've learned most of what I wanted to learn there.

    Your efforts to create this space seem not to have resulted in a lot of attention, for whatever reasons. That's unfortunate. I joined here thinking maybe it was a good option, when I started feeling uncomfortable at CAF. I even made a few contributions early on here, hoping to help generate a bit more traffic. Nope, mostly tumbleweeds. Even Bob seems not to post here a lot now. Just how things go I suppose. If I were expert in the 'why' of such dynamics, understood the psychology of website success, perhaps my own website would be generating more than 50 to 100 visitors per month and might even one day pay for itself. For my part I don't much care. I maintain it more out of inertia than anything else. The odd existing customer contacts me asking about something they see there and we meet and that's great. I've even had a couple of new clients owing to their Google results having shown them by website. But I really mostly maintain the thing for the hundreds of images and other files in my 'forum' subfolder, as I like hosting my own shared images. I've seen too much nonsense from online image hosting sites, even the biggest ones, where images vanish and leave only placeholders in forums. I've still got stuff hosted there from 15+ years ago, and if I visit those ancient forums I'll still see my pictures inline with the text. That's content control. The violin stuff... that's really more of a face-to-face business for me.

    As for airgun forums... I have a custom homepage I maintain with a handful of airgun forum links among other things, and I click through them on my phone or PC a couple of times per day to see what's up, read interesting news, contribute the odd comment if it might help. GTA was interesting for a bit but seems to have devolved mostly into another 'look what I bought' forum. AirgunBBS is nice for seeing what Brits are up to, but more of a chat room in flavour really. TargetTalk got old a long time ago, very stuffy and full of 'personalities' annoying each other. The Yellow is largely a dead zone. CGN a waste of time, as is the High Road, full of noobs asking noob questions which have a thousand answers out there available to anyone with a search engine. Airgun Guild more of the same really, though more friendly. Guess I'm fond of Airguns Canada because it's largely people I already know, and there's little if even any hostility to be found there. That last is refreshing.

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    Well, I quit CAF for good. Kim just pushed it way too far last night, telling me publicly then by PM that I was somehow in violation of rules. He offered no evidence, nothing to support his ridiculous claim, as no proof was possible: I broke no rules and was nothing but polite, in the context of a discussion of the new silencer petition which a Conservative MP has posted for eventual submission to government. I support the petition. I offered thoughts elaborating in how little sense prohibitions of this sort make. Apparently Kim was in a bad mood. So I'm done. They have 2500+ posts from me, that's enough.

    Brent Lauchlin, your role in this in the past as regards banning me for defending a good friend against unwarranted attacks and assaults on his integrity played a part in my decision. I know at least half a dozen senior members of CAF who have expressed serious concerns regarding moderator misbehavior and the generally strange attitudes you guys seem to have regarding the rules. Following the rules isn't enough. One must lick moderator's boots. And that's not something I'm willing to do. Content JSB everything for a forum to remain viable. CAF will get no more of that from me.

  8. #8
    Administrator AirGunEric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerard View Post
    The newest forum is building very slowly, but already considerably more active than this one. Why? Attitude in part. It has a different feel to it. Probably borne out of rebellion, folks sharing that space exactly because they left CAF for whatever reasons.
    And that is exactly the pattern all new Canadian airgun forums have followed from 2007 onward- a whole bunch of activity at the start, then the 'novelty' of it wears off and it ends up 'dead' within a year or so.

    This is exactly why I am saying I do not understand why people must create 'new' when alternatives do exist. There have been at least 4 other Canadian airgun forums in the last 10 years, one of which was moderately successful for at least a couple years until the operator left/deserted it for personal reasons (it was getting a bit slower prior to that as a result of the main forum of which we speak taking more and more traffic as it did not really address the types of questions 'noobs' typically had). All of these forums had people contribute their efforts, then effectively dried up- and my main point to this is that if and when people 'gave up' on their forums they could have allowed someone else to absorb their content (posts) and all of the effort wouldn't have gone to waste- there would be a repository for it and enough content to draw in new people to hopefully achieve the required numbers. By 'required numbers' it appears to be essentially the same for any forum- 50 or so active posters, a couple hundred sporadic posters and everyone else is merely transient, temporary traffic. Look at the 'old' CAF- this is likely (I don't go around there and haven't for at least a couple years) exactly what it has right now, as it did 5 years ago and 10 years ago (as does virtually every active online forum out there, larger ones have more). If this level/volume of posters cannot be achieved and maintained- the forum will die. I have long since recognized this is the case here, but the forum will remain as a stubborn alternate if/when people ever want to make use of it.
    I'd say I care- but I'd probably be lying...


  9. #9
    Administrator AirGunEric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerard View Post
    Brent Lauchlin, your role in this in the past as regards banning me for defending a good friend against unwarranted attacks and assaults on his integrity played a part in my decision. I know at least half a dozen senior members of CAF who have expressed serious concerns regarding moderator misbehavior and ...
    Other online forums are not the best place to express your displeasure with specific individuals- but of course this sort of 'conflict' is also what seems to drive too many people to web forums (and one of the things I stated up-front here we really didn't want).

    I should probably take this opportunity to mention that this is at least the second or third wave of 'senior members of the CAF' leaving and never returning in the last 10 years- yet it survives. I can only surmise that this is partially because the drain of people with actual expertise has no effect on the transient traffic, and the not-yet-experts maybe work a bit harder and become part of the 'senior' member crowd. That being said, when these members leave, certainly some expertise leaves and it may never be replenished- but no one has ever done much about this and the world appears to barely notice beyond the short-term. Bottom line of course is that we all have to make our own choices, and losing sleep or getting upset about any online forum is probably not worth it.
    I'd say I care- but I'd probably be lying...


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    True enough. And I've not lost a moment of sleep over CAF. Had a few laughs about it as a few of us shared our incredulity over the way things are over there, but so things go sometimes. As you say, the vast bulk of membership numbers (handy for driving up the few pennies of income for each advertising banner) are guys who post a handful of times, mostly to congratulate themselves or others on cheap airgun purchases. Ultimately most with technical interests of any depth gravitate towards other online 'clubhouses' so as to avoid wasting quite so much time in vain attempts at educating those who don't really want to be educated. Most aren't so selfless as to just hammer away for years trying to be helpful only to get kicked out on a moderator's whim. I tried. No more.

    As for a forum owner handing over content... it's a bit hard to imagine anyone doing such a thing. A forum founder is likely to feel a proprietary connection to their content, then when things go sideways and the forum dissolves, seems unlikely that saving the content for another forum owner is going to occur to most. Might happen, just saying it seems unlikely. It'd take an exceptionally ego-free individual to do such a thing. Perhaps if a friendship developed between two forum owners while both were healthy? Could work then. But since it seems more often than not an airgun forum is born in this country as a reaction to hostility in another forum that the opposite is more likely. And 'Webstein' (I have no idea who that guy might be) seems determined to remain an absentee landlord. Not exactly buddy material. His henchmen love what they do, like a lot of cops seem to love their power in the 'real world.' It just doesn't seem like the kind of environment where logic or even reasonable thinking can prevail.

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