Closing of the forum.

Consideration is being given to the closing of this forum due to lack of ativity

Moderator: Ian Knox

Closing of the forum.

Postby Ian Knox » Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:31 pm

It is with Regret that closing this Forum is under consideration.

The past years have seen a lack of new members joining and a lack of activity from activate members, 99.9% of new membership applications are spam from individuals seeking to disrupt the forum and each one of these applications has to be assessed to see if they are genuine applicants.

The truth is I personally have deleted thousands of the spam applicants during the last year with 12 genuine applicants accepted to the forum. Now one new member per month doesn't sound to bad but again the truth of the matter is that only two off these applicants have actually been active within the Forum.

In actual fact there is a high number of members who have joined over the years who have never been active and the forum was left to a few who were regulars answering questions in the determination sections and for whom we are extremely grateful ( you know who you are).

Notice is, therefore, Given that if interest and activity within the forum does not increase the forum will cease to exist as of 31st December 2016.

Your comments please.

Regards

Ian
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Re: Closing of the forum.

Postby Mal Greaves » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:26 pm

This would be a great shame as it is surely part of the internet face of the FCT but having said that I can quite understand the reasoning. I posted a couple of finds of Boletes which are on the Red Data List, both new to Yorkshire and one which I don't think has been found further north than Birmingham. It has been viewed THREE times :cry:
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Re: Closing of the forum.

Postby Leif Goodwin » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:59 pm

Hello Ian

I can understand your viewpoint.

I read on another forum a post saying that it is hard to register with this forum. I guess this is because of the hard work needed to weed out spammers. As an aside, I use Mozilla, but tried to register from IE and could not find anyway to do it. Maybe I was being stupid.

When you say spam registrations, do you mean registrations by people with the goal of posting spam? Or registrations from software agents i.e. automated?
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Re: Closing of the forum.

Postby Ian Knox » Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:02 pm

Hello Lief

Yes that is correct, these people or machines were placing 50 - 60 applications per day sometimes so as you can imagine to sift through that lot each day trying to find a genuine application was quite tedious, I say "were and was" because I have closed the forum to new applicants due to the uncertainty for the future, it may be the forum can remain online as there is a lot of useful information still within the forum for people to look up and use.

Regards

Ian
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Re: Closing of the forum.

Postby Leif Goodwin » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:03 pm

That's sad. Yes I think there is useful information in the forum, but we can't expect you to wasting lots of your unpaid time defending it against spammers. :cry:
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Re: Closing of the forum.

Postby GeoffDann » Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:40 pm

It is a shame. I've listed this forum in the resources section at the end of my new book, coming out on October 20th. It may have brought some new genuine members in. And it may have not...
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Re: Closing of the forum.

Postby Ian Knox » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:54 am

Hello Geoff

Many thanks for your input, you mentioned before that social media may be the way forward, have you any thoughts on this.

Regards

Ian
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Re: Closing of the forum.

Postby GeoffDann » Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:13 am

Ian Knox wrote:Hello Geoff

Many thanks for your input, you mentioned before that social media may be the way forward, have you any thoughts on this.

Regards

Ian


Not much to add to what has already been said. A facebook group is free to set up, won't require much maintenance, and is likely to attract considerably more traffic. But it lacks the positive benefits of a forum - the ability to search for historical posts, example.

I don't know what the solution is. It really is a shame - I don't like facebook, I think the fact that it is taking over from forums is part of a dumming down of both the internet and society in general. But on the other hand, unless something fairly radical changes then this forum is going the way so many others have done in recent years. There doesn't seem to be any new active members. How many people still regularly post on this board? Ten, maybe? It isn't enough.

There are still some vibrant and active internet forums. I don't think that forums are doomed to go the way of usenet newsgroups and become an entirely redundant technology (usenet is now part of the "dark web" - only inhabited by persons who want to do things that *don't* get noticed by the mainstream internet population). But I suspect it will largely be well-established forums with a large active membership that survive, while new ones find it hard to become established and any forums with a small active membership likely to cease to exist. Especially if the active members don't post that much. The smallest viable forum I know of (in terms of active members) is http://www.powerswitch.org.uk. Maybe only 30 regular contributors and only very rarely does somebody new join that group. But many of those people are participating on a daily basis, and some of the subject matter is of sufficient interest to the wider population that there are quite a lot of "lurkers" and people who just end up reading threads that have come up in an google search. I doubt that happens much here. In fact it can't happen here, can it? Unless you register, you can't even read threads, right?
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Re: Closing of the forum.

Postby John Holden » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:11 pm

Mea culpa. As someone who hardly ever looks at fora like this, I can understand why its use has fallen off. I've joined a few fungal Facebook pages, including the excellent Cotswold Fungus Group. I don't know how much of a problem they have with spam, but a closed group can control access in the same way as a forum, and regular push notifications keep me informed of anything worth reading, so I never need miss a useful snippet of information or a great photo.
Maybe this is the way to go?
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Re: Closing of the forum.

Postby Ian Knox » Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:26 am

Thanks for the input John.
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