Why is the Message Forum so quiet?

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CollectIreland
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Why is the Message Forum so quiet?

Post by CollectIreland » Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:55 pm

It has been discussed before but I can't find the thread. The level of activity here is quite disheartening and inexplicable - to me - as there are at least 90 PTA dealers listed on the site and if each one of them posted just once a year it would probably double the number of posts. I don't know how many ordinary members/subscribers they are but it must run into the hundreds - why won't some of you post?

Postcards and the information about them doesn't need to be hidden in a salt mine like Nazi war loot. Apart from myself (c.50 posts) and eastlondonpostcard (436); Moonraker (149) and the site administrator MichaelDay (177) there's virtually zero activity. Surely people have things they want to discuss or information that they can impart to the rest of us? When there's a post here, it's usually from a one-off poster and then it's usually replied to by eastlondonpostcard...

I know the age demographic is part of the problem but then that doesn't seem to stop people trading in postcards on eBay/ebid and Delcampe? My own Irish Postcard Forum http://irishpostcards.boardhost.com is also very quiet but then it's a far smaller population and the collecting bug is not what it is in the UK - also it's a recent development and has no magazine to promote it. I don't know whether there's a counter on this site but it won't be providing a very accurate picture as I'm sure many like me visit the site every day just to see if there are any fresh posts.

I don't know what's to be done but an appeal to members/dealers etc. to post here and the message forum to be highlighted on the Homepage might help. Over to you eastlondonpostcard; Moonraker ...... :(

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Re: Why is the Message Forum so quiet?

Post by Moonraker » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:08 pm

Oh the irony – my being one of the most prolific posters! Nowadays my interest in postcard collecting just ticks over: I've been to just one fair in the last decade and I browse eBay two or three times a week – I guess that quite a few of my posts relate to that website. And my collecting interest has always been very niche - "military Wiltshire 1897-1920" – and I show little interest in other postcards.

Thus it may be with other members of this Forum. (I see that 1,659 are registered, though I suspect that most of these do not visit and some joined merely out of casual interest.) Like me, their collecting interest may be narrow-focussed, though I would have thought that now and then they have questions that might find answers here.

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Re: Why is the Message Forum so quiet?

Post by eastlondonpostcard » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:11 pm

I really don't know the answer to that question, but I will attempt a reply nevertheless as I feel duty bound - as always!

I am a PTA member and see the PTA website and this forum as a one-stop shop for information on the postcard scene certainly here in the UK... but has that happened? - well, yes and no. There is the dealer pages and the Fairs dairy, but do these dealers and fair organisers advertise themselves on this forum? No - not enough by a long way! I have persuaded one or two to use this space, which is soooooooooo easy, I am surprised they fail to pick it up. I write the newsletter for the PTA and always urge members to get involved here Deaf ears! I have spoken on numerous occasions to other members and encouraged them to join in... some do, but not for long.

When the PTA website was first created, there was so much more activity and involvement from other PTA members but this has waned now... I guess it is too 'olde-worlde' now and they don't feel inclined to participate any more. All those members that signed up way back then, probably can't remember how to log back on I suspect. To me this is a real shame as so much useful information is out there in Postcardland that others can benefit by and is certainly a lost opportunity for the hobby as whole.

The PTA now have a Facebook presence which they feel will create interest with the younger generation. Hmmm - well, that's OK, but to me that is not academic enough and Facebook is not designed that way in my opinion. It works on hype and 'fleeting moments' that are not preserved. It is OK to advertise a fair or interest that's it... I find Facebook less consistent in providing information when you need it as well.

Personally, I like to feel I can contribute where I can when an enquiry comes along and to create/spark/kindle some interest in the hobby at the same time... I don't visit every day either. I know that the website does need updating and could be more dynamic with it's content, but it also needs members to make it happen... there, I'm ranting again!

So, what to do? Well, I don't know for sure without a big change in design/setup... but it is primarily people (collectors) that need to be committed and will want to make a point/difference/sound-off about their collections/interests or just add value to the threads in some way. CollectIreland, your own forum has such great value and is a font of information on the Irish postcard scene, it is of great importance - congratulations on setting it up for the world to see. I have found that I can add value to that forum too in my small humble way. That's what makes the postcard hobby so good, how it used to be... before ebay and the like took the thrill of the chase and discovery away... I'm off again!

I certainly won't give up on this forum and the PTA just yet, there are some great contributions. I thank all the regular contributors, big and small, for making it such interesting reading! Carry on collecting!
~ send it on a Postcard please ~

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Re: Why is the Message Forum so quiet?

Post by tonymckendrick » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:36 pm

They probably can't remember their passwords.
Seriously though, there are far too many alternatives on the internet where you get a bit more feedback. The whole postcard business is in disarray and nobody has the means to join it up. The PTA exists in name only - there is a postcard traders association facebook presence which nobody seems to know about and there are too many alternatives. The vintage picture postcard group has almost 3000 members - my home town Brighton has it's own nostalgia facebook site with nearly 40,000 members and there are so many other groups where postcards get posted - the yesteryears site has 135,000 members for example. I post on all of these plus others, because people read them. on here it's like talking to yourself. Ebay and Delcampe are of course the main culprits as they suck you in so that any time posting on sites like this seem like time wasted because you could have been earning money. More to the point, why don't a few more collectors get to fairs these days?
York only had 450 on the first day. It seems that most collectors are quite prepared to pay through the nose on ebay instead of picking up the bargains at fairs of which there are plenty.

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Re: Why is the Message Forum so quiet?

Post by eastlondonpostcard » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:55 pm

Nice to hear from you again... welcome to the discussion!

I am not convinced that Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/whatsapp etc really provides any in-depth meaning to the hobby of collecting postcards. Sure, lots of people wow at the old images and who wouldn't love them, but where is the research and study needed to secure our rich heritage for prosperity? In my opinion it belongs on a site like this with contributions from serious-minded collectors with something unique to share. The site doesn't have many contributors, but many people come here for information about postcards... spending time on here doing that is not that onerous is it?

You ask 'why don't a few more collectors get to fairs these days?' - well, they feel it is a waste of time as all the good stuff goes on-line & there are no real bargains at a fairs... just all the leftovers that you cannot sell! But it is not bargains that collectors really want, but those elusive gems missing from their collections!

A Catch-22 situation?

You say the postcard 'business' is in disarray - possibly - but the collectors and the hobby are not... it is just the means of connecting collectors with their interests that have changed.
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Re: Why is the Message Forum so quiet?

Post by Moonraker » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:26 pm

A decade ago I used to visit six or more fairs a year, but got tired of ploughing through boxes of very familiar cards. (Now I'm getting tired of ploughing through very specific eBay "collectables" pages and seeing the same old stuff, multiple copies of the same card, photographic copies and cards overpriced by as much as 300%.) There's also the problem of remembering which cards I have, despite my maintaining a printed list.

As I mentioned in my recent report on the Reading fair, there was one dealer there with very low prices.

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Re: Why is the Message Forum so quiet?

Post by kevinramsdale » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:25 pm

I have this forum bookmarked, and so do have a look at it regularly. The best place to promote it would no doubt be in Postcard Monthly magazine - but I can quite see why they might see it as rival media in terms of news and information, and not wish to do so.

The hobby seems to have peaked around the time of the centenary in 1996. The internet provided a temporary boost around Millennium time, when sellers on the web realised that you could source cards from fairs for much less that was achievable on eBay etc However this has gradually swung in the other direction, as almost everyone involved in selling postcards began to use the internet to sell their cards,

Nowadays, regarding the topographical market, for the price of one good card of your locality, you can probably get a book full of them, or view shed loads of pictures for free on Flikr, Pinterest etc

I wonder what the attendance was on the second day at York?
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Re: Why is the Message Forum so quiet?

Post by CollectIreland » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:15 pm

Well, I didn't think that it was possible but the sexy new website makes the Message Forum even less obvious. Great move!

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Re: Why is the Message Forum so quiet?

Post by kevinramsdale » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:01 am

CollectIreland wrote:Well, I didn't think that it was possible but the sexy new website makes the Message Forum even less obvious. Great move!
Took me a while to spot the link I must admit
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Re: Why is the Message Forum so quiet?

Post by eastlondonpostcard » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:12 pm

kevinramsdale wrote:
CollectIreland wrote:Well, I didn't think that it was possible but the sexy new website makes the Message Forum even less obvious. Great move!
Took me a while to spot the link I must admit
Watch this space guys... ther's more on the way!!!
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Re: Why is the Message Forum so quiet?

Post by kevinramsdale » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:05 pm

Yes, no doubt Mike's priority was to get the new look home page up and running, with fine tuning to come.

When logging onto the forum (using Firefox) I get security warnings about an unencrypted connection - could some people be turning back at that point?
Kevin

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Re: Why is the Message Forum so quiet?

Post by eastlondonpostcard » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:37 am

kevinramsdale wrote:Yes, no doubt Mike's priority was to get the new look home page up and running, with fine tuning to come.

When logging onto the forum (using Firefox) I get security warnings about an unencrypted connection - could some people be turning back at that point?
Possibly - this extra layer has been introduced by Mozilla Firefox recently and can be off-putting. If you click on 'Learn More' on the message there is an explanation as to what this means and the options available. Other browsers do not seem to do this...

It is a good 'rule of thumb' idea not to use the same username/password for any other logins as the one used for this forum; and most certainly do not give out any personal details unless it is a known and trusted site.
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