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What should we do with the Voyageurs forum?

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I hope the MLS forum is not removed.  I enjoy this forum because of the lack of fanboys over running every single thread.  I like that every single TFC game is not followed with "Fire Vanney" or "Blow up the team" after every loss and the opposite after every win.  That kind of posting makes forums like the RedPatchBoys difficult to read as I don't feel like I'm gain any insight.  The Voyageurs forum posts seems a bit more reflective and thought out.

You also get input from people who are not necessarily TFC supporters and its always nice to get a non-fan's opinion.   I get that things used to be much more heated, but things seemed to have calmed down now.

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3 hours ago, AvroArrow said:

I hope the MLS forum is not removed.  I enjoy this forum because of the lack of fanboys over running every single thread.  I like that every single TFC game is not followed with "Fire Vanney" or "Blow up the team" after every loss and the opposite after every win.  That kind of posting makes forums like the RedPatchBoys difficult to read as I don't feel like I'm gain any insight.  The Voyageurs forum posts seems a bit more reflective and thought out.

You also get input from people who are not necessarily TFC supporters and its always nice to get a non-fan's opinion.   I get that things used to be much more heated, but things seemed to have calmed down now.

I have to agree with this. The MLS forum used to be a real mess with every threads turning into anti-TFC/WC/Impact arguments. Now, I feel like things have cooled down and the team specific threads are interesting to read.

My main interest here is the MNT discussions, but I like to follow the MLS teams news, so I'd like to the MLS section.

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I don't post often and rarely on facebook (Since I have apparently power). I will however ban people who post anything that isn't related to Canadian soccer. So, if you post your stuff that isn't about Canadian soccer, you're gone. I did that earlier and I wouldn't mind doing that more often. 

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Geez I need to get off the CPL board more often so I don't miss things like this lol. I've had my share of stupid arguing here and have tried to cut it down. It wasn't accomplishing anything and just really took up bandwidth. 

I personally like the splitting of boards for club and country purposes. Each is important but the focus should be separate as we have different goals with each. Also like the setting of  rules and moderation. Fairly sure I wouldn't of been rightfully slapped down a few times. There's nothing wrong for with being told that you are out of line when sometimes you can't  see it's yourself. 

Anyways thanks Jamie for everything as always and looking forward to the future on here

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Just checking in after 11 months away. I was encouraged to by a fellow V as he suggested it might be worthwhile for me to comment. I'm less than convinced what I might contribute will have any real effect, but here it is for what it's worth. Just to be clear, this is as much about The Voyageurs as it is about the forum. Hi everyone. 

 

I think the most pressing issue for The Voyageurs is that its mandate, although somewhat obvious to most, is nebulously defined. And even though if you put 12 of us into a pub during pregame we would likely have a very similar idea of what the Vs were and what we were to do, actions flow from these kind of definitions ... who are we and what are we about. So I think we need a much clearer definition of what the Vs are and what our purpose is and then move from there. 

I don't think this is a difficult thing to figure out. In fact, I had a lot of hope that our meetings around the July 2015 Gold Cup had produced this kind of definition ... perhaps they still will ... but it's been three years since then and from what I've seen, we haven't substantively moved forward. 

The second most significant issue as I see it is communication. There is no cohesion as to The Voyageurs' organization's message and often communication that does come out is opaque and hard to understand. I've tried to pass on some ideas around how to potentially improve communication, but we haven't arrived at anything solid there yet. The reason poor communication is such a problem is because it has an alienating affect on both new Vs and long term ones. I can't count the number of people who have remarked to me that they simply did not know what was going on with (insert event 'X'). Some of this is their own fault, but some of it is due to a lack of clear and unified communication. 

But this brings up another issue ... Jamie for the most part is a one person army and there's no way he should be expected to carry the load for ticketing, memberships, forum moderation, website creation and editing, event planning, communication, merchandise ... the list goes on. I know there are people who have helped off and on greatly with all of this, but many of those are temporary when the amount of work needed to be done is high. There needs to be a large number of people who are willing to step up, volunteer, offer ideas but also take direction. Personally I've volunteered to help and I'm sure there are lots of others. But then we are back to square one where we don't know our purpose and direction so it's hard to know what that volunteering might look like. Honestly, I think it's also terrible that Jamie has carried the financial burden of supporting the website as well as other Vs financial obligations for so long. In my opinion, this all has to stop. (I am not faulting anyone here for any of the above by the way. I doubt most people really know the full details of the Vs (or Jamie's) expenditures, and I can't really fault Jamie for being willing to pay for things either ... however, I still believe this is not right and needs to change).

So in response to the items above, and as much as some will be aghast to hear the word 'organization' and fear the upcoming bureaucracy, it is very much needed ... An organization that know who the Vs are, what we are trying do, and are volunteering to plan and do those things (and discuss and decide them along the way).

And within that framework I think the situation with the forum and the website needs to change in the following ways:

1. The forum needs to take a back seat. It should be only one part of, and perhaps a very small part, of a larger Voyageurs online presence. The forum is not the Vs. The majority of the most dedicated Voyageurs I know no longer visit or post on the forum or have greatly reduced their participation in the forum. Many of those most active in new CanPL supporters groups, especially those who were new here, joined the forum, spent a very short amount of time here, and then quickly stopped participating and visiting. Although I am in contact with dozens of people in these new SGs, I don't know for certain why they stopped their involvement on the Vs forum. But from my own experience, as tolerant as I am, I'm getting to old to spend my time being treated with contempt, and that is what many people on here do, far too quickly and with far too low a threshold for that reaction. On the flip side of this, many of those who have turned their back on the forum are excellent people ... knowledgeable, committed, smart, capable. It is actually a great loss to everyone on the forum that these fine folks decided not to stick around. Of course you can't please all of the people all of the time, nor should you try. But I think it's important to point out that dozens of people left here and if their reasons are anything like mine, and there's a reasonable chance that they are, then it should give people at least a little pause. Regardless of all of that, the forum need not change that much. It could use some moderation, but that is a heavy job and I have difficulty seeing it as a very rewarding one. But the forum should not in any way be the face that the Vs present to the world. It should be a link on the page where people who want to discuss Canadian soccer can discuss it, (mostly) as they want, and as they have been doing for 20+ years. Right now, however, I think the forum takes on too prominent a place in the Vs online presence.

2. There needs to be a dedicated website where who the Vs are, what we are doing, how people can get involved, as well as general Canadian soccer news can be communicated. It needs to be welcoming and easily understandable to newcomers. All the various Vs social media presences need to point to it so that it is a point of reference for everything the Vs do. However, see above about a) direction b) labour c) cost. The forum could simply be a link from this page, but I think it might be wise to have a disclaimer of some sort that explains what the forum is and what it is not ... that it is a public space that is lightly monitored and that those commenting are providing their own opinions and not those of The Voyageurs. As much as this should be obvious, in my experience little is obvious to all. 

If there was a website, any Voyageurs' message could be singular and clear and the face of the Vs could be less about the forum and more about what the Vs are doing. And over the next 8 years there is likely going to be a ton that we are doing. I'm certainly wiling to help out with all of that, but I think any move forward starts with what I said right off the top ... Who are we and what do we do? Answer that (clearly) and let other actions be based on those answers.

One final point ... The Vs website and forum are costly. It might be worthwhile to discuss whether the forum is worth the cost for the benefit people get and if it is not, to potentially have it move elsewhere, maybe on a free platform. In the past I've found a reasonable amount of value in the forum but now I'm not sure what side of that argument I would land.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/10/2018 at 12:47 AM, socceronly said:

Yes, BBTB's relentless negativity in that period is one of the most destructive things this forum has seen.    

What was truly destructive was the intolerance shown for other perspectives on here and the inability of people to accept that people who disagree with them can care just as passionately about Canadian soccer as they do.

Edit: And can you explain how suggesting that MLS and CanPL work together for the greater good of Canadian soccer by finding a compromise that gets more top MLS academy prospects playing professionally in Canada is relentlessly negative? Would a rebranded TFC II really have been any more problematic than what York 9 is shaping up to be at the moment? Would working with the Impact not have been the best way to have a Quebec team in at the launch?

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard

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I hope the forum stays.  I can see that it isnt really a part of the purpose/mandate of the Voyaguers and their message.  But from a guy living in rural manitoba who has to almost no soccer watching friends, this site has been an god send.  Where else can you find so many knowledgeable people with similar interests.  I dont live and die with Man city, Barcelona etc and Neymar/Ronaldo/Messi are not my heroes.  Having this forum focusing on CDN content in whatever league it is in, and informing us about youth teams/players, upcmong matches and the burgeoning CPL all in one place is exactly what I love about the site.  Forums like this are part of the grassroots interest and appeal that needs to keep growing along with all the other more tangable  aspects of the game.  

The tone and vitriol of parts of the forum can turn people off, but other than moderating content a bit more and banning the real GOOBERS that are trying to derail rational discussion I dont know how you can control it.  There will always be a**holes who actively try to sh*t disturb things.  And I am surprised at how many posters (grown men) who admit that they do it knowingly.  We can all clean up our act a bit so as not to turn people off the forum.  

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I concur with a lot of what @rob.notenboom said above, and I agree that the forum should still exist, but not be the main focus of this site.  We have a lot of work to do as Voyageurs in the next 8 years and we do need to focus on that. 

I have also grown tired of wading through a lot of crap on the forum, and while I haven't left completely, I spend a small fraction of the time here that I used to.

For me it wasn't negative posts that turned me off specifically.  The CPL pages in particular, became inundated with a few people arguing the same things over and over.  It was so tiring to wade through that I just gave up.  Now that the teams have started launching and the league feels real to everyone, that seems to have subsided a bit.  I would love to see moderators give a warning in the future to people arguing round and round to take it to DM's, and then delete if necessary.

On a personal note, I've spent a lot of my spare time in the past 18 months working on Red River Rising.  Now that the team has launched, I'm hoping we can establish a leadership structure withing the group (we are working on that over the next 6 months) and then I plan to scale my involvement back there.  My focus has always been on seeing CPL launch for the greater good of our National Team, and I would like to shift my involvement now to more of a Voyageurs brand ambassador within the supporter community here.  On that note @socceronly I should have more time in the coming months to help out if you need it :)   I thought I would throw this out there because there may be voyageurs in some of the other supporters groups who might want to work from within to help build the Voyageurs brand back in places where it may be tarnished, or to help bring new people in, who might not be familiar with what we do.

And this all comes back to Rob's post.  Having a site that clearly defines who we are, what we do, and how people can get involved is really important.

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2 hours ago, Bison44 said:

The tone and vitriol of parts of the forum can turn people off, ...

This has always been the main problem on the Voyageurs board going back 20 years or so. Some people seem to have a blank cheque to be personally abusive to other posters and newcomers and it has consistently made this forum much more fringe than it should have been. In a society as diverse as Canada's there are going to be a wide range of perspectives but many on this forum are very narrow minded and intolerant and think they have the right to shout other people down.

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How shocking that a serious discussion on the future of the board is trying to be derailed into an “I’m picked on and I do nothing wrong pity party” while still arguing your same old, tired theories. I should of known better than to turn the ignore off 

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And yet again this guy builds a strawman rather than dealing with the point that is being raised. The first step in moderation on here should not be to eliminate opinions that some people don't like but should be to clamp down on and eliminate abusive behaviour towards fellow Voyageurs. Respect should be shown to differing perspectives rather than the spewing of mindless vitriol.

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I feel like there is a lot of “this is what it means to be a voyageur” and if you don’t follow this idealogy then you are a “moron” and “idiot” and  I was called a “traitor supporter” or something like that, a lot of people need to leave their egos at the door, many threads are hard to read these days for a whole lot of reasons and there’s never going to be an easy fix.

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21 minutes ago, jordan said:

I feel like there is a lot of “this is what it means to be a voyageur” and if you don’t follow this idealogy then you are a “moron” and “idiot” and  I was called a “traitor supporter” or something like that, a lot of people need to leave their egos at the door, many threads are hard to read these days for a whole lot of reasons and there’s never going to be an easy fix.

I was called a traitor and not a true fan because I thought that Tabla should have the right to choose who he plays for. Trying to be a voice of patience and reason here usually leads to the personal attacks I’ve had 

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What the hell. You guys are overthinking this. We are Canadian soccer supporters. We support our national teams.  It's not difficult. We have been around a long time, therefore seniority and knowledge is respected and newbies have a tough time. That's the way the world works. If you're too thin skinned for the forum, so be it. It is still the best place for national team news and discussion anywhere on this planet, and any attempts to minimize the reach, scope, or availability of this forum would be a detriment to Canadian soccer.

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9 hours ago, BrennanFan said:

What the hell. You guys are overthinking this. We are Canadian soccer supporters. We support our national teams.  It's not difficult. We have been around a long time, therefore seniority and knowledge is respected and newbies have a tough time. That's the way the world works. If you're too thin skinned for the forum, so be it. It is still the best place for national team news and discussion anywhere on this planet, and any attempts to minimize the reach, scope, or availability of this forum would be a detriment to Canadian soccer.

This kind of attitude displayed by you (and others) pretty much sums up what is wrong with this forum for me in the first place. 

First of all, to pretend nothing is wrong at all, even when the man behind the platform is the one that started this thread, is simply arrogant.

Second, the whole notion that due to the fact that you’ve been around longer you are somehow a bigger Canadian soccer fan, and therefore should dictate the culture around here, is very medieval.

I’d like to refer people to the beginning of the MOACA thread when I took over from a few years ago, as an example how you should not treat newcomers, who may bringh new (and perhaps) improved ideas to the table.

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11 hours ago, BrennanFan said:

What the hell. You guys are overthinking this. We are Canadian soccer supporters. We support our national teams.  It's not difficult. We have been around a long time, therefore seniority and knowledge is respected and newbies have a tough time. That's the way the world works. If you're too thin skinned for the forum, so be it. It is still the best place for national team news and discussion anywhere on this planet, and any attempts to minimize the reach, scope, or availability of this forum would be a detriment to Canadian soccer.

Honestly Martin, I find these sentiments very disappointing. Inherent in Jamie's starting this thread, the statements he made at the beginning of it, and other statements he's made elsewhere is the idea that in the buildup to 2026 the idea is to grow The Voyageurs into something bigger and better than we currently are. I feel what you have expressed above would actually achieve the opposite.

Now if growing the Vs is not a concern of yours, then that is another matter entirely. But if it is a concern of yours, then statements tantamount to "that's the way it is ... deal with it" will only serve to push people away.

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2 hours ago, rob.notenboom said:

Honestly Martin, I find these sentiments very disappointing. Inherent in Jamie's starting this thread, the statements he made at the beginning of it, and other statements he's made elsewhere is the idea that in the buildup to 2026 the idea is to grow The Voyageurs into something bigger and better than we currently are. I feel what you have expressed above would actually achieve the opposite.

Now if growing the Vs is not a concern of yours, then that is another matter entirely. But if it is a concern of yours, then statements tantamount to "that's the way it is ... deal with it" will only serve to push people away.

The forum unites us from coast to coast. We have all agreed on more moderation. I strongly disagree that any further action need be taken with the forum.

I fail to see how having the forum "take a back seat" will accomplish any net positive. 

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9 minutes ago, BrennanFan said:

The forum unites us from coast to coast. We have all agreed on more moderation. I strongly disagree that any further action need be taken with the forum.

I fail to see how having the forum "take a back seat" will accomplish any net positive. 

The forum does not unite us. That is not even close to true. The vast majority of people who consider themselves Voyageurs never post. A large number including dozens I can personally attest to used to post but no longer do or if they do they post much less frequently. I know many who can’t take the constant negativity on here so simply have left the forum altogether or visit just enough to keep up to date. 

If the forum united us, this discussion would be unnecessary. 

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As someone who has read the site off and on for a couple of years, and only recently started to comment, I greatly appreciate the forum and the knowledge of people here.  This may be simplistic, but the dire lack of success with the Men's team I think plays a huge part to the negativity here.  I think we all care and have opinions of what it will take to have a successful team, but the constant losing does take a toll.  Again simplistic answer I know.  I am truly hoping the next couple of years we see more success in both Mens team and with the CPL.  I just hope we can keep the forum and with some of the teams success will bring a more positive and unified Voyageur group

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As someone who has read the site off and on for a couple of years, and only recently started to comment, I greatly appreciate the forum and the knowledge of people here.  This may be simplistic, but the dire lack of success with the Men's team I think plays a huge part to the negativity here.  I think we all care and have opinions of what it will take to have a successful team, but the constant losing does take a toll.  Again simplistic answer I know.  I am truly hoping the next couple of years we see more success in both Mens team and with the CPL.  I just hope we can keep the forum and with some of the teams success will bring a more positive and unified Voyageur group.  And I say this because as a Wpg Jet fan there was many years where fan forums were negative and toxic.  They start winning and everyone is friendly and positive.  😄

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18 minutes ago, rob.notenboom said:

The forum does not unite us. That is not even close to true. The vast majority of people who consider themselves Voyageurs never post. A large number including dozens I can personally attest to used to post but no longer do or if they do they post much less frequently. I know many who can’t take the constant negativity on here so simply have left the forum altogether or visit just enough to keep up to date. 

If the forum united us, this discussion would be unnecessary. 

I take your point. To be more accurate, the forum unites those of us who post and read the forum.  

Moderation can address the negativity, but some negativity is to be expected. It's still an Internet forum. Nature of the beast.  

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2 minutes ago, BrennanFan said:

I take your point. To be more accurate, the forum unites those of us who post and read the forum.  

Moderation can address the negativity, but some negativity is to be expected. It's still an Internet forum. Nature of the beast.  

I agree that the forum brings together many people across Canada and several outside of it. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find it valuable in the past (and I’m sure people still find it to be). Agree as well with some form of moderation although I’m not sure to what standard or how that should happen. 

However, I think as well that the Vs need a more complete online presence that is not the forum. If there is a goal to build the group toward 2026, and I’ve seen it stated that there is, then this is not the platform I would choose. 

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6 hours ago, Fussball_eh said:

First of all, to pretend nothing is wrong at all, even when the man behind the platform is the one that started this thread, is simply arrogant.

Second, the whole notion that due to the fact that you’ve been around longer you are somehow a bigger Canadian soccer fan, and therefore should dictate the culture around here, is very medieval.

At no point have I asserted either of these positions that you take issue with.

You have put words in my mouth and insulted me. Why is that? Well, it's not because you are a poor human being or genuinely wish negativity upon me. It is because sometimes that happens when communicating on an Internet forum.  That is the way human dynamics work when it's not face to face, with someone you know in real life. We just take less care in our communications with random people the internet.

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