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What should we do with the Voyageurs forum?

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7 hours ago, Fussball_eh said:

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.

You offered to take over the MOACA list and unilaterally decided you were going to move it to another (your own) website. We had every right to fight that as it was the work of multiple individuals going back almost 2 decades. I consider your actions what not to do when joining a new forum.

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On 7/9/2018 at 10:17 AM, socceronly said:

No, in fact it's the opposite. 

I am in touch with most of the CanPL SG's.  Most, because of this very forum will have nothing to with us.   They won't even post here.

This forum murdered our relationship with the CanPL supporters groups.    In total they will number in the thousands of completely new people and they are mostly lost to us 100% because of this forum.

I think you hinted at this before, maybe even outright said it. What's the deal? Did they get turned off by BBTB's negativity on the CPL threads or do they think we're all dicks?

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Pointing out that Ottawa and Edmonton would almost certainly have to be FCE and the Fury and were not likely to be Katz and Melnyk, that stadium solutions would not be easy to do on the timeline envisaged in Surrey, Saskatchewan and K/W, and that most recently "Port City" looked like a placeholder and would probably wind up in Victoria wasn't negativity it was realism. A lot of people on here seriously underestimated how difficult it is to launch a new pro soccer league in Canada.

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard

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7 hours ago, jpg75 said:

You offered to take over the MOACA list and unilaterally decided you were going to move it to another (your own) website. We had every right to fight that as it was the work of multiple individuals going back almost 2 decades. I consider your actions what not to do when joining a new forum.

I don’t want to derail the thread, but for the record, I wanted to move it to a google document (not my own website) instead of text in the forum, which by the way we ended up doing, and everyone is happy with the “new” format.

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6 hours ago, Fussball_eh said:

I don’t want to derail the thread, but for the record, I wanted to move it to a google document (not my own website) instead of text in the forum, which by the way we ended up doing, and everyone is happy with the “new” format.

That was the compromise solution, not your original plan. Anyways, moving on...

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21 hours ago, Fussball_eh said:

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.

Where did @BrennanFan say that being around longer means you are a bigger Canadian soccer fan? He never did. That is simply dishonest. He said seniority and knowledge should be respected, which I agree with. When I joined the forum, I didn't post every single ignorant thought that crossed my mind. I read a lot and I learned from posters like Ed and Daniel and Grizzly. When I asked questions, I did so looking for information from those that had it, not to find something I could have learned by asking Google. 

That is appropriate forum behaviour which in turn will add to, not distract from, the positive discussion that happens here. I have no problem with senior posters saying so.

Edited by masster

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16 hours 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. 

Why are they no longer posting, or posting less frequently? The main reason from the people I talk to is the lack of moderation. The vast majority seem to agree that that should be changed. If that is done properly, things will improve

To expect an internet forum to be a bastion of unity is foolish. It is simply a vehicle to facilitate discussion which includes disagreement.

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I have no problem with the forum. Though I can see why having a Canadian/generalist soccer forum on what is essentially a fanboy/hardcore supporters website could cause issues. Whenever I am debating issues... particularly about CPL... I always get this feeling from other users like "Everybody needs to be positive/rally around the league...etc"...which leaves me confused because I am here to debate, discuss and give my opinions like I would on any other topic and not just be a automatic cheerleader for all things Canadian soccer. I think what you have is people who just come here to use forum to discuss things and also people who are proud supporters of Canadian soccer...neither of which are in the wrong...but they end up clashing.

Either way I'd like to see option 2. I'd like to see the entire forum spun off with separate name/branding. Also stick ads on it to help with funding(I mean I'm not even sure why there aren't any on this site?). 

I am not a fan of heavy moderation. But I do think the forum could use some in making sure users stay on the respective threads topic. 

Edited by mpg_29

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2 hours ago, masster said:

Why are they no longer posting, or posting less frequently? The main reason from the people I talk to is the lack of moderation. The vast majority seem to agree that that should be changed. If that is done properly, things will improve

To expect an internet forum to be a bastion of unity is foolish. It is simply a vehicle to facilitate discussion which includes disagreement.

I will try and give you a complete answer to this later tonaight, Massimo. Too busy at work to respond fully right now. It’s an excellent question. 

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3 hours ago, masster said:

Why are they no longer posting, or posting less frequently? The main reason from the people I talk to is the lack of moderation. The vast majority seem to agree that that should be changed. If that is done properly, things will improve

To expect an internet forum to be a bastion of unity is foolish. It is simply a vehicle to facilitate discussion which includes disagreement.

Hostility or what is perceived as such is part of the problem. The other part is 'technology'   

People see forums as antiquated and prefer social media.   This can't be overstated, it is a huge hit to traffic here.

People eschewing this for social media is in all honesty a mistake.   You lose longer form conversations, and anyone who says they prefer social media because of hostility here can't be telling the truth.  FB and Twitter are a cesspool.

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, mpg_29 said:

I have no problem with the forum. Though I can see why having a Canadian/generalist soccer forum on what is essentially a fanboy/hardcore supporters website could cause issues. Whenever I am debating issues... particularly about CPL... I always get this feeling from other users like "Everybody needs to be positive/rally around the league...etc"...which leaves me confused because I am here to debate, discuss and give my opinions like I would on any other topic and not just be a automatic cheerleader for all things Canadian soccer. I think what you have is people who just come here to use forum to discuss things and also people who are proud supporters of Canadian soccer...neither of which are in the wrong...but they end up clashing.

Either way I'd like to see option 2. I'd like to see the entire forum spun off with separate name/branding. Also stick ads on it to help with funding(I mean I'm not even sure why there aren't any on this site?). 

I am not a fan of heavy moderation. But I do think the forum could use some in making sure users stay on the respective threads topic. 

The cheer leading aspect comes from me somewhat.  I was trying to separate the difference between discussion, being critical and a veritable  tsunami of relentless negativity.    It drove many people away, when even the most simple speculative thought was vivisected and turned into an argument. 

Ads don't bring in as much money as you might think.  Our best months when we had ads wouldn't pay for the forum today or come close to it.   I also dislike the ad driven model for everything.   It was causing some problems and was not worth it for the money.    In one case I was getting complaints  from a user about ads for gay dating sites.   So I went ahead and explained how and why ads work, namely it targets the IP/computer based on history and is not served from our site.  Almost immediately after doing that I realized what I had done and regretted it terribly, and took the ads down.  There is simply nothing benign about them.

 

 

 

 



 

 

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When you had a subforum on here that could only be accessed by buying a CanPL 2018 t-shirt how many people actually used it? Almost nobody. If all it would take to have lots of people posting on here is to remove discordant voices that question some aspects of the CanPL project that should have been a big success but it wasn't.

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23 minutes ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

When you had a subforum on here that could only be accessed by buying a CanPL 2018 t-shirt how many people actually used it? Almost nobody. If all it would take to have lots of people posting on here is to remove discordant voices that question some aspects of the CanPL project that should have been a big success but it wasn't.

I think it could have been better. It  was not a good year+ for me, I went back and forth to Vancouver like 14 times or something crazy.   Everything was stop and go. 

We did raise almost $2200 which we used to make shirts for the SG's.  The remaining money will be used to promote them via FB closer to the season starting.

And yes, it would have helped to keep many people on board by not eviscerating people who showed up and posted something positive.   I can count many many key people who left.  Others laughing about usernames on this board at SG meetups and shaking their heads.    I have been to those meetups everywhere expect Nova Scotia.  

Our biggest drop is from social media, like FB & Twitter.  

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Dub Narcotic said:

@socceronly you have the numbers but this forum seems much more active to me now than the last few years.

Yes, and a large part of that is the CSA linking to us for tickets for the supporters section. That brought in a lot of new people, also driving people into the site to buy tickets instead of a simple Pay Pal button.

Compare 2010 World Cup to 2018.   Almost ten times fewer posts, and 100-1000 times fewer views on those posts.

On the old site our record for simultaneous people logged in, that is logged in not just viewing, was over 1000.   This iteration is 400 or so. 

 

 

 

 

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54 minutes ago, socceronly said:

The cheer leading aspect comes from me somewhat.  I was trying to separate the difference between discussion, being critical and a veritable  tsunami of relentless negativity.    It drove many people away, when even the most simple speculative thought was vivisected and turned into an argument. 

Ads don't bring in as much money as you might think.  Our best months when we had ads wouldn't pay for the forum today or come close to it.   I also dislike the ad driven model for everything.   It was causing some problems and was not worth it for the money.    In one case I was getting complaints  from a user about ads for gay dating sites.   So I went ahead and explained how and why ads work, namely it targets the IP/computer based on history and is not served from our site.  Almost immediately after doing that I realized what I had done and regretted it terribly, and took the ads down.  There is simply nothing benign about them.

Well I guessed I'd like to get some clarity here because I'm confused about what the issue even is. Is it traffic or posting levels that are down? Is that the issue?

If I remember correctly for about the last year or so you couldn't even view the forum unless you were logged in. So i'd imagine that killed a lot of traffic as there are probably a lot passive users of the site who couldn't see anything and just never bothered coming back.

Also when it comes to ads I don't know why you have to be defensive about it. If the site costs money then you should be able to recoup at least some of the costs with ads. Almost every site has ads...and those ads are targeted based on the users own internet use...not the owner of the site that's displaying them....at least with adsense.

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8 minutes ago, mpg_29 said:

Well I guessed I'd like to get some clarity here because I'm confused about what the issue even is. Is it traffic or posting levels that are down? Is that the issue?

If I remember correctly for about the last year or so you couldn't even view the forum unless you were logged in. So i'd imagine that killed a lot of traffic as there are probably a lot passive users of the site who couldn't see anything and just never bothered coming back.

Also when it comes to ads I don't know why you have to be defensive about it. If the site costs money then you should be able to recoup at least some of the costs with ads. Almost every site has ads...and those ads are targeted based on the users own internet use...not the owner of the site that's displaying them....at least with adsense.

There are several issues. 

The forum is seen as hostile, though I don't think it is as bad as people make it out to be, especially wrt to FB & Twitter.

We are built around the forum, which is not a good position to be in but it is an understandable one given the history of the game here (or lack of it).   Now the game has changed, in that we are likely to much more active over the coming years the forum should probably take a back seat to doing other things. 

Try an experiment, try promoting this site/The Voyageurs  to knowledgeable people in Canadian soccer.   You will likely find if they know about us, they will not touch this with a ten foot pole.  Go to the next CanPL meeting in your area and try it.

I don't think I was defensive about ads, I really hate them.   They don't make that much money, mess with the site and come with a cost relative to what people think about us.   Websites have ads, organizations normally don't.  I'm not sure we get links from the CSA site to us if we are full of ads.  It's a perception issue. 

 

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Further to that.  A big issue is how do we reach people now? 

FB costs money to make sure people see your event / post.  Organic reach is zero now.
Email is almost impossible to get through 
Traffic to the site is down, but went up after the 2026 announcement

The only place we have control is on the site.   Why spend time building an audience on social media, they then turn around and charge you to access?  

Our ticket sales are way down, like a lot.  

 

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4 hours ago, socceronly said:

Further to that.  A big issue is how do we reach people now?

You want to reach people, other than thru the forum?  Only way to do that is to have content.  You gotta sling that 'tent, baby.

A couple posters have said that they come here for information about Canadian soccer that they wouldn't necessarily find elsewhere.  You can leverage that to provide content that might bring other likeminded folks around.  Take the best part of the forum and put it out front by itself.  Some examples of what could appear:

1) Weekly recap of the Canucks Abroad (provided @Fussball_eh is okay with that because its his team that does the most work in that respect).

2) Weekly, in-depth player profiles (active and retired and more than what you would find in Wikipedia)

3) Classic Canadian game recaps from over the years (highlights would definitely help).

4) CPL weekly recaps.

5) Weekly academy, young Canucks abroad recap.

Those are just a few that have come to mind in the last five minutes.

In order to get this to work, you would need the following:

1) A team of 20 or so dedicated content providers so that there is always something new in the hopper.  Spreading that out, the commitment should be minimal, especially for those passionate about Canadian soccer (I could bang out a profile of Rob Friend in a week that would make his mama cry).

2) A dedicated twitter presence.  I would say that you would need one really dedicated resource or a couple so that you're averaging 4 or 5 tweets a day to get a following and point people to the new 'tent.

Potential pitfalls:

The only one I can think of is if someone writes something that gets torn apart by the forum.  Firstly, that would look terrible.  When something developed by a group is then dismissed by that group, that looks amateur-hour.  Secondly, you'll lose a writer.  You'll notice that none of the five topics above are opinion based.  

 

 

I think it's be fun.  Not sure if that's what you were looking for, but I think after awhile it would get some traction.  The team would have to make sure they keep it up.  Things like this start gangbusters for 2 months but then fall off.  I volunteer to writer "El Hombre's Musings" where I take issue with millennials in a weekly column.  Works already in process: "My Lawn Ain't Green Cause Y'All Stand On It All The Time", "Who Moved the Thermostat?", and "What's A Snapchat?"

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27 minutes ago, El Hombre said:

You want to reach people, other than thru the forum?  Only way to do that is to have content.  You gotta sling that 'tent, baby.

A couple posters have said that they come here for information about Canadian soccer that they wouldn't necessarily find elsewhere.  You can leverage that to provide content that might bring other likeminded folks around.  Take the best part of the forum and put it out front by itself.  Some examples of what could appear:

1) Weekly recap of the Canucks Abroad (provided @Fussball_eh is okay with that because its his team that does the most work in that respect).

2) Weekly, in-depth player profiles (active and retired and more than what you would find in Wikipedia)

3) Classic Canadian game recaps from over the years (highlights would definitely help).

4) CPL weekly recaps.

5) Weekly academy, young Canucks abroad recap.

Those are just a few that have come to mind in the last five minutes.

In order to get this to work, you would need the following:

1) A team of 20 or so dedicated content providers so that there is always something new in the hopper.  Spreading that out, the commitment should be minimal, especially for those passionate about Canadian soccer (I could bang out a profile of Rob Friend in a week that would make his mama cry).

2) A dedicated twitter presence.  I would say that you would need one really dedicated resource or a couple so that you're averaging 4 or 5 tweets a day to get a following and point people to the new 'tent.

Potential pitfalls:

The only one I can think of is if someone writes something that gets torn apart by the forum.  Firstly, that would look terrible.  When something developed by a group is then dismissed by that group, that looks amateur-hour.  Secondly, you'll lose a writer.  You'll notice that none of the five topics above are opinion based.  

 

 

I think it's be fun.  Not sure if that's what you were looking for, but I think after awhile it would get some traction.  The team would have to make sure they keep it up.  Things like this start gangbusters for 2 months but then fall off.  I volunteer to writer "El Hombre's Musings" where I take issue with millennials in a weekly column.  Works already in process: "My Lawn Ain't Green Cause Y'All Stand On It All The Time", "Who Moved the Thermostat?", and "What's A Snapchat?"

In all honesty, this is a great idea (excepting the final two sentences).

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7 hours ago, socceronly said:

In one case I was getting complaints  from a user about ads for gay dating sites.   So I went ahead and explained how and why ads work, namely it targets the IP/computer based on history and is not served from our site. 

 

 

 



 

 

In other words, the user doth protest too much

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I'm looking forward to someone explaining what a snapchat is.  

Seriously though, the canucks abroad thread is the first thing I read when I come on, excellent content.  

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11 hours ago, masster said:

Why are they no longer posting, or posting less frequently? The main reason from the people I talk to is the lack of moderation. The vast majority seem to agree that that should be changed. If that is done properly, things will improve

To expect an internet forum to be a bastion of unity is foolish. It is simply a vehicle to facilitate discussion which includes disagreement.

Aargh!!! I was several paragraphs into an unfortunately long response to this and it all got deleted by a misplaced keystroke. Sigh ... starting again ...

For me, and I believe for many others including many who are involved in new CanPL SGs, the answer to why people have miograted away from the forum comes down to mindset. Bear with me.

It became pretty obvious more than a year ago that not only was CanPL going forward but it was going to do so as its own Div 1 league. It also became pretty obvious that these newly minted teams were going to need a lot of support and there were several people across the country who began to take actions to do exactly that. Many of the potential pitfalls that CanPL would face were obvious as well, so obvious in fact that they didn't require mention.

Yes. They didn't require mention.

But that's what happened on the forum ... over and over and over and over and over ...

I'm sure you get the picture.

While people across Canada were involved in trying to help CanPL ownership groups in any way they could, the forum was stuck in some kind of bizarre circle jerk ... why the league would fail or why it wouldn't fail or what problems it would face or how those things weren't actually problems because the landscape has changed ... ad nauseum.

Now let me be clear ... I am not saying that anticipating potential problems has no value. I am also not saying that understanding the potential Canadian context in which a league is going to find itself in is not valuable. Both of these things are valuable. What is not valuable, and to be frank what is actually potentially damaging, is getting so hung up on these negative/positive/neutral aspects that the discussion goes round and round and round without moving on and sucking the wind out of everyone's sails while the discussion persists. And don't kid yourself ... that was exactly what was happening. I'm reminded of the Jack Nicholson line from 'As Good As It Gets' -

"I'm drowning here! And you're describing the water!"

That is a very long winded way of saying that the ongoing discussion here was worse than useless for anyone whose mindset was to actually go and try and do something to help. It added virtually no new information and discussed virtually no new substantive action. Mentioning over and over and over that CanPL would be better off with a broadcasting deal or that it would certainly not get a broadcasting deal or that it would be better off including the MLS reserve teams or that MLS reserve teams would certainly contribute to the downfall of the league only served to kill people's enthusiasm and hope.

And of course ... it's a discussion board. So discuss away. And if that discussion isn't a bastion of unity, no one should be surprised at that. But no one should be surprised either if people decide that a discussion that is clearly lacking purpose is in fact clearly lacking purpose and choose to spend their time doing more purposeful things and having more purposeful discussions.

tl;dr? What point is there in discussing things that have already been decided or are already understood when what you really need to do is to take action?

 

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10 hours ago, socceronly said:

...Try an experiment, try promoting this site/The Voyageurs  to knowledgeable people in Canadian soccer.   You will likely find if they know about us, they will not touch this with a ten foot pole...

2

It's been that way for a very long time going back as far as the old network54 days.

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11 hours ago, socceronly said:

Compare 2010 World Cup to 2018.   Almost ten times fewer posts, and 100-1000 times fewer views on those posts.

On the old site our record for simultaneous people logged in, that is logged in not just viewing, was over 1000.   This iteration is 400 or so.

 

There are a lot of other social media platforms available now like Twitter and Reddit.

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