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What should we do with the Voyageurs forum?

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9 hours ago, RS said:

In other words, the user doth protest too much

No, I was referring specifically to unwittingly outing a family member that uses the same computer, a kid perhaps.

A few years ago a tracking algorithm pegged people that were likely pregnant, and sent product samples and promos to thier houses.  You can guess the fuckery that ensued. 

Is this worth $13 a month from ads?

Nope

 

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I think Rob's post above sums up most of what I have been trying to say.   That is the difference between cheer leading, critical conversations and relentless negativity.   It's why I keep saying complain when your grand children have season tickets.  We can make a choice to support something and not be blind to the challenges or problems.   Those problems are, like not having a stadium, often totally obvious. 

 

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The reality is Reddit has basically become "The Google" of forums. I'd imagine a lot of traditional forums have taken hits to traffic.

The CPL subreddit already has about 1.6K users and will likely become a popular catch-all for CPL and Canadian national team news similar to how the MLS subreddit has become huge source of news around MLS and US national teams.

It seems like most of the contention on here is surrounding the CPL topics. Because it seems like you can have "negative/critical" opinions about national team topics, like player/team performances, coaches changes, amount of friendlies scheduled..etc. However in the CPL topics I found there was a lot of tension around any dissenting opinions that veered from a positive/supportive outlook on the league. When I discussed the CPL I was interested into getting into the weeds of the economic viability of a professional soccer league in Canada...not as a "this will make our NT better" perspective. But I was in the minority with discussing that angle.

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It's almost seen as heresy by some to question the viability of a pro soccer league launch in Canada at this time and that flies in the face of pretty much all past experience. From what I can see many/most people with an interest in Canadian soccer have largely tuned out the whole CanPL saga so far, if they don't live in one of the launch markets. The idea that TFC and MLS are a major problem because of the domestic player rule angle rather than a massive success where Canadian soccer is concerned is not something you tend to run into much outside of this forum.

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3 minutes ago, mpg_29 said:

The reality is Reddit has basically become "The Google" of forums. I'd imagine a lot of traditional forums have taken hits to traffic.

The CPL subreddit already has about 1.6K users and will likely become a popular catch-all for CPL and Canadian national team news similar to how the MLS subreddit has become huge source of news around MLS and US national teams.

It seems like most of the contention on here is surrounding the CPL topics. Because it seems like you can have "negative/critical" opinions about national team topics, like player/team performances, coaches changes, amount of friendlies scheduled..etc. However in the CPL topics I found there was a lot of tension around any dissenting opinions that veered from a positive/supportive outlook on the league. When I discussed the CPL I was interested into getting into the weeds of the economic viability of a professional soccer league in Canada...not as a "this will make our NT better" perspective. But I was in the minority with discussing that angle.

The CPL is/was different.   People can argue about a player / game / friendlies.  That is an ongoing thing and will continue with or without us. 

The CPL problem is that this was something new, and it's success is pretty critical the future of the game in this country and needs the support of the very kind of people on this site.   No one was allowed an inch of room to support it without being torn apart.   It was tiring and damaging and that actually matters.  Read Rob's post, he explains it well. 

 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

It's almost seen as heresy by some to question the viability of a pro soccer league launch in Canada at this time and that flies in the face of pretty much all past experience. From what I can see many/most people with an interest in Canadian soccer have largely tuned out the whole CanPL saga so far, if they don't live in one of the launch markets. The idea that TFC and MLS are a major problem because of the domestic player rule angle rather than a massive success where Canadian soccer is concerned is not something you tend to run into much outside of this forum.

No it's not heresy. 

It's  beating the absolute living shit out of something people were actually exited about to the point they just fucking left.

That is it. That is the only point here that matters, not who was right or the position they had. 

They left and formed their own groups and are having great time and are not coming back.  

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7 hours ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

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

Yes, it's not new.  But it seems worse now and is compounded by other options so I suspect the tolerance level is way lower.

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12 hours 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?"

I think anyone running a blog / podcast can attest how difficult this is to pull off continuously and consistently. 

Rebuilding CSN into a platform anyone can publish on is currently being looked at.  A kind of central hub for anyone to publish and list links to their podcasts, blogs and articles.  

It has to be crowd sourced, the burnout factor on producing regular content is high. 

Moving the forum to a platform like this allows for several things.

  • Would drive more traffic to all the terrific work being done by bloggers/podcasters across the country. 
  • Divorces it from a national identity which is surprisingly problematic for some people.
  • Gives us arms length from the V's liability wise and for building relationships with other organizations
  • Allows us to get sponsorship and ads which is problematic for the V's*
  • Mitigate the league oriented rivalries and keep that arms length from the V's
  • Drive people to the V's from a more generic platform 

If this were done it would not be a hijacking of the forum, it would be owned by the V's. 
 

* My previous complaints and concerns about ads still stand.  However, in this case it would be different as sponsorship would be possible which is not the same thing. The V's would remain unbranded and not in conflict with any CSA sponsors present at games.  The CSN/Forum would not have to remain that way it improves the chance of there being some credible revenue generated. 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, socceronly said:

...It's  beating the absolute living shit out of something people were actually exited about to the point they just fucking left...

2

I did no such thing. I offered relatively mild and constructive criticism that revolved around using a slightly different strategy than the one preferred by the CSA. For having the temerity to do so I received an ongoing barrage of personal abuse from a tiny handful of posters that you chose for whatever reason not to moderate. I doubt that really made much difference in the larger scheme of things, however. You never really addressed why people didn't use your t-shirt subforum that I never joined or participated on? Could it be that a Hamilton or a Halifax forum makes more sense for would be CanPL fans in those cities than a Voyageurs one? That's what happened with the MLS supporters groups a decade or so ago. This is a national team forum first and foremost rather than a club team one.

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2 minutes ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

I did no such thing. I offered relatively mild and constructive criticism that revolved around using a slightly different strategy than the one preferred by the CSA. For having the temerity to do so I received an ongoing barrage of personal abuse from a tiny handful of posters that you chose for whatever reason not to moderate. I doubt that really made much difference in the larger scheme of things, however. You never really addressed why people didn't use your t-shirt subforum that I never joined or participated on? Could it be that a Hamilton or a Halifax forum makes more sense for would be CanPL fans in those cities than a Voyageurs one? That's what happened with the MLS supporters groups a decade or so ago. This is a national team forum first and foremost rather than a club team one.

This is what people perceived. Justified or not.  Most of the criticism I heard and hear today seems a bit overstated and all of this was left largely alone because I didn't see it as a problem at the time.  Until I travelled and met with all the groups and started trying to coordinate things with them. I just wasn't paying enough attention and that is my fault.  

I personally do not get many of the complaints especially when the alternative they propose is FB.  I mean how the hell is that an alternative?  I meet nothing but egregious assholes on there spouting endless trolling garbage.  This forum does not even touch the shittery I see on social media. 

Let's just drop this and move on. 

 

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9 minutes ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

 I offered relatively mild and constructive criticism that revolved around using a slightly different strategy than the one preferred by the CSA. 

Comparing people who support Canada having it's own league, like every other country, to nationalist skin heads is "mild criticism", apparently 

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Agreed on the last bit, socceronly. Now the teams are in place and ready to launch things have moved on, so there's nothing to be gained on dwelling on what was happening a year ago. I genuinely do hope that the launch works out for the best as the last thing I want to see happening to the younger generation five years or so down the road is something as gut-wrenching as the slow but steady demise of the CSL from 1990 to 1992.

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard

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38 minutes ago, socceronly said:

The CPL is/was different.   People can argue about a player / game / friendlies.  That is an ongoing thing and will continue with or without us. 

The CPL problem is that this was something new, and it's success is pretty critical the future of the game in this country and needs the support of the very kind of people on this site.   No one was allowed an inch of room to support it without being torn apart.   It was tiring and damaging and that actually matters.  Read Rob's post, he explains it well. 

Ok. Well in this case I think moderation would help. And don't mean "ban any opinions I don't like" but enforcement of users to stay on topic. Which is a fairly common issue I see on here. There needs to be some wall between respective topics otherwise it's a free for all and debates just keep spilling into other threads.

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4 minutes ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

Agreed on the last bit, socceronly. Now the teams are in place and ready to launch things have moved on, so there's nothing to be gained on dwelling on what was happening a year ago. I genuinely do hope that the launch works out for the best as the last thing I want to see happening to the younger generation five years or so down the road is something as gut-wrenching as the slow but steady demise of the CSL from 1990 to 1992.

Alright. Let's shift gears and fcking do this!

Cause it needs doing.

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1 minute ago, mpg_29 said:

Ok. Well in this case I think moderation would help. And don't mean "ban any opinions I don't like" but enforcement of users to stay on topic. Which is a fairly common issue I see on here. There needs to be some wall between respective topics otherwise it's a free for all and debates just keep spilling into other threads.

I think in both realms  Club & National Team stuff we will see massive improvement in two ways.

The league is here, that puts lots of stuff to bed.  It should motivate people to get off their couch and do something, anything to help make this work.

Our national team is entering a totally new era. We will now play games regularly.  This is a huge change. 

Both of these things I suspect change the dynamic of the forum entirely. 

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6 minutes ago, socceronly said:

I think in both realms  Club & National Team stuff we will see massive improvement in two ways.

The league is here, that puts lots of stuff to bed.  It should motivate people to get off their couch and do something, anything to help make this work.

Our national team is entering a totally new era. We will now play games regularly.  This is a huge change. 

Both of these things I suspect change the dynamic of the forum entirely. 

Right but specifically I think some moderation wouldn't hurt. At least to remind users to stay on topic. Otherwise threads are always at risk of derailing.

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2 hours ago, socceronly said:

No, I was referring specifically to unwittingly outing a family member that uses the same computer, a kid perhaps.

A few years ago a tracking algorithm pegged people that were likely pregnant, and sent product samples and promos to thier houses.  You can guess the fuckery that ensued. 

Is this worth $13 a month from ads?

Nope

 

Holy shit, I didn't even consider that possibility. That's awful.

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1 minute ago, RS said:

Holy shit, I didn't even consider that possibility. That's awful.

Yeah, I didn't consider that till after I talked to this guy.    At just a few bucks a month with ads set on their least intrusive measures, it no longer seemed worth it. 

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I don't post often but I check this site daily, specifically the CanMNT and CanPL forums. I can say that, personally, the V's forum is the primary avenue that got me into Canadian footy and continues to be my primary source for daily updates and excellent discussion. I became interested with the TFC/MLS hype in 2007 and discovered the V's & CanMNT through there. It was/is the forum itself - specifically, getting ongoing info and discussion from relatively intelligent posters - that keeps me going with Canadian footy. I find the ongoing news and conversation in the threads a great way to keep up with the CanMNT and it's players - possibly the best there is in Canada.

There are issues. When I joined, it did feel as if a new member needed 'molding' into posting etiquette specifically for the forum. For example, knowledge about Towrads and Sponsons was a big deal. It's fine that there's a dedicated community of hardcores, but, especially in a world where Reddit is emerging and hitting online forums, it's a good idea to make it simple for new members to come in. Perhaps just create a 'V's forum posting etiquette' guideline for new members.

The CanPL threads got a bit dicey at times. I think this was mostly a result of a few hardcores excited for the league and little to no information coming out for a long time. As a result, there was circular discussion without much substance while people were edgy waiting for something to happen. Now, each team has its own thread and things are changing a bit.

What's essential to get new posters is to make coming in simpler than Reddit and more worthwhile than other social media. We have a forum that easily out classes anything on Reddit, filled with informed users and daily content/discussion. Posters like tg11 can be a good thing with help into getting started. Just a welcome 'etiquette list' and maybe a daily posting limit for everyone would help steer contructive content.

There's obviously some fluff that gets posted, but that's simple enough to scroll through. Generally, I find this forum a great source of info on Canadian football that is supported by how long it's been in existence and ties to the national team supporters group. With bit of loose moderation, I can see it being an incredible staple to the Voyageurs.

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9 hours ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

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

There'll always be something new. Tough to jump into Twitter or Reddit, and look for a simple discussion on a particular topic. Say the upcoming men's national team game in a few weeks in Puerto Rico against the USVI.

The forum is good for this. If people are out of control here - then a little moderation wouldn't hurt. 

Alternatively, we can go to social media. I can always submit a request to create a new Usenet group - rec.sport.soccer.canada  :)

 

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^^ +100 to Red and White's post above.  Your experience mirrors mine very closely, although I have been hooked on the Canmnt since the 80s, disappointed as a kid that Canada wasn't at Spain 1982 and then following them through qualification and competition at Mexico 1986.  Finding this forum wasn't an introduction, but it was a revelation in all the ways you've outlined -- great for opening up a world of insights and news, awkward for trying to understand the nuances of the personal relationships that were already there.

Even though tg11 drives me crazy, I hold out hope that he (? I'm assuming it's a he) is just an enthusiastic but socially-clued out guy with a lot of love for the Canmnt, and not a troll or a bot or whatever other internet terms there are for what he does.  If it's the former, an etiquette sheet and a posting limit and active moderation can be used to good effect with him, or with anyone else like him, new or old, and the end result might be tg11 becoming a beloved comrade with whom we joke later over a beer about his crazy first month on the boards. 

To add my spin to what I hear RaW suggesting (apologies if I've misread):  assume the best of all individuals, remind them of the rules if they break them, and then if they don't learn, follow through with sanctions.  You can probably tell I'm a teacher.  Most important for the success of this type of approach, though, would be to ensure that it is applied fairly to all, newbie and veteran alike.  With a good ref, everyone knows what will be called a foul, what will be called a yellow and what a red.  If it's inconsistent, control of the game is lost.  

Actually, mods giving out yellows and reds would be kind of appropriate, really.  Question:  does the program allow for admin to control the permissions for accounts -- ie temporarily set them so the user can read, but not post?

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14 hours ago, rob.notenboom said:

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.

Although a lot of the above is true, I agree with @mpg_29 that so much of this could have been solved/avoided with proper moderation. If every thread is devolving into the same argument, the moderator needs to step in and tell users to stay on topic. If there is one specific argument that is coming up repeatedly, make a thread for that discussion and then the debaters can use that thread. Threads should be more specific. If you have a CPL General thread, it is not surprising if it becomes chaotic. There is no focus. Or, those general threads should have specific rules like...post news only, no discussion.

At the same time, I think we need to take some personal responsibility. If people were tired of BBTB's arguments, why did they keep engaging him? We have tools like ignore. If a user is ruining your experience on this forum like TG11 is for me, then use them. If there is a thread that is annoying, avoid it.

If we, as constructive posters stop using the forum, all we are doing is hurting ourselves and our desire for news and discussion.

But the first step must be improved moderation.

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Like I’ve said, I’ve been part of the pro-CPL forces getting into way too many stupid arguments. The issue has been the CPL keeping so many things close to the best. People want to know information, they don’t have it and some jump to worst conclusions. Mostly I try to say relax and they’ll let us know when they’re ready to tell us but then I get accused of naive, stupidly cheering the league while only certain people can really tell us how things should be done.  Like I said, I’ve tried to stop and for the most part have. Just realized I’ve got better things to do than worry about what a handful of people who want to shit on anything and everything under the guise of constructive criticism.

I just personally don’t understand the extremes some will go to. When the CSA did their survey on the state of the game in Canada earlier this year, I got attacked because I “broke forum etiquette” for posting it in 3 different threads. When I pointed out I only did it in the the three main forums because it was important and people don’t visit every forum. I was told I shouldn’t break etiquette to further “my agenda” Apparently my agenda of trying to make sure as many people respond to the survey was horrible as this person had to read three posts lol.

I still stick around because I don’t really have anyone around me who cares so hanging around here doesn’t really distract me from seriously promoting the game like some of the others who have left.  That being said I do see why some people have chosen to leave 

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1 hour ago, masster said:

Although a lot of the above is true, I agree with @mpg_29 that so much of this could have been solved/avoided with proper moderation. If every thread is devolving into the same argument, the moderator needs to step in and tell users to stay on topic. If there is one specific argument that is coming up repeatedly, make a thread for that discussion and then the debaters can use that thread. Threads should be more specific. If you have a CPL General thread, it is not surprising if it becomes chaotic. There is no focus. Or, those general threads should have specific rules like...post news only, no discussion.

At the same time, I think we need to take some personal responsibility. If people were tired of BBTB's arguments, why did they keep engaging him? We have tools like ignore. If a user is ruining your experience on this forum like TG11 is for me, then use them. If there is a thread that is annoying, avoid it.

If we, as constructive posters stop using the forum, all we are doing is hurting ourselves and our desire for news and discussion.

But the first step must be improved moderation.

Agree on the moderation for sure. Big and thankless task though. 

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