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Oct 9, 2018 - 3:16:07 AM
266 posts since 6/4/2015

Hello everybody,

Is it just my imagination, or is this forum slowly dying? I have been peeking in very regularly, over the past weeks/months, but I seem to detect a big slump in forum activity. New posts not coming in as often as they used to.

Where are you all hiding, guys and gals?

Veerstryngh Thynner

Oct 9, 2018 - 3:25:54 AM
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Neil Allen

France

456 posts since 6/15/2014

Maybe they are all searching the archives before posting questions.

Topics do get addressed repeatedly and there are only so many permutations.

Oct 9, 2018 - 3:27:09 AM
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5302 posts since 8/31/2006

I agree I think it’s the “new improved” format”

Oct 9, 2018 - 6:20:48 AM
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KCJones

USA

348 posts since 8/30/2012

Are you referring to the 4-string subforum, or BHO as a whole?

All forums have seen a drop in activity over the last 10 years due to the rise of social media. This has been especially true in the last 2-3 years. I've seen this same question posted on several other forums as well.

One thing about BHO is that the user base skews old. There's not a lot of under 35 folks here. Over time that means the forum will slowly fade away, unless young folks are encouraged to participate.

For my part I haven't noticed a reduction of activity, but of course I don't pay much attention to that. I also haven't noticed any format redesign, but I mostly use the mobile site so maybe it's different.

Most successful forums nowadays have other draws to feed the user base. BHO has one of the best used instrument classifieds sections on the web, and not just for banjos. The tablature, video lessons, and exclusive content bring people from all over. Promoting those aspects of the website will probably increase forum participation. But only if we are friendly to the newcomers.

Remember the 90/10 rule. Of all forum visitors, 90% lurk and only 10% create an account. Among those that create an account, 90% post very little and only 10% are prolific posters and content creators. This means most of the forum traffic is hidden to the regular user, and you need a very large number of casual visitors to have an active forum.

At the time of posting, there are 234 'banjo lovers' online. I'm not sure if that's users or just visitors to the site. But it seems like 234 people being here at once is a reasonable amount of activity.

Oct 9, 2018 - 6:26:13 AM

hoodoo

Canada

289 posts since 10/6/2017

A lot of people have migrated to Facebook. For instance, many Irish Tenor players hangout on the Banjoheads Facebook page.

The Clawhammer Rules page has over 4000 members, while the Clawhammer banjo page has over 6000 members (many folks are members of both)...

I haven't looked, but i'm 110% convinced that a similar bluegrass page has just as many members.

I like to forum, because if you want to, you can remain anonymous, and it easy to look things up in the archives. That isnt possible on Facebook as far as I know

Oct 9, 2018 - 6:33:32 AM
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Neil Allen

France

456 posts since 6/15/2014

I know that this is a subjective opinion and maybe I'm out of date, but when I was on facebook, the quality of the banjo forums was way below what it is here, so much so that I gave up wasting my time reading them. There are some world-class players and teachers on this site, who intervene from time to time. Give me quality over quantity any day.

Oct 9, 2018 - 6:59:43 AM

n1wr

USA

764 posts since 12/27/2010

Hey guys - just reading the mail (Bluegrass player here). Been on BHO for many years. So there are ups and downs, probably as much due to it being summer time as anything else. Point taken about us being old. The comment about quality vs. quantity is right on. Because of that there is a ton of good info and insight in the posts and the search engine is your friend. Not so with other social media. This site is set up to serve banjo players, whatever genre.

Oct 9, 2018 - 7:14:45 AM

KCJones

USA

348 posts since 8/30/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Neil Allen

I know that this is a subjective opinion and maybe I'm out of date, but when I was on facebook, the quality of the banjo forums was way below what it is here, so much so that I gave up wasting my time reading them. There are some world-class players and teachers on this site, who intervene from time to time. Give me quality over quantity any day.


This is on point. Look at places like /r/banjo or the various Facebook groups, and then look at BHO. BHO is the only source for actual high quality information from actual experts in the field. The rest are, quite frankly, not worth the time it takes to create an account. Even on those forums, you commonly see "you should ask BHO" as the top answer to any question.

Oct 9, 2018 - 7:22:40 AM
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15 posts since 9/26/2018

I’m a new member and also new to banjos. In my 40s. BHO is way cooler than the groups on Facebook. I wouldn’t worry too much about activity. Facebook groups come and go. You can have a group with 50,000 members disappear just like that. What makes a forum like this one endure are the high quality features you all have mentioned, like the ads, the actual pros who occasionally chime in, and the ability to be as anonymous as you want to.

I don’t post more often because I’m a newb. Mouthing off when I don’t really know what I’m talking about seems like a bad way to say hello to a new group of people. I’m reading more than I’m writing.

Oct 9, 2018 - 9:43:10 AM

Omeboy

USA

1543 posts since 6/27/2013

Veerstryngh.......

I think you're painfully right on target. It's been particularly tough if you're a plectrum player.
That aspect has been in a death spiral ever since I got here. Now the tenor interest is ebbing. Wish things could turn around some how, but I'm not optimistic.

Oct 9, 2018 - 10:37:34 AM

Ryk

USA

150 posts since 11/20/2011

I have to agree with the OP and Omeboy .... particularly for plectrum players. For too brief a period of time we had a world class plectrum player posting with some regularity and in two different threads he was attacked for his point of view. (In my estimation he was right in both cases.) Why bother?
Ryk

Oct 9, 2018 - 2:18:34 PM
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hoodoo

Canada

289 posts since 10/6/2017

quote:
Originally posted by hoodoo

A lot of people have migrated to Facebook. For instance, many Irish Tenor players hangout on the Banjoheads Facebook page.

The Clawhammer Rules page has over 4000 members, while the Clawhammer banjo page has over 6000 members (many folks are members of both)...

I haven't looked, but i'm 110% convinced that a similar bluegrass page has just as many members.

I like the forum, because if you want to, you can remain anonymous, and it easy to look things up in the archives. That isnt possible on Facebook as far as I know


Sorry for posting this twice, I tried to correct a typo and next thing you know, im im quoting myself

Edited by - hoodoo on 10/09/2018 14:19:25

Oct 9, 2018 - 3:48:55 PM
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mander

USA

2449 posts since 10/7/2007

I'll take quality over quantity any day. I love my BHO!

Oct 9, 2018 - 5:02:14 PM

149 posts since 9/6/2016

Well I certainly couldn’t have learned as much as I have without BHO generally and this group in particular. This is my primary source for information, along with listening to various recordings.

I have not posted in too long (been dealing with some matters medical), but fear not: I am still at it (and if not for the recent unpleasantness, I would have my plectrum. That is going to happen, though probably next year).

When I get home, I will record something new. Prepare for strange sounds...

Oct 10, 2018 - 6:02:24 AM

219 posts since 1/19/2008

What happened to my friend Dave Cava???????????????

Oct 10, 2018 - 7:17:34 AM
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Fud

USA

214 posts since 9/10/2013

For some reason David has locked his account. I hope he returns. I always enjoyed his pieces.

Larry

Oct 10, 2018 - 7:28:31 AM
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1668 posts since 2/16/2017
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I hate facebook with the force of a thousand suns.

It's a declining platform, but it can't die fast enough, imo.

Oct 10, 2018 - 7:31:34 AM
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1668 posts since 2/16/2017
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by MikeHashem

What happened to my friend Dave Cava???????????????


David told me he needed a break.  I think he'll be back eventually.  I hope, anyway. 

Oct 10, 2018 - 7:54:40 AM

181 posts since 2/16/2014
Online Now

I've also wondered about @davidcava.
I miss his post. He is always encouraging and helpful.
mike

Oct 10, 2018 - 8:00:39 AM

671 posts since 12/2/2013

Jeff, I know you have a good social circle: What happened with Warp? I PM'd him several months back about his absence, but only silence. I miss him. Dave

Oct 10, 2018 - 8:24:38 AM

1668 posts since 2/16/2017
Online Now

Warp remains a mystery to me as well. I messaged him recently too.. Radio silence.

Pretty sure he'll be back when he gets situated.

Oct 10, 2018 - 12:54:30 PM
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stanger

USA

7088 posts since 9/29/2004

I joined BHO early on, and was very active for quite a long time.

But there came a point where I had answered a lot of the same questions many times over, so I gradually dropped most of my activity. I've always checked BHO often though, and recently decided to become more active here again.

I don't think the Hangout is going to die away any time soon. All musical instruments are currently fading in popularity right now, but kids will always want to make music, and once the banjo bits someone, they stay bit for life.

I honestly think we are just going through another cycle of pop culture, and it won't last any longer than all the others I've seen come and go.

Taylor Swift got her first attention as a singer by using a banjo as her instrument. As long as there's another Taylor Swift waiting in the wings, the banjo's place is secure in music.

And for all we know, she may be a lurker on the Hangout.
regards,
stanger

Oct 10, 2018 - 1:24:46 PM
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33 posts since 10/8/2018

Good! I'm brand new here, so I'm glad to everybody's NOT baling!

I want as large an audience as possible next month, when I take possession of my plectrum VegaVox IV and try to make everybody ooh and ahh about my beautiful new baby!

Oct 10, 2018 - 4:54:04 PM
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15 posts since 9/26/2018

quote:
Originally posted by stanger

I don't think the Hangout is going to die away any time soon. All musical instruments are currently fading in popularity right now, but kids will always want to make music, and once the banjo bits someone, they stay bit for life.


I'm probably a pretty good example of this. I have zero roots in Appalachia or in bluegrass, and no one in my family has ever picked up a banjo. I just heard the sound of it one day when I was a teenager, and about 30 years later decided to follow up on it. I have a totally random love affair with the banjo, because the banjo is awesome. And that will always be true. It's been around a lot longer than Facebook. And so has BHO come to think of it.

Oct 10, 2018 - 6:14:19 PM

34 posts since 3/19/2018

Nice one ,Guitarbanjoman lookward to hearing you play with your vegavox.

Jan

Oct 10, 2018 - 6:52:11 PM

37 posts since 10/7/2018
Online Now

I'm new here and very happy to have found a place to talk about music and banjos. Thank goodness this place is here....I would have felt all alone in my struggle to master the banjo!

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