Author Topic: What happened to the BHPC forum?  (Read 1199 times)

fd3

What happened to the BHPC forum?
« on: April 14, 2021, 05:57:40 pm »
I'm reading some old BHPC mags (~10 years old) which talk about a vibrant forum with 1000s of posters that's full of content.  What's happened since then to make it so quiet?  (Yes, I could ask there, but I thought it might be an ACF/YACF or other sore point that would best be raised elsewhere).
Strange things are afoot at the circle K.

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2021, 06:04:25 pm »
I'm reading some old BHPC mags (~10 years old) which talk about a vibrant forum with 1000s of posters that's full of content.  What's happened since then to make it so quiet?

Facebook, mostly.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
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fd3

Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2021, 06:19:43 pm »
Ah, the same thing that happened to the vibrant LFGSS forum.  Fucking facebook.
Strange things are afoot at the circle K.

Blodwyn Pig

  • what a nice chap
Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2021, 06:22:32 pm »
^^^ Ditto RSF forum. anonanonanon   ::-)

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2021, 09:09:33 pm »
Facebook, and people being too young to remember RSS.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

fd3

Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2021, 09:56:34 pm »
I think I'm too old to remember RSS...

It annoys me as FB != to a message board and doesn't work for multiple people talking about multiple things at the same time - or in fact work as a way to discuss or share worthwhile ideas (as it's all about the latest post, not the ease of finding old ones).  I fail to understand why people would make the choice to migrate to something so vastly inferior.
Strange things are afoot at the circle K.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2021, 12:49:08 am »
Facebook makes it attractive and easy for people to use Facebook as much as possible, for all the you-are-the-product reasons ranted about in the generic Facebook thread.

The major loss in this context is, as you say, the difficulty in dredging up older posts about specific subjects.  That and a significant minority of people don't use Facebook for whatever reason, which means everything's now hidden behind a login screen (or at least peeking out from behind an annoying popup) and they don't hear about things.

The BHPC's forum is pretty creaky by modern standards, but it does the job, and - crucially - all the data belongs to the BHPC.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Blodwyn Pig

  • what a nice chap
Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2021, 06:26:51 pm »
also FB is 24/7 instant. True forums are 24/7 but not everyone looks every day, or every week. Most peeps have a FB account, and will visit at LEAST once a day, and any notifications, comments and messages , from a multitude of different clubs, or groups is instantly to hand , a 'one stop shop' if you like.  I have taken myself off FB (4 months ago) and don't miss it a jot. (Too many w*nkers on there)

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2021, 06:29:16 pm »
also FB is 24/7 instant. True forums are 24/7 but not everyone looks every day, or every week. Most peeps have a FB account, and will visit at LEAST once a day, and any notifications, comments and messages , from a multitude of different clubs, or groups is instantly to hand , a 'one stop shop' if you like.

This is the problem that RSS solved.  Remember RSS?
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

fd3

Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2021, 06:48:45 pm »
Yes, too many flankers on Facebook.

I seem to remember something about RSS about 15-20 years ago.  It was new then but I missed it.
Strange things are afoot at the circle K.

Blodwyn Pig

  • what a nice chap
Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2021, 07:06:58 pm »
also FB is 24/7 instant. True forums are 24/7 but not everyone looks every day, or every week. Most peeps have a FB account, and will visit at LEAST once a day, and any notifications, comments and messages , from a multitude of different clubs, or groups is instantly to hand , a 'one stop shop' if you like.

This is the problem that RSS solved.  Remember RSS?

Nope never heard of it, what is/was it?

Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2021, 07:21:55 pm »

Blodwyn Pig

  • what a nice chap
Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2021, 08:16:51 pm »
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS

Ok, thanks , that's cleared that up........................... ??? :facepalm:

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2021, 08:39:24 pm »
RSS passed me by too.

It appeared at some point, and I was vaguely aware of the abbreviation, but never used it.
Now I never hear about it anymore.

That wiki article leaves you none the wiser.
It uses a lot of words to say that some people dreamed something up, and then dropped it. Then other people picked it up and ran with it for a bit.
Without any clear example of what 'the something' actually is.
<shrug>

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2021, 09:07:00 pm »
It means you can bung, say https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?action=.xml;type=rss;limit=50 or indeed http://forum.bhpc.org.uk/RSS_topic_feed.asp?title=bhpc-forum into your RSS reader and have new threads appear there automagically:



If it were 2005, there would be a big friendly RSS button in the corner of the forum advertising this functionality, and plenty of RSS reader software to chose from.  It was a great way of keeping up with what was going on when everyone was writing blogs on their own websites.  Then someone realised it was better to persuade everyone else to write content on their website, so they could advertise at whoever wanted to read it, and it all fell apart.  Many of the good reader clients fell by the wayside, and what remains is largely because it's a minor feature of something like Thunderbollocks (above) or because it happens to be useful for automating things.  Many CMSish things (including this forum software) still provide a RSS feed if you can work out the URL, but nobody bothers to make noise about it any more.

(This concept of publishing a XML feed of recent articles is also how podcasting was invented.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2021, 09:12:56 pm »
Roughly speaking RSS was a way of subscribing to websites so when they posted a new entry or a new event of whatever it showed up in your RSS reader without you having to visit each site in turn.

Problem being (a) to get started you needed to download/sign up to an RSS reader and (b) it was a decentralised technology so their was no one to push it and every incentive for big companies to bury it and (c) it got bogged down in factional nerdy wibble due its incredibly vague technical specs, not helped by its original inventor being an egotistical bozo who wasn't interested in tidying them up.

It was sunk by Twitter as much as anything else. The kind of nerds that were big on RSS just subscribed to their sites/companies/blogs' Twitter feeds and without those nerdy influencer types it lost its original momentum.

(Though you may have used RSS without knowing it. All podcasts are really just RSS feeds with audio files attached, which is a slightly more widespread adoption of the technology)

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2021, 10:15:58 pm »
your RSS reader

Well, what the heck would that be?

That's the problem: it was never clearly enough explained what you had to install / do.

I didn't care enough to find out.

Pop Quiz:
Name your 5 favorite RRS readers for your preferred OS.
If you Can BA, list the number of downloads it has. You can round to the nearest 10.


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2021, 10:39:12 pm »
*shrug*

I've only ever used what was just there in my mail/news client or web browser, because life's too short for learning some new software in the same way that it's too short for going and checking a dozen websites to see if they've updated.

Lots of people I know highly rated Google Reader.  Unfortunately, not enough of them were in positions to make executive decisions at Google.


Anyway, the decline of RSS isn't really a technology problem.  It's that it's hard to monetise interoperability.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

fd3

Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2021, 10:57:35 pm »
I dunno, how many web forums does one have the time to haunt?  I can manage a glance at new topics on some yacf sub-forae, relevant CTC sub-forae and the same at BHPC.  I can manage all three because two of them change once a week or month (respectively).
I was never an RSS customer because I didn't have enough spaces I wanted to monitor, nor did I want all that info to sort through.
Strange things are afoot at the circle K.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2021, 11:07:13 pm »
I dunno, how many web forums does one have the time to haunt?

Approximately one.

I have a couple of infrequently updated ones (like the BHPC) subscribed to by RSS, where they pop up alongside people's blogs and the remains of once-glorious newgroups.  Otherwise I'd probably just forget about them, like a Facebook user.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2021, 11:09:15 pm »
Well, what the heck would that be?

It's no different from needing a LaserDisc player to play your favourite LaserVision movie titles.

Most people do check in with what's functionally an RSS reader every day - just on sites called Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and publishers (including yr mates) are forced to post their content to those sites rather than the sites pulling it in from the publisher's platform.

Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2021, 08:29:02 am »
An RSS reader was built into Outlook. Depending on your version of Outlook it’s still there. It appears just like an inbox of an email account.  Browsers also used to highlight if an RSS feed was available for a web site or sub section of it and allow you to subscribe.

Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2021, 10:43:15 am »
RSS feeds you whatever appears on the site you are following, according to your filters, in the order it appeared.
Facebook feeds you whatever it thinks you might be interested in, along with a bunch of adverts, loosely based on stuff you might have clicked on once.
Twitter feeds you everything, all of the time, in an order that they change randomly every so often.

I've stepped off twitter because the signal to noise was just too low (and the volume was insane to try to filter). I'm on Facebook because the cycling club I belong to organise stuff on there, but every time I use it I remember how much I hate it (and I can never find a post a second time). I should probably give RSS another go, because I usually have 3 forums open in chrome tabs and bounce between them when I should be working!

fd3

Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2021, 11:27:49 am »
I can see the point/advantage of RSS - but, to me, it seems like push notification on *phones - I am happy to catch up and miss out on forum posts if it means that I have less noise, more signal and less forums demanding my time (I probably spend too much time here anyway).

* I was going to say modern phones.
Strange things are afoot at the circle K.

Re: What happened to the BHPC forum?
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2021, 11:35:41 am »
We used it for a while to push notifications to our users that updates were available to our software. Internet explorer would pop up a notification and they would click on it and it would run the installer. But that was back in the day when people didn’t lock their front doors and we lived in a crime free utopia.