Given the facts that (1) Shanken has shut down the Cigar Aficionado forum and (2) this one is suffering as a result (in part) of this new awful format, how much longer will we be here?  I'm guessing less than a year. 

Original Post

I agree that the current format has really hampered participation on the site.  But I think that there still are, from time to time, really great posts about wine and wine-related topics.  It would be a shame to see the entire site go away.

What I'd love to see is a revamped site that is more user friendly, to bring back more people and keep the discussion about wine alive.

Rothko posted:

What I'd love to see is a revamped site that is more user friendly, to bring back more people and keep the discussion about wine alive.

If I remember correctly they got forced into this format by a European privacy regulation. They did not want to get rid of the forum but it does not benefit them much either. If you Google 'internet forums dead'  the first article that appears is titled "Internet Forums Are, Generally Speaking, Long Dead; Don't Do Them". I would hate to see the forum end and would love to see a better format draw in new users but that looks unlikely.

 

Wine Spectator changed formats to be GDPR compliant, but this specific platform was a bad decision.  There were and are other more user friendly platforms.

The combination of the disastrous roll-out of this new site, with the long delays and early bugs, was a huge contributing factor to the decline here.  The cumbersome nature of the site doesn't help either.

PH

The biggest problem I see is too many people posting about things other than wine. Yes what you ate, listened to, watched, voted for etc was a nice adjunct when things were more active but now that's most of what We've got left. We've got people here that post regularly but little or nothing about wine in years. I don't know if some of them even buy or drink wine regularly anymore. That creates an odd dynamic if not hostile environment and repels newbies. Think about this. Who is the last new regular poster that has joined the forum? Can't think of one in years

bomba503 posted:

The biggest problem I see is too many people posting about things other than wine. Yes what you ate, listened to, watched, voted for etc was a nice adjunct when things were more active but now that's most of what We've got left. We've got people here that post regularly but little or nothing about wine in years. I don't know if some of them even buy or drink wine regularly anymore. That creates an odd dynamic if not hostile environment and repels newbies. Think about this. Who is the last new regular poster that has joined the forum? Can't think of one in years

GUILTY! I used to drink 2-3 times a week, then 2-3 times a month and sometimes I don't drink for 2-3 months. Still interested in wine though and the forum was just sort of a habit from when I was drinking a lot.

To be honest I am amazed it has lasted this long already. Was never a prolific poster but have been around a long time and while I check up on a few wine sites/forums (wb, ftlop, tpf, cellartracker and winesearcher) this one seems to be on quickest decline. 

Can not stand the forum platform they went with here as well. 

also surprised with who is left.  So many familiar names are gone, and miss most of them.  I also have reduced the purchases and consumption of higher end wine.  At my age a bottle that needs to age 10 years, will be consumed by the pall bearers.  

Our MTH thread has the most posts in the last few months.  Surprised that that thread is still open and not locked.

Some of us were not too welcoming to the newbies, and when they showed up, they were abused.

wineismylife posted:

Color me obtuse.  The new format has never bothered me in the slightest.

I had some issues getting logged in initially with the new format but since that, no issues.   If this is dying it's not because of the format; it's slow death started well before the change imho.

 

Still hate the new format, and for the most part it has lead to fewer posts and visits in general.  

I think the abusive nature towards newbies has driven a lot of people away over the years.  I got roasted my first post (surprisingly by B-O) because I didn't understand how naïve the post way (trying to sell FG Bordeaux to people I never met).  I stuck it out, but a lot of people would just go away.

What PurpleHaze said is most important to me, all of the great people I've met and had the chance to offline with.  Developed some truly great friendships here.  

I don't think the new format is the main culprit either.  It may contribute to it, but the decline in the forums is due to several factors - various forms of communications such as Facebook, Group Texts that don't cost anything, lack of new members who aren't selling anything, existing members are 10 years older and probably drinking and buying less, etc.  

As mentioned in previous threads, I've met some great folks here and developed great friendships.  It does take a certain thick skin to get over the initial flaming especially back in the day.  I still remember Parcival getting hauled to the online Guantanamo for <gasp> selling mailing list bottles at cost.  Classic thread.

The format doesn't bother me.  But the loss of a lot of great forumites has kind of made it a bit less interesting.  I was thinking of some of the forumites that I met at offlines in SD that I haven't seen posting in a while, like Aphilla, Parcival, and our locals like Shane or GregT (ex-local).  I hope it keeps going and we get a bit more participation in the wine conversations...me included.

wineismylife posted:

Well as much as we lament the problem is easily solvable.  We need to post more and regularly.  We are the solution.

Good point, Joe.  And for those of us who know members who've quit posting, let's give them a little kick in the a$$ to pop in from time to time.  I can count 20 friends who I met here who either don't post any more, or post very infrequently.  Strapping on my a$$ kicking boots this week.  wiml, I'm going to let you get Sapril back in the game, though.  

PH

purplehaze posted:
wineismylife posted:

Well as much as we lament the problem is easily solvable.  We need to post more and regularly.  We are the solution.

Good point, Joe.  And for those of us who know members who've quit posting, let's give them a little kick in the a$$ to pop in from time to time.  I can count 20 friends who I met here who either don't post any more, or post very infrequently.  Strapping on my a$$ kicking boots this week.  wiml, I'm going to let you get Sapril back in the game, though.  

PH

Seeing Pianist718 for dinner sometime soon? 

billhike posted:
purplehaze posted:
wineismylife posted:

Well as much as we lament the problem is easily solvable.  We need to post more and regularly.  We are the solution.

Good point, Joe.  And for those of us who know members who've quit posting, let's give them a little kick in the a$$ to pop in from time to time.  I can count 20 friends who I met here who either don't post any more, or post very infrequently.  Strapping on my a$$ kicking boots this week.  wiml, I'm going to let you get Sapril back in the game, though.  

PH

Seeing Pianist718 for dinner sometime soon? 

Yeah, right about the time you have Serge Birbriar over for cocktails.    Or is that too dated a reference?

PH

I don't know guys - for some reason the format makes it uninviting. There's something to be said for really simple black and white, or that reddish color they used to have with that indeterminate yellowish color. I think the idea is contrast between your comment box and everything else. I have no idea why that seems more inviting, but it does. On my computer this forum comes up as a washed out gray and white. It seems to be fading, ironically.

As to whether the whole concept of an internet forum is passé, I did that Google search suggested above. Not sure I agree that the concept is past, but there are indeed alternatives.

The problem with most of the alternatives, such as Facebook, etc., are that you generally end up only speaking to people you already know. I'm convinced that's why politics are so angry now - people spend all their time in their bubbles and never imagine that other people aren't just like them.

I hope this forum survives - I've met some great people through it, on both coasts, and I'm grateful for the opportunities to have done so.

I'll try to post more but I don't have much to say and my wife tells me that most of what I do say is useless anyway .  .  .

One reason for the decline in forum activity may be that with the new format, the button to enter the forums is hidden in the left margin without a label.  Newcomers perusing the WS site might not even know the forums are here.  This should be fixable by WS if it chooses to do so.

I am on a non-wine related forum.  The folks who run it changed the format awhile ago to make it "better".  Now, it is largely dead.

New is not always better.  But, the  slogan "new and improved" is a time honored expression. It just doesn't always work.  There are also times of the year when people tend to be busy with other things, such as summer vacations, winter holidays.

I, too, have met many forumites and without the forums would not have had a chance to do so. 

As to content, there have always been threads on entertainment, dining, travel and other things not necessarily wine related. I value the advice I've gotten from others on restaurants abroad and domestic, and travel sites and hotels. 

I would guess that there are proprietary data relating to the number of posts per day which would reflect whether the forums are dormant, dying, or otherwise. 

 

Irwin

Just to clarify i did not intend that entertainment, travel and other wine related things had no place but rather they should not be the dominant subjects which they are. This is a wine board for wine lovers. Newbies are not coming here  for movie or tv show recommendations, to find out what someone had dinner, who died, travel advice or political commentary they are coming here to learn about and talk about wine. We let that get away from ourselves and there is nothing to keep  their attention just a few curmudgeons griping about their peeve of the day. Long time posters gradually lose interest and leave. Lurkers have less reason to jump in and newbies find nothing so they dont bother to join in. Without a fresh supply of new posters this will die

billhike posted:
purplehaze posted:
billhike posted:
purplehaze posted

Yeah, right about the time you have Serge Birbriar over for cocktails.    Or is that too dated a reference?

PH

Ha! Serge pre-dates me on the forum. From what I understand that’s a good thing.

You have all the luck

I don't mind the look of the forum. The only thing that I find frustrating is the search function. It's so limited. Even the Advanced Search is next to useless.

  • The default search is for "Everything", but I think it should be changed to "Forums" because (a) it allows you to search within specific Forums (e.g. "Wine Conversations" or "Travel and Entertainment") and (b) I expect most people don't know that they can switch between search types (Everything, Forums, Members, User Wall Posts) by clicking on the tiny blue dropdown at the top of the search page.
  • You can't limit your search to a specific content type, e.g. the Subject line, body text... Please add a "Content Type" field to the "Everything" and "Forums" search areas.
  • You can search for a user, but you can't search for posts by a specific user that contains specific words or phrases. For example, I'd like to search for posts by user OTW that contain the word "rosé". Can't do it. Please add a "User Name" field to the "Everything" and "Forums" search areas.
  • What are "Tags" and why is this a search field? I don't see anywhere on the forum that you can add tags to your posts. So what's the point of this field?
  • What are "User Wall Posts" (one of the search areas that you can select from the top dropdown menu)? I didn't know I could create my own "wall posts". Anyone want to tell me how to do it?

I also would like it if could actually "like" a post. I mean, the option is there at the bottom of every post but when you click on it, the popup says "We're sorry, you cannot like this reply." How dare the forum dictate what I can like and dislike! 😜 Either activate this feature or remove it.

sunnylea57 posted:

I don't mind the look of the forum. The only thing that I find frustrating is the search function. It's so limited. Even the Advanced Search is next to useless.

  • The default search is for "Everything", but I think it should be changed to "Forums" because (a) it allows you to search within specific Forums (e.g. "Wine Conversations" or "Travel and Entertainment") and (b) I expect most people don't know that they can switch between search types (Everything, Forums, Members, User Wall Posts) by clicking on the tiny blue dropdown at the top of the search page.
  • You can't limit your search to a specific content type, e.g. the Subject line, body text... Please add a "Content Type" field to the "Everything" and "Forums" search areas.
  • You can search for a user, but you can't search for posts by a specific user that contains specific words or phrases. For example, I'd like to search for posts by user OTW that contain the word "rosé". Can't do it. Please add a "User Name" field to the "Everything" and "Forums" search areas.
  • What are "Tags" and why is this a search field? I don't see anywhere on the forum that you can add tags to your posts. So what's the point of this field?
  • What are "User Wall Posts" (one of the search areas that you can select from the top dropdown menu)? I didn't know I could create my own "wall posts". Anyone want to tell me how to do it?

I also would like it if could actually "like" a post. I mean, the option is there at the bottom of every post but when you click on it, the popup says "We're sorry, you cannot like this reply." How dare the forum dictate what I can like and dislike! 😜 Either activate this feature or remove it.

I agree with sunny.  I don't mind the format, but there is room for improvement on the functionality.

It will be a sad end of an era when they finally shut it down.  I have met lots of good people here and indirectly formed a hockey team I've been playing with for about 14 years or more.  

The format hasn't helped.  I think Cellartracker might be just as responsible, if not more responsible!  I look for tasting notes there and I post my notes there.  That's one major use of this forum that has become obsolete.

mareff posted:

I used to post an offline event and people would respond.  Now it seems that even our NY crew does not have the time to meet.  Maybe they do not want to meet me!

Absolutely 100 percent the reason!

Finally you're getting the message!  Took long enough!!! 

 

 

One suggestion that was given multiple times to Robert, was to encourage the WS writers and editors to pop in from time to time.  It was good fun to have Suckling and friends join in on existing threads, and even start the occasional conversation.  It would lend credibility to the site and would certainly boost participation.  

PH

purplehaze posted:

One suggestion that was given multiple times to Robert, was to encourage the WS writers and editors to pop in from time to time.  It was good fun to have Suckling and friends join in on existing threads, and even start the occasional conversation.  It would lend credibility to the site and would certainly boost participation.  

PH

he is online now.  Maybe he will read

i forgot my password!

Curious, who acutally reads critic reviews about wine anymore?

It feels like readership at all the major publications are down.  Ebob no longer wants to do print anymore,  The internets has empowered every rando blogger to be a wine critic to throw up scores on anything and everything.

While I still enjoy talking wine with folks offline, there aren't many topics that wouldn't get rehashed.  Unless all folks want to tal about is the latest cult waiting list to sign up for.  Wine forums search on google doesnt even show up spectators on the first page on my cell phone so we don't see many new non spam users.

doubled posted:

I’ve been too lazy to organize dinners in the city.  The high corkage is a bit of turnoff.  Mostly, I am leaving it to others to organize or it’s a very impromptu Shake Shack type offlines.

uh huh.

you're welcome for that.  Imagine if you've never met me.  You'd still be in your "I can't go anywhere because i don't pay corkage shell"

I think all these points have contributed to the decline.  I have rarely posted in the last few years.  Partially because i didn't like the new format, partially because a lot of the individuals I knew better had started to drink less, so also post less. 

It would be nice to get a good boost here.  But, I also think we would need to be more accepting of newer members.  For a while there, anyone with a basic question would be torn apart for either not searching the forums first, or asking a such a simple question.

Lot's of "My shit doesn't stink" attitude
Political differences divided the forum to maybe 80/20.
Really silly topics. I mean, I'm surprised there hasn't been a "What fine spatula are you using" thread. Yet if someone new comes along with a fresh idea for discussion they are driven out by a few who think they rule this place because they either don't know the standard "protocol" of posting, make mistakes and it looks like a spam, or the royale court of the WS forum posters decided to be extra assholish on that particular day and bully up on them.
With that said, it's been a fun couple of years and there are some really nice and interesting people here. Parcival, java, longboarder, G-man come to mind as do several others, others I won't name I probably wouldn't care to meet. I see a "deactivate" button and I'm going to click that now. Adios!

winoca posted:

Lot's of "My shit doesn't stink" attitude
Political differences divided the forum to maybe 80/20.
Really silly topics. I mean, I'm surprised there hasn't been a "What fine spatula are you using" thread. Yet if someone new comes along with a fresh idea for discussion they are driven out by a few who think they rule this place because they either don't know the standard "protocol" of posting, make mistakes and it looks like a spam, or the royale court of the WS forum posters decided to be extra assholish on that particular day and bully up on them.
With that said, it's been a fun couple of years and there are some really nice and interesting people here. Parcival, java, longboarder, G-man come to mind as do several others, others I won't name I probably wouldn't care to meet. I see a "deactivate" button and I'm going to click that now. Adios!

Great post for anyone who needs an example of hypocrisy. Bye Felicia.

How long has this forum been around.  I swear I was on it in the 1980's.  On dial-up no less.  There was a ton of activity and a lot of larger-than-life characters.  Some classic rows on the weekends when the moderators weren't around.  Another site I used to participate in WestCoastWine has virtually disappeared.  Wish we had a hall of fame list of old posters.

jcocktosten posted:

I joined in 2002 I believe 

The next to the last day of 2002, actually.    Your original sign-up date is still retained in your profile page.  11-22-2003 for me.

I feel a "little" energy coming back into the forums.  Hope it will continue.

PH

purplehaze posted:
jcocktosten posted:

I joined in 2002 I believe 

The next to the last day of 2002, actually.    Your original sign-up date is still retained in your profile page..  11-22-2003 for me.

I feel a "little" energy coming back into the forums.  Hope it will continue.

PH

 

Feb 2003 for me.  Have met some fine people on the forums and in off lines. Too many to note without missing someone.  Had some wines I would never have had without the generosity of these folks, went to a few restaurants to which I  would otherwise not have gone.

Got a couple clients.

And a certain cheesecake.

 

bomba503 posted:

The biggest problem I see is too many people posting about things other than wine. Yes what you ate, listened to, watched, voted for etc was a nice adjunct when things were more active but now that's most of what We've got left. We've got people here that post regularly but little or nothing about wine in years. I don't know if some of them even buy or drink wine regularly anymore. That creates an odd dynamic if not hostile environment and repels newbies. Think about this. Who is the last new regular poster that has joined the forum? Can't think of one in years

The main reason I post rarely in wine-related threads is that after 17 years here there is little new for me to add to any discussion.  I used to post TNs regularly but then realized that my list of descriptors numbered maybe a dozen.  Having a crappy palate doesn't help!

Ha...

gregt posted:
mareff posted:

I used to post an offline event and people would respond.  Now it seems that even our NY crew does not have the time to meet.  Maybe they do not want to meet me!

Absolutely 100 percent the reason!

Finally you're getting the message!  Took long enough!!! 

 

 

Ha.. and I thought it was my charming nature that was driving people away.

 

 

bman posted:
bomba503 posted:

The biggest problem I see is too many people posting about things other than wine. Yes what you ate, listened to, watched, voted for etc was a nice adjunct when things were more active but now that's most of what We've got left. We've got people here that post regularly but little or nothing about wine in years. I don't know if some of them even buy or drink wine regularly anymore. That creates an odd dynamic if not hostile environment and repels newbies. Think about this. Who is the last new regular poster that has joined the forum? Can't think of one in years

The main reason I post rarely in wine-related threads is that after 17 years here there is little new for me to add to any discussion.  I used to post TNs regularly but then realized that my list of descriptors numbered maybe a dozen.  Having a crappy palate doesn't help!

So are you saying that after all this time drinking port that your palate can be in a commercial similar to “this is your brain on drugs”? 

billhike posted:
bman posted:
bomba503 posted:

The biggest problem I see is too many people posting about things other than wine. Yes what you ate, listened to, watched, voted for etc was a nice adjunct when things were more active but now that's most of what We've got left. We've got people here that post regularly but little or nothing about wine in years. I don't know if some of them even buy or drink wine regularly anymore. That creates an odd dynamic if not hostile environment and repels newbies. Think about this. Who is the last new regular poster that has joined the forum? Can't think of one in years

The main reason I post rarely in wine-related threads is that after 17 years here there is little new for me to add to any discussion.  I used to post TNs regularly but then realized that my list of descriptors numbered maybe a dozen.  Having a crappy palate doesn't help!

So are you saying that after all this time drinking port that your palate can be in a commercial similar to “this is your brain on drugs”? 

I think a slip of my dentist's needle many years ago that killed some taste buds is more responsible than the port!

100% the new format is why i don't post anymore and the only reason i'm writing this is because this thread compelled me to. i maybe check in once every 3-4 months now, if i remember to, just to see how the board is doing, and because of the format i'm usually only hear 5-10 min before i can't stand it anymore and leave. not that i'm anyone or my opinion matters more than others, just a single voice. good to see some familiar names kicking around.

kumazam posted:

100% the new format is why i don't post anymore and the only reason i'm writing this is because this thread compelled me to. i maybe check in once every 3-4 months now, if i remember to, just to see how the board is doing, and because of the format i'm usually only hear 5-10 min before i can't stand it anymore and leave. not that i'm anyone or my opinion matters more than others, just a single voice. good to see some familiar names kicking around.

Agreed.  So many reasons have been posted as to why interest has dwindled, but this pretty much sums it up for me. 

Another reason, for me, is that I spent a LOT of time on this site when I was exploring wines and getting to know people.  I depend more now on my own developed tastes/preference (or undeveloped if you think my tastes are for sh!t!) and the friends I've met here.  Thus, this site is not essential for me. 

HOWEVER, there should still be a regular infusion of new and younger people, just as there are on others sites (audio, esp.) that I subscribe to.  Interest in wine is huge, globally, and growing.  The fact that we are NOT attracting new people says a lot about the format and how WS (mis)manages the site.  I suppose many younger people are getting their wine info other ways and from other sources.  But, the serious young wine enthusiast surely would stay away from this anachronistic, clunky format.

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