An appeal from a poster.
This is going to be a long post, so please bear with me.
And I can only speak for myself, but perhaps I speak for others as well.
Right now the TRF is the best and most comprehensive royal forum on the Net. It's the most comprehensive covering of all aspects of royalty and all royals.
The troublemakers, nutcases and negative people are weeded out, making it a friendly and polite place, despite the occasional row.
However, we are losing posters.
I will divide the members of the TRF into these groups:
The news-hunters - Who provide almost instant coverage of the royals in the form of pictures, clips and articles.
The specialists - who keep track on fashion, jewellery, clothes, designers and so on.
The historians - nerds actually, :tongue: who have an encyclopedic knowledge of genealogy, politics during the Hundred Year War and who no doubt know the names of Richard III's dogs!
The writers (which I believe I belong to) - who provide general background info on all sorts of subjects like politics, traditions, ceremonial as well as translations of interviews.
The moderators - who try and keep this zoo running as smoothly as possible.
And finally the most important members of the TRF: The readers.
That includes those who otherwise never post a link or write an article, because without the readers there is no TRF. The forum will die.
So your interaction and your feedback is vital.
I fully realize that by far the most come here to look at pictures and clips. And enjoy cute pictures and loving couples and the whole royal roadshow in all it's splendor. Not to mention fashion! - Without being particularly interested in what the royals actually do.
And that's great. That part of the TRF is alive and very well, despite competition from other sites. So no need to say more about that. Keep up the good work. And I'm not going to point my finger at why people come her. No reason is better than others.
However, some of us, myself included, would just as much like to know about the background and the history. Why are the royals dressed like that? What's the historical background for a tradition? Why is something considered controversial? Why are the royals attending an event? And so on and so on.
And this is where the historians and writers come in. We are the ones who provide background info, ceremonial details, history and answers to all the myriads of questions the readers may have.
And we (well I, can only speak for myself) thrive on feedback from the readers!
It's wonderful when someone share our interest and ask why there are three buttons instead of four on a uniform or what the political reasons for sending royal X to Timbuktu may be. Or when a particular dress was worn the last time. Or who is related to royal X's second cousin.
That's what keeps me/us going. It's encouraging.
It's really very simple: If I have spend two hours writing something and the only feedback I get is the sound of crickets... my conclusion is naturally: Oh, that wasn't interesting.
If it happens several times, the conclusion is: No one are interested. Probably because it's boring or I'm boring.
And that leads to the inevitable: Why bother? Why waste a lot of time writing something that no one are interested in?
Result: You stop writing. You stop writing translations and you start looking for a new place where people may be more interested.
(And that is where I am now. I still intend to be around and comment on posts, but my translations and summaries may be posted somewhere else).
This is a problem. We have lost several historians and writers over the years on that account. I can mention Chiara on the Japanese forum. She had a fantastic knowledge about the inner workings of the Japanese court and current Japanese politics. But now she's gone and so is her knowledge.
I know of another member who was asked very recently whether she would write an article about an otherwise interesting subject. She declined, she believed there was too little interest. - Can't blame her. I know the feeling.
That's where the readers come in.
I/we can't read your minds. So any kind of feedback matters. Also from those of you who otherwise never post anything.
Do something. Ask questions. We are happy to write about our favorite topics. - If for no other reason than to show off. :tongue: Hit the thank you button. Post a comment. Tell us if it's boring or incomprehensible - we/I may be annoyed at first but we learn from it. Contradict us if you know better, we might learn something.
All of us, readers, posters and moderators depend on each other. If we loose too many of one group the TRF will fade away.
I hope this made sense. - And perhaps others have something to add?
Agree a 1000% Muhler!
I've recently returned to blogging for the site after a hiatus due to university work and it's definitely brought me back to the site a lot more!
What put me off commenting and sharing what little knowledge I have was the sometimes incredibly vitriol replies I would receive after so many attacks it just puts me off.
The moderators do an absolutely fantastic job with this site and all credit to them!
I hate to take a cliche from Facebook but whilst we're overhauling our emojis why don't we think about adding a like button? That's instant feedback. Whilst I know we have the thank you option sometimes the process for that is long and the facility isn't available on the app, something a lot of people use these days.
An appeal from a poster.
I agree even though I have to admit I am more of a reader myself. I don't know that much about it all and sometimes feel I don't have much to add. I know how you feel though.
I didn't know the forum had lost that many valuable members. Pity...
A like button would be nice. 🙂
Thank you both for your time and effort. I am one of the readers, I love to come here look and learn, until the TRF I knew very little about Royals but the British but I admit, I don't do a lot of posting, I will work on that but I really do appreciate all the amazing things I have learned.
Please Muhler, don't stop your translations of Danish articles and your commentaries on the situations pertaining to various members of the Danish Royal Family. I enjoy reading them so much. I do post daily but will try to write and comment more than I do. None of us want this forum to wither away. Please members, read AND post your comments. We need all sorts of views on the topics of our threads.
I hadn't realized that TRF had lost a relevant part of its members. It's such a pity for this amazing forum!
I always post whenever I feel like it and in thread I feel comfortable to post in. I am aware that I do know very little about royals in general and my posts are always very limited on my impressions!
I enjoy reading informative posts and I often push the "thanks" button as I would consider a reply of mine very ridiculous for some wonderful and educated posts.
Just my two (very humble) cents here:
I wonder why there is so much control over speculations regarding the royals. I can understand pregnancy rumours, because it is a very sensistve matter concerning women, but, in other cases the "gossip" is so overt to result painful. For exmple, the matter of plastic surgery. Some royals have really evident plastic surgery and to deny that, I feel it as an insult to common intelligence and logic. It's merely talking about facts mosts of the times, and not try to sneer on some royal with plastic surgery...
Woah, I'm disgressing... anyway, It's always a pleasure to read comments over here, because they vary so much that I even find some "propagada" for a royal over another by rabid fans" very endearing:flowers::rofl::lol::whistling:;):tongue:
So, my crazy post is done. Keep posting guys!
Btw if anything Dutch needs translating I'd be more than happy to help. Problem is I work so I don't see my email right away.
Thanks for the replies. :smile:
Even if you never post anything you can contribute a lot to the forum by encouraging those who do. :flowers:
And Lumutqueen is right. It's sometimes a good idea to wait ten minutes before replying. It's the same thing as in real life: If you reply in anger, you've already lost the discussion.
But I think we are all guilty of automatically going into defensive position when it's someone we like, eh? :tongue:
Thanks for your thoughts Muhler, I consider myself a news-hunter with a little bit of specialist :biggrin:
I always enjoy what those post who put in a lot of time and effort. I tried this once when the articles started but found out that - even though I spend a lot of time on TRF - as soon as it gets too time consuming or serious I start I lose interest because posting on TRF becomes a burden. For me it's fun and entertainment and I enjoy it so much because there is no pressure if that makes sense.
Please continue to post the way you do and all the others who have special interests.
BTW - I would love to have a 'Thumbs Up' emoji!!
My 2 cts (as a complete non-knowledgable amateurish, but non-the-less royal-interested reader)
- Please keep posting everybody, because there's loads of intersting stuff here (i learn more on these forums from "my own" royals than in the dutch media ;)
- i can completely understand that if you make a lot of effort that you'd like some feedback
but here's why i don't give feedback when i don't:
- I only realized what the Thanks button was when i was already 2 years or so participating (seriously...even later found out that i had some "thank you's" myself, from months earlier :lol: by that time some of the posts had been deleted :lol:
- when i read a extensive knowledgable piece i feel completely in awe and don't want to reply with just a simple "thank you" but don't have the knowledge to post something better, so....i leave it to others who can reply better (will try to do better in the future)
- sometimes there's a long long text with loads of information that i completely disagree with....than i often don't respond because a. again lack of actual provable counterfacts, b. not being in the mood for lengthy discussions
- and sometimes i do respond but accidently post something that is judged to be speculation and deleted without notice...although i often understand the deletion, it's still occassionally a downer when i have actually tried to make a really good posts with links to sources and everything
But i've taken your comments to heart and will try to be more responsive
Muhler, your plea for people to participate and give feedback is a sympathetic one. I understand it can be frustrating if you write a nice translation and nobody replies. I do not know what options vBulletin has in terms of 'likes' but it is a nice idea indeed, thanks lumutqueen. We will ask the technical team about the possibilities.
However, I must correct the picture of doom and gloom that is painted. TRF is doing just fine. Members leave, new members join. This has always been the case since we started in 2002 and happens at any online forum. People will have private matters to take care of, some lost interest in royalty, a few were disappointed in the forum/posters or found another way to engage in their hobby. It is absolutely normal.
You are correct that member activity decreased slightly in the last two years (with 10%). If you look around at other online royalty forum you will see something simular. A lot of royalty forums have even disappeared alltogether or became inactive. Only a hand full of active forums remain, most of them less active then in the pre-twitter days.
I think the cause is rather simple: people move to twitter, facebook, tumblr and specialized blogs. While in 2002 we still had a lot of (late) teenagers as members, I suspect this will be very different at the moment. Much of the new generation moves immediately to other social media and prefer to voice their opinions there. The forum has however more visits then 2 years ago, we usually have more than 1000 viewers on any time of the day. Almost 10.000 people follow us on twitter and facebook.
It does not help that it is relatively quiet in royalty land. No big weddings, few births etc. The generation of crown princes and princesses have moved slowly towards middle age and thus have become less interesting for a group of posters. The children are still too young to do much of interest. That will only happen in about 5 years from now.
A poster mentioned that discussing plastic surgery may be an option to attract more posts. We have allowed it around 2005 but posts about plastic surgery inevitably end up in a huge fight between fans and haters of a certain royal. But there are more angles to it: what is obvious surgery for one, is not obvious at all for another. However the most important argument against it IMHO is that discussing plastic surgery always leads to a discussion where it is implied that something is morally wrong with the person. This will lead to a group of posters 'shaming' anybody with plastic surgery and speculating about what was done where and when. I do not think a royalty forum should be engaged in body shaming. For the same reasons we discourage discussions about weight.
I rarely make comments but I login everyday and read most of what is written on TRF. I even read the posts about more obscure royal (and non-reigning) families. Muhler, I especially like your contributions on the DRF as they're one of my favorite royal families. I will make to engage with those to take the time to write or post pictures on TRF. I'd hate to see it lose readers.
I think in some ways the forum is so big it is overwhelming (for some perhaps) trying to figure out what goes where etc. People have pretty short attention spans and are used to a click and gratification...some of them just won't search for much.
I am a moderator on another forum (not royalty related), have been on the board at least 15 years, was a very active almost couldn't keep up with all the threads type of board, when FB (and now other social media) came into play the traffic has dropped in huge amounts. New members used to be coming almost daily...major drop there as well.
Most of the long term core members of the board now talk on FB. I expect the board will be taken down in the new few years (it relies on donations from members to exist). It's only the core group that keeps it going now and even they are starting to drop off posting.
Interesting how things track over time.
I agree with everything you said, Muhler. One of my biggest hobbies is writing. Fan fiction and own stuff and if there's little to no reviews my energy to write on fades away. That's why I want to apologies to you and everyone else who provides us with so many information and translation. I myself have been very active on this forum a few years back but have faded to be just a reader during the last year's. I hate it myself, because there's a lot want to write, ask or contradict every week. The reason I stay being a mere reader these days is simple. I don't own a notebook with a real keyboard anymore, since my last one broke down. Due to other more important things in my life I couldn't afford buying a new one for the last two years. I only own my smartphone and a little tablet these days to connect to the www. And it always annoys me to no end to write something via touch. I miss as a real keyboard so much. I could write ten times faster with it and would finally have fun again, asking, commenting and contradicting in this forum.
All I can say now is: please keep up your great work. I always love reading your stuff. I promise to acknowledge it with hitting the thanks-button more often in the future. I can't even say why I never have. I see this button but it had never crossed my mind to at least hit it, even if I don't have enough energy to post a reply.
You see, I had enough energy now to reply (and this already takes ten minutes of writing) because I understand what you meant and felt the need to reply and explain my personal situation. Ironically I have a question in my mind for month, which I always wanted to ask you. Because I always stumble upon this mystery (at least it's a mystery to me) when I see you writing about the DRF. I won't ask now because I don't want to get off topic. But I will ask it the next time I visit the danish page, so you can enlighten me.
I like to be gloomy. It makes me so glad when I turn out to be wrong... :biggrin:
Seriously, you are no doubt right in regards to the younger members using Instagram and Twitter. The problem is that it is basically only for commenting. Something like: Gorgeous dress or yuck!
But it's my clear impression that the really hardcore royal followers are on average 30+, who are not that comfortable with Twitter. And we the older, constitute the majority and the most faithful members.
Facebook is interesting, but isn't it limited in regards to interaction between the members? I find a forum more manageable. I.e. the members being more on equal footing.
I also think Pranter has a point. The TRF can indeed be pretty daunting unless you focus on something or someone special.
But that's also the advantage of the TRF. There is something here for everyone and if you wish to know something there is usually always someone in the know.
I think we should be careful about not being trendy with trendy and focus more on what we are good at: well-informed, all round and factual coverage of royalty.
I think our ambition should be to make this forum the place to go, for hard facts on royalty.
There is another matter I considered. And that applies perhaps to some of us older posters. That is to allow room for others to shine.
Especially new members. It's great if you are a new member to post a link or whatever and get a pad on the shoulder for that.
So, since my specialty is writing, I have and will cut down on posting links to pics and articles and leave that to others, especially the news-hunters and only post if they've been sleeping...:tongue: That happens.
The more who feel they contribute, the better for the forum IMO.
I have to admit I'm one of those who has significantly dropped off in the number of posts I make. It's not that I've lost interest in the information here, it's that every time I post my opinion on certain royals, even though I follow the guidelines set out, I get people trying to tell me why I'm wrong to have that opinion.
Frankly, I'm tired of having people's incessantly positive (dare I say thoughtlessly so) opinions crammed down my throat. If I don't feel free to share my opinion and don't find there are like-minded people who take a pragmatic, open-minded view of things, why should I spend the time posting? Just like there are guidelines to prevent speculation, etc. I feel like there should be guidelines in how to reply respectfully to opinions that differ from your own. Just my two cents worth.
I agree, though since I joined in 2012, I haven't had a lot of posters whose posts I used to value leave or "migrate" to another forum which is quite fortunate! But, I do miss Artemisia and fairy tale. They used to be frequent posters and I used to appreciated Artemisia's encyclopaedic knowledge and fairy tale's regular updates on the Norwegian RF, I wouldn't have seen most of them otherwise. Both posters were very informative and I used to value them as members here. Has anyone heard from them lately? I understand that Artemisia hasn't been blogging for a while either.
I tend to post observational comments usually when there's a big event or a new update about an RF that interests me. I also like to follow the fashion threads as I like the royal style, mostly, and find commenting on clothing interesting. I don't often participate in debates or active discussions, unless it's about a topic that interests me or if I feel like I have to contribute.
I have exams at the moment, so I'm less active than usual, but I try to be as active as possible and will usually drop by when I have some spare time on my hands. But generally I'd consider myself to be a fairly active member - whenever I'm not, it's usually because I'm on holiday, am ill (I have a rare nerve condition so sometime's it's painful to use the computer) or have bad internet.
Not really any new things to add, except that I agree with the things already posted.
I'm an archaeologist, so history and background are immensely interesting to me. I don't have much to add myself. Except perhaps when it is archaeological related. ;)
On a side note.. there is a "thank-you-button"??????!!!!!????
Could you please!!! add that to the mobile version (if possible). I rarily visit from a computer, 99% of the time I am on my phone. I havn't been able to find an app for my tablet. Is there one?
May I deduct that by allowing others to 'shine', that means that you are shining at the moment, Muhler? Perhaps you are not as gloomy as you think after all ;). I am not sure it is a good idea to withhold information and wait for others to post though. If we want people to 'shine' people must feel free to voice their opinion and make their case, which sadly is a problem in Missy's case and perhaps with others.
I still think you are too gloomy about TRF though. We are one of the larger online royal resources and one of the few surviving royalty forums. The forum has seen a small decrease in activity these last years, which is natural considering the rapid changes in (royal) social media. All forums have been affected by it, some have even disappeared. Perhaps your main turf - the Danish forum- has seen a significant decrease in activity, more than other areas. The interest in the crown princess may have decreased compared to the hype around HRH in earlier years. Middle age perhaps isn't the most exiting time. The Swedish forum f.e. has seen a significant increase in traffic these last years, probably due to engagements, weddings, babies and baptisms. The same goes for Britain. This decrease in interest may have led to a decrease in replies and compliments. Or do you think there may be another reason why people are less vocal in the Danish part of the forum?
I also prefer a forum over twitter and tumblr but then again, I am also over 30. Obviously the unique thing of forums is that so many people are able to post their knowledge in a relatively coherent and organised manner. News outlets and other blogs often come here and to other forums to look for 'inspiration'. Sometimes they even copy mistakes, which makes it easy to know what the source is.
Since we are analysing, I think the major turnaround for TRF was in 2005 when the copyright rules were updated. We are the only royalty forum that I know of that does not allow the direct posting of pictures. As the biggest forum we were and are the first target for photo agencies and their lawyers. Unlike blogs, the vBulletin software does not enable us to post facebook/twitter links with photo or Getty-images directly in the threads.
This meant that a large group of people left for other forums and later to blogs where you can directly see photos without the burden of extra clicks to the website of the copyright holder. It mainly affected the posts about fashion and popular royals, the content of which is image-driven. The Daily Mail is the main example that works with image driven content, which leads to the actual text being secundary, which in turn may explain the large amount of mistakes they make. It is impossible for us to 'compete' with such a commercial party. We are a small forum that works with volunteers, the Daily Mail is a large business with paid employees. One can argue if the trend I described is dramatic or not. The quantity of the posts doesn't say much about the quality.
To adress Missy's concerns, first of all I regret your experience, especially as we do not have a policy against criticism. If it is fact driven and expressed in a normal way it can be quite healthy even. However, the nature of a discussion forum is that people discuss topics. In these discussions there will be disagreements, especially on a forum like ours. Other forums have popped up over the years that had and have a more homogeneous membership. Some forums for fans of specific princesses have popped up, while other forums seem to have a relatively uniform culture of disliking a specific set of royals. TRF membership tends to have more mixed opinions, this will lead to more discussions and disagreements. We expect all of these opinions to be voiced within the framework of the rules and FAQ. If you have ideas on how to update the rules we would be willing to take a look at it. In all these years I have not been able to think of a rule that would do more good than harm.
To SLV: yes, it is below each post that is made, left of the quote button. I selfom use the app so I never missed the option there either.
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