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Old 11-05-2018, 10:34 PM   #1
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What's next for Interference?

Hi everyone,

I've been mulling over this for a couple of weeks but now seems like a decent time to post it, since E+I is wrapping up shortly. Not technically relevant for this forum, but I'd rather post it here than one of the completely dead ones.

With E+I coming to an end, I am wondering what's next for Interference. I've spent not far from half of my life as a member of this board, and activity has clearly fallen a ton over that time. I think that was especially the case after 360 wrapped up. There are peaks and troughs - album releases have a lot more traffic still, and the dead time after tours have left. Some areas have more discussion than others. There's a bit here, a good bit in FYM (but with a pretty set group), and some other pockets. But other areas have basically died entirely. PLEBA is a good example.

It's not surprising that this is the case, with U2 not being as popular as they used to be, and the same being true for forums. We've been blessed with a really active album/tour cycle for the last four years, but setlists for JT30 and E+I were mostly really stagnant, which drove setlist parties to the grave. Not surprising that Interference suffered, but disappointing. This was (and still is in many ways) a cool community with interesting and smart people I've enjoyed talking to over the last eleven (!) years.

We're heading into a dead period from a U2 standpoint, and I wouldn't be surprised if that lasts until a good bit into the 2020s. That isn't the best of news for Interference, honestly. I'm wondering if there's anything that can be done to help this community stick around over what could easily be ~3 boring years in the U2 universe. It's hard to help the structural decline totally, but I imagine at least a few things could help from an administrative standpoint:
- Consolidating around forums with activity (EYKIW and its subforums; tour forum when there's a tour; FYM; and an off-topic forum, maybe with music and/or TV subforums), while archiving the rest
- Moving away from the generic-looking portal covering up this forum, which almost never gets posted to. Maybe link a blog to the forum if anyone wants to post the occasional essay but we shouldn't pretend its the main feature of the site, nor dress it up with silly SEO tricks like putting the word "U2" everywhere
- Upgrading to a modern version of vBulletin with a cleaner look

Of course, this would take action from the ownership of this board. I can't remember who has that, but I do remember it changing hands some years ago. This community can't exactly be a cash cow at the moment, and doesn't get a bunch of attention from whoever owns it. It could be worth reaching out to and engaging the ownership/leadership through whoever has connections, or, if they read this, comments would be welcome. I believe we have exactly one active moderator who might have more connections. I can imagine the world in which it could make sense to try to transition to some sort of nonprofit/community-based ownership to help the site get a bit more attention, since I highly doubt it can be operated very profitably anyway.

Setting that aside, I also wonder if there are things that the community can do too:
- More deliberate content during the off times (the many derivatives of "rate the song" were my favorite like half a decade ago, and I believe we tried something similar within the last year)
- Considerably more welcome to new people than we are used to (also known as "when anyone below the age of 35 walks into a Mainline Protestant church")

I don't know how savable this community is with the structural issues at hand, but I'd like to try. I'm curious to hear thoughts from anyone else.

Thanks, everyone.
Will
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:21 PM   #2
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You know those two old guys on the Muppets who sit in the balcony and heckle everything? That's how I imagine most of the people here.
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:45 PM   #3
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You know those two old guys on the Muppets who sit in the balcony and heckle everything? That's how I imagine most of the people here.
as a relative newbie, I would have to agree.
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:42 AM   #4
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I was tempted to reply 'a cycle of unrelieved decline'. But, it needn't be that.

Parts of the larger forum are eminently salvageable, I'd think (Bang & Clatter, FYM etc even though I wouldn't go into the latter if you held a gun down my throat). But there is no way that Inferference needs the 120-odd dedicated forums it has right now.

No frigging way.

You could bundle all of 'Lypton Village' sans FYM into one forum and be none the worse for it. So tv, film and music, and maybe just general banter, might get talked about in one forum. Might get looked at more as well.

Here's how I'd picture it:

Lypton Village (general music/arts/film/tv)
Lypton Creche (games forum/what did you eat today etc)
Lypton Youth Corps (Politics forum)
Lypton Cemetary (U2 rankings, U2 predictions, U2 tour speculation, U2 health speculation)
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Old 11-06-2018, 03:44 AM   #5
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Lypton Cemetary (U2 health speculation)


I think a giant "Is Bono ok??" thermometer that's locked into the upper right hand corner no matter where you are on the forum and tracks his current status/appearance would really breathe some new life back into this place.
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Old 11-06-2018, 03:50 AM   #6
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Kudos for trying digitize and I hope someone who has the power sees your post, but I don't think there's much to be done. U2 are a lot older, they're no longer attracting younger people (like me when I was 15 when I joined, I'm now 28). There's many other places on the internet now compared to back then and most people's lives are just a lot busier. I'll continue to post in here and check in here several times a day as I've always done but I don't see much point in trying to turn the forum around.
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Old 11-06-2018, 05:04 AM   #7
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Probably no coincidence that the liveliest parts of the forum don't necessarily hinge on U2 at all, although most would no doubt be into their music.

Unfortunately, while there may be many other places on the internet compared to (when, 2005, 1996), the value of many is just appalling. Outside of my drive-by lurking here, there are at most 3 or 4 sites I put any real value on. Not music sites; sites, period. Or rather, sites that also function as communities of some kind.

There, that's your future, Interference. Become a broad-based forum that is incidentally founded on U2 listeners.
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Old 11-06-2018, 05:05 AM   #8
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I think a giant "Is Bono ok??" thermometer that's locked into the upper right hand corner no matter where you are on the forum and tracks his current status/appearance would really breathe some new life back into this place.
Sort of like the terror colour code alerts of the 2000s. Or perhaps the Bluth family's mercurial fortunes on the tv investors' show.

"I'm gonna bump this one up to a DON'T BUY!"
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:48 AM   #9
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Sort of like the terror colour code alerts of the 2000s. Or perhaps the Bluth family's mercurial fortunes on the tv investors' show.

"I'm gonna bump this one up to a DON'T BUY!"
Uh yeah... it's been done
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:29 AM   #10
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Just have it as one massive forum. That’s how I read it on the Tapatalk app anyway.
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:31 AM   #11
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Just have it as one massive forum. That’s how I read it on the Tapatalk app anyway.
That's how it was back in "the day"
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:31 AM   #12
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That's how it was back in "the day"


Those were beautiful days
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:35 AM   #13
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Those were beautiful days
We let it get away
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:37 PM   #14
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The forum fracturing on here is absolute insanity. I've seen forums with 100 times the members that don't have as many fractures here.

There's really no need for so many subforums! I think consolidating it a lot would help spark some activity for those of us thrust to the corners of the Interference world
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Old 11-06-2018, 02:53 PM   #15
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The forum fracturing on here is absolute insanity. I've seen forums with 100 times the members that don't have as many fractures here.

There's really no need for so many subforums! I think consolidating it a lot would help spark some activity for those of us thrust to the corners of the Interference world
When this place was at its peak in the early to mid 2000s, there was absolutely a need for the majority of subforums that are found here. I'd say the majority of them were very active.

Now? I'd agree that it would be wise to consolidate a little in order to spark a little more discussion.

I'd hate to see this place die - but as the band winds down, it's inevitable. I'd say we could combine with @u2's forum but yeaaaaaa no thanks.

The OP did raise an interesting point... perhaps our moderators... eh hem, excuse me... perhaps diemen could let us know exactly who owns this place these days, and who's making decisions.
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