Member list, post counts and the Dominance of TORn

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Post by azriel Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:41 pm

I joined Bree yonks ago because I was crazed about the things I heard about The Hobbit. Tauriel was the one thing that got my dander up ! boy was I hopping mad !! I had never used a forum, any forum, before but, anger got the better of me, or was it Fate ?? Was I meant to join Bree ? It popped up on my Google search, & when I looked at the first page, as apposed the other sites I looked at, Bree was the most welcoming site there.The other sites looked to 'fussy' to much clutter, to much to wade thru to get to where you wanted, & they were such 'stuffed shirts'!   I learnt a lot there even tho it wasnt as laid back & chilled as this place. And, of course, I couldnt resist slipping in the odd naughty remark & thanks to Petty, I think?, I came here & then the flood gates opened ! Its relaxed, Its friendly, no bad feelings or atmosphere & even tho you cant see my face, I feel excepted & I dont feel I have to justify myself or adhere to strict rules, If I do say anything wrong I know IL get told off 'nicely' not in a Nazi style as some forums adopt. This place is cosy, As Elrond would say....."its a 'Homely House"  Very Happy  Nod

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Post by Eldorion Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:10 am

malickfan wrote:Don't worry I always find your posts very interesting..and slightly nauseating, I wish I was that eloquent as a teenager

I sometimes try to keep my worst obsessive tendencies in check and not to go off on certain topics at great length, but it always seems to slip out and then everyone knows what a nerd I am. Laughing

They have around 11k members, but I've gnerally noticed the same names over and over

They definitely have more members than us, yeah.  When I said "same numbers", I meant a similar proportion of low- and no-posting members.  I should have been more clear. Smile

That's another point, other than Petty's attempt on TORn we haven't really reached out elsewhere, do we really want to 'upset the balance?'

Outreach programs such as Petty's always run the risk of seeming like spam or self-aggrandizement, and a lot of forums frown upon promoting other forums on their site because they feel that it's tantamount to trying to poach members.  Obviously I'm very grateful for Petty's activities (and Mrs Figg's and everyone else's, too) but it's not always something that goes over well.

That's the thing though, how many of us were 'newcomers'? most of the core group here was already posting on the old site or on a different forum before they joined

That's a good question.  When I joined the site I had already been active on another forum for some time before then, so I was familiar with the norms of Tolkien fandom and general posting etiquette on forums.  I know a lot of people who joined the forum were new to forums, and I think that many members of Bree were too, but obviously here on the new forum most people found out about us on another Tolkien forum.  In the "new member" questionnaire in the welcome thread I added a question about how people found the site, and various newbies have indicated that they did find us via Google, but the ones who stick around are even more likely to have been from another site first.

that is probaly true, LOTR was to my/your generation star wars essentially, I really don't think The Hobbit will have the same effect, whichever way they cut it, it is obvious these films aren't necessary, and frankly I don't see them doing much good for the future reputation of the franchise

Yeah, the LOTR and Harry Potter movies (not to mention the Harry Potter books) came out at basically the same time and were the two biggest things in fandom for several years.  Even the superhero movie craze, which began around the same time and has in the long run proven more enduring, was not as big HP and LOTR were back then (and arguably even now have not surpassed them, at least not in terms of consistency).  It's easy to forget now just how big of a deal these two series were, especially if you weren't active in the fandom back then (I wasn't), partially due to the lack of successors to the fantasy movie throne.  The closest thing we got was Twilight, which was primarily romance, and ultimately lead into a more general young adult boom that has little to do with fantasy.  The biggest titles right now are sci-fi, but most of the big YA titles have more in common with each other than any other genre.

I have lurked there in the past, it seems rather quiet so this is pretty surprising... Really? that small, maybe there is some truth to the 'hype passing for LOTR...

Unfortunately, the LOTR Plaza has had a massive falling off of activity over the past four or so years.  Last year was the worst the forum has ever had, despite AUJ and DOS, though they seem to be recovering somewhat the past few months.  I should admit, I talk so much about the Plaza because it's where I got my start in the fandom and is the first place I was a moderator, but it has also played a major role in the fandom.  The decline of that site, along with other former giants like TheOneRing.com, is really unfortunate in my opinion.  But a big part of that is my nostalgia for the forum, even though I was only around for the tail-end of the LOTR-era wave of activity.  The various older LOTR sites do still get new members, but The Hobbit movies have not been the miraculous intervention that would save them from decline that people spent years hoping for.

You see the same phenomenon in forums dedicated to other single fandoms, no matter how large.  The only exception I can think of offhand is Star Wars, which (a) has always had the Expanded Universe to keep it going, and (b) is the biggest movie series of all time, bar none.

unless you count Pottermore, what a waste of effort that was...

Oh man, that was so disappointing.  I was lucky enough to get access to the beta, but it was just so boring.  I zoomed through the first five or six chapter so I could get my Sorted (Ravenclaw, represent), but after that it was pretty dull.  I hear that it has improved, and apparently just recently JKR posted the first significant new canon information (a history of the Quidditch World Cup), but I haven't gotten around to venturing back in.

Would you say that is true of the books in any measure? Children of Hurin was a bestseller when it was released, I think it is the only time the estate has taken advantage of the movie hype

The release of posthumous Tolkien works after 1977 was definitely beneficial to the fandom in terms of continuing to provide new fodder for discussion.  It probably didn't attract a lot of new fans due to how esoteric most of the material is, but it's just as important to keep older fans engaged.  I'm pretty sure there was an increase in LOTR-related publications around when the movies came out, although The History of Middle-earth series had already finished by then so there wasn't a ton of new ground to cover, and what there was got increasingly more obscure.  The Children of Hurin was the first book with more finished writing than analysis since The Silmarillion or Unfinished Tales, three decades earlier.  It's publication was definitely a big deal for the fandom, but since then (2007, which was also the year that The History of The Hobbit was published) there have been no new Middle-earth works.  Christopher has moved on to editing his father's other works (Sigurd and Gudrun, The Fall of Arthur) and there's no indication that they have more Middle-earth material in the archives waiting to be released.  After The Children of Hurin, a lot of people wanted to know if Beren and Luthien or The Fall of Gondolin would receive a similar release, but the Estate's response was that neither of those stories was complete enough.

One thing genuinely surprised me a few months ago, there was a thread on TORn about teenage ringers, it was surprising there was at least a dozen regular posters who hadn't been exposed to Tolkien until The Hobbit films, I think Tolkien isn't a hot property per se, but certainly a permanently established one, perhaps too much so

That's a fair point.  Even during the "Middle Ages" of Tolkien fandom, when it was unclear if The Hobbit movies would ever be made, there was still a steady stream of new members to the largest forums.  Young people continue to discover the books as well as the films all the time, and older fans will venture onto forums for the first time for various reasons.  LOTR has proven its durability, much like Star Wars, so I don't expect the fandom to ever go away completely.  But with the absence of new book material and with the films about to end, things could get slower than they ever have before.  But it's possible that I'm being overly pessimistic; I certainly don't know what will happen.

I can't comment on this as I have only been active on Forums for about four years, but it is an obvious point...  I can vouch for all this, although I post on three forums currently, none of my friends/family do, even self confessed LOTR nerds, I only went out and found a forum because I searched for it, people I know who would be interested in posting in forums simply don't because they prefer other methods of social networking

It's an easy one to overlook, because even in their heyday, forums were never as mainstream as social networking sites are now.  People talk a lot about Internet culture and the benefits (and risks) of meeting people online, but for most people this isn't a thing because they stick to Facebook and Twitter.  Which is not to denigrate Facebook or Twitter, but those sites have worked themselves into the fabric of everyday life to a remarkable extent, to the point where social media is just another level of most people's world rather than a separate or parallel thing.  This is partially because social networks are designed to connect with individuals with people that they already know.  To meet strangers online, you have to visit other types of sites, of which forums are the most prominent.  But most people aren't interested in doing that, neither now nor a decade ago.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, I'm generally perplexed as to how they will rebrand themselves come 2016 with no new movies...

I wouldn't be surprised if the team behind TORn is trying to plan for this -- I know the question of what happens post-2015 once the Oscars and the DVD releases are all done weights on my mind.  It will probably be much like it was for TORn circa 2006, though (between the end of LOTR and the announcement of The Hobbit), or what things are like for other fandom sites like, say, MuggleNet.  They'll obsessively report on every rumor of future projects, even though 99% of them will be totally baseless.  They'll report on fandom matters, birthdays, and other activities of people involved with the films.  TORn has in the past reported extensively on related movie projects such as King Kong and The Chronicles of Narnia, so I'm sure they'll devote plenty of attention to future PJ projects like the Tintin sequel (if that ever happens).

I don't know what SEO stand for scratch 

SEO stands for search engine optimization, the science and methods of improving a website's ranking in online search results.

 Shocked Thumbs Up A typically in depth reply Eldo!, you really should write a book about this you know...

Thanks so much, Malick!  It's a lot of fun to be able to go on about stuff like this that I've thought about for ages to a willing audience. :DThere have been books published about fandom, and it would probably be pretty neat to write one.  Fan studies is a growing field of anthropology, too, though I'm skeptical of many of the common assumptions in that field (most of which seem to stem from a Marxist view of class struggle that I really don't think is relevant to the vast majority of fans).

And now I've gone and rambled on way too long, again.  That's what you guys get for encouraging me. Razz


Last edited by Eldorion on Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Mrs Figg Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:32 am

David H wrote:
Amarië wrote:  (Warning: there be sanity and rules.)

 affraid 

 Sofa 

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:39 am

Obviously I'm very grateful for Petty's activities (and Mrs Figg's and everyone else's, too) but it's not always something that goes over well.- Eldo

I stopped the occasional name dropping of Forumshire at ToRN as soon as they asked me too but Bree felt like fair game as there were no mods to get annoyed at the time, but mainly as half the members were from here and I didnt see it therefore as poaching members so much as sharing them. And until their site went down that was still true and was working fine.

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Post by Eldorion Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:24 am

I agree, Bree is definitely an unusual case due to both its nature and our relationship with it. I just wanted to explain why we haven't done much in the way of "outreach" on other sites.
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Post by bungobaggins Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:08 am

Yeah, I decided against reaching out on torn. I mean, I do feel for these people that are the minority there, but if they really want a place to sound off, they would look for it themselves. Shrugging

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Post by Eldorion Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:13 am

None of the names mentioned earlier in this thread rang a bell for me, so I can't speak about them specifically, but a lot of people on TORn also have accounts on various other older Tolkien forums.  There are several forums like that with substantial purist minorities, if not outright majorities of active members.  Other large sites formerly had anti-purist moderation policies reminiscent of TORn's (the typical justification being that it was to prevent newbies from being chased away), but did away with those years ago when the worst excesses of the Purist Wars faded away.  It's not like there's a shortage of places to express purist views.
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Post by halfwise Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:14 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:And I can tell you there is nothing more forlorn than a lost Halfy soaking wet and adrift.  Sad 

I'm about a quarter my size and twice my normal weight when soaking wet.  Nod 

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Post by David H Sat May 10, 2014 8:07 pm

Just looking at the percentages, we must be somewhere close to 100,000 total posts, right? study 

Do we get a party, or have we already missed it?

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Post by halfwise Sat May 10, 2014 8:27 pm

"I've said it before, I'll say it again, I'm generally perplexed as to how they will rebrand themselves come 2016 with no new movies..."

They will transform themselves into a pure PJ fan club. Whatever he does they'll slaver over. Not sure how you work PJ into their acronym, though.

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Post by malickfan Sat May 10, 2014 9:08 pm

halfwise wrote:"I've said it before, I'll say it again, I'm generally perplexed as to how they will rebrand themselves come 2016 with no new movies..."

They will transform themselves into a pure PJ fan club.  Whatever he does they'll slaver over.  Not sure how you work PJ into their acronym, though.

They didn't seem to slaver over The Lovely Bones very much (I don't think anyone did). Razz 

Since PJ is apparently stepping down from big budget films, I wonder if they will still get the high volume of traffic/income? As the film franchise will (hopefully) come to an end, it will be interesting to see if the take the opportunity to talk about Tolkien more (Andy Serkis being in star wars makes front page news, but I'd be very surprised if they posted about Vinyar Tengwar etc over Richard Armitages latest interview) if the site goes downhill I'd like to see it stay true to its supposed purpose.

As Christopher Tolkien seems likely to choose a successor to his role as literary executor with views similar to his *Cough Scull and Hammond*, it's going to be hillarious seeing them report no more movies (Alot of people on the forum seem to think Christopher Tolkien owes them films, that's he's in the wrong for letting the books remain as his father wanted) and interesting to see if the site places the Tolkien fandom ahead of the Tolkien Estate.

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Post by David H Sat May 10, 2014 10:03 pm

Damn! I just did some arithmetic (I hate that stuff Mad) and we seem to have passed the 100,000 post milestone about 3 months ago.  We should be about 103K now.  So 147K till the quarter million party then I guess..... cyclops 

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Post by malickfan Sat May 10, 2014 10:10 pm

We are almost at 138,000 posts, so we could have a 150k party soon...

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I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Post by David H Sat May 10, 2014 10:19 pm

malickfan wrote:We are almost at 138,000 posts, so we could have a 150k party soon...

And that's exactly why farmer/mathematicians shouldn't do arithmetic! Embarassed 

Where'd you find that number, Malick?

(I totaled percentages and extrapolated. Apparently quite badly Shocked )

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Post by malickfan Sat May 10, 2014 10:23 pm

It's listed under statistics at the bottom of the main page.

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I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Post by David H Sat May 10, 2014 10:34 pm

:facepalm: Embarassed 

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Post by azriel Sat May 10, 2014 10:50 pm

Laughing

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Post by David H Sun May 11, 2014 1:07 am

OK, hold onto your seats. Don't panic, but there seems to be a problem with the statistics somewhere.... pale 
If you open the Statistics tab at  the bottom and go to top 10 posters, total posts, then take Petty for example:

Petty  
posts: 27,150
percent: 27%

27,150/0.27 = 100,000 to 2 significant digits
(which is all you get to use from the 27% number)

So how to explain the 138,000 number?scratch 
Where did the other 38,000  posts disappear to?Suspect 
I can tell I'm not going to sleep tonight over this one... Mad

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Post by halfwise Sun May 11, 2014 2:47 am

Well, the top 10 posters add up to pretty much 100%, so I think the 27% only refers to the top 10.  It could be that the fraction of the percenters make up the difference.  With nearly 300 members it's very possible.

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Post by Eldorion Sun May 11, 2014 3:05 am

Halfy is correct about that. For reasons I have never been able to fathom, all of the percentages on the statistics page are calculated only as a percent of the top 10 listed there. However, if you click on an individual profile and go to the stats tab there, you can see the true percentage of posts made. For example, Petty's profile shows that he has made 19.67% of the posts on the forum, which is what ~27,000 over ~138,000 comes out to.

We passed the 100K mark last September and I made a post to commemorate it, also pointing out the the exact 100,000th post. Very Happy >see here< Getting to six digits was a big deal for me personally, and I think an important milestone for the forum. We will almost certainly pass 200,000, but whether we can get to 300K depends on how activity holds on once The Hobbit movies' hype (such as it is) has passed.
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Post by Eldorion Sun May 11, 2014 3:10 am

I think it's telling though that the top 10 posters on the site account for about 72% of the posts. This is actually slightly less than the old forum, where the top 10 accounted for 76% of the posts, with 62% coming from the top four alone. (The top four being GB, myself, Odo, and Petty.) The top four on the new forum have made 52% of the posts, so it's clearly becoming a little more even. Razz Still, we get crazy post numbers from a small, highly dedicated member base. Compared to the other most-active Tolkien forums, I'm pretty sure we have the smallest active userbase. Certainly the smallest of those at the top of the list.
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Member list, post counts and the Dominance of TORn - Page 3 Empty Re: Member list, post counts and the Dominance of TORn

Post by David H Sun May 11, 2014 7:40 am

Whew! I'm glad that's cleared up! Now I can go to sl..... Sleep 

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Member list, post counts and the Dominance of TORn - Page 3 Empty Re: Member list, post counts and the Dominance of TORn

Post by Amarië Sun May 11, 2014 9:29 am

Eldorion wrote:Halfy is correct about that.  For reasons I have never been able to fathom, all of the percentages on the statistics page are calculated only as a percent of the top 10 listed there.  However, if you click on an individual profile and go to the stats tab there, you can see the true percentage of posts made.  For example, Petty's profile shows that he has made 19.67% of the posts on the forum, which is what ~27,000 over ~138,000 comes out to.

We passed the 100K mark last September and I made a post to commemorate it, also pointing out the the exact 100,000th post. Very Happy>see here< Getting to six digits was a big deal for me personally, and I think an important milestone for the forum.  We will almost certainly pass 200,000, but whether we can get to 300K depends on how activity holds on once The Hobbit movies' hype (such as it is) has passed.

I think movie 3 will create crabbitness beyond measure, so 300k might be within reach....

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun May 11, 2014 3:29 pm

I think movie 3 will create crabbitness beyond measure- Amarie

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Post by Mrs Figg Sun May 11, 2014 3:43 pm

halfwise wrote:"I've said it before, I'll say it again, I'm generally perplexed as to how they will rebrand themselves come 2016 with no new movies..."

They will transform themselves into a pure PJ fan club.  Whatever he does they'll slaver over.  Not sure how you work PJ into their acronym, though.

P(J)ORn.      the J is silent     :brows:
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