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fRoots opts for Facebook

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:50 pm
by Alan

Suprised to see this over at fRoots, hope SOTW can survive here for many years to come. FB ain't my cuppa..

- Ian Anderson writes

Internet message boards are very little used these days. They're a medium and technology even older than MySpace, and hardly anybody even uses that any more either. The BBC ditched theirs years ago, this one gets very little traffic now and other ones in the field like SOTW and even M****t have dwindled to the same few dozen people talking to each other. It's time to move on. We all only have so many hours for web wangling.

So: we've just initiated a Facebook page for fRoots, to take over from the old Facebook group, where news and views can be posted and discussions take place. You can find it and "like" it at

Volunteers are also running a fRoots Twitter feed - @frootsmag

During the next few months we hope to establish those communities, and then eventually lock this Forum at the end of the year so there can be no further posting. We'll leave it dormant as long as Mondomix are willing to host it, so that the archive of postings remains accessible. We hope to integrate a news feed into the main fRoots web site.

So, a bit of a "so long and thanks for all the fish" moment.

Re: fRoots opts for Facebook

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:10 pm
by Adam Blake
Ian hasn't been a regular contributor here for a long time.

The beauty of SoTW is you can talk at length about music with people who know and care about it. You can't do that on Facebook.

Re: fRoots opts for Facebook

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:41 pm
by Rob Hall
I wish Ian and fRoots well. The difference - well, one difference, and I suspect that it's a significant one - is that fRoots is a commercial enterprise and needs to be seen to be keeping up with its peer group. Fortunately, in my opinion, we here at SOTW are subject to no such pressures.

Re: fRoots opts for Facebook

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:56 am
by Alan Balfour
The way of the world.

Last year Paul Vernon created The Real Blues Forum on Facebook. The two longest surviving blues discussion groups using Yahoo (PreWar & Post War) - both commenced operation 10/2/1999 - are now hardly used. The members have taken their knowledge and skill to FB. Various attempts have been made to get me to join but the dinosaur within doesn't want to know.

Keep on keeping on SOTW.

Re: fRoots opts for Facebook

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:26 am
by NormanD
I can see the decline (rapid or gradual) of Forums such as fRoots and here, but feel that FBook will be no real substitute. It'll suit the needs of fRoots, but won't offer what this reader wants.

Rob's spot on with his comment about commercial survival, and fRoots will surely need to keep its webpage open and alive (presumably without a message board there). There may come a time when the print version of the mag ends completely and it will exist as digital only (via subscription) or free open access, as with No Depression, for example. Either way, reader feedback - and, more importantly, commitment and support - is essential.

I've expressed my doubts over on the fRoots thread, but the decision's been made, as Ian seems to have made his mind up, so that's that. My biggest doubt is about the longtime future of Facebook. "My Space" and "Friends Reunited" have both gone into decline over the last few years, possibly terminal. New networking sites are driven by group demographics, with users getting fed up with targetted adverts and near spam, and general social popularity. "Likes" on a Facebook page don't really add up to much at all, in truth, unless you're talking six figures. You need to measure support in fractions of millions, rather than thousands. The same with Twitter.

I understand that it is possible to locate archives on a Facebook page, but will most readers (sorry, 'friends') really think it worth the hassle? And - if you're reading this Ian - don't forget the imposed morality FBook places on posts and pictures. One tit and you're out, so to speak - whether yours (again, so to speak) or placed by a friend and not deleted in good time.....

I've followed fRoots for decades now, through all its various platforms - letters page, forum, FBook, Twitter, etc., and won't stop doing so. I suppose I might be classed as part of its core following. The more important following of as yet unknown younger, more active and adept social networkers, and people who'll put money in the magazine's pockets and ensure its survival, is unknown and elusive.

Close the forum by all means, Ian, but it'll be a big mistake to put all your money on one horse.