Home Forums General General Facebook vs Forums for Wargames

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  • #46525
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Why I think forums are better for wargames discussions.

    People that want to find some information online will almost certainly use a search engine, and most will probably use Google.
    I am not aware of anyone that when looking for some information online, searched in FB rather than Google.

    Why is this relevant?
    FB is pretty much not found in Google search results.
    If we search FB for Angel barracks we see a lot of people talking about it:

    Yet if we search Google for Angel Barracks, none of those FB discussions are listed.
    So whilst people do seem to talking about Angel Barracks on FB, the biggest search engine on the planet does not list those discussions.
    So posting on Facebook is posting to a closed community that won’t be found by normal people searching in the normal way.
    So if you post content to FB it won’t be seen by the majority of people looking for it.
    Mention something about wargames on a forum and it will searched and crawled by Google.

    I like 6mm, no secret there.
    FB has people that like 6mm too.
    So much so that some of them created a 6mm group, and then another, and another and another and…
    Yep there are loads of 6mm groups on FB, if you don’t want to miss out then you have to join all of them.
    So you end up in potentially dozens of groups.
    This creates the problem of duplicate news.
    If you are in a group and post some news, then you will probably want to post in lots of groups to make sure everyone in all the 6mm groups gets it.
    When I was in 6mm groups I would get the same things pop up in all the groups and I would see the same thing over and over.

    If you like more than say 6mm, you may join some 15mm groups, or a WWII group, or a WWII 15mm group and so on.

    You can end up in dozens of groups that say the same thing over and over, but because FB does not share this with Google no-one outside these groups will even see it once.
    It is not the best way to reach the users of the internet.
    Why join lots of FB groups when one forum covers it all?

    Facebook is designed to appeal to those that want instant gratification and not discussion.
    If you see something on FB that you like, you can feel like you are participating and being part of the community by pressing the like button.
    But that does not move the discussion on.
    It doesn’t add to the conversation.
    Of course you can comment too, but the like button gives people a way to feel like they are being supportive, but in fact are adding nothing of real value.
    Forums tend not to have this feature, they encourage people to actually engage and have a conversation.

    Facebook is also a free for all, where anyone can come along and start spouting off about anything.
    And as a platform to let people express their views that is great.
    But it can cause disruption.
    What if you want to chat about WWII on your timeline and someone keeps mentioning the local elections, do you have to keep deleting their posts?
    Delete the whole topic and try again, block them or unfriend them?
    What if several people come along and start trolling you?
    It can and does turn ugly very easily.
    There is no real moderation on FB.

    Facebook is great for quick information blasts for sure.
    But as a resource for gamers, with the hobby split across thousands of groups and conversations disappearing in a sea of likes to be replaced by the next trending topic…

    Anyway, that is enough from me, what are your thoughts?

    #46530
    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Facebook is ridiculous on all levels.  It’s attempting to be its own internet, complete with its own spammers, its own viruses, and its own propaganda.  But its functionality is nil compared to a forum, for one thing, and for another, nowadays there’s no opt-out.  You can’t just read a facebook post, you have to LOG IN to facebook first, or at best, continuously “prove” who you are, as though there’s some security purpose being served, even though it’s the most insecure and most buggy, leaky, spammy and virusy place on the web.

    It’s just a platform for pushing advertising and channeled news stories to people who want to yammer about how much they drank last night.  Utter nonsense, start to finish.  I maintain a practically-nonexistent facebook presence for my comic, at some readers’ request, but I’d really as soon not bother.

    #46531
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Wow, you really are not a fan!!
    😀

    Have you mentioned your sci-fi comic on here?

    #46532
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Facebook is for posting pictures of adorable kittens and what you had for lunch (ideally different things). If it has any utility as an information-sharing mechanism, it has passed me by; it is all about phatic communication, and clickbait-based marketing, not information-passing or the facilitation of debate. It also has what is to my mind a horrifically misfeatured interface, but hom sap sap is an adaptable animal, and can deal with such things and worse without being driven to extinction.

    There are, to be sure, private Facebook groups, where membership is by invitation and the owners can evict people if they misbehave. However, like Google groups, I think these serve to atomise rather than to unite communities. I do not think this alters the truth of your basic assertion, that fora (let’s form our Latinate plurals correctly, we’re not ignoramuses) represent a much superior medium for serious debate.

    My problem is that there is no longer “one forum that covers it all”; I subscribe to this forum, WD3, and occasionally visit Frothers and LAF. I suspect that the community in each place has substantial overlap with that of all the others. This variety is not, I suppose, a bad thing, but the old fart in me does still hanker for the days when Usenet was the place to discuss these things. I think it’s Metcalfe’s law that says a network gains value in proportion to the square of the number of participants, so one big network seems more valuable than several small ones.

    Some of you will be old enough to remember soc.history.war.world-war-ii — still in existence, and rebranded with dubious veracity as a Google group. There were in the good old days none of the bloody silly graphical decorations that eat space on the screen, and pictures were limited to .binaries newsgroups, but a text-only display is fine for serious discussion. Sadly, the joy of Usenet was greatly diminshed by the September that never ended (yes, I am sufficiently ancient to have been on the internet before 1993, though just too much of a newbie to remember the Great Renaming). With the influx of hordes of ill-mannered frosh who have never even heard of Emily Postnews and her lessons on netiquette, Sturgeon’s Law has become the rule of even the best places on the net. Metcalfe’s law be buggered, quantity does not have a quality all of its own when it comes to intelligent discussion.

    Of course we are encouraged to believe that this is “progress”. Because it now makes economic sense to sell devices with more computing power than Project Apollo ever had to people who use them to send their friends photographs of their dinner, we are supposed to believe that technology is now progressing so fast that it is dragging the blood to the back of our brains. Point out that “technology” and “consumer electronics” are different things, that technological progress is making a pace that would do little credit to a vigorous gastropod, and that we had supersonic passenger transport and manned spaceflight when I was a boy, and expect to be treated as if you had farted in church. If there were any kids on my lawn, I would now invite them, with some asperity, to leave.

    One thing fora could usefully do that Usenet groups couldn’t is to have a space for sharing files. In particular, I would like to be able to share spreadhseets with the few eccentric enthusiasts who are interested in my work on, for example, armour penetration formulae. A shame that TWW doesn’t have such a space (hint, hint).

    All the best,

    John.

    #46533
    MartinR
    Participant

    The FB wargaming groups are just another manifestation of the fragmentation of society brought about by globalised capitalism and supported by social media ( a million markets of a few people etc). However lots of my pals like to use it, so I do to. It is also a good place to put all my holiday photos for posterity.

    The groups are fairly self selecting, which helps a lot with information overload, but I am sure there are lots of things I miss. Not especially bothered as I have too much stuff to think about anyway.

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #46534
    Mike
    Keymaster

    A shame that TWW doesnlt have such a space (hint, hint).

    I will have a think about this.
    My initial concerns are, that to the best of my knowledge, the membership system either allows uploading of all types or non, so people could upload excel sheets but also images.
    The problem there is that excel sheets sat on the server could seriously pose a security threat, and that if everyone started to upload images the server would start to fill up quickly.

    In the meantime, you could upload files to a file sharing site and link to there?

    #46537
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    (let’s form our Latinate plurals correctly, we’re not ignoramuses)

    I won’t take that as an insult, cos you know, I have had worse.

    Let us not lose sight of what TWW is about.

    #46538
    Norm S
    Participant

    I don’t do Facebook so am in no position to speak about functionality, but if I ever get directed to a FB page, it seems quite shallow, with pictures and 1 liners counting as content. It seems to feed the dumbing down of content, as readers race from source to source for their ‘catch-up’.

    Too much of my time is already spent looking at this screen, having another internet source would just be too much of a distraction to real life.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Mike. Reason: tidied up formatting
    #46539
    Oh no….
    Participant

    Hate Facebook!

    I won’t use it. So anybody advertising etc. on it I will never see those.

    #46541
    John D Salt
    Participant

    The problem there is that excel sheets sat on the server could seriously pose a security threat, and that if everyone started to upload images the server would start to fill up quickly.

    I would suggest insisting on disabling macros for all Office docs.

    Personally I am not mad keen on seeing endless pictures of other people’s toy soldiers painted better than I could ever hope to do, which is one of the reasons why I cannot be bothered with any of the print wargames magazines. I know that people like such things, but I somehow doubt that they would be an enduring reference in the way that a ruleset, article, spreadsheet or Python script might. For happy snaps of soldiers, the existing method of linking to your own blog seems adequate. Images of game aids or nets for card models seem a more reasonable justification, but I imagne that most of these should work at fairly low resolutions.

    All the best,

    John.

    #46542
    Howard Whitehouse
    Participant

    Facebook works for brief exchanges of thoughts and kitten pictures. It’s really good for kitten pictures. It also works very well for sharing articles, links and kitten pictures.

    If you want to post images of any kind, it’s quick and easy. That’s a real contrast with most wargames – did we decide it was ‘forums’? – where that process is often fiddly as all get out.

    It’s not a good place for anything requiring more than a day’s longevity.

    I do all my own stunts.

    #46553
    PatG
    Participant

    Facebook is primarily a social tool for connecting with family and friends. With my first FB account, I got sick of the bs deleted it and manged to ,stay off for about 4 months before family event planning forced me back on. Since then, I have been (relatively) selective in who and what I follow. It seems to work out well.

    Yahoo groups used to be good but are now a dog’s breakfast. Google+ seems to be dying off, though I prefer the interactions over there. Overall I prefer a good forum though – they tend to be self-selecting.

    #46557
    Dan Kennedy
    Participant

    I prefer forums. The various Yahoo groups I’m on are of ever-decreasing use, and I have no intention of following my hobby all over Facebook. Forums (fora, sorry John!) seem a better place of the exchange of ideas, as you can access different genres and systems in one place.

    #46559

    My facebook feed is already polluted with the shenangins of my family, and a new phase of facebook “suggested posts” so its hard to keep up.

    I prefer forums as they are easy to search, and easier to use.

    #46566
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    I like and use both. For small local groups I use Facebook to stay in contact such as my Team Yankee Tornado Alley campaign. I use TWW for a more formal posts.

    #46567
    Les Hammond
    Participant

    One 6mm FB group and this forum is enough for me.

    (If you don’t like a lot of what FB does, install FB Purity. Works on Chrome and any half decent browser and hide most of the rubbish)

    6mm France 1940

    http://les1940.blogspot.co.uk/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/386297688467965/

    #46568
    Kaptain Kobold
    Participant

     

    I like and use both. For small local groups I use Facebook to stay in contact such as my Team Yankee Tornado Alley campaign. I use TWW for a more formal posts.

    Likewise. I use Facebook a lot for the things it’s good at – sharing links and staying in touch with family and friends (for which it’s very useful when a lot of them are 10,000 miles and half a lifetime away). But I don’t do a lot of wargames related stuff on it. For wargames I prefer blogs, forums and (because I’m a dinosaur) Yahoo Groups 🙂

     

     

    #46577

    Ah I did not mention groups ! I am still on around twenty groups, some are dormant but they are all still a rich source of information and comments from other people.

    #46593
    Piyan Glupak
    Participant

    I haven’t got a Facebook account, and would prefer not to get one.  I have heard of a Hordes of the Things Facebook group, and was nearly tempted to sign up so I could join it.  However, I saw a screen-shot of the page and it seemed to me that there was very little information available compared to the old Stronghold site, the new Stronghold blog or the HotT Yahoo group.

    I much prefer forums, but tolerate Yahoo groups, if there is nothing better.  If I am trying to find something out I can search to see whether someone else asked the question, and got useful answers.

    #46595
    Kaptain Kobold
    Participant

    I haven’t got a Facebook account, and would prefer not to get one. I have heard of a Hordes of the Things Facebook group, and was nearly tempted to sign up so I could join it. .

    It’s good, but it’s not worth joining Facebook for 🙂

     

    #46597
    MartinR
    Participant

    Yahoo groups aren’t bad, and are of course ideal for file sharing, even Excel spreadsheets:) I’m still signed up to dozens, but mainly interact via email digest. Some groups (like the To&E one) are a goldmine of information, although you do have to dig through the dross.

    I’m sure if there was a ‘John D Salt Operational Analysis’ yahoo group, a few people might sign up.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #46598
    Patrice
    Participant

    It’s complementary. I follow 3-4 forums (and am Editor of one) for general discussion; and Facebook and Google+ to see nice pictures, and to get infos published there by miniatures companies on their pages they do it differently than their advertisings on forums.

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #46603
    craig cartmell
    Participant

    I run half a dozen closed FB groups. Being closed means I can vet or block spammers.

    The groups themselves are lively and pretty well self-managing. The largest (IHMN) has over 1,200 members and the smallest has 85 or so.

    One thing I do like about them is the lack of third-party moderators such as on the Lead Adventure IHMN board, who can be a bit rigid over their forum rules. For example, I am going to a show and want to tell people I shall be running such-and-such game. The moderator cuts it out of the IHMN board where the people who would be interested can see it and puts it instead in the shows & events board where they most probably would not.

    That said I do like keeping up with various for a, including TWW, as they allow me to interact with people who don’t play our games.

    At the end of the day FB is what it is. You can use it or ignore it.

    Cheers,
    Craig

    The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare

    #46611
    willz
    Participant

    Never had the need or want to use “Face book”, I find it strange that some people consider not having a “Face book” account is tantamount to being a social leper.

    #46614
    PatG
    Participant

    I would liken it to herpes – an irksome infection picked up from interacting with other human beings.

    #46639
    Etranger
    Participant

    The only reason I’m on Farcebook is so that my oldest son will answer a question directed to him …. even if he’s only physically 5 feet away at the time.

    #46641
    McKinstry
    Participant

    Count me in as a non-Facebook Neandertal. I Snapchat with my sons but the urge to share my doubtless boring daily routine with the planet eludes me. I am quite certain the planet feels the same.

     

    Give me a well run forum of users with a single common interest any day.

    Never wrestle with a pig. You both get muddy and the pig just likes it.

    #46653
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Currently non-Facebook but thinking about it- not for wargaming though, but for publicising my (non-wargaming) writing. So far the advice I’ve had about which is the best way of using this vehicle for my avowed purpose has been… what shall we say? Contradictory?

    Like fora for wargames.

    Still use some Yahoo Groups.

    Blogs are okay, especially if organised with landing page and some side pages for more permanent material and if material on the blog page itself is well tagged for looking back through an interesting subject. Interaction on blogs is problematic sometimes, given that many comment facilities are turned off or strictly patrolled; understandably given the nature of spammers and trolls.

    #46655
    Abwehrschlacht
    Participant

    I like facebook and spend a lot of time on it, however, I rarely post pictures of my cats and mainly use it to post funny (to me) updates. It’s also useful for staying in touch with a lot of people, having worked across the globe,that would be a lot more difficult otherwise. I also have a small closed nerd group, mainly friends who don’t want to go public with their hobbies for whatever reason. But I visit forums for information or sharing my blog posts. They have their two different uses for me.

    Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNUYwNznn-ZuNMoHoF3urwQ

    Blog: http://www.stormofsteelwargaming.com

    #46670
    Bandit
    Participant

    Various venues have various benefits.

    Facebook is a very strong driver for TWC when it comes to sales and advertising. We reach more people and generate more awareness than we do anywhere else. It is also practically worthless for traditional discussion because its threading is poor and it is incredibly difficult to statically reference discussions giving them a very short shelf-life.

    Yahoo Discussion Groups strangely still get a lot of attention when it comes to product specific questions and inquiries.

    The Wargames Website (TWW) provides an excellent environment for discussion because it is focused and well moderated. While we all know it suffers from being small, that is a factor of time. It is also a venue where TWC can post things and reach a difference audience than other venues.

    Lead Adventure Forum (LAF) is where you go to see pictures of miniatures but there is little to any conversation.

    The Miniatures Page (TMP) has a large audience, but because the site is so siloed and there is so much arguing over politics and petty rivalry, reaching any of them can take drastically more effort than via the other options. The general culture that has been cultivated is often one of hyper criticism which makes it dangerous to risk exposure on.

    Each of these serves a purpose but trying to use one for the strength of another is not terribly satisfying.

    Cheers,

    The Bandit

    #46672
    javelin98
    Participant

    I use FB for friends and family, but it isn’t conducive to having coherent discussions like a forum is.  I’d much prefer to have ongoing discussions on a forum-type of site, especially one where the forum software allows me to subscribe to the topic.

    It could be that the purpose of your life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

    #46673
    Mike
    Keymaster

    I’d much prefer to have ongoing discussions on a forum-type of site, especially one where the forum software allows me to subscribe to the topic.

    That’s handy then.
    😉

    #46674
    Joe
    Participant

    “The Miniatures Page (TMP) has a large audience, but because the site is so siloed and there ”

    You spelt soiled wrong/

    #46675
    Bandit
    Participant

    “The Miniatures Page (TMP) has a large audience, but because the site is so siloed and there ”

    You spelt soiled wrong/

    Well played.

    Cheers,

    The Bandit

    #46676
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Steady now Joe.

    #47445
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    I’d rather eat glass than use facebook but it does seem it’s becoming a steady location for a lot of gaming discussion.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #47451
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Come to the glass eating side Ivan………we have broken glass !!!

    #47456
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    Glass nachos 😀

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #47460
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    A crunchy treat !!

    #57006
    Mike
    Keymaster

    The follow feature of FB has been letting me down of late, with companies I follow posting news and me not being made aware.
    Not had a subscription to a forum topic ever fail me yet…

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