Author Topic: The future of @U2  (Read 2103 times)

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Offline vertical42

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The future of @U2
« on: October 20, 2017, 11:05:27 AM »
With the forum going away, I wonder what the future of @U2 will be?  Over time, I've noticed the articles and posts becoming fewer and of less value to me.  This is where the forum supplemented slow reporting - especially the News & Rumors section.

Truth is: I'll often get new U2 info from various other feeds before it even hits the @U2 main page but *would* be found in the News & Rumors section.  So shutting down the forum removes a key area of early spotting of news.

Additionally, in comparing the forum to the main page, there's a healthy amount of ad trackers (as seen through ad/tracking blockers) when you visit the main page which - understandably - drives some kind of sustaining revenue to keep the lights on.  The forum, however, has none which also makes me wonder if closing the forum also was in part based on economics.  If you can't generate revenue, why sustain it?

It really is too bad the forum is closing soon.  My ritual was always to start on the main page (without ad/tracking blockers enabled) and then head over to News & Rumors - but without the latter, I'm either inclined to block tracking & ads or not visit any longer all together.

Terrible decision to close.  Life goes on and the closing isn't the worst thing in the world by a long shot but I'm questioning the value & longevity of @U2.  For me, there's really little value left.



Offline Panama Jack

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2017, 12:14:16 PM »
Is it really closing? Or did they just threaten to close to see if it would curb some of the negativity? 

If it really is closing, have they given a date certain as to when that actual closure will happen?

Offline vertical42

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2017, 12:15:54 PM »
From the main forum page:

"Our closure date will be Saturday, October 21. Grab any pictures or contacts you might want to keep, because I canít promise any of it will be accessible in the future."

Offline cabral255

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2017, 12:38:08 PM »
This stinks for us positive fans!

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk


Offline singnomore

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 12:43:32 PM »
There is no decision on the closure of the forum. Itís currently taking a holiday as of tomorrow.

Offline vertical42

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2017, 01:07:13 PM »
Thanks.  That's good to know but slightly different that what's inferred on the main page.

Offline reventhon

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2017, 01:17:49 PM »
To go back to the original post I think the best thing about this site is the forum. It would be interesting to see which pages get most hits and what are the most common routes through the site. I would imagine most people come here primarily for the forum as that's where you get the most recent news. I suspect atu2 will find many of us find other online homes when this shuts down. I do wonder what percentage of their users they will be left with. It seems a very crude way of dealing with this problem.

Offline Swan269

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2017, 01:26:23 PM »
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There is no decision on the closure of the forum. Itís currently taking a holiday as of tomorrow.

thank you for the clarification

Offline david

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2017, 01:34:23 PM »
What an incredibly selfish and petty thing to do. Spend so many years building up this forum into one of the best fan forums in the world and ye decide to pack it in?! Laughable if it wasnt so sad. If that is attitude of the 'mods' on here towards members then I think most will be taking their business elsewhere regardless of whether this is a stunt or not. Good riddance.

Offline thepunter

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2017, 02:15:21 PM »
While I agree this is not the right approach to take as this is a haven for many a fan, I think we should also take the time to thank @u2 for all the work done. A forum doesn't just build over night and I'm sure the maintenance and monitoring of it takes more time then many of us care to notice as it all seems so seamless.

I find it very sad that this would close as these pages were a daily ritual for me to see what the latest developments and thoughts were


Offline m2

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2017, 03:17:20 PM »
Quote
With the forum going away, I wonder what the future of @U2 will be?

The forum's existence has zero impact on @U2 as a whole. @U2 could shut down tomorrow, or it might last years/decades longer. Depends entirely on how much fun the crew is having and how long everyone wants to keep it going.

Quote
Additionally, in comparing the forum to the main page, there's a healthy amount of ad trackers (as seen through ad/tracking blockers) when you visit the main page which - understandably - drives some kind of sustaining revenue to keep the lights on.  The forum, however, has none which also makes me wonder if closing the forum also was in part based on economics.  If you can't generate revenue, why sustain it?

@U2 has never been a money-making venture. The main site has zero ads on it; same with the forum. The Tours site has one ad per page, which no one clicks and generates exceptionally little money. @U2 accepts donations via PayPal, but just like with the ads, very few people ever bother with that. We did have one very generous reader who setup a recurring $20 monthly donation a year or so ago, but she (understandably!) canceled that back when U2 announced its JT Tour plans. :-)

If we made decisions based on economics, @U2 would've shut down around 1997-98 or thereabouts. None of us gets paid. The site and the people who work on it lose money every year.

One thing I've been wondering is whether we should've charged a membership fee here in the forum -- not as a revenue generation tactic, but as a way of increasing the signal and reducing the noise. If people had to pay to use this, would they treat the forum and other members better? I don't know. Maybe. There's evidence in other online communities that a nominal payment creates a healthier environment. I do know that if people had to pay, we wouldn't have to deal with all the anonymous crap and trolling that goes on -- accounts would be tied to a real name (for credit card processing) and that might help increase quality.

Quote
It would be interesting to see which pages get most hits and what are the most common routes through the site.

For the first nine months of 2017, the forum has had 294,000 unique users. The vast majority just look/read without joining, as evidenced by us only adding 2,400 new registered members so far this year.

The main site has had 1.1 million unique users. News and Lyrics are always the most popular sections of the site. The Tours site is popular when U2 is on tour, and not popular when they're not.

But none of that really matters because of what I said above: This isn't a money-making venture. It's a hobby. Whether we have 10 users or 10 million users, it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that we have fun and enjoy what we're doing. It's cool, because when something stops being fun, we don't have advertisers or revenue concerns that force us to keep doing stuff. We get to invest our time and energy into stuff that we want to, not stuff that we have to. Make sense?

Offline bass slap

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2017, 03:24:28 PM »
Seems a shame with regard to timing... New album on the horizon and a lot of buzz... it's when the forum comes alive and would have been good to go through that one more time, no? Maybe that's the exact reason you chose now...

Would be good to understand if permanent or not so people know whether to keep checking in or find a new u2 home.

Offline durk

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2017, 04:08:46 PM »
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Seems a shame with regard to timing... New album on the horizon and a lot of buzz... it's when the forum comes alive and would have been good to go through that one more time, no? Maybe that's the exact reason you chose now...

Would be good to understand if permanent or not so people know whether to keep checking in or find a new u2 home.
this

Offline vertical42

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2017, 05:30:07 PM »
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Quote
With the forum going away, I wonder what the future of @U2 will be?

The forum's existence has zero impact on @U2 as a whole. @U2 could shut down tomorrow, or it might last years/decades longer. Depends entirely on how much fun the crew is having and how long everyone wants to keep it going.

Quote
Additionally, in comparing the forum to the main page, there's a healthy amount of ad trackers (as seen through ad/tracking blockers) when you visit the main page which - understandably - drives some kind of sustaining revenue to keep the lights on.  The forum, however, has none which also makes me wonder if closing the forum also was in part based on economics.  If you can't generate revenue, why sustain it?

@U2 has never been a money-making venture. The main site has zero ads on it; same with the forum. The Tours site has one ad per page, which no one clicks and generates exceptionally little money. @U2 accepts donations via PayPal, but just like with the ads, very few people ever bother with that. We did have one very generous reader who setup a recurring $20 monthly donation a year or so ago, but she (understandably!) canceled that back when U2 announced its JT Tour plans. :-)

If we made decisions based on economics, @U2 would've shut down around 1997-98 or thereabouts. None of us gets paid. The site and the people who work on it lose money every year.

One thing I've been wondering is whether we should've charged a membership fee here in the forum -- not as a revenue generation tactic, but as a way of increasing the signal and reducing the noise. If people had to pay to use this, would they treat the forum and other members better? I don't know. Maybe. There's evidence in other online communities that a nominal payment creates a healthier environment. I do know that if people had to pay, we wouldn't have to deal with all the anonymous crap and trolling that goes on -- accounts would be tied to a real name (for credit card processing) and that might help increase quality.

Quote
It would be interesting to see which pages get most hits and what are the most common routes through the site.

For the first nine months of 2017, the forum has had 294,000 unique users. The vast majority just look/read without joining, as evidenced by us only adding 2,400 new registered members so far this year.

The main site has had 1.1 million unique users. News and Lyrics are always the most popular sections of the site. The Tours site is popular when U2 is on tour, and not popular when they're not.

But none of that really matters because of what I said above: This isn't a money-making venture. It's a hobby. Whether we have 10 users or 10 million users, it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that we have fun and enjoy what we're doing. It's cool, because when something stops being fun, we don't have advertisers or revenue concerns that force us to keep doing stuff. We get to invest our time and energy into stuff that we want to, not stuff that we have to. Make sense?

For just being something to do as enjoyment, major league kudos to all involved!

Re - forum fee / paid membership: could not agree more.  Suspect if you had a nominal fee that you'd reduce a LOT of the anonymous, pseudo-bravado trolling nonsense.  I'd be a paying customer, straight up - more as a reader than poster.  You can see how many posts I've written over length of time with my account and I read the forum way more than I write.

The main site & forum go part and parcel for me.  Yeah, the trolls suck but I don't engage and ignore the sometimes page upon page of back and forth banter to get to the new rumor, article, or objective thoughtful responses.

Re - trackers: I'll have to get with Mozilla as it seems to think there's 5 to 7 on a fresh, private, no cookies session.  However you keep the lights on is amazing!

I guess Matt that losing the forum for a while - and maybe for good - is a real blow for me & a lot of others.  The mods always seemed to do a great job keeping things in order and - at least for me - there's real value in the main site combined with the forum.

I really do hope you all find a way that requires less dealing with anonymous cowards, brings more enjoyment to the team, and that you can find a way to attract solid folks back.  Maybe a fee-based membership or AI/ML could be used to hit all of the above...

For now - cheers...

-v42

Offline JaraSangASongAWeapon

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2017, 06:34:23 PM »
Weak stuff, moderators. New album coming out and you're shutting down. Please take a permanent holiday.