Author Topic: The future of @U2  (Read 2090 times)

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Offline RunningtoStandstill (The League of Extraordinary BonoPeople)

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2017, 06:53:02 PM »
Mat, all I can say is thanks for the good times. This place changed my life, and regardless of what incarnation it appears in next (or if it does at all), you guys all did an amazing job.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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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.

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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.

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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 apoed

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2017, 07:33:35 PM »
I've been visiting this site, mostly as a reader, for almost 20 years.  Thanks for maintaining it.  It's a shame you have to shut down the forum, but I can understand why.  Thanks again.

Offline briscoetheque

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2017, 07:40:04 PM »
M2, great post. I've never for even a second considered there to be any 'money making' motivation in this site. That accusation just, to me, couldn't be further misplaced and is completely unfair.

Its a great site and will continue to be, it's content is solid and the revamped tour section superb.

The forum lost its way about 2 years ago in my opinion, and we all contributed to that. This decision has been a long time coming and no one should be particularly surprised by it.

The site however still has some of the best content - original and historical - of the U2 fan community. Websites are not going to compete with more immediate feeds like twitter /fb for breaking news, but I don't think that's the sandpit @u2 is playing in anymore.

Long may it remain. I like the subscription idea, in other places it has improved quality.

Just wanted to add my largely meaningless voice though against the accusations of economic motivation. Very unfair.

Offline briscoetheque

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2017, 08:53:45 PM »
True, thankfully on the internet no one would ever lie about their age..!

Offline vertical42

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2017, 09:04:28 PM »
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M2, great post. I've never for even a second considered there to be any 'money making' motivation in this site. That accusation just, to me, couldn't be further misplaced and is completely unfair.

Its a great site and will continue to be, it's content is solid and the revamped tour section superb.

The forum lost its way about 2 years ago in my opinion, and we all contributed to that. This decision has been a long time coming and no one should be particularly surprised by it.

The site however still has some of the best content - original and historical - of the U2 fan community. Websites are not going to compete with more immediate feeds like twitter /fb for breaking news, but I don't think that's the sandpit @u2 is playing in anymore.

Long may it remain. I like the subscription idea, in other places it has improved quality.

Just wanted to add my largely meaningless voice though against the accusations of economic motivation. Very unfair.

Sorry if I somehow offended but it was a legit question that I had - of which Matt confirmed that wasn't the case.

Even if there were economics in play behind the scenes meant for keeping the lights on (site hosting, service provider fees, etc), I remarked it as understandable, since there's generally no free lunches for those things. 

Please understand: Not for a second did I think there was economic gain by the @U2 staff.  But there is a cost to *operate* it and if there were ad trackers in play to help cover the cost of running this site & forum, that's totally understandable.  How @U2 does it as they do is at once impressive as it as admirable.

Offline briscoetheque

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2017, 09:09:38 PM »
Fair response, sorry if I overcooked it.

Offline vertical42

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2017, 09:12:33 PM »
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Fair response, sorry if I overcooked it.

No sweat, cheers.

Offline dirtdrybonesandstone

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2017, 09:32:35 PM »
Matt and the mods, thank you for all youve done and put up with from all of us.   Its been a privilege to read and participate in what you created.   I hope this comes back and I hope its soon.   

Offline Jono

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2017, 07:56:24 AM »
Very glad it's back, thank you Matt and team! I, like many of you, could not wait to share with all how we feel about the new music...
I am the biased U2 optimist and am sometimes blinded by that and my opinion gets skewed...so with that said:

I am REALLY enjoying all the new tunes, aside from the four we had heard...the album feels crisp and clean and not over baked. The SOE short film with Bono's narration is and incredible album table setter and if you haven't taken the 8 minutes to watch it, I highly recommend it!

As of today, TLTTGYA is still my standout lyrical favorite. This LP is full of 'hit possibilities' with many strong choruses and anthem building rockers. I would like to call this the ultimate Pop/Punk rock-n-roll record.  I can't wait to hear them live!

Offline Lizard

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2017, 02:19:14 PM »
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The SOE short film with Bono's narration is and incredible album table setter and if you haven't taken the 8 minutes to watch it, I highly recommend it!

What short film? Where can I watch it?

Offline Jono

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2017, 02:33:52 PM »
Talking about this in the other forum in General, it appears it's only on iTunes

Offline Dono

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2017, 12:04:47 PM »
Coola boola that the forum is back. Pity we lost it during the critical few days/weeks of the pre-sale where many of us got shafted and a lot didn't know where to turn for info/advice. Some I saw tried a few sister forums but official FAQs and TM contacts seemed a complete waste of time.

One more question.....is An Tha coming back?

Offline redrunningred

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2017, 01:09:49 PM »
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Coola boola that the forum is back. Pity we lost it during the critical few days/weeks of the pre-sale where many of us got shafted and a lot didn't know where to turn for info/advice. Some I saw tried a few sister forums but official FAQs and TM contacts seemed a complete waste of time.

One more question.....is An Tha coming back?
Oomg I forgot about An Tha. I totally need his post Pop skeptic perspective on SOE

Offline 73October

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2017, 01:29:52 PM »
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Coola boola that the forum is back. Pity we lost it during the critical few days/weeks of the pre-sale where many of us got shafted and a lot didn't know where to turn for info/advice. Some I saw tried a few sister forums but official FAQs and TM contacts seemed a complete waste of time.

One more question.....is An Tha coming back?
Oomg I forgot about An Tha. I totally need his post Pop skeptic perspective on SOE

Nah, he's running an alternative forum, getting the Mick about Elevation and generally saying whatever he wants.

Offline redrunningred

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Re: The future of @U2
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2017, 01:40:40 PM »
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Coola boola that the forum is back. Pity we lost it during the critical few days/weeks of the pre-sale where many of us got shafted and a lot didn't know where to turn for info/advice. Some I saw tried a few sister forums but official FAQs and TM contacts seemed a complete waste of time.

One more question.....is An Tha coming back?
Oomg I forgot about An Tha. I totally need his post Pop skeptic perspective on SOE

Nah, he's running an alternative forum, getting the Mick about Elevation and generally saying whatever he wants.

Do you have a link to this forum?