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Author Topic: Is the forum dying?  (Read 2352 times)

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Offline lovesbabysquirmy

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Re: Is the forum dying?
« Reply #60 on: December 31, 2018, 03:35:18 PM »
I think it is AMAZING that the Arena has such diversity and collaboration amongst its members.  The other social media platforms, they are designed to work with your phone, you take photos and people have instant impressions of them.  It's not a long-lasting feeling.  And if you are trying to use the platform as a reference tool, it can be very difficult! 

There are people who collect everything.  There are people who only collect one generation, or just one type of pony, or just an army of ONE pony.  There are even people who collect certain merchandise pieces like erasers or plushies.  There are people who really love the corporate history and manufacturing processes.  There are customizers and artists and sculptors. 

And yes, Cheers to the mods and admin who keep this place working!  :D 
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Re: Is the forum dying?
« Reply #61 on: December 31, 2018, 04:40:32 PM »


also 10 years ago we had 2/5 lines to collect and now it more diverse so not everyone atrracted to say topic... like if its topics about g1 and a lot of people are g4 they may have less intrest in interacting with that say topic


This is also true within generations, as there are, for example, G4 fans who are for the show not the toys or vice versa, and I've noticed over the years that where there used to be a lot of discussion about the G1 toys and a lot of information sharing, now there are more other kinds of posts which celebrate G1 in a different way. I like these posts but I miss the discussions on information sharing mostly because information gets stuck in a groundhog day scenario. See the same questions, same mistakes, same assumptions over and over even though at one point most of those mistakes had been erased to the point the community knew more then than it does now. That's a personal twitch of mine which sometimes makes me hold back on posting...because there's so little point in answering a question when nobody's actually going to listen to it and the same question will be asked again in a few weeks, probably with the same wrong answers being given...

MLP for me is a history project as much as a collectable, so I'm not interested in customising or that kind of stuff...but a lot of people are, and so there's that divide as well. As an information geek, though, it horrifies me how much knowledge the community has lost over the last few years :/

I feel like this community is still probably bigger than the community I remember in the late nineties and early 2000s. Albeit then we were all adolescent so there were many more big bustups and that made it feel like there were more people ;). In that sense, the relative peace of the forum is a nice thing...

But I miss the days and the many people with whom pony information discussions happened in the old days. There are still some folk here now, but it's not like it used to be. People seem more interested in pictures and less interested in getting the facts right these days...

I'm genuinely getting old xD.

But I love the Arena. Just my vaguely concealed frustration as a pony dinosaur sometimes comes to the surface, when repeating the same information that's been on my site for 20 years for the umpteenth time, knowing it will be forgotten pretty soon because I'm not the Wiki.
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Offline PoserBeachball

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Re: Is the forum dying?
« Reply #62 on: December 31, 2018, 06:49:12 PM »
I think it is AMAZING that the Arena has such diversity and collaboration amongst its members.  The other social media platforms, they are designed to work with your phone, you take photos and people have instant impressions of them.  It's not a long-lasting feeling.  And if you are trying to use the platform as a reference tool, it can be very difficult! 

There are people who collect everything.  There are people who only collect one generation, or just one type of pony, or just an army of ONE pony.  There are even people who collect certain merchandise pieces like erasers or plushies.  There are people who really love the corporate history and manufacturing processes.  There are customizers and artists and sculptors. 

And yes, Cheers to the mods and admin who keep this place working!  :D

This is what is so nice - the sheer diversity, and inspiration to enjoy your ponies in so many different ways.

Having so much information about restoration and history in one place is fabulous.

Offline Desert Rose

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Re: Is the forum dying?
« Reply #63 on: January 04, 2019, 02:06:49 PM »
I think most has been said that can be said as I'm rather late on the ball. But I can share my own reasons and views.

I'm like Taffeta, a pony dinosaur. I joined the MLPTP forum back in 1997 when I was 11 and the page was nothing more than a black background with pink dropdown links to different topics (if memory serves me right). For a long time that was the place to be. When the Arena was created the community did seem to divide somewhat and many went to the Arena instead, but both sites certainly flourished because forums in general were popular gathering places for niche interests. Personally I staid with the MLPTP out of loyalty for a long time, but the Arena did indeed seem to have a larger pull on the collectors.

Due to life I simply stopped collecting around the late 00's. My love for ponies has never died, but as you get older you get other interests, other things you need to do and so on. So there's one reason why collectors come and go and activity might dwindle. I dare to promise that it has and will continue to happen with many collectors that are here today as well.

When I came back to the MLP world at the start of the 10's the FiM craze had begun and most people seemed to have gone to the Arena at that point. With the quick rise of social media  (which I hate with a passion and no amount of money or promises of ponies in the world could get me to sell myself out and register on any of those sites) forums in general were becoming redundant. Many smaller ones began to or did die.
(I'm part of a gaming community that met the same fate. We had a tight-knit community and an active forum righ up until Facebook came around and ruined everything. People flocked to that instead becasue convenience is more important than community to most. And the result was a dead forum and a fractured in-game community.)
The MLPTP sadly seemed to be meeting the same fate and so I registerd here becasue, as has been said, people will go to the place where they find most people to interact with when searching for an online community. That's kind of the whole point. I did go inactive again for several reasons and I still wouldn't say I'm actually back to any noteworthy activity. But hey, at least I'm writing this.

Now I think there's 2 reasons why the Arena might slow down over time but that it won't die as long as the mods are determined to keep it running and the old school people are still around.
1. The Arena is 'the last frontier' so to speak. The last truly active MLP forum - and those looking for a forum and not the shallowness of social media will come here for that reason.
2. Especially old school collectors will continue to come back to the the forum community because we're nostalgic to boot (that's why we collect childhood toys...) and forums are part of that nostalgia. So we're about as likely to give up on forums as many of our grandparents have been to give in and start using computers. "Back in MY day we sent letters written on paper and it still works fine! So we ain't changing nothing!" We're now the 'grumpy old people' who refuse to change :P And thanks to that the last truly active MLP forum will survive.

We might continue to come and go as well, as life and interests changes, but as the nostalgics that we are will always come back to the forums.
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Offline SilverLinedStars

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Re: Is the forum dying?
« Reply #64 on: January 09, 2019, 12:40:05 AM »
I took a long hiatus from the arena simply because life got in the way for a while and things were too hectic. Before I left, I remember the forums being packed with posts about G4 & prior to that I remember when G3 hit and how crazy the forums were then. As others have stated, the rise of social media did spread out where other collectors post to.

Honestly, I love the forum format for collecting. It's much easier to search here for past posts and to get information. The way facebook is set up makes it difficult to find a previous post for a particular subject. I belong to a local car club, and let me tell you it is a pain in the butt to try and search for something someone posted even a month ago on facebook. I use facebook mainly for networking as the forum for the car club is almost completely deserted. It's refreshing to see that the arena is pretty active compared to other communities that are/were based on a forum platform outside of social media.

So - while it's not as bustling as it was maybe 7 or 8 years ago, it's still pretty active if you compare it to other collector forums. :) I still love it here and I drop in every so often to look and see if there's anything I've missed. It was a nice surprise when the 35th anniversary ponies popped up!

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Re: Is the forum dying?
« Reply #65 on: January 09, 2019, 01:36:59 AM »
I've been in the pony community since it was the Ponypeople mailing list.  I think traffic has dropped off significantly here lately, but I think a lot of that activity was due to the FIM craze to begin with.  Now that the show is in decline, and the toy line is in SERIOUS decline, the decline in traffic to the Arena is to be expected.  FIM was inflating the traffic to this site, and now that it's dying out, the people who were into MLP because it was the latest fad are fading away, leaving only the true fans.  It happens with every generation.  It's very hard to say if the traffic here now is more/less/the same as the traffic to the site before FIM  hit, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was in the general ballpark.

Older generation collectors often have problems coming up with new topics to discuss, and that issue rears its ugly head during these lull times.  It's true that new information is always out there to be discovered, but with 20+ years of hard core collectors going over every scrap of information with a fine toothed comb, truly interesting new news is hard to come by.  And, of course, there's only so many times a person can answer "who's your favorite pony?" before one gets bored. 

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Re: Is the forum dying?
« Reply #66 on: January 09, 2019, 03:25:38 AM »
Yeah, as I've been here on and off for a long time it seems the Arena is still going strong. Maybe people compare it to Facebook and as that place is packed at all times it might seem a bit slow here but it's a whole different vibe I think - the Arena is very nice and friendly but FB can get very nasty and fake.
The Arena is the internet equivalent of Ponyland and this is our home..that's how I see it anyway  :relaxed: :rainbow:
I've always been impressed by the fact that we manage to keep our horses in line, if ya get what I mean.

[Post edited - Noasar]

I love the idea that this is our Ponyland. (And the MLPTP too.)

i guess it also come to the fact most of us collect toys- and  (has it happen with the G3 line) now days all we got is 6 mane with that hairdos or mane6 with those accessories and we as collector got tired of those- there is no frash products to be excited about and share that excitment with others

also 10 years ago we had 2/5 lines to collect and now it more diverse so not everyone atrracted to say topic... like if its topics about g1 and a lot of people are g4 they may have less intrest in interacting with that say topic

but we the Arena survive for many years and i hope for many many years to come

this is a magical place for our community

This too.
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Offline JazzMatazz

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Re: Is the forum dying?
« Reply #67 on: January 09, 2019, 03:29:49 PM »
I know life has gotten in the way for me so I don't participate as often anymore. I was a caretaker for my father for quite a while and that took time and $$ so ponies got put on the backburner. Now that he's passed and I have a bit more free time again I've started to pick up a pony or two :)
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Offline Loreofyore

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Re: Is the forum dying?
« Reply #68 on: January 09, 2019, 05:35:04 PM »
Given that the FIM fadders were mostly college are likely to re-occur in their forties. By then many of us G1 fans will be starting to think about retirement and who should eventually inherit our herds. Even in the best case scenario of the nice bronies vs. the bullies-posing-as return with bad names for Muffin etc., who wants to wait for that?

The solution to that question/theory of forum dying without G5 is simply buy less, play more! It’s not a piece of plastic or a marketing advent that should hold together an online community that people enjoy.

What I think the 80s & 90s kids started that even our parents had shied from, we didn’t simply talk about collecting, we were creative and playful and sometimes destructive with our ponies, this gen customized, and wrote fan-art, many weren’t afraid of going public in adults+toys as a cultural vs. financial statement. I think before then the only toy you might do that with and publish about were trains and legos. Even that old mainstay of collectible dolls supposedly stayed in stands upon shelves until this gen, when the net opened it all wide up and exposed another side of growing up these last two decades and the creativity blossomed and reached back in time our mothers suddenly no longer afraid to take out their own Chatty Cathy's and AG to make home movies. Now we’ve actually got 16 year olds joining the Arena.

Perhaps the bullying that came from outside was inevitable for that daring but I think we have basically changed since the early 90s what it meant to be an American adult as new gens will continue to do with or without Hasbro. When I think of how older family used to have to pretend their toys were mine in 1985, I think we are freer in our speech and less stifled than our parents gen had been. That goes far beyond MLP but the Arena is for me where I found it first. That it wasn’t just oddball me being bold enough to play on. So I doubt that overall this is basically a fad. I’d call it a shift. Even if Hasbro at last gets humans upset enough that MLP fans in droves pull out some hair (perhaps with literal pliers) and fall away, or the arena goes down with Net Neutrality, y’all will just start your own inclusive sites or meetings for unicorns at general, seriously you will. I think we all know this deep down. Meanwhile, it’s nice this is here. Thank the Mods.

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Re: Is the forum dying?
« Reply #69 on: January 09, 2019, 11:42:56 PM »
since the early 90s what it meant to be an American adult as new gens will continue to do with or without Hasbro.

I feel the need with this to clarify that it's not an American forum, and MLP is an American creation, but no longer just impacting on America. It's a global forum and many of us from overseas have been here a long time, so I like to think we've all shared cultural elements with each other as well. Rather than feeling separated, we're more united by our love of ponies while still living in different places and having different experiences. With Brexit so much in the news here at the moment, it really makes me reflect on how much I love this place being global and have always loved that aspect. I think one of the strengths of G1 that helped make this community is the fact that different countries had different pony lines and we needed to interact to get stuff not sold in our countries. I always liked trading for ponies I'd never seen, and sending ponies to people that they'd never seen as well :D


I think some FIM fans will stay, because they're actual fans. But I think goddessofpeep is probably right that there's a natural lull. The forum did lose some people when the FIM section disappeared as well. But the thing is that there were people who stuck around at the end of G1 (even if not immediately online due to tech not being quite there at that point), through g2, through G3...and there will be this time, too. People who genuinely love G4 and who have contributed to our community because of it.

We are in our thirties and forties now...but it doesn't follow that all the G3 collectors are. In fact, a lot of them have begun to rediscover their childhood ponies in their late teens and early twenties, just as some of us did. I think with G4 kids it will take ten years or so - but if they came into it as adults, and genuinely love it - there's no reason not to stay, even if the generation ends.
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Offline Loreofyore

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Re: Is the forum dying?
« Reply #70 on: January 12, 2019, 12:50:20 AM »
since the early 90s what it meant to be an American adult as new gens will continue to do with or without Hasbro.

I feel the need with this to clarify that it's not an American forum, and MLP is an American creation, but no longer just impacting on America. It's a global forum and many of us from overseas have been here a long time, so I like to think we've all shared cultural elements with each other as well. Rather than feeling separated, we're more united by our love of ponies while still living in different places and having different experiences. With Brexit so much in the news here at the moment, it really makes me reflect on how much I love this place being global and have always loved that aspect. I think one of the strengths of G1 that helped make this community is the fact that different countries had different pony lines and we needed to interact to get stuff not sold in our countries. I always liked trading for ponies I'd never seen, and sending ponies to people that they'd never seen as well :D


I think some FIM fans will stay, because they're actual fans. But I think goddessofpeep is probably right that there's a natural lull. The forum did lose some people when the FIM section disappeared as well. But the thing is that there were people who stuck around at the end of G1 (even if not immediately online due to tech not being quite there at that point), through g2, through G3...and there will be this time, too. People who genuinely love G4 and who have contributed to our community because of it.

We are in our thirties and forties now...but it doesn't follow that all the G3 collectors are. In fact, a lot of them have begun to rediscover their childhood ponies in their late teens and early twenties, just as some of us did. I think with G4 kids it will take ten years or so - but if they came into it as adults, and genuinely love it - there's no reason not to stay, even if the generation ends.

I had totally forgotten the kids who might as adults collect G3… would be great if there is not a wide generation gap… we have so few G2 collectors for instance, and most of the G3 people I know of today are from the earlier gens. There is also the half-gen 3.5.

International shipping restrictions need not be Brexit related, though I’m sure that’s affecting some in the EU, we all see things that don’t ship, many people are just not wanting to figure out how to ship internationally due to the regulations being unfamiliar. And (since that is wider than one country or collection of them) there are also those blocking a few places for reasons of apartheid divestment campaigns which is pretty far from Brexit in ideals. 

I enjoy we are international. I also mean to remark only from my localized experiences in this case... rather not assume the social conventions regarding maturity being contrary to toy-play closer to home are global because for all I know they may not be (I hope they aren’t actually, that somewhere out there it’s always been less restricted). Did you know there were seriously once tribal governments on what is now known as Puerto Rico that actually held official ball games in lieu of anybody going to war? You might otherwise assume some conventions are universal everywhere only to find out it’s not been the case that better conditions predates somewhere else. The willingness of adults to just play seems like it might vary greatly around the globe. Thus restricting my comment about social trends to my nationality was meant to leave open for other members from own home countries to remark as regards maturity, toys, & the internet, rather than try an speak for us all.

Somehow I do not suspect even the FIM fans who spent time trying to fix problems during the crises would mostly want a sudden influx of unknowns coming back to flood us. The FIM series it was called out for using symbolic racism internationally and the bigoted bullying became so intense that infiltration of bronies in attempt by organized hate to subvert the counter-culture was deemed worth its mention in the Anti-Fascist Handbook by historian Mark Bray. I am not kidding.

Hasbro rather than addressing the insensitive things they put in the series and apologizing properly they skirted and mocked it’s seriousness after being called out which left fans including targeted minorities and young children vulnerable to the sort of people that these errors subsequently may have attracted… Hasbro’s abandonment made these FIM fans have to fight the bullies totally on their own, fighting cannon. As there were already minority members among before Hasbro put symbolic racism and ableism into the series, already LGBTQA bronies before the cis-centric bronies appeared, its wonderful some FIM fans stuck through together and hashed it out fighting these bigots online, that they practiced community in a way that eventually may have made MLP a safer more inclusive space to be online, though this was all in no way thanks to Hasbro which ignored trouble it had likely sparked whilst profiting.

So people’s comments about looking forward to the series conclusion reflect some of the burnout in FIM I think.

 It wasn’t always easy and we are seeing more scary stuff like Brexit out there. If trolls in mid-life get nostalgic they’ll time to when today’s little kiddies who have FIM toys to play with go to college, look back on childhood, and are poised to challenge and confront the whole adult political world. The thought of a future online PC clash en mass over what it means for adults to love colorful little toy horses… without Hasbro growing the courage to own to and take responsibility in it’s mistakes that do obviously affect the fan-community socially… I’m not sure everyone will find it worth it to stick with Hasbro if they decide they can’t change. Not everyone is up to go round two fighting organized hate to support an unresponsive toy company in the midst of another identity crises as fans of ponies. Some are gonna go with... fool me once… shame on you… fool me twice… shame on me.

But some people may give up on Hasbro without giving up on unbranded because they do love the fan community/ or keep some MLP because they want to actively help along the next gen that were kids in FIM stand up to hate from inside fan forums. So I don’t think you have to worry that Brexit or even Hasbro itself is going to be able to harm what’s at the core of what today is here.  I am not worried such forums are dying or that the bullied adults of today are going to be suddenly silent about their love of all kinds of pretty little horses. I remember offsite the bullies attacking MLP arena by name in a biased way… well infiltrators... arena still here! I think any friends who faced down the bigots together and dealt with the bullies side by side in that way are not going to be pushed aside by Brexit et all. It is a highly creative fan community that may well even reinvent itself away from brands entirely, but as to that, everything in life, it changes! :lookround:


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Re: Is the forum dying?
« Reply #71 on: January 12, 2019, 10:01:53 AM »
 I only mentioned Brexit in terms of the reality for us here and for Europe of the uncertainty (specifically from my perspective, our crashed currency, and potential no deal which could ground planes and prevent international trade at least in the short term). Though there's a war waging on inside our government over this at the moment, what I meant was that things can change easily and it's also nice to know that this place is beyond those kinds of politics, even if country relationships change. Brexit is a big deal for those of us who have to live with its consequences, especially here in the UK - but I didn't reference it as a cause of the forum dying or the pony community being threatened. Just that when you take for granted international relations that have been there one's whole life, and then those relations are forcibly changed beyond your control, it makes me realise how lucky we are as a forum that we transcend borders.

The problems of the FIM community are the problems of the FIM community. I think we've all experienced them in one way or another by proxy. I also don't think that they have any bearing on the future of our forum one way or another.
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Offline kerry483

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Re: Is the forum dying?
« Reply #72 on: January 12, 2019, 12:44:26 PM »
Well, I should say why I took a break. I had a severe health downturn.

Like developed 3 chronic illness downturn.

Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and ehlers-danlos. The latter I've had all my life, just in the last 3 years it's really gotten in my way haha. Oh and at the start of last year I developed pretty crippling migraines.

So a lot of money went into getting that under control. I still loved ponies and everything, but I didn't have time to deal with that as well. Thankfully I'm Australian so the government took care of a lot of it. Otherwise I would be in a lot more trouble.

I am in a much more stable place health wise now so I am able to get back here and I've got my ponies back out of the boxes they've been trapped in since I moved into this house like 2 years ago :P

It's been really hard to get everything unpacked properly while my health has been so bad.

But I am back now and will hopefully be more active, I'm doing some customising (found some prepped ones, and some half done ones that have to be redone because they are terrible)