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Has Facebook Won ?

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Contentious as ever.

At a recent Mendip cavers club meeting the assembled worthies were asked who visited this forum. Answer -- one.

Very little seems to come this way now despite recent discoveries on Mendip. Of course its all over Facebook. Perhaps its indicative of the general decline in journals and forums. My mate is editor of a club journal. He now has to beg for stuff. One of my clubs has not published a journal this year. Of course its all on ruddy Facebook. Blogs ( yes we have one ) and personal pages. Now there is even talk of doing away with club journals and sending out a PDF. Not on yer Nelly. I have not got a printer. Anyway I like to lounge in my armchair with a cup of coffee all set for a good read. ( whenever I can get one ). I will admit there is a general apathy towards this forum within the Mendip caving fraternity. I do wonder if " apathy " is exactly the right word. All this silly bickering cavers love to get involved in. Surveys in Wales and tribalism on Mendip. Is caving sliding downhill or maybe its just a sign of the times? Post Covid. war and money issues. Everyone getting tetchy. Still none of that explains the apathy around forums and journals. Yes I splodge my amateur photos and videos here in the vain hope that somebody might appreciate them. I do wonder sometimes. Well there we are. Perhaps I am feeling a bit mellow this morning after a hard days digging yesterday.
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
You make a good point OR; we need to appreciate the value of real caving journals and make sure we continue producing them. Otherwise our caving libraries will begin to suffer. Many cavers take caving libraries for granted, with little interes, until they suddenly want some information. Unless we support our caving libraries, that information may well become increasingly difficult to get hold of.

Many people, for very good reason, deliberately avoid Facebook. It can therefore never be a satisfactory method of disseminating information.
 

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
This is typical of Facebook shite. Boots on the stal. Kneeling on the fragile edge of a crystal basin. I have complained and will likely get chucked off that group.

 

tomferry

Active member
Now this is a very important topic. I recently wanted to join another club as I like their trips and have interest in them, they only send out trip sheets on Facebook! The group i am with at the moment you get constant emails and they are very good keeping you up to date with everything, you can choose a hard format for your monthly newsletter also, I personally like to put as much information into it as possible for others to enjoy such a important part of our hobby is the traditional trip report !
 

Brains

Well-known member
I wouldn't be overly concerned. The continual editing and revising of the platform is killing it off. Every upgrade introduces more glitches and bugs, never mind the bots trawling back through years of posts to then restrict or otherwise sanction a user. When a four year old meme that was widely shared gets you thrown in jail you know the system is collapsing...
 

kay

Well-known member
The thing I keep hearing is that Facebook is for boomers, and all the young people are on Instagram, tiktok and other platforms So if Facebpok has "won", it will be a very short term victory.

And one advantage this forum has over facebook is a reasonable search facility, as anyone who's tried using the Facebook search facility will agree.
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
I wouldn't be overly concerned. The continual editing and revising of the platform is killing it off. Every upgrade introduces more glitches and bugs, never mind the bots trawling back through years of posts to then restrict or otherwise sanction a user. When a four year old meme that was widely shared gets you thrown in jail you know the system is collapsing...

. . . and the tragedy is valuable information then gets lost.

The one constant is paper. It doesn't suffer from any of the above, or compatilibilty issues, or version problems when people make tweaks electronically. It's not at the mercy of the Zucherbergs and Musks of this world.

Don't get me wrong; I'm a fan of electronic media and use it all the time (not Facebook). But there needs to be physical copies, which will always be there.
 

Steve Clark

Active member
I think part of the issue is that you have some people who naturally want to see things recorded formally and are prepared to put in the effort. Then you get folks who primarily want to go caving/digging and don't really care who they tell or how it's recorded.

Facebook (or instagram) bridges the gap. The later type of folks do seem to want to post photos or short descriptions of what they are doing. Things that otherwise would go unrecorded.

I don't believe that pestering to write trip reports really works, unless they actually enjoy the process. Much better to capture something on facebook that a journal editor can use when compiling something more formal. A process that they, themselves presumably enjoy.

As a club, we have a plug-in working in the background of our website (Smash Balloon - £100 per year). It extracts data from our facebook pages, removes the bulk of the personal data (facebook account names, links and cross-references) and puts it on the website for non-members and members who refuse to use facebook to see. It lives at the bottom of our homepage and publishes the last month or so. http://fyldemountaineeringclub.org/

We have 10-100 times as many published photos just because people are using facebook. Our club demographic is very few under 40. Many 40-65, lots but less active 65+

We also have semi-anonymous facebook members ('Happy Caver','Mr Karabiner') that use it when necessary eg. organising a trip
 

JasonC

Active member
And one advantage this forum has over facebook is a reasonable search facility, as anyone who's tried using the Facebook search facility will agree.
Absolutely!

Some clubs have a website with good trip reports. Ours used to do a quarterly PDF journal, which was fine - you could read it or print it if you wished. Then we had (some) reports on the web site, which would have been fine if trips had been consistently reported. Now? We just have some pictures on FB, which are great for a few days or weeks, but no substitute for an easily-locatable write-up. To be fair, the FB page has worked well at attracting new interest, but it's no substitute for a journal in whatever format.
And it's not used for arranging trips, - that would be a disaster (for me at least)!
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
Steve said: "I think part of the issue is that you have some people who naturally want to see things recorded formally and are prepared to put in the effort. Then you get folks who primarily want to go caving/digging and don't really care who they tell or how it's recorded.".

Um - some of those most eager to ensure proper recording of information are the most active diggers and cavers, as they're the ones who stand to benefit most. I don't think it's helpful to polarise folk into these two camps. (Actually I suspect that wasn't what you intended anyway!)

I agree with a lot of what else you said above though (particularly about photographs).

Bottom line is - both systems (electronic and physical) are important and work best with a synergistic approach (where each supports the other). Examples of this might be information given in an online article which relies on references only available in a caving library - and editors of physical journals having a rich treasure trove of photographic alternatives available to use in definitive (permanent) articles. Over-reliance on either of these approaches ultimately diminishes their value in each case, one way or another.
 

Mark

Well-known member
How's about an "Interesting stuff seen on Facebook" section where a screen shot can be posted (as below) with maybe a link if there is one, that isn't Facebook ?

Screenshot 2022-10-05 at 13.02.01.png


http://www.eldonpotholeclub.org.uk/.../552-passing...
 

ttxela2

Active member
A controversial view but I used to write up all my trips in my AditNow Journal and also often wrote reports for my old club website. Both are now currently not available online but the stuff I put on Facebook from the same trips is still there....
 

ttxela2

Active member
Ah - I have been informed that the old write ups are available on our new club website but in a less accessible format, a pdf of compiled older reports. I stand corrected!

But I still like FB :ROFLMAO:
 

Badlad

Administrator
Staff member
"Has Facebook won". Well it's not a race, is it. There are many different media formats to suit all kinds of users. Cavers are very niche and must decide which they are going to support, well supported media will be best sustained. For example, if cavers don't buy into Descent magazine it will disappear.

As cavers we continue to support and improve ukcaving where we can, "run by cavers for cavers" as Jane is always saying. We also have a facebook page with over 4000 followers, the two can work well together. The bottom line is use it or lose it of course, it would be a sad day if there was only Facebook.
 

mrodoc

Well-known member
As the club Journal editor mentioned I do find it frustrating that club members seem to have more loyalty to social media than writing for their club magazines. The issue isn't new. Some people are lousy at recording their finds hence caves or passages that are 'rediscovered'. A few years back I was interested in finding out about the Dali's Delight extensions made in DYO back in the 80's. To my amazement there was nothing in print - the info was in various cavers' logs (some people don't even keep logs of their exploration anywhere). I got hold of them and was able to put together an interesting story of original but unfinished exploration. It led to our visiting Dali's Delight to find the original mud 'blast wall' left by the diggers and encounter the bang wire from the final bang; that was never followed up.
 

mrodoc

Well-known member
One solution is to cut and paste pieces written for the forum and put them into appropriate club journals. I did this for the animal stories recently so they are preserved for posterity. Does anybody mind if I plunder the forum in this way?
 
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