Author Topic: Interested in history?  (Read 1299 times)

Offline Ralf

  • Cave diver interested in digging. Editor-in-chief of the finnish caving journal.
  • regular
  • *
  • Posts: 53
    • Finnish caving association
Interested in history?
« on: November 01, 2018, 07:52:20 am »
We are attempting to build an international community of cavers interested in history.

As Facebook seems to be the place where most people can be found (the Cavers of Facebook group has 20.000 members world-wide) we have created a discussion forum there called speleohistory. The group is mere two days old and has 31 members from several countries, but it is expected to grow. With your most welcome support.

Right now there is some discussion regarding a german 1689 book (with information on caves!) and more interesting topics will certaily be discussed in the future. I will personally make a number of new posts before then end of year as my work progresses. We hope to increase the frequency of posting as more people join.

Do you have memories of caving from twenty years ago or more? Wish to reminiscence? Do you want to share old photographs? Ask about the ways of old? Recommend really old books or videos? Are you fond of archives? Join us.

Link to Speleohistory group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/280706992555241/

______________
But why? Well... The finnish caving society publishes an annual journal, in which a series of articles on finnish caving history will be published in 2019 and 2020. Unfortunately, the history is not written yet. Researching all those cave visits abroad in the 19th century requires some international aid, and thus a forum was created. It immediately became apparent that there are groups and individuals interested in speleohistory around the world, and having such a small number (1) of accessible limestone caves of reasonable length in Finland we have plenty of time to dwell on this issue :coffee:
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 08:21:02 am by Ralf »

Offline The Old Ruminator

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3074
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2018, 08:52:15 am »
Being virtually historic myself with vague memories of caving in the 1960's I applaud the interest shown by this group. But then one has to ask why Facebook which in itself is a very poor research and archive medium. We have this constant debate within the field of antiques that I collect. The incessant proliferation of groups on Facebook that dilutes the medium to a point where you become totally saturated. I am already following Lord knows how may Facebook groups and have recently dumped a load as it impossible to keep in touch with them all. Some are open and some closed. There are probably lots already devoted to caving alone. Two for my Mendip Club, loads for photography and other regional areas of interest. To be perfectly honest a sub section on a forum like this would serve purposes best. I would love to follow that Facebook group but really I am on too many already. I do wish you well though.

Offline The Old Ruminator

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3074
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2018, 09:12:34 am »
Note to mods. How about an historic section here then. You would need to set a dateline. ( Say 1970 ).

Offline Pitlamp

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4526
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2018, 09:16:35 am »
A significant number of folk refuse to open Facebook accounts, for a variety of legitimate reasons. If you do this solely on Facebook you will miss a proportion of the information which a more comprehensive medium might attract. A sub section on here would be of value. But if you're trying to set up an international resource, maybe a dedicated website (with links on here) would be more successful?

Offline mudman

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 400
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2018, 09:46:47 am »
I've also noticed a recent significant drop in the number of people viewing (as measured by the "Seen by" figures) of posts on our club FB group from the 90+ attained very shortly after a posting to more like 20-30 after a week. To me this means that people aren't getting notified of posts anymore and as it has happened quite recently, I suspect a change to the FB algorithm.
So, I would tend to agree with OR. FB groups aren't the best for recording things you'll want to get to again or be able to research. It's nigh on impossible to conduct meaningful searches in a FB group and generally  not possible to scroll down "through time" all that far before the whole thing grinds to a halt. Thus, I would second using a "proper" searchable website for it.

Offline mch

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 342
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2018, 10:05:42 am »
The interest in speleohistory is very welcome but I have to agree with OR and Pitlamp that Facebook is not a suitable platform for serious research and recording of any subject. There was a BCRA Speleo-history SIG years ago but it seems to have faded away (like the Hydrology SIG) and is now defunct, There was some interest in reviving it back in 2015 but that came to nought. Perhaps an international group may have more success.

Offline pwhole

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1517
  • TSG, PDMHS
    • Phil Wolstenholme website
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2018, 10:19:00 am »
I'm also interested in this, but will never join facebook either. In my opinion, specialist groups and studies shouldn't be using that platform, for all the reasons stated above, and the fact that all the data stored would potentially be at risk if anything 'happened' - and not owning that data could then be an issue in trying to retrieve it. Sheer volume of members isn't really the issue, if most aren't interested. If backups were (sensibly) retained, then it would suggest that hosting that data and any discussion yourselves would be just as practical. A sub-forum on here or equivalent would be a good starting point, with a view to setting up a specific website/forum in the future.

Offline martinr

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1344
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2018, 10:31:50 am »
FB. The online version of chatting to your mates in the club hut. If it's 3 of you, you can follow the conversation. If it's 50 you have no idea what the others are saying. After a month, everyone's forgotten almost every word.

Offline Laurie

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1984
  • Tony from Suffolk can't see me.
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2018, 11:30:15 am »
I'd be very interested in the group but I closed my little used Farcebook account six months ago and have no intention of ever reopening it.
MNRC

Offline royfellows

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1074
    • mineexplorer.com
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2018, 12:57:27 pm »
I'd be very interested in the group but I closed my little used Farcebook account six months ago and have no intention of ever reopening it.

 :clap2: :clap2: :clap2:
Looking forward to NAMHO 2019. www.cambrianmines.co.uk

Offline Pitlamp

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4526
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2018, 02:34:01 pm »
I was finally persuaded to go on Facebook last year. Got partway through the process of opening an account and realised they want lots of personal data. So I abandoned it.

It's a bit paradoxical that, with the proliferation of ways to communicate, it becomes so much harder to keep up to date with what's happening, unless you spend all your life desperately pressing buttons in a vain effort not to miss anything.

It was never a problem when we all used to get a simple paper club newsletter in the post!

I can imagine some of my younger caving friends rolling their eyes skywards now   :lol:

Online alastairgott

  • QWERTY abusing
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1474
  • Live in Hope, Die in a Vein
    • CURB Hope Valley Parking Restrictions
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2018, 04:31:37 pm »
It was never a problem when we all used to get a simple paper club newsletter in the post!


It was never a problem when man used smoke signals and yodelling!  :tease: 


But then I really like your milk on a string approach to turning off the fridge.  :)

Offline Pitlamp

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4526
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2018, 07:38:19 pm »
 :lol:

(Sigh) - the youth of today, eh?   ;)

Online 2xw

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 403
  • Caving slag (but SUSS really)
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2018, 12:57:44 pm »
I suspect those that refuse to open facebook accounts on data security/privacy fears might be not be aware that you give this away simply by using the internet. Bear in mind you have well over 4000 posts on here Pitlamp more than enough to build a psych profile should they be downloaded! Remember that every time you send an email (or a post on this forum) you send your IP address with it and potentially your physical location (I can send you the lat long of the IP you sent in your last email if you don't believe me).

Facebook is obviously no better and those that criticize the search function are pretty much on the money. However the data is not at risk and is not lost forever and is easy backup-able - I run a facebook group for the identification of British spiders and I frequently download every post everybody has ever put on there, plus their metadata. There are over 10k users and folks follow the conversation just fine, especially with an active moderation team.

If you can build a website you easily have the skills to make Facebook API tokens and write a simple web crawler in R or Python to backup data and make a searchable database (which can even be subjected to text analyses should people ramble on a bit...)

Bear in mind in terms of views it may just be facebook telling you that in order to persuade you to boost posts as part of their model to capitalise on this - you might also be over saturating your users. Don't trust Facebook in this regard at any point.

Offline Boy Engineer

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2018, 01:28:45 pm »
Quote
I run a facebook group for the identification of British spiders

One would have imagined that they'd have their own website. 

Online SamT

  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 6160
    • The Eldon Pothole Club
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2018, 01:34:47 pm »
Facebook really really pisses me off.

Its just a time sucking vacuum off utter dross, interjected with very occasional nuggets of usefulness.  Way too many ads etc etc.  I happened to look at ski holidays a few weeks ago and now my feed is an endless stream of adverts for goggles etc. 

Way too easy to miss the good stuff.

Yet, my caving club seem to insist on using it to arrange stuff in the 'anyone out on thursday' way.

Personally, I think whatsapp would be more apposite for this since pretty much everyone has a phone and pc/laptop.

 :shrug:  - been on the verge of deleting my Facebook profile for a while, but then my first caving trip in a year was sparked by a facebook post earlier in the year.   :wall:

Offline Ralf

  • Cave diver interested in digging. Editor-in-chief of the finnish caving journal.
  • regular
  • *
  • Posts: 53
    • Finnish caving association
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2018, 01:42:48 pm »
Facebook is not perfect, but it provides an easy way to connect with previously unknown people from far away.

It also facilitates casual chatting with people interested in history and locating sources of information (again, it's not a reasearch tool, so don't compare it with the real archive sites). By no means is it an archival tool nor a publication. National archives and libraries are far better places to store information. To find old posts on Facebook is :ras: indeed.

Ukcaving.com could have its own history forum, but it wouldn't attract people from too many countries. If a vibrant speleohistory community springs up here, then I am sure some people will find their way here after first chatting on facebook with someone who knows this place.

A specialized forum would ideally be maintained by something like UIS and followed trough Tapatalk or similar. Now, can I see hordes of volunteers?  :coffee:

Online 2xw

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 403
  • Caving slag (but SUSS really)
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2018, 01:47:56 pm »
Quote
I run a facebook group for the identification of British spiders

One would have imagined that they'd have their own website.

Yeah but it engages nowehere near 10,000 regular users. People want "ease of use" for casual interest in a subject. Serious users will always find more in depth places (like the google groups we have via email for academic discussion) but 1 motivated person still wont gather as much biological data as 10,000 people with direct uploads.

SamT might I recommend an AdBlocker? I use uBlock origin, and you can also use fuzzify.me to remove targeted Facebook ads, as well https://www.facebook.com/ads/preferences, if you do use an adblock, do consider whitelisting UKcaving.com as I believe it provides a level of income and support to the owners :)

Online 2xw

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 403
  • Caving slag (but SUSS really)
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2018, 01:50:14 pm »
Bear in mind a majority of people will be casually interested in a subject like speleohistory rather than serious researchers, but those casually interested may have important things to add. If you set up impermeable ivory towers, you miss everything not in the tower.

Casual engagement in a discussion as well as rapid decentralized decision making is why the newest BCRA sig operates primarily over social media/whatsapp/instant messaging.

Offline Chocolate fireguard

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 360
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2018, 02:20:30 pm »
Quote
I run a facebook group for the identification of British spiders

One would have imagined that they'd have their own website.

Yeah but it engages nowehere near 10,000 regular users. People want "ease of use" for casual interest in a subject. Serious users will always find more in depth places (like the google groups we have via email for academic discussion) but 1 motivated person still wont gather as much biological data as 10,000 people with direct uploads.

Don't be discouraged BE.
I thought it was funny.

Online 2xw

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 403
  • Caving slag (but SUSS really)
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2018, 03:23:36 pm »
Duhhhhhhhh took me a while  :beer2:  :clap2:

Offline moletta

  • regular
  • *
  • Posts: 51
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2018, 06:18:26 pm »
I'd like to join a speleo history group, but don't have facebook.

If others want to start a group on UKC if it's possible, I'll support it.




Offline Pegasus

  • NCC
  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2191
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2018, 07:04:14 pm »
If you'd like a history board, we're happy to add one  ;D


Offline The Old Ruminator

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3074
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2018, 09:02:44 am »
It would be very helpful Ms P. I could then deluge you with photos of me in the 1960's when I was a hansom young " Newbie ". Seriously though what is there to lose ? You should get more photos posted up and create more interest. Will leave you to decide the dateline.

Offline Pegasus

  • NCC
  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2191
Re: Interested in history?
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2018, 09:31:57 am »
Will leave you to decide the dateline.

How about anything before 1965? That way I won't be historic  :o