IACMC MILITARIA FORUM

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Sanglier
TennoHeikaNate
fourtycoats
michelwijnand
Camonut314
edstorey
Wolverine
mylle
12 posters

    Is this forum dying?

    mylle
    mylle
    Lieutenant Colonel
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    Name : Alex
    Location : Austria
    Registration date : 2013-10-18
    Number of posts : 2283

    Is this forum dying?  Empty Is this forum dying?

    Post by mylle Tue Nov 29, 2022 6:41 pm

    As the title says, I'm more and more thinking about why Im still posting new content here.
    Its not even worth the effort and time anymore, you barely get replies these days.

    It seems this forum has passed its zenith. The days of good communications and usefully sharing of
    knowledge is long gone. The process started for sure some time ago but it finally looks like its now just used for picture reference by most members(many old members have left the forum or stopped posting at all).

    Sad but true it seems.

    ripcord likes this post

    Wolverine
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    Name : Andrew
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    Post by Wolverine Tue Nov 29, 2022 8:10 pm

    The sad reality is that well organized forums like this one have been overtaken by other social media platforms that are really less well suited to sharing and preserving information. I don't understand that tendency, but that seems to be the way it is. What is especially frustrating on those other platforms is the heavy concentration of loud know-it-alls who actually have no idea what they are talking about most of the time. There are relatively few people who actually make meaningful contributions.

    ripcord, TennoHeikaNate and milly66 like this post

    mylle
    mylle
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    Name : Alex
    Location : Austria
    Registration date : 2013-10-18
    Number of posts : 2283

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    Post by mylle Wed Nov 30, 2022 7:46 am

    Maybe Im a bit too old but I saw some of those new facebook conected forums in the past.
    Often they are jus used for smarta$$ info or to determine the value to sell it with the highes profit.

    Like: How did I do? For what can I sell it.....

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    edstorey
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    Location : Ottawa
    Registration date : 2012-05-27
    Number of posts : 138

    Is this forum dying?  Empty Just the Way Information is Shared

    Post by edstorey Wed Nov 30, 2022 8:33 am

    From the perspective of someone who has been collecting for 50 years, I have seen how specialist magazines used to be the way in which enthusiasts got their information 'fix'.   Several of these magazines had regular contributors whose research in those early years advanced the knowledge base for the hobby.   The Internet with its ability to provide free access and specialized forums catering to individual needs was the death knell for many of these magazines as readership migrated to this new platform.   Many of the forums still had their stable of regular, reliable contributors, who continued to built onto the established knowledge base and, perhaps more importantly, these specialized forums allowed their membership to get their 'fix' on militaria directly related to their primary interest.  The openness of these forums also permitted anyone to to contribute which created a feeling of community but also allowed for the rapid spread of less than reliable information.   With the current trend appearing to lean towards the 'what have I bought, what is it worth' approach to collecting, there appears to be less interest in reliable information and more on its specific value, which may explain why there is a move from information based forums.    Knowledge is power and sadly, forsaking it for purely economic gain will not advance the hobby forward in a positive direction.

    filupe, ripcord, TennoHeikaNate, mylle, CRogers and Sanglier like this post

    mylle
    mylle
    Lieutenant Colonel
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    Name : Alex
    Location : Austria
    Registration date : 2013-10-18
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    Post by mylle Wed Nov 30, 2022 6:27 pm

    At least I got the discussion-stone rolling again a bit. Laughing Just kidding, thats a true word with ,,knowledge is power,,. Of course hobby and interest orientation changes over the years, but for me it started 2 or 3 years ago when the unpleasent experiences with forum members in terms of trades and deals got more and more. Therer was a time in this forum when you met a person in a thread and could make a deal even without living on the same continent with no problems. And all of a sudden you got screwed really badly. Even from some well respected members. Its a sad evolution so to speak.
    Camonut314
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    Post by Camonut314 Thu Dec 01, 2022 12:07 am

    What I am most afraid of is the permanent loss of this information. i.e. the website or host goes under and the topics discussed simply disappear. On one hand, the more dynamic social media platforms allow users to connect and actively interact with knowledgeable people all around the globe. But the more potent reality is that it is far, far harder to search for and locate information on specific topics; few if any threads are collated in any meaningful way. And what the adherents to this system fail to grasp (because of their tendency towards instant gratification, 'what is this, what's it worth'), is that someday, there might not be anybody out there to pass the collected information along. Stories can and will fall through the gaps. Now, they have obviously done this throughout history, and events are constantly being reanalyzed and rewritten. But I just wonder if the transition to the digital age will make things easier or harder to recover. Sure, you can argue that once it's on the internet, it's eternal. But if whoever has the item/information/knowledge fails to take the necessary steps to put it out there and make it available (and I am guilty of this sin of sloth), then where would we begin to look for it?

    filupe, fourtycoats, ripcord, TennoHeikaNate, Wolverine and milly66 like this post

    michelwijnand
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    Age : 35
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    Post by michelwijnand Thu Dec 01, 2022 1:09 pm

    That is exactly what happened to Red Alliance forum, I had several threads there in which I documented loads of several categories of gear with loads of photos and a few years later the forum disappeared.
    Now I often see people asking questions that could have been easily answered with 1 look at one of said threads, but I can't be bothered to put the time and effort into recreating the same thing in another place anymore, because it can just happen again

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    fourtycoats
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    Location : Ireland
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    Post by fourtycoats Fri Dec 02, 2022 4:24 pm

    I totally agree with the sentiments expressed above. Give it time. The instant gratification of FB is fine for a while but as Camonuts says, the search ability is zero. It is nearly impossible to find your own previous posts on FB, let alone search on a topic. If we stay patient and come on here more often, even if we duplicate an FB post, then this forum will grow again. I regularly post links to IACMC and Camopedia when I post on FB. We should all do that.

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    TennoHeikaNate
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    Post by TennoHeikaNate Fri Dec 02, 2022 8:05 pm

    In whole agreement, especially what Camonut said. I am certainly guilty of posting more on social media compared to what I should here, but I am very much in favor of continuing to post both items and knowledge here to preserve the information.
    The fall of sites like Red Alliance and MilitaryPhotos.net are ones I do not want to see happen again to this site.
    Since I started collecting and to this day, this site and some other similarly aged forums have been my instant go-to for identifying and learning more about things I couldn't find by hours of scrolling through pics on the web.
    I'd like for it to remain that same center for sharing photos and knowledge that helped me when I started collecting for future collectors and historians.

    ripcord likes this post

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    Sanglier
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    Post by Sanglier Sat Dec 03, 2022 12:18 am

    The first forum I used to frequent regularly that went quiescent was the militaria section of the Swiss Rifles Forum. The sudden passing of Frank "Guisan" van Binnendijk sapped all the energy out of that board, because no one else could step in to fill the giant void he left behind. When a forum relies too heavily on the contributions of a few 'stars' like Frank, it is inherently vulnerable to this kind of shift in fortune.

    Then the ICUS forum, associated with Camopedia, changed servers for logistical reasons. The transition was not very smooth; which dramatically reduced the amount of traffic, and may have contributed to the forum's apparently irreversible decline. The elephant in the room here is that someone must pay real money to keep these playgrounds open for the rest of us, because nothing is really "free". Unlike Facebook, the people who operate these esoteric forums are basically doing community service, motivated mainly by their own passion. If these guys stopped enjoying what they are doing or can no longer justify investing time and resources into their project, the forum's fate is also sealed, regardless of what the rest of us think or do.

    At the risk of channeling Captain Obvious, I think most of us frequent discussion boards for the fun of it, and to receive some type of affirmation or validation that we are neither alone nor mentally ill to find pleasure in making treasures out of stuff that 99% of our fellow humans think is junk. Talking to oneself is neither fun nor validating. While the lack of response inside a mostly empty room may not prove that one is alone or mentally unwell, it certainly doesn't help.

    Bottom line, a forum lives or dies based on the availability of fresh blood to sustain the "fun" factor; it needs continuous renewal to make up for the worn and tired, just like any living organism. Paradoxically, the availability and cumulative nature of a searchable archive, which makes the forum such a valuable resource, might actually work against its long term health, because over time, it will be easier and easier for new users to find the answers they are looking for in the archive, without ever making their presence known. Also, as all the low hanging fruits are already taken, it becomes more and more difficult for new participants to contribute anything of substance to the discussion, further reducing their motivation to uncloak themselves. Consequently, once the forum reaches maturity, the trend is towards more and more anonymous takers, even as the givers stop enjoying themselves and decide to head for the exit, potentially transforming the once lively forum into a perpetual zombie.

    Perhaps this is why communist utopia never had a chance in hell, while Facebook thrives. Smile
    Wolverine
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    Location : Canada
    Registration date : 2014-01-18
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    Post by Wolverine Sun Dec 04, 2022 3:26 am

    It is nice to see that a thoughtful discussion has unfolded here.

    As edstorey pointed out, there appears to be less reliance now on presenting research and preserving knowledge through the printed word. If this trend continues, it will likely be to the detriment of the hobby. While the internet is useful for connecting with others with shared interests – folks who we would not otherwise have an opportunity to meet – I don't see it as a very good place to preserve information and knowledge over the longer term. I am a history professor by trade, and we are increasingly concerned with the matter of information permanence on the web. Extant research already shows that information posted online is far from permanent, as others have already pointed out above with respect to this particular niche hobby.

    Should archival material and other research sources be digitized for easier public access? Of course. But such materials are still preserved in a bricks and mortar archive; if the internet breaks, it doesn't matter. If those of us who invest a lot of time and energy into a field like this do not ever publish our findings in print, then there is very high probability that everything we have discovered through lifetimes of research and collecting will ultimately be lost when was pass on.

    I have never much liked FB, and do not use it for social purposes to any extent. Over the past couple of years, I have sampled some different historical/militaria groups there, but increasingly I have found the whole thing to be an exercise in frustration. It seems, for example, that when a question is posted about an item, dozens of people may respond. Half of them will give the correct answer, but it is clear that no one reads earlier posts. So there is tons of traffic that just says the same thing over and over. The other half might give various incorrect answers which are presented as facts, and this serves no purpose except to muddy the waters. I can't wrap my head around why so many people post comments/statements that are demonstrably false. It is frustrating as hell, and further wastes the well-intentioned discussion participants' time. I have largely given up on it.

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    Antarmike
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    Name : Mike Fincher
    Age : 70
    Location : Lincolnshire United Kingdom
    Registration date : 2016-12-07
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    Post by Antarmike Sun Dec 04, 2022 5:06 am

    I find I use this forum less and less.

    Two reasons...
    Firstly recent retirement, high cost of living and inflation has limited funds to buy items that are not necessary to survive, and as I grow older I can see the day coming when I will no longer go to military shows where I exhibit my displays, so what is the point of expanding my collection further?  Without buying new kit to show and ask questions about why would I visit and contribute to this forum?

    Secondly, I had hoped that this forum would be about Militaria.  That includes all military equipment that has been used in the past, radios, personal weapons, grenade, ammunition, vehicles, and so much more  but as time goes by the Forum seems to only be about uniforms and clothing , camo patterns particularly, and very occasionally badges and insignia.

    It no longer seems to have any range or diversity as to what what is posted... all we get is uniforms and badges...then more como patterns... much of it commercial camo items.

    I don't come on the forum with any great rugularity now because the focus of the forum no longer aligns with what I want to see.

    I feel that a better name for the forum would be "International Association of Obscure Camouflage Patterns from Countries I have hardly heard of Collectors."

    Sorry but countless variations of Camo patterns simply does not thrill my soul... I want more, and I find more on social media.
    CollectinSteve
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    Post by CollectinSteve Thu Jan 05, 2023 8:09 pm

    I ducked out for almost two years because life got busy and something had to give. I've just started checking in again and found good stuff recently posted. I don't have an opinion if things have gone down hill here. Another Forum that I opted out of due to time has certainly gone down to a trickle.

    Things ebb and flow, but sometimes they just ebb. Hopefully that's not here!

    Steve
    vonstuck
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    Post by vonstuck Fri Jan 06, 2023 5:23 pm

    Sure, when steve is not there, the forum seems less dynamic
    Personally i am less present because i try to follow the war in ukraine
    and give back on my website ( sorry for my bad english, not sure it is the good expression for that I want to say)
    http://vonstuckcamouflage.free.fr/Ukraine%20conflict.php

    Gilles
    M55q
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    Registration date : 2017-04-20
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    Post by M55q Mon Jan 09, 2023 5:10 pm

    I am still here from time to time!

    However, I must admit that since I collect mostly field equipment (of Danish, British, Belgian, Norwegian and Swedish origin) I only seldom comment on the large number of uniform and camouflage pattern posts.

    Back in the day (and I am only in my 30s) I used to visit a number of forums like this every week. Now I only check this forum and Warrelics.eu.
    I miss the days of forums, blogs and personal webpages - now everything must exist in the Metaverse (Facebook and Instagram) or it gets no attention.
    But I know that a lot of younger collectors and re-enactors have tremendous success on social media.





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