Direction of the forum

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Alexias
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Direction of the forum

Post by Alexias » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:38 pm

Communities do tend to fade over time, and perhaps the time has come for pothos to quietly fade away.

If there is anyone who is still interested in keeping the community active, do you have any suggestions as to what sort of topics you would like to see discussed, what you think would encourage more people to participate, or how we could stimulate interest?

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Sandros
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Re: Direction of the forum

Post by Sandros » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:04 am

I'm note ready to say that photos is fading away (especially because I see other group of activity doing that right now). I would say that we have been more to ourselves, more withheld in our discusssions, but new information is coming in; also some long not seen members are returning...
If we want to make a hive of activity we need to post on FB (create group and promote?), invite youngsters (but we should remember that this could bring in some uninvited discussions (like ethnic, blatant requests, weird theories etc.)

Alexias
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Re: Direction of the forum

Post by Alexias » Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:24 pm

Thanks for your reply. Yes, Facebook is a possibility that is worth investigating.

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Paralus
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Re: Direction of the forum

Post by Paralus » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:11 am

Well, it isn't dead just yet. I imagine it becomes a matter of when or if Thomas ceases supporting it. We all knew that when Karl died we lost a major contributor. In reality we lost damned near the beating heart. It may yet prove to be so but it isn't dead yet. Karl and myself had attempted to expand the remit of the forum. Yes, it is about Alexander the Great but, as any symposium on Alexander shows, studies centred on Alexander do not stop with his death or begin with his birth. I'd suggest that the forum page should contain three topics:
  • "Discuss Alexander the Great"
    "Ancient Macedonia"
    "After Alexander"
With this we might discuss matters leading to Alexander as well as events which followed. Karl and I pushed in this direction with strictly "off topic" matters such as early Hellenistic chronolgy which sprang from a thread on Kassandros which morphed into the murder of Olympias and other matters. While I might be the only active member left with such interests, who knows? I imagine I'd have to "pull my finger out" as we say here and get some things kicked off if we went that way.

Do not go silently into that night...
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Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους;
Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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amyntoros
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Re: Direction of the forum

Post by amyntoros » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:49 pm

There is also the rest of the known world during Alexander's time (and maybe even a little later) although any such sub-form ought to have better name. I know, for instance, that there are members other than myself who share an interest in Thrace. And of course there is Persia and India and more ... I'm constantly seeing Alexander related articles in online Indian news sites. It would be nice to have a place to post them where they can perhaps be discussed without being immediately dismissed as historically inaccurate. The fact that different cultures have different viewpoints is interesting enough, IMO, but there's also a huge potential "audience" in India and we don't seem to have drawn anyone from there since Dr Pal.

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Amyntoros

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Xenophon
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Re: Direction of the forum

Post by Xenophon » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:14 am

Paralus wrote:
While I might be the only active member left with such interests, who knows? I imagine I'd have to "pull my finger out" as we say here and get some things kicked off if we went that way.
Rest assured you are not the only active member left with such interests. I, for one, share such. However, in the last 18 months I "died" but thanks to miraculous medical intervention returned to life. However I have a number of ongoing chronic health problems, which restricts what I can do. In addition during the same period, almost my whole family ( parents, uncles, aunts, cousins) have died, the cruellest blow being the sudden death of my younger brother just a couple of months ago...........from which I have still not recovered.

However, it is my intention to return to the forum in the near future.

Certainly "Alexander the Great" has been well-covered down the years, and expanded effectively into "The Era of Alexander the Great" which we should perhaps formally recognise, thereby opening up topics such as those suggested by Paralus and Amyntoros......

Also, forums go through 'high interest' points e.g. the surge of interest surrounding the Amphipolis tomb, and 'lulls' when not much is happening, such as now. We are not some 'newsfeed' needing constant information flow. The next major archaeological find, or even rarer, a relevant manuscript find, may be just around the corner!

As for Facebook, I think it has many problems and disadvantages as a platform, and I would not be in favour of migrating there.......

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Re: Direction of the forum

Post by sikander » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:47 am

Greetings,

I would absolutely NOT want to see the Forum fade into the sunset, so to speak. It is still one of the more reliable resources for questions.
And of course, the archived threads alone are worth their weight in gold, so to speak. While there *are* several other Alexander FB sites, websites, and so on, Pothos is one of the more reliable, fact-based sites- I would hate to see it fade and be replaced by the speculative, the fantastical or the agenda-driven sites.

It's important to realize that interest can wax and wane, because every time a new crop of students enter university, Pothos is a recommended site.

If we need to stimulate more discussion, we could create new topic segments, as has been suggested, and also open up a segment for discussions or postings on the day to day life of the times, a segment for battle -specific discussion, and so on.

Looking forward to seeing where this will go.

Regards,
Sikander

Alexias
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Re: Direction of the forum

Post by Alexias » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:07 am

Thanks for your suggestions.

Xenophon, very sorry to hear about your health and family troubles. I hope things improve soon.

Facebook does tend to lead to grass-hopping around a subject, and I get hopelessly lost on it.

As moderators, we do not have the power to add new boards. As maintainers we would have the power to add new boards, perhaps update some of the content on the main site, add 'like' buttons, and cross-post to Facebook and Twitter, perhaps make it easier to post photos, but that is up to Thomas and he may not wish to relinquish control after so many years. If he does wish to give up the site, I am happy to take on the hosting, but there doesn't seem much point if there is no activity. Yes, we do miss Karl's relentless enthusiasm.

I might just go back to enjoying Alexander the way I did for years before the internet, by just reading. There are so many books out there now and they are so readily available that there must still be huge interest in Alexander (and his times) if we could reach it.

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Xenophon
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Re: Direction of the forum

Post by Xenophon » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:36 pm

Amyntoros wrote :
I'm constantly seeing Alexander related articles in online Indian news sites. It would be nice to have a place to post them where they can perhaps be discussed without being immediately dismissed as historically inaccurate. The fact that different cultures have different viewpoints is interesting enough, IMO, but there's also a huge potential "audience" in India and we don't seem to have drawn anyone from there since Dr Pal.
It's not just 'Alexander' matters that are hopelessly distorted in India. For years Hindu extremists and nationalists have been"re-writing history" to suit themselves. For instance, as I write there is huge controversy over a Bollywood spectacular set in Moghul times. The extremists have deliberately started a rumour that the film contains a love scene between a Hindu and a Moslem ( which it does not) in order to get the block-buster banned, simply because they do not wish to be reminded that India was under Moghul/Moslem rule for a long period......

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Thomas
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Re: Direction of the forum

Post by Thomas » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:23 am

Hello! I'm still around, though left IT in 2004(!) and my main interests now are cycling and, er, cycling (I've lost 20kg and built my own beautiful bike this year).

I'm very open to handing site maintenance to Alexias. Whilst I started the site in 1994, I don't think I have any claim on it morally as I'm not part of the community at all. It would be like the butterfly claiming the tornado. We'll pick it up off line.

Technology has moved on since I wrote my own very basic asp forum all those years ago (late 1994 I think). Migrating to phpbb took some crazy custom code and hours of patient and nervous waiting. I ditched cmsmadesimple a couple of years ago, but it would be possible to put the information in the non forum post of the site in to phpbb now. I'm not sure if it is valid though. Much of it was the work of a young single man who was simply interested in ancient history. He's now 19 years married at 49 with a 17 year old daughter looking at university options!

Watch this space.


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Thomas
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Alexias
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Re: Direction of the forum

Post by Alexias » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:56 am

Thank you, Thomas, that is very gracious of you. I'll be in touch later.

sikander
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Re: Direction of the forum

Post by sikander » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:19 am

Alexias wrote:Communities do tend to fade over time, and perhaps the time has come for pothos to quietly fade away.

If there is anyone who is still interested in keeping the community active, do you have any suggestions as to what sort of topics you would like to see discussed, what you think would encourage more people to participate, or how we could stimulate interest?
Greetings Alexias,

I have seen interest in various topics but the problem seems to be one of not enough index subjects. Perhaps the index could be expanded and topics separated out more?

There is Alexander, and his accomplishments. The Diadochi. The cultures of the times. How political events in other surrounding regions impacted decisions . The military actions.
There are more books coming out to be reviewed (though we have a section for that).
There are the day to day aspects of the culture and times.
I often go back through all the threads and I wonder if topics couldn't be separated into different forum indexes.

I wrote Thomas; glad to see you both connected. My own preference is that the Forum remain on Pothos rather than be moved elsewhere; perhaps it could be promoted elsewhere via members, but remain here. I feel that Pothos has a good reputation for accuracy, and this gives the Forum a certain reflected restraint in comparison to a few other forums found elsewhere.

Regards,
Sikander

Alexias
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Re: Direction of the forum

Post by Alexias » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:55 pm

Hi Sikander, thanks for your imput.

Just so everyone knows, Thomas will continue to be the owner and hoster of the site. He has kindly agreed to give me permission to maintain the site. (In case anyone wonders about my credentials, I trained as a computer programmer and have been administering our network at work for 20 plus years).

This means that the site will fundamentally stay the same, it is just that there may be updates and extensions to the software that will give us greater flexibility as to what can be done. Things will happen slowly though as it will take me a while to get used to the software - I don't want to break anything!

One thing we can do though will be to add more boards, and yes, I agree that moving the existing topics to more relevant boards will make it easier for people to find things that interest them and reduce the search results. This will however be a massive task. Perhaps you and Amyntoros will be able to do some of this?

I think we need to be careful though that we do not have too many boards so that people don't get confused about where to post or look for something. One board I would like to see is for book reviews (fiction and non-fiction)

sikander
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Re: Direction of the forum

Post by sikander » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:34 pm

Greetings Alexias,

Are you thinking of a book review segment separate form the Book reviews section we have on the main Pothos site?

I will happily help in whatever way I can, but of course, I am well aware of my shortcomings on the computer. We can talk more once you have had a chance to look at what you have to do.

Looking forward to 2018!

Regards,
Sikander

Alexias
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Re: Direction of the forum

Post by Alexias » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:56 pm

Are you thinking of a book review segment separate form the Book reviews section we have on the main Pothos site?
Yes, I was thinking of a board where people can post their own reviews and discuss what they've read.

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