UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Discuss all things 'aviation' that do not fit into a more appropriate forum
Post Reply
User avatar
Dan O'Hagan
Posts: 2293
Joined: Wed 13 Apr 2016, 6:05 pm

UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Dan O'Hagan »

I'm writing this as a result of the lukewarm reception to the UKAR Top Ten Moments article and thread.

Where does UKAR go now? The forums have never been quieter, the topics have never been less interesting, and the discussions, what few there are, have never been less eloquent or worthy of bothering with.

I'd be interested to know what the traffic statistics are like for 2016 compared to previous years, as it certainly feels like UKAR is a virtual ghost ship.

Twitter has overtaken fora as the place for breaking news, Facebook and Flickr seem to do rather better for photo postings, and discussion seems to be the preserve of social media among friends rather than a wider debate on a message board.

Am I wrong? Is UKAR dead? Are other forums suffering too (Key has become an endless list of threads about scrap metal these days)? Is the decline reversible? Should UKAR shut its doors? What can and should be done?

In the old days UKAR was an important renegade voice, speaking out for the man on the crowdline, but arguably social media has now taken on that role.

User avatar
tache3
UKAR Supporter
Posts: 324
Joined: Sat 06 Sep 2008, 7:00 pm

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by tache3 »

Dan O'Hagan wrote:Are other forums suffering too


Yes. I'm a mod on a couple of fora (non-aviation related) and the amount of traffic and contributions have dropped off sharply over the past few years. This decline has coincided exactly with the rise of Facebook. I had to start a Facebook page (which is building slowly with nearly 1000 'likes' so far) in order to try to entice users back over to the forum but it is very difficult. Even if people click through a link to a forum post, they will still comment on it on the FB page rather than contribute to the forum directly. I think people prefer the more instant gratification they get from social media, it also feeds the ego to see comments and posts 'liked'. Its also more convenient to post and comment on multiiple pages with a single member profile, than having to log in and out of each separate forum.

Dan O'Hagen wrote:Is the decline reversible?


I don't think so, no. Forums will just become more niche with a smaller pool of contributors.
Last edited by tache3 on Tue 03 Jan 2017, 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

qwerty
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed 22 Jun 2016, 9:28 am

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by qwerty »

Judging the future on just one post is in my view a bit severe.The website is invaluable to the many like myself who cannot attend many shows due to distances. Coverage in print of events is dismal and UKAR adds so much detail and variety.

User avatar
iainpeden
Posts: 3152
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:01 pm
Location: Great Oakley, Corby, Northants

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by iainpeden »

A fair question to which I will respond.

I use three aviation related fora (checked that one!), UKAR, Fighter Control and Britmodeller. I don't use Twitter or Facebook and don't have my mobile linked up to my e-mails - all because I want to keep control of my communications. I also don't view Flckr/Photobucket etc because I have other things to do. Consequently the three sites I use meet my needs - keeping up to date with aviation events,showing off photos (I do like the "nostalgia" sections because I got to see a lot of that action in the 1970s and '80s) and giving me the chance to put a point of view (and sometimes take a dig at the originator of this post!).

As to the use of spelling and grammar; I do prefer people to use standard English and don't like laziness in their use but we have to accept that the language is changing with text speak and emojis becoming the norm and emailing from a phone or tablet can be a recipe for spelling disaster.I also believe spoken language is degenerating much more quickly than the written version.

One thing that is notable in this forum over the other two is the level of vitriol and personal attack which can occur totally unnecessarily.

I don't think this is anywhere near the end of UKAR and it will continue to be the one I visit first every day.
(Mark Twain: There are lies, there are damn lies and then there are statistics)

User avatar
Red Dragon
Posts: 1721
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 6:56 pm

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Red Dragon »

tache3 wrote:
Dan O'Hagan wrote:Are other forums suffering too


Yes. I'm a mod on a couple of fora (non-aviation related) and the amount of traffic and contributions have dropped off sharply over the past few years. This decline has coincided exactly with the rise of Facebook. I had to start a Facebook page (which is building slowly with nearly 1000 'likes' so far) in order to try to entice users back over to the forum but it is very difficult. Even if people click through a link to a forum post, they will still comment on it on the FB page rather than contribute to the forum directly. I think people prefer the more instant gratification they get from social media, it also feeds the ego to see comments and posts 'liked'. Its also more convenient to post and comment on multiiple pages with a single member profile, than having to log in and out of each separate forum.

Dan O'Hagen wrote:Is the decline reversible?


I don't think so, no. Forums will just become more niche with a smaller pool of contributors.


I totally agree. I'm a mod on both an aviation forum and the associated FB page. The rise of Facebook corresponds exactly with the decline of our website. I have inserted links to the aviation forum within the FB page but it doesn't seem to have had any affect. One other good aspect of FB is that you can directly upload photos to it, instead of (in both the forum I moderate and UKAR) I have to upload to Flickr (or PB, Picasa etc) then copy and paste a link to the forum etc which takes time. FB is instantaneous.

User avatar
MicrolightDriver
Posts: 1427
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 10:23 am

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by MicrolightDriver »

I value UKAR as a place to pick up news and information, to discuss what's happening, to see what other people think. I do not like it when UKAR launches into unjustified crusades 'on my behalf' or allows people to hurl abuse and insults at others without sanction.

UKAR has a lot of positives, I hope its negatives don't drive it down.

User avatar
Brevet Cable
Posts: 13190
Joined: Tue 05 Mar 2013, 12:13 pm

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Brevet Cable »

It's no different to any other forum & newsgroup , really.
Many people join but never post or only post once......there are currently 11822 forum members , but if it's anything like other fora less than 5% visit the fora on anything more than an occasional basis ( particularly out of the airshow season ) and only about 2% post anything.

Given that it's the 'closed season' for airshows - and the Christmas / New Year period to boot - I'd have thought a decline in posts & visits by members is only to be expected.
The important factor is whether or not the figures improve in a few months time.
Tôi chỉ đặt cái này ở đây để giữ cho người điều hành bận rộn
아직도 숨어있다

PeterR
Posts: 4867
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 12:43 pm

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by PeterR »

Dan O'Hagan wrote:I'm writing this as a result of the lukewarm reception to the UKAR Top Ten Moments article and thread.


I know of a number of industry professionals who were eagerly awaiting the article and I'm sure it has been read and discussed in many offices since it was published just a few days ago. Just because the hasn't been comments posted on the thread doesn't mean it hasn't been noticed.

User avatar
Dan O'Hagan
Posts: 2293
Joined: Wed 13 Apr 2016, 6:05 pm

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Dan O'Hagan »

UKAR has always been quieter in the off-season, but to my mind never as bad as this.

The Top 10 normally generates a good debate, and there wasn't even a "What did Santa bring?" thread this year, which has been a staple every year.

User avatar
capercaillie
Posts: 8233
Joined: Mon 01 Sep 2008, 3:04 pm
Location: Leominster

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by capercaillie »

Dan O'Hagan wrote:UKAR has always been quieter in the off-season, but to my mind never as bad as this.

The Top 10 normally generates a good debate, and there wasn't even a "What did Santa bring?" thread this year, which has been a staple every year.


Santa's never brought me a staple! What a cruddy present. :sad:
"The surrogate voice of st24"

User avatar
Russ
Posts: 5592
Joined: Wed 23 Jul 2008, 6:51 am
Location: UK

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Russ »

I would agree, it's a problem but certainly not exclusive to UKAR. Changing times where social media is easier and more accessible than forums quite simply. UKAR's social media contribution is good, but perhaps it needs to be intensified to go with the trend and perhaps reignite things. No easily thing though, not least for staff members limited time.

It continues to serve a purpose, no doubt, but certainly the forum contributions are not as affluent as they once were. That said, the website looks great and POTW continues to be a splendid feature. What if anything needs to be done to the forum remains to be seen.

User avatar
st24
Posts: 7988
Joined: Mon 01 Sep 2008, 9:31 am
Location: Sexville

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by st24 »

capercaillie wrote:
Dan O'Hagan wrote:, and there wasn't even a "What did Santa bring?" thread this year, which has been a staple every year.


Santa's never brought me a staple! What a cruddy present. :sad:


This. This is why UKAR still rules. My incredible comic genius teachings to Capercaillie over the last 28 years or so coming to fruition... :grin:
You caaan't trust the system... Maaan!

User avatar
Dan O'Hagan
Posts: 2293
Joined: Wed 13 Apr 2016, 6:05 pm

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Dan O'Hagan »

capercaillie wrote:
Dan O'Hagan wrote:UKAR has always been quieter in the off-season, but to my mind never as bad as this.

The Top 10 normally generates a good debate, and there wasn't even a "What did Santa bring?" thread this year, which has been a staple every year.


Santa's never brought me a staple! What a cruddy present. :sad:


:clap:

borismorris
Posts: 785
Joined: Thu 14 Apr 2016, 6:48 am
Location: North West Shropshire

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by borismorris »

I'm a relative newbie on UKAR initially using it as a source of information but have now been commenting for about 18 months. There has been a number of posts which I've seen which have been rude and hostile. There seems a core element who are very well informed but seem hellbent on creating an atmosphere. Just my opinion of course and any criticism of me will just bounce off..but it would be a far more pleasant forum if the snooty comments could stop. Sometimes the grammar is frustrating but do we really have to crucify people for it?

User avatar
CJS
Posts: 7787
Joined: Thu 15 Jul 2010, 3:30 pm
Location: Hogwarts

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by CJS »

Yes. Yes we do.

In all seriousness, I don't see UKAR as any different to any other fora out there, as Mr Cable suggests. -Similarly to the printed news genre, fora such as UKAR might become more niche (nicher??) but they'll hang around for sure.

The photo threads are still often stunning and I actually find a lot of the waffle threads pretty interesting (which maybe says more about how much I should get out than anything else). UKAR is evolving, nothing more sinister than that. Long may it continue to do so - it'd be boring if nothing ever changed.

I attend one show per year - occasionally two - so UKAR is my go to place for all things aviation related and I find it much more coherent, informative and accurate than Facebook, Twitter et al.

So on this occasion Dan I have to disagree. I seem to remember you posted something similar in the past, do you think things have improved / worsened or simply changed since then?
Last edited by CJS on Tue 03 Jan 2017, 5:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
With just the slightest bit of finesse, I might have made a little less mess.

hmeasures
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun 23 Jun 2013, 1:27 pm

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by hmeasures »

DanO reminds me of something...

Image

User avatar
The Baron
Posts: 1371
Joined: Tue 01 Dec 2009, 8:23 pm

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by The Baron »

The photo threads are indeed something special. There are some talented and knowledgeable people here, which is more than can be said for social media.
However, social media updates are easier to check up on (when hiding in the toilets at work), but the conversation around the updates is better on UKAR.

The real negatives for me though are that the aforementioned knowledgeable types can come across as arrogant.
Let's face it, the majority here know a little about aviation and a lot more than the Joe Public that use social media.

Bad grammar, unfortunately, is rife everywhere.
Loafer for Mr. Da Vinci.

TYPHOON3
Posts: 1053
Joined: Wed 19 May 2010, 4:38 pm

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by TYPHOON3 »

Maybe for some people the only show now worth attending is RIAT post Shoreham?Perhaps some of the other shows are no longer worth getting excited about or discussing after the restrictions imposed on them.Once RIAT's weekly updates start,it's gauranteed there will be an increase in posts.With XH558 gone from the circuit,that was another much posted in thread on here.

XR219
Posts: 270
Joined: Mon 01 Sep 2008, 8:57 am

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by XR219 »

I come at this from the perspective of an enthusiast who is also an aerospace professional (sort of) and involved with a display aircraft (sort of). I've been a UKARian since about 2001 I think. I'm not a photographer but I am in awe of those who are; I come on here to see your wonderful images and occasionally keep up with the news.

I get involved with discussion on occasion, but a curious and frustrating phenomenon seems all too common these days. A 'concern' will be aired, perhaps by several posters and sometimes involving vitriol. If I find that I'm in a position to answer the question in detail, almost inevitably the answer is ignored and rather than responding, a new and completely different 'concern' is raised. It doesn't encourage me to contribute!
@steveliddle558
Vulcan to the Sky Trust Trustee (although expressing my own views)

john001
Posts: 1306
Joined: Sun 30 May 2010, 7:25 pm

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by john001 »

XR219 wrote:I come at this from the perspective of an enthusiast who is also an aerospace professional (sort of) and involved with a display aircraft (sort of). I've been a UKARian since about 2001 I think. I'm not a photographer but I am in awe of those who are; I come on here to see your wonderful images and occasionally keep up with the news.

I get involved with discussion on occasion, but a curious and frustrating phenomenon seems all too common these days. A 'concern' will be aired, perhaps by several posters and sometimes involving vitriol. If I find that I'm in a position to answer the question in detail, almost inevitably the answer is ignored and rather than responding, a new and completely different 'concern' is raised. It doesn't encourage me to contribute!



I have to agree with that one!!

qwerty
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed 22 Jun 2016, 9:28 am

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by qwerty »

XR 219, that type of response to an informed opinion is common to several other forums that I follow,it just seems that some people do not read what has been written in a thread before posting their own view.

User avatar
MikeH
Posts: 1461
Joined: Tue 12 Aug 2008, 5:03 pm
Location: Norwich.

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by MikeH »

I think Facebook (with specific groups,) has made fora (?) such as UKAR less useful to the enthusiast. The internet is a source of information and social connection and UKAR no longer provides that service. However I still look here occasionally to make sure I'm not missing something but my accesses (and posts,) are becoming fewer. I've met a lot of good friends through this forum and this is no way a slur on what has been a great website.

User avatar
CJS
Posts: 7787
Joined: Thu 15 Jul 2010, 3:30 pm
Location: Hogwarts

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by CJS »

UKAR has an active twitter feed remember.

Re: the lukewarm response to last year's top ten, it's worth remembering that the vast majority of people who read it probably agreed with it and therefore didn't feel a need to reply. It's human nature to have a general (or specific) moan, but rarely to just pop up and say 'yeah that's pretty much spot on, nice one.' Not just on here, I'd say that's de rigeur these days.

So any lack of response can probably be interpreted as general agreement with UKAR's choices.
With just the slightest bit of finesse, I might have made a little less mess.

User avatar
Brevet Cable
Posts: 13190
Joined: Tue 05 Mar 2013, 12:13 pm

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Brevet Cable »

Just had a quick check.
Yes, there are only 7 replies to date on the 'Top 10' topic this year.....but there were only 13 for the 2015 one ( compared to 86 for the 2014 topic )
As for the lack of comments in that topic, could it also be because posters have already expressed opinions in the topics specifically relating to the individual shows the aircraft displayed/appeared at ?
And to follow on from 'TYPHOON3's post, would another factor also be that there were less major shows this year, so less for the UKAR staffers to attend, resulting in a smaller number of highlights to chose from ?

If you think UKAR is in decline, it's nothing compared to newsgroups such as 'Milscanners' & 'Touchdown News'.....time was when they were the go-to place for info, but nowadays with the exception of U2 deployments or RIAT arrivals/departures there are very few posts on the former ( with about half-dozen regular posters ) and the latter has even less posts ( and those usually consist of requests for aircraft IDs from over 20 years ago )
Not to mention the VTTS forum, which was a mere shadow of it's former self even before XH558 ceased flying.
Tôi chỉ đặt cái này ở đây để giữ cho người điều hành bận rộn
아직도 숨어있다

106500
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun 27 May 2012, 9:14 am

Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by 106500 »

I am has an occasional poster on this Forum. In my opinion the 2016 airshow season was woeful when compared to 2015 and 2014 - I think this has been reflected in a lack of enthusiasm for the entire airshow scene and hence sketchy participation in UKAR. To me the biggest disappointment last year has been the lack of classic jet activity, no doubt a reflection of the events at Shoreham. Casting my mind back to 2014, we had the Canberra, Hunters, the wonderful jets from Classic Air Force now sadly gone to I don't know where (anyone know?)! That was on top of the Canadian Lancaster and of course XH558 - remember the relentless criticism on this forum of the "lack lustre" displays! Now its gone don't we wish it was back? Thank goodness we have the wonderful Vixen at least! Lets hope this year will improve in terms of variety and spectacle; I'm sure that on its own that would generate more forum activity... What about the Norwegian Starfighter recently returned to flight, now there's a thought - or is that wishful thinking?!
Last edited by 106500 on Tue 03 Jan 2017, 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply