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Diasboro Blog - The...
 

Diasboro Blog - The future

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After a post from Andy and others I’ve opened this post so everyone can contribute and comment regarding what we want to do with Diasboro the blog 

OFB


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Posted by: @andy-r

Thanks for the kind words, Ken. Appreciated.

It’s certainly true that the number of contributors to this blog is declining and that we’ve lost some excellent posters along the way. I think the conversation has also changed as well as the comments about todays Boro are fewer and fewer with the discussion often about other subjects. That’s fine of course and reflects the remaining readership but I wonder if it discourages new membership if the general discussion isn’t as much “on point”.

I’m not sure what the answer is. Perhaps longer form discussion such as this just isn’t what the masses want, with people more inclined to use Twitter etc in shorter bursts.


   
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Posted by: @andy-r

Thanks for the kind words, Ken. Appreciated.

It’s certainly true that the number of contributors to this blog is declining and that we’ve lost some excellent posters along the way. I think the conversation has also changed as well as the comments about todays Boro are fewer and fewer with the discussion often about other subjects. That’s fine of course and reflects the remaining readership but I wonder if it discourages new membership if the general discussion isn’t as much “on point”.

I’m not sure what the answer is. Perhaps longer form discussion such as this just isn’t what the masses want, with people more inclined to use Twitter etc in shorter bursts.

I didn’t intend to open a can of worms but maybe we need a new thread creating to discuss the future of the blog, what people want from it, suggestions etc.

I do enjoy writing previews and making comments but it does take time away from a busy schedule of full time work and looking after a youngish family, so I’m keen to ensure it’s a worthwhile going forwards


   
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Thanks Bob.

My concern is that readership and interaction has been on the slide for some time so I think we need to understand what people like about the blog (and therefore what to continue and protect) and what isn't working so well and seems to be discouraging new members and comments.

I don't have any concrete answers but I wonder if we need to be a little more disciplined with our comments, perhaps keeping the Boro-related threads to Boro-related comments and other topics to other threads, which may make it easier to follow and perhaps encourage more comments. Just a thought.

This post was modified 1 year ago by Andy R

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Posted by: @andy-r

Thanks for the kind words, Ken. Appreciated.

It’s certainly true that the number of contributors to this blog is declining and that we’ve lost some excellent posters along the way. I think the conversation has also changed as well as the comments about todays Boro are fewer and fewer with the discussion often about other subjects. That’s fine of course and reflects the remaining readership but I wonder if it discourages new membership if the general discussion isn’t as much “on point”.

I’m not sure what the answer is. Perhaps longer form discussion such as this just isn’t what the masses want, with people more inclined to use Twitter etc in shorter bursts.


   
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Kpinspain

@original-fat-bob.  I very much enjoy the blog and the fact that we all have a common interest.

It doesn’t bother me if other topics are discussed, if you don’t like them or are not interested then just move on; bit like tv programmes you don’t like, either turn over or switch off.

I particularly like OFB and Andy’s pre match posts and miss Redcar Red’s post match reports, not forgetting the historical perspective that Ken is able to provide from his vast record library.

I do appreciate the time and trouble these contributors go to and can well understand when other issues have to take priority. 

Hopefully we can continue in some format as I would not wish to lose the connection I feel with many of you who are spread across the diaspora.  😎


   
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Posted by: @andy-r

Thanks for the kind words, Ken. Appreciated.

It’s certainly true that the number of contributors to this blog is declining and that we’ve lost some excellent posters along the way. I think the conversation has also changed as well as the comments about todays Boro are fewer and fewer with the discussion often about other subjects. That’s fine of course and reflects the remaining readership but I wonder if it discourages new membership if the general discussion isn’t as much “on point”.

I’m not sure what the answer is. Perhaps longer form discussion such as this just isn’t what the masses want, with people more inclined to use Twitter etc in shorter bursts.


   
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It would be sad to think this wouldn't last forever, it is my only real link back to my youth and the Team I still support. All the regular posters have been appreciated by me - beyond belief and I am hopeful we can continue.

I am in Suadi in NEOM now which really is the middle of nowhere, but still I can get Boro on the TV stick and on Boro tv so my life is not so bad. Nearly 68 and still slogging away in the desert!!

Hang on in there all of you - especially Ken as these are gems and this blog is a valuable historical record.

 

UTB

 

 


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Good post Andy

i must admit that I do wonder where Diasboro goes as a blog after this season finishes.

Werder who designed and maintained the technical side of the blog has been very quiet this year and not posted for a while.

 I’m not sure what his workload is or if he wants to continue with Diasboro.

It would be a shame if the blog was to disappear without trace as there are some good posts on here and not all of it Football or Boro based.

A few of us have a secondary group on Twitter called Diasborians

They include 

Myself

Forever Dormo

Martin Bellamy 

Jarkko

Si’s Insights

Powmill

It could be that perhaps short pithy posts may be the future of the blog and the format location gravitate to Twitter.

Personally I would like this blog to survive and do hope it hasn’t become an onerous task for Werder to maintain.

Thoughts appreciated 

OFB


Martin Bellamy
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I’m not sure it needs to change much. As someone once said, “we are where we are”…

It may be nice to have a few new contributors but I’m happy to read the posts from existing members. A bit like the UK’s general population we seem to have a predominance of boomers and we all have a tendency to use reference points from quite a few years ago cf. Charlton’s, Robson’s, McLaren’s teams. This might put off younger supporters to whom these teams are not relevant. 

Like others have said, I miss RR and Werder’s contributions and was happy to see FD return to the fold. I guess the thing that would lead to Diasboro’s demise would be a lack of expertise if Werder wasn’t able to maintain things. 

This post was modified 1 year ago by Martin Bellamy

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I'll hold my hand up and admit I don't post much, maybe its because we are playing well, shhh don't want to jinx it. It will be sad if the site does come to an end, the thing I like is rhe experience of the boro that contributors have, we may not agree on a lot of things but we do share a love of the team and it all seems so genuine. It is sad that people have stopped contributing but that is life I guess hopefully the site will continue and even if I don't add much I will sit  quietly on the sidelines enjoying the "knowledgeable" 🙂 exchanges. Long live diasboro


Selwynoz
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thanks @Original Fat Bob for opening up this discussion.

I do wonder whether the current success of the team has meant that Boro has become a point of general discussion in the UK and a team that is getting a great deal of media attention. That being the case, perhaps local contributors no longer need to use Diasboro for their fix of MFC coverage and attention. It does seem to me that a lot of the regular contributors are, like myself, 'marooned in a far flung country where the only regular coverage that Middlesbrough get comes from comments on what Riley McGree is doing. Thus, I come back to Diasboro for my 'fix' of Boro discussion along with a number of podcasts such as Boro Breakdown (excellent level of comment from all three of the regular presenters). 

That being the case, I would hate to see Diasboro fade away but am not sure what we would have to do to guarantee its continuation. 

With regard to 'other' stuff perhaps we need to ask all of the members of the blog whether they have been put off by non-Boro coverage - either other sports or non-sports comments. Can we send a question to everyone? I admit that sometimes I scroll straight through some of the long comments to get back to where someone is commenting on the current team and what is happening. I very much value any inside knowledge (thanks OFB) and do miss some of the post-game analysis that we used to get from some of our expert fans.

I must say that I do feel that some of the regular bloggers have somehow become friends even if we have never met or even seen a picture of ech other. I do know that if I manage to organise a trip to the UK and make it up to the Riverside, I'd love to have a chance to catch up. I admit that I don't use twitter and maybe I should.

all the best to everyone

utb

 


Selwynoz
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thanks @Original Fat Bob for opening up this discussion.

I do wonder whether the current success of the team has meant that Boro has become a point of general discussion in the UK and a team that is getting a great deal of media attention. That being the case, perhaps local contributors no longer need to use Diasboro for their fix of MFC coverage and attention. It does seem to me that a lot of the regular contributors are, like myself, 'marooned in a far flung country where the only regular coverage that Middlesbrough get comes from comments on what Riley McGree is doing. Thus, I come back to Diasboro for my 'fix' of Boro discussion along with a number of podcasts such as Boro Breakdown (excellent level of comment from all three of the regular presenters). 

That being the case, I would hate to see Diasboro fade away but am not sure what we would have to do to guarantee its continuation. 

With regard to 'other' stuff perhaps we need to ask all of the members of the blog whether they have been put off by non-Boro coverage - either other sports or non-sports comments. Can we send a question to everyone? I admit that sometimes I scroll straight through some of the long comments to get back to where someone is commenting on the current team and what is happening. I very much value any inside knowledge (thanks OFB) and do miss some of the post-game analysis that we used to get from some of our expert fans.

I must say that I do feel that some of the regular bloggers have somehow become friends even if we have never met or even seen a picture of ech other. I do know that if I manage to organise a trip to the UK and make it up to the Riverside, I'd love to have a chance to catch up. I admit that I don't use twitter and maybe I should.

all the best to everyone

utb

 


   
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Clive Hurren
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I posted my views on the Swansea thread, but picking up on Selwynoz’s point, I’ll start the ball rolling with some questions:

1) Do you want the blog to continue next year and beyond? 
2) if so, why do you like it? What are the essential features?

3) What don’t you like?

4) Does it bother you that we often spill over into non-Boro-related topics? 
5) How do you think we can attract a few more members? 
6) How can we reduce the burden on friends such as Andy and Bob so that they don’t feel obliged to write an opener every time? 

I’ll do my best to collate responses in a couple of days’ time. I appreciate that some of you have already stated your views above or on a previous thread. 


Martin Bellamy
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Posted by: @clive-hurren

I posted my views on the Swansea thread, but picking up on Selwynoz’s point, I’ll start the ball rolling with some questions:

1) Do you want the blog to continue next year and beyond? 

Yes

2) if so, why do you like it? What are the essential features?

It’s a link to home and a valuable source of Boro related info. It’s also a place of friendship and mutual respect which can’t be said of all forms of social media.

3) What don’t you like?

There’s nothing I dislike. Understandably, I don’t always agree with everyone’s views but I don’t have a problem with that, as long as disagreements are handled in a respectful way, which they almost always are.

4) Does it bother you that we often spill over into non-Boro-related topics? 

Not in the least - in fact I like the occasional foray into other topics. It’s what would happen if we all met at the match or down the pub. It’s part of what makes the Blog great for me.

5) How do you think we can attract a few more members? 

Possibly by sharing our presence on other Social Media sites but ultimately is this what we want? We’d also need to be cognisant of Werder’s view as the Blog carries his name at some level.

6) How can we reduce the burden on friends such as Andy and Bob so that they don’t feel obliged to write an opener every time? 

Firstly, we need check whether the openers are a burden for them. If they’d like help I’m sure others (me included) would volunteer to write some openers. If necessary I’m sure the simple task of publishing a new post for each game could be achieved although it wouldn’t be as stimulating nor thought provoking as Andy and Robin’s well worked openers.

I’ll do my best to collate responses in a couple of days’ time. I appreciate that some of you have already stated your views above or on a previous thread. 

Thanks for doing this Clive .


   
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I'm very happy indeed with this blog and long may it continue.

Many people these days spend a lot of time on social media ie Facebook/Emails/You Tube/Amazon etc

Regarding to Facebook there are a few Boro related pages. 

Somehow maybe the Diasboro blog needs to promote itself a bit more. 

 

Bernie Slaven has a live Facebook chat after every game 6pm to 7pm. It's interactive, so fans can put questions and their views to him.


   
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Powmill-Naemore
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I have started to write my thoughts into this thread. But there is quite a lot to think about how I want to express myself. As it is, it is also a very difficult week for me to find the time to do just that. So bear with me Clive. I will post something to answer your questions, and to offer any ideas I have.

 


   
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I posted my views on the Swansea thread, but picking up on Selwynoz’s point, I’ll start the ball rolling with some questions:

 

1) Do you want the blog to continue next year and beyond? 

Yes

2) if so, why do you like it? What are the essential features?

The information and views from other members plus posts on about former players/managers etc general gossip

 

3) What don’t you like?

To me it  is fine as it is.

 

 

4) Does it bother you that we often spill over into non-Boro-related topics? 

No

5) How do you think we can attract a few more members? 

More publicity

6) How can we reduce the burden on friends such as Andy and Bob so that they don’t feel obliged to write an opener every time? 

Not sure on that one.

 

I’ll do my best to collate responses in a couple of days’ time. I appreciate that some of you have already stated your views above or on a previous thread. 


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..

 

This post was modified 1 year ago by Powmill-Naemore

   
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Philip of Huddersfield
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When I was introduced to Diasboro I was impressed by the quality of the contributions and enjoyed the wide range of views from the optimistic to the pessimistic. It was particularly good for me living about 90 miles away and no longer a season ticket holder. The real attraction was that it was solely about the Boro.

However in the last couple of years we’ve had lots of other topics mixed in with the Boro comments which has made the site less enjoyable.

If other topics are to be allowed then put them elsewhere so people can chose to look or not.

In my view, I’d prefer it to be a Boro  site only.

As a trial , I’d like it to be a Boro site only to the end of the season and to record if that brought more blogs and more hits to the contributions. If so, then keep it as a Boro site only.

Alternatively, allow it to be primarily a Boro site but allow other SPORTS to have their own space eg cricket - Yorkshire and the Ashes series.

Just my thoughts.

Philip of Huddersfield 


Powmill-Naemore
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What a difficult thread this one is to post into...

First of all and just like several others have already posted: in here it almost feels like we are all sitting around in FD's local, the Battered Haddock or whatever his imagination comes up with next, with a pint of frothy ale in hand and a roaring wood fire in the background. An unlikely group of old(-ish 😉) and caring friends from a host of different backgrounds, with a host of different beliefs and experiences, but all with a passionate shared interest in the Boro and all things related. It would/will be a difficult thing to replace for me should we choose to hang up our collective boots and I would miss it. Without having met any one of you, I do feel that I know you all and consider you as friends. If Diasboro is not unique as an on-line community, I have not come across anything like it and I honestly doubt that I ever would.

I also have no one here in Perth to get the Boro related bits of conversation off my chest with. I have to feign interest in Hearts and Rangers and Motherwell and Manchester United and other exotic “foreign” clubs to have even a half a chance of talking about the Boro.

While the Boro always remains at the heart of Diasboro, I am one of those who thoroughly enjoys the off-piste lines of discussion. I have learned an awful lot about my home locale and more especially about how other people think and what might have influenced them and actually, that sometimes (well often!) I might not be right.

For sure, there have been moments of intolerance creep into some debates along the way, but for the most part we do collectively keep each other in check. However, I suspect it is at least in part those (rare) moments that an intolerance of others’ views has occurred that is behind the loss of several contributors along the way, such as Ian Gill or GHW to name but two. That said, we are all grown ups as well, so if we want to enjoy the right to have an opinion or to hold a belief, we have to celebrate any and everyone else’s right to have a different opinion and to hold a different belief. If we cannot be big enough to do that then… well that is a sad thing. By and large that is one of the great delights of the discourse in here that very often meanders off on to some very interesting topical or historical or theatrical or musical or philosophical or political themes, but by and large, always coming back to the “Typical”.

If I am honest, over the (now) years there have been occasions I have started to read some peoples' posts and thought to myself, I don’t like where this is going and so simply by-passed the post and chosen not to engage in a response or a reply. I can’ think of a better way to edit content without alienating anyone or discouraging anyone to post honestly and more importantly of avoiding unnecessary conflict.

Since I started to try and compose this, Clive has put up a few questions as a starter to get our collective minds into gear. Thank you Clive for taking this on yourself. Here are my specific responses to those questions to go along with the essay I have started above:

 

1) Do you want the blog to continue next year and beyond? 

  • Emphatically, “YES”.

 

2) if so, why do you like it? What are the essential features?

  • Read my essay above and which continues below…

 

3) What don’t you like?

  • When people take comments too personally or begin to write about someone else’s opinions/beliefs too personally.

 

4) Does it bother you that we often spill over into non-Boro-related topics?

  • Not at all.

 
5) How do you think we can attract a few more members? 

  • Can we get a line in the Boro program or a link from the MFC site?
  • How about getting an article together about what “unofficial” sites for Boro there are and getting that in the program – could AV help with that?
  • Are there any other of the sites that we might want to “twin” with, to share content and or comment or even simply to have a link to each other’s site?
  • Would AV come back and write in here? I am sure his presence and regular contribution would attract other thoughtful people to the site.

 

6) How can we reduce the burden on friends such as Andy and Bob so that they don’t feel obliged to write an opener every time?

  • This is the hardest question of all. Many of us are still working and have time constraints that make it impossible to commit to writing something regularly.
  • But perhaps….There are still enough of us to maybe each do one starter on a rota. That might mean doing a piece one match in 20, which would be manageable for someone like me. 

 

Essay cont’d…

Above all, the Diasboro community is kind and caring. I think everyone of the posters in here has been subjected to genuine words and sometimes acts of great kindness and generosity In a world that seems to have become ever more about “me”. This characteristic of each of you is something to cherish. But as question 6 alludes, there is a danger of some of the principal actors being taken for granted. @AndyR and @OFB what your thought are about this particular state of affairs should be of great interest to us all. How onerous is the burden on you both, or perhaps you really enjoy preparing the opening for each match thread and it isn’t as much of an imposition as we imagine?

Also, I wonder how things are with Werdermouth? Do we know if he would prefer to let go the reigns? If he does, I wonder is there anyway of taking over the administration of the account from him. I am sure I could manage to do that – maybe not as adroitly as himself, but very happy to volunteer to take that on. His thoughts about all of this are essential to help us know how we need to and should proceed.

OK then. I don’t think I have written anywhere near so many words for a long, long time, is anybody still awake? “Whatever” (as the young people say), I hope it makes some sense and is reasonably comprehensible.

Whatever we decide to become, count me in.

This post was modified 1 year ago 3 times by Powmill-Naemore

Selwynoz
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Some thoughts from down under

1) Do you want the blog to continue next year and beyond? 

  • Definitely

2) if so, why do you like it? What are the essential features?

  • It provides me with a link to my past in Middlesbrough but does also provide an intelligent forum for discussions about current issues related to MFC both as a club and as a football team.

3) What don’t you like?

  • Any unnecessary attacks on people for their opinions. I would add any intolerance but is seems to be remarkably free of this problem. Good to see as we seem to be a lot of grumpy old white men.

4) Does it bother you that we often spill over into non-Boro-related topics?

  • Not at all. I can always choose not to read something if it doesn’t fit with my mood of the moment. I would only add that we need to find a way to separate the different topics whilst making it clear that a new article has been posted. I use ‘recent posts’ and that seems to work Ok for me although sometimes digressions do find their way into a current strand.

 5) How do you think we can attract a few more members? 

  • I think that we first need to recognise what makes us unique and then consider how we can work off that to find new members. Talking about this will always be subject to assumptions about the Diasborians, as OFB calls us, but we seem to be a group of older fans – men, I think although there may be others hiding in here – and with a reasonably large percentage of the members living quite a long way away. Whilst the old is evident from the many memories that people post, it is possibly not the defining character as much as the ‘displaced fans’ element. I think that it is perhaps this latter element which we should stress in any attempt to find new members. I would suggest an approach to the club through the fan liaison officers and, ideally, we would end up with an article online and in the program about ‘The Grumpy old men of the Boro’ who live all over the world and come together here to chat, as was so eloquently said above’ like a group of old mates in the Staggering Stoat. Gathering other far-flung members would, one hopes, energise the site, and bring in other people, including those living nearer to the ground who are more regular attendees which in turn would help give us first person experiences and local knowledge which we all love to read.
  • There are some other very good Boro sites and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to establish links. My personal favourite is The Boro Breakdown Podcast.

6) How can we reduce the burden on friends such as Andy and Bob so that they don’t feel obliged to write an opener every time?

  • This is a tough question. I suppose the first question is to ask them whether they want the burden to be reduced. If so, then some form of rota seems the obvious answer.

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Topic starter  

@powmillnaemore 

Some very good points on your post with which I totally agree with.

Although Andy first raised the point about the future of the blog which caused me to open this line of discussion, the niggling thought behind me actually writing about it was my concerns about our future.

I have tried to contact Werder whose technical expertise started the blog but he appears for business or other reasons to not be available at present.

I’m not sure about Diasboro the blog on the world press site if there are time limitations or if subscriptions are required at the end of the season. What I did not want to happen was the group of friends that we have all become over the years to find that we couldn’t log onto the site and our contact details be lost and our entity dissolved with nil possibility of regaining a status quo.

I think that the general consensus is that we carry on Diasboro in some form but that we have a back up plan formulated to ensure that we remain in contact.

I am quite happy to share my current email address if anyone wishes to pass on their details which I can share with Andy so that we can at least have a coordinated way of retaining blog member details.

my email address is currently Robin.davison@tiscali.co.uk please feel free to contact me if you wish to do so to register your details so we can at least minimise further loss of participation.

Regarding the format of the way forward, I’m not technically competent to start another word press site or manipulate it the way that Werder has, perhaps others in the group are? If someone has the ability to form a new Diasborians blog on Wordpress then that would take pressure off Werder.

Twitter as a medium is a limited format and not capable of posting detailed match previews or comments 

Facebook is an option and a dedicated Diasboro page could be opened and administrators appointed to admit members. The advantage of this forum is that there are other Boro communities on Facebook and we could cross fertilise members and add growth. The downside to this of course is that adding growth may also admit members who’s comments and criticisms would cause offence which we have managed to keep out of our blog successfully over the past few years.

Other alternatives include the possibility of using WhatsApp which is an end to end encrypted email service which can have several users who can input to a theme about Boro etc. It would mean however that the posts would not be segregated and just run on together and not be themed like we try to be on our blog!

Regarding input from Anthony Vickers I’m not sure if he has time or if his work at MFC would preclude any input to any Diasboro blog. You may remember that it was I that leaked the information that our Untypical Boro blog was to fold after a friend at the EG had advised me of its demise.

Werder has done such sterling work and is to be applauded for his energy and input over the past few years but everything moves on.

With regards to the future and the previews I know it’s difficult at times for Andy to produce such fine articles whilst he is also in full time employment. The fact that he has achieved this is to be applauded and I thank him.

For myself, I’m Like most of us on this blog being retired and at this time of the year find that old age catches up physically. The maxim being the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

I enjoy doing the previews but doing all of them would be too much for me. The sharing of turn and turn about with Andy has worked well and if it gets too much for Andy or I then we would usually step in for each other and get the job done. If others would like to have a stab at doing a preview then that’s great and we could arrange that. The only thing is if there are any superstitious bloggers on here if we change the format at present do we change the luck for the Boro ???

Perhaps we should leave things as they are at present and let sleeping dogs lie ?

We do need to plan ahead to prevent any sudden cut off and if bloggers are willing to let me have their email I will hold them in confidence until needed.

I must confess that sometimes a blogger going off track whilst we were discussing the Boro used to make me tear my hair out! Now it’s nearly all gone and I’ve learned to live with everyone’s idiosyncrasies it doesn’t bother me anymore! I suppose like a marriage you only look at the good things! Let’s face it that’s what we’ve got with Diasboro “a good thing going”

OFB


Powmill-Naemore
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Posted by: @selwynoz

...to the club through the fan liaison officers and, ideally, we would end up with an article online and in the program about ‘The Grumpy old men of the Boro’ who live all over the world and come together here to chat...

Love that Selwyn 


   
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Powmill-Naemore
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Posted by: @original-fat-bob

...sometimes a blogger going off track whilst we were discussing the Boro used to make me tear my hair out! Now it’s nearly all gone...

Being folically challenged is nothing to be ashamed of Bob 🙄


   
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I can't find Diasborians on Twitter ?


   
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Thanks for the interaction on this one to all and an extra nod to Clive for extrapolating the issues at heart for all to focus their thoughts upon.

The initial idea was simply to take stock of where we are and talk about why we’re losing active members and not gaining new members but the discussion has quite quickly moved into something more existential. I go along with Bob in that we can certainly continue as we are for the remainder of this season but it’s good to review things and see where we want to go next season.

In answer to Clive’s questions, it’s not easy to answer all of them but here’s my take:

1) Do you want the blog to continue next year and beyond? & 2) if so, why do you like it? What are the essential features?

Yes. The blog remains one of a kind (as far as I’m aware) in being a generally respectful place where those of us who no longer live in the area can discuss matters that don’t appeal to our “locals”. I first discovered Untypical Boro around the time that Gareth Southgate was sacked and was I living in London at the time. No-one down there really gave a monkeys and finding a site for people as obsessed with the situation as myself was great. When Untypical went down, what Werder did to keep everyone going was truly outstanding and, whilst we lost some regulars and of course AV himself (whose input was always a highlight for me) we continued to have informed, detailed and nuanced debates about the Boro with a good number of contributors.

The longer form that DiasBoro/Wordpress allows is quite key for me. Although many of the posts are quite short, the most interesting comments to me are still the ones that go into detail whether the subject matter is tactical, statistical or pure commentary. It’s the state-of-affairs Boro chat that first enticed me to join Untypical and it remains that that draws me to DiasBoro now.

3) What don’t you like?

There’s nothing I especially dislike about the blog itself in its current form but we have to recognise that interaction and active membership are declining and it’s hard to avoid comparing the site today with what it has been in the past. Those detailed and nuanced debates are much rarer today (though I do want to mention Deleriad and Len, both of whose comments I particularly enjoy) and the percentage of comments that relate to the matter at hand has also declined. The chief issue in my opinion is the comparative lack of active membership. We are down to around a dozen regular contributors now, many with very similar outlooks.

In some ways, the blog is it its best when Boro aren’t doing so well. The last really engaging debate we had (I think) was around when Wilder was sacked. Since then, everything has been rosy on the field and that sense of general satisfaction often does little to stimulate debate. Of course, I wouldn’t change that.

4) Does it bother you that we often spill over into non-Boro-related topics?

No, in fact it should serve to enrich the site but I do think it would be best to do so under separate threads, which, in fairness, it sometimes is. I typically use the “Unread Posts” section so can see what I haven’t yet caught up on and the thread that it’s in. Discovering new posts under a Boro match thread that then don’t relate to the topic isn’t a major issue but I can see how it might feel exclusive for someone new who discovered the place when searching for Boro chat. It could feel like interrupting a private conversation.

Again, comparing current state to what has previously gone, I used to avidly read every comment on Untypical and early DiasBoro but, like others have commented, I do now skip over some with a slight feeling of guilt. Several have commented that the remaining DiasBoro community is made up of “grumpy old men” but I don’t quite fit that category (yet), so perhaps I’m not quite the target audience for some of the off-piste comments. That will probably be true for potential new members too..

5) How do you think we can attract a few more members?

I’m not sure what the answer is on that but we also have to remember that is Werder’s site and anything we do should come with his approval. Werder, if you’re out there, I’d love to hear from you, not just on membership but also your views on the future of the blog. Is it something you wish to continue? I understand that it’s difficult to reply if the answer is “no” but equally I think we all understand that your name is on the deeds and that you still have to perform engineering under the hood here and there, and probably some other tasks we aren’t even aware of. How you see the future of the blog, to my mind, determines a large section of the next steps.

I did like Selwyn’s idea of marketing the blog as a place for “…the grumpy old men of the Boro’ who live all over the world…” but whilst that may entice new like-minded/aged members, it might not garner interest from the next generation of DiasBorians. It therefore might be part of the solution but the whole solution, which really needs to include a wider cross-section I think.

6) How can we reduce the burden on friends such as Andy and Bob so that they don’t feel obliged to write an opener every time?

I think the obligation is the slightly bigger issue than the burden in my case, though I signed up for this so it’s my problem. When I have the time, I enjoy putting the previews together although I have found that doing so has probably lowered my general commenting output. I would say that I have the time to do it around 75% of the time. The other 25% is harder but I do feel an obligation to DiasBoro and especially to Bob, who I don’t want to leave holding the baby. I had been considering stepping back at the end of the season but again don’t want to leave Bob carrying the can and also don’t want to be in part responsible for the blogs continued decline, so there is a feeling of obligation there which might take away some enjoyment.

The beauty of having just two preview writers is that it’s easy to organise and we both know when it’s our turn and can plan ahead. The first sub-question is do we need/want previews? My view is that we probably do but if not, it’s straightforward to create a new thread which everyone can add their thoughts to. If we do, having more preview writers would, I’m sure, help Bob and I if we both want to continue but we’d need to keep ourselves organised.

The summary of all that is that I would like to see the blog continue but equally would like to return to the more vibrant and engaging debate it once was. I think it needs more active membership to achieve that and I think we need to understand Werder’s position before taking next steps. In the meantime, we continue for this season.

This post was modified 1 year ago by Andy R

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@malcolm 

what’s your Twitter handle ?


   
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Posted by: @original-fat-bob

@malcolm 

what’s your Twitter handle ?

malcolm crow@crowontour


   
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@original-fat-bob I couldn't find @Diasborians  if I'm allowed to join the party I'm @paulInBoro


   
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