What happened to this place? It's like a ghost town. 2 members online, not much activity.
It used to be a lot busier. Where did everyone go?
It used to be a lot busier. Where did everyone go?
Good question and well answered already. However, your question took me in a slightly different direction. You are identified as a new member, but know tMP used to be more active. That leads me to ask what made you leave and what brought you back? Maybe your own experience is part of the answer?
I've always checked from time to time and read posts that were of interest to me. A portion of the subjects involve local, rather than universal situations, and since I'm not local, they don't affect me. My primary interest is TrumpetBoards.com, which BTW has rather sparse participation, too. I cancelled my FB account years ago due to multiple issues with them, and I'm not interested in other popular social media sites. TromboneChat.com and TrumpetHerald.com have quirks that keep me from regular participation.
Also Dave, if most have moved on to Facebook as you suggest, would it make more sense to move tMP? Again, asking the question out of interest as we've both been around here for a long time.
Not sure that these are related quite as closely as you suggest, Jim. We're only 20 years into the age of mass internet use now, there's been a lot of churn in the way people communicate and absorb knowledge, and there will be a lot ahead of us, although some patterns are becoming clear. I think almost anything that arises online has to be considered ephemeral for now. TMP belongs solidly in this tradition.It's symptomatic of the UK brass band scene generally, I think. Even allowing for the pandemic, the band scene has been moribund for some time now. The only respectable outlet for bandsmen to debate with one another and register points of interest, the 4BR letters column, ended some years ago. A pity, because it was the most lively part of the website and I don't know why it ceased. The editor seems to spend a lot of time nowadays jetting around the world to various international contests, so maybe he doesn't have the time to edit any more? The British Bandsman stopped publishing letters years ago too, and Brass Band World magazine never had a letters page in the first place. Elsewhere, nobody seems to be making CDs any more, so its difficult to hear new music. I honestly can't remember the last time I bought a new band CD. And of course, any chance of hearing bands on the radio is next to zero. What a contrast that all is to forty years ago.
It's ironic that just as this decay is setting in, Brass Bands England is making significant headway to becoming an effective voice for its members!
You mean to create a Facebook group with the TMP branding? Not sure that would make great sense - it might have say 12 years ago, when TMP was still in the greater banding consciousness to some extent and Facebook hadn't been about for ever. Indeed, I have a vague feeling somebody did do that about then, and it wasn't a success?
But there are specific banding Facebook groups now, some of which see a lot of traffic - but most of which are as moribund as this place. The "Bored Bandsmen" FB group was set up at the start of lockdown, and quickly gathered thousands of members. It's the most active brass banding FB group that I'm aware of, but it shows the same pattern as all online gatherings of bandspeople seem to - rapid growth phase (novelty, new discovery, perhaps associated with particular events) followed by a much slower decline phase (boredom, saturation, nostalgia for the early days, unwillingness to leave a formerly exciting place that's no longer exciting). It's down to a mere 10 or so new threads a day now, from an early-pandemic high of dozens. Remember when TMP had that much posting? Ah, nostalgia.
What is TMP at this point in time? It was a vibrant online (and sometimes offline) community that flourished for about 3 or 4 years in the early 2000s, a format that felt quite ground-breaking at the time. It was also the tail of that community as it petered out over the next half-decade, in the face of trolls and falling participation, a time when its reputation outstripped its abilities. In the decade since then it's been occasional posts, only resurrected by the occasional fly-away controversy of a thread (for example, I regularly point people at the 2016 Brexit thread to help them understand how things politically went as they disastrously did), a situation that's done little to make the place feel welcoming. Right now, its primary value is as an archive of discussions, some of which from back then are still worth referring to. If it stays up long enough, I don't doubt someone will get a PhD thesis out of the dynamics of it: "Blowing Their Own Horns: TheMouthPiece.com - An llustration of Shifting Social and Class Paradigms in the Early Internet Age"
It's a place some of us owe a lot to - a wife, in my case, as well as good banding friends and an online moniker that spread from here to other social media platforms and out into real life. I'll always keep an eye on it, but it's really very difficult to feel that it's anything other than played out unless online circumstances change. Which is a long way round to say that I don't see that its branding has enough cachet for it be successful in establishing a FB group using it. But never say never.
Vague memory stirs that I spoke about it at the time. Quick Google doesn't turn up that particular thread, but it does produce this time machine:John Burns had a go at heading to FB....it was very much a target for missiles, due to the different mode of delivery....it was another reason why he left the whole thing behind, I believe.
Hello Jim, I asked that question a while ago as I miss the letters (and the editorial column) too. Mr Fox told me, and I quote directly from his reply, that he "just cannot be bothered to edit an echo chamber of increasingly crass libelness (sic) nonsense from people with worthless opinions".the 4BR letters column, ended some years ago. A pity, because it was the most lively part of the website and I don't know why it ceased.