The site will close at the end of March.
A big decision but after twenty years I've decided to close TV Forum.
There hasn’t been one single reason for doing this, but a growing feeling that something I've always treated as a fun hobby simply no longer has the enjoyment that it once did. The reality is the site could probably tick over for years to come but it's become somewhat tiring, and tiresome dealing with a minority - both on and off the board. Working on the refresh last year masked my feelings a little as I was determined, having spent a long time on it, that it should be released and used. But once that settled down it did make me think again about whether I wanted to continue...and also whether I could still commit to it like it deserves.
I don't often subscribe to the 'things were better in the old days' mantra but I do think there's been an increase in the sense of entitlement some people have in feeling they can post whatever they like. And throwing some serious temper tantrums for merely being warned. Some of the PMs and emails I've received...! Whether it's someone insisting they have divine right to talk about rotas, complaining about how "woke" users on this site are, or arguing with me over whether they're a previously banned member or not, it's just got a point where I just don't want to spend my time on getting into these conversations anymore. The RTPs and occasionally diving into the 800+ page thread on Metropol didn't do much for my enthusiasm either!
Then there’s those who enjoy soapbox style rants, or politicising threads, not even trying to relate it to presentation. There's some real news junkies on here and for someone who doesn't have that much interest (beyond generally keeping up with what's going on in the world and obviously the OSP of news channels), it's been quite a slog to moderate sometimes.
It is a shame as there's many on here who write interesting posts, stay on topic and will have never seen a warning PM in their life! I'm confident that won't disappear, it just needs a new home.
Obviously for continuity reasons (pun intended) the most seamless outcome would be to just hand it all over to someone else. But there are a couple of reasons for not doing that...
The site runs bespoke software. I wouldn't want to stay on as a technical contact or convert it over. Plus it's much easier to create a forum of your own these days. Within hours you could own a domain name and have a one-click hosting solution to set up a forum from scratch. And for better or worse, I'd like "TV Forum" to be judged on this era. A new site won't have any prejudice because of the members who post here, or what they post. A fresh start will allow someone to have their rules and their members.
So short of any major presentation developments, the site will close at the end of this month.
It will then become a read-only archive. Thousands of members have spent many years posting here so I wouldn’t want all that to be lost. It will also allow any new sites to refer back and possibly continue some conversations as seamlessly as possible.
Anyone is free to promote alternative sites here.
In hindsight there's things I could have done better. Getting a handle on rota talk much earlier for one. I do think the change last September was a positive move, although appreciate not everyone will have felt the same. I could no doubt have been more transparent with reasons why threads and posts were removed over the years too.
I certainly don't want this to be all downbeat though. I've genuinely been really proud to run TV Forum. But a forum is nothing without posters so thank you to all of you who have contributed posts, topics, amazing mocks and answered requests over the years. Particularly those who have been around since the early days as your support and continued presence here helped shape much of the community. There have been well over a million posts, 130,000 kudos given to 1300 members, around 4000 mock designs and 16,000 Gallery votes. Not bad going.
I've taken some time recently to go back and read some of the topics over the years, and it's been great reminding myself how many people have come to TVF to talk about the big rebrands, media stories or news events. Literally a channel's rebrand
, after rebrand
after err rebrand
. A lot has happened! Reading Larry the Loafer's "what you like about this telly stuff" thread last week has unintentionally been quite poignant. In the next few days I'm going to add a link to order by the highest number of replies in the first 24 hours of a topic. This will highlight some of the biggest events we've talked about. Anyone guess the highest?
Other things off the top of my head... brilliant to have James Mobbs do a Q&A last year. Remember EventChat when we tried real time discussion? Worked ok until it broke the site on the launch day of NBH. The 'newsreaders all seem to be wearing black' thread will go down as a bizarre all time classic. Pip2's incredible 'TVF as a channel' mock for its birthday a few years ago was amazing. I'm sure there's many more and you'll have your own favourites.
A huge thank you to all the moderators - itsrobert and Isonstine in the early days and MrTomServo (remember the 4th mod vote?). To Bail since 2008 and incredibly for almost 16 years, Charlie Wells. I simply couldn't have run the place without all your help.
To all those in the industry who have lurked over the years, I hope we haven’t been too much of a frustrating read but have entertained and maybe occasionally encouraged the odd on-screen change or two. And to those who posted, the site was never designed specifically for insiders but your insight and contributions have been a privilege to read.
What began as a throwaway message board on TV Home in March 2001 became so much more than I could ever have imagined. Thank you.
And as a light entertainment star once said..."I hope your memory will be very kind to us".