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Topic: An informal survey about our site

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
Status: Offline
Posts: 2960
Date: Oct 14, 2010
An informal survey about our site

All,
I asked for and received some interesting feedback from a couple of members.
This collection of responses goes back several months.
While I am sure these folks wish to remain anonymous, ( sure ... because I asked),
I think it might be helpful if I share some characteristics or simple demographics so you can examine the bias of their comments.
One ... these are NOT all new members. Indeed some feedback might be considered as  from the leadership of the Forums
Two ... they do not contribute by posting on a regular basis. Some once did.
Three ... they communicated to me without holding back.  I have paraphrased their actual comments ... editing some vernacular that others may find vulgar or impolite ... and restructuring some paragraph structure so that the feedback was clear and understandable.
Four ... there were several people who did not respond and have withdrawn their posts from the forum or who have not contributed a post for at least a year.  Why they have withdrawn or no longer post or chose not to respond to my request for feedback is just speculation.
Five ... it is important to remember that the following comments must be understood that you as the reader do not have the full context behind the quote which would definitely influence the over all meaning ... but let me assure you these comments are definitely about the Tolkien Forums and what has occurred here.

A few examples;

"I'm really thinking about canceling my membership to the forums.  Granted, I never like some people, ... people that are insulting and "tampering" with the works of Tolkien and then saying  "oh no we're just explaining" ...  I can't deal with."

"I have been on the board several times, but there is not much going on that interests me."

"I've dropped into the forum a few times just to see whether anything interesting has been posted. I'm not really into the quote or riddles games.
I'm NOT going to introduce ... any ... topics that I find  ... I don't enjoy the argumentative/adversarial tone of things that seems to be the standard mode of interaction for many people ... Thought this one might be different. Live and learn."


"To bad about activity though, if only there was a way to get a few more members. I can advertise on a forum or two that I frequent, but besides that ..."

"I certainly hope I have not been demeaning or patronizing in any discussion ... I was involved in a ... disagreement in a thread here ...  and in such a discussion I try to be even more mindful not to offend. But I only hope I get it right, as on the web even an attempt at humor might be taken differently by different people, for general example. In any case I do think how one posts is important. ... After posting or ghosting for so long now (and at various sites), lately I am seemingly often on the verge of either stopping altogether, to give more time to other things, or at least drastically reducing participation."


"Tis a shame that not more people could have enjoyed the site, but it seems to be ticking over at the moment ..."


Certainly there is a diversity of opinion regarding the Forums.
But I believe I am correct in stating that all the comments above come from folks who love this Forum and are fans of Tolkien's works. Again, I am sure because they said so either in their feedback or private message.
There is no doubt this feedback is sincere and, in some cases, passionate.

And so what is to be done with such feedback?
One ... Let it be shared in the appropriate threads and topics.
Two ... Let us examine this feedback as to its accuracy, veracity, and relevance.
Three ... Decide if the feedback is useful in total or part to the goals and operating principals of The Tolkien Forums.
Four ... Develop a plan with specific intent and operations that can benefit The Tolkien Forums.
Five ... remain open to constructive feedback and maintain a communication structure that encourages activity and interaction among our members, new and old, and generates interest from other Tolkien fans.


My own response is to focus some energy to create new or renew topics that facilitate discussion and response. Also to monitor my own responses to maintain a tactful and affirming tone whether I agree with a posting or not.  Making sure that I am affirming of the messenger and respectful of their message.
Lastly to be willing to maintain a warm welcoming spirit to those who explore our site.

Please make a point of responding to this thread ...
Thank you.
With affection,
Bear


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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Posts: 1109
Date: Oct 15, 2010
Interesting research Bear.

I guess overall the opinion is low activity, which is of course the case. I remember not too long ago an attempt was made to start a sort of 'Role-Play club' of a few members, that way role-players out there would always have at least one RP in progress.

As for actual lore topics - I have noticed this on other forums. After the release of the third LotR film there were thousands of people online joining forums and wanting to know about various aspects of Middle-earth. They seem to have long dried up. Many forums, in my experience, are just surviving with trivia, games, riddles etc, and lore topics are infrequent. It seems that now, several years on from the films, the only people primarily participating in forums are dedicated fans, which have either known alot about Middle-earth since well before the films, or have learned most of what there is to know since them.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
Status: Offline
Posts: 2161
Date: Oct 16, 2010
Perhaps we could do an organised 'system' with regards to lore discussions. Maybe a few of us could take it in turns to post a lore topic, say on a twice-weekly basis? That way at least there will always be one lore topic as well as the other stuff. I'm thinking on a bread-and-butter level, rather than anything hugely analytical.

Any good?

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Utúlie'n  aurë!  Aiya  Eldalië  ar  Atanatári,  utúlie'n  aurë! 
Auta  i  lómë! 
Aurë entuluva!

Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Posts: 2960
Date: Oct 16, 2010
Glorfindel,
Sounds like a good idea to me ...
Do you think we can get enough participants?
Bear


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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Posts: 2372
Date: Oct 17, 2010
Insightful topic. Low activity is never a good thing on a forum.

I could participate in the creation of lore discussions if there are one or two others as well.

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Hobbit youth - Rank 2
Status: Offline
Posts: 38
Date: Oct 17, 2010
Interesting topic Bear! Yes there are many forums that have fallen by the wayside. That is just life on the net. In the end LOTR is just a work of fiction... one of many... and the only real importance it has is that people are brought together because of their interest and fascination with that work. It is the relationships between people which are important, not the information which is passed. When a forum fulfills the function of enabling meaningful communication leading towards real understanding relationships between people, then that is a high and puissant accomplishment. But all internet communications suffer from the lack of face-to-face. You cannot see a person's facial expression nor hear the tone of their voice when you read their posting. It is all too easy to read too much (or too little) into a hastily written post and see a snide backhand or perhaps even a romantic overture where neither was intended. In the end, internet forums exist only to enable relationships. If those relationships mature into friendships they will eventually migrate away from the forum... but that does not make the forum meaningless. It just means that the forum is a place where budding relationships can be tried out without severe consequences.

I belong to several forums having to do with widely varying topics. The most successful ones are those in which individuals are required to register under their own real names. Pseudonyms are all in good fun, but it can enable a certain laissez-faire with regard to meanness. If you have to stand by your words when you meet people face-to-face you become much more careful in your writing.

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Gondor civilians - Rank 1
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Posts: 18
Date: Oct 17, 2010
Hello dear friends (if I can call you so),

I did notice that the games are one of the only things keeping the forum "alive" (exept of the occasional question about lore and such things but it happens really rarely.).
I was sick recently, so I wasn't very active on the forums.
I would love to help keeping the forum alive. (even if my knowledge isn't as great as yours. And I did read everything in Czech, so I'm not very familiar with the english names.)

Atrix
*very occupied with his programming mission. quest. thing.*


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Tom Bombadil
Status: Offline
Posts: 1886
Date: Oct 17, 2010
" I have been on the board several times, but there is not much going on that interests me."


I guess that must have mine. I have been sick and been having some bad family problems at home that have claimmed my attent.

One of my problems is, that I don't have the time andread some 15-20 rsponses in a thread. It takes too long most of the time. I don't have 30 minutes to just play catch up. Also most of the topics have been getting too scientific. Too involved and some of the games I played nover received input.

Also, the two young people who wanted me to teach them Sindarin, suddenly quit send me back their homework, which left me disilutioned and down.

But I am open to suggestions. Has anybody contacted Eru? I send a couple of PMs to him when I found some inappropriate posts, to which he replied. I been going through some issues at home.

I was trying several times to get an RPG going, but there was no interest.


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Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom, Jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!

Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
Status: Offline
Posts: 2372
Date: Oct 18, 2010
Glad to see you're back Arwen.

I remember a few people interested in the RP thing but not enough. Need about five or so to make it work. Perhaps more will be interested in the lore idea.

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 395
Date: Oct 19, 2010
I, too, have been distant from my forum family for some time now. Partially because, between school, sports and work, I have so very little time. The other reason is, I began to realize I was some how morphing from the image of a child in awe of all the knowledge and friendship available to me here to a momma protecting her cub. It is not my cub to protect. I've read aggresive passion in some of my own posts and would not have that said about me. Passion I am willing to claim but not by way of aggressiveness. So my appologies, immediately to anyone I may have offended or been snide to. I cherish this forum and everyone that is a member. Now, business has slowed a bit and I have more than one day off a week so that sports four nights a week isn't such a strain. I hope to become the awed, constructive member I want to be that is active and supportive of all the members here, new and old.

I will pledge time and effort if mine is needed to press things along.

A very sincere, weary river spirit!

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Posts: 2960
Date: Oct 19, 2010
All,
So let us go back to using this data.
A suggestion by Glorfindel 1235 strikes me as a positive step.

"Perhaps we could do an organized  'system'  with regards to lore discussions. Maybe a few of us could take it in turns to post a lore topic, say on a twice-weekly basis? That way at least there will always be one lore topic as well as the other stuff. I'm thinking on a bread-and-butter level, rather than anything hugely analytical ... Any good?" (Tolkien Forums > Site suggestions / Ideas / help  > An informal survey about our site > Glorfindel 1235 > October 16th, 2010)

These are the folks I think supported that suggestion and would willingly participate;

Bear, mouth of sauron, atrix, lomoduin, and Glorfindel 1235.
May I suggest we start with one topic a week? That will give us 5 new threads every week.  And we might encourage other members to join this group increasing that number.
Let us see how it works and then look again in a month analyzing its effect and then, if we need to make changes, modify the current plan or find new solutions..
I will post a new thread today ... I challenge others to do the same.


On the informal survey ...
In presenting the data I strove for anonymity.
With some choosing to comment and break that stance I say
"Thank you!"
Your love for the Forums was exactly what the survey was about.
There was no thought or criticism implied or even considered. 
I will continue to attempt anonymity ~ your self disclosure will be the only break in that purpose.


I have belatedly sent a copy of the original post to The One ... along with my apologies for not clearing the survey and publication of results without consulting The One first.

Please continue giving feedback to our informal survey.
Please encourage others to do so also.


Abraham Lincoln spoke in his First Inaugural Address some appropriate remarks; (with apologies to President Lincoln) that may apply
"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every ... field, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus ... , when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature." (Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, Washington, D.C.,  March 4th, 1861)

Let us make it work!







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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Posts: 2161
Date: Oct 20, 2010
I'll think up a lore topic within the next couple of days. I have made a humble reply to the current new topic, however.

-- Edited by Glorfindel1235 on Wednesday 20th of October 2010 12:25:21 AM

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Utúlie'n  aurë!  Aiya  Eldalië  ar  Atanatári,  utúlie'n  aurë! 
Auta  i  lómë! 
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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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Posts: 395
Date: Oct 20, 2010
Hey all. I'm gonna try to get a topic on asap. I'm off this weekend so probably Sunday it will be done. I'm also starting a small remodeling project at my house so I'll be a little preoccupied with that for the next week or so. Looking forward to renewed activity, on my part and everyone elses.

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The winds of heaven do not blow gentle.
Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 265
Date: Oct 21, 2010
Hi all! I too am interested in keeping this forum alive and well. I know that I have been absent since early Spring. Between the pirate gigs and staying with my oldest sister, her husband had open heart surgery, plus she does not have internet access, my computer time has been limited to say the least.

I would like to see lore topics introduced and discussed. So onwards and upwards.

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Posts: 2960
Date: Oct 21, 2010
All,
I notice one of our members generating posts and interest without creating new threads.
Galin has gone back and brought old threads back with new insights and new postings.
I think that is also a GREAT idea.
His commentary about Galadriel is very interesting ... especially comments he brought to the surface made by Tolkien and son themselves.

It makes sense to go back and look through the old threads and bring them back to life ... isn't that what lore is all about?

Thank you Galin for your insight and leadership.

Bear


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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
Status: Offline
Posts: 2960
Date: Oct 30, 2010
All,
Ok!
Our first week of new stuff ends tonight.
How has everybody done on the new threads?
How about Galins new ones and his revisiting the old?
Looks good so far.
What do you all think?
Bear


-- Edited by Bear on Saturday 30th of October 2010 07:10:01 PM

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Posts: 1109
Date: Oct 31, 2010
Certainly seems to be more activity this week that is for sure. I had an idea for a lore topic but I can't for the life of me remember it.

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Posts: 1109
Date: Nov 23, 2010
Activity gone down a bit since my last post. Perhaps a new trivia thread could be started? Been a while since we had one of those.

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
Status: Offline
Posts: 2960
Date: Nov 23, 2010
Mr. Baggins,
Give it a shot!


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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Posts: 1109
Date: Nov 25, 2010
Ok I'll send a message but what should the topic be for the trivia? We've had a fair few in the past. We need something fairly broad as well.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Posts: 2161
Date: Nov 28, 2010
Maybe a trivia based on 'The Hobbit' book, rather than a specific place or people?

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Utúlie'n  aurë!  Aiya  Eldalië  ar  Atanatári,  utúlie'n  aurë! 
Auta  i  lómë! 
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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 395
Date: Nov 30, 2010
Been working on my house and remodeling a bit. Then went out of town for a week, though I would have rather not. So, I'm gonna' try to pick back up on where we are on the forums and at least start contributing. I'm trying to get my muse back and pick up my books were I left them off so I don't know how much time I will have. I kinda have to be obsessed with my writings to actually get into the character and locals. I can't wait to start contributing again and have missed everyone!! Hugs to all!! Happy Holidays (if it applies)...

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
Status: Offline
Posts: 2372
Date: Dec 3, 2010
Hope you have a good holiday Lomoduin and we see you back soon.

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Tom Bombadil
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Posts: 1886
Date: Dec 3, 2010
I am game Bear, I have a different approach maybe.
How about "Holidays" in middle-earth since we are in the "holiday" season.
For me it's the second night of Hanukkah. We could include foods in that as well.
Anybody?

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Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom, Jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!

Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Posts: 2960
Date: Dec 3, 2010
Lady Arwen and Glorfindel,
Did the hobbits celebrate "Yuletide"?
And if so ...how?
A curious,
Bear
(maybe this should be a seperate thread?)


-- Edited by Bear on Friday 3rd of December 2010 04:52:50 AM

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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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Posts: 265
Date: Dec 4, 2010

They might have had a Mid-winter celebration of sorts, I suppose. They did seem to use any kind of excuse to throw a party and what better time then the "bleak mid-winter"? Don't know about greenery and such, but maybe it wouldn't be to far fetched. No Christmas carols though.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
Status: Offline
Posts: 2161
Date: Dec 4, 2010
From Wikipedia:

Yule
Although Yule is celebrated in the midwinter in the Shire, it is in some ways different from the more recently historical Yule practices in England.

The Shire's fictional Yule consisted of two days called 1 Yule and 2 Yule. The last day of the year was 1 Yule and the first day of the next year was 2 Yule. The Yuledays fell between the months called Foreyule and Afteryule and were not part of either month. 1 Yule was always on a Friday and 2 Yule fell on Saturday.

Yule was one of the two chief holidays in the Shirethe other being the midsummer holiday called Lithe. The Yule celebrations lasted six days in total, including two days before and two days after the Yuledays. This six-day period was called Yuletide. It was a time of feasting and merriment.

After the War of the Ring, it was feared that the Yule feasts would be rather meager due to shortages of provisions in the Shire. But large stores of food and beer were found in the tunnels of Michel Delving and in the quarries at Scary and in other places, so the Yuledays were a time of great cheer.

The Elves did not have a celebration at midwinter. It appears that the Rohirrim maintained the custom of celebrating the midwinter holiday as their ancestors the Northmen had done. The name of the holiday in Rohan is not known but it was most likely similar to "Yule."


Interesting. smile.gif

-- Edited by Glorfindel1235 on Saturday 4th of December 2010 11:50:19 PM

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Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
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Posts: 121
Date: Jun 7, 2011
I just found this topic and read through it with interest. Actually I think I know the problem very well, and in fact it's ever present here as well.

I was a member of the now defunct tolkienforum.co.uk, a forum hosted by HarperCollins, which was opened in 2007 when they first published 'The Children of Hurin'. I was a member since May 2008, and already the forum had seen an impressive amount of activity in the year before my arrival, which was slowing down by the time I started posting there. It is the same everywhere, because a forum will likely create lots of discussion in its early phase, when knowledgeable people meet with less knowledgeable ones, and there is a flow of information. Likely as not, the experts in the field will stay on the forum, while the others will move on once they have found out what they wanted to know. On the tolkienforum.co.uk, by early 2011, there were less than 10 people still coming online and talking there, and of course the lore was already shared and we kept it as a meeting place of convenience, but Tolkien-based discussion had been reduced to a minimum. (Probably this is why it was closed down.)

Here I see there are more people actively posting and contributing, and the discussions revolve around Tolkien. But as Arwen pointed out, at a certain moment in time, lore discussions will become scientific, or will die down because there is only so much to say of anything.

Personally I am trying to help in any way I can, and this means participating in the games and trivia, or making up lore topics, or indeed bringing back to life old ones (as I did several times already).

I was even thinking about opening up some discussions about Tolkien's lesser known works (I am just reading through them now), because I see these have received very little attention here. Maybe they could spark some discussion, seeing that they are easy to read and comment.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Posts: 2372
Date: Jun 7, 2011
John Wain wrote:
I just found this topic and read through it with interest. Actually I think I know the problem very well, and in fact it's ever present here as well.

I was a member of the now defunct tolkienforum.co.uk, a forum hosted by HarperCollins, which was opened in 2007 when they first published 'The Children of Hurin'. I was a member since May 2008, and already the forum had seen an impressive amount of activity in the year before my arrival, which was slowing down by the time I started posting there. It is the same everywhere, because a forum will likely create lots of discussion in its early phase, when knowledgeable people meet with less knowledgeable ones, and there is a flow of information. Likely as not, the experts in the field will stay on the forum, while the others will move on once they have found out what they wanted to know. On the tolkienforum.co.uk, by early 2011, there were less than 10 people still coming online and talking there, and of course the lore was already shared and we kept it as a meeting place of convenience, but Tolkien-based discussion had been reduced to a minimum. (Probably this is why it was closed down.)

Here I see there are more people actively posting and contributing, and the discussions revolve around Tolkien. But as Arwen pointed out, at a certain moment in time, lore discussions will become scientific, or will die down because there is only so much to say of anything.

Personally I am trying to help in any way I can, and this means participating in the games and trivia, or making up lore topics, or indeed bringing back to life old ones (as I did several times already).

I was even thinking about opening up some discussions about Tolkien's lesser known works (I am just reading through them now), because I see these have received very little attention here. Maybe they could spark some discussion, seeing that they are easy to read and comment.

My experience on Tolkien sites is much the same John. Even the few bigger ones that began with the films have long since diminished.
My guess would be that after a major release like LotR alot of 'newbies' were clamouring to know more about Middle-earth and to feel part of the 'goings on'. Some of them formed lasting connections with the fantasy and continued posting while most others were no longer interested. This, coupled with the fact that there is only so much to talk about, left most forums diminishing. I guess only more major film releases will boost activity once again.



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Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
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Posts: 121
Date: Jun 8, 2011
mouth of sauron wrote:
I guess only more major film releases will boost activity once again.

 

Well, we're waiting for the release of the 'Hobbit' films, and certainly as was the case with the release of the LotR films and afterwards with the publishing of CoH, I am sure people will flock together again to share impressions. There are also several books that await publication, anniversary editions of the 'Hobbit' and a new 'Art of the Hobbit' (LINK), so I daresay action will be coming our way if we want it or not. However this will certainly bring along many newcomers to Tolkien, who will probably only want to find out some basic stuff and will not stay around for the more in-depth discussions. Nevertheless, I welcome such people as they are as good as any in boosting discussion.

But until that happens, for my part I will continue visiting regularly and posting whenever I feel I can make some sort of contribution.



-- Edited by John Wain on Friday 26th of May 2017 02:21:27 PM

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Posts: 383
Date: Oct 10, 2013
Now I found this topic.
Very insightful, eye-opening, and plain sad - although it provides 'The Historic Point of View' of this forum.
Bear, you did an amazing job - I understand there has been a period of declining activity, and you tried to find the reasons...

Meanness was brought up. So far I didn't notice much of it. The meanest thing happening here is no response.

But a couple of things that made me wonder are these:
(1) the notion that people communicate on the forums with the purpose to establish real life connections. It never occurred to me that it might anyhow apply to this forum. Being human, I sometimes do get intensely curious about the people I am posting with - mainly because I have never seen a Tolkien 'fan' (sorry I hate that word) in my whole life and in all probability never will... but I suppress that curiosity as totally irrelevant; there is real life for real life connections. Still the thought that people like you exist (even if not within reach but more like aliens somewhere in outer space) is pleasant and encouraging.

(2) I don't feel like agreeing with this:
John Wain: "...at a certain moment in time, lore discussions will become scientific..."
Arwen Legolas: "Also most of the topics have been getting too scientific. Too involved..."
What does 'scientific' in this context mean? To me, only the LOTR and The Hobbit are works of fiction; The Silmarillion isn't really fiction but a condensed and abbreviated (also edited for cohesiveness and often not representing the latest views) description of events; while UT and HoMe are basically scientific works. So, is comparison of various versions 'too scientific/involved'? What about bringing up Christopher Tolkien's comments?.. Is a little Basic program or playing with a few numbers (numbers ought to make people numb I guess) too scientific - meaning discouraging participation? Or maybe the currently active members don't feel the same way? Just wondering.

(3) John Wain: "...or [lore topics] will die down because there is only so much to say of anything."
Every time I read literally anything I find something new and worthy of discussion. Maybe questions like 'what' or 'who' could be exhausted after some time, but then there are 'why' and 'how' and my feeling is that there is no limit to those. Not to mention 'what if'! And still there are topics that look quite obvious but are not getting discussed in detail for whatever obscure reason (like my favorite oath of Feanor and its consequences. And there are more. Why did Turgon take part in Nirnaeth? Why did Maeglin join him? Or the topic that Jaidoprism7 planned to open - hope this will happen soon).
Here I would like to mention one thing. I am not really familiar with forums including Tolkien-related ones. But from time to time I discover yet another such forum, and at least twice I saw discussions with points made nearly identical to what I was posting here. I felt truly idiotic - if anybody notices this happen please point it out because reinventing the wheel is no fun.

Coming back to Bear's survey and the bleak picture it produced, I think that either the measures that were taken worked, or else new and active people have joined, but at least the site is still alive. I got really nervous however to see the feedback from some people with whom I posted at times indicating the intentions to dump all this business - even though the survey is 3 years old.

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Tom Bombadil
Status: Offline
Posts: 1886
Date: Nov 22, 2013
I think we have a nice group of People who are committed to the Forums. Although I am working now a few hours a week ( things are always slow during the holiday season), I try to look into the forum.

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Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom, Jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!

Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
Status: Offline
Posts: 121
Date: May 26th
Lorelline wrote:

(1) the notion that people communicate on the forums with the purpose to establish real life connections. It never occurred to me that it might anyhow apply to this forum.


I made a real friend on a similar Tolkien forum back in 2009 (hailing from Austria). We managed to meet once in Romania (my country), and last year in Vienna. I was just on the point of meeting him and a third friend (he's now joined this forum under the name Ereinion) in Germany, but for lack of money that idea had to be scrapped. I have not yet given up hope of meeting other members from that previous forum, and I'd love it if I could rebuild this community here and make new friends (unfortunately when I joined in 2011, I did not really manage to hold on to this forum).

Lorelline wrote:

(3) John Wain: "...or [lore topics] will die down because there is only so much to say of anything."
Every time I read literally anything I find something new and worthy of discussion. Maybe questions like 'what' or 'who' could be exhausted after some time, but then there are 'why' and 'how' and my feeling is that there is no limit to those. Not to mention 'what if'! And still there are topics that look quite obvious but are not getting discussed in detail for whatever obscure reason (like my favorite oath of Feanor and its consequences. And there are more. Why did Turgon take part in Nirnaeth? Why did Maeglin join him?


If only it could be so. Experience has taught me that when the same 10-15 people come together, they lose some steam and some interest in the subjects. They might have opinions, but it will take new members asking new (or old, but rephrased) questions to elicit a renewed response.

As a general notice, I appreciate what Bear was trying to do, but after all it all looks too scientific, too calculated. Reality has shown that there is little that can be done by this approach. In my opinion everything is gut-feeling. Just go with the flow, so to speak. A small community can survive here even if only in the Miscellaneous subforums. But if this does not happen, it may be simply because for random talks we don't need a forum, we can use a Facebook group, etc. (I do prefer a forum, and that's why I'm here again.)



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Previous poll results (What is the 'Mightiest' weapon in Tolkiens myth?): Gurthang, blade of Turin - 28%, Narsil, sword of Elendil - 12%, Anduril, Sword of King Ellesar Aragorn - 23%, The Mace of the Witch King - 5%, Grond the dread hammer/hammer of the underworld -19%, Black axe of Gothmog - 4, Glamdring of Gandalf - 7%, Orcrist of Thorin - 1% A NEW POLL HAS BEEN ADDED TO TOLKIEN FORUMS Tolkien Forums - The Mythical world of J.R.R Tolkien