The Golden Age of Hollywood

Do you like the Golden Age of Hollywood Social Network?

Over three years ago Derek McLellan started a message board group called The Golden Age of Hollywood on EZBoards but we had problems with the board losing files etc. I suggested that the board be moved to Invision Free, who I had already had excellent experience with running another message board. I gave Derek Admin rights to a board I had set up and he laid out the format and soon the official Golden Age of Hollywood Message Board was born.

Derek has always tried to find new ways to promote the Golden Age of Hollywood and he created a sister site called by the same name and also started a podcast.

The board grew from a handful to almost 700 members but we have struggled trying to get member involvement. Running a message board is not one of the easiest of tasks in the world and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Derek and I have struggled to keep the board alive.

About two months ago I learned of a service that allows you to create networks, similar to MySpace or Facebook, but exclusive to a common interest. That gave me the idea to create the social network you now enjoy.

We have been very fortunate to have almost 100 members join in just a couple of months but we do wish there was more interest and activity.

I'm not sure what the problem really is. Do members enjoy reading but never participating? Are the forum subjects and blogs of no interest at all? Is it just that you have not made contact with that special friend yet? Is there a feature or forum that you think is lacking?

In other can Derek and I make this a regular, daily, stop for you? What will it take to get you involved? Do you even want to be involved and if not, then why did you join?

A community cannot be made of ONE! It requires of necessity there be many involved to actually be a community. Now I am not complaining at all about the 100 members. I am complaining about the lack of participation by those who are members. Out of the 100 members we have we really only have about 15 members who actually participate.

Forgive me if it seems I am ranting because I do not mean to. I am just trying to find ways that will make the member base more involved in the network and thus an active community member. Remember that a community is only as strong as those who get involved. If I have presumed too much on your fandom for classic films then I ask your forgiveness.


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Do you know what the percentage of participation is on other networks? It seems to me that most people who join Internet forums don't have a lot of time for them, and only the most hardcore make it a daily stop. If it grows to 1000 members, it'll be such a busy place you'll have to make it your full-time job. But I understand your frustration with the current involvement.
I've been considering sending out a survey to the members of the Screwball Comedies group to ask why they joined the group. I started several discussions on that page which have had no response; apparently the members of the group don't check out the page. The discussions that get the most responses are the ones that appear on the main page (i.e., blog posts and forum discussions). I think most people start and stop there.
It's a great network and a very friendly group of people. Have you been talking it up on Brad Lang's Classic Movies forum? There are lots of knowledgeable people there who might come over.
Well, as you can see it's been a while since I posted this and things have improved a little. I suppose I too am guilty of checking the main page and not going to the subnetworks I have joined but I think that if a topic is started in a group it shows in the activity list.

I am a member of Brad Lang's but I have not used his board to attract members. However, I would not be opposed to one of members doing so! *hint hint* :)

Naturally, if anyone there asks where I've been lately, I'll tell them! :-) I still stop by sometimes.
I think the posts on the blogs which appear on the front page are most prominent though everything is there and can be accessed. I have to admit I've missed things and maybe not fuelled the subgroups I've created as much as I should have. Been busy doing other things but hope to do more.

As the creator of the messageboard in the first place getting loads of members didn't seem to be the answer either oddly enough. I think it is partly just time but it seems to me there is a natural "reticence" among classic film fans ; if the last few years is anything to go by. You hope that this is a bit more relaxed than the messageboard but I don't know people sometimes seem reluctant to share their opinions when it really shouldn't be like that. Everyone's opinion is valid please share them.
Here's my take, FWIW.

I enjoy this kind of forum, where people can jump in on a topic, and there's enough diversity of content that allows you to learn a great deal. Many times,
in other forums, there are cliques, and you almost immediately feel like an outsider until you have passed the initiation or have bowed from the ankles.

So far, all the people I've encountered here are super nice, truly interested in hearing the opinions of other, and just looking to have a bit of fun with people of like mind.

I like to check in several times a day and see if there's a new topic that piques my interest.

I think I'll take off my shoes and stay awhile......

I really enjoy this site and usually stop by several times a day to see what's happening. I'm really a "learner" and don't feel I have a lot to share. In addition, I suppose I'm perhaps a bit shy. BUT I love learning from everyone and will try to participate more!
this place is great, I have met alot of nice people on here, plus its nice to talk about something near and dear to my heart with other people
I totally agree and also come to the site a few times a day.

You articulate a number of important issues, but I'm going to try, by analogy -- indeed several, to get a sense of a big picture op-ed response.

You have done great work here. If a great community stays small, as Rosie notes, there are benefits to that. Big isn't always better.

Nonetheless, I feel the same way about my blog (GCB) as you do about GOAH: I want it to grow, "damn the torpedoes".

Anyway, my analogies:

No "Top Five Rock Albums Ever" list is complete without one particular record that Tom Dowd produced. Dowd is arguably one the best American recorder producer ever (the argument would be only that Phil Spector is better, but that apples and i oranges).

When the Dowd-produced "Layla and other Assorted Love Songs" (Derek and the Dominoes) was released in the very early Seventies, sales were dead flat for six months. Nobody noticed. Dowd, as it seems you do now, could not understand why everyone did see the magic that Dowd saw in "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs", we see in GAOH, and I learned to hear in "Layla ...". After a short time of frustrated confusion on Dowd's part as to why the record wasn't getting the attention it merited, the album exploded overnight into a world-wide legend practically overnight.

It took the recording industry, and Hollywood bye the bye, a century to build the promotions machines that get great art sold. As the cliche' goes, "Rome wasn't built in a day."

With time, patience, and continued frustrating self promotion laced with self doubt, the cream (in this case The Golden Age of Hollywood), will indeed rise to the top.

Trust yourself. Keep on keepin' on, and rest assured that Gold Coast Bluenote does everything it/me can to promote GAOH, despite my commitment to avoid commerce. I send everybody who will listen to GAOH, and no where else.

If someone wants a free graduate education in a range of Hollywood Golden Age topics, as far as I know, you got that education here better than anywhere I know.

You have built a better mousetrap here.

Okay, I'm out of analogies. I'll use an old Emmylou Harris salutation to stop "ranting":

Happy Trails!

Thanks Paco and everyone else for your encouraging words. Of course since I wrote the original post GAOH has kind of taken off andit's getting harder to keep track of all that goes on here but so be it! :)

Thanks to all the members who make this place great! Without you there would be no GAOH!

It is our distinct pleasure, sir. You are getting much deserved praise. You have paid your dues and you know and all the blues singers here know it.
Golden Age of Hollywood rocks!



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