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 words...how 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.

Kevin

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And now I started a Buster Keaton Group as of yesterday, so moderating three groups should keep me busy!
Hi, well, I guess we do have the same problems as everywhere else. As a big Garbo admirer (I am very active at garboforever.com) I was glad to enter the Garbo group here. But after my first comments I didn't hear anything, not even a welcome by the moderator or other members- and there are a lot.

That is not the kind of forum I expect, I am not used of such an anonyme behaviour at all and I don't feel like being active anymore after such experiences. I have been waiting for more than 1 week- then I left the group again.

So I am just sharing precious pics from my collection I scanned and those from the www I want to present to others. I get a lot of attention and meet nice fans who know to appreciate what I am doing. That's something at least I am fond of.

I just can suggest to all group moderators to handle every new member with care, actually it should be needless to say that. But speaking from my own experiences here on the Garbo group, I have to tell you that unfortunately.

If a moderator doesn't have the right manners to welcome a new member, well, sorry to say that, his/her group is probably none to recommend.

Anyway, thank you very much, Kevin, for running this great forum here.

Regards- Werner aka classic passion
We do read them Birdy but like many people around her life gets in the way. I myself have been sick since the end of September and have been too exhausted to be as involved as I would like. Thus I have had to leave things in the hands of Fan Classic Movies and Abdullah to carry on. I do wish we could generate more active participation other than posting pictures to GAOH. We even have a chat room that nobody ever checks, or if they do, they never use. I have no idea why. Other Ning groups the chat room is one of the most active parts of the site. Maybe movie fans are a little snobbish or something. I don't know and getting to a point where I'm not sure I care anymore. Between this site and the original GAOH message board Derek and I have been at this since 1994.

Administrators can only do so much. We could start topics every single day but why if nobody participates? I hate to bug members by sending out mass email to everyone. So, I try and limit those to special topics. I meant to send one out on the 7th of March because that was the 3 year anniversary for the social network. My next one will probably be when we reach a 1000 members, which will likely be around September.

Kevin
Werner - Unfortunately we do have a problem that groups have been started that the group owner has not been pro-active in keeping the group going. I always find it interesting to watch what groups are successful here and usually the ones I think will bomb become the most active. I have no clue as to why. I do appreciate your comments and I would hope that the Garbo group owner takes what you have said to heart (an any other group owners for that matter).

Kevin
Thank you very much, dear birdy (I feel ashamed that I didn't answer your pm yet, please, don't be mad about me, I will soon try to explain why) for your reply which expresses exactly what' s going on.

Kevin, I do thank you for your satisfying statement. I am sorry to hear about your health problems and I keep my fingers crossed that you will recover totally soon and feel much better again, would be nice if this had happened already.

And- last but not least- thank you as well, Fan Classic Movies. But- and I am sorry to say that- I CAN'T agree with you at all. We all HAVE to expect to get a warm welcome after joining a group by the admin because he/she got the responsibility to do so. If THAT is demanded too much after your opinion, well, then he/she shouldn't open a group at all.

If new members don't hear anything after one week of joining, there is no excuse because it only proves that the admin doesn't have any idea about his/her tasks.

Have fun with the stars!

Regards- Werner
Werner,
This is essentially a community of friends. A little understanding goes a long way in any community.
When a new member joins my group, I don't receive any notification from the site. I therefore hope that new members will post a little message introducing themselves, something like, "Hi, I'm glad I found this group" or something like that, but only a handful of the 116 members in my group has ever posted anything there, so I usually don't even know when someone new has joined my group. If they don't want to make their presence known, fine. They're welcome to just watch the group, or just have the icon on their page.
I'm sorry you felt offended when you weren't welcomed by the Garbo group. But I must say, Werner, I was myself offended at your suggestion that if I don't welcome each member individually I "shouldn't open a group at all" and that "there is no excuse" if new members don't hear from me personally within a week of joining the group and that I "have no idea" about my tasks. Your comments seemed generally directed, not just to the creator of the Garbo group. Personally, I try to participate in every conversation that goes on in my group, and I regularly post comments encouraging members to participate. Perhaps you could tone your judgment down just a little.
Rosie
Hi, well, I am very sorry for the confusion.

Of course, I didn't mean the general admins, I meant the creators of the groups. That was a misunderstanding.

And Rosie, I want to apologize- I was talking about the Garbo Group of course. I can't speak in general- that would be naive because I don't have any experiences except of that one I had. And so I wanted to point out that all new members SHOULD BE get a welcome from the group creators.

Also I still think that is not demanded too much. I cannot imagine that such a member who created a group doesn't get online once a week at least seeing who became a new member.

And, needless to say, it wouldn't be bad at all either if existing members say hello as well and make a new member comfortable. If you talk about a community of friends, dear, well, then they should act like friends. Silence is not an expression of friendship.

Ok, sorry if I sounded rude, I didn't want to offend others at all. And Rosie, I am not an unfriendly person at all, on the contrary, I appreciate politeness and generosity. That's why I always share all my precious memorabilia with others.

So I want to close this discussion. Maybe I will try it again to join another group hoping I won't get disappointed then. But after my very bad experiences I had in that Garbo group, maybe you can understand my feelings.

Have a great weekend and get my best regards from Germany!

Werner
I agree that silence is not usually an expression of friendship (although it can be). But it's not necessarily a sign of unfriendliness, either. I can think of many reasons why someone might not be able to get online for an entire week or longer: vacation, illness, a hectic work project, a broken computer... We all have complicated lives. I hope you won't jump to the conclusion that you're unwelcome if a group is slow to acknowledge you.
Best regards from Florida, and I wish you luck with the next group you try!

Rosie
Thank you, Rosie, I appreciate and do hope that it was just one bad experience.

Greetings to Florida (we have been there several times and we do love Key West among other nice areas).

Cordial regards- Werner
I want to second Rosie's observations here. Personally, I have had computer and personal health problems that have interfered with my ability to be a vigilant monitor of my Frank Capra group. Whether or not I can be there regularly, participants have carried the Capra torch well, despite my absence from the scene.

After reading Werner and Rosie's exchange, I thought about whether it was appropriate to take the group down. I decided against it. Mr. Capra deserves to be represented in our forum array, whatever my shortcomings as a moderator.
By all means, keep the Capra group up! As one of its members, I should be posting there more often and helping to "carry the torch."
I wish both you and your computer better health!
Thanks for your good wishes.

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