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Is Social Media changing enthusiasts?

Martyn B

CF Legend
Or is it just the way of the world today?
Am I the only one that's sick of seeing people constantly trying to promote their dead end Facebook page? And constantly shoving YouTube vidoes in your face? Trying to get famous?

It feels like the days of just going to a theme park for a day out on rides are long gone, it's almost like it's now about "what video can I make that'll get the most views on YouTube?". Yet I still struggle to take a good amount of photos coz I'm just there to have a good time on some rides...

Theme Park Worldwide are probably partly at fault, though at the same time it's not really their fault. That Shaun has made something very popular, and it seems everyman and his dog want a slice of that pie. Let's face it all the hate for them is probably down to jealousy.

In prep for a an upcoming trip, I went to watch some park videos on my tv, as I'm off on a road trip in the USA, but it seems like generic park vidoes are a thing of the past, you now have to look at some ugly mug and listen to their unwanted opinion on everything, with the occasional ride shot every now and then.

Even just scrolling Facebook for a couple of mins will result in seeing a good handful of either sponsored adds from pages (there's a Pleasure Beach page that I see almost daily with different posts being sponsored) or yet another YouTube video of a ride we've seen plenty of times over.

I don't want to come across and winging old git, and I know there are probably worse things going on in the world, I just can't help but feel almost frustrated at where the enthusiast community seems to be at the moment. I can't be alone with this opinion surely?
 

Snoo

The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
Yes. 100% yes.

I feel as if Social Media has dumbed down the community as a whole (while expanding reach at the same time) as well as created pockets of group think, ala TPR in the mid 2000's, where people are afraid to expand their bubble and embrace other realities and opinions out there in the world. It's the same trend we've seen in politics as well, especially here in America.

We've always had those things you've mentioned in the community, small little "get rich quick" folks trying to mooch off the community. Hell, CF was once that before it truly established itself as one of the biggest communities. It's just that social media has brought that to the forefront and is much more visible then it was before. I don't think that will ever change IMO. However, as I've noted in other threads, I think CF needs to continue to evolve to compete with the likes of TPW or we'll go the way of the dinosaur.
 

DelPiero

Strata Poster
I'm with you mate, but it's just how the world is now. That said, you don't have to watch any of the ****e. I don't have the time or feel the need to watch someone's day condensed into an hour, I don't have an hour, I have 5, maybe 10 mins every now and then.
There's a few people I will occasionally watch, as they have enough experience to not be talking out of their arse and do their items well, mainly @Mushroom, because he usually will put a lot of ride shots in and just do a summary at the end, and @nadroJ, as nearly everything she comments is justified or interesting. Both of these guys keep their content reasonably small too (and I prefer reading C&C's content anyway).
You wouldn't catch me watching the little scrotes that get fed lines by the parks or do it for the money or perks though, which is 99% of the ****ers out there.

Facebook in general is disgusting anyway, it's nearly impossible to have a rational conversation on there without being jumped on by a ****, so I get my news and don't bother posting. I'd much rather converse on here. I feel old now too :rolleyes:
 

Martyn B

CF Legend
TPW is completely different to CF though, it's literally just a Facebook page full of little kids following them etc, with a adults thrown into the mix. Yeah they do meets, but it's nothing an actual enthusiast meet, surely?

And half of the people on Facebook aren't even proper enthusiasts, they just go to the same parks week in week out and don't even leave the County that they live in. That's what Facebook is bad for, coz everyone is on it. Only actual enthusiasts go looking for the forums and proper meet ups etc.
 

Snoo

The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
TPW is completely different to CF though, it's literally just a Facebook page full of little kids following them etc, with a adults thrown into the mix. Yeah they do meets, but it's nothing an actual enthusiast meet, surely?

And half of the people on Facebook aren't even proper enthusiasts, they just go to the same parks week in week out and don't even leave the County that they live in. That's what Facebook is bad for, coz everyone is on it. Only actual enthusiasts go looking for the forums and proper meet ups etc.

Yeah it is but remember to remove those CF colored glasses. We aren't the standard in the community any more. While those people who really want to go crazy in their enthusiasm join the forums, most don't care enough to create an account and want to stay in their bubble on FB. Hence as social media has risen, you've seen the decline of everyone, even CF and TPR (the two largest online forum communities by miles). Or, they join ACE, ECC, etc for those types of meet ups, especially once you grow past your 20's.

Unfortunately, that's also why TPW thrives is because of those 13 year olds with nothing to do but school and their local park. Hell, that WAS CF at one point, but as we evolved, so did our members.
 

zazobo

Hyper Poster
I massively prefer the grown up feeling of CF over anything on Facebook. I also cannot stand the poor grammar and total crap people say on FB groups.

'omgzzzzz Saw is sooooo scary I nrly shat myself LOL' etc...
 

Will

Strata Poster
I was only complaining about this the other day - when I first properly got into this and found CF, it was from searching for parks and watching videos of them to find what was there. In the mid-2000s, CF had an excellent collection (so too did TPR, but that's another story) - over time, this developed into Live videos, but these too had great footage of the park as well as members dicking around in a way that made it look like an appealing community to be part of. Wind the clock forward a bit, and if you search youtube for a park, you get 20 odd minutes of somebody talking about it, with next to no interesting or original ride footage - I've particularly noticed this in the last few weeks while trying to find out about Icon. In some cases, the footage isn't even filmed in a theme park - it's in a car or a bedroom and as a coaster enthusiast, rather than a coaster enthusiast enthusiast, so to speak - this isn't what I want to see. There are a VERY small handful of people who can do this in an entertaining and informative manner, but the bulk are either 'Look at meeeeeeee!' people or utter and complete goons. You also get the ones who are sucking up to parks, either for contractual reasons or to try and gain perks - these are easily identifiable and ****ing painful to watch.

There's also what I've termed 'coaster enthusiast Twitter' which primarily consists of people who've been to 4 UK parks (at most) and have nothing interesting to say. Most of them I've never heard of and they still think Thorpe is a pretty neat idea.

Long story short - yes, but this may be me going into full on grumpy old man mode.
 

gavin

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
Yep. Every c**t with a camera feels the need to start a "channel" (f**k off) now, all with the same s**ty content of the same s**ty parks.

It's easy enough to say, "don't watch them" - I don't, by the way - but if you're in any Facebook group, they're just a constant annoyance.

I partly wish I would have got in on that s**t years ago, given that I actually go to craploads of different parks, most of which very few people have been to, but other than taking some pictures (never taking much time out of my day to even do that) and writing up trip reports, it just never crossed my mind to visit parks with the sole purpose of filming myself spouting s**te the whole f**king time.

C**ts.
 
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Peet

Hyper Poster
Haha you lot are so old. What worries me is that I completely agree with everything you've all said...
 

Snoo

The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
I think "changing enthusiasts" was the wrong phrase, I think it's more it has created a new breed of enthusiast.
No I think the phrase is on point to some degree. We've seen older enthusiasts change to a certain point. I mean, look at CF as an example. While we've stayed with our Forum roots (which we always should), we've branched out and embraced the **** that is social media.
 

peep

CF Legend
I feel as if Social Media has dumbed down the community as a whole (while expanding reach at the same time) as well as created pockets of group think, ala TPR in the mid 2000's, where people are afraid to expand their bubble and embrace other realities and opinions out there in the world. It's the same trend we've seen in politics as well, especially here in America.

I think you've nailed the bit I don't like about this new social media breed. So much of it is just echo chambers of the same rubbish without any real opinions/discussions occurring.

I'm ever so slightly part of the problem in that I had a youtube channel (no spare time to really make it a thing) and blog. I don't really touch the Facebook side of things, those groups are so full of kids and people that can't even Google the simplest things that it's more frustrating than anything.


How does everyone feel about how parks are dealing with the new social media way of things?

Disneyland Paris are starting a bit of a divide as it was recently revealed some of the "high profile" peeps on social media sites have been provided annual passes by the park and essentially have been asked in return to not say anything bad against them. I personally think this creates a really annoying fakeness to the whole enthusiast community. The resort even unveiled their own social media space for enthusiasts on Friday, will be interesting to see how that goes.

On the flip side of that Universal Orlando's Twitter team are incredible. They're amazing at engaging with the fans, I'll never forget the day they invited a fan that was in the park to ride Men in Black with them to see who would get the best score and had the rest of Twitter siding with who they wanted to win. It seems more genuine and creates a fun atmosphere, a friendly community that anyone would want to join.
 

Will

Strata Poster
I'm ever so slightly part of the problem in that I had a youtube channel (no spare time to really make it a thing) and blog. I don't really touch the Facebook side of things, those groups are so full of kids and people that can't even Google the simplest things that it's more frustrating than anything.
Whilst far from being the worst offender, coaster chat was... not pretty, though I could accept and have a giggle at the cheesiness since it was you and Joey doing it. Your other youtube channel's fab though - full of great memories and videos that show the parks as they should be (even if some of them have my obnoxious shouting on ;) )
 

Hyde

Matt SR
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
Social Media reduces the barrier of entry for "being an enthusiast" - rather than join a specific website or enthusiast group, you only need to tweet, post, or cut a quick video to project your opinion into the world. This is something often celebrated in Social Media, that individuals can more freely share their thoughts.

Yet with this as the new norm, it can erode the sense of community and connectivity for enthusiasts who only exist on Twitter or Facebook. When @Ben and @nadroJ launched the CoasterForce Chat, few would have expected it to grow as quickly as it did (nearly 5,000). What was more surprising was how many people found the Facebook Group without any reference from the website, Youtube channel, Facebook Page, or Twitter - they literally, randomly found the discussion with no prior knowledge of CoasterForce. It's a double-edged sword, finding a totally new group to engage with; however as a moderator, I have noticed far more toxicity and individuals without any sense of "forum social norms" in the group. Broadly speaking, there is no real sense of community in the group either; everyone posts very random things at random times without very deep delving discussion. While that isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's a different grade of enthusiasm than the 10+ year veterans of CF, TPR, ACE, etc.
 

Hyde

Matt SR
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
^ no-one wants "discussion" on the FB-chat group, they just want to state their opinion (or plug their site) and move on. :(
It's interesting though to see some folks who have been in the group for a while form some semblance of community... when it hardly scratches the surface of the dynamics we see in the forum community.
 

davidm

Strata Poster
any attempt at "community" or "discussion" is just drowned in all the "look at me" posts though, and the awful user-interface facebook insists on doesn't help at all ; lol at people answering a question that has been answered several hundred times already, just because they only see 2 comments at a time.
(this isn't a feature of the CF-group particularly, other facebook groups all suffer the same problem, amazed people put up with it)
 

Dipper_Dave

Roller Poster
I am not generally a fan of Vlogs or POVs. I may occasionally watch a POV, but only of a ride that it is extremely unlikely I will ever ride, or certainly not anytime soon. Or a defunct ride, I've watched the Wild Mouse POV a few times, crying into my pint, and The Bullet, for old times sake. We went to Portaventura last summer and I kept my vow to not watch any coaster POVs before going, so I had no idea what to expect when I got there, well until I realised I could see most of Shambhala and Dragon Khan from our apartment :)

I did post a load of Icon photos on another site earlier, but I couldn't help myself yesterday as there was such excitement around the ride, it was great weather, and the first brand new coaster at BPB for 24 years. Otherwise I wouldn't take anywhere near that many photos on one trip. In fact, some days I don't bother taking any at all. I'm kind of past the stage of trying to hammer the rides and do as many as possible in one day. For me a day at BPB (which is my nearest, and favourite park) is normally a mix of rides, wandering about and soaking in the atmosphere, taking a handful of photos if I feel like it, checking out the latest merch and chilling out with some food and drink. Walking about filming myself talking into a phone / camcorder telling people on the internet about my day is the last thing I'd want to be doing.

One thing I REALLY don't get is rider cam footage. I haven't watched ANY Icon vids from the last few days, nor do I want to until I've ridden it. But even then, why would I want to watch a video showing someone screaming and waving their arms about for a few minutes? I find the concept quite ridiculous really. That was about the only thing about Shambhala that I disliked, the fact that a camera was recording you during the ride. Especially at night when those bright white lights were pointing up at you. For me, memories and photos are enough. I don't need to watch a 2 minute recording of myself sat on a rollercoaster. So, monkeys will fly out my arse before I sit and watch rider cam video footage of random people's faces as they ride a coaster.

Also, I don't do social media at all. As you can see by the way I'm rambling on, I prefer good in depth discussion to bitesize "LOL" type one liner comments on Farcebook, so I will always prefer forums for that. I can't access social media on my work PC, nor will videos load either, and I check the forums a fair bit during downtime at work. If I was on Farcebook and Tw@tter, my mobile data wouldn't last long! Was on FB for a bit, got sick of people showing off, posting photos of their tea, and getting friend requests from people I don't even talk to in real life. Absolute crock of sh1t.

I'm not a huge fan of reviews that constantly compare a ride to other similar rides. Especially when a lot of us haven't been on said rides. Does this make me jealous? Maybe a little, but I don't have the time or money to fly all over the world to ride roller coasters. If some people do, then fair play to them, but a lot of us can only judge a ride for what it is, not for what it isn't. Hence I will enjoy Icon and form my own opinion, without needing to say "This is better than <insert name of launch coaster here>, but not as good as <insert name of launch coaster here>." I've only been on two launch coasters outside the UK, and neither of them are remotely similar to Icon so it is pointless comparing them :)
 

toofpikk

Mega Poster
if you make vlogs/ride vids/photos and expect attention just because youve been somewhere and want to share it with the world, you're a problem. unfortunately, this is the majority of the case with people uploading videos to youtube which genuinely look like theyve had less effort put in them then squeezing out a poo.

even big names and local ones are so poorly edited and completely clickbaity/unengaging/scream LOOK AT ME JUST PLEASE GIVE ME ATTENTION its painful. Video editing should be personal, or an art form.

When your blog to port aventura is literally longer then a feature length film, Im really not gonna watch it. If its 3 minutes long, features little dialogue and has clearly had a good amount of time and effort put into making it really aesthetically pleasing (this guy is the bestest in the whole UK at it: https://www.youtube.com/user/djd711/videos ) then yeah, I'm gonna watch it, and I'm gonna have a good time doing so. I wish that more of the popular 'creators' actually learnt their crafts.
god.
 
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