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Is Social Media changing enthusiasts?

Sandman

Active Member
I think "changing enthusiasts" was the wrong phrase, I think it's more it has created a new breed of enthusiast.
Many of these "new gen" enthusiasts aren't really enthusiasts, either. Basically they got into TPW before theme parks, so it's more of a TPW/vlog enthusiasm than it is parks and coasters. Some of the UK park-based vlogs ironically feature like zero shots of any coasters or rides, it's all just ugly mugs and terrible cringeworthy banter. Once again, not that arsed about the rides or parks, or even looking to improve their filmmaking/editing skills. Just wanna blab on for an hour and get subscribers.

It's hilarious how most of them use the exact same phrases and similar vlogging styles to TPW as well. If you're gonna vlog, at least be creative, right?
 

Edward M

Well-Known Member
To not embrace change is to embrace stagnation. I admittedly don’t follow many Coaster accounts on social media and just receive my news here. However, as someone has said, they need consistent content to try and get enough views to make their time worthwhile. The current enthusiast state is simply following the trends of the average enthusiast channel on social media. Vlogs are easy, cheap, and establish a personality for the channel while also letting people who feel the need to be seen be seen. I still enjoy the forums as a place to quickly catch up on construction or just glance at some discussions, but there can often be a feeling that there’s not much real discussion here. I see complaints on how these people don’t really know coasters and simply talk to the camera. However, personality and individual perception is what really makes a brand, Coasterforce overall has neither of these things. That’s what has made TPR or even Coaster Studios up and coming channels. They have a personality, face, and individual approach to coasters. I’ve no real suggestions for anyone involved in coasterforce because, well, I’m not quite sure what to suggest or help. Im a slightly involved bystander to the site and brand though, and I’m not sure the intricacies of the actual situation. This is simply what I’ve seen.

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When I was in Blackpool, a lot of people came up to me asking if I was a vlogger and if I had a YouTube channel, once I filmed Shaun from tpw for an interview for my documentary, people started to crowd around and talk to me because they thought I was good mates with Shaun. Not that those people weren't nice to talk to, but it was an eye opening experience that's for sure.

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Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
To not embrace change is to embrace stagnation. I admittedly don’t follow many Coaster accounts on social media and just receive my news here. However, as someone has said, they need consistent content to try and get enough views to make their time worthwhile. The current enthusiast state is simply following the trends of the average enthusiast channel on social media. Vlogs are easy, cheap, and establish a personality for the channel while also letting people who feel the need to be seen be seen. I still enjoy the forums as a place to quickly catch up on construction or just glance at some discussions, but there can often be a feeling that there’s not much real discussion here. I see complaints on how these people don’t really know coasters and simply talk to the camera. However, personality and individual perception is what really makes a brand, Coasterforce overall has neither of these things. That’s what has made TPR or even Coaster Studios up and coming channels. They have a personality, face, and individual approach to coasters. I’ve no real suggestions for anyone involved in coasterforce because, well, I’m not quite sure what to suggest or help. Im a slightly involved bystander to the site and brand though, and I’m not sure the intricacies of the actual situation. This is simply what I’ve seen.

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This post is really spot on and I just wanted to acknowledge that.
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
It doesn't even have to be vlogs - everyone does those - but there's so many different ways CF could use the personalities of its members to build the brand.

That always has been the brand - Lip-sync for your Life, Apprentice etc back in the days when the forums were king - why not inject that personality into the modern ways the internet is used?
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
Rewind to CF's heyday and we would all look down on ECC and ACE and other 'newsletter based' groups as being for old farts - we were different and young and cool. That's us to the new generation - we look like the old farts clinging on to forums and - who uses forums nowadays?


Hadn't really thought of it in that way but it's absolutely nailed it. A few other forums I'm on haven't had any new members or activity in ages and most people are getting all their updates/news/discussion from Facebook/Twitter. Hell, even trying to discuss 'webforums' to any of the younger members of my office is hard enough.
 
Having recently returned from a nearly 10 year break from the coaster scene, one things for sure: it’s still a community full of miserable bastards ;)

The sheer anger directed at TPW on Twitter for taking a selfie on the rapids at AT was incredible.

I guess the rise of social media has just bought a lot more people into a previously niche community. Some good some bad.
 
So true
Having recently returned from a nearly 10 year break from the coaster scene, one things for sure: it’s still a community full of miserable bastards ;)

The sheer anger directed at TPW on Twitter for taking a selfie on the rapids at AT was incredible.

I guess the rise of social media has just bought a lot more people into a previously niche community. Some good some bad.
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gavin

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
To not embrace change is to embrace stagnation. I admittedly don’t follow many Coaster accounts on social media and just receive my news here. However, as someone has said, they need consistent content to try and get enough views to make their time worthwhile. The current enthusiast state is simply following the trends of the average enthusiast channel on social media. Vlogs are easy, cheap, and establish a personality for the channel while also letting people who feel the need to be seen be seen. I still enjoy the forums as a place to quickly catch up on construction or just glance at some discussions, but there can often be a feeling that there’s not much real discussion here. I see complaints on how these people don’t really know coasters and simply talk to the camera. However, personality and individual perception is what really makes a brand, Coasterforce overall has neither of these things. That’s what has made TPR or even Coaster Studios up and coming channels. They have a personality, face, and individual approach to coasters. I’ve no real suggestions for anyone involved in coasterforce because, well, I’m not quite sure what to suggest or help. Im a slightly involved bystander to the site and brand though, and I’m not sure the intricacies of the actual situation. This is simply what I’ve seen.

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You're right in that CF doesn't really have a "face" behind it, and that's definitely something which has made us fall behind now that vlogs have become such a thing.

Sort of in defense mode (to an extent, more explanation really), but I think it's because there's always been a fairly dispersed group of people behind CF, rather than one person, or a small handful of people, and that group are spread out all over the place. When forums dominated, that was excellent since we were covering everything, but in the age of the Vlog, it becomes an issue. Maybe for a CF Live you can put something together - a video of people enjoying a park, interspersed with ride footage doesn't necessarily need a face behind it - but what happens if you establish a "face" and the face of the brand can't make a particular trip?

If you look at the CF Facebook page "we" are covering parks all over the world, but, in reality, that's one or two people from the team at a park. You'll have noticed that "we" are often somehow at parks at opposite sides of the planet on the same day. That's great for a huge variety of coverage, but it doesn't allow for a CF face behind it. We're not all at the same place at the same time.

When I post from the Asian parks, I often get "can't wait for the POV" comments since there's this idea that there's one or two people behind the whole CF operation. Jerry is great at doing POVs from American and European parks while I don't do them for a number of reasons (equipment, difficulty in dealing with Asian parks, not my priority when I'm there).

If we were all to push out Vlogs (not something we're all good at or interested in doing), you would end up with 10 "faces" of CF. Smaller groups, or large groups with one clear dominating member, have been able to do well when it comes to vlogs since it's easy to establish a "face". Robb Alvey is always going to be posting for TPR, Shawn Whatsisname is always going to be doing TPW. We don't have that set up.

I don't know what the answer to that is. Do we find a CF "face" and then limit our content based on which parks that face can visit? I don't think that's an answer since it restricts the content in terms of the parks covered.

Away from CF and on a more personal note, I agree with what Ben said a few pages back about the CF Chat page on Facebook. I really like it. Yes, there's some repetition, and you obviously can't keep track of "topics" in the same way as on a forum, but there's definitely a personality to it and you very quickly start to recognise the more active members on there. Some of them are the posters from the forums, but a lot of them aren't, so it's definitely worked in terms of getting more people to interact with the "brand".

Pushing forum content on both the CF Facebook page and CF chat page definitely works, though it doesn't often translate to more activity in terms of forum comments. For example, once I'd finished the New Zealand trip report, I linked it on both pages and it jumped from around 400 views to 1,700 over a couple of days. It just shows that people ARE interested in reading forum content, but not necessarily interested in engaging in a more old-fashioned medium.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
@gavin, wouldn't @ECG or @Ian be the "face" behind CF so to speak?

Anyway, I don't really think CF needs to change to fit the modern era. I'm a bit weird in that I prefer to communicate about coasters and theme parks on a forum to on a platform like Facebook or Discord, to name just a few examples. For some reason, there's something about a forum that feels more organised and more comforting than a Facebook group, if you get what I mean, which is why I like sites like CF and TowersStreet, to name a few examples, so much.
 

Snoo

The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
@gavin, wouldn't @ECG or @Ian be the "face" behind CF so to speak?

Anyway, I don't really think CF needs to change to fit the modern era. I'm a bit weird in that I prefer to communicate about coasters and theme parks on a forum to on a platform like Facebook or Discord, to name just a few examples. For some reason, there's something about a forum that feels more organised and more comforting than a Facebook group, if you get what I mean, which is why I like sites like CF and TowersStreet, to name a few examples, so much.
Kinda? They're both kinda silent tho, with Ian being mostly in the Live topic and ECG being on the Youtube. While ECG does a fantastic job on the Tube, you don't see him post often anywhere else.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Kinda? They're both kinda silent tho, with Ian being mostly in the Live topic and ECG being on the Youtube. While ECG does a fantastic job on the Tube, you don't see him post often anywhere else.
Ah so @gavin meant a very charismatic face who spoke on behalf of and represented CF in videos and such? I personally reckon that Mark Evans might have qualified for that role back in the late 2000s and early 2010s when he filmed documentaries for the YouTube channel. Those were great. Now, though, I'm not too sure who would qualify for the role.
 

Snoo

The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
Ah so @gavin meant a very charismatic face who spoke on behalf of and represented CF in videos and such? I personally reckon that Mark Evans might have qualified for that role back in the late 2000s and early 2010s when he filmed documentaries for the YouTube channel. Those were great. Now, though, I'm not too sure who would qualify for the role.
Let's be honest, it could be anyone. I know a majority of the site team, in some capacity, has contributed content in the past in some way with their face. It's just if CF is willing to make that happen is the question. I wouldn't say it was out of the question tbh, just to expand content.
 

Scott88

Member
I don’t see how vlogs and people filming reviews/opinions about theme parks, rides and so on is actually an issue. You could say I’m biased because I film vlogs and reviews alongside theme park content, but I don’t see what the issue with people vlogging is, it happens in all walks of life not just the roller coaster community, it even happens at football matches!


YouTube is all about searching for what you want, if you don’t want to watch a vlog then search past the vlogs and look for something else. I don’t watch that many vlogs, I’m happy watching a coaster POV and/or off ride footage but I knew to make the Pleasure Beach Experience channel worth bothering with, we had to do something more than uploading POVs and off ride content because let’s be realistic, CF and TPR have that covered. I, along with my wife and friends who run PBE decided we’d give the vlogging a go but not take it too seriously and mainly to cover the construction of Icon, as a result we received a lot more positive feedback about the channel and gained a decent amount of subscribers too, so we have stuck with doing the vlogs along side reviews, POVs and other stuff because that’s what our subscribers want, if they didn’t, they’d unsubscribe and go elsewhere. Our subscriber count has grown very well in the past year so I can only assume we are doing alright.


I think for those who run coaster groups it’s sometimes a case of going with the times, CF and TPR don’t need to do vlogs to get YouTube views or interest, but other sites do because as I said earlier coaster POVs and off ride content is mostly covered by CF and TPR. So why run a YouTube channel you may ask? My answer would be because it’s a good way of sharing your experiences, sharing the footage you do have and sometimes helping attract interest in events/meet ups.


I’ve been a coaster enthusiast since 2004 and in that time I’ve spent a lot of my time on coaster forums, but since the likes of Facebook got more popular I’ve spent less and less time on forums because similar discussions can be held on Facebook groups or posts, this is partly why I took the decision to close the PBE forum last year, our Facebook page was so much more active than the forum. Closing the forum to put 100% focus on running the YouTube channel and Facebook/Twitter pages has seen a huge growth in our followers across all social media and most importantly as a coaster club, a lot more people have been attending our events.


I do understand the issue some people have with vloggers doing it for the fame, self-proclaiming to be “vlog stars” as an example isn’t a great move, however I don’t think all vloggers do it for fame, most of the vloggers I speak with do it to share experiences and try to have a bit of fun along the way.


To summarise, there’s a place in every community for YouTubers and vloggers, and it’s only going to become a bigger thing in time.
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
I don’t see how vlogs and people filming reviews/opinions about theme parks, rides and so on is actually an issue. You could say I’m biased because I film vlogs and reviews alongside theme park content, but I don’t see what the issue with people vlogging is, it happens in all walks of life not just the roller coaster community, it even happens at football matches!
I ****ing hate it there too!

It's bad enough when people sit on their hands and moan if you try and sing and chant at games but when the **** next to you has an instinctive reaction to a goal is QUICK GET THE CAMERA ON ME then I've had enough.

To be fair, I don't mind those who do it for their own enjoyment; I've long toyed with the idea of whacking together a trip vlog for my own personal keepsake as well as the usual photos; Where it crosses the line and pisses me off is when people are doing it purely for money, because they think it'll become a career for them, or worse because they think they'll get free stuff from it. Those are the people who are doing it for the wrong reasons, and often they're the ones who spam their **** all over the place.
 

Sandman

Active Member
Although I agree with the principle behind Scott & Edward's statements regarding keeping "with the times", I don't personally believe that vlogs are the answer to that really. Vlogs mainly focus on a social aspect of theme park enthusiasm, mostly relying too much on particular personalities and specific opinions rather than JUST theme parks. Fantastic for those who do enjoy watching and producing such work, but for those of us who don't watch, it's very perplexing because this whole vlogging thing is spreading like a virus. I remember about 3 years ago there were literally a handful and now everyone has their own channel, merch and logo. It's like the news reporting the news to the news. So confusing.
 

Snoo

The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
Although I agree with the principle behind Scott & Edward's statements regarding keeping "with the times", I don't personally believe that vlogs are the answer to that really. Vlogs mainly focus on a social aspect of theme park enthusiasm, mostly relying too much on particular personalities and specific opinions rather than JUST theme parks. Fantastic for those who do enjoy watching and producing such work, but for those of us who don't watch, it's very perplexing because this whole vlogging thing is spreading like a virus. I remember about 3 years ago there were literally a handful and now everyone has their own channel, merch and logo. It's like the news reporting the news to the news. So confusing.
Well I'll be honest with you, the social aspect is the reason I and many here remain in the community. Many of my closest friends I regular go to parks with and get news from if I'm not seeing it on the forums. Why not embrace the social aspect? Hell, that's why we have Live meet ups. Why we travel. Why many do this.
 
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