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Threadwatch Is Closing


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#1 bwelford

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:05 AM

ThreadWatch is closing on Friday.

Do you know what it is? Will you care?

Does every social medium have a life cycle?

#2 JohnMu

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:10 AM

I like Threadwatch.

But I understand that there comes a time for shutting down... Things evolve, priorities and possibilities change. Sometimes I wish other sites would just shut down instead of hanging around as embarrassing fragments of a former self, confusing new visitors into thinking that they're still live and running, relevant and important ...

John

#3 eKstreme

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:10 AM

I think he should sell instead.

#4 A.N.Onym

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:16 AM

The site lives as long as the owner keeps his nose to the wind of the industry. And, apparently, has time and determination to work on it. Aaron doesn't have the latter, it appears.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 26 June 2007 - 09:17 AM.


#5 JohnMu

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:31 AM

Selling sounds like a good idea, Pierre. As you said, Yuri, it takes "time and determination" to keep a site like that moving (especially since it is based on current events), I'm sure there are other new(er) faces in the business that would love a challenge like that (and perhaps add a dose of new technology while they're at it).

Darn, I bet it's hard to sell a site like that.....

John

#6 Guest_joedolson_*

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:42 AM

Do you know what it is? Will you care?


Not overly concerned...Threadwatch isn't something I've ever really found interesting enough to keep an eye on, anyhow.

It is a little surprising, however.

Does every social medium have a life cycle?


I'd say yes. Some of them, however, are much longer than others - the social medium of the "meeting" for example, has been around for a darned long time... It may also be more accurate, in this case, to state that every social object has a life cycle - newness, commonplace, old guard, decay. It's best to avoid that fourth stage...

#7 EGOL

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:54 AM

I like threadwatch... but let's consider it in terms of return...

A lot of time going into this site (you must watch all the threads and report on them) but the direct income probably returns about ten cents per hour. Lots of competition where there is strong community or profile. Threadwatch probably attracted a lot of interest when it was new but now it competes with SEOmoz, SearchEngineLand and many many others - it seems like every SEO has a blog.

Does this effort gain new clients? It's not really showcasing the expertise of the publisher so it's value there is probably small. Although some people might enjoy it.

Resale value? The buyer will be paying for daily obligation to post - with little to no return. My bet is that this site is a "hobby". I know because I have something similar in another theme. It has a lot of links, a lot of traffic, but little return - unless you like to watch what's happening and serve as a free guide to others.

#8 A.N.Onym

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:59 AM

It is very, very easy to create a reddit-like voting system on TW (its Drupal based). Thus, users will be contributing and editors will be moderating. That's easier than single-running the website.

Then again, it still requires some time to admin the site, I guess. Not to mention minor quibbles with the contributing editors, as it seems.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 26 June 2007 - 10:00 AM.


#9 EGOL

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 10:01 AM

A.N.Onym, I like that idea... something like that might put vigor into this site.

#10 cre8pc

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 10:28 AM

TW was cutting edge in its day.

Aaron is a genius. Whatever new thing he dreams up next, I'll be in line with the cheerleaders :)

:cheerleader: :cheerleader: :cheerleader:

#11 Ron Carnell

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 12:36 PM

Thread who? :)

#12 projectphp

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:25 PM

I think Aaron's explanation was spot on, and explains why a place like TW is in trouble, and to a lesser extent why forums like this have troubles.

The rise of RSS, the need to be anywhere in particular to be kept informed has also diminished, as you can get alerts directly to your inbox on what is happenning. TW was predicated on being threads about good threads. Who needs that when you have RSS, and a billion blogs all with a "Friday recap"? RSS almost single handedly killed TW.

The looking more broadly, another danger to forums is AdSense.

AdSense has made the concept of information as a business model possible. That means that many potential people who would donate time for free to a forum are instead now more likely to blog for their own (potential) profit. Add on top of that the resurgence of banners (they can have a good ROI if the content is targetted right) and many forum members are going it alone.

Combine that with the appeal of a cult-of-personality driven site in which you learn first, from an expert, and interact second, and there are some strong incentives and benefits to a blog based community vs a traditional forum, in which many questions and topics are, lets be honest here, inevitably mind numbingly a bit basic.

Lastly, I think TW is a case study in what happens when a community's vibe is outright nastiness. As Aaron wrote, "number 2" is a word that everything got called by at least one person, no matter what it was. That is fun for like a New York minute, but after that, gets tiresome pretty quickly.

IMHO the only way to survive as a community is to provide incentives to members to act like a real community, in which everyone cares about the community, and is motivated by a shared, common good. I think cre8 does that really well, and we need to continue to encourage the positive type of community we have fostered.

#13 BillSlawski

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:49 PM

For old times sake, here's a link to the Website hospital thread for Threadwatch started Oct 5 2004:

http://www.cre8asite...e...c=16250&hl=

As NickW told us back then:

The concept is very simple: There are lots of forums, and lots of blogs centered around SEO/SEM - Threadwatch.org's aim is to provide a "best of the best" daily list of forum and blog topics.

Not so serious as seroundtable.com - more tabloidesque if you will. With a little humour and good natured fun poking thrown in for good measure :-)

It's all about signal to noise.



Threadwatch quickly evolved away from focusing upon forums, and its trademark was always a somewhat witty and alternative perspective of the SEO/SEM industry.

Threadwatch will be missed.

#14 projectphp

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 10:32 PM

With a little humour and good natured

Unfortunately, "good natured" was lacking, and the humnour was often juvenile (says the pot calling the kettle black :)).

The problem with the approach of TW was that it required good people, and good people are hard to find, especially good natured funny ones :)

#15 iamlost

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 10:43 PM

What I like(d) about Threadwatch was the congregation of a group of knowledgeable, experienced, and talented people who, for various reasons, either had left various fora or were spread thinly over all.

RSS is like going to conference seminars. Threadwatch was the bar after hours. The seminars' value decrease over time as one's knowledge level rises while the pub's value increases.

If Threadwatch closes without replacement a valuable source of public dialogue will be gone, and sorely missed.

Regardless, I thank Nick for the idea and implementation, Aaron for coming to the rescue and maintaining the conversation, and all who posted, commented, and edited.

And the continuing education in British slang. :)

#16 projectphp

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 12:20 AM

Feel like volunteering iamlost ?

:)

#17 DianeV

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 01:44 AM

a valuable source of public dialogue


You've hit the nail on the head. Threadwatch is a non-forum-specific gathering place for people, many of who have been around for some time.

Sure, there's the cursing element. Nick was (arguably) great at it; most of the rest ... maybe not.

But I'll miss it, if it does go. Not sure that will happen.

#18 Adrian

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 04:50 AM

To be honest, and this isn't meant as anything bad about Aaron, but when Nick left Threadwatch, I never felt it was quite the same.

Aaron talking about trying to make it a bit more mainstream I think was the wrong thing to do. There are a lot of mainstream places to hear about and discuss the kinds of topics Threadwatch covered, but as he then stated, it differentiated itself by being 'edgy'.

On top of that, I think as time went on, you got more of a 'Digg crowd' commenting, and in some cases posting stories. When it started Threadwatch seemed frequented mostly by people who'd been around the industry and got a fair amount accomplished. I got the feeling that more recently there have been some more vocal younger members shouting their mouths off without the experience or knowledge that the original crowd had.

I used to take a closer look at most Threadwatch stories, but as times gone on, I've found less and less that I wanted to look at.

#19 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 06:11 AM

Guys, a reminder. My blog has been covering forum threads since 2003.

I know Threadwatch is edgy - but we never took that approach.

Nick came to me before launching it, to give me a heads up. I was a bit taken back that someone would cover the same niche. But honestly, Threadwatch did not do much thread watching after it launched - so it turned out to be OK.

Honestly, I am sad to see that Aaron wants to close it down.

#20 BillSlawski

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 06:45 AM

I'm sad to see it close, too.

JasonD has offered to take over, and I could see him being successful with it. Wouldn't mind seeing that happen.



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