Author Topic: The Demise of TechTalk  (Read 9515 times)

Offline theDarkSide

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The Demise of TechTalk
« on: August 05, 2010, 05:35:33 AM »
Hope this is allowed here, but WOW...what a response the email from Gary got about removing techtalk.  Some of the posts in yesterdays email were entertaining and some annoying ( like the constant plugging of hbd.org ).

I understand the issues some people have with losing this, but since the forum started I barely skimmed the topics on tech talk since I could get an almost immediate answer from the forum.  I also like the back and forth conversation in case something wasn't clear and I didn't have to wait another day to find out the answer.

And I don't agree with the posts about making the forum available to paying members only.  I would guess that any serious homebrewer on the forum would sign up for a membership when they realize what the AHA has to offer.  I would hate to turn away someone who is looking to get into homebrewing because they'd have to pay up front to get the information they need.  This is what makes the Brewing Network and Basic Brewing Radio/Video such great resources.  They provide their content for free but you can support them if you feel the information warrants it. ( Corporal in the BN Army ).  Just like I support the AHA with my membership.

Just my take on it...opinions may very of course.

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Offline majorvices

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Re: The Demise of TechTalk
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2010, 05:51:56 AM »
I never could follow TechTalk so I never tried. It is an annoying format for me. That said, I may have to go check out that thread. Sounds entertaining.  ;)

As far as making the forum available to paying members only, I doubt that's going to happen and agree it would be a bad move.  Perhaps a better route would be for those who are paying members have a tag line that says "AHA Supporter" or something.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: The Demise of TechTalk
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2010, 07:48:28 AM »
As far as making the forum available to paying members only, I doubt that's going to happen and agree it would be a bad move.  Perhaps a better route would be for those who are paying members have a tag line that says "AHA Supporter" or something.

+1

If anything, this forum will help recruit homebrewers to the AHA that TechTalk could never reach.

Also agreed that the format was annoying.
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Offline denny

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Re: The Demise of TechTalk
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2010, 08:50:46 AM »
The AHA forum will never be restricted to AHA members only if I have anything to say about it.  There are plans to open "value added" sections of the main website to members only, but the purpose of the forum is to freely exchange information for the benefit of all homebrewers.   I really can't understand a lot of the gripes about using the forum.  There's at least as much good info posted here everyday as there is in TechTalk.  I hope the people who are complaining actually try the forum so they can see for themselves.
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Offline narvin

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Re: The Demise of TechTalk
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2010, 10:01:15 AM »
The people complaining would probably prefer to be reading brewing news via UseNet over a 1200 baud modem connection to their local BBS.  Some people can't deal with change...
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Offline denny

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Re: The Demise of TechTalk
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2010, 10:20:43 AM »
It would be great if you guys would post to TechTalk, telling people why you like the forum and how to get the most out if it.  Just try not to say "Get over it!".  ;)
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: The Demise of TechTalk
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2010, 10:45:03 AM »
I've been reading the reactions to this news in the email and I haven't posted a response to TT for simple reason that my response always sounds like "grow up and get over it".   :o

I think most of the people who are getting upset are having trouble seeing something new as a good thing.  I've been building, supporting and fixing computers and related equipment (professionally) for longer that the internet has existed and Tech Talk has always seemed very pre-Web to me.  Easy to understand but slow and not very interactive.  As a friend of mine always said "it's a good thing I'm not a doctor, because I have no patience".  8^)

As for a members only forum?  Forget it.  Forums are by definition, public.  If everyone complaining about TT coming to an end joined the forum and started beer related discussions they would not have to complain about "The Pub" getting screen time.

IMHO - YMMV

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Offline BrewArk

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Re: The Demise of TechTalk
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2010, 01:54:59 PM »
I immediately adopted the forum when I learned of it back in November.

I can also see the side of the TT advocates.  The point that it is limited to brewing tech questions is a good one.  There are a lot of things here on the forum that I consider "puffery" and don't read/respond to.

I definitely spend more time on the forum than I spend or used to spend on TechTalk.  The question for me is "Is that good or bad?"
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Offline jeffy

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Re: The Demise of TechTalk
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2010, 06:45:57 PM »
If you think about it, the forum is nice only for people who sit in front of a computer all day, but what about the rest of us?  When we log on to the AHA Forum and want to see what we missed over the past several hours, we need to wade through a lot of +1 on your mortgage and way to go majorvices and never get to the denny level before we find a recent topic of interest.  Or even if we do find majorvices new brewery interesting it feels like we're on the outide looking in.  Like we are not worthy because we don't have 500 posts.
It's not welcoming.  It's not easy.  It's harder to use, no matter how old I am.  It doesn't fit my lifestyle (not that there's anything wrong with that).  It's just that I can't stay connected all day.
The people complaining would probably prefer to be reading brewing news via UseNet over a 1200 baud modem connection to their local BBS.  Some people can't deal with change...
I think I can deal with change if it's a change for the good.
I never could follow TechTalk so I never tried. It is an annoying format for me.
Why?  Because it only comes once a day?  Because posters actually have to write a thoughtful post instead of adding a comment?  I understand the immediacy of the Forum, but for some of us a polite email format is easier.
I hope I don't get ostricized for this post.  I just want to understand.
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Offline narvin

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Re: The Demise of TechTalk
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2010, 07:05:00 PM »
If you think about it, the forum is nice only for people who sit in front of a computer all day, but what about the rest of us?  When we log on to the AHA Forum and want to see what we missed over the past several hours, we need to wade through a lot of +1 on your mortgage and way to go majorvices and never get to the denny level before we find a recent topic of interest.

So there's too much information?  You can pick and choose specific sections to read if you want to avoid the pub chatter.  And why does it need to be recent? You don't have to follow it linearly -- there's a great search feature that will let you find whatever information you need.  I find the questions and information on Tech Talk to be more repetitive because of the straight Q&A format.

To be blunt, if Tech Talk were popular enough to be worth keeping, you'd probably think it was too long and cluttered to read as well.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: The Demise of TechTalk
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2010, 07:20:23 PM »
Why?  Because it only comes once a day?  Because posters actually have to write a thoughtful post instead of adding a comment?  I understand the immediacy of the Forum, but for some of us a polite email format is easier.
I hope I don't get ostricized for this post.  I just want to understand.

Well - sure. Once a day? I don't have time to sit down and read techtalk for an hour every morning. I;d rather come in and get bits and bobs of information. And there is no order at all. Just random posts and responses. I'm sure once you get used to it you enjoy reading it. But it looks JUST LIKE the Government text boards my dad used to use back in 1986. I'm surprised it has lastes as long as it has. Its disjoined, confusing and rambling. I'm sure there is a lot of good information in there but you really have to read the whole thing to find it. The forum is 1000Xs better at disseminating information. And, quite frankly, the people who are complaining the most over there haven't even bothered giving this format a try. One guys said "he looked at it but didn't like it."  ::)  Kudos, to you sir, for being one of the few.
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Offline chaz

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Re: The Demise of TechTalk
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2010, 02:20:17 AM »
What's funny about watching the many people complain is when I joined the AHA in 2006 and got my first TechTalk I thought to myself, "What is this, 1995? It's like I've been transported back in time where people still use Eudora and read newsgroups. Why in the world don't they have a forum?"

Out of boredom at work I read through all the complaints. I understand many of the complaints, especially the whole e-mail being forced on them, but many arguments don't even make sense to me so I'm not sure they even understand what a forum is, how it operates... and some are even outright saying they'll never go despite never even giving it a chance! Talk about a stick in the mud.

35 guests and 11 members? We're paying for 35 freeloaders?!?!?
...no, that just means 35 people are browsing but aren't signed in. Generally I'm one of those "freeloader" guests but I pay my annual membership dues.

Someone compared TT to a bookstore and the forum like Amazon.com - At a bookstore you browse looking for a book and might see another book on the shelf you're interested in but at Amazon you'll find the book you're looking for when you do a search for it but probably not much else unless it's part of the algorithm.

I really don't see how the forum is any different than TT in this regard... You browse through a list of forum topics (books) and you just might see another thread (book) you're interested in just like that shelf at the bookstore...

Or the person who decided he would test how good the forum is by asking about Black IPA water chemistry. He complained the question was not answered beyond someone just said they run their water through a filter. This I think has to do with lack of familiarity with message boards. They made a post on page 4 of a Black IPA thread that hadn't been responded to in several days and the main topic of the thread was about what kind of grain you add to make it black...

If you were on TT and were the 50th person in a row to reply to a topic about Black IPA but brought up water chem in your reply would you really expect much of a response? Obviously you're going to get better and more direct responses if you make a new topic about it, instead of being #50th person to reply to a thread that's not about water chemistry.

I honestly haven't really seen much there that I haven't gathered from forums like many they seem to claim (but never visit) and many of the replies don't really seem all that much better or are from more advanced/expert opinions any more than most forums.



I could go on and on... I'm actually kind of surprised at how many are willing to not renew membership because of TT. Then again, when I signed up it wasn't so much about me or any of the perks as it was about supporting an organization that looks out for my homebrewing interests, legalizing it in every state, and was educating/sharing the hobby with others.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 02:31:12 AM by chaz »

Offline dzlater

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Re: The Demise of TechTalk
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2010, 04:27:12 AM »
I am personally very happy with the forum.
I have the RSS feed on my iGoogle homepage, so I can see what's new.
When I log into the forum (which I probably do way to often) I just hit <new posts>
there are usually only two or three pages at the most, it only takes me a few minutes to get through them.
Some of the complaints I can agree with the "+1", and "what he said" or " I don't know" responses do get a bit annoying
but I it seems to me that those kind of replies are really minimal on the this forum.
And looking at TT it seems alot of questions get the same answers multiple times also.
A lot of the people who posted on TT are upset because they can't read the forum at work or
on their phones. Couldn't they just subscribe to a category and receive email notifications?
What I would do is set up a Google or Yahoo group called AHA TT , and let the TT diehards use that.
As long as the users and mods keep things under control I think the forum will work out fine.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 04:29:27 AM by dzlater »
Dan S. from NJ

Offline denny

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Re: The Demise of TechTalk
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2010, 08:12:12 AM »
If you think about it, the forum is nice only for people who sit in front of a computer all day, but what about the rest of us?  When we log on to the AHA Forum and want to see what we missed over the past several hours, we need to wade through a lot of +1 on your mortgage and way to go majorvices and never get to the denny level before we find a recent topic of interest.  Or even if we do find majorvices new brewery interesting it feels like we're on the outide looking in.  Like we are not worthy because we don't have 500 posts.
It's not welcoming.  It's not easy.  It's harder to use, no matter how old I am.  It doesn't fit my lifestyle (not that there's anything wrong with that).  It's just that I can't stay connected all day.
The people complaining would probably prefer to be reading brewing news via UseNet over a 1200 baud modem connection to their local BBS.  Some people can't deal with change...
I think I can deal with change if it's a change for the good.
I never could follow TechTalk so I never tried. It is an annoying format for me.
Why?  Because it only comes once a day?  Because posters actually have to write a thoughtful post instead of adding a comment?  I understand the immediacy of the Forum, but for some of us a polite email format is easier.
I hope I don't get ostricized for this post.  I just want to understand.

Ostracized?  That's really counter to what we're trying to do here.  As a matter of fact, let me be the first to welcome you and say that we all look forward to your contributions!

There are a couple of things, though, that I don't understand about the complaints about moving from TT to the forum, and if you could help explain them to me I'd be most grateful.  As you mentioned, you and others say you have to wade through posts to find what something if value.  For the life of me, I can't see how this is different than TT, except that usually the volume of posts on TT is so low that there's less to go through.  My experience with TT is that only about 10% of the posts were anything I was interested in, so I can't see how much difference there really is.  And what I do like about the forum in that regard is the categorization makes it easy to see what's there and ignore what I'm not interested in.  If you feel that the posts here aren't thoughtful or polite, may I suggest you haven't looked around enough?  And sure there are "+1" posts because a forum is more like a conversation than a lecture....is that really such a drawback, though?  Is it really that different than a post to TT that in essence says "I too have found that my problem is like Dave described".?

As to feeling like you're not "worthy" because you're new, I think that's just a normal social interaction thing.  We're all homebrewers here, we all have something in common...jump right in, ask your questions, make your contributions.  That's how you get to know people.  And again, to me it's really no different than TT.  For years, I hesitated to post on TT because I was afraid of looking like a fool in front of all the posters there whose names were iconic.  But ya know what?  Once I did, I found that they're friendly, normal people who loved talking about homebrewing just like I did. 

jeffy, I hope I'm not coming across as challenging your points...believe me, I take all the criticisms very seriously and want to help do whatever I can to make any new forum users feel at home and enhance their experience.  And I realize that there are some irreconcilable issues.  One person on TT mentioned being on a 1200 baud dialup for instance.  Yeah, for him the forum experience is going to be difficult and unfulfilling unfortunately.  But even he could subscribe to the RSS fed and have some level of participation.

I hope you give the forum a chance and give yourself a chance to become familiar with the format and the people who post here.  I hope you'll find, as I did, that this is a treasure trove of brewing info and expertise, and that the people who post here are the people you'd love to sit down and have a beer with.  And I hope you'll keep coming back and asking and answering questions.  It's you and the other users who give value to this forum.
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: The Demise of TechTalk
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2010, 08:17:31 AM »
Some highlights from today's TT:

I have neither the desire nor the time to troll through the Forum every day and will likely resubscribe to the HBD in the hopes of keeping current with more serious brewers.

Guess what guys...we're not serious brewers since we use new technology.  I guess this makes someone like Drew a total goof ball then.

The "bluesman," "richardt," "denny," "majorvices," "capozzoli" and "euge" seem to make up the vast majority of the posters. I have to wonder - do they have a life? While they all seem very capable and knowledgeable, I look forward to hearing from other well-respected folks like Steve Piatz, David Houseman, Ed Westemeier, John Blichmann and many others like them who frequently post on the TT
Well guys...do you?  So the people he lists are ALWAYS posting on TT, but apparently they have a life.  ( Don't get me wrong, I've gained tons of info from their posts ).

Obviously the number of people happy with it outweigh the people who are excited about moving to forums
So there's been about 100-150 posts about saving TT, but how many members are there?  I think the people excited about the forum are using the forum and don't have to post about how excited they are ( except when it first started up ).  At the writing of this post, there are 6350 registered accounts on the forum.

While the BN forum has it's place, I'm not interested in ***hats and drunks of the week. The AHA forum isn't a whole lot better.
Are you kidding?  The mods here definately have control of the forum.  I have to constantly remind myself which forum I'm on so I can post accordingly.

too am very unhappy of the end of the tech talk for another junk forum
Zinger!!

And Denny's post says it all.

We should setup a poll to see who prefers TT over the forum, but since it will only be in the forum, it will be dismissed as biased.

This will probably fuel the fire a bit but some of the shots in TT against the forum users I feel were uncalled for ( i.e. more serious brewers? ).
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