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Other RAH forums? 
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PITA Bred
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Post Other RAH forums?
You may note that I've changed the banner on the NitroForum. I believe the subhead to be true in all but irrelevant details.

From the many, one - this forum. All of the other groups I know of are dead, gone, inactive or on the verge of oblivion.

AFH is in the latter category, as Usenet's slow death has been accelerated by one large ISP after another closing their NNTP (newsgroup) server. Something about cost control, liability for exposing customers to an uncontrolled, unmoderated exchange medium (hey, we're all Patriots, right?) etc. so forth blah blah - but the fact is that Usenet has gone from slightly difficult to use to moreso, requiring users to find and subscribe to a server, something that used to come free and easy with any ISP account. Most open servers charge quite a bit because the .binaries. newsgroups, feeding the porn and warez appetite of millions, use bandwidth at humongous rates, orders of magnitude more than us poor text-message users. A few free servers, mostly with no binary groups, still exist but, for example, the one I use has draconian limits on messages and connections per day - violate them, and you're banned.

I suppose Google Groups still allows access to those forums, but GG is such a mangled tool - IMVVHO - that it's hardly an option that's going to support the newsgroups.

In any case, a look at AFH shows about five postings in any given week, from a diminished pool of old users. New blood is nonexistent.

There are spotty instances of Heinlein groups on nearly every list (such as Yahoo Groups and SFFnet) but I've seen none with notable activity. Most are abandoned after a few dozen exchanges between the few oddballs who find and post there.

So instead of Heinlein spreading across the net, interest has faded until this forum, slow and quiet as it is, is the last general-interest Heinlein forum in existence.

How very sad.

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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:17 am
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Post Re: Other RAH forums?
All the more important to keep this forum alive, me lad. It's God's own work you're doing here.

I wish some of the anarchistic RAH fans that used to dominate AFH and occasionally show up the "old" NitoForum would come back. It's beginning to feel a little like an echo chamber here.

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Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:42 am
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PITA Bred
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Post Re: Other RAH forums?
I'd be delighted to have all the other forums coalesce here. There are many, however, who won't come because of me personally or because we're the Centennial crowd. But I authorize all users here to extend the warmest invitation to any group of Heinleinista out there, and I will welcome them one and all.

Well, make that all but one, actually, but it's a non-problem, I think.

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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:46 pm
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Post Re: Other RAH forums?
James Gifford wrote:
You may note that I've changed the banner on the NitroForum. I believe the subhead to be true in all but irrelevant details.

Do you consider language an irrelevant detail ? There are several non-english speaking sites about RAH, including Anouk's forum, 17 rue Dante.

But as far as the English-speaking internet is concerned, you're right, indeed, sadly...

Quote:
All of the other groups I know of are dead, gone, inactive or on the verge of oblivion.
AFH is in the latter category, as Usenet's slow death has been accelerated by one large ISP after another closing their NNTP (newsgroup) server.

I also agree with your technical analysis, for the most recent evolution. But imho, alt.fan.heinlein as a place to discuss Heinlein was gone long before Usenet's decay. First, it was a tide of French-bashing, "patriotic" (although not in any Heinleinian sense, after the invasion of Iraq, then it became a place to let go libertarian pamphlets, or to talk about one's cats, ex-cats, future cats, etc, none of which walking through any wall.

Quote:
I suppose Google Groups still allows access to those forums, but that it's hardly an option that's going to support the newsgroups.

Yes to both.

Quote:
So instead of Heinlein spreading across the net, interest has faded

How do you interpret it ? Post-centennial fatigue, with better times to come, or something more permanent ?


Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:47 am
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PITA Bred
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Post Re: Other RAH forums?
Yes, Priscille, I am being English-centric here. I won't claim it's very globally-minded and won't try to defend the position except to note that it's Heinlein's natal and literary language and thus of key importance in any discussion setting.

You're entirely correct about the long-ago demise of AFH. I was one of the users run out by the great invasion of cat-petting drink-exchanging fluffbrain socializers, quite some time ago. I've peeked in from time to time and the level of conversation has never returned to the levels that made it the center of the RAH universe for a number of years. Like most Usenet groups, it's down to a very small core group, few postings and no new blood. I don't give it long.

I won't comment on the wave of anti-French sentiment of a few years ago, but I'm not surprised AFH was a haven of it.

In any case, we are down to this forum and very little else - in English. (I'd appreciate a summary of nonenglish forums and their approximate numbers of users and posts, if such data is ever in a reader's hands.)

As to why, I can't say. I'm having a running argument, with occasional small arm fire, with another figure in the spectrum, and he violently disagrees that there is a downturn - that the interest is simply elsewhere out of my sight. Well, what I see is a total cessation of discussion, activity and interest, and I can't really say why that is. The expanding interest in Heinlein that began around 1998 or 1999 and was boosted by the publication of RAH:ARC and then other efforts through the Centennial seems to have... well, if not collapsed, then broadly plateau'ed with no sign of an increase or forward movement anywhere.

There's a quite worthy thread to be started on that point.

I'd love to see the few remaining Heinlein forums and so forth coalesce here. I'm even willing to create new forums - say, AFH2 and Heinlein Forum: Yet The Next Installment so that those groups can continue in their own spaces.

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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:05 am
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Post Re: Other RAH forums?
For whatever it's worth, I've just now added some footnote links to the Heinlein Persona page (a type of sub-Contents) at http://www.Troynovant.com/ to site:RAH and to NitroForum. Hope to help a bit.

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Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:44 pm
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Post Re: Other RAH forums?
Thanks for the 17 rue Dante link, Priscille. I can make out about 95% of it. Seeing Bill Patterson translated into French is definitely an eye opener. Do you know any details about the Nestlé space trip contest prize? Pour la Français seulement, je pense... dommage.

It's amusing to see how the localization of the site has been... sporadic. E.g.:
"In total 18 user have visited this site today :: 1 Enregistré, 0 Invisible et 17 Invités , 5 of them within the last hour."

Some enthusiastic discussions over there. Bravo!


Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:10 am
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PITA Bred
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Post Re: Other RAH forums?
Just for the record, I have posted an invite in AFH for them to move operations here, in their own forum and the 99% that is possible under their own rules and moderation.

I will probably extend a similar invite to the old Heinlein Forum, but as they are likely happy and under no threat of oblivion on JT's site (SFFnet) they may well decline. But all the existing RAHfora are welcome here in their own slots, so I am open to invitations and suggestions.


Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:39 pm
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Post Re: Other RAH forums?
James Gifford wrote:
Just for the record, I have posted an invite in AFH for them to move operations here, in their own forum and the 99% that is possible under their own rules and moderation.


I was curious to read your post so I looked at AFH for the first time in ages. I saw your two posts, but also noticed that Bill is still quite active there.

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Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:55 pm
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PITA Bred
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Post Re: Other RAH forums?
Jack Kelly wrote:
I saw your two posts, but also noticed that Bill is still quite active there.

Yes. He's maintained a presence there long after the rest of us moved along.

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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:40 pm
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