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The steady downfall of something that was once great...

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Jimmy Lawrence, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. Jimmy Lawrence

    Jimmy Lawrence Well-Known Member

    A friend and I were talking recently about how stale, and dead this place has become. Even "TMIFP" thread. It used to be weekly, and FILLED. Sometimes with 12 pages worth of work from all over the world, and really, REALLY inspirational work. Last month had like 6 fish pictures posted... and hardly any comments. Really sad .

    I got on here about 10 years ago. It blew my mind. I learned so much, and got to interact with so many of the people I had read about, and seen in magazines and such . It was the most influential tool for my entire taxidermy career. I met so many people on here, and a few I have grown to be best friends with. Some I have never met, but still consider to be good friends.

    Now its full of b.s. , negativity, advertising, and just nonsense. Stale work, nothing inspirational hardly ever. Nothing new. Nothing fun. Its just dead. Day after day, I scroll through this page, and find nothing to really even engage in, or click on to read.

    For the new members it really sucks, because they didn't get to see this place in its glory. When all the greats would post their work. There would be fun posts, and avid discussions.

    We wonder if it's just the nature of things, or if its in large due to the problems with posting topics, pictures, and such . It has went steadily down hill, and gotten worse over the years. We never used to have the "reload" and posting issues we have today . That just doesn't make sense.

    I truly miss this place, and how it used to be. Its no wonder myself ,and many others rarely post anymore.

    very sad indeed.
  2. Ron Kelly

    Ron Kelly Active Member


  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I blame it on several things. The largest without any doubt is Facebook. Not because Facebook is such a great and grand site, but because it's basically an open forum without all the drama and censoring we see here. I know no one wants to admit that, but the "language" is a big issue. Just walk down your street or listen to your kids and you'll see that many words or phrases are (deleted) automatically. Then there's the perpetually offended who whine about their tender sensibilities being offended by something and then go running to the moderators. Suddenly, we end up with a gap in a post where it was deleted. That's not real world and certainly not what goes on and around a taxidermy shop.

    Second is posting pictures. I think if you tried to post a gnat's ass directly, you'd get an error that the file was too big. That means in order to post it, you have to either convert it or use another site to edit it, copy and paste it, then bring a hyperlink here to post it. In the age of instant gratification, that ain't happening.

    And I'm sorry, but Outdoor Hub is a POS. I can't tell you how many times I get error messages, posts lock up the site, or the time delay on getting on the site - if at all. I usually read posts under the header. I click "Show unread posts since your last visit" and find 4 pages. I read one posting and then go back to find that "No new posts " are available.

    Like most things in life, you lead, you follow, or you'd better get out of the way. Taxidermy.Net once led the way for professional taxidermists. Over time, the attention span has waned and opted for more modern and up to date options. That's just the way it is.
  4. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Agreed to get it back again it needs to grow like FB is but we can still monitor the language and nudity that's for FB.
  5. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Yes Jimmy, I agree. I've thought the same thing for quite awhile. Good post.

    George put it very well....I don't think we'll get it back.

  6. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    IMO I don't think FB had much to do with things. IF all the other issues weren't issues most people would still be here. FB is just an alternative now because of all the issues here. Biggest issue IMO is this site being down or difficult to post to. That has been on-going for quite some time now. And, of course the petty arguments and personal slams. Then you toss in the fact that this site (because of all these issues) hasn't been recruiting new talent. When I say new, I mean up and coming veterans that just stumbled upon this site like we all did years ago. That being said, this isn't something totally new. A lot of the original veterans are no longer here and left quite some time ago. One reason I believe is there is very little value to offer the veterans here other than a place to shoot the breeze. That's always been the case actually. Then the veteran gets beat up by others enough to the point they finally realize that there is no real reason to be here other than to waste time. For me a good part of my frustration is spending ten minutes re-posting something five times because it failed the first four! I have better things to do with my time to waste that much! If Taxi.net wants me to continue spending that much time doing something that should take a fraction of said time, then they should pay us! Think about it. Taxi.net needs veterans and new talent continually coming in. If they don't then this site will die. And what's worse is it seems that the site owners don't care. IF I were a paid advertiser here I'd be screaming at somebody right now OR pulling the plug. Simply stated, you let something go to hell w/o reinvesting into it then what does one expect? Fix the dang website and a large percentage of these problems wouldn't be problems... (Now, let's see if I have to hit my back-button to try to get it to post. I better cut and be ready to paste first though because it's probable it's going to fail and I don't want to lose everything!!!!) Any website forum that wants to be taken seriously best have the fundamental need down pat and this site doesn't anymore! It's like buying a car that doesn't drive! What do you think potential new talent does when they can't get on? Come back five times to see if it is up and running? I think not! Dead links at the time are assumed dead forever by many surfers!
  7. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    Taxinet will never come close to equaling Facebook, as far as the reliability of the connection and the functionality of the site is concerned.
    It's a simple matter of economics.
    Facebook's website IS their business, so it has to work as perfectly as possible, while Taxinet is just a small part of McKenzie, and not a part that generates much profit, if any.
  8. AnglingArtisan

    AnglingArtisan Well-Known Member

    Let's just face it...

  9. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    It doesn't have to be as reliable as FB! And, besides it CAN come pretty dang close in reliability as it has done in the past! FB and this website provide two totally different functions and two totally different audiences. "No profit"??? Seriously? You might wish to count the number of paying advertisers on here! Let's see, after the initial cost of the program what are their costs at this point? I don't think very much! And last time I looked there were quite a few advertisers on here! Plus it's MAJOR advertisement for McKenzie! My guess is they either see the end coming or who the heck knows why one isn't reinvesting...
  10. hodx

    hodx Herman Darr

    its like the old tutorial posts, no pictures....they should have been embedded in the posts, like other sites do...great post jimmy
  11. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Marty, though I agree with most you said, it seems you haven't been on Facebook much. Every Tom, Dick, and Louise has a Facebook page there and I'm inundated with "invites". There's some REALLY bad stuff out there and on nearly every one, there's some dork who's cheering from the peanut galery about what a superb job the work is. And how does Facebook deal with the nudity and profanity? It's sort of a self-leveling field there. You simply delete these people brom being your friends and you move on. You don't try to police the world. I'm not a fan of gratuitous profanity or obscene and tasteless gratuitous nudity, but the days of site moderators is waning. Just a fact. Money drives everything and if you have to tolerate some "inconveniencies" for the sake of making a buck, it's all good. Taxidermists are a microcosm of society as we know it and hiding our heads in the sand isn't going to stop us having our share of rude, crude, Bubbas.
  12. den007

    den007 Active Member

    Jimmy, we don't always agree, but I am with you on this one. Yes, things have declined, and it is reflection of the state of our country. I never imagained such divisiveness and intolerance would divide this country as bad as the Civil War, but it is out there. The candidates reflect this as well. As the Romans put it……"Give them bread and circuses." From where I sit, that means "Walmart and big flat screen TV's to watch football on." Real issues, like Zero population growth are ignored. Local news is fluff about which side of the street to park on for leaf cleaning. Faux news is just total propaganda. Every magazine, every TV show, commercials about drugs, side effects, which ones you need…..and we wonder why kids are so confused. This country is in deep doo, and it worries me every day……..not just for myself…..since I am a backwoods recluse…..but for kids, mine as well as future generations. The system needs to be torn down with a new start. Will it happen? Not as long as we have buffalo wings and sports to detract us.

    Go Bernie! Oh, will that all really make a difference? Has it ever? We do live on an "island " of hope, where things can be solved. A wonderful country full of natural beauty……just governed by a bunch of sick greedy bastards.
  13. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Lol George - if anything I spend TOO MUCH time on FB! I fully understand FB and it's capabilities. Yes, it's an easy, free way to exchange info and photos with other taxidermists and whomever you choose. However, not everybody uses FB like you do. I keep my number of friends down to a manageable number and basically use it more for a way to keep in touch with people I know. I don't use it much for promoting my business and quite frankly would have to open a separate account if I were to basically link with a bunch of taxidermists. Too much clutter. And I'll probably be yanking my FB link off my website as I don't think going to my personal account is very professional. JMO there.

    As far as comparing the two websites, again, there's no real comparison in my mind. With FB you can link to whichever taxi's you want to and exchange info and photos. With Taxi.net you can do the same (if it's working) and the numbers of taxidermists and various qualifications that is/was the appeal of Taxi.net. Taxi.net has a constant influx of viable taxidermy related buyers. Beginning taxidermists and people looking for taxidermy services. Now, I haven't looked at that counter down below in a long time, but from an advertising standpoint for sheer numbers, this website is a Red Giant and FB is Pluto! There is no comparison! With those numbers comes a network of taxidermy related individuals, etc that Ken has geniusly built into the best, most visited taxidermy website in the world where all facets of taxidermy can be had in one convenient spot. With those numbers and future potential I'm just scratching my head here trying to figure out why? Hell, I'll buy the dang website if they're just going to let it whittle away to nothing! Nothing has really changed at Taxi.net (if you've been here since it's inception) other than the inability to conveniently post. We now have photo posting capabilities that we whined about not having back in the day. Remember the orange button? That was your answer George for everything - and it worked - lol! There could be some nice features added but I truly believe the biggest reason many people have left is simply because this site doesn't function properly often enough. What else has changed? Timing to me sure says it's a big piece of the puzzle...
  14. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

    While some photos and tutorials have been removed, there is a great deal of knowledge still available in the archives.

    As for pictures of great work, I check out the business websites that many of the taxidermists I admire have, and they all have new mounts from time to time. Some still post mounts here. Others never regularly posted here, or at all.

    If the collaboration that energized the .net is exhausted, at least there is a record of this taxidermy renessaince....for now.

    Best, Scott
  15. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Some good points Scott.

    Actually, the more I think about it - most of those paying advertisers are now owned by McKenzie so they're paying themselves to advertise here - lol!

    Seriously though - in trying to figure out one of the "whys" - why they haven't tried to improve the forum and I think I have another possible answer. They don't have to! Maybe it is a costly fix? I don't know. But, this website already is tops in all search engines by far and since McKenzie pretty much has a monopoly on supplies they don't need to try and attract too many new viewers. They already have enough business and traffic and top hits (and future traffic) without investing a dime more into the forum portion of this website. I suspect they'd still pull in a ton of traffic IF the forum portion went away (I have no idea if the whole website is having problems or just the forum?) As Scott mentioned - everything can be answered in the archives. And what if the forum did go away? I'm sure there's some profit to be made here. But I suspect there's bigger profit elsewhere in the food chain, so why bother? I can't think of any bigger business that would let their website get to this point without some ulterior motive!
  16. A- Fish

    A- Fish Stehling's Taxidermy

    First off, from what I was told, McKenzie no longer owns this site.

    Facebook is the main reason things are slower on forums. You cannot beat the convenience of Facebook.Everyone is on it already and most never leave it.

    Forums do have some advantages over Facebook---You can search topics easier on forums and the site owners can set the tone for the site.

    I do not know what is going on with this site, but I can tell you from experience that it is VERY expensive and time consuming to upgrade a forum. We just did that with a forum we bought , taxidermy talk .com .
    We built in an easy drag and drop picture uploader , fully mobile site , etc etc . While the site runs great, it is an uphill battle to beat out Facebook and other social media. I can only guess what upgrading this forum would cost. It may not even be worth it financially .

    Taxidermy.net is a great site. I do think there is a bright future here.
  17. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I think FB is affecting traffic here more indirectly than directly. FB is convenient and actually works. People have a finite amount of time they wish to spend on the internet. FB and this forum fall into this realm of "play time". So if given a choice of communicating with other taxidermists on a website that has fewer perks but actually works vs one that doesn't work, AND a person only has (eg) an hour a day to play guess which website loses out? IF this website was functioning properly you would see a spike of traffic within weeks of people coming back. I guarantee you this website not functioning properly is THE only reason I frequent it much less. And I suspect quite a few others too. IF it were running right again, my time would shift from spending so much time on FB to spending more time here. IMO all of the other issues with this website and it's downhill nature are secondary to the poor reliability. Like I said it's like a car that won't drive. I can deal with the A/C breaking or a rattle in my dash. But, if it's not going to drive or only drive sometimes then it's getting driven to CarMax as it's time to go somewhere else!

    As far as costs go, I don't know Aaron. I know the initial software is very expensive but upgrades? I would think it would be more costly NOT to upgrade. Again, have you seen their counter here? My money says you'd be drooling if TaxidermyTalk got a fraction of a fraction of this sites traffic!
  18. A- Fish

    A- Fish Stehling's Taxidermy

    It is going to take more then an "upgrade" in software to make the changes you are asking for on here, but you know that .If it was a s simple as just doing an upgrade to the current software, they probably would have done that already ::)

    I like taxidermy .net and I hope it succeeds. I did not buy taxidermy talk to take anyone away from anything. Taxidermy talk had a lot of good information on the site when I bought it. I changed the forum format and put advertising around it. I simply used it as a real time example of what is going on with forums.

    One thing is for sure--I would not start a forum from scratch and expect it to go anywhere in this current environment. I have talked with many other owners of forums and they are all seeing a decline in participation . People only have so much time to spend online.
  19. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Aaron - the only change I'm asking for is reliability! Do you know for a fact that an upgrade is the only fix??? Or just an update? And "no" I don't know that info already - that's why I asked!
  20. A- Fish

    A- Fish Stehling's Taxidermy

    Well Marty, it's an SMF forum. Can you upgrade an SMF forum to be fully mobile and have drag and drop picture upload capabilities ? I am not sure. I would think if it was as simple as an upgrade to the SMF software, they would have done it.

    I know in the case of taxidermy talk we had to change formats to a better forum with more features. The hardest and most expensive part was migrating the users. We migrated around 2000 users and had to hire an outside team to assist with the process. To migrate the number of users on this forum would be in the tens of thousands of dollars, at least. It can get messy migrating users to a new format. You can lose pm's, ranking may not carry over, passwords have to be changed etc . Notice how upset people get about using a free forum if it's not working exactly how they want ? Imagine changing everything all at once with all of these members. You would have to have a full time team just to deal with user questions and problems.
    I know they are in the process of making changes, and hopefully they can do it without migrating the users, or find a solution that migrates them for less cost. I know we couldn't find a way around it.