April 20th - Modified Day!

General footbag-related topics that don't fit elsewhere go in here.
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Allan
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April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by Allan » 06 Feb 2015 14:15

On April 11th 2002, jer created this forum. Later, on April 20th, Rob became the first other member and started to invite people to participate. Over the next week or so, Muffinman, and dizzy (my handle at the time) among many others signed up. At the time, compared to freestyle@footbag.org this board seemed like paradise. phpBB and forum software like it was really new at the time, and it was very liberating and tons of fun :)

Modified has been through a lot over the years. The .ca to .in transition; many, many flame wars; many, many awesome discussions & announcements; .org/forum; the great exodus of 2008-ish; the transition from phpBB2 to phpBB3 and the constantly tweaked and changing theme since then, and much more.

It might seem a bit silly, but I would like to propose that the community unofficially make April 20th "Modified Day." The board was born on April 11th, but April 20th was the day it became a community, so I think the latter date is most appropriate to celebrate. This year will mark 13 years of Modified and I think it would awesome (if perhaps a tad unrealistic) if we could beat (or even just come close to matching) the all-time record of "Most users ever online was 297 on Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:10 pm"

Does anyone else think this might be a good idea? Silly? Sure. Fun? I hope so :lol:

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Tjuggles
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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by Tjuggles » 06 Feb 2015 15:58

I think it's a great idea! It may be best to give like an x-minute window where everyone can be on (my first thought was ten minutes, but maybe that is not long enough?), making sure to be explicit about timezomes and what not.
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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by Kylescook » 06 Feb 2015 16:07

Tjuggles wrote:I think it's a great idea! It may be best to give like an x-minute window where everyone can be on (my first thought was ten minutes, but maybe that is not long enough?), making sure to be explicit about timezomes and what not.
I Second all these things.
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christisgodlike
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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by christisgodlike » 07 Feb 2015 17:09

What the hell happened in 2008?

edit: Is there any way to search posts by date?

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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by C-Fan » 07 Feb 2015 17:28

Great overall idea, and also great idea by TJ to maximize the chance of breaking the number.

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Allan
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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by Allan » 08 Feb 2015 17:35

christisgodlike wrote:What the hell happened in 2008?

edit: Is there any way to search posts by date?
Nothing happened that you can really search to see. A bunch of factors came into play:

1) Facebook went mainstream.
2) Burnout. Flames.
3) Spam.

There were other factors at play, but in 2008 we were able to see over a hundred people online at a given time. Moderation was an actual thing people had to do.

Honestly, I'm not sure how much of it wasn't spam accounts, but the record, as stated above, is a whopping 297 people looking at the forum at the same time. Now if I see more than 5 people on at any given time I'm stoked :)

I agree setting a time window would be best. I'd think more like an hour would be a better time frame.

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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by F[uns]tylin' Eclectic » 09 Feb 2015 08:16

I'm in. Modified needs to came a come back. I still think it's better than Facebook. I also think people would go for the social login thing? Where they log into Facebook and that logs them into modified (or they have this choice, at least)
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Allan
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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by Allan » 09 Feb 2015 12:49

I've got to upgrade the board to version 3.1 to enable oAuth (Facebook) login. It's on my list, but it's a non-trivial operation that takes more time than I'd like it to. It should happen before MDay, but no promises :)

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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by Derek » 23 Feb 2015 12:33

Dig, and down with it. Good ol' 4/20 :P
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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by Max Power » 27 Feb 2015 16:04

Cool idea, I think everyone should also post something while they are on. It doesn't have to be a requirement just a suggestion.
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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by F[uns]tylin' Eclectic » 27 Feb 2015 20:34

I like that idea, Drew. Maybe a requirement!!!! [IMP]
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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by Kylescook » 15 Apr 2015 08:27

5 days till Modified Day!
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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by Psilocybe » 18 Apr 2015 07:48

Although the most users on at once occurred in 2008, I would have to say the board peaked a bit earlier than that, late 2006-2007'ish. Facebook was just starting to take hold. By 2008, the board was clearly in decline already.

Facebook truly is the reason for the demise of modified. Everybody just started posting there instead of here, further isolating and losing many members who were not a part of the FB clique. I would also say that certain very active and social players quitting - mosher, cross, holly, etc - (too many to name) heavily contributed.

Its a retention problem - there's simply no way for a new footbag player to get the support they need to become good, dedicated shredders anymore. The board is dead and theres nobody to play with. Who knows how many potentially-great players we have lost over the recent years because theres no way for them to flourish. Nobody wants to play footbag alone.

This place, right now, truly is a graveyard. Its really sad. MONTHS go by between posts in shred symposium.

I'm not sure footbag will ever recover.

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Allan
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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by Allan » 18 Apr 2015 11:44

I feel quite deflated now :(

The other forums may be very slow, but footblogs get dozens of posts per day. It's mostly just evolution :) It's different than it was; slower, but it's still active. I'd even argue that the quality of posts these days is better. There's a core group of good people that still post here and there is new blood coming along. Describing the place as a "graveyard" is a bit much, and I think you could use a dose of optimism :) New players certainly aren't going to stick around when everyone is lamenting a decline and calling the place dead.

I also think that Facebook merely gave a voice to people who don't like these forums and never did. A lot of people who post there never posted here, and not a lot of the people that posted here ever post there. There's some crossover, to be sure, but I don't think it's enough to say that its truly the reason for the decline; it was a factor, certainly, but I'd not say that it was the sole reason. I think we'd be much in the same position today were Facebook not here.

Active, social players quitting was the bigger factor, but, I think, still just a symptom of the real problems we were experiencing then. Those people quit for a reason. I touched on a couple of those issues above (burnout, flames, spam), but I'd like to put forth another reason: YouTube & the proliferation of cheap, easy digital video cameras.

Pre-YouTube, forum text talk was basically all we had to communicate with. And it was failing us. Jobs notation, while an amazing innovation for its time, breaks down at describing more advanced moves, and is sufficiently complicated that really only technically-minded folks use it (and use it correctly). Video is the only medium which can truly capture footbag and communicate it unmistakably. It's the picture that's worth 1,000 words ... x 30 fps.

But recording and publishing used to be exclusively the domain of geeks. In 1998, I gained access to a computer add-on card that captured and converted analogue video into digital files. It cost $2500 and required an expensive, beefy computer system to employ it. Cameras were bulky and were shit resolution/quality. Video editing programs were slow and tedious to use; exporting a 2 minute video took hours.

And publishing? Setting up a web server and hosting a video was doable for geeks, but given any amount of traction of a video and the bandwidth quickly became cost prohibitive. When I published Evan's 2004 SJFF video (one of the first videos published 100+ MB in size at 220 something), it cost me $50+ to host it over the course of the first week; not a sustainable model.

Over the course of the aught's, digital cameras became affordable and easy to use. Computers got way more powerful and editing the digital clips together became trivial and fast. YouTube gave us an avenue to host our shred videos that had a good UI and could take thousands of hits for free.

These things, I believe, had a dramatic effect on the game and, in particular, on these forums. Slowly bring in Facebook and add in the total burnout people were experiencing from trying to express shred moves through in inadequate and spam-filled medium and you get to much the state we are in today. In many ways the internet created much of the footbag community. It's also helped hinder it in many ways over the last 8 or so years.

I don't know what the answer is. I do know that it's not in complaining the situation and I am even more certain that the game is not dead.

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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by Cass » 18 Apr 2015 11:55

Good post Allan. The sport is far from dead. It simply manifests itself online a little differently these days.

I know many up and coming players and have been to upwards of a dozen really successful events in the past two years. Feels pretty lively to me.

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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by Kylescook » 18 Apr 2015 12:56

Great post Allan. I really like these forums. My favorite part are the footblogs, Long winded posts you couldn't put on facebook. Seeing the personal touch of what each person does differently to work on their game, getting to know the people i'm bound to meet at a tournament someday. Seeing all the newer people using it and seeing what new tricks and combos they are hitting. I also like Facebook for shorter posts and getting to hear from the folks that don't post here. Youtube, these blogs, and Facebook have all helped greatly in getting me into the sport. If I hadn't found footbag on Facebook and Youtube I wouldn't have found this place or the people that taught me how to play.
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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by Psilocybe » 18 Apr 2015 18:21

I think how facebook destroyed modified can be summed up in maslow's hierarchy of human needs. We're all at this forum for a reason. For many of us, modified was the only place where we could talk to other people who played footbag. Unfortunately, many pros DIDNT need modified for that, and that's where we ran into problems.

Maslow said social needs are required for a person to become self-actualized. The fundamental problem is that most players here at modified didn't have many social needs to meet - they likely already had real-life footbag friends. Whatever needs remained Facebook could satisfiy. On Facebook everybody is on a first name basis and everybody is literally friends with everyone else. Its a nice place where pictures, videos, conversations, and publicity could all occur. Non-footbaggers - family and friends - could see your moves now too! You could also stalk your favorite pro and get a glimpse into their personal life and feel like you know them better. This is powerful. I would assert that FB actually meets social needs far more effectively than modified ever could.

Once all the big names were friends with each other on FB, there was simply no reason to come here anymore. They were socially satisfied. I remember a thread from many years back (probably around 2008). They were talking about how great facebook conversations threads were being lost and that concerned people. People wondered if they should be using modified instead of facebook. So, I think as this was happening people intuitively knew there was gonna be a problem down the road.

Its important to note that I speak of all this from an outsider. I never friended anyone from modified on FB. Without modified.in I'm sure I never would have played footbag nearly as much as I did. This place is important. We need new players. I live in Iowa so there wasn't really anyone to play with or talk to. I NEEDED modified. Modified made footbagging possible, plain and simple. Pros and big names did not need Modified like this. Case in point - Vasek never posted here as far as I know.

We had a real bad situation growing: Modified.in was far more important to new players and loners than to pros.

I had a theory long ago on the evolution of footbag. It basically says that instead of survival of the fittest, its survival of the supported. People with other people to play with tend to keep playing. Those that don't tend to quit. In the end what resulted was an overwhelming forum demographic of people who had real life footbag friends and therefore most social needs met. This sounds good but it actually put us in a real bad situation. There were many vulnerable people that NEEDED modified.in for their social satisfaction. BUT, there were vastly more people - the core of modified, the big names - that just didn't need the services that modified provided anymore. And that, folks, is how the stage was set for facebook to ruin us and for modified.in to collapse. I'm absolutely sticking to my premise here: the pros - the pillars of the community - abandoning modified for facebook is directly what caused the online forum to crash. New players, pretty much archeologists at this point, are left with nothing but evidence of a once active past. Most surely stopped playing footbag shortly thereafter.

Also, posts like this certainly didn't help and seem even worse in retrospect:
https://modified.in/footbag/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=18272. Its kind of ironic cause in the end he got what he wanted, nobody complaining. "Why do something if it makes you depressed or bitchy?" Fine, I won't play footbag, and haven't for years now. Oh, whats that, you stopped playing too?

People back then had no idea the thin ground they were walking on....or how fast a forum could collapse...if they knew I don't think we would've had such negativity. We were young and we thought we'd live forever....

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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by Tjuggles » 19 Apr 2015 13:22

Hi,

Great discussion!

I am in NZ where it is now April 20th...do we have a time set up for this?
TJ Boutorwick

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Allan
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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by Allan » 19 Apr 2015 17:53

I think 11AM Pacific Standard Time? This gives pretty good coverage through N. America and is evening time in Europe. I guess that leaves Tjuggles & company out, but you guys are kind of used to celebrating everything ahead of us, no? :lol:

The new theme is live now :) Still needs work, but I wanted to change it today, so there we go.

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Re: April 20th - Modified Day!

Post by Tjuggles » 19 Apr 2015 18:08

Ok, I think that is my 6am tomorrow, so perhaps we could have like a 30-minute window where we should be on?
TJ Boutorwick

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