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What is this site for?

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What is this site for?

Post  Admin on Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:23 pm

I've been asked several questions over the past few days regarding the purpose and aims of this site; so here I've tried to address some of them:

Q.Do you make money out of this site?

A.In short, no. The host is free and the forum software is free. All it has cost me is the time and effort in setting the site up and the continuing administration, moderation and management of the site. Income from the adverts you see, if any, goes to the forum host, Forumotion. In the eventuality that at some point in the future the site becomes so busy that extra bandwidth is needed or the forum host needs to be changed to a payable one, then some sort of voluntary "membership" scheme may be introduced. It's doubtful, however, that will be necessary for the foreseeable future.

Q.So what is the purpose of the site?

A.There has been an upsurge in interest in our city and it's history. There are some fantastic Facebook pages, as well as the sites, books and blogs of some of our more well known local authors. This forum can be a central meeting point, a hub for discussion, and more academic research, of all those sites. In other words a community. There are no agendas, no politics and nothing to sell, except the history and culture of our wonderful city. It is about debate, discussion, education and local interest. There are no minimum levels of knowledge; so whether you are a notable local historian expounding a theory on the long term effects of the Civil War on Plymouth, a schoolchild writing an essay on the Pilgrim Fathers, a family historian with Plymouth links in your genealogy, or someone just wishing to indulge in some nostalgic reminisence, it makes no difference - all are welcome here.

Q.What are the aims of the site?

A.Not easy to sum up the aims, ambitions or aspirations. However, by way of example, I belong to various forums which vary in subject from Plymouth Argyle FC to Ripperology (the study of the Whitechapel Murders of 1888). They all make or have made a "difference". The Ripper forums in particular are communities which draw on the advanced knowledge of the subject the members are discussing and are used by some of the most respected authors and researchers in the field. Experts in all types of subjects rubbing shoulders with novices. That's how I'd like to see our site. The "go to" place for information on Plymouth, it's history, genealogy, with you the members passing on your knowledge and experience, and learning from the knowledge and experience of others; a place where events can be publicised and societies can encourage new members; a gauge of opinion on the various topics of the day such as the City of Culture bid or the fact that Plymouth's archives are still very much at risk of being taken out of our city unless a more appropriate home can be found for them.

Q.I use the FaceBook pages, why do I need to come here?

A. I think these forums can be an extension of those pages, but here if you have a question you can call on the knowledge of all the membership (and obviously the bigger the membership, the greater the pool of knowledge); you are not simply responding to somebody posting a picture - here you set the agenda. There are also added benefits such as controlling your privacy; you can post under a pseudonym or your own name; you can give as much or as little personal information as you feel comfortable with.

Q.Isn't it a bit too ambitious or unrealistic?

Well I'm an ambitious person (some may say delusional!). This city, for too long, has hidden its many lights under a bushel. We have much to celebrate in the next few years, e.g. 2014 sees the 135th anniversary of Rorke's Drift, where Plymothian Lt John Chard led the defence of a British mission station against the Zulus. In 2016 we will have the 75th anniversary of the infamous Blitz attacks on Plymouth, which saw much of the city destroyed. Between now and 2017 there is the UK City of Culture bid, a bid which should be backed to the hilt. Then in 2020 the 400th anniversary of the departure from Plymouth and the Pilgrim Fathers to what was to become the United States of America. Despite the recent campaigns to celebrate prominent locals (choose 3 local heroes to stand around a bench, greatest Janner etc) there is still a certain amount of ignorance about some of the outstanding individuals this city has produced and events that have happened here; a case in point being Capt. Frederic "Johnnie" Walker RN - famed U-Boat hunter of WW2 who has a statue in his honour in Liverpool, but he is barely remembered in the city of his birth. So why not be ambitious, why not go the whole hog for something like the Mayflower 400 - invite the President of the USA him- (or her-) self!


I hope this gives some insight into why a forum like this can work, can be good for the city, and can make a difference. Remember, we are only as good as our members - the bigger the membership the more seriously we can be taken as an online "community". So spread the word, get your friends and family to join up and start posting about everything our beautiful city, Plymouth, had, has and will have, to offer!


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