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In 2004 the internet was still a novelty and people all over the world were finding new ways to meet and share hobbies, passions and loves. Bill set up BookGroupOnline and shortly after many of us that are still here joined. We have had births, deaths and marriages. Personally, for me, a newish mum, it was my companion during those lonely days at home when the boys were sleeping. I made friends, none greater then David, our late admin who took over when Bill relinquished the site to the members. We all remember David who embodied everything BGO was and is. It was never quite the same for me after we lost him.

 

Times have changed. We have all other demands on our time but importantly as the internet became a bigger part of our lives, there are competing social outlets; Facebook and Twitter being the main draws. It has never been so easy, so accessible, so easy to fit in a quick chat about your passions. While that is amazing, it has also affected BGO. We have fewer new members, fewer visitors, fewer posts and this results in dwindling funds from our Amazon banners. This means a brave and bittersweet decision.

 

Over the last few weeks the moderators and myself have been discussing the future of BGO. Dwindling funds, dwindling numbers...we don’t want to limp along till we run out of money. Therefore we have decided that BGO, the forum as we know it, will cease in May/June 2021. This coincides when the next year’s fees will fall due. Any remaining funds will be donated to a book related charity.

 

It doesn’t mean the end of BGO. We would very much like the Facebook Group to take over for everyone, to continue to be a place for book related chat, to be a new home for our members. In the coming months we would like the Facebook Group to flourish. To that end we will look at creating rules for the page and adding membership filter questions. We will endeavour to post there a lot more and while we won’t have the same threads layout, we hope that it will fit in better with everyone’s online browsing time. We hope everyone will help to grow the page.

 

Nothing stays the same on the internet, it is ever evolving and I am so proud that we survived for 17 years. I am so proud of the community we were and are. So try not to be sad, let’s celebrate BGO for being around for so long and let’s look to our next journey.

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We appreciate that many people choose not to use Facebook however, there is no ideal platform and this is the best alternative to continue our community. 
 

Hopefully someone will be able to meet your request. 

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Well I'm shocked!
 

I spend a fortune on Amazon and was under the impression that I was using BGO's link. Even although it was only 5% I blindly thought I was keeping the board going all by myself. Clearly not. And I'm here several times a day.
 

Oh well, if that's the decision then that's the decision. 

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Thank you for all your book buying Luna, it was enough to keep us afloat this long, but unfortunately dwindling members and visits just mean that the site is no longer viable. We appreciate all the the members did using the banners and it helped for this long. Over time as well, amazon reduced the amount we received which didn’t help either. It is very sad, but this wasn’t a quick or easy decision and we hope the FB page will be a new, if different, home. 

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On 23/01/2021 at 16:33, lunababymoonchild said:

Well I'm shocked!
 

I don’t think this is what anybody expected. Perhaps we should have. Everything has its time.

I have enjoyed being a member.

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I must admit that I had noticed the lack of traffic recently.  

 

I have very much enjoyed my time here and I thank most profusely Admin and Mods for keeping us running for all these years and I have no doubt that it was a difficult decision to make, so thanks for that also.

 

See you on Facebook.

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7 hours ago, Viccie said:

What a shame. I've always loved this group and have discovered lots of really good books.

It is a shame Vickie, but we were very lucky to last this long and hopefully the Facebook page will continue to recommend great books to you.

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5 hours ago, lunababymoonchild said:

I must admit that I had noticed the lack of traffic recently.  

 

I have very much enjoyed my time here and I thank most profusely Admin and Mods for keeping us running for all these years and I have no doubt that it was a difficult decision to make, so thanks for that also.

 

See you on Facebook.

Och,, Luna, you’ve made me well up a little. The forum will be here till the summer but we are asking people to make and conscious effort to use the FB site so that it is established about to take over from the forum. 

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Sad to see the forum end. I believe covid 19 made for reduced traffic. You would think with time on their hands people would read more but if like me the change in life style and routine caused me to read a lot less.

Facebook is not an option for me for many reasons and like Hux will look for alternative forums.

Sad to see the end of a forum that has given me so many excellent recommendations for books to read.

Just would like to say before the door is closed, is there an alternative. How about advertising the site online (including Facebook), online magazines and forums? Alternatively if members agree to split costs, I'm willing to set up a PayPal monthly account to contribute.

With the founding member David being mentioned recently in posts could be re named to David's Book Forum ?

Oh well just blowing ideas in the wind. A little sad.

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36 minutes ago, Clavain said:

Sad to see the forum end. I believe covid 19 made for reduced traffic. You would think with time on their hands people would read more but if like me the change in life style and routine caused me to read a lot less.

 I've been searching for ways of saying this and failed.  So, thanks for that. I didn't realise that it would induce people to read less although I did lose my concentration during lockdown #1 but I just changed my book to something easy to read and carried on.  So ended up reading a little more than I did the year before. Lucky me. 

 

47 minutes ago, Hazel said:

Och,, Luna, you’ve made me well up a little. The forum will be here till the summer but we are asking people to make and conscious effort to use the FB site so that it is established about to take over from the forum. 

Oops.  I'm there all the time so will post more frequently.

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1 hour ago, lunababymoonchild said:

Suggestion of an alternative site : Good Reads.  Not a member myself but it's worth a try.

 

4 hours ago, Clavain said:

Facebook is not an option for me for many reasons and like Hux will look for alternative forums.

 

Good reads is a minefield. Truth be told, the small community here is what appealed to me in the first place (and yet ironically is also the very thing that ensures it can't survive).

 

This looks like it might have potential - https://www.bookclubforum.co.uk/community/

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Clavain, us mods in our discussions did raise the possibility that some of the members may want to take over the running of the site or suggest monthly payments to keep the site ticking over. This is a possibility, but I think feasibly it would take a much bigger membership and a good influx of posts and new members to make that viable. There is just too much competition online and a lot of people prefer the convenience of Facebook groups. We don’t generate revenue to plough into advertising, the Facebook page itself has had only 52 members since it was set up. We would like to see that grow. 
 

if someone would like the challenge then we are open to the idea of transferring the site over to them to run.

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Please could I just say, kindly, that David would not have liked the site to be named after him. He loved BGO and the name and as much as I agree with the sentiment, it doesn’t sit easy with me. 

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12 hours ago, hux said:

 

This looks like it might have potential - https://www.bookclubforum.co.uk/community/

 i used to belong to  The Book Club Forum, a good few years ago. Although quite different from here, it is probably as good an alternative to BGO as you will find.

 At that time I belonged to BGO, a local bookgroup and 3 postal book groups (one of which I ran), and was trying a couple of other online groups. 

Not surprisingly, I just didn't have the time to negotiate the different ways the other online groups worked.  Having just had a quick look, that one seems to be more easily navigated now, with promising-looking book discussion areas.

 

Partly, probably mostly, the reason I didn't continue with other online groups was to do with having been a BGO member from almost the start, when the membership was very small and most of the members were Bill's family and friends, so I felt I knew everyone - or at least their reading & musical tastes and the kind of humour they went for.

 

I will try and remember the other online groups I tried, although I deleted most extraneous data when I last changed my computer.

 

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2 hours ago, brightphoebus said:

Feeling sad 😪

I have been feeling sad about BGO for several years as members have drifted away, book-related posts became fewer, and threads shorter. It is not the community it once was. Not that i have helped much, as I have more or less given up reading over the last  few years, for one reason or another.

It came as a bit of a relief to find that there was a reluctant consensus to wind BGO down amongst the moderators

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31 minutes ago, megustaleer said:

I have been feeling sad about BGO for several years as members have drifted away, book-related posts became fewer, and threads shorter. It is not the community it once was. Not that i have helped much, as I have more or less given up reading over the last  few years, for one reason or another.

It came as a bit of a relief to find that there was a reluctant consensus to wind BGO down amongst the moderators

This really sums up exactly how I feel. It’s not the same place as it was in those heady, new days. I am to blame as well as I stopped visiting.  I went from being a full time mum to a full time worker again. We lost David. Other things take my time and I certainly don’t read as much as I used to though I am trying to change that this year. I won’t deny the relief when we all decided. None is us want to see the site limp along indefinitely, we owe it to everyone to recognise the truth of the situation and make the right decision, 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Hazel said:

This really sums up exactly how I feel. It’s not the same place as it was in those heady, new days. I am to blame as well as I stopped visiting.  I went from being a full time mum to a full time worker again. We lost David. Other things take my time and I certainly don’t read as much as I used to though I am trying to change that this year. I won’t deny the relief when we all decided. None is us want to see the site limp along indefinitely, we owe it to everyone to recognise the truth of the situation and make the right decision, 

 

 

I can see you are right, and thanks for making the decision that had to be made.

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It is sad to see Bgo go

 

On 25/01/2021 at 21:58, lunababymoonchild said:

Suggestion of an alternative site : Good Reads.  Not a member myself but it's worth a try.

 

On goodreads, can get a group with closed or approval needed for membership

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On 25/01/2021 at 22:59, hux said:

 

 

Good reads is a minefield. Truth be told, the small community here is what appealed to me in the first place (and yet ironically is also the very thing that ensures it can't survive).

 

This looks like it might have potential - https://www.bookclubforum.co.uk/community/

I've been on this other forum for a while (it's currently down for planned maintenance so don't be put off by the message you get) - it's a very good, friendly forum, which funnily enough is how I found this forum.  Round about this time a couple of years ago it also nearly closed, and this forum was suggested as an alternative (you could say it's come full circle now), however another mod took it over at the 11th hour and it's still going fairly strongly, although, like many others, not as busy as it was when I first joined but still quite lively with other discussions too eg food and drink/wildlife/quiz pages etc.

 

It will be sad to see this forum go but as you say maybe these things are cyclical, I will try to check in with the Facebook group but I'm not that active on FB mainly due to work and not wanting to spend even more time on screen than I have to!

 

Thanks to everyone for keeping it going for so long.

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