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Ten Years Online, Happy Birthday to Us
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Lillyivimia
post Oct 1 2018, 04:10 AM
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Hi All,

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the Wentworth Forum being online. It's a testament not only to the sheer longevity of Prisoner, but also to the unbridled loyalty of each and every member who logged in and posted day in and day out for an whole decade. Despite the show we all love having such a relatively short span, we've managed to keep the discussion going year after year and, as a result, we've never been a completely dead forum (although we have slowed down in the last year or so, sadly). Over the years we've seen members come and go, we've had lively debates and full-on rows, we've had spells of frenetic activity and oases of almost-zero posting - and yet through it all you, the ever-loyal members, have kept the forum alive and vibrant. For this I sincerely thank you. A forum is only as good as its membership and we are blessed to have a really solid group of members and therefore a really outstanding forum. Long may that be the case!

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the many moderators who've given of their time over the years, not least of all Robert, whose efforts have always been above and beyond the call of duty and without whom we wouldn't have the brilliant, eye-catching banners that often graces out front page. I'd also like to thank Jock and Smash, both of whom have been invaluable as helpers behind the scenes and who have always been true and loyal friends.

The members, of course, are the life blood of the forum and I'd like you to know I value each and every one of you. Each post and friendly interaction keeps the forum ticking over - and therefore keeps it alive. It';s my hope that we can continue to pull together to keep the forum online for ten years more. And beyond!

Thanks again one and all ... and Happy Birthday to Wentworth Forum. Still relevant after all these years!

Carl
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Robert
post Oct 1 2018, 08:01 PM
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CHEERS to TEN YEARS

(IMG:https://image.ibb.co/g2BOZK/BACKSTAGE_86_cast_staff_room.jpg)
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Falconer_1
post Oct 2 2018, 07:24 AM
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Great achievement and dedication.

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/scarf.gif)
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Lillyivimia
post Oct 2 2018, 01:59 PM
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Thanks, guys - nice to see so many members joining in the celebrations.

Or not, as the case might be.

Honestly, sometimes I wonder why I bother. Maybe I won't anymore ...
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Falconer_1
post Oct 2 2018, 03:28 PM
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QUOTE (Lillyivimia @ Oct 2 2018, 02:59 PM) *
Thanks, guys - nice to see so many members joining in the celebrations.

Or not, as the case might be.

Honestly, sometimes I wonder why I bother. Maybe I won't anymore ...

Don't get disheartened. You're not alone in wishing the forum was busier. Please be assured that your work with the forum, maintaining it, running it (with the great help of others of course), now and over a full decade, is very much appreciated. I'm sure I'm not the only person who feels this, either. (Recall too that this thread is in the upper part of the forum main page, which not everyone first looks at. So maybe not everyone sees it? Seriously, I'm sure everyone who is on the board thinks it's a great feat (it is) to reach a great 10 year milestone. Think of how many other forums, covering whatever topic, have been and gone over 10 years)
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Lillyivimia
post Oct 2 2018, 04:32 PM
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Thanks for the kind words, Falconer - they (and your support) are much appreciated. As always. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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TheOldJude
post Oct 2 2018, 05:34 PM
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This forum is high on my list of bookmarks and one I don't see myself ever resigning from, Carl. No playground mentality, just a group of likeminded individuals having the craíc and discussing our favourite programme.

Here's to the next 10 years.
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Falconer_1
post Oct 2 2018, 06:07 PM
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QUOTE (TheOldJude @ Oct 2 2018, 06:34 PM) *
This forum is high on my list of bookmarks and one I don't see myself ever resigning from, Carl. No playground mentality, just a group of likeminded individuals having the craíc and discussing our favourite programme.

Here's to the next 10 years.


Here, here!
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LeachFreakTits
post Oct 3 2018, 12:04 AM
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Happy Ten Years to the forum and wow,it's so worth celebrating.
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Dr Peterson
post Oct 3 2018, 10:26 PM
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Happy Ten Years! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/scarf.gif) Sorry I missed this news and the new banner (had to delete temporary files, so now I see it) which is beautiful as always. Thanks to all the posters and to Carl and Robert you both are amazing and there will always be people here who appreciate your work A LOT!
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Robert
post Oct 4 2018, 12:36 AM
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QUOTE (Dr Peterson @ Oct 3 2018, 11:26 PM) *
Carl and Robert you both are amazing and there will always be people here who appreciate your work A LOT!

What a lovely thing to say thank you xx

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/thankx.gif) (IMG:style_emoticons/default/friends.gif) (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smilies-16940.png)
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Falconer_1
post Oct 4 2018, 03:50 PM
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When you started it all, 10 years ago this week, what was the initial uptake like? Was it busy from the get-go, or did it build up over the first year etc? Back then, the DVDs were starting to show, and I imagine that spurned Prisoner interest amongst fans a lot, maybe leading to an influx and more active discussion back then?
Has it been that the activity has slowed considerably in the period after the last (vol 20) DVD was released, has it trickled down linearly over time?
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Lillyivimia
post Oct 4 2018, 04:29 PM
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When the forum started, there was a huge amount of activity. This was mainly because the forum was created in the aftermath of OTI closing down their forum (the official forum at the time) and so we inherited all those active posters. The activity kept pretty consistent for years, to be fair and it's difficult to put an exact point at which the activity began to decline. Just a progressive thing, I guess, with some posters who were very active at the time either leaving or slowing down as the years flew by.

I think Wentworth being shown had had both a positive and a detrimental effect on posting. It is, after all, the new kid on the block and so this is where the interest lies. As such, we get frenetic activity when Wentworth is being broadcast, only for a practical dearth of posts after the final episode, with even Wentworth not being discussed. So it's positive that we have these frenetic periods due to the new show, but detrimental because it detracts from Prisoner and less people arte inclined to think of ways of keeping that debate going. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Falconer_1
post Oct 4 2018, 05:41 PM
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QUOTE (Lillyivimia @ Oct 4 2018, 05:29 PM) *
When the forum started, there was a huge amount of activity. This was mainly because the forum was created in the aftermath of OTI closing down their forum (the official forum at the time) and so we inherited all those active posters. The activity kept pretty consistent for years, to be fair and it's difficult to put an exact point at which the activity began to decline. Just a progressive thing, I guess, with some posters who were very active at the time either leaving or slowing down as the years flew by.

I think Wentworth being shown had had both a positive and a detrimental effect on posting. It is, after all, the new kid on the block and so this is where the interest lies. As such, we get frenetic activity when Wentworth is being broadcast, only for a practical dearth of posts after the final episode, with even Wentworth not being discussed. So it's positive that we have these frenetic periods due to the new show, but detrimental because it detracts from Prisoner and less people arte inclined to think of ways of keeping that debate going. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)


Did you also have input in the running of the OTI site? I noticed your said 'closing down their forum', so of course others were involved in running that show, but were you also a mod/owner?
I never knew about that OTI site. I presume it originated from the original fan club, which was postal based, in the dinosaur days pre internet? Why did it close down if (I presume) it was very active?
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Lillyivimia
post Oct 4 2018, 05:56 PM
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QUOTE (Falconer_1 @ Oct 4 2018, 06:41 PM) *
Did you also have input in the running of the OTI site? I noticed your said 'closing down their forum', so of course others were involved in running that show, but were you also a mod/owner?
I never knew about that OTI site. I presume it originated from the original fan club, which was postal based, in the dinosaur days pre internet? Why did it close down if (I presume) it was very active?


No, I had no input at all in the OTI forum. In fact, sadly I only joined a few months or so before it was announced as being closed down and so was only getting into my stride there when this forum was opened as a replacement for the official forum.

I'm not too sure about the origins of the present Official Fan Club, except that it took over from the original. The forum closed down, basically, because being an 'official' forum the admins (Scott and Barry) felt that it was impossible for them to balance extreme poster views with their responsibilities to the various Powers That Be in the Prisoner World. As I understand it, there was a lot of trouble at various times, where Scott and Barry felt trapped between a rock and a hard place and so in the end felt it was better to call it a day and allow an 'unofficial' forum to fill the gap left by its closure. But, as the Coral Drouyn debacle a few years back proves, even an 'unofficial' forum can attract undesired pressure and attention from 'official' sources. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Falconer_1
post Oct 4 2018, 06:01 PM
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QUOTE (Lillyivimia @ Oct 4 2018, 06:56 PM) *
No, I had no input at all in the OTI forum. In fact, sadly I only joined a few months or so before it was announced as being closed down and so was only getting into my stride there when this forum was opened as a replacement for the official forum.

I'm not too sure about the origins of the present Official Fan Club, except that it took over from the original. The forum closed down, basically, because being an 'official' forum the admins (Scott and Barry) felt that it was impossible for them to balance extreme poster views with their responsibilities to the various Powers That Be in the Prisoner World. As I understand it, there was a lot of trouble at various times, where Scott and Barry felt trapped between a rock and a hard place and so in the end felt it was better to call it a day and allow an 'unofficial' forum to fill the gap left by its closure. But, as the Coral Drouyn debacle a few years back proves, even an 'unofficial' forum can attract undesired pressure and attention from 'official' sources. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)


Cheers. It's interesting learning the history and to have the gaps filled. What was the Drouyn issue? Of course please don't elaborate it it's a tentative subject.
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Lillyivimia
post Oct 4 2018, 06:19 PM
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QUOTE (Falconer_1 @ Oct 4 2018, 07:01 PM) *
Cheers. It's interesting learning the history and to have the gaps filled. What was the Drouyn issue? Of course please don't elaborate it it's a tentative subject.



Coral was on the forum for a little while and some of what she had to say attracted the attention of Val Lehman, who took exception to it and contacted me behind-the-scenes to have her say and give her own version of events. Things got very difficult for awhile, with divisions being generate don the forum as a result.

This is the thread in question:

Coral Drouyn
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cwathen
post Oct 4 2018, 07:03 PM
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Happy 10 years! Had a few days away at work and only just got around to posting. Thank you Carl and Rob

Even if things have got quieter, it is a huge achievement to have lasted that long. I think partly the quietness is because discussion forums aren't what they were generally. Another forum I posted in recently celebrated it's 15th anniversary. The forum has 242 pages of threads, but the past year fits onto just 2. Going back 5 years to it's own 10th anniversary is 27 pages in, quite a bit busier than it is now, but that was also nothing considering that it had racked up over 200 pages worth of threads at it's 10th anniversary. In order to be particularly noticeable as a regular poster, you had to post pretty much daily. Now you can have your name all over the first page of the forum as long as you make about 1 post a month.

Personally, although I don't necessarily post all the time, I do visit the forum very regularly and sometimes spend hours reading all the old posts. It is still a brilliant resource and it would be a shame if all that disappeared.

I do think someone hit the nail on the head that this forum came around the same time as the DVD release. The original full Aussie release had only been around for a year, and with the UK releases starting in 2009, this made Prisoner generally available to a mass audience in a way that it hadn't been for years. Until then all you had were any ropey old VHS recordings that you'd held on to, with very few people having a complete collection. Even though I had quite an extensive VHS collection I don't think I ever had much more than half of the series available (and even that was skewed to the beginning and end of the series) and the quality of some of them was so bad that they were pretty unwatcheable (I had a few 3rd and even 4th generation dubs, along with some episodes which were 1st generation recordings but made on a knackered old VCR where the sound would sometimes cut out).

Until the DVDs there were still a small number of episodes that I'd never seen before, and it was the first time since originally watching it that I'd done a full run of the series. And if you are watching Prisoner through 'unofficial' means, they are all rips of the DVDs and were not available in the past.

It is only natural that against this backdrop the forum would be busier. I think the annual upturn during Wentworth being broadcast is only natural, as it creates opportunities for new discussion.

I do think though that given the subject matter is limited (the 692 episodes of Prisoner + however many there eventually are of Wentworth and that's about it) it is also natural that existing members can't keep contributing at the same rate forever. Many of us have discussed the subject to death over the past 10 years, and I know I've made what is essentially the same posts multiple times as topics come back up. More could be done to attract new members which would improve the level of interest for those engaging in discussion for the first time. I would suggest it would be better to remove the requirement to be registered and signed up in order to view the forum. I realise there is a risk of bots signing up (but surely they can be managed somehow, other forums must face and be able to deal with these issues) but if people could discover the forum through seeing the posts pop up on google searches (which at present you can't as it doesn't get indexed) and do a certain about of 'trying before buying' this would help recruit.

But, very glad to see the forum make it to 10 years and still be here, here's to another 10!
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Lillyivimia
post Oct 4 2018, 07:15 PM
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Thanks for the feedback and suggestions, cwathen - much appreciated. And, yes, I'd say there's a lot of truth in your assessments of why posting, in general, is on the decline.

Your suggestion of allowing people to view the forum (or a part of it) before they sign/register is an interesting one and might be a good way to go. I'll certainly keep it in mind.

As far as the suggestion goes, I'd like to hear anyone else's feedback on the idea. On the whole, would members prefer an 'exclusive' forum or a 'try before you buy, sort of forum, where 'guests' can view the content of the forum before they register and get posting rights? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/Listening.gif)
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Screwbaiter
post Oct 4 2018, 07:18 PM
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Hey great achievement everyone!!!
I know the board can be a little quiet at times... but it'll never die. Much like Pris itself.
Well done to all admins for the past decade of laughs and knowledge.
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cwathen
post Oct 4 2018, 07:59 PM
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QUOTE (Lillyivimia @ Oct 4 2018, 08:15 PM) *
As far as the suggestion goes, I'd like to hear anyone else's feedback on the idea. On the whole, would members prefer an 'exclusive' forum or a 'try before you buy, sort of forum, where 'guests' can view the content of the forum before they register and get posting rights? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/Listening.gif)

I realise this was supposed to be for other's feedback, but I don't see how it would change anything for the existing members. The experience would be no different as people would still need to register to be able to contribute at all so there would be no actual change to the flavour of the forum.

The main reason for doing it would be for things to be indexed on search engines (specifically, to be indexed on Google). The way the internet has gone, people don't really look at a genre-specific site and then view a page of other sites on the same genre to discover new ones as used to be done. These days, if you can't find something by searching for it on Google then it's never going to be discovered by more than a handful of people. I'm convinced there are a lot of Prisoner fans who have never heard of this forum but if they could stumble upon it they would join and post.

This post has been edited by cwathen: Oct 4 2018, 07:59 PM
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Lillyivimia
post Oct 4 2018, 08:43 PM
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QUOTE (cwathen @ Oct 4 2018, 08:59 PM) *
I realise this was supposed to be for other's feedback, but I don't see how it would change anything for the existing members. The experience would be no different as people would still need to register to be able to contribute at all so there would be no actual change to the flavour of the forum.

The main reason for doing it would be for things to be indexed on search engines (specifically, to be indexed on Google). The way the internet has gone, people don't really look at a genre-specific site and then view a page of other sites on the same genre to discover new ones as used to be done. These days, if you can't find something by searching for it on Google then it's never going to be discovered by more than a handful of people. I'm convinced there are a lot of Prisoner fans who have never heard of this forum but if they could stumble upon it they would join and post.


I have known one or two members in the past who were very much against the idea of guests being able to see content without signing up first. From what I understood, it was liking that idea of being 'exclusive'. I imagine that the majority would be perfectly content one way or another, so I just thought I'd put the question 'out there' and get some feedback on the idea. I personally think it's a good idea and may be the boost we need and so I'm seriously considering the notion. And thank you for suggesting it. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Falconer_1
post Oct 5 2018, 07:32 AM
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I think the ability to view the forum without having to register would be a good idea. Of course people still have to register to post. If it transpired that blatant trolls came in abundance, things could be changed back again. However, I'm sure that wouldn't be much of a problem, but I guess I'm a big free speech proponent, as long as it's generally subject related, so I'm probably not the best to advise.
Of course though, just because a forum is available to view, don't necessarily mean an influx of new contributors would occur- I view a few forums on other hobbies myself, but haven't joined. However, I can't see opening up the forum 'publically' would be a bad thing. In theory anyway.

This post has been edited by Falconer_1: Oct 5 2018, 07:46 AM
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Dr Peterson
post Oct 5 2018, 06:00 PM
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QUOTE (Robert @ Oct 4 2018, 12:36 AM) *
What a lovely thing to say thank you xx


Thank you! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

QUOTE (Falconer_1 @ Oct 5 2018, 08:32 AM) *
I think the ability to view the forum without having to register would be a good idea.


I think it's a great idea! How many curious people out there would really go through the register procedure just to find out if the forum is for them or not? There is so much interesting here to read and if people can see that I think many would love to dive in and discuss.
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PavlovsDog
post Oct 5 2018, 11:07 PM
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10 years is a real achievement and I hope this can carry on, especially as I am still working through the original episodes.

I must apologise that my posting has slowed in the last month or so, for no obvious reason I rattled through the 1984 season in about 6 weeks but then have really struggled to find the motivation in the 1985 episodes. I plodded through to the episode where Len Murphy was set up for Pixie’s rape but for some reason have just not watched any in a few weeks.

I guess it is in part because US shows are coming back with new seasons, I have for my sins decided to follow the last Big Brother and as a sports fan, especially US sports, September and October are busy months as NFL has started and baseball is in the thick of the playoffs (and my team are involved and highly fancied)

I will try to squeeze it in and hopefully contribute a bit more.
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Lillyivimia
post Oct 7 2018, 06:57 PM
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Thanks All - your feedback and suggestions have been noted and are (as always) appreciated.

I've set the board up now so that Guests can see the board, read the various threads and come and go as they please. However, if they wish to post, they'll need to register as a Member. I'll review the situation in a couple of months to ascertain if it makes a difference to active posting. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Falconer_1
post Oct 7 2018, 07:05 PM
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Cool. I thought my computer was on the blink just now when I tried to 'log on' lol
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Lillyivimia
post Oct 7 2018, 07:07 PM
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QUOTE (Falconer_1 @ Oct 7 2018, 08:05 PM) *
Cool. I thought my computer was on the blink just now when I tried to 'log on' lol



Yes, it's a bit of a culture shock for me seeing the forum come up instead of the 'log in' page. Quite unsettling after ten years - still, we'll see how it goes. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Robert
post Oct 8 2018, 06:39 AM
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Sounds a good idea to me cwathen and Carl - as digital spy is like that and I would stay is still a fairly active forum? There have been times I have searched a very specific subject and digital spy forum comes up and I log in to post!
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cwathen
post Oct 8 2018, 06:55 PM
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Hopefully it will as it starts to get indexed by search engines.
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Mark
post Oct 24 2018, 04:03 PM
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Ten years - wow.

I was a moderator on the OTI site and as soon as it closed down, I joined here.

This forum has been a big distraction in some of the most difficult times of my life. I don't log on as much as I'd like but I do like coming back to it, I enjoy writing episodes of my fanfiction - Barnhurst - I'll get to the end of it eventually!

I have really enjoyed learning a lot about the show I love, that I really didn't know.

I've enjoyed taking part in lively discussions about all of the characters and storylines, playing games and voting in polls, I love conversation and the reasons behind people's preferences.

I've learnt alot about people here too.

Carl you've done an amazing job to keep this going for as long as you have.

Here's to the next 10 years.

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Lillyivimia
post Oct 24 2018, 04:17 PM
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Thanks Mark - I appreciate your comments and I'm glad that you've enjoyed the forum over the years. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Falconer_1
post Oct 24 2018, 04:22 PM
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Keep posting Mark- and hopefully more regularly; your contributions and analysis are great (IMG:style_emoticons/default/thumbsupfi8.gif)
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Mark
post Oct 24 2018, 04:34 PM
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QUOTE (Falconer_1 @ Oct 24 2018, 05:22 PM) *
Keep posting Mark- and hopefully more regularly; your contributions and analysis are great (IMG:style_emoticons/default/thumbsupfi8.gif)


Thanks, I used to post here every day, more than once, but work gets in the way now far too much, so my presence is usually linked to school holidays - I'm a teacher!
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