Originally Posted by F. Corbera
1. Many basic topics relevant to MC were covered in great depth years ago on other sites, leaving the subset of those guys who are active in some form on SF—and who can discuss these topics with intelligence and direct knowledge—uninterested in recapitulation. So, the "old" content on SF is shallower than one might presume since the center of gravity for such topics was never here. In contrast, those other sites purposefully excluded the topics that interest those on SF who are active in SW&D.
This is why SF's DNA is more about casual clothes despite the significant traffic that might come through here seeking answers to questions about coat and tie. Streetwear is SF's knowledge repository, thus, it does not surprise me that this "feature the best post" effort is skewed that way.
2. There is very little snark on MC today. There is a fair bit of shallow and juvenile rudeness. The cleverness of insider jokes has declined with the decline of the cleverness of insiders.
3. The number of members who are, or are trying, to make money by selling to other members is a more pervasive element than before, and the whole site has a more commercial feel. This casts a subtle pall over things. It is hard to say if this is better or worse than the ham-handed brute commercialism of Ask Andy, or the even the London Lounge, but it's pretty much killed the "we're all in this together" tone of the past.
4. There are better, technologically more advanced, outlets now for some of the most fun things relating to clothes. Blogging and tumblr, for example, although that is not everyone's bag.
No reason to weep. Such changes are merely the way things are.
I disagree with pretty much all of this, though I suspect that I'm not going to be able to convince the poster that this is true. I'm going to quickly address points 2, 3, and 4) before going back to 1).
2) The snark levels have always varied, as has the rudeness levels. If you look at the earliest, developmental stages of the forum (say, 2002-2004) there is very little in the way of snark, and a lot more in the way of gentle and earnest advice. During the really large growth periods (2007-2011), when traffic and posting increased by about 100%+ per year, the snarkiness and honestly, general nastiness levels also varied.
3) The fact is that there were many more vendors (though they did not pay any fee at that time) in about 2004-2005 than there are today.
4) Blogging and Tumblr are great for broadcasting a specific point of view. Neither are particularly good for conversations. This is the strength of discussion forums, which are a very old technology. Twitter gets it better, but the 140 character limit really limits the conversations to snippets and bon mots. It's not enough. People want to converse in long forum with one another. The points in the post above, for example, could not be made on twitter in any sensible fashion.
Now, onto 1)
There are plenty of things to talk about, but which people do not, or at least not on a regular basis. A few topics that I can think of off the top of my head which would lend themselves to good discussion topics:
i) The emergence online MTM outfits and how that impacts on traditional tailors and shirtmakers.
ii) How have traditional haberdashers been responding to pressure from the internet, and what adjustments have they been making best use of their natural advantages (this discussion was had over in SW&D, and a similar, but even more important, discussion could be had here, for a number of reasons.)
iii) The balance between increasing and having smarter PR, marketing, and adjusting to the changing needs of the market (personally, I think that PR is what is needed, and that outfits like Gieves and Hawkes chose the wrong approach, while firms like Trickers and John Lobb chose the right path.)
And these are just topics in which I am personally interested, since I am interested in the digital landscape and in the business of clothing.
There are lots of topics about production (like the rampant abuse of the "Super" system, and tricks that mills use to get a higher number, at the detriment of their product; can a machine actually be constructed to do true pickstitching, and can it be cost effective) trends (how did Neapolitan tailoring become so popular, compared to say, English? Are young workers being found to replace old workers. Why or why not? Contrast tailoring with watchmaking, etc...)
Anyway, back on topic. Let's see what we've come up with in the past year. I challenge you to find the cool discussions and interesting photologs, and to start more new and interesting discussions. Let's try to get a winning post or two from MC.