In short, the site needs regular writers, a news reporter and, probably, a comments moderator but do read on…

Content is the lifeblood of any publication or website. It’s been the driving force of my involvement on the Everton-related Web ever since Evertonia.com really got going in the late 1990s and it has under-pinned the best of ToffeeWeb.com since the sites merged in 2001.

In recent years, I’ve watched with curiosity as initiative after initiative has struggled to make a lasting success of what should be an attractive proposition — i.e. informed, considered, analytical football content — and I’m now following with interest as The Athletic appears well positioned to finally make a good fist of providing football-related journalism on a well-designed, accessible format, free of ads and dependent on reader subscriptions.

It’s something I tried to do with the 1878 Magazine digital mag initiative I launched in 2014 but eventually had to shelve, partly because of costs but largely because I couldn’t develop both that and run ToffeeWeb without a band of committed writers behind me. Writing consistently is time- and energy-consuming so it’s understandably difficult to find people to do it on an ongoing basis. (The Athletic will be able to afford to have just a couple of “beat” reporters for each club because of the aggregate heft of its coverage across all sport on both sides of The Pond; single-club operations need larger pools of contributors.)

Obviously, I haven’t given up on the format of longer-form Toffee-centric writing as 1878 Magazine lives on with periodic pieces as part of ToffeeWeb but for it and TW to grow further, they need more content than we’ve been able to provide, not only from the practical standpoint of time but also from the need for breadth of opinion from a number of different Evertonian voices.

I am indebted to the likes of Rob Sawyer who provide this site with a stream of wonderful articles that allow us to revel in Everton’s rich history but TW is missing more regular contributors from the online fanbase, some fresh blood. It’s not a problem unique to TW, of course; other sites regularly pitch for columnists and writers while others have fallen by the wayside as a consequence of the realities of running something like this that requires constant updating, year-round.

It’s a question of time, obviously (and energy, to a large degree!), and time is money, which is also what this partly boils down to. If there was enough money in this content lark, the drive to create more of it would be all the greater, but for ToffeeWeb it’s a bit of a vicious circle: in order to subsidise writers, the site would need a revenue stream, which would come from those willing to pay for content… which can’t really be sustained on a long-term basis without money! That needs to be the goal, though, which is the reason for this open pitch for more contributors to the site.

If you’ve been looking for a reason to write more about the Blues, you don’t need an invitation to become a regular contributor to ToffeeWeb, just a passion and the ability to write coherently about this club we all love. Send us some words and we’ll see if they can have a place on the site.

Are you an Everton blogger? Why not make the ToffeeWeb the home for your musings or, at the least, cross-post your articles here? This site can provide you with thousands of readers and, if you want it, active discussion of your pieces. Eventually, it would be nice to be able to send a little financial reward your way — some beer money on matchdays; some coin to cover your travel expenses; maybe one day TW could pay for your season ticket!

Are you a news hound who has your eye on the latest happenings at the club? Would you be interested in covering news for ToffeeWeb on a regular basis? Get in touch.

Also, if you’re a regular poster on the site and feel as though you have a good feel for how comments on ToffeeWeb should be moderated and order maintained on the site, feel free also to drop us a line. To be honest, it’s not a taxing gig — we have established a community that is mostly civil and respectful of fellow Blues and it doesn't require a lot of nannying!

Finally, if writing for an Everton site is something you would be really keen to do but feel as though ToffeeWeb isn’t the place for you to do so, for whatever reason, I’d be interested in your brutally honest feedback.

Thanks for reading and COYB!


Reader Comments (106)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer


James Flynn
1 Posted 07/08/2019 at 19:25:43
Just posted it to Everton USA's Facebook page. They;re always gabbing away in there. Maybe you'll get some feedback.
Paul Kelly
2 Posted 08/08/2019 at 08:57:25
Fair play, Lyndon, I read many an article on other sites but they don't get the discussion/replies that they deserve too.

TW is quality, but more quality is always welcome. To you Lyndon/Michael, would you welcome a piece from the likes of Chico, who once wrote on GOT? (ps: I know who he writes for now.) Would this site welcome a more 'light-hearted' review of all things Everton?

A lot of comedians on this site, but that only comes across in the discussions; would you be willing to stray off the path of 'seriousness' for reviews/previews?

Not sure if 'seriousness ' was the right description (or even if it's a word), but do you see the angle I'm coming from?

Neil Wood
3 Posted 08/08/2019 at 20:24:16
Hello... I am aware we have spoken previously about this and I have offered to write some articles, match reports, match previews etc...

I think I found it difficult as I certainly do not want to tread on anyone’s toes and say write a match report or preview if your good self or others are doing it.

I am still more than happy to be a regular contributor and thankfully now have an abundance of rest days owing to shift work that will easier allow this.

Kind regards

Neil

Steve Ferns
4 Posted 09/08/2019 at 00:31:21
I'll try to contribute more articles, Lyndon. Like Neil, I don't want to tread on other people's toes. Also, I thought people got a bit bored of my stuff, I can't blame them!
Jamie Crowley
5 Posted 09/08/2019 at 00:54:44
I'd also suggest that our "regular" readers contribute via the Patron option.

I contributed something last year, hell I don't even remember how much. $35 or some such number? But I remember thinking to myself, "I read TW constantly, and it provides me with hours of entertainment."

Christ on a bike, I probably pay $20 per month to go watch a shit movie with my wife on average!

So I'd say those who love TW need to pony up. I mean, $5 a month, what's that? Not a ton. Anyone can budget their way out of that deficiency. For those more flush, be generous or give something.


Writing? I actually wrote for my college newspaper back in the day. But seeing Lyndon have to correct a massive amount of run-on sentences and punctuation with my submissions, I'll leave it to the experts.

Donate some money and help the cause.

Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
6 Posted 09/08/2019 at 17:35:25
Paul, what Chico does he does very well and it suits EvertonAren'tWe in a way that it probably doesn't ToffeeWeb. His irreverent style wouldn't be very "on-brand" for us... but then I imagine it's that more staid, straight-laced brand that makes it seem as though more light-hearted fare wouldn't be welcome here but there's always a place for it.

As I say above, I would love to bring on more contributions of all kinds. I was updating our links to Everton-related blogs last night and 75% have gone or aren't updated anymore. My guess is that the commitment to regular articles with no guarantee of an audience is hard to meet but ToffeeWeb has the eyeballs and there's no demand that you write to any schedule. If I can get enough people contributing as and when they feel like it, the site can only benefit.

Neil, Steve, you wouldn't be treading on anyone's toes, certainly not in terms of general articles but particularly in terms of match reports. I think people like to read varied accounts and impressions of a game so I don't think there's a limit.

The previews are obviously different but I see there being scope for a collaboration there, especially when it comes to player match-ups and tactics – those are aspects of the build-up to games that I usually don't have the bandwidth to get into.

So, again, please don't feel hesitant about proposing an article, report, etc. The article submission page is always open. I would also add that formatting, grammar shouldn't deter you. That can always be cleaned up.

Finally, thanks Jamie. Part of this content drive is to make people feel like the site is more worthy of throwing some of their hard-earned shekels at so I appreciate your clarion call! Plus, we still get regular complaints about pop-up and video ads taking over their browsers – becoming a Patron is the surefire way to get rid of them.

Andy Crooks
7 Posted 09/08/2019 at 23:45:50
Lyndon, sometimes threads develop that go a little beyond our club. I have never seen anyone complain but they are chopped. Now, I understand why some topics, politics for example, are out of bounds, but in keeping with the pub atmosphere of the site, why should horse racing, a bit of golf, Tony Bellew be removed from main threads?

Also, Lyndon, I think the site has become a little tame. Do you not have some nostalgia for the Dave Wilson, Eugene, Dodds, Marsh, Kirwin etc days when there was an edge to the site that was compelling?

I do understand your point. This website is the best fan site around. If only the team could match it. I honestly think there are good writers on here who concentrate on commenting rather than starting a thread. Tommy Carter, Jim Bennings and dozens of others have stuff to say, debates to start.

The first time, many, many years ago that I submitted something, I was astonished when it appeared. The standard on this site is magnificent. A very close friend was writing a book on football fan sites. Sadly he died before completion. He knew more about the subject than anyone I have ever met. He said this was the best.

Next week, some Evertonians will be meeting up thanks to ToffeeWeb. I expect your post will be discussed.

Fran Mitchell
8 Posted 09/08/2019 at 00:13:32
There are regular contributors on here who make huge comments in threads which, with more consideration, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd drafts would make excellent articles. The likes of Steve and his tactical analysis always stirs debate, Sam and his statistical analysis also, Jay Brazil and his general analysis of player performance. All of these could contribute further.

A space for the more 'radical' commentators would be interesting. Often the more 'radical' commentators can dominate a thread, but with more elaborated and thought-out pieces, they could contribute really engaging reads.

Something else would be an area for general discussion on not specifically Everton-related football discussions... VAR, Grassroots football, Women's EPL, general reviews of the Premier League and a such. We all enjoy eneryone's take on the game we love, but there are only so many times we can discuss whether Calvert-Lewin will learn to score or not, and we all enjoy discussing football beyond just Everton, as half the threads are evidence to.

Paul Kelly
9 Posted 10/08/2019 at 05:27:49
Keeping in context with what Fran and Andy are alluding too, and quoting yourself, "makes it seem as though more light-hearted fare wouldn't be welcome here but there's always a place for it".

Could there be a place for it? Here? For the more radical, off beat pub atmosphere and I'm not advocating a return off the "offside forum" (train wreck as it became) per se, an exclusive members only section maybe, with exclusive light hearted Everton related but off beat content, articles, forums as such without interfering with the main content that makes this so good in the first place.

Len Gowing
10 Posted 10/08/2019 at 20:58:12
As a lurker and very sporadic with my comments I would be happy to post thoughts however, a couple of years ago I wrote something along the lines of "what if?" based on a couple of key moments of the season.

I'd never done anything of a similar ilk in the past but was shot down in flames by those that didn't appreciate the points I was making. That put paid to any further thoughts of contributing. Need a thicker skin maybe? What about a guest "fan view" report each week? They may not be of the quality of Ken Buckley et al but may give you a wider variety of contributors, with the caveat of possibly switching off comments for those not of a thicker skin ?

Paul Birmingham
11 Posted 11/08/2019 at 16:37:30
It’s a good point Lyndon, and family, and work eats up people time but I reckon there’s scope to add some fresh ideas.

Maybe a specific football theme that’s fresh or matters we take conscious awareness of i.e. match day travel costs for away games, costs of food and drink at football grounds across the country, the day, the game hat was i.e. Forty years ago v Dukla Prague etc.

There’s plenty of people who follow TW, who have traversed the generations and grounds across the UK and preseason tours, for some good write ups.

Peter Mills
12 Posted 11/08/2019 at 18:53:03
Lyndon, to follow up on Andy, Fran and Paul, one of my favourite elements of this site is when someone goes off on a tangent and there is then some excellent banter and thoughtful and/or humorous comment.

One such jam session took place a few weeks ago when the cricket World Cup Final was taking place, but all the posts suddenly disappeared as they were off-topic.

I understand why this was done, you and Michael run a disciplined ship. However, instead of removing all the posts, I felt they could have been shifted to a new “miscellaneous” thread where the conversation could have continued.

You may say that this is website about Everton. I would argue that pub discussions about Everton often go off on all sorts of angles. I would also suggest that, like the occasional TW get-togethers, having these good-natured interchanges helps to promote respect and goodwill between contributors, something has been somewhat lacking in places in the comments after yesterday’s game.

Paul Tran
13 Posted 11/08/2019 at 19:00:04
I've been meaning to send something in, Lyndon, so I got round to it today.

I'd be happy to write regularly if you think it's readable.

Let me know.

Stephen Brown
14 Posted 11/08/2019 at 19:07:56
What about a weekly, twitter style ‘ on this week' x amount of years ago? This could prompt some good discussion and memories.

I only thought of this as Tony Cottee's debut hat-trick came up on Twitter last week as being 31 years ago on this day and it brought great memories back for me as it was my first game at Goodison. Then, reading the Twitter comments, it was clear that many other blues had memories of it for other reasons! I found it an interesting read!

Some could be poignant (blue passing), some could be funny? Some good, some bad!

Just an idea?!

Jamie Crowley
15 Posted 11/08/2019 at 19:11:20
Stephen @ 14 -

That's been done. Patrick Murphy, whom I've not seen on the site in years, regularly contributed with "on this day x years ago" types of articles.

If my memory serves me right.

Steavey Buckley
16 Posted 11/08/2019 at 19:18:01
It does appear most comments appear on TW when Everton play badly. But the most lively debates occur on live forum before, during and after matches.
Jamie Crowley
17 Posted 11/08/2019 at 19:21:36
Andy Crooks @ 7 makes a very good point about some of the TW legends.

Ferry, Ruane, Foster, Dodds, Daly, Marsh, Clitherow, Matthews (RIP), etc. [and I guarantee I left some out!]

They are brilliant people whom, Harold leaving us for the big Goodison in the sky aside, are missed massively for me.

I would crack through posts and literally stop on a dime for every single one of them.

It might be interesting to find out why are they not posting as much / if at all. Therein might lie some answers, and the return of their contributions would be so welcome. For me at any rate, but I'd believe I'm not alone in that sentiment.

Some of the funniest, thought-provoking, intelligent comments came from people like I listed above. The site is still wonderful, but it's less without the likes of the above contributing.

My two cents worth, and continuing on with Andy's thoughts.

David Pearl
18 Posted 11/08/2019 at 19:34:40
Len Gowing @10,

Now that is a great idea. How about we get a pot of names and each week its the turn of whomever is picked out to write the match report.

Or how about a match day thread sponsor or host? And perhaps whomever sponsors the match day thread can then do the report?

Integrates a lot of other people into the mix. It's hard to remember everyone you respond to or who responds to you or who writes something you like.

I think it would also be nice to have a ToffeeWeb events page so that, if any meet or golf day is on the agenda, it has its own spot so that people can find it. And the same with past events. People have been coming on here for years I'm sure it's of interest to see who it is you're talking to.

I would also not mind making a quarterly contribution to help the site.

Anyway, just a thought.

Paul Tran
19 Posted 11/08/2019 at 20:00:16
Stephen, that's an interesting idea. I really miss Ken Buckley's 'From My Seat' reports and I was thinking of doing some retrospective reports from memorable matches of the past. Pure nostalgic self-indulgence for me, but as a rare matchgoer these days, I'd enjoy sharing the memories. Some of them are even good!
Michael Kenrick
21 Posted 11/08/2019 at 20:33:56
Thanks for the feedback, Len @10; we can be a tough crowd, there's no doubting that. Some like it that way; some don't.

The thing about posting your opinion is usually that it will trigger counterpoints from those who disagree. They are more motivated, I think, to take the time and trouble to respond. Less so, and really less interesting, are the posts that just back you up and (rarely) pat you on the back for getting it right. There's generally much less motivation to make such affirmative posts.

I was curious how rough the rabble were with you back in the day, as I couldn't quite recall the hammering you'd received. So I searched out the thread and its 29 comments from back in 2013 here.

Now I only scanned the comments lightly, looking for the scalding fire and brimstone that smacked you down... but to no avail. It looks like a very typical thread, tbh, so I was left wondering just why that was your lasting memory of such a brave venture?

You triggered a reasonable discussion. A few posts pointed out that it's not 7 minutes that defines where you finish — it's the entire season. Okay, I suppose those posts did destroy the entire premise of your contribution... But I think it was done in the nicest possible way, surely?

Paul Birmingham
22 Posted 11/08/2019 at 20:52:54
As Evertonia, and the greater theme as what it means, I'm sure there's scope for TWers to get together more and try and bring further hope and potential to our common ground on TW.

We've all got tales and stories of games, scams, adventures good, bad, funny and memorable for good and bad reasons, the outrageous and the tough and often brutal times, but within agreed set criteria, we could enrich the TW site.

And as a side idea, a book could be the outcome of the combined tales and stories. I'm sure that would do well.

Long, long, way, away, and perhaps for legal reasons not practical.

Stephen Brown
23 Posted 11/08/2019 at 21:05:33
Jamie @15, oh yes I remember that now, although they were always games weren't they? I was suggesting anything Everton-related, including games, but also transfers? A passing of an ex-player?!

Paul T @ 19 I would be interested in reading your nostalgic match reports ! Go for it, I'd say!

Lyndon/Michael – would a weekly quiz be a good idea?

Andy Crooks
24 Posted 11/08/2019 at 21:33:19
Michael, would you rather we were a "tough crowd", or a soft site with no proper debate?

I would guess that you and Lyndon differ on that. You like to mix it, yes you do. Lyndon takes a more, shall we say, diplomatic approach.

Len Gowing
25 Posted 11/08/2019 at 21:51:28
Michael @21...

I can't bring myself to revisit 2013 and hindsight will probably cast my self-pity in maybe not as dark a light as I remember. I think possibly the crux of my comment was that, for some, it is not as easy as others to put forward their thoughts knowing that there will be certainly a whole host of opposing views.

Maybe some would say I should toughen up, and I take others points that lively debate is healthy, indeed I join in very occasionally. So maybe vs Watford I'll send something in conjunction with my 13-year-old who knows a damn sight more about the current team than I do.

However, he wasn't there when Big Bob scored his 30th (coincidentally when I was 13), in the kop (sic) when Sharpe scored that goal nor in Rotterdam in '85... all memories I have that I hope he will one day be able to surpass and wax lyrical on ToffeeWeb in the future with his own memories.

John Atkins
27 Posted 11/08/2019 at 22:03:50
What about TW Contributors doing video posts? Perhaps pre or post a game, people like to ‘watch' these days, I'd be happy to click on a link and listen and watch a fellow blue rabbiting on his or her opinions as well as acknowledging their emotion and you can then still comment.

Faces to names and all that would be good... or are most not keen on revealing themselves?

Some other fan sites I've been on shown have these kind of blogs / links.

Just another thought.

Brian Williams
28 Posted 11/08/2019 at 22:20:16
Len #25.

I followed Michael's link and read all the comments on the thread and didn't see any that called you an idiot, a happy clapper, a moaning fucker (one of my own that one), or anything insulting that we see quite regularly on here.

Some of the threads can be quite vicious and often go too far but yours wasn't one of them mate.Maybe time, and memory, has changed your perspective of it because it was tame to some of them I've read, and been involved in.

I'd have to say, if you make almost any comment on here, you've got to be prepared to be shot down in flames and at times totally "terrored" as my sons would say. If you're at all sensitive, then be very careful what you post.

But what would be preferable would be to post what you want (within reason) and say "fuck 'em" to those who attack you unfairly or with too much "vigour."

Off on a slight tangent, I DO notice that those who've attended the TW get togethers and met face to face rarely go OTT with others they've actually "met" which shows the value of actual real conversation or just a chance to see what the ugly fuckers look like in real life.

Tommy Carter
29 Posted 11/08/2019 at 22:22:29
I would love to contribute to this terrific fan website.

My knowledge of football is deep and multi-faceted although I’m sure some on here would argue that I know very little about the game.

I have some ideas that I think could be a feature that would provoke thought, comment and emotion.

Sam Hoare
30 Posted 11/08/2019 at 22:40:26
Lyndon, big fan with lots of appreciation for your work. Never occurs to me that TW is short of content but I'm happy to try and write a bit more. Was planning a little piece tomorrow as it happens.

Tommy @29, have you settled our Lookman bet yet?! Will keep chasing you till you do!

Andy Crooks
31 Posted 11/08/2019 at 22:46:05
Bring it on, Tommy. Brian, you are right. Even if you were to say, for example, that Walter Smith was shite I would reply respectfully and then put you right next Saturday.

It would be nice to seem some new faces next week.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
32 Posted 11/08/2019 at 23:19:37
Go for it, Tommy (#29)! Your thread posts have at times generated some lively discussions, and we would be more than happy to post longer reflective and considered items as Fan Comments or Talking Points. Lots of the other suggestions should be easy to implement. We just need YOU to take the lead and develop a contribution — match reports, videos, quizes — all great ideas.

I think on Andy's point (#24), we really do try not to influence or control the debate, and indeed welcome the diversity. Despite our differing personalities, if you could judge it on which posts we end up pulling off the site (independently), you'll see a broad similarity in what we accept (almost everything) and what we deem goes too far (a minuscule number).

Of course, the tiny minority who have fallen foul of our relatively modest Rules of Engagement will be the first to cry foul, and scream of free speech, hypocrisy, bias, favouritism, etc. They do tend to be among the more opinionated and provocative, as listed by Jamie at #17, which would lend credence to Andy's point that "the site has become a little tame".

Curation of the more lively threads becomes challenging and time-consuming for us. It's a lot easier when folks engage in civil debate while refraining from the insults of whatever shade. Maybe by imposing rules for tolerance and encouraging at least the acceptance of others having a right to hold opposing views does stifle the debate? But probably only for those others who want to add personal abuse and ad hominem attacks to strengthen their points.

Peter (#12) — we do have the General Forum. The subject matter that gets posted there is much more diverse. However, the off-topic stuff on our Everton-related threads is usually spontaneous and requires one of us to be on duty as and when the diversion occurs.

Just how 'general' stuff should get on there, though is a matter of taste. We could probably make an allowance for other sports, as we do now for other (non-Everton) football. But it is often just a couple of people having a back-and-forth that is very much 'in the moment' and works fine for them, but is just an unwanted distraction for others coming in later and following the thread — that's the main reason why those diversions tend to get removed.

Some great posts on here. Thanks for all your thoughts and ideas!

Paul Birmingham
33 Posted 11/08/2019 at 23:24:03
Loads of Amo, to stoker this site for years. Knowledge, appreciation and respect of the TW is top class, and respects the spirit of the game.

Knowledge and global appreciation of the game., we have a genuine community of a Evertonians.

Forget VAR, but we were there, before and will be there on the next edition of VAR.

It’s part of the game but TW is a community, and well earned, and will grow. 25 years and strong.

Brent Stephens
34 Posted 11/08/2019 at 23:31:01
Lyndon, John #27 suggests video posts. A nice idea.

Another one (that could incorporate that) - totally off the cuff and maybe totally off the wall, and not thought through (Sunday night after a few post-Palace depression wines!). A synchronous / live forum where people can talk (oral / audio). With the facilities of:

People posting written comments (a chat box) at the same time;

Showing a visual (eg, a static such as diagram of a team's formation or tactics, and talking us through that; or eg, a dynamic such as a video of a player or goal, or / etc...; - all great for a Steve Fern's teach-in!);

On-line polls;

Concurrent / parallel oral break-out discussion groups.

etc etc.

With the forum moderated / led by somebody who could kick-off proceedings at an agreed time of the week, who would moderate oral discussion (not in the sense of "moderating-out" offensive comments, but "chairing" and allowing people to make their oral and other contributions in turn).

There's a proprietary teaching platform called Electa that allows you to do this. I use it as part of a lecturing role. What I don't know is the cost of subscribing to the platform, and that might be (or might not be?) prohibitive – there might be a subset of (additional) subscriptions by (premium!) TW members that allows this, for those interested? Or different subsets (eg, a USA subset – Mike Gaynes, Jamie Crowley, etc); eg, the rs trolls on ToffeeWeb – joke!).

I'm not sure what sort of restriction you'd need to place on participation in terms of numbers at any one time (but you could set up different times for different TW groups) – I currently use it for a group of 20 students (I think the limit would be determined by the number you thought manageable within any individual forum).

You can set up a free trial at
Link

That was totally out of the box, totally off the wall. Happy to advise further. Or to take the laughter!

Peter Mills
35 Posted 12/08/2019 at 07:58:08
Michael #32, noted, thank you.
Andy Crooks
36 Posted 12/08/2019 at 21:46:27
Michael and Lyndon, were it not for this magnificent site I would not be travelling to Liverpool on Saturday to watch my team. And then going to meet the finest of people after the game. Thank you.
Peter Mills
37 Posted 12/08/2019 at 22:42:19
Andy #36, are you sorted for a pint before the match? If not, and you fancy one, you are welcome to join me and a few lads. Just reply on here and I’ll send you my email address.
Christine Foster
38 Posted 12/08/2019 at 23:38:35
Jamie (#17), some wonderful contributions from those you list and thank you for the mention! This site at its best is the at the pinnicle of a fans understanding of the game, it's world class on those days.

You learnt to stand up for what is right, and a dose of humility when you had to back off a foot or two. That's what the site does best, a soap bow, a rallying call, an inspiration full of humour, passion and love.

We aren't bitter, we are demanding of others yes but demanding of ourselves to live up to the tag of best and most informed supporters in the land.

We have a swagger that comes with a touch of class, we support in the same way we believe the team should play. With style.

ToffeeWeb reflects style, humour, passion and just sheer frustrations of Evertonian worldwide. It is the brick we built our house on, and every contributor another brick in the School of Science.

God help me there have been so many brilliant contributions, funny ones, informative analysis with cutting editorials that reverberated through the boardroom at Goodison.

Just like the teams we watch, they need new players and old heads who have the talent but also the experience, just like ToffeeWeb does... Our team has to succeed, ToffeeWeb can reach the world over. Let's hear the views anew from far and near!

Ed Fitzgerald
39 Posted 12/08/2019 at 00:03:50
Lyndon and Michael

I have read and sometimes contributed to the ToffeeWeb site for many years. It has, in my opinion become a rather safe and tame platform over recent years as some of the more controversial and amusing posters have ceased to contribute, eg, Tony Marsh, Eugene Ruane, Doddy to name but a few.

There appears to be less posts, articles and comments from local match going Evertonians than in past years and more from fans who either don't attend Goodison or who are internationally based. I am not saying this is a good or a bad thing, it is just an observation that I consider to have changed the character of the website.

Jay Harris
40 Posted 13/08/2019 at 00:26:43
Michael/Lyndon, this great site has many educated and well-informed blues that I am sure we will be overwhelmed with ideas and contributors.

I would love to contribute but with advancing years find that my literary ability isn't what it once was.

However, unless someone else has mentioned it I wouldn't mind posting a "Player of the Month" article with the ensuing arguments (er, debate) on the subject.

John G Davies
41 Posted 13/08/2019 at 11:12:56
Ed 39, could not agree more. Step out of the perceived safe zone and Michael will press the banned button. Far too sanitized for me to be honest if TW are, as we are led to believe, encouraging a true reflection of banter amongst match day Blues.

I don't know of any Evertonian who discusses the game and the club with the restrictions placed on posters of TW.

James Lauwervine
42 Posted 13/08/2019 at 11:17:01
I've been a TW reader for 20+ years and contributed a few articles sporadically over that time. I also make the odd comment on threads and have garnered MK's displeasure once or twice.

I enjoy reading the discussion threads but I'm often disappointed at the personal attacks, name-calling and cheap shots at players and management. I suppose it's to be expected given the number and variety of posters (not to mention the influence of alcohol), but it is never justified and simply detracts from the post and the thread. Of course, I don't have to read them and I generally just skip comments from the person responsible from then on.

I regularly think I should write another article but it's not so easy coming up with something original and interesting rather than just re-hashing what others have said. I will keep trying though, Lyndon, because I think this site is excellent and the work you and Michael do is to be both applauded and supported.

Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
43 Posted 13/08/2019 at 17:20:14
The notion that ToffeeWeb has become too “sanitised and tame” has been raised a couple of times already on this thread, with particular references to the likes of Tony Marsh, Richard Dodd, etc. The assumption appears to be that we somehow censored them off the site but nothing could be further from the truth.

I’ve said this time and time again but 95% (that figure is probably higher, honestly) of everything that gets submitted to this site, be it in the form of articles or comments, gets posted and that was true of Tony Marsh’s submissions. Sure, there was the odd one that was so full of invective that it was withheld but the bottom line is ToffeeWeb is run to a set of editorial standards and they’re really not that strict.

Richard was pretty much beaten into submission by the community simply for having the courage of his contrarian convictions and while Eugene appears to be alive and well on Twitter, he, like a number of other regular contributors just stopped posting. Some just do; they're here for years and then they just move on and it's not necessarily anything to do with ToffeeWeb (although it could be; if it is, they didn't say).

I’m sure you could name others but as it pertains to the supposed taming of ToffeeWeb, a lot of it has to do with the state of the club. Tony’s raison d’être seemed to be to rail against Kenwright and Moyes and with those characters largely removed from the equation, he had nothing more to rant about. If things turn badly south again, I’ll bet you a lot of the “edge” will return but I assure you that there is no editorial pressure telling people how they should think and what they should post in terms of their opinions.

As for the idea of a “banned button”, you can probably count on two hands the number of people to have actually been banned from ToffeeWeb. People, like you John D (41), go through periods of moderation but it’s not because of “banter” (the catch-all complaint any time something is taken down) — it’s because of things like ceaselessly inane one-liner posts that offer nothing the discussion, off-topic exchanges, actual abuse or just being plain argumentative for the sake of it. (There are forums out there where you can post in that fashion but ToffeeWeb was designed to be different in that respect.)

That’s to protect the site. The number one priority for me is readability, both in terms of formatting but also in terms of contributions. My vision for the TW comments, particularly at the end of each column/opinion article was for each response to be a little mini-article or coherent discussion point on the topic at hand. Maybe it’s my fault for not ever properly articulating that goal but it’s more or less the guiding principle so if things start getting derailed by squabbles or off-topic comments, we step in.

Ed's observation (#39) about there being fewer local/match-going fans posting is an interesting one. TW has always had an international flavour – not as much as Royal Blue Mersey, for instance, but certainly more so than BlueKipper – but I wonder if the sheer growth of the Internet means that, by virtue of there being hundreds of thousands more Evertonians outside Merseyside than in it, there are now more supporters visiting the site from beyond the local area. I don't know but, again, if that ratio has changed, it's not something we are consciously doing and I would like nothing more than to get more match-going, Liverpool-based fans involved. Peter (12), you're right that those comments related to the cricket should have been moved to a General Forum thread which is partly for what that area of the site is intended. I'll be mindful of that in the future in the spirit of fostering the TW community and giving our readers somewhere to write about more than football.

Dermot Byrne
44 Posted 13/08/2019 at 17:33:36
Lyndon: as someone who occasionally falls foul, you are right.

There are some who want to desperately win an argument and on the other side others who can see some of it as just ego based.

Keep your editorial stance and the likes of those (and me) may well reduce playing our own games.

We all have different reasons for comments and this can vary from day to day, result to result.

COYB

Dale Rose
45 Posted 13/08/2019 at 17:34:05
Love this site. It's full of very knowledgeable people. A pleasure to read. Love the live forum as well. Really good craic. The only stuff I could write is usually classed as offensive .


Jamie Crowley
46 Posted 13/08/2019 at 17:42:34
There appears to be less posts, articles and comments from local match going Evertonians than in past years, and more from fans who either don't attend Goodison or who are internationally based.

Ed at 39 brings this up, and Lyndon comments and expands a bit.

This is, for my eyes, true. And I need to say, it's not a good thing. There's nothing I think that can be done about it, but the site is far better, for me, with local Liverpudlians commenting.

TW provides the ability for those far-flung to still connect with fans and the team. It's something those people miss, and TW provides a "filling of the hole in the heart" for people no longer around Liverpool.

For me, the local connection and commentary is probably more valuable. In my time at TW, which I think may actually be nearing a decade (WTF!?), I've always paid particular attention to those posters I knew were from Liverpool, or had been raised in and around Liverpool and knew the landscape. In an attempt to immerse myself in the culture, as I think any fan should if they are "adopted", the contributions of local fans were a never-ending, massive learning experience for me. One that will not end and will always grow.

That's the personal side of it for me. On the whole, and I state the above so you know I'm not really objective when it comes to this, I do feel TW has had it's local contributions diminish just a bit over the last 2-3 years. And it's really too bad. It's that first-hand angle and knowledge that I really crave.

One of the reasons I cry out for Ruane, Ferry (even though he's in IL), Daly, Marsh, Dodds, etc.

I think the locals currently on TW should spread the word a bit to their mates. Scousers make the site so much better.

I often also wonder if the increase in posts from "outsiders", like Mike Gaynes and I, have "turned off" some of the locals? Don't reply to that. It's NOT some backwards attempt at positive confirmation. I don't do that bullshit. Everton are more of a "Liverpool local Club" than anything. It's the city of Liverpool's true Club, not the Norwegian Vaca destination. So it's understandable if a lot of match-going fans, with the increase of USA and other far-flung adopted fan's submissions, think, "Ah, it's losing the Everton feel. Too many foreigners."

Keep the retorts of xenophobia in check. That's not my intention. I've no time or patience for PC. It's a comment that I've thought about for a while now, and worth mentioning, in my opinion.

Long and short - get the locals back. They're gold.

Dermot Byrne
47 Posted 13/08/2019 at 18:04:14
Jamie: the history of your great posts needs little comment.

To me, whether you watched the game on TV in Brazil or USA or have been able to be there just gives different perspectives.

There is no hierarchy of fans.

In the end what I love and am grateful to hear from those who can attend is how the atmosphere was.

To the rest of us who cannot attend for whatever reason, this is so valuable.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

48 Posted 13/08/2019 at 18:14:26
On the question of the ratio on TW of city-based Blues versus 'outsiders' I have no idea and absolutely no concerns WHERE a poster is based.

It doesn't enter my thoughts at all when reading any post.

Nor should it determine the heirarchy, legitimacy or quality of anyone's opinions or posts.

The great advantage that local fans have is their city contracts and a chance to gauge opinion in their social network. Many readily share that with the Everton diaspora and I for one am grateful for that.

On Lyndon's appeal for contributions, have the editors approached individual TWers asking them for regular articles?

The editors should have the data to best identity possible authors that would generate the interaction I presume they are seeking.

Personally, I don't see it as a particular issue. A rich and diverse range of content has long been evident on the site.

Ray Robinson
49 Posted 13/08/2019 at 18:24:43
Lyndon and Michael. firstly thank you for a wonderful site which I look at every single day. However, I find myself contributing less as time passes for a number of reasons. The first is that some threads are hi-jacked by individuals desperate to prove their points and whilst, they rarely degenerate into personal insults, do tend to become monopolised by contributions which can become browbeating, know-it-all, labelling, repetitive and possibly even patronising. I never thought that a 6 thread limit was a good idea at the time but now I'm not so sure. Personal squabbles instead of reasoned debate is not my scene, I'm afraid. It's possibly off-putting to some and intimidating to others - particularly newcomers.

Secondly - and I know it's easy to be critical rather than constructive, easier to condemn rather than praise - the site has gained a reputation for being overly-negative. My two fellow match going mates think that the site can become a bit too depressing to read at times, a bit too knee-jerk in nature. I recently posted an article on here which was a genuine invitation to discuss who should become Everton's penalty taker now that VAR is here and Baines has ceased to be a first teamer. It got 21 responses.. The point is if I'd captioned it "Sigurdsson is Crap at Penalties", I can guarantee it would have got double the response. Perhaps it was just a boring article!!!

'm not sure how you invite genuine discussion though. It's the nature of social media to attract complaints and negative comment.

Anyway, to finish on a positive note and the reason I continue to read is that ToffeeWeb is full of some wonderfully articulate, knowledgeable Evertonians. It also provides some wonderful insights, memories and moments of real humour.

Mike Gaynes
50 Posted 13/08/2019 at 18:56:00
This started out as an appeal from Lyndon for new material, and what a fascinating discussion it turned into! In a way, it's a shining example of what I love most about TW -- the unexpected and richly rewarding directions the conversations can take.

I sympathize with those who believe this site has become too tame, and like Jamie I too miss contributions from people like Eugene Ruane and Patrick Murphy (what a delightful guy he is in person as well!), but for me the removal and restrictions on the personal insults and invectives that once dotted these threads is hugely positive, even if some of our edgier contributors have departed.

I know for a fact that in years past the personal venom sometimes found here drove away people who didn't care for it, including myself for brief periods. And those who have been banned for recurrently venting that venom (Jamie mentioned one such offender above) are not missed one iota in my opinion.

I will certainly not dismiss the argument from some here that the pendulum may have swung a bit too far in the civility direction -- I actually sometimes enjoy having a ringside seat for the furious back-and-forths that Michael tends to edit out, and generally I'd prefer to have the option of either reading thru or scrolling past. On the other hand, some of my own most vehement arguments years ago were with Michael himself, and I can't say they didn't go a bit overboard once or twice. So it's a balancing act.

I do not, however, believe that the natural come-and-go of the old-timers has lessened TW in any way. As Lyndon says, we have new blood replacing the old. Jim Bennings and Daniel A Johnson play the Tony Marsh role just fine. Tommy Carter seems more comfortable as a Doddy contrarian than Doddy himself did. Jamie's own ad-libbed rants are as brilliant as anything ever contributed by the banned "ranter" he mentioned, but utterly without the venom and invective the other fella spewed.

So overall, in my opinion, the general civilization of TW has made it a more welcoming place for newcomers, and therefore a richer experience for us all. Me especially.

Kevin Latham
51 Posted 13/08/2019 at 19:35:02
I’m an avid ToffeeWeb reader and have posted some articles in the distant past, but for various reasons I’m not able to get to the match all that often any more. The reason I say this is because many of the posters here are regular match goers and so see the game first hand, which in my head (rightly or wrongly) gives their comments a lot more credence - hence my reticence to post. I’m sure that’s just me being arsy but one of the taunts often thrown at the rs fans is the one about “Go the game, do you?” when they obviously don’t, but like to sound off. In fact if I’m honest I did it myself in my season ticket days. I think what I’m trying to say in a rambling sort of way is that people like me (unless I’m the only knobhead who thinks this way - my usual default setting) take a bit of heart in Lyndon’s encouragement for a broader EFC church
John G Davies
52 Posted 13/08/2019 at 19:41:24
I disagree with your opinion at post 43 Lyndon.

It’s not banter in your opinion, it is in mine. Possibly our individual thresholds where banter stops and arguments starts are at different levels?

In my opinion ToffeeWeb is indeed becoming a touch snowflake. A little mundane.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons you are putting up an article touting for "new blood"?

Darren Hind
53 Posted 13/08/2019 at 20:32:25
Climate change is discussed in a nice civilised manner. The latest episode of The Blue planet is discussed in a nice civilised manner. Garden designs are discussed in a nice civilised manner. . But unless you have the character and personality of an Alan Shearer. Football is NOT discussed in a calm civilised manner, not at the match, not in the alehouses, not on the trains or the coaches, not in the workplace, not on the radio. Not even on the phone. Football is about passion. its about winning, its about pride. To many of us, football is everything.
A persons club usually comes second only to his family when it comes to what REALLY matters in his life.

I often hear people refer to TW as a virtual pub. but is it ?. . . Can you imagine what it would be like if Micheal and Lyndon decided to run two forums. simultaneously. Same ale house, but two different rooms. The bar and the snug.

The snug would be for those who want to discuss things (not just footy) in a polite respectful manner, buy each other virtual Port and Lemons and tell each other daft arsed schoolboy-naughty jokes about Policemans balls and German helmets.
The bar would be different. it would be frequented by people who discuss the game like real fans do. Tell each other "Your talking bollocks". ridicule each others points. offer each other bets. .

How do you suppose two different rooms in the TW alehouse would affect the dynamics ? 50-50 ? half in one room, half in another ? No chance. The handful of people who did chose the polite conversation in the snug would desert their little oasis of calm within the hour. They'd be ordering their next virtual Port and Lemon in madhouse that is the bar. . . They would have the time of their lives expressing their outrage at the awful tone of the conversations.

I would love Eugene, JD, Marshy, Dave Wilson, A Kirwin and many other's mentioned above to come on and say why they no longer post. I would bet a Months wages that not one of them would say they moved on because they couldnt stand the heat in the kitchen ? I suspect they drifted because it was no longer hot enough for them.

This site is fantastic, but I sometimes think Lyndon and Michael lend a little too much credence to people who want to complain without offering much themselves
It attracts some incredibly passionate and knowledgeable posters. I truly believe the fresh Blood Lyndon seeks is already here. current pieces by Paul T and Sam are testament to that. The invitation has now been issued and I am looking forward to the response

Paul Tran
54 Posted 13/08/2019 at 20:37:27
I'd be in that bar, Darren. It'd need plenty of seats and slick bar staff!
Tony Abrahams
55 Posted 13/08/2019 at 20:45:26
It might be a lot easier to get served in the snug though Paul!
Don Alexander
56 Posted 13/08/2019 at 20:48:28
Darren, you and others I've criticised have also made good points on football and Everton. I've publicly said so on here. You and a few others regrettably seem to seek confrontation with personal, tetchy snipings against named other TWer's, me included, merely because we have alternative opinions to you.

And if writing articles and them being selected for publication is any way to judge whether or not anyone's got anything interesting then I, like you, patently do have something interesting to say (albeit only only two or three times down the years admittedly - cheers Lyndon and Mike, I'll buy you a port and lemon and/or a pint of Warhammer as and when we might meet, your choice!) :)

Mike Gaynes
57 Posted 14/08/2019 at 01:19:14
Darren...

"Climate change is discussed in a nice civilised manner."

Uh-huh. Maybe on YOUR side of the Atlantic.

Darren Hind
58 Posted 14/08/2019 at 06:48:37
Don Alexander,

For years I have blanked your many nasty little digs, because on the rare occasion I have responded you have cried foul - just as you are now.

I know you are telling the truth when you complain about me and "a few others" giving you tetchy responses, because I've seen them. In fact there is quite a few who have given you short shrift, isn't there?

I remember John Daly coming back uncharacteristically hard at you. I saw Mike Gaynes telling you that you were one of the few people on this website he didn't want to meet. It doesn't go under my radar when you try to goad another poster when he isn't even involved in a thread by referring to him as the Brazilian nut... or your complaints when he has given you the response you were looking for.

I named the people above, because they all have one thing in common. They can all play nice if that's how you want to play, but they can/will all look after themselves when attacked.

Actually, they have two things in common. They're not hypocrites either. You don't see them cry foul and make themselves out to be victims.

Yeah I've seen other people put you down on here too, but I have never seen anyone do it unless you yourself have provoked it. There are no free shots in pubs, virtual or real. An unprovoked dig will always get a response.

The solution is in your hands. Just stop looking for trouble. If you can't do that, fine, but please stop moaning and portraying yourself as some sort of victim.

No attack = no retaliation.

Eddie Dunn
59 Posted 14/08/2019 at 08:21:18
I do miss the often hilarious comments from John Daly and Eugene Ruane in particular. I don't mind when I read two adversaries having a go at each other, as long as it doesn't turn into a long-winded personal argument which gets in the way of the original thread.

It must be difficult to "police" without it looking like interference. Some people obviously enjoy an on-going rivalry. The live forum sometimes throws up some bile but generally an offender is chided by the others into shutting-up.

Darren, your point about the snug and the bar is funny, although one night I might like a pint in the bar and another I might feel like zoning-out in the snug.

Generally, the site brings out some very interesting points of view and we may miss some of the old guard (Harold, sadly missed and Ken Buckley's match report) but there are still some great posters.

I will certainly consider putting forward anything I think might be worthy now Michael and Lyndon have invited us to get more involved.


Daniel A Johnson
60 Posted 14/08/2019 at 08:52:39
I honestly think the site does need more video content, whether that's a monthly interview with someone or a podcast or links to other EFC videos. Video content is the way it seems to be going and, as much as I love getting a coffee a packet of Jammie Dodgers and prepare to do keyboard combat to be able to kick back and watch a video related to all things Everton would be brilliant.

If I'm 100% honest, I'm not a fan of subscription as putting up a paywall of any type on ToffeeWeb will ultimately just create a barrier to the content. But if subscription is needed to fund videos etc then it should be considered as they would cost money and take time to produce.

With regard to the behavior on this site and its moderation. Most people are well behaved and civil on here, football is an emotive subject and I've often had OTT rants on here about EFC but they have never been targeted at any ToffeeWeb individuals.

There are some who can get personal though, like when I had the audacity to dare suggest we had had a poor transfer window and Marcel Brands had let us down, I got called quite a few unsavory things just for expressing an opinion. But hey football is an emotive subject but there are some territorial people on here who patrol the boards and get aggressive with any opinion which they disagree with. Even in the posts above, people are at it alread. Let's all try and get along we all have one thing in common the Love of EFC and, if that can't glue us all together, then what can?

For what its worth we did have a poor transfer window ;-)

Tony Abrahams
61 Posted 14/08/2019 at 09:03:47
Don't be at it yourself, Daniel A!
Dave Abrahams
62 Posted 14/08/2019 at 09:10:42
Yes, I miss the edge of certain posters who don't post as much as they used to, also Patrick Murphy who gave a controlled but very informative post, not to mention Christine, who doesn't post very often these days (although she is on this thread) she is always worth listening to.

But, all-in-all, I enjoy ToffeeWeb the way it is and really look forward to reading it every day, although it drives my wife crackers. “Reading your mates again” is her constant moan.

Sam Hoare
63 Posted 14/08/2019 at 09:41:07
Yes Dave, I agree. I miss the Dodd/Marsh battles and the Ruane/Daley wordsmithery.

My wife also considers herself a ToffeeWeb widow.

Tony Abrahams
64 Posted 14/08/2019 at 09:49:11
She’s not moaning Dave, because at least you can hear your mates, Mate, if that makes sense!
Stan Schofield
65 Posted 14/08/2019 at 10:10:34
Darren @53: Using the pub analogy, I tend to think of ToffeeWeb as like a bar where we stand around drinking pints and shooting the shit mainly about Everton but also about football generally, and also about wider things as well. That's one of the pleasures of ToffeeWeb the way discussions about Everton can expand into discussions about anything. An example is a discussion about the new stadium morphing into an 'argument' about global warming.

In a pub, of course, communication is partly about body language as well as words, whereas online it's just the words. I think that's why folks can take offence more easily on ToffeeWeb, because the craic can be taken differently when not seeing each other visually.

So, for me, I've learned to choose my words more carefully online than I would do with mates in a pub. Downside of that is, it can get duller than in a pub. But it's still a great forum.

Paul Kelly
67 Posted 14/08/2019 at 10:56:58
Crowley, love your post.

I think,and my opinion only, TW provides that platform that's perfect for those who aren't surrounded by blues, ex pat scousers or not (yourself and Gaynes as prime examples), me and 'Brazil nut' as the former. It gives those who can't/don't have the opportunity to vent our spleen after the match with fellow blues, were we wouldn't normally (unless I call the lads or family after every match but all I get is "he's shite, fuck him off la" about everyone), much better insights on here.

Secondly, I think a lot of people take replies/comments far too seriously. A simple comment can be interpreted (and tends to be in all walks of life) wrongly. E.g., without a dozen smiley face emoji, nine times out of ten if you were told to, "fuck off" on here you'd take it personally, badly, were as if it was I text from friends or was said in the boozer you'd laugh it off.

And thirdly, how does anyone know the old school still aren't posting under an assumed name? Not hard to do, know many a person who don't use their real name on here, nothing to say people can't use more than one account to sway threads or the like, don't condone it at all btw.

Paul Kelly
68 Posted 14/08/2019 at 11:02:08
Beat me to it, Stan!

Stan Schofield
69 Posted 14/08/2019 at 13:14:33
Regarding this business of folks getting personal, I'm not keen on it myself, because it seems pointless not sticking to the substance of a discussion. However, I think it does show some emotive feelings, which no doubt stem from the emotions of being an Evertonian, where we can flit from being pissed off with being midtable to being elated when we're on a good run of form.

I don't go in for predictions, but I'm fairly confident that when we get back to competing consistently at the top and winning trophies, we'll gain many 'hangers on' like Liverpool, Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea have done. Not 'genuine supporters' but bullshitters who 'follow' a team because it's fashionable. When such people get personal, it's probably for reasons of ego more than passion, which is obviously less appealing (and I'd rather argue with mates who are Reds, than with any future 'Evertonians' who fall into this bullshit category). When that happens, the current personal stuff on ToffeeWeb will seem a fond memory.

Jamie Crowley
70 Posted 14/08/2019 at 17:01:14
Paul Kelly -

I'm pretty sure assumed names are a breach of conduct, as it were, on TW. I don't believe they are allowed.

There was one poster years ago who was banned. He reached out to me via Twitter (I rarely do Twitter, don't know how I even saw it to be honest), and told me he was banned because he'd registered two separate names on TW.

If you have something to say, say it. Put your name on it and own it. Aliases are not needed, for me at any rate. And I think anyone using them should be banned, possibly for life if it's possible to track.

Some of the TW legends simply don't post any longer, or at least near as much. I don't think it's a case of registering under a different name. Think of the people we are talking about and lauding. Highly intelligent, generally not seeking attention as it just comes to them naturally through witty and charismatic writings, "popular" contributors. I just don't see an alias as "in character" for those types of people. To what end, and what could possibly be their motivation? It's not needed. And it'd not be desired by any of them, would be my guess.

It's a fan forum. If you crave attention enough to enter an alias on a fan forum, I'd argue you need to take up something more productive, and do something more useful with your time.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

71 Posted 14/08/2019 at 17:36:00
Jamie, I agree with the thrust of your reply to Paul - that your listed characters are made of sterner stuff and wouldn't resort to posting under an assumed name.

Such is the distinctiveness of their posting style TW regulars would recognize them any way.

But I think you are wrong in stating pseudonyms are not allowed on TW, not least because it's impossible to check.

What's in a name anyway, when everyone can identify the poster by their chosen TW name, real or invented.

I make the point because I'm nearly 100% certain a long time respected poster to TW who is on your side of the pond - Jay Harris - readily and openly admitted recently it's not his real name, but a pseudonym he uses due to being a victim of online ID theft before. There are then legitimate reasons for people to use alternatives to their actual names. It's not a critical issue to me personally.

Apologies to JH if my recall is wrong.

Kevin Prytherch
72 Posted 14/08/2019 at 17:59:54
It could be the fact that the posters of the past just don’t care as much anymore. I’m not saying that they don’t care about Everton, or have stopped supporting them, but they’re just not as passionate about the current team.

Back when they mentioned posters all used to contribute we had a team we could relate to. Cahill, Arteta, Carsley, Ferguson, Osman, Hibbert, Stubbs, Weir etc... they all seemed to be around for ages and all showed passion for the club. Rightly or wrongly, they all provoked passion amongst supporters as well, either favouring them or against them.

Who do we have nowadays? After Coleman, who’s our longest serving regular player? Keane or Pickford? They hardly provoke the same reaction as some of those from the past.

We have a constantly changing team that is detached from the fan base.

Dermot Byrne
73 Posted 14/08/2019 at 18:06:30
Kevin #72,

I think people come and go. Sometimes they realise that, like all fora, it can become addictive and arguments with people you have never met start taking a disproportionate amount of head time whilst life rumbles on without you.

Membership or posting is in no way a guage of how much of a fan you are. It is just a site for mostly older blokes to exchange views. And no prob with that.

Jeff Armstrong
74 Posted 14/08/2019 at 18:14:26
Can I just give an honourable mention to Paul Trail, his matchday musings are always a good read. I always like the player marks out of 10, the reports are particularly worthwhile now that Ken is on a long sabbatical.
Danny Broderick
75 Posted 14/08/2019 at 18:27:24
I haven't got time to contribute more, but I love this site and devour its content most days. I even buy tickets through ToffeeWeb as and when I need them. No change is required, just keep it the same!

The only thing I would suggest is a podcast? The site will have to evolve with the times, and podcasts seem to be more and more popular these days, like the Royal Blue podcast or the Alan Myers podcast. Just an idea...

Jamie Crowley
76 Posted 14/08/2019 at 18:28:59
Jay Wood -

You're 100% correct and I misused terms.

Pseudonyms are just fine by me. If you don't want your real name out there, that's fine.

It's the folks who register two separate accounts that, for me, isn't acceptable.

When I said "own it and put your name on it," I meant in relation to having two separate accounts and working both sides of the street, as it were.

In short, people not using their given name is their decision, and fine. People using a different name under a separate account (thus having two accounts), for me, isn't kosher. And that's what I was referring to, while using the word "alias".

I didn't make that clear in the least. Apologies.

Kevin O'Regan
77 Posted 14/08/2019 at 18:30:05
Lyndon/Michael,

I think you certainly need to get some support and definitely agree with those who support a financial contribution / subscription of some kind... although maybe voluntarily. But you should be able to have that button pretty central and visible... all sorts of ways of doing that.

The other thing I'm thinking is – you have a few decent contributors already, some more offers on here and probably a few others to come. Maybe it's time to make a team of it – and if necessary split it up into matchday people, club news people, those who take us down history lanes, those who have an eye on finances, those who oversee the new stadium etc... maybe to ask people to contribute 4 articles a year (or more for the match reports) – but that it's spread out among the team according to who has time. Have Skype meetings to discuss the coming articles and topics etc.

Just one more thing from me – personally, I like the non-flashy websites which are not in your face and loud... so that's why I like TW the way it is – honest, quality and non-flashy. The humour is excellent at times.



Jamie Crowley
78 Posted 14/08/2019 at 18:35:16
Danny -

I think a podcast is a brilliant idea. Brilliant.

It may only get a couple hundred listeners, but it would be fabulous content.

I could see choosing a contributor as a guest. As example, if Lyndon (like he has oodles of spare fucking time) reviewed the game against Watford with a guest like Colin Glassar, I'd listen to it multiple times. It'd be easy enough with today's technology, it can be all recorded on the internet with microphones at various locations around the globe.

Imagine the number of contributors you could actually listen to on a 30 to 45 minute podcast, and the gems that would come out in conversation?

It'd be gold.

And if someone sponsored the podcast, like a 30 second read-out or advertisement, there could be a revenue stream?

John Pierce
79 Posted 14/08/2019 at 18:53:41
An interesting set of thoughts on this thread. The full gamut of posting styles which do make the forum an attractive place to be, both its biggest strength is also its Achilles heel.

As a self-exiled Evertonian, the posts which remind me of home make me smile, more the wit than the football, to be honest. Living in the USA has broadened my Everton family both online and in person. Nothing funnier than a ‘New Yorker' using the Scouse vernacular! They're also waaaay less cynical, we all need that in our lives.

Some have said the forum ebbs and flows, there definitely is a swing of civility, back and forth. Is that in sync with the club's performance? I wonder. I find myself turned off by the same robotic, predictable responses which stifle other contributions, they become about semantics and bullshit. That posting style goes nowhere because the language and tone is completely deaf to others. Perhaps dividing people into groups just reinforces the stereotypes? I think so. The irony being the squabblers in chief salute their rivals because they are as hard-nosed as they are? We have enough of that in real life, right? That's exclusive, and an echo chamber which is reductive.

Sadly there seems little room for posters to be vulnerable and compromise their view, because of ‘who' and not what ‘was' posted. I look for posters who can do this, because that's were growth and respect happens.

I'll cite a current Floridian, formerly of Boston, and who recently lost a horsefly which, I paraphrase, was ‘as big as fuck!' A poster who has plenty to say and does so in a very forthright way, yet has the capacity to row back, think about his opinion, and acknowledge a change of heart. That's inclusive and fun.

This space can be wonderfully inspiring, take the World Cups, especially the 2018 iteration. A group of posters regularly indulged, and I couldn't stop but log on every day. The forums were lively and fun, VAR helped spice the football up when it failed to entertain. A truly great experience.

It helped me learn about others and also the best way to reach them when I post and want to interact. Do other posters think about that? For me it has broadened and enhanced the experience, posting styles should evolve and not become too staid. If ToffeeWeb wants to sustain, it needs to evolve the conversation because I believe the contributors are there; however, the environment simply isn't conducive to it.

Mike Gaynes
80 Posted 14/08/2019 at 19:08:43
I agree, Danny's podcast idea is genius. Our online barroom with audio? Hell, I'd never get any work done. Too much fun. Of course, I'd have to hook in some translation software for some of the Scouser accents here!
John Pierce
81 Posted 14/08/2019 at 19:10:03
Video and podcast are the right way to evolve, multi media format encourages more contributors, who have great things to say but writing isn’t their best medium?

I’d podcasted for premier punditry in the States and it’s lots of fun, easy to do and provokes outrage and delirium in equal measure!

Danny Broderick
82 Posted 14/08/2019 at 19:18:20
The podcast could start off being a weekly ToffeeWeb game review, with a couple of different guests invited each time, anchored by Lyndon or Michael. That's sort of what I had in mind anyway. That way, you could listen to ToffeeWeb on your way into work, for example.

It could obviously evolve over time, but it would just need regular instalments on a similar theme and it would add a new dimension to what we all do with ToffeeWeb already...

Mike Gaynes
83 Posted 14/08/2019 at 19:19:20
JP #81, I think you'd make the ideal podcast host. You're knowledgeable, opinionated and familiar with the Everton scene on both sides of the pond.

(As for video, no thanks. I have too many bad hair days.)

You also said something important in your previous post:

"It helped me learn about others and also the best way to reach them when I post and want to interact. Do other posters think about that?"

I think about that every minute I'm on here. I'm fascinated by people in general (that's why I made journalism my first career), and in particular by the people here, with whom I share a passion for Everton and virtually nothing else. I love it when something of a TWer's personal life experience comes through in an otherwise routine post, and connections are made as a result.

I'll say it straight out -- I am a better communicator, a more open-minded listener and just a generally more patient, accepting human being than I used to be... because of the lessons I've learned from people on ToffeeWeb.

Dermot Byrne
84 Posted 14/08/2019 at 19:23:28
John #79: well written and a good view.

Bottom line our sitr is not as someone posted, for guys in the bsr. This site is and should be a mix of the lounge, the bar, the cafe and the restaurant.

And to stereotype is indeed a mistake as doing so, we become a stereotype too.

So my view is keep the dialogue open but think if you want younger folk, don't expect them to ever come back if one of us rambles on about the Boys Pen and some player who played 700 years ago!

Time for some of us oldies just realise that the future is theirs..the youngsters. As it was once for us.

Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 14/08/2019 at 19:27:43
Danny #82, not presuming to speak for Lyndon and Michael, but I'm guessing their TW plates are more than full. Somebody else will have to step up. (If my business gets any slower, I'll do it myself!)

Dermot #84... "...a mix of the lounge, the bar, the cafe and the restaurant"... yeah, plus the park bench and the card room at the retirement home!

Dermot Byrne
86 Posted 14/08/2019 at 19:37:19
Mike
Sorry for not being inclusive!

You are right though. The point is anyone and for those who find they may not have the same knowledge or experience, just a bit of forgiveness!

In the end, what brought us to the Blues is so varied and our backgrounds, characters and lives are equally so.

I freely admit (hear that... 'admit') that to prod and angry man with a stick is great fun.

And stupid.

Mike Gaynes
87 Posted 14/08/2019 at 19:54:36
Dermot, on this side of the pond we call it "poking the bear", and once in a while you just gotta.
Eddie Dunn
88 Posted 14/08/2019 at 20:08:16
Well this thread demonstrates to me that ToffeeWeb is in good health.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
89 Posted 14/08/2019 at 20:31:00
I guess I'm the stronger advocate of posters using real names on TW. I believe (rightly or wrongly) that the anonymity allowed in places on the web simply enables and encurages the worst excesses of internet flame wars, trolling and the like.

I may be wrong but I at least hope that asking people to use their real names is a way of making them take personal responsibility for what they are posting.

As for aliases, we have ways of flagging these up, but also understand that there are some very valid reasons for using them. I don't think we have too many clones but, if we do, they would need a good line in multiple personality disorder so as to carry off two or more different streams of posts that did not at least in some way belie their underlying personality.

That's a good game you can play when you're bored: scroll right to hide the names of the posters and see how many you can guess / recognize.

Okay... at this point, I think I need to get out more!

Andy Crooks
90 Posted 14/08/2019 at 21:40:51
Peter @ 37' I just saw your post, many thanks. I am meeting Dave Abrahams on Saturday morning but I'm not sure what the plan is. My email address is:

whenskysaregrey@hotmail.co.uk

Maybe you could email me your phone number.

Dave, really looking forward to see you all again.
Tony, thanks again. Hope you have a great holiday.

Andy Crooks
91 Posted 14/08/2019 at 21:47:33
Sorry, I meant to add. I have a prolapsed disc at the minute and, frankly, I am a moaning faced bastard. I suggested to my long-suffering wife that I feared I might not make the trip. She remarked that it would be unfair if the people of Liverpool could not share what every person in Ireland knew about.

One of my mates thought that there may well be an article in the match programme about my non-silent suffering!!

Tony Abrahams
92 Posted 14/08/2019 at 22:09:37
If you've got a bad back Andy make sure you sit in my isle seat mate, and make sure you bring us some more of that Irish luck!
David Pearl
93 Posted 14/08/2019 at 22:14:18
Andy,

If l was you I'd maybe take an airport neck pillow to the match... to sit on. (They don't recline.)

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

94 Posted 14/08/2019 at 22:20:06
Michael @ 89.

I'm sure it happens, but very, very rarely do I see suspicious posts which appear to be from the same person but under two different names. As you say, it's very difficult to pull off.

That said, I do recall an incident quite some years ago when a frequently abusive and provactive poster was suddenly having all his posts endorsed and supported by a new name on TW.

You quietly intervened in an understated way asking how and why the seasoned TWer appeared to share the same IP address as the newbie.

He indignantly denied everything and shortly afterwards disappeared from TW.

I don't recall the name, but it raised a few giggles at the time.

Peter Mills
95 Posted 14/08/2019 at 23:19:57
Andy#90, I’ve emailed you.
Jay Harris
96 Posted 14/08/2019 at 23:20:45
Michael as you know I have always used a nom de plume on the internet following an identity theft theft that happened to me quite a few years ago.

I do not abuse the use of that name which I use consistently although I may have rocked a couple of boats over the years. I enjoy the privilege and the benefit of ToffeeWeb and hope to continue to do that until I get the call from the Spirit in the sky.

Don Alexander
97 Posted 14/08/2019 at 00:23:53
Darren (#58), trust me, I do not consider myself to be "a victim". As several posters have very publicly stated over the years, on here, they consider you to be, what's the word, a ****, as a result of your belligerence on this site to others fans who have the temerity to not share your opinion.

We're all Everton fans Darren, and slagging off fellow fans has no place on a fans' website as far as I'm concerned. However, you have a right to think otherwise of course.

And if Mike Gaynes has posted about me as you say, I missed it. The last time I made direct comment to Mike was to register an apology to him for a comment I made that he had mistakenly (but understandably), as far as I was concerned, misinterpreted as being a little snide towards him.

I do know Mike, and some others, cringe when I bring up Kenwright but as a fan since the early 60's it seems obvious to me that the decades of dross we've now endured, and that bugger's presence in the boardroom, are not merely coincidental.

Have a nice day.

Mike Gaynes
98 Posted 15/08/2019 at 05:18:09
Michael #89, generically I feel as you do, that anyone posting here should use his/her own name as an expression of accepting responsibility for what they write.

But Jay #96, I'm also acutely sympathetic to anyone who feels the need to preserve their personal privacy on the Internet.

When I first visited Merseyside a couple of years ago, I was delighted to meet a TW legend who now (unfortunately) posts only rarely but has always used a nom de plume here in the interest of remaining private for personal reasons, and I joined several mates in promising to preserve that privacy. That right has to be respected.

But as to the clone issue, I just burst out laughing at the memory of the incident Jay W recalls. That particular bit of fakery was so obvious as to be almost farcical, as clearly the perpetrator was as unaware of the identical word use of his doppelganger as he was of IP addresses.

Darren Hind
99 Posted 15/08/2019 at 05:39:06
Interesting and revealing thread this.

Mike G.

Yeah the park bench, The Card room, the retirement home. . all of them. Why not ?. . . but the people who want to be involved in the broader, livelier discussion will always gravitate to the bar.
The guys could create a Virtual cafe, a virtual wine bar, even a virtual Launderette and I have no doubt whatsoever that they will all be visited by people wanting polite discussions about the game. . but only for a short period. Sooner or later they all come back to the bar.
The language of football is universal. its spoken with a passion, excitement and yes, even anger.

I laughed at your "Poking the bear" term. we are all very familiar with the practice. Its part of football culture. What is new, to me at least (I swear I only ever see it on these pages ) is the practice of people deliberately provoking a situation and then screaming about it when it develops.
On this very thread we have people who are relentless in their sensitivity and outrage. openly admitting they enjoy stirring the shit. Arsonists complaining about the flames ?

Thomas Lennon
100 Posted 15/08/2019 at 07:30:30
On the 'everyone should use their real name' debate here is another angle. Many years ago on another Everton website I wrote regularly on the Kirkby stadium debate, partly as a counterbalance to the frequent comments against that appeared orchestrated to me. One bloke in particular was writing dozens of times a day. Bizarrely I received a private message from a stranger warning me against continuing as there were a group of people enforcing the against agenda.

At that time I had a strong web presence complete with photo and location and a very young family so I opted to use a pseudonym and have continued since.

I stand by everything I write but my family don't necessarily share my views or interest in Everton FC.

Adam Scott
101 Posted 15/08/2019 at 11:44:41
I use an alias, though I don't post much nowadays. As a public servant there is (wrongly in my opinion) an expectation in 'upholding the value of the profession' I noted a few years ago on a google search of my name, an article I wrote come up.

I get the point about people being able to hide behind aliases etc. but I have never got this expectation of having to post in your name. It's a bit archaic.

Going back a few years, the moderation of people's grammar and spelling irritated me as well. It seemed like your submissions were being marked.

Laurie Hartley
102 Posted 15/08/2019 at 13:08:44
Lyndon & Michael - I pay for my monthly Optus Sport subscription as well as another “App” I use from my iTunes account.

This is very convenient because I get iTunes gift cards from my family as presents and they can be bought in many retail outlets also.

I just redeem the cards into my iTunes account and make sure I have sufficient funds available in it each month to cover my subscriptions payments.

Have you explored this as a means of receiving financial support for the site – or is this a daft idea?

Dermot Byrne
104 Posted 15/08/2019 at 13:43:07
Oh for god's sake. If the TW editorial policy became based on someone's belief in what is OK or not in some kind of fantasy pub bar, then we will struggle.

My local pub bar has a variety of punters according to time of day and day of week.

If there is a golden unwritten rule all the fans supporting different clubs don't disrespect the others. And when one does they tend to stop as rest of the room takes the piss out of them for either being too pissed or behaving like a child.

Expect the same here.

Ciarán McGlone
105 Posted 15/08/2019 at 18:09:15
Love this thread.. I submitted an article once about opinions.. I was roundly criticised for disappearing up my own arse and rightly so.

Keep it up.

Jim Jennings
106 Posted 15/08/2019 at 22:49:03
I don't post very often for various reasons, partly because I don't have the will or time to engage in what can become circular debates over relatively trivial matters.

There are some posters whose contributions are always positive (in the sense that they add to the side, not that they are “happy clappers” etc) and make for good reading.

Unfortunately there are others who seem more interested in point-scoring and trying to provoke a reaction, as Darren Hind alluded to. One in particular, for what seemed like about a year, seemed to systematically respond to Darren's posts with asinine “whataboutery” one-liners. There are others who only comment to vent but such is life.

However all these contributors are what makes the site what it is and who am I to say we should hear less of them, when I mostly read and do not contribute.

There are a couple of excellent points above. Apologies but I don't have the time right now to scroll back and name check who made them but as someone who is not from the city and lives abroad, I enjoy reading from those who are.

I do know match going Blues, some of whom travel from afar, who give this site a wide berth because like it or not, it does have a reputation for “negativity” and attracting some of the less well-adjusted elements of our fan base. The Moyes years seemed to be a constant character assassination of the manager and chairman by some, where the minutiae of their every word and action were scrutinised and presented as evidence of their shortcomings / cowardice / fraudulence (tick off as appropriate). The editorial policy of the time - or at least part of it - seemed to support this.

I also think that with Moshiri on board, and Moyes a distant memory, this has dampened it somewhat and is a factor in some of the old names moving away from the site. As (I think) Lyndon said, some of them whose main motivation was to vent about the custodians of the time, simply have no reason to vent any longer.

Having said all that, this is a fantastic site and I agree fully with Andy Crooks' sentiment about it being unparalleled. The diversity of thought and insight is the key. I enjoy reading from our contributors from all corners of the globe who give us an insight into what it's like being a Blue in those counties, as much as I do from the locals. I recall an article from a teenager a couple of years back (the name escapes me) and we have regular contributions from John McFarlane Snr in his 80s, plus the wives of former players - where else would we get such a broad range of contribution.

Keep it up, everyone. Maybe one day I will pen an article but right now I will continue to enjoy the great work of others.

Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
107 Posted 18/08/2019 at 06:09:28
I think it's fair to mention that Tony Marsh contacted me offline to explain that he did not stop posting of his own volition. He was under the impression he had been kicked off the site following a spat with another member when he could no longer log in.

Assuming he wants to return to TW, I'm working with him to get his login working again but I wanted to let the community know that it was a misunderstanding rather than Tony leaving the site or being banned from it.

Laurie Hartley
108 Posted 18/08/2019 at 06:37:05
Good to hear that news about Tony Marsh, Lyndon.

I can't recall seeing a post from Phil Walling for some time now. Can you check to see if he is OK? Phil always called it as he saw it and I think he was good for the site.

Peter Laing
109 Posted 18/08/2019 at 22:05:40
Interesting to read the comments above. The internet these days provides so many options for content that is Everton related. Twitter certainly has the knack of providing bite sized Everton chunks alongside other genres that interest people such as politics, music etc.

What always differentiated ToffeeWeb was the characters, many name checked above. The musings of somebody like George McKane or Eugene Ruane added a worldly view of life being an Evertonian, colorful and idiosyncratic. Such idiosyncrasies should be encouraged and embraced, something that Lyndon and Michael have always seemingly encouraged.

Long live ToffeeWeb! In an age of wall to wall multimedia and social media, it is still as relevant today as it was when I first started visiting the site in the early millennia.

Andy Crooks
110 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:45:39
Laurie, Phill flounced off in a fit of high dudgeon. I do miss his stuff, tough. Fair play to him he picked up his ball and fucked off, just as he threatened. Come on, Phil, come back.

Tony Marsh. Please come back. No-one remembers your fireman Sam comments. No-one, remembers your love of the fat man.

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