Embrasing the New, but Missing the Old….

by Mike Kendra on September 28, 2011

Well, it’s going to be a busy week next week at the National Skirmish, we’ve got a lot going on, and I know I have quite a lot to chat about with my teammates!

Here are some of the stories from this summer that I’m interested in:

The Sesquicentennial Musket Match

Oh yes! This will be a blast!

16 Man Regional All Star Musket Teams vs. the Ladder Stake!

First of all, I love and crave a good stake event. Yes I know there is a bit of luck involved, but it’s a hell of a thing to see the splinters and chips fly and the collective “aaaAAHHH” when the stake is about to break! It’s one of the coolest team events we shoot, in my opinion.

I’ll be doing interviews and videos at this event, I hope to see lot of you there!

The Latest Online Skirmish Line

On Saturday, September 24th a new Online Edition of the Skirmish Line was released, and here are some of my thoughts about it…

What it has:

All the information you’d expect for an issue published a few short weeks before Nationals, including a Nationals Weekend Schedule, and Team Classifications.

The May Board of Directors Meetings Minutes, there is some interesting reading in here. I was interested to see that Cabela’s, Taylor & Co., MTM Moulded Plastics, and a few other companies are likely to participate in the new Corporate Sponsorship Program.

An article on the 126th National Skirmish Service Academies Demo Musket Match. This is an awesome idea, and from the sounds of things, it will be an inspiring thing to watch. I’m not sure which team I want to cheer for, but it sounds like a great idea for a Facebook Survey.

There is a short article on the N-SSA Booth that was setup at the 150th Manassas Anniversary Events.

I was happy to see lots of good regional skirmish photos in this edition of the Skirmish Line, and also many nice photos from the Vet’s Skirmish.

Two Archive Reprints: two Lock, Stock, & Barrel articles by Joseph Davenport reprinted from 1977, one about Moulding and Loading, the other touches on The Stock of your musket, all the parts, and how it’s assembled. It’s nice to see some of the archive articles again!

What it is missing:

It’s a bit light on the articles. Don’t know who to blame here, you can’t expect the editor to write everything. However around the spring Nationals there were all kinds of requests for articles, and the last edition had plenty of good stuff to read. Since then, I haven’t seen any requests for articles on the Skirmish Line Facebook page, or the N-SSA forum, nor any deadline for stories to be submitted. Oh well, hopefully they will do better before the next issue.

Where are the photos of the winning teams at the Veteran’s Skirmish? I hope they will be published in a future edition, I was hoping to see myself with my teammates and those great 1st Place Award plaques! Also the 2nd and 3rd Place teams photos should be posted as well.

I was disappointed that there weren’t more regional stories or match results, besides the Vet’s there was really only one other story. Surely there must have been more going on than this over the summer, right? I can’t really blame the editor, but I’m confused as to why we don’t have a better functional system to publish regional results, in or outside of the Skirmish Line.

I’d like to say that overall I like the new Online Editions. I was happy to read in the Editors comments that there will be Online Editions in addition to the printed versions for 2012.  I’d like to see a few more interesting skirmishing articles, hopefully I can put together another article to submit after the Nationals.

Wow, that's a lot of announcements! It seems that some are having trouble re-registerering at the new forum.

The New N-SSA Forum

Well knock me over, it looks like the N-SSA Cyber-campfire is a fresh and brand spanking new!

It looks like they finally decided to do what I thought they should do all along… Hooray, a professional forum!

Unfortunately they picked vBulletin. You probably have no idea who or what vBulletin is (or vB as I usually refer to them) or why I wouldn’t like them. If you’ve visited my forum you might notice that I use vB at CivilwarTalk.com. So why the heck wouldn’t I like it if I use it for my forum?!!?

You see, vB was purchased about two yeas ago by a company, Internet Brands, who I believe doesn’t want to make quality forum products, they only care about money. The latest product that they’ve released, version 4.0, works, but leaves a whole heck of a lot to be desired. It’s slow, antiquated code is a nightmare to work with, and the company is not serving it’s customers the way they deserve. I’m currently looking at a competitor to convert away from vB.

If I had been asked (and it’s not like I haven’t offered my help over the years) I would have recommended something completely different. Oh well…

And besides, it seems the biggest problems with the forum continues to this day… it’s still not an open forum, you can’t just post and have a good time. You can post shooting questions and answers, post a classified ad, find a bit of information, but the one element – friendship – isn’t anywhere on display. It’s “all business” on a website for a sport where teammates and friends need a way to bond and have conversations and keep in touch.

I miss the old forums, those old clunky threads from like 8 years ago, where you could post anything you liked (within reason) and you could be yourself.

Next Week:

I’m going to go over my picks of teams and individuals who might just win some medals at the National Skirmish, see you on Monday!



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