…there are still plenty of ways to discuss everyone’s favourite BBC Radio 4 soap. I heard this news last night on Feedback and was surprised, but not particularly bothered. Partly because I was sure there would be other forums like this out there, or ready to spring up. Like Archers Addicts, Mustardland and a Google Group. But personally, I use Twitter.
I’m sure a lot of people wil be saying it might be lazy for the BBC to assume that people would continue through their own homebred social networks, but it’s actually just a way a lot of these things are going. People are increasingly using social media networks for discussion, like Facebook and Twitter, and less likely to be using the ‘official’ site or forum of something.
I started realising how much Twitter was used by #thearchers fans a few years ago, either at the point when Nigel was gearing up to die, or when the We Love The Bull campaign was in full flow, I can’t remember which. It may have even been before that. Around that time a lot of people tweeted as Archers characters, and whilst I’m seeing a lot less of that kind of activity, there is still a lot of Archers discussion either during the shows, or the odd comments in between. It benefits from an intense listenership because it’s only 13 minutes long, but is on nearly every day of the week, including a long omnibus on Sundays. I’d actually be interested to know why people stopped tweeting as the Archers and started tweeting about it. I’m one of those people but it was out of necessity: I started the We Love The Bull account as run by milkman Harry Mason, then changed it into Harry’s personal account, and then finally had to hang my milkman’s hat up as he left the series. If he ever returns, I’m sure I’ll revive it. (I also run the ArchersFnar account, tweeting and retweeting those ‘Carry On Up The Archers’ innuendo moments, probably first inspired by Ian and Adam’s first date, a sausage tasting evening).
Anyway, #thearchers on twitter is more than enough for me. It allows me to say as much as I need to, catch up on the gossip and audience thoughts without the opportunity to get too many spoilers, and you’re usually guaranteed a captive audience and responses when required.