I simply don't get it. Maybe I'm of the wrong generation, or something. But why can't anybody run a coin discussion board that's worth spending time on? CoinTalk is a complete train wreck with excessively heavy-handed moderation, and it's run by egomaniacs. Disagree with them too much on ANYTHING, and they'll make up a violation to ban you. Their rules are really only one. "The site managers are above error." I know; been there, done that. Plus, the zeitgeist on CoinTalk.com has always been OPENLY HOSTILE TO THE ANA! And the site MANAGERS AND OWNERSHIP ARE THE RINGLEADERS of that zeitgeist. The NGC discussion board is moribund, and the PCGS is merely a rah-rah site for them, and little else. And is it just me, or does EVERYTHING that touches PCGS reek of a "superiority complex"?
There's NOTHING out there, folks! Nothing. It's why I go to ANA shows and my several local coin clubs - to talk to intelligent folks who aren't heck-bent to dominate the place with THEIR PARTICULAR viewpoint. If anyone knows of a forum that truly values and honors open discussion, please tell me about it. It's NOT CoinTalk, and no third party grading service runs one. Owning a website has become about "controlling the discussion". Surely that's not why we built the World Wide Web, to enable tyrants. Is it? It's time to put on the "big boy long pants" and not fear a heated disagreement between forum members. Out of disagreement comes learning. Out of "groupthink" comes tyranny and dare I say it, fascism - The New Fascism of the World Wide Web. Online numismatics should be collectively ashamed of itself, but it's not self-aware enough to see how misguided it is.
Oh, by the way, ANA's forums are pretty moribund, too. I've spoken with the web mavens at the ANA. The online focus annoys almost as many advanced collectors as it appeals to newer younger ones. One of the main experts on Matte Proof Lincoln Cents, a Class winner several times (Class 1 - U.S. coins) is so turned off by this very website, he's considering backing away from the ANA completely. And c'mon! Unless you're registering for a seminar or an Early Bird badge, the online registration for the 2019 National Money Show in Pittsburgh in March DOESN'T EVEN WORK! A website needs CONSTANT ATTENTION. It's not the sort of thing you can throw Capital Budget dollars at and forget it. Has anyone even HAD a James Reinders sighting lately?
The ANA has gone astray with this website, and it hurts my heart... deeply. Navigation of this site is difficult and counter-intuitive. Yes, we need to reach out to new collectors, but at the expense of EVERYTHING the more advanced collector cares/cared about? That can't be right, can it? We need to concentrate on the basics. KEEP the exhibiting rules online 365 days out of the year, not just part-time. By the way, KEEP THE EXHIBITING!!! [One particular candidate for ANA President, take heed! ... Colonel.]
I am all about turning the beginning collector into the intermediate collector, the gal or guy who might spend $400-$500 at an ANA show bourse, total. We are losing the opportunity to make intermediate collectors, and it is they who have always been the backbone of this hobby. Not the coin flippers, not the dealer community (I know, blasphemous, right?), not the roll searchers and "errors which are not" finders with their USB microscopes, and not EVEN the Laura Sperbers of the hobby with their clients with seven-figure dollar (or eight) wantlists. No, ignore the intermediate collector, the coin club member, and coin show client, and all you'll have left is a bunch of crooked eBay sellers and buyers in a constant dance to rip off one another. Okay, maybe you'll still have the Heritage and Stacks Bowers clients too. Good luck as we die off, as we all must.
Can somebody provide me some positive sense we're not FORCING this hobby down the commode? I haven't lost my eyesight yet, but I'm not seeing that right now.
Oh, and PLEASE don't get me started on YouTube, if CoinTalk is a train wreck, and it is, numismatically YouTube is a nuclear accident uncontrolled.
All that said, I'm pretty sure that an honest dispassionate look at this website would involve the words "a swing and a miss". Well, at least the bat isn't still on the shoulder, and there's another pitch coming.