Detecting Sites for Sore Eyes

2nd January 2015 — 39 Comments



© JW – Posed by a Model …

newBefore any regular visitor to metal detecting forums takes umbrage, shows evidence of great annoyance or starts issuing death threats made out to this innocent scribbler, let me explain the intention of my latest blog post.

What follows is intended to be a light-hearted look at the way different sites promote themselves. Along the way you might recognise the forum that you habitually frequent. It is not to intention to belittle or ridicule the site you consider to be ‘the best on the net’, but simply point out how a description may look to the casual observer. If I ruffle a few feathers along the way, then so be it. I cannot be held responsible for any humourdectomy, hip replacement or any life-saving surgery that you may have recently undergone. Learn to laugh at yourself … just like I do!

As Jane Austen might have said, it is a truth universally acknowledged that the forum you favour is the best out there. Period. You may even recognise your favourite from one of the following; there are plenty to choose from!

1 – THE FRIENDLY MDF  our members are few and post only infrequently – if at all. We may not have much to offer in way of expertise, but if you join at least one of the administrators will say hello and welcome you … that’s what he’s been assigned to do; it’s a job.

2 – THE POPULAR and FRIENDLY MDF  same as above but with the addition that the staff all get on with each other; something that is often missing from other forums.

3 – WHERE THE MEMBERS COME FIRST  this is a difficult one to fathom … what is the real meaning? Do the more vocal members meet on a regular basis to review decisions the owner has made on the running of the forum? Are they able to veto possible developments and run the site in their own way? No. I suspect it simply means that the administrators will listen to what the members have to say … and then do what they want in their own way. And rightly so; the owner is the one paying for the server!

4 – TOP SITE  there’s a slight arrogance associated with this statement … or perhaps it shows a lack of imaginative thought. Who says that they are the ‘Top Site” and what exactly does it mean?

5 – WHERE THE EXPERIENCED DETECTORIST HANGS OUT  although this rather long-winded statement infers that you shouldn’t bother bother signing up if you are just starting in the hobby, that’s not the case. There are old pros on there of course, but they can always be relied upon to share their little wrinkles with the less fortunate.

6 – THE ORIGINAL MDF  we may not be the best, but we were one of the first – and still hanging on – even though our best members have moved on to pastures new.

7 – THE PREMIER MDF  perhaps by ‘premier’ they also mean that they were the earliest created, but with the additional meaning of ‘first in importance’ or ‘outstanding’ in some way. Same comment as above, but with a boasting factor well beyond its present standing.

8 – WORLD’S BEST MDF  presumably somebody asked detectorists all over the globe to cast their votes and a ceremony, hosted by Christopher Biggins, was held at a well-known Nevada brothel. Madonna had a wardrobe malfunction. Okay, that’s a bit over the top, but the forum describing itself as the ‘world’s best’ displays breathtaking arrogance. Where’s the humility … not even probably the world’s best!

9 – FIRST FOR FINDS FRIENDS AND FUN  I like this one’s attempt at arresting alliteration. The guy who dreamed up this one must have been (or is) a Guardian reader!

10 – THE NATIONAL SITE FOR … could this be an presumption erroneously made, a statement taken to be true? Yes, could be … especially when there are other detecting forums in the same ‘country’, Does this site speak for them all? Of course not!

11 – EXCLUSIVE  we don’t allow Barford or other jokes on the forum. If you want to fish or hoik a few bottles, then go dig in your own dump! 

12 – FOR DETECTORISTS BY DETECTORISTS   a more direct way of informing Barford and his associates that they are not welcome. Archaeologists and other heritage professionals are also persona non grata. ‘Go and excavate your massive trenches elsewhere’ is the stark message.


There are detecting forums that don’t have tag lines, make no claims and rely solely on their popularity with the members … something quite refreshing about that approach, don’t you think?After having my little joke, it is only right and proper that I thank all those metal detecting forum owners for their dedication, good will and determination in providing such interesting and useful sites for all detectorists to hang out, to learn about the hobby, as well as sharing their finds. Good on yer and happy new year to you all.

if you are still disgruntled and thinking about making a phone call in protest can I ask you to comment on this site instead. My secretary Mrs. John usually answers all my calls and I don’t want to upset her. Thank you.

BTW, there’s no point in looking up the word ‘humourdectomy’. I made it up.



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39 responses to Detecting Sites for Sore Eyes

  1. Picking on forums? Shame on you John….

  2. I know a particular forum north of the border that ticks a lot of these boxes.
    Most forums are run on a non-profit hobby basis and these are the best, most relaxed and fun places to frequent in my opinion. Others are run purely for profit and reek of desperation and often paranoia, resorting to ridiculing “rival” forums. Not a nice atmosphere for newcomers to the hobby.

  3. Love it !
    We do need to laugh at our selves every now and then.

  4. Joseph from Oregon 2nd January 2015 at 3:29 AM

    Happy New Year my friend!
    The best forum ever crashed & burned about one year ago. The one that flew under the radar. You were an honoured member!

    Joseph and Cathy

  5. Nice one!!!
    Happy New Year

  6. Ours could be the mainly friendly forum.

  7. John
    Excellent, how right you are I am a member of eight different Metal Detecting forums and believe it or not all eight slot into eight different categories of your list.
    Most MD Forums serve a good purpose in the helpfulness to give new starters a foothold in the learning curve of gaining knowledge about their detector and the most important aspect of the hows, whys and wherefores of the actual detecting hobby and recognition of their finds.
    By the way your eyes are hypnotic and don’t show any sign of cataracts.
    Keep up the good work.

  8. as you say john ……Every forum is different in its own way … but each serve a useful purpose…happy new year to you Sir and Mrs John

  9. Christopher O’Sullivan 2nd January 2015 at 12:45 PM

    Hehehehe. Yes, the world of MD forums is a hazardous one- it’s a bit like football, really and can, at times, hark back to medieval times with one bunch knocking lumps out the other.

  10. I’m still amazed I made our forum john. We don’t claim to be anything. “New and Niave” maybe? Anyway thanks for being part of it.

  11. bill from lachine 2nd January 2015 at 3:46 PM


    Interesting observations…..and so true all the forums do have their own style and feel to them.

    Regards + HH


  12. Not long ago, I was put in time out for a couple of weeks. I think everyone needs to be banned at least once to show their dedication.

  13. Ive been a member of clubs although some years ago found them very secretive and to be honest not a great deal of help to me a newbie at the time.After being retired for 3 years from the hobby I found a great forum the NRH they go out of their way to help and welcome newbies always a great atmosphere on the digs they organise.Really looking forward this year in meeting up with more members.
    And of course your input and blog always a good read. Have a great New Year

  14. We have all joined forums that don’t do much for us as well as joining forums we all think are the best, this hobby is a veritable melting pot of informers and information, we can all all learn something new so each has something to offer.Happy new year to you and Mrs John

    ps had as much of a laugh from the comments as I did from the blog lol

  15. .where are the Wot Ya Drinking forums

  16. Very astute and witty observations John but unfortunately [some] forum mods have had a sense of humour bypass as you have probably noticed which makes a rather dull forum. If you can’t laugh at yourself then others will do it for you.

  17. love the before n after a nice red wine eye shot ;)))

  18. I have to admit I pay ten quid a year to belong to one particular forum ,but it’s tethered to a particular brand and supplier, other forums make good money ,others are for mutual admiration , and won’t allow you to upset the sponsors,I once uttered the word picaniny and was banned from a Forum,any excuse ..

    • Oh dear!
      In my next blog I reprise the NigNog badge … am I skating on thin ice again?

      • Well I suggested to an old chap who was giving up detecting because of failing knees ,that he should have a pica-nine carry his spade. [The Administrator] threw me off said I was racist ,nig nog is with out doubt a hanging offence.
        Did you check out the Heritage Journal and there reaction to the recent Saxon hoard I left a comment ,well worth a look they are not happy bunnies

  19. if one is going to bust out a nice mature robinsons jam from ye old days
    oneth might be of helpth old bean

  20. When does national ever represent the views of EVERYONE in that nation?

    If our forum ever ceases to be the biggest and most frequented forum in Scotland I promise we will change the tagline. The truth is that we are the biggest because we put our members interests before our own, it’s that simple.

    I don’t take offence to the article and can easily recognise the stereotypes illustrated and am indeed amused 🙂

    I’d also like to add that yes there was a bit of online bitching between the Scottish forums a couple of years back but nowadays it’s all pretty quiet, a sort of peace and live and let dig.

    Good luck wherever you dig in 2015 guys and girls regardless of your ‘online’ preferences 😉

  21. Ignore the sad ones John, their loss not yours. Holier than thou attitude and a total sense of humour failure. Have a great New Year.

    • Quote but not mine.!! But so true.
      Best described as a torrent of little children running around in a minefield (users), some armed with weapons (moderators), forums are the flagship of internet discussion, spam, and flame wars.
      Smaller forums tend to be more habitable, but the larger ones have many distinct and similar features. For example, within approximately seven seconds of the creation of a topic, you will have at least one reply, garunteed. Large forums also tend to spawn makeshift caste systems within themselves, and you’re automatically a malefactor in the forum until you have a 4-digit post count.
      A forum can sometimes be helpful, but normally they become a time consuming and frustrating thing if you pay too much attention to them.

      (Smaller forums tend to be habitable),,hence this one .


  23. I just read the story again as a link was included in a new post. Enjoyed the Comments as well as the story.

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    […] thoroughly enjoyed John Winter’s recent blog post about forums.  It was on the money, and the aftermath or follow-up was true to form with John being banned […]

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