The Royals Rendezvous

Royals Rendezvous – the 1871 Club: An Introduction

With the firtst game in the bag fans are all eager to break down every detail of our opening 90 minutes of the season and with that in mind, we’ve got a few words from a lead contributor to one of the biggest growing Royals communities on the internet, The Royals Rendezvous.

Below the jump,RR editor/moderator daib0 explains a bit about the site and what fans can expect and experience on the site.

As we start the new season I thought it a good idea to write about a growing Reading FC fans’ forum: Royals Rendezvous which is found at www.royalsrendezvous.co.uk . This has actually proved to be very difficult indeed, for I wish to highlight genuine interest items for readers to The Tilehurst End, and not merely present a publicity exercise for the site I am a moderator/contributor for, and now write about on here! Firstly, and above all, I wish to publicly say that our relationship with the Tilehurst End is more than just fluid; in my opinion it’s excellent. On our side we have always received with ‘open arms’ any news that ‘Wimb’ or others might to share with us, and viewing figures suggest that our members do take the Tilehurst End notes quite seriously.

As regular readers here will probably know, I do appreciate your collective work enormously; even myself contributing an article or two on occasion, and certainly commenting freely after other articles appear. From my point of view there is in no way any sense of competition; the Royals Rendezvous is a fans’ forum which revolves principally around members making short posts around a large list of topics on display – the Tilehurst End thrives on quality longer articles treating some fantastic themes, often not treated fully elsewhere, and which seem to come from the hand of contributors who seem to have almost professional journalistic qualities! That is something that we generally do not possess. So I’d say we feel a sense of complimenting – never competing.

So why did Royals Rendezvous (from now ‘RR’!) start, you may ask? Well, many of its initial members were regular contributors to the BBC 606 service – alas, no longer in operation – who wished for a more specialized Reading FC orientated forum, whilst maintaining the good spirited type of conversation and banter that the BBC tried to promote. We prefer to forget now, but it’s also quite truthful to say that after some unpleasant windings-up by a few minority fans (the so-called WUMs!) in the latter half of 2010, a small hardcore of us decided ‘enough is enough’ and went about opening up an alternative site to the already well-known HNA? forum, basically so that we could still remain in a block, as it were. Given where we came from, what might be called our ‘decency’ standards are probably higher than many other fan forum sites, meaning tough guidelines as regards swear words and aggressive manner towards any other member, but we have rarely had to go any farther than ‘sorry to have to write – did you realize that you said x and y”! Indeed, many members write to let us know they are happy at our policies in this regard.

The site as such was constituted on 30th December 2010, though for practical reasons we usually take 1st January as the start date. There are currently virtually 200 users as I write this – and well over 10,000 posts made – which is not at all bad for six months of existence if you consider we are a Reading FC specialist-based site, not a general footballing forum. However, it’s true to say that the demise of the BBC 606 at the end of May has also helped our cause; further old BBC members have since passed across to us. As pure statistics go, one can’t let pass unnoticed that a single thread – that of Reading FC possible summer signings (and outgoings) has attracted over 100 pages of commentaries, meaning over 1,000 posts alone! It’s fair to say that the members are pretty active therefore …

What things are we offering this season that might be different and attractive? Well firstly to point towards the more ‘normal’: signed up members can access member-only sections, and use many member-only features such as customising one’s profile, sending personal messages to other users, posting your comments and opinions in threads, signal evaluation of other people’s posts (only positively though, not negatively!), be able to vote in polls, enter member competitions, and adding your personal material in the Media section. In terms of coaxing out of our members further participation we are running three competitions this season; firstly a projected league table final positions where members gain points according to how close they place each team to the final position that they will have next May (closing date has already closed as the Millwall game was approaching!), secondly a weekly ‘Predictions Game’ competition which features all of Reading’s league games for the season with each week members picking up between 1 and 5 points according to how close they guess the score (for those spot on bonus points exist for HT score + correctly naming the Reading goalscorers), and thirdly a ‘RR Members’ Photo of the Season’ competition of which I’ll mention in a bit.

Our web structure takes into account in depth RFC matters, general football questions, and general interest parts. The principal sections (sub-sections exist too in cases) are:

Introductions (Welcome of new members and basic guidelines)

Predictions (forthcoming Reading matches)

Match Threads/Match Reports (Reading of course)

Announcements and News (important news from the moderators – all 6 of us!)

General Football Discussion (Talk about news and gossip in the world of football)

Reading FC (Talk about anything to do with the team here)

History and Recent Past (Talk about our history – both recent seasons and long ago)

Other Sports Chat (all other sports except football)

News and Current Events (Talk about what’s affecting our world right now)

The Random Room (Talk about random stuff and fun and games in here!)

Royals Rendezvous Media Section (A section for photographs, newspaper cuttings and other media connected with Reading Football Club.)

Apart from these outlined sections, there is also a full ‘Shout Box’ in operation, where messages of even shorter content can be displayed, and is being used increasingly of late … giving, for examples, the night’s football scores, or ticket news etc.

We also have a ‘Calendar-Diary’ which I am taking enormous responsibility for as my personal ‘baby’. In the nearly 500 entries available so far to be checked between 1 Jan 2011 and 31 Dec 2012 you have the Reading match details, links to our threads covering each game plus official web site links, transfer news on the day it happens, players’ birthdays, ex-players’ birthdays and anniversaries – each with biographical information about the player in question, details to do with previous managers, important historical matches and other momentous occasions in RFC history. The idea is to create an historical reference running day-by-day which might already be the fullest diary of RFC in existence today.

However, also with a sense of historical reference we have instigated the ‘Royals Rendezvous Media Section’ which contains a place for photographs, newspaper cuttings and other media connected with Reading Football Club. This sections starts, though, with the “The Royals Rendezvous Reference Library”: again surely one of the most comprehensive web listings of sites containing RFC official information, statistics, and general documentary evidence, and links to many quality articles – of which the Tilehurst End is regularly referred to, and rightly so! There then follows many a section where members will from now and in future be able to share their current and historical photos etc. and post their experiences this season – culminating with the ‘Photo of the Season’ competition (previously mentioned). The idea is that members send in their photos from match days, or of match journeys, programme covers, players’ autographs etc., and at end of season the six most popular will be voted for to find the winner of the RR ‘Photo of the Season’ Competition.

All 3 competition winners this season, and last seasons’ winners too, have their name engraved and remembered in the ‘RR Hall of Fame’ for posterity!

There are several on-going projects, which we are not able to share yet because they are still ‘in the tunnel’ but which we will be happy to share in all good time.

In summing up, I hope we may be regarded as a ‘positive force’ for the Reading FC related world, and prove we are a friendly team – both moderation team and users, and that we continue to grow steadily. I hope we never scare new members away!

With regards to our mutual relationship The Tilehurst End – RR, I sincerely hope we can remain as a wonderful compliment to one another, and inter-act with genuine interest. So, all the very best to The Tilehurst End this season, from the RR guys!!

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