Anorak Nation, R.I.P

Sadly, it’s goodbye to the website Anorak Nation.

Anorak Nation was an independent and privately run part email, and part web discussion base. It was born in 2003, twelve years ago. In fact, the software running it was used by a ‘radio anorak’ predecessor which I think was called ‘Caroline Central’, so the style of platform is even older than 12, and the original subscriber base of the latter was purchased in order to populate Anorak Nation.

But, just looking at Anorak Nation, here some things to consider.

It was born before Facebook. Before Youtube. Before smartphones. Before most folk had broadband (which only started being introduced about 3 years earlier). MySpace was only a year old, people used MSN Messenger to type to each other, and Windows XP was just two years old.

It’s amazing to consider that even just 12 years ago the internet was so, well, basic.

Anorak Nation was in the right place at the right time, as offshore and land based radio fans discovered the concept of being ‘online’ and finding places to discuss their passion, their memories and their thoughts about radio from decades before.

For a goodly while Anorak Nation thrived with a daily hubble bubble of chatter. But, along came Facebook. Along came much larger discussion places with divisions into subject areas that attracted more folks, and the need for specialist interest single subject places had gone.

At times, I and a few others tried to seed it and breathe life back into it, but it soon became just three people talking to each other. One by one we kinda gave up. Very sadly.

So, for a long year or so, Anorak Nation stood with an archive of discussions going way back, but nothing new, no one new. Very sad.

I had a quick look through the archive and there frozen forever were posts from people who then died. To my surprise some had died a long while ago. And a variety of subjects and discussions dominated by ‘never say never’ but sadly offshore radio ‘never’ came back. And arguments and name calling. It was all there, but that was then and this is now.

And ‘now’ Anorak Nation has silently slipped away, just as offshore radio slipped away, Radio Luxembourg slipped away, long wave radio slipped away, shortwave radio slipped away, independent self contained local commercial radio stations slipped away, medium wave broadcasting slipped away, the variety of land based pirate radio slipped away, and so on.

If history and reality teaches us anything it’s that nothing lasts forever. It has its very short time, its place, and then it’s gone. Rather than hoping for its return, we should enjoy the beginning, middle, and end of it as it was, and as we did. Then we should let go.

So, this is me letting go of Anorak Nation, but with a final personal thanks for the good and the bad times. A special thanks to those who tried to keep it alive, that meaning the contributors who, like me, tried and tried, and mainly a big special thanks to that poor fella kindly paying for it all.

Anorak Nation R.I.P