What Happened to Yoyo Culture?

Just curious, but I left the hobby in 2015 and came back at the start of 2020.
When I left, the industry was still growing and blogs and forums were still bustling.
I expected the industry to only grow from here.

Now coming back, many blogs have closed, the overall hobby seems much smaller, YYF doesn’t upload nearly as much media as it did, and everything seems to be a lot more underground.

I understand that the industry is oversaturated with brands, but the hobby just doesn’t seem nearly as big as it did, I know that the yoyo hobby grows and shrinks in popularity, new players come in, some stay, some leave. But everything is so quiet now. Go to any yoyo forum and compare the activity of prior years to these recent times, and it shows.

I didn’t want to be the guy who recreates the “Is yoyoing dying thread” but Nagao winning worlds was kinda the last hot topic. Don’t get me wrong I see a lot of players still uploading stuff and being innovative, but even then it seems like something is missing.

There are so many good throws coming out, but where is everybody?
Did we hit the threshold or are we still riding the trough of the wave?
I love hearing other people’s thoughts and being corrected, share your opinions, and teach me something!
thank you!

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A lot of people moved to just posting in the Facebook groups.

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if you are referring to contest culture… which a lot of your points seemed to hit on, covid put a damper on it this year… it depends on what you’re looking for.

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sorry , you probably got that from me talking about Nagao. I was talking about the hobby in general. A lot of the original forums have closed. I think competitions have been pretty decent.

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Facebook and Instagram seem to have absorbed a lot of the life that was on old forums that closed.

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I think it has a lot to do with how people use the internet now. Many people use Discord and social media sites instead of message boards. Almost all the manufacturers seem to use IG for all their news posts.

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Yeah it’s just a lot of social media now. Which is kinda sad because the longer I’m on here, the more I appreciate the platform. I’m tired of all the spam and bloated, uninvited ads plastered all over my page. Here we just get to the meat of it.

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The mediums definitely have switched up, I started in 2006 and have seen tons of it. All the boards I went to before are long since dead and the community is spread out across 5-8 places instead of just 3 primary funnels. I am an example of this, I come to this board almost every day but hardly post on it.

The wealth of companies also further dissipates the focus; there are also less physical skilltoy stores (pre COVID) so it make sit difficult to try new throws. Yo-Yoing is unique in that when people hit a plateau they often move to something else. For other hobbies you just get the new thing, for throwing you get the new thing but maybe not a new trick.

This can burn people out when they realize they aren’t advancing like they want. Coming back into the community I can say it is definitely very active, you just have to get bits from different places.

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Looks like we have many members that used to dialogue with us… I think some left so they could access another platform to present their videos on…or several other ways … to
But they are still here… just not active lately…?
IMO

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Agree that it does seem that social media outlets have absorbed lots of activity - Facebook (which I don’t do - can’t stand that place for multiple reasons, some v serious, some petty), and Instagram (hey, Facebook owns that too now!).

Also the skill level in competition is soooo high now that it puts it into an unaccessible stratosphere. Fewer players stand out, IMO. The creative yoyoers of years past would not make it into Finals. Can you imagine a John Ando-type win today? I can’t.

Then, so many killer yoyos available from so many companies…

It’s all amazing (high skills, great performing yoyos) but also more fragmented.

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I feel like innovation still scores really high with judges.

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The bottom line seems to be that the community is highly decentralized - which amazes me because it’s really a small community compared to others. It seems like one has to be a part of multiple platforms in order to be truly plugged in. I only took the hobby back up early this year after a loooong layoff (over 20 years) and it took me some time to figure things out. I was only active on this forum for my first few months and I really felt like I was only dipping my toes in the water. And then I briefly joined the big Facebook BST and found that it deepened my engagement with the community, but that still felt incomplete because it seemed like news from manufacturers was being released elsewhere and only fragments made their way into the group. And more recently I’ve joined the Instagram world and with that I feel like I’m as close as I want to come to being immersed in yoyo “culture.”

It’s really difficult to be “plugged in” without jumping between different media. Some folks are super active here but not elsewhere. Others (including many companies) seem to be most active on Instagram. Others seem pretty active on one or more of the few Facebook groups. And then there’s Reddit. And probably other stuff I am forgetting about. Oh, and YouTube for sure. And Discord channels or whatever they are called. See what I mean?

Before jumping back into yoyos, I was previously most active in the baseball card community (about 2005-2010). We had one big forum, and then that was succeeded by another. There were other more minor venues, but most of it centered around that forum. That’s what I knew when I came here, and it sounds like yoyo “culture” used to be more like that. But not anymore.

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I don’t disagree. Still, can you imagine a John Ando-type win happening today? The contest landscape could be primed for such a thing to happen, though… after all, when Ando won it was a nice surprise.

Yeah it does seem kind of normal in the life cycle of these things. There was a music forum that I was really into that went the same way too… everyone said bye bye forum and hello to Facebook :face_vomiting:

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I was going to reply pretty much along the lines of the dissipation due to so many social media platforms as well. Social media dissipation sounds like a “thing,” doesn’t it?

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Forums are just for the cool kids! :wink:

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I have come realize that a lot of the young guns of the community who are pushing their skills to the next level are on Instagram. On the forums there is some of that, but it seems like it’s more made up of the collectors.
And then there’s people like me who are very active on Instagram, but also hang around the forums for old times sake :smiley:

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Frankly I abhor facebook and instagram and all that they stand for. All they do is track your activities and sell the data to target you…

yeah yeah, I know that having a cell phone, using google and a plethora of other things track you as well, but one or two less is a step in the right direction.

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Instagram is king for yoyo content. Everything happens there

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Yeah a lot of the trick content has shifted to IG. It’s a great platform for quickly recording and uploading a trick and watch other people’s tricks