Today we are announcing the closure of The Archers message board. It will close, in two weeks, at 12pm on Monday 25 February. All of us at Radio 4 and on The Archers team understand this news will be disappointing for regular users.

The Archers is extremely popular on digital platforms. More than 120,000 users regularly visit the website every week, the podcast is three times more popular now than it was in 2008 with downloads in the millions - and more and more listeners are talking about the programme on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Amid that growth, traffic to the message board has reduced greatly. While there are around 10,000 regular visitors to the message board, the number of people who contribute actively has dropped below a thousand.

For some time, the BBC has been moving away from message boards, as Ian Hunter explains in this blog post, and there are now no other BBC Radio message boards and only two related to other BBC output. 

The Archers community has been a rich, witty and fun space for fans over the last decade and we acknowledge the strength of the community. We hope that you continue to contribute to Archers discussions elsewhere online.

We will still be listening to you and we welcome feedback via this blog, on our Facebook page and through Twitter where Tayler and Keri will remain as our hosts. All feedback will be collated and shared with the programme team each week and published on our blog.

The board's vast archive will remain online. We’re giving notice so that you can make plans to migrate to alternative Archers forums and spaces, say goodbye to fellow Archers board users and discuss this move.

We will respond to comments and questions about the closure on this blog later in the week.

Nigel Smith
Interactive Editor, Radio 4 & 4 Extra

Other places to talk about The Archers online

The Archers Facebook page – official page run by Tayler and Keri

The Archers on Twitter – official profile run by Tayler

#thearchers – Twitter hashtag

Archers Addicts Forum - fan forum

Peet's Place - fan forum

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  • Comment number 341. Posted by wynkyn de worde

    on 24 Feb 2013 10:56

    You won't get an answer Bella.

    The Editor of interactivity is not inclined to do that very much.

    I think you probably have an idea of the answer anyway

    No Idea.

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  • Comment number 340. Posted by Bella Milbanke

    on 24 Feb 2013 09:53

    Final question for Nigel Smith, please:

    Of the "120,000 users who regularly visit the website", how many of them are simply downloading the latest episode of the programme in order to catch up or listen again and how far does this represent Interactivity?

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  • Comment number 339. Posted by Margaret

    on 23 Feb 2013 09:40

    I am apalled - I don't always ;like what I read, I don't always agree, but it is such a source af amusement and information and repartee - I can't understand, even having read the above, why you feel the need to close the MB down. Crass stupidity. There wiull be such a drop off of visitirs to the site.

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  • Comment number 338. Posted by Baretta-Stappino Verde

    on 23 Feb 2013 00:37

    To quote Nigel (P) 'Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh !'

    I can't add anything to the many comments as to the wit and wisdom, knowledge and diverse viewpoints freely shared by the many MLers. I have been listening to radio 4 and TA for over 40 years but only discovered the MB accidentally in a google (other search engines are available) search a few months ago and I felt at home - these were the sort of people I assumed R4 was aimed at, though I am increasingly feeling I am now the wrong sort of listener.
    I am sure the BBC has valid reasons for closing the MB and is not doing it just to annoy us but, as part of interactivity, learning how to communicate bad news wouldn't go amiss. Any doctor telling a patient they had a terminal illness and who gave a Feedback like performance would not be long in the job.
    Like so many others I will have no reason to visit BBC websites without the MB but as a singularity in a dwindling minority I obviously won't be missed.

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  • Comment number 337. Posted by mzaliwa

    on 22 Feb 2013 18:36

    Clearly the BBC has no absolute duty to provide discussion fora. I am very sad to see the Archers pages go, as they have allowed the development of a meaningful cameraderie among people who enjoy the programme and they are a showcase for some inspiring eruptions of imagination and creativity. However my sadness turns into anger when I see the representativies of the corporation suggesting that followers should turn to thoroughly underhand and reprehensible agencies like Facebook to continue their discussions.

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  • Comment number 336. Posted by wynkyn de worde

    on 22 Feb 2013 16:48

    Hello Nigel

    Have a laugh.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnxJnJLiTJ0

    It really is funny.

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  • Comment number 335. Posted by Mrs Antrobus

    on 22 Feb 2013 15:51

    I enjoy the Discussion as much as the programme and certainly won't be returning to the site as it was the only item I watched. Have no time or interest in Facebook or Twitter and unfortunately have had no time to join in Discussion. But if it returns, BBC, I promise to contribute, and if you publish a target figure that we need to maintain it no doubt we sleepers will awake. Thanks and farewell to the posters who have given me so much fun.

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  • Comment number 334. Posted by littleoscar

    on 22 Feb 2013 11:39

    Dont do it!

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  • Comment number 333. Posted by eekahil

    on 21 Feb 2013 17:29

    I find the blogs to be quite useless. They are spottily updated and diffuse.
    Twitter+ well, the BBC's Twitter presence is chaotic. Can't ever figure out where to follow what and the responses to direct questions are almost nil.
    I like the board format because it is searchable and archiveable - one can find old topics rather than have to start from scratch each time.
    Lastly,I don't know that it makes a difference but I fo one quit looking at the Archers home page when the actor's photos became unavoidable. Knowing that was a big topic of controversy, I wonder whether traffic dropped of then because others likewise wanted to avoid the photos?

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  • Comment number 332. Posted by poshquilter

    on 21 Feb 2013 13:51

    I would agree with the previous poster (Bex).
    The Feedback appearance was toe curling, you were SO badly prepared, and completely unable to answer any question why this decision was taken, or justify it.
    What bit of Interactive is removing any contact with the people to whom the BBC actually belongs, and who pay your salary.
    It seems the Ivory Towers have just had a new storey built, and you are up there showing complete disinterest in what interacting with the listeners is all about.
    This smacks of someone being given a 'Project' at an annual appraisal.... Just go and stop the Archers listeners making fun out of the storylines.
    Perhaps it was the damning of the dreadful Brief Encounter parody, the writer seemed to be so pleased with her efforts, but it was universally decried..... easiest way to stop that happening is to remove the forum that allows it.
    Ah well, after next Monday, you won't have to keep your fingers in your ears whilst shouting lalalalalala, because we won't be able to comment.

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