There are a number of fora and places to go for radio industry enthusiasts. These places are ideal for the dwindling number of radio industry employees to engage in self-back-patting or to discuss the finest points of disinterest to normal people such as actual radio listeners.
They used to have a load more places for their 'discussions', but over the years the old radio anoraks have died, gone too senile to post, or are trapped and lost forever in what is, for them, the maze of confusion known as Facebook.
Only a few places remain for these special people. Notably old style 'boards' that don't require any authentication and so therefore allow them to use multiple names, in fact, any name but the one they are most usually known by, especially when on a spate of drunken bullying or trolling.
One of these boards attracts old racists, and it would appear, those who are forgiving of Jimmy Savile, blaming the children he abused. It has constant conversations that re-cycle every few years about exactly the same things. Usually it's about the finer details of something unimportant that may or may not have happened in, say, 1978 or 1983, like the amount of diesel in a tank at 12:02 am on a random Saturday.
Discussions get pretty heated and repeat more or less what was said a few years before, and then rest until everybody has forgotten that the conversation has already been had, before starting all over. This 'board' is supposed to be supportive of Pirate and Free radio, yet slags off any pirate radio stations that have audiences, especially of young people (they really hate young people and youth culture), and loves pirate stations that nobody can actually hear or bothers listening to. They also love internet radio stations with no real audiences, doubly so if they've 'stolen' the name of a once offshore station, and they get quite orgasmic about broadcasting bands like Long and Short wave that nobody bothers listening via any more.
Another 'board', and the one I'm about to speak of, claims to be there for fans of the 'real' Radio Caroline. This 'board' appears to exist to allow rants and sobbing from those who've fallen out with those posting on the 'board' I discussed in the previous paragraph. It also attracts those who keep making (and breaking?) promises of a 'return' of Radio Caroline. I think this 'return' means as an offshore radio service.
Why would anybody bother building an offshore radio station that nobody will bother listening to? Well, of course, they won't ever do this except in their dreams. But, since they share these dreams with all old 'radio anoraks', they are preaching to the converted.
Recently, a post arrived saying, "We have an announcement that is huge. More within a few days. Attention all Caroline fans. Please stand by." (It's here)
But, of course, nothing then followed for all those who stood up ready for the exciting ejaculation of rubbish about 'Caroline'. There must be a couple of dozen old fellas getting very tired and ready to fall over as they sit glued to the board constantly hitting refresh, waiting for this 'announcement' to appear.
Bizarrely, you can explain in words of one syllable accompanied by the simplest diagrams, and in sentences constructed in a language that a two year old will fully understand and fully agree with, that offshore radio was a moment in time and is finished, full-stop.
However, a typical 'radio anorak' will listen very attentively, nodding enthusiastically after every sentence, pause for 10 seconds and then say, "Ah, but never say never, eh?"
Why do they do this? The simple answer is because they are mental!
Eighteen months ago, doing my best Dragon's Den impression, I offered to partially fund anybody coming to me and presenting me with a valid business plan for an offshore radio station (here). I promised to keep secret the details of any approaches I had, so I won't discuss specifics. But, I can reveal that I have not had an approach that showed any form of evidence of a format that would actually be listened to by proper people (as in, non-'radio anoraks'), let alone a business model that allowed revenue generation.
So, as I said, and as I and a few others have repeated many times, offshore radio is dead. There will be no returning of offshore radio stations, Radio Caroline or not. Maybe the 'massive' announcement should be that offshore radio is dead and buried and the old 'radio anoraks' should stop this bizarre 'false' belief. Indeed, even though those who are feeding these 'rumours' might even be writing them to try to convince themselves as much as their fellow 'anoraks', maybe the time has come to give it up.
Offshore radio in Europe is dead and buried. Fact.
"Pause." "Never say never."