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  #21  
Old 26.03.2009, 23:17
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

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Things change... Change is not always bad. I fully understand why the decision was made. I know its exactly what Mark would have done (although if he were alive it would never have come to this).

I hope that this will now mean that we can all relax in the sense that we all now know who is responsible for the forum, who is funding etc etc. Easing those concerns, I hope will allow this forum to gain in strength again. The information and network of support this forum provides is beyond any monetary value and I for one, hope it shall continue to be just that, a strong community...
Quoting Barack Obama, times have changed and we must change with the times.

However, for the sake of transparency, there are a couple of things, other than donations, that might require future clarification. It would be good to know what will happen with the e-mail lists? If i remember correctly, Mark had made the commitment of not displaying it to 3rd parties or use them for marketing/commercial mailings. Have the terms and conditions changed? Finally, who owns the copyrights of the postings and blogs? The poster? the owner of website?
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  #22  
Old 27.03.2009, 07:12
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

Hi guys,

thanks for the warm welcome. I feel fuzzy inside already.

At some point in the near future we'll publish a set of terms and conditions. I don't think there will be any surprises though. As mentioned, the general philosophy of the site remains the same as ever.

To answer the specific questions:

Email privacy

Yes, your registered email address remains private and secure. It will not be used for marketing or shared with a third party.

Copyright

You the poster retain copyright on all posts you make. By posting, however, you implicitly grant EF a non-revokable license to publish your posts.

Renumeration for informational posts

This isn't how it works.

Instead, we the company provide the infrastructure and support to keep the forum running. In return for that effort we earn money off advertising.

You, the members, get to use that infrastructure for free for whatever purposes that you please (within the forum rules, of course). If you choose to help other members of the community with useful information, that is your freedom to do so and is in the spirit of the site.

If you choose not to share information, likewise, that's your choice, but don't expect others to then help you out should you yourself ever come looking for help.

Everyone gets out of the forum what they put in, just like life itself.

The above is all a bit serious. Don't forget, as well as being an information resource the forum is also meant to be fun. Don't take it too seriously, and enjoy!

I'm now off to try and find myself a hilarious avatar.
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  #23  
Old 27.03.2009, 07:53
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

Thanks for the clarifications.

I guess I am one of those who got a bit scared when they read about a commercial company taking over the forum and finance it through advertisement. However, your German forum looks like you do limit the ads to a very acceptable amount of banners and I am sure we are all happy to see some stable strategy for the future of our favourite playground.

Welcome to the English Forum.
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  #24  
Old 27.03.2009, 08:05
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

EditorBob & RobertF, thanks for your confidence inspiring posts. I have had a look at the ToyTown forum and it looks good. I like the clarity and straightforwardness of the Forum Usage Guidelines. I'm particularly looking forward to seeing this policy in place

As a recent "troublemaker", I now think the future of English Forum is very bright.
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  #25  
Old 27.03.2009, 08:12
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

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I'm particularly looking forward to seeing this policy in place
OOh I like that policy - yes would be good to see that implemented here - I fear there maybe one or two members that may fall victim to a banning....

I think and hope it's a good move for the EF too, I remember Mark being very against advertising when it was discussed how to make cash for the forum to run but I think selective advertising from companies that will benefit the ex pat community plus members being able to advertise their services is a good idea

Nicky

Last edited by Nickers; 27.03.2009 at 08:29.
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  #26  
Old 27.03.2009, 08:28
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

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Renumeration for informational posts

This isn't how it works.

Instead, we the company provide the infrastructure and support to keep the forum running. In return for that effort we earn money off advertising.

You, the members, get to use that infrastructure for free for whatever purposes that you please (within the forum rules, of course). If you choose to help other members of the community with useful information, that is your freedom to do so and is in the spirit of the site.

If you choose not to share information, likewise, that's your choice, but don't expect others to then help you out should you yourself ever come looking for help.
If I rephrase this as "We expect to be making commercial benefits whereas at the same time we expect people to volunteer time and knowledge for free for the sake of higher moral principles we do not feel ourselves obliged to abide by" - am I remotely correct?

In which case I'd like to become NARU as well.
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  #27  
Old 27.03.2009, 08:49
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

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If I rephrase this as "We expect to be making commercial benefits whereas at the same time we expect people to volunteer time and knowledge for free for the sake of higher moral principles we do not feel ourselves obliged to abide by" - am I remotely correct?

In which case I'd like to become NARU as well.

C'mon! The ad revenue would be for the running of the forum and miscellaneous unavoidable expenses. The forum is what we the members make of it and so we contribute information if we choose to. In an ideal world, it'd be a non-commercial forum with everyone contributing information and funds -- but it's not, and it costs money to keep this forum going.
It looks like this is the new viable way for EF to continue and we are all free to stay or go.
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  #28  
Old 27.03.2009, 08:56
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

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C'mon! The ad revenue would be for the running of the forum and miscellaneous unavoidable expenses. The forum is what we the members make of it and so we contribute information if we choose to. In an ideal world, it'd be a non-commercial forum with everyone contributing information and funds -- but it's not, and it costs money to keep this forum going.
If existing donations are to be returned, that ought to tell you something about cash burn rate.
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  #29  
Old 27.03.2009, 09:03
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

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If existing donations are to be returned, that ought to tell you something about cash burn rate.
I understand your concern but Robert F wrote in the OP:
"Some of you have also donated to keep this forum running over the last year and most of that has been used wisely on the hosting that is currently serving you. I will make it my task to properly investigate all donations and make sure that any left over funds will be offered to be returned. I want to make sure that everything is accounted for and nothing goes amiss. Please note: The new owner has nothing to do with past donations, nor will do. Please PM me if you have any concerns about this."

The thing is we don't know how much will be left over, how much was used and exactly how much is required to run this forum from now on. Would anyone give us a ballpark figure?
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  #30  
Old 27.03.2009, 09:20
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

Shorrick - having looked at ToyTown's "commerciality", there might be a profit but I dont think they'll be buying villas in the South of France (even with the price of those heading down rapidly from what I hear) quite yet.

Contributors can drop in and out, like I tend to depending on whim and time available and can be expected to take as much as they give (although we know that might be true on average, but subject to a large standard deviation).

Stable and adequate infrastructure and bandwidth and the time to manage the forum and its moderation team are on the other hand permanent obligations. I dont see why anyone should do that for free.

It does raise the question of if moderators should reasonably expect to do it just for the love of the forum.

It'd be a pity to see you drop out Shorrick.

Danny
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  #31  
Old 27.03.2009, 09:32
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

I fully understand your point of view Shorrick, I just want to add my 2cts. When Mark was running the EF it really was his full time job. He did nothing but to ensure all updates, modifications etc etc were kept up to date and avoid downtime and all those aspects. There were weeks on end where he only came away from this stuff to eat briefly and then disappear back to the pc. Knowing the time and effort it takes to really make things work so efficiently I think its not a surprise that they will want to see some sort of a return. We, the users however, can come and go as we please, post if we wish or not. Many of us probably spend as much time our admins but with none of the responsibility.
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  #32  
Old 27.03.2009, 09:36
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

I didn't get paid for my posts before; I won't get paid for them now. If somebody else does (indirectly, as they attract traffic) that's no skin off my nose. As long as the ads don't obtrude on my enjoyment of the forum - which it looks like they won't - I'm just as well off as I was before.

In fact I'm quite pleased with the change. It's great to see the site with a stable future, and in the hands of someone with experience at this sort of thing.
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  #33  
Old 27.03.2009, 09:53
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

I'm quite familiar with The Local, and indeed have had the good fortune to meet the founder and some of the team here in Sweden - imagine my surprise seeing this thread!

I think it's an excellent development - The Local is run by a sharp, and classy team of people. It's not some giant conglomerate that rolls over web forums, hell bent on making a profit.

So, I for one, welcome The Local warmly and hold it in very high regard.

If I understand some of the negative response, its based around financial considerations? That seems pretty petty to me.

Forum Moderators should always be willing to do their work for the love of a site, not for financial recompense. The idea that The Local would be making enough money from supporting EF to pay Moderators for their time is absurd, in my veiw - I've been working with online communities for 20+ years and can say from experience - no amount of money can motivate a moderating team as much as a pure love of the site they moderate.

Well, that's my 2 Rappen.
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  #34  
Old 27.03.2009, 10:06
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

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Forum Moderators should always be willing to do their work for the love of a site, not for financial recompense. The idea that The Local would be making enough money from supporting EF to pay Moderators for their time is absurd
I dont think anyone is suggesting a market wage, but something to take "forum widows" out for dinner every now and then, and to align the owners interests (growing traffic, active site, and some financial gain) to the "staff's".

Note I am not a moderator!

Anyway, this is slightly off-topic.. we're jumping way ahead.

D
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  #35  
Old 27.03.2009, 10:12
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

As Jester brought forward, I do this because I want to. I don't expect
anything in return.... other than a little respect for what I (same for the
other mods & admins) do here.

Lynn said, Mark would bring hours on end at the computer with the EF.
I now have a feel for that... no where near the number of hours Mark
devoted, but still....
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  #36  
Old 27.03.2009, 10:14
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

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I think it's an excellent development - The Local is run by a sharp, and classy team of people. It's not some giant conglomerate that rolls over web forums, hell bent on making a profit.

So, I for one, welcome The Local warmly and hold it in very high regard.

Agreed, The Local.Se has been a fave site for a while, i'ts brilliant!
Useful if you wanna catch up on Swedish weekends

Last edited by RobertF; 27.03.2009 at 11:01. Reason: fixed quote formatting
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  #37  
Old 27.03.2009, 10:50
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

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I don't expect
anything in return.... other than a little respect for what I (same for the
other mods & admins) do here.
Not expecting anything isn't the same as not deserving something. My only point was that if it starts to be about money as well as passion at the top, my ho is that everyone who has commitment to the forum should be aligned. That was all.

D
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  #38  
Old 27.03.2009, 11:13
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

Im now wondering why certain people, now expect to recieve some consideration for the time and advice they spend freely on here...??

I come on here to help fellow ex pats ( read EF members) out of my own free will , because i want to and because i was given so much freindly and helpful advice when coming to Switzerland. I feel its time to return the favour. I dont suddenly feel that my input, whatever it is, should be given a cash value , simply because there will be potential advertisers on the site. Ill keep on trying to be helpful, give advice wherever i can, and generally enjoy the discussions no matter how trivial , crazy , nutty or even intelligent they may be .. Good luck to those who run the EF and long may you continue to do so .
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  #39  
Old 27.03.2009, 11:52
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

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Im now wondering why certain people, now expect to recieve some consideration for the time and advice they spend freely on here...??

I come on here to help fellow ex pats ( read EF members) out of my own free will , because i want to and because i was given so much freindly and helpful advice when coming to Switzerland. I feel its time to return the favour. I dont suddenly feel that my input, whatever it is, should be given a cash value , simply because there will be potential advertisers on the site. Ill keep on trying to be helpful, give advice wherever i can, and generally enjoy the discussions no matter how trivial , crazy , nutty or even intelligent they may be .. Good luck to those who run the EF and long may you continue to do so .
I would agree with you - on the other hand there is a counter argument:

1.) An awful lot of people have put effort into this forum on the basis that it was never going commercial.

2.) An awful lot of people have collected and donated monies to keep the forum non commercial and its acknowledged survival on those donations proves that it can be self-financing.

3.) An awful lot of people have also read conflicting opinions of "what Mark would have wanted".

4.) In the right hands, the data-base of ex-pat users with locations and email addresses and log-in and posting habits is, without resorting to direct mailing, worth several hundred thousand CHF.

These four points are not mutually concilable so obviously some people feel, at best, cynically treated.
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  #40  
Old 27.03.2009, 12:25
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Re: EF Partners with "The Local", Transfer of Ownership

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Im now wondering why certain people, now expect to recieve some consideration for the time and advice they spend freely on here...??
Read the posts before getting too excited. The only person actually expecting a commercial return so far are the new owners, and I personally have nothing whatsoever against that vs the stability it should bring.

As a member I will continue to contribute freely, and I have no interest or time to become a mod .. but I do feel that moderation bandwidth and team stability have been an issue since the first generation of "patron saints" moved on. Ive made no secret of that either to Nathu or new Editor Bob.

Obviously a commercial model was felt necessary to attract a suitable long term ownership model. Why should that logic not extend to the rest of the permanent "staff"? If the forum can attract the right number of loyal mods for free great for everyone. But for sure I would prefer to see more active moderation of some areas, and was simply wondering if this was a way to increase the population of willing parties. Plus I think the mods deserve to share given the contribution made.

D
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