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Old 05.04.2012, 16:09
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What happened to EF?

This is an attempt at an adult discussion of recent changes on EF recently. If Mods and management can't level honestly and truthfully with the users and decide to delete this thread or close it without rational discussion, then I would just conclude this forum is no longer worth any respect as a real forum and go on my way.

I just wonder what happened. I was away for a year, and came back last week to a much quieter forum. I don't intend to take a particular side in any issue, simply some account of what took place. To be honest with you, I actually prefer this milder pace of the forum, the level of mutual respect posters express to each other, or perhaps the absence of foul disrespect posters previously expressed towards each other. At least it's much easier then before to get some personal work done during the day.

But I am concerned about how this took place. Sure, The Local have bought the URL, a server with and some open source software that runs this site. But the feat that Mark Fyvie and the early members accomplished in building the site was not merely a technical feat. They built a community of people where there was none before. A lot of people put a LOT of voluntary time and effort into building up and maintaining the forum. They did this out of a community spirit. How are the early members feeling about all this?

So how did this come about? Were there mass bannings? Mass deletion of posts and threads? Was there a bloodbath?

Or perhaps it was a mutual separation of ways between two groups? Similar to how a baptist congregation might break off from one legalist camp, to another heretic camp?

Are most people still members, but are refraining from posting out of protest? Or has it simply died out, out of boredom?
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:19
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Re: What happened to EF?

You aren't the first one to bring up this topic. I remember there was a thread about 2 weeks ago asking where all the cat fights and mud flinging went. As a more passive poster, I have also enjoyed the more adult like discussions and responses
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:21
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Re: What happened to EF?

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You aren't the first one to bring up this topic. I remember there was a thread about 2 weeks ago asking where all the cat fights and mud flinging went. As a more passive poster, I have also enjoyed the more adult like discussions and responses
Do you have a link for that? It might provide some clues.
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:24
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Re: What happened to EF?

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Do you have a link for that? It might provide some clues.
A number of people moved to a new forum; bit like an amoeba splitting
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:26
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Re: What happened to EF?

Also, I realize the mods and managers freak when you post mention of the other URL. Then they feel compelled to lock and delete the thread. In the interest of this discussion, would users PLEASE not post any mention of the OTHER side's URL?

Don't phone home!!!!
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:28
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Re: What happened to EF?

To get you going:
Why am I getting advertising from/thru EnglishForum?
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:34
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Re: What happened to EF?

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Also, I realize the mods and managers freak when you post mention of the other URL. Then they feel compelled to lock and delete the thread. In the interest of this discussion, would users PLEASE not post any mention of the OTHER side's URL?

Don't phone home!!!!
You feel lack of drama so you stir some? Good to see you back, by the way. People who like to muse about philosophy of different matters are hard to find (and badmin players, hullo, anyone?) I don't think things are as dramatic as they could entertainingly be, honest.

Mods don't freak out at all, but as the rules of biz are, we do not allow free piggy back riding, that's all. Not by members using other people's threads to sell, or other communities self advertising - self serving campaign without contribution was never accepted here, it's not recent.

I believe in communication, as per locking or deletions, but sometimes do see the point of others just wanting to make space for substance, as opposed to nerves.
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:34
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Re: What happened to EF?

OMG

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If as appears to be the case English Forum has sold its database information to at least one insurance company, please could you tell me who this money has gone to.

To other English Forum users, if you are not happy to receive unsolicited spam in the future, can you please let English Forum know.
Could this be why I get spam and telemarketing calls every other day regarding my health insurance?
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:38
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Re: What happened to EF?

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You feel lack of drama so you stir some?
Entering the conversation with an accusation already?

I asked for an adult and rational conversation MOD.
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:41
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Re: What happened to EF?

For me the change for the worse started with this announcement. Editor Bob asked for input on some visual changes to the forum, loads of members put in time and gave lots of constructive criticism. As far as I remember, EB did not even acknowledge the input and went ahead with the changes anyway.

Then came the ridiculous farce with the new Terms and Conditions, I can't find the thread now, it wouldn't surprise me if EB deleted it.

Then some vets and a Mod left and started a new Forum which, for me, is what EF used to be like. EB hit the roof and publicly denounced the mod as someone who had stolen users email addresses to promote his own personal business (although EB did retract this and apologise afterwards)

Then a Mod here admitted to collecting mountains of information about users on his own gmail account, we were promised an announcement from EB about how this would not happen again, and as far as I know, we are still waiting..... and the Mod is still a Mod.

New threads are started all the time that in days gone by would have been merged with existing threads, why aren't they now? Maybe there's not enough mods or if there are they just aren't as motivated as much as they were or maybe lots of new threads, no matter how stupid and irrelevant, mean extra traffic which eventually creates more advertising revenue?

There was plenty more of the same that made many users leave but there is still plenty of rudeness here which forces newbies away..... I've lost count of the numerous folk I have met in the real world who, when I mention EF, look horrified and say that they popped their head in the door once and never came back.

I still post a little here but, as I have likened forums to pubs in the past - we like to drink in different pubs for different reasons, EF is a bit like the "fighting pub" that we might like to visit on a Friday night to see a bit of action. It certainly, for me, is not the valuable resource and friendly "pub" it used to be.
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:41
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Re: What happened to EF?

As I see it, the main reason a lot of members left, is the locals total lack of respect, morals and decency. they totally brush aside any concerns (and if I mention them this thread will be deleted, and I'll be insulted by pm again)

The new owners are interested on one thing only, money, as show by some of there recent ad's. how they get the money doesn't matter to them.

the influx of newbies asking really really stupid questions is beyond a joke, and frankly I don't believe most of them are 'real' people, previously the excellent mods would have stamped down on it, unfortunately the best mods have left and the ones who remain seem only too happy to tow the locals party line (rather hypocritically)

in short, its now a purely commercial site, the reasons the site was setup originally are gone, the owners couldn't care less about expats in a new country, and I'm sorry but the people in charge (not the mods) have a serious attitude problem and no people skills at all.

all IMHO of course
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:47
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Re: What happened to EF?

So, you've made your choice Grumpy and BigB2 (correction) Why stir? Of course you want the thread closed, so you can then gloat on the other side as per usual.
Shame, it would be nice to have an adult conversation- for me it is hugely sad that the community has been split instead of throwing toys out of the pram and working things out. So sad indeed.

As for groaning at MC for her honest reply, very sad too. How can a sensible adult debate take place with 'groans' ??? I really like the more friendly and polite version of EF - where newbies are not systematically mocked and where members try hard to pt over a point of view without flouncing and rude (not funny) sarcasm - long may it continue.
I do wonder if there isn't an awful lot more to all this than what is apparent on the surface.

Could it be that Paul has realised that whatever he says or does, it will be turned upside-down and twisted and used against him - and that perhaps, just letting go might be best?

Last edited by Odile; 05.04.2012 at 17:14.
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:47
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Re: What happened to EF?

It's not that big a deal Phos.

The Local took over the running of this website. As TL is a real business, not a not-for-profit entity like before, they introduced some marketing on the front pages and came down (I would say) slightly harder on anyone posting information linking other "competetitors".

They also started to deliver marketing to members and introduced items such as sponsored adverted threads.

The main grind I would say was that the changes were introduced largely without consultation and certainly without taking any real notice of feedback received from regular forum members. The end result was that some people got wound up and when Economisto left he set up an alternative forum, which many of use now use as well as this one.

You can debate all night as to how it's run here. There was a very heated discussion recently regarding storage of data in email format outside of the Local's core servers (in someones personal email account) which really from a genuine Information Security and "theft" perspective was utterly trivial but was put across as if Treason had been committed. However on the other side of the coin, The Local repeatedly send advertising emails to members who have consistently said they dont want it and simply ignore any complaints. There almost isnt a customer service interface.

Of course the EF Forum Moderators are left in the middle of all this, sometimes having to defend the Local against its bluntness, while not being renumerated for it. I think they do a smashing job but this has been said before.

In terms of this forum changing as a debating forum - well, yes it has more advertisements now and people flogging things, but there are still people putting across inflammatory viewpoints which generate heated discussion.

The alternative forums are more peaceful, hippyish, hey-man-we-dont-argue-its-all-beautiful, but really, if you want a good old heated discussion about Minarets and Ageism in the Workplace, this is still your best bet.
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:50
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Re: What happened to EF?

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So, you've made your choice. Why stir? Of course you want the thread closed, so you can then gloat on the other side as per usual.
Shame, it would be nice to have an adult conversation- for me it is hugely sad that the community has been split instead of throwing toys out of the pram and working things out. So sad indeed.
Who are you referring to? The posts from above look adult and rational to me.

Please don't stir this up.
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:50
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Re: What happened to EF?

Nice summary, grumpy!

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Then a Mod here admitted to collecting mountains of information about users on his own gmail account, we were promised an announcement from EB about how this would not happen again, and as far as I know, we are still waiting..... and the Mod is still a Mod.
And as far as I remember, we still haven't read any explanation or any apology either.

Happy Easter!

@Phos: in case you are wondering, I am here because some (many) friends are still here. The German Conversation Group is here, the Zurich lunches are here, the Book Club is here. Am I here much less? To be honest, yes. I am also elsewhere, because other friends are elsewhere.
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:51
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Re: What happened to EF?

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So, you've made your choice. Why stir? Of course you want the thread closed, so you can then gloat on the other side as per usual.
Shame, it would be nice to have an adult conversation- for me it is hugely sad that the community has been split instead of throwing toys out of the pram and working things out. So sad indeed.

As for groaning at MC for her honest reply, very sad too.
As far as I know, Phos is not a member of the other forum.

And further to my first post here, there seems to be a small number of members here who are antagonistic towards members who they know, or think, are members of another forum. I mean, it's not like these forums are football clubs!

Last edited by grumpygrapefruit; 05.04.2012 at 16:56. Reason: last bit added
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:53
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Re: What happened to EF?

After Paul organized a beer evening to answer questions, he promised to come back in here and give us a briefing of what was discussed and was going to answer our questions since not everyone was able to go to that evening.

I was very interested to learn about what was discussed and where it was going, because I cared a lot about this forum.

Anyway, each and everytime I asked about it, my question was deleted and I was accused to create some drama.
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:56
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Re: What happened to EF?

1. everyone got fed up with newbie The Local, whose raison d'etre appears to be spam posting of old news
2. new terms and conditions
3. flounces, bannings and creation of a place where people talk English as a result of 2

Result is that most of the active and... erm... how can I put this politely... vocal members left for greener grass and to talk English.

Mods can now close the thread as that just about covers Phos' questions.



(oh and welcome back)
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:58
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Re: What happened to EF?

The "them" and "us" mentally is really very strange, its like a bad relationship breakup, when in fact the vast majority of posters there are also still here, we still go to the same places drink at the same pubs etc its really very odd that people get a bee in there bonnet about it. And as far as I can tell it only exists here. You can be a member of more then 1 internet forum its not like being a bigamist
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Old 05.04.2012, 16:58
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Re: What happened to EF?

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As I see it, the main reason a lot of members left, is the locals total lack of respect, morals and decency. they totally brush aside any concerns (and if I mention them this thread will be deleted, and I'll be insulted by pm again)
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Nice summary, grumpy!
And as far as I remember, we still haven't read any explanation or any apology either.
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Anyway, each and everytime I asked about it, my question was deleted and I was accused to create some drama.

Mods and Managers, these look like problems with communication, no?

For a forum that was suppose to be about people communicating, it would seem to me some failure thereof.
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