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Old 14.07.2010, 11:45
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Is EF a business or a hobby?

I'm new around here but with the high number of registered users quoted to be around 50K, I was under the impression that the EF is a business. With a little looking around, it is clear that the active users are significantly lower and inactives are not deleted. The forum seems to be more of a group of people who are running the forum as a hobby.

So, which is it? Is the EF a business or a hobby for the site owner/s?
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Old 14.07.2010, 11:46
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

it's a business. Just a really really bad one.
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Old 14.07.2010, 11:48
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

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Is EF a business or a hobby?
Neither. It's my grip on reality.
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Old 14.07.2010, 11:51
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

It's undeniably the greatest network for expats seeking the social life in CH ...
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Old 14.07.2010, 11:56
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

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Is the EF a business or a hobby for the site owner/s?
Try to make a post about the availability of brown sugar and you will soon find out that it is not only a businees but a very serious one.

Hope you get to read this before some of the business owners deletes it and possible letting me off
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Old 14.07.2010, 12:01
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

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Neither. It's my grip on reality.
The question is from the site owner perspective not the user perspective.

Managing vBulletin updates, cyber attacks, spammers, and annoying users requires an extensive amount of time and effort. Some of the site management choices would indicate that it is a hobby of the site owner instead of being managed with clear upgrade timelines and process steps for managing the normal forum challenges and attracting appropriate advertisers for financial gain.

However, the site has grown to have a public value and if manage correctly, a potential business value as well.

I was not around when Mark was here. Did the death of the founder change the forum? Is the current owner interested in keeping/transfering ownership of the forum? Does anyone know?
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Old 14.07.2010, 12:01
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

The EF was set up by Mark back in 2005 as a hobby. Since then the site has grown significantly, despite the very sad death of Mark a couple of years ago.

After that, the forum was run for a time by a group of his friends and other moderators, before eventually being passed on to a business called The Local which runs a few other expat websites as well. The person in-charge in terms of running the site from that point on is Editor Bob, but he doesn't seem to play any day-to-day role in the discussions on the site.

The only changes that I noticed at the point of the change of ownership were a few small ads on the homepage. The site continues to be run by the moderators, who are all unpaid volunteers (as far as I am aware).
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Old 14.07.2010, 12:10
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

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The site continues to be run by the moderators, who are all unpaid volunteers (as far as I am aware).
Mostly. MathNut negotiated free use of the site gigolo into her contract.
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Old 14.07.2010, 12:24
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

A for-profit business, that employs people for free.

THANK YOU MODS AND ADMINS!
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Old 14.07.2010, 12:30
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

Whatever it is and however it's funded, it appears to work well. If I had to pay to use this site I (and I suspect everyone else) would leave. If it didn't have any business links or advertising then there would be no servers or hosting.

It's a model used on other forums I use. In fact, it's probably the only successful one unless you're offering very specialised content.
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Old 14.07.2010, 12:38
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

I have no insider knowledge, but given the very limited advertising content, it wouldn't surprise me if it was being run this way so that the income from advertising just covers the expenses of keeping the site running. Can't imagine there's much profit in it...

It also wouldn't surprise me if this was part of the deal when it was passed on to The Local.

Basically, regardless of the legal ownership, it is a community forum run by some fine, upstanding *cough* members of the community for their and everyone else's benefit

Personally I'm very grateful to all the mods and admins
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Old 14.07.2010, 12:40
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

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Mostly. MathNut negotiated free use of the site gigolo into her contract.
Yea but I'm not sure she studied the returns policy closely enough
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Old 14.07.2010, 13:11
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

Question answered, thanks everyone!
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Old 14.07.2010, 13:30
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Not been on here for all that long but I have certainly noticed a great deal of helping each other out and a refreshing lack of flame wars. The only possible, slight negative would be the use of the 'try using search' type responses as opposed to people with an answer replying. I have been on a forum that banned 'go use search' in favour of a more friendly approach. Sure, it can be anoying to see the same old 'is 4kchf enough to live on?' Question. But a) the answers can change over time b) you could leave the answering to someone who has recently researched a subject c) some people are not so good at using search. Just makes things that bit more friendly.
One thing I have been amazed at is the level headed, open minded discussions on the political subjects, I am starting to think that one of the following must be happening 1) Switzerland is really good for people or 2) only good people go to Switzerland
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Old 14.07.2010, 13:30
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

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Question answered, thanks everyone!
So now your are planning for a hostile take over given the great business potential you have spottet or....?
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Old 14.07.2010, 13:35
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

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A for-profit business, that employs people for free.

THANK YOU MODS AND ADMINS!
... and you could make a case that it uses your content to attract visitors but to be honest the differences in the current version compared to that from them not so far back days when it was simply Mark's contribution to the English speaking expats in Switzerland is not that big.

Personally, I think the modding has got a bit sloppy and there is too much noise but not enough to make me vote with my toes.
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Old 14.07.2010, 13:36
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

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Not been on here for all that long but I have certainly noticed a great deal of helping each other out and a refreshing lack of flame wars.
When you've been around a bit longer you'll realise we have them roughly every 2 to 6 months.
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Old 14.07.2010, 13:45
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Not been on here for all that long but I have certainly noticed a great deal of helping each other out and a refreshing lack of flame wars.
When you've been around a bit longer you'll realise we have them roughly every 2 to 6 months.
As opposed to every 2 to 6 posts, this is refreshing :-)
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Old 14.07.2010, 14:41
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

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So now your are planning for a hostile take over given the great business potential you have spottet or....?
Site is not for sale.
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Old 14.07.2010, 14:46
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Re: Is EF a business or a hobby?

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Personally, I think the modding has got a bit sloppy and there is too much noise but not enough to make me vote with my toes.

Eh... it's the noise that makes it interesting.
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