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Need serious feedback in regard to this forum
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Elsa
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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 7:35 am
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I created this forum because I truly like to interact with people all over the world.  I like that people have made friends here and many have been help here when it was badly needed.

I also like that a person can be anonymous here.  You don’t have to sign in with google and verify anything. I don’t track anyone in any way.

I place a high value on this stuff but as I notice so few are posting, I realize it doesn’t really matter what I like. It’s no fun talking to myself. Maybe forums are just going to die.

In the past, there have been slow periods and then the forum recovers. I would not write a post like this but I have an option here; a decision to make and it’s weighing on Libra; you might be able to imagine the pain…

Google has a new metric. They want sites to be REALLY fast. My site is REALLY fast, but the forum is not.  Because the site is taken as a whole, the forum jacks my overall speed.

There is nothing I can do about this because the forum can’t be cached. It can’t be cached because if it was, you could not see the new posts as they are created BUT…

But I can lock the forum. Just shut it down so that people can read the archives but no one will be able to post.  If I did this, I could cache the forum.  All the pages on the site would be fast at that point.

There is another issue.  Every day, spam accounts are created. You can see the crap names at the bottom of the page. I have to mess with that. I also have to contend with what may be AI generated postings.

In short, there are real people posting here. I do everything I can to make sure they are joined by real people as opposed to real machines!

So here’s my question: do I keep this forum live?
Or do I close it like so many before me… all the yahoo groups and such?

Thanks.

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Curl
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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 7:51 am
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Elsa, thank you for asking our opinions. I appreciate your process of hearing out both sides of the coin.

It’s the last sane place on earth for me to be myself and share deeply personal stuff anonymously, yet with people whose opinions I have come to value. 

Please take the best decision for the overall health of the site, but I hope that it gives us another place/continues to allow us to engage here. Maybe launch forum as a standalone entity, independent of the site?

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Elsa
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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 10:58 am
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I will look into to moving the forum to it’s own domain. Not sure what that would cost.

It would solve the speed issue but not the lack of interest.

I really don’t know if people are consumed with their lives, or if it’s personal to me or what. But it’s just like I said ^^^

I word hard to keep this forum as clean as possible. I am trying to discern if my way (privacy, etc.) is so far out of style, it’s never coming back.

Which is something they said about my name (Elsa), right before Disney made a movie.

I am pretty sure (last I looked), I can close the forum with one click (I think!) So I could open it with one click too (I think).  
It would not last forever though because you have to keep things updated these days!

Point here is I don’t have to rush this decision. I figure it will be swirly, with Mercury in Pisces.  I can’t tell which way this is flowing, basically.  But I am not going to maintain a forum so people can try to sell cbd oil and love potions all day long.

This is supposed to be a community. 🙂

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 11:52 am
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My (unqualified, unsubstantiated) theory is that we discuss deep, transpersonal, meaningful topics here, whereas most forums on the Internet that I have seen (Lindaland, Astrologyweekly, Reddit) are around immediate, superficial personal interpretations and readings of individual charts or placements. 

Also, if long time members are not participating, it’s a cause of concern. Do they feel it’s not engaging enough, do they get bored, do they have other avenues to contact old friends made here?

A suggestion can be to somehow make the forum discussions searcheable (dunno how though, maybe someone in web discoverability can advise). There is a wealth of content hidden here and I don’t always know how to access it. 

Also, maybe you need to ask people what they think of usability. I use the site almost always on my mobile. It works, but things could be more modern (again, not an expert). Maybe a revamp of look and feel will reinvigorate it?

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 9:13 am
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I value the forum, but I completely understand if you feel it’s best to move on. I find that posting here is hit or miss…sometimes people engage and it’s great, and sometimes I feel like an annoying gnat. The sense of community was probably stronger when I joined in 2015–but it is still here to some extent and I do really appreciate the regulars who still post here. For what it’s worth, I haven’t noticed any problems with speed. Locking the forum would feel like a loss, but I’d accept it with grace as I trust you to make the best business decision for yourself. There is plenty of value in the blog alone (and opportunities to comment there).

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 9:23 am
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To me, this forum/website IS NOT slow. It works.

There are always topics being posted, people replying etc….I enjoy this web space and visit daily.

Wherever you go, I will follow.

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Osiris Wife
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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 10:18 am
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The Forum has been my sanctuary from the real world, a place where I have felt for the last year that I can share with other like minded people.

I agree, that the posts have slowed, and I too feel at times that I’m having a solo conversation … but I have tried to keep certain topics alive and more important, tried to keep a positive outlook. While, I understand life is just not about roses and unicorns, and real issues like Coronas get discussed. I’m finding this particular topic very negative, it’s on the news, it’s everywhere, and seeing it on the Forum makes me feel like the negativity has seeped into my place of sanctuary. So, yes lately I am guilty of feeling like it’s time for me, personally to move on; especially with my anniversary on the Forum coming up at the Aries point. Perhaps its Saturn in Aquarius rumbling; I don’t know.

I’m not sure what the solution is; perhaps a subscription model?! 

Either way, I love the Forum. I’ve learned so so much from the many people, past and present who have contributed content. 

Whatever you decide, will be the right decision. There’s always the blog.

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Elsa
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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 10:50 am
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I don’t understand. You love the forum but you’re leaving? 🙁

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 11:00 am
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Yes I love the Forum.

Right now it’s more of a feeling that it’s time to move on. Perhaps, it’s a phase because I really enjoy discussing astrology.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 11:56 am
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I understand what you mean by having solo conversation. An example was Venus out of bounds thread. Its stealing the focus away from this topic, but I wanted to let you know that I read each one of your posts, and appreciate them (sometimes without bothering to log in), but often I am not qualified to add to the discussion. You are so far out ahead of some of us that we can just witness your brilliant mind and appreciate it silently. I will make it a point to engage more, so your feeling of wanting to leave goes down a little. It will be a major pity if you do. You are one of the reasons I visit the forum so often, and I am sure there are many more who would feel the same.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 12:30 pm
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heartheart

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 10:19 am
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I understand the hit that search results will have for your business. Perhaps you could start up a forum elsewhere? I run a forum on Reddit and there are lots of moderating options. You could start one called “ElsaElsa”.

Just something to think about …

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 11:48 am
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On a personal note, Uranus in Taurus has spelled insomnia for me, which has led to migraines and panic attacks, and all around just not feeling good. Sleep aids end up messing with my mood, and prolonged sleeplessness just makes me feel bad, in all parts, all the time. Apparently just insomnia isn’t just insomnia. And on top of everything else. 

Not posting for a pity party, just explaining why my visits are up and down—I don’t like posting or visiting when I feel like crap because feeling like crap effects my mood, my thinking, writing, relating etc. atm :/ this has definitely been a rough time and I hate complaining.

So, I agree with most who have posted. I love this place. It’s not slow for me, and I’ll follow anywhere. It’s your business, and I have to be honest that I’d be very sad to see the forum go, but you have to do what you have to do. Its your business and livelihood. I would pay a subscription, and last December I thought it would be a good idea to start a fundraiser as a community thing—then I ended up just feeling bossy and like I was imposing (didn’t want to start throwing suggestions at you like a freak, lolol). That’s my problem though, and I’m sorry. I could use a lil bravery these days.

Until you make your decision, I’ll do my best to churn more regularly and not fall into self censure. Also, let me know what else I can do! I’ll gladly do it. 

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 11:58 am
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+1 for subscription. I would pay. AND follow the forum anywhere it gets replanted.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 12:49 pm
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Correction: I visit nearly daily but often prevent myself from posting due to the above. 

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