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Need serious feedback in regard to this forum
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anonymoushermit
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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 8:46 pm
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As for me, I hate it when I get cranky and get confrontational, on any forum. I once left a forum because my depression was acting up and I saw that it was what was best for the forum.

I’ve been on roughly 40, 50 forums in my life. I’ve been kicked out once and I deserved it and I left one forum because I was too much trouble! I did it to save that particular forum’s reputation (yes, this was the above forum I was talking about in the previous paragraph). 

I realize that everyone makes mistakes on forums, but if I intuitively sense that I am too much, I will politely leave. I will even ask the owner of a site/forum to nuke my own account. It’s a mercy ‘amputation’ for both sides.

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NotMyCircus
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Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 9:52 pm
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So far I think you’re doing fine in here! 

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mokihana
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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 9:10 pm
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I’ve been around for a long time, but don’t come to the Forum often because life is complicated for me. My comments have been on the blog, more than here but this place is vital space, Elsa!! I write blogs and most of the time I’m talking to myself … and recently fewer people (who are on my email list) are reading. PERIOD. I think it’s the strain of ‘self-censoring’ like many have written and seriously many of us limit interaction to survive. That may not be the same as thrive … and that’s the shits, but periodically it’s necessary.

Elsa, the techie things you describe (Cache the forum, make it read only) if that would help keep this Forum live … the comments and interaction would go. Right? That would be a shame. This time of the heavy Capricorn stellium and Uranus churning Taurus does feel like a major ‘RESET’ in the old norms. The old fashioned ‘Cheers’ bar scene for 2020 wouldn’t be the same without you tending bar, so don’t give us your shifts.

I will make a more conscious effort to come here more often. Thanks for the work, the hospitality and the model of persisting with Henry’s ghost alive in ya. Thanks for asking for feedback!

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Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 9:16 am
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Here’s the deal:

There are places on the internet where people can read and write.

There are places on the internet where privacy is assured.

There are places on the internet where people can discuss astrology.

There are places on the internet with interesting, substantial, personal discussion.

I cannot think of another place that combines all of these factors, and that’s what this is.

To be frank, though, I’m not sure that I would participate in a paid subscription model, because I don’t know if my contributions are valuable enough and I would not want to pay to be there if they were not. I imagine you feel similarly, if you have to pay to maintain the forum and also don’t feel like it is valuable enough. But, it is a nice outlet for expression the likes of which doesn’t seem to exist elsewhere, and I think a lot of people feel that way and still enjoy reading and writing and still enjoy privacy, myself included. I don’t think forums are dead, because there are still others out there…maybe you could look for forums that don’t slow down sites and try to model the structure off of that. I wish I could provide examples, sorry, but I imagine they do exist.

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Elsa
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Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 3:33 pm
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The caching is the issue. Some forums archive old posts / close threads and then maybe they can be cached. Without caching all the elements have to load, every single time there is a visit. It is slow (when google wants pages loading in 1 second, 2 at the most).

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Nan888
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Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 9:31 am
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I like this forum a lot. The posters, for the most part, are friendly, approachable and you can discuss astrology here without getting your head bit off if you have a difference of opinion. Some forums aren’t as nice as this one for sure. I feel I’m always learning a juicy tidbit here. I think it’s great!

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CocoPeaches
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Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 12:37 pm
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I could be wrong, but I figured that the tide is out, and it will eventually come back in… with new people, or old people. I don’t participate on any other forums so I have no idea if it’s a dying platform. I hope not. I come here extremely frequently (as often as I visit Facebook and my email), to check the blog and the forum for fresh ideas and to engage with people in real time. I’m not able to respond as much as I’d like, because I usually can’t come up with the right words. But a frozen, archived version of this forum has zero appeal to me. I rarely come here to read old topics.

I feel that the blog and the forum are always working in unison. It’s so common for you, Elsa, to reference blog posts in the forum, and vice versa. I assumed that this site was essential to your business model. If you rely on this site for your consulting business – then I would think it’s worth keeping *the forum intact. If you don’t need the site to attract clients, then it’s just a question of where else can you go to get the interactions that you want. I see a lot of quality niche groups of older folks on Facebook – with admins doing the same kind of job that you do here keeping the atmosphere under control. And a lot of people (many younger than me) using platforms like Instagram to share ideas far meatier than memes and selfies. I’ve been on Instagram for almost as long as I’ve been around this blog, and I’m astounded by the personal essays that people (mostly young entrepreneurs) are posting on Instagram these days. But those platforms aren’t anonymous, and you have no ownership of your content once you post it. I don’t use Tiktok or Snapchat.

I like that I can express things here that I wouldn’t want to share on social media or even with close friends and family. And speak in Astro terms! I love that I can learn Astrology through people sharing experiences on this site, and the team effort that goes into interpreting the current world through the lens of Astrology. I don’t mess with any other Astro forums – it seems to be all junk. People are smart and kind here and that makes this site very attractive.

Regarding a subscription format – I probably wouldn’t pay to log in here. I personally don’t like paying for entertainment type stuff other than books. I tend to gravitate towards free content, but that could always change. If it wasn’t for my husband, I definitely wouldn’t have Netflix or Hulu. I listen to NPR, but I don’t donate… If it didn’t exist, then I would just have other stations with more ads, or silence. I do pay for music through Spotify, and I love that I can also use that access podcasts (although tons of those are garbage too!) Also – if people had to pay, wouldn’t the subscription fee likely show up on bank statements and take away from the privacy/anonymity factor?

It’s a tough call. I think this place is great and I love it, and I love you, Elsa. But I could understand if you had to close the forum because it isn’t worth the effort on your end. I would definitely miss being able to interact with you and others who participate here. I may even lose interest in Astrology – because where else would I use the language? I go to Astro.com and Alabe.com, but there’s no discussion on those sites.

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Satsun
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Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 12:45 pm
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I like the forum a lot because it might talk about astro or jusy about any other subjects as well & the people here are interesting/cool/funny/quirky/intelligent/real people. you couldn’t find this in real life, all such people together.

I don’t contribute much because I’m not very savvy in astology, not enough to say intelligent/pertinent things. Do a lot of censoring in general too. (I’m not Satsun for nothing…)

I don’t understand all the tech part, of course, but, whatever it takes to be useful for Elsa is OK with me. I wouldn’t mind a paying option, I prefer anonymity, a parallel forum would be OK. See, I don’t have any good replies!!!  But I am not at all indifferent about the futur of the forum.

Keep us informed!

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Elsa
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Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 3:44 pm
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I can’t find the post where someone suggested I make the posts editable.

If I do that, people will write inflammatory stuff to provoke a response… then go change or delete their remarks.

Who me, the perfect angel??

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Tango
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Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 5:04 pm
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Isn’t there a setting where you control for how long after posting the post can be edited? Like, you need to keep it short to avoid the situation you mention while allowing the poster to make reasonable edits – a few minutes, maybe 5 mins at most?

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Elsa
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Friday, March 13, 2020 - 4:56 pm
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I don’t have that “permission”. If you doubt me, you can check out the simplepress website.  

Keep in mind, while I pay for ALL plugins, I do not use them all because each one slows the loading.

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Tango
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Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 5:10 pm
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I live in dread of the day this blog and/or this forum closes shop. This is the ONLY place I come to on a ‘regular’ basis, and have since you started.

I’m not the most active participant, but ElsaElsa has made, and continues to make, a HUGE difference on the course of my life.

I understand the dilemmas you are facing, and don’t know what the best solution is. I will pray that an answer is bestowed upon you.

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Elsa
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Friday, March 13, 2020 - 4:57 pm
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The answer is that people use and enjoy the forum!

If that happens, it’s well worth the cost, both time and money.

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Elsa
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Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 5:12 pm
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A person can edit until someone posts after them. There is no time limit to that. I have no ticking clock setting.

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JoFrance
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Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 7:02 pm
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I don’t think you should get rid of the forum. You would lose the community here and that’s why a lot of people come here. I stop by here everyday and post when I can. Looking at all the posts in this thread, a lot of people feel like me. There are so few places where you can interact with people interested in or knowledgeable in Astrology. Many times I’ve seen people who come here for the first time that post their charts with questions and they get answers. That is part of what makes this site unique. Some of them probably become part of the community.

I understand how the inability to cache the forum posts would slow the site down. Is there a way to lock older forum posts, but leave a couple of years of newer posts in the forum? I’m not sure how many years of forum posts you have available, but if you had less years loading that were uncached it would speed up the site.

Otherwise, I would look into moving the forum to another domain and just put a link on the main website to the forum. The downside to doing that is that you might lose the structure of the posts in the forum (replying to posts directly and having different levels). It might have a flat structure, so if someone was replying to a particular post, they would have to reference it within their post.

Google is a PITA with how frequently they change their algorithms. Its hard to keep up with. I’d be willing to chip in some $$ to help. I did that with another site I go to, to keep the forum open.

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