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A few new forum changes

Blake

Nest In the Hills
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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to post up here and keep you all informed and in the know of a couple of settings changes I have made to the forum. Some permanent and some temporary. First of all I want to say that I promise you this isn't a reaction to any specific member, thread or event on the forum. These three changes are something that I have had in mind since the year we started the forum but I feel now is a good time to try them out as we begin a new year.

New User Registrations On Hold
My number one goal with this forum, apart from talking about Aussie bushcraft is to do the best job I can to keep it a pleasant and enjoyable online community. It is my feeling (and I hope one that most share) that if forums grow too large too fast or rapidly over a short span then the sense of community developed previously can be affected. I believe we have a great community of people and I want that to continue. The reason for me halting new registrations (temporarily) is so that new, semi new and old members can get to know one another over a small amount of time and we can develop that standard of forum chat without an influx of members affecting this. Once this has strengthened I will allow new registrations through.

Some may disagree or have some better ideas and please if that's the case feel free to PM me and we can have a chat about it openly. I figure regardless that its worth a shot and I'm just trying to do what I can to make the forum a nice place to hang out.

New User Intros
I have added an option so all new users who register to the forum are required to post an introduction post before they become a member. I hope that this will help us to get to know new members better and also make them feel more welcome to the forum.

Campfire Forum
Temporarily I have halted the creation of new threads in this part of the forum.

This is the "off topic" section of the site and when I made the forum I made it with the theory that it would give members a place to develop further friendships and talk to their mates about something which didn't fit elsewhere. I take full responsibility for its creation and I also take responsibility for the fact that it has, on occasion tended to create a bit more clashing than the bushcraft areas. At the core of the forum we just want to talk about bushcraft and so as time goes on I do question the necessity of this section of the forum.

However rather than close it I have decided to temporarily halt new threads. This means that you can still reply and chat in current threads. Ill monitor this over time and see whether this has a positive or negative affect on the forum community and reopen or close based on that.

---------------------------------------------


So that's the changes but I also wanted to mention one thing which is important for all members to understand. That's the place in my heart or motivation where these changes come from. I love this forum. Its a great bunch of people and I have met many life long friends I'm sure via it. I want it to be the most welcoming and friendly forum in the world if I can. That might sound soppy and a bit dramatic but there are tonnes and tonnes of online forums which are a pretty miserable place to hang out to say the least. So I'm not going to just sit here and hope it works out somehow. I'm going to try and explore every avenue to try and improve the forum.

I want all members to believe me when I say I'm NOT trying to cut down your avenues to have a difference of opinion. Meet me, PM me, I will give you my mobile and we can talk and you will see that I'm not easily offended and I'm not by any means trying to tell anyone what they can or cant think. However, the world is full of different people with different opinions and different tolerances to offense and they are all members of this forum. So please, have a discussion, have a difference of opinion but be polite, respectful, debate with facts, integrity and reasoning. If you simply dont want to or are not able to do that then OK that's fine but I'm really sorry but this is going to be the wrong forum for you and your only going to be disappointed.

I hope you understand where I'm coming from and trust what I have written is honest and from the heart. Please if you want to email me phone me, skype me, write me or just have a yarn then please PM me on the forum and I will respond to every PM on any issue you have.

Cheers everyone!
 
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Benny

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Your motives are great mate. Hope it all works out as smoothly as possible. I totally agree that there are some things that should be kept completely separate from subject forums like this. Some subjects easily cause division & have absolutely nothing to do the main forum. Why dwell on subjects that cause division between people that might otherwise get along.

Censoring? Not at all. Just keeping things on topic.
 

bubba5603

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Full approval from this part of the world as well. As I said to a couple of "mods", I was starting to be concerned with some of the opinions being directed towards members of the Law Enforcement community. I think we all (myself definitely included) to use this as an opportunity to pause and reflect on our messages and how we express ourselves not only to each other, but also to the rest of the world who might view what we are saying.

Blake, I think you are doing an outstanding job and like you I too have meet people who I am certain will be life long friends. We all probably don't say this enough, but thank you.
 

Tezza

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I think they're very good ideas Blake. I've been a member of a fair few hunting/shooting forums over the years, and have left most as they've just ended up being a place where faceless people slag each other off rather than a place where like minded people can share their ideas and knowledge and make new friends. It would be bloody aweful if that were to happen to this forum.

Thanks Blake and Mods, keep up the great work.

Terry
 

Mozzie

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Blake, I fully understand what your saying and what has to be done, I too run a large ish forum and have had to in the past compose the exact same/similar post to members...takes all types to make up a forum, but it comes a time when you have to halt words and actions that start to get out of hand. I too have joined many forums for hiking, kayaking etc in the past and to date I can tell you I belong to only 3 now, one is mine, the other a kayak/fishing forum and yours..I like your forum, has a great feeling about it and some top members with brilliant crafts and ideas, ive learnt so much and thank you.

Deb
 

nimbin hippy

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Couldn't agree more with what been said above stick to your guns its great place to hang out Blake!
 

Lepmeister

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Thanks for taking these steps to preserve what we have, and enjoy so much. You have touched the key areas that i have seen other forums lose their way over the past couple of years.

It makes me proud to be apart of a great forum community, but more so when proactive action is taking to maintain it.

Well done to yourself, all the mods and the contributing members.
 

Blake

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Not to much mate, but just enough ;)

Besides where else would I get all my tactical equipment?
 

Bloffy13

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G'day Blake,
I understand why you have taken this step and possibly the reason why.
How are you going to determine when to open the door to new members, and whether they are worthy?
I understand there has to be limits etc but that also precludes the likes of new and interesting thoughts from fresh minds and people with a genuine interest in bushcrafting from having a say. ie a forum.
We have excellent moderators on what is an outstanding forum with fantastic contributions and highly interesting topics on any number of threads.
I've come here daily for, I dunno, nearly a year now and read just about every post there is and, apart from a bit of friendly sledging and the occasional minor flare up, I've seen little agro, good fellowship and leadership from yourself and the mods.
The only person I have seen "leave" was a long-standing member with a posting count in to the 1000s from memory.
Will all members have to have a count into the 100s before new members are allowed? Will we have to see new members demonstrate an outstanding contribution to the forum before new blood is allowed in? Just wondering, because I would be concerned if the free flow of ideas and thoughts were stemmed due to over moderation and not being able to give someone "a fair go".
Excuse me if I sound harsh but I was a journo for 20+ years and I hate to see people lose their rights to free expression.
Ask Templar what it is like to live in a country where your rights to have a say are limited.
I understand it is your site and I have and will continue to abide by your rulings. I also agree that this is a forum about bushcrafting and its associated skill sets, which has been enlightening, entertaining and educational. There is little room for three no-nos - politics, religion or economics - outside of the bounds of how it effects us as a collective group of people who enjoy a common goal ie bushcrafting.
Please continue the great job you are doing with this site and moderate as you must, but please keep in mind you opened this forum to the people as a means of communication and we may not always agree or have the same mindset (which would be pretty boring in itself).
In the bastardised words of someone far smarter and wiser than I. "I may not agree with your opinion but I will defend your right to it, to the death."
Please do not take this the wrong way. I have every respect for everyone on this site and plan to continue as a member here for a long time to come, if you'll have me.
Hereon endeth my rant. Please resume normal transmission.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

Blake

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Hi Bloffy,

No offense taken at all. I know what you are saying and rest assured I'm not halting registrations for a great deal of time. I wont be post counting or hand picking who can register and who cant. The motivation behind it is to simply allow new users the time to get a feel for the standards of conversation that have made this forum great. I want the forum to continue with this standard. We have had a sharp rise in memberships in the last couple of months and I want to give all members a short time to develop that sense of community.

Its not a matter of steaming the flow information, excluding anyone from expressing different opinions or anything of the sort. As I stated in the original post my number one goal is for it to be the best forum I can possibly make it. I have made a judgment call based on my experience and views of other forums that this will have a positive affect. Rest assured it wont be for very long as I dont want to affect the expansion of the forum. It was my choice alone to halt the registrations and I will take the full responsibility if it doesn't work out. If It turns out to be a failure then of course I wont do it again but I hope it will have a positive impact and I would like to at least try and then know, that at least I've tried. There is no way I can equal Hall's Voltaire quote but how about the great Wayne Gretzky :;): "You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

Thanks so much for your thoughts and taking the time to respond. It always gives me more things to reflect on and another angle I might not have considered which is never a bad thing.
 
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Bloffy13

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Sorry if I came over a bit strong. I meant no offence. Just expressing an opinion. Standards must be maintained just not at the expense of free speech. I appreciate your candor and ability to accept criticism without taking offence. I understand there are reasons and I appreciate those.
Thanks for a great forum and keep up the good work.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

bubba5603

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In the bastardised words of someone far smarter and wiser than I. "I may not agree with your opinion but I will defend your right to it, to the death."

Bloffy

Thank's Bloffy. I'm not sure who this Hall Votaire guy Blake mentioned? I said this in a post a couple weeks ago. Nice someone finally realized my full genius status. Now someone please tell my wife, 'cause she would never believe it! :;):
 

gelandangan

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I understand the need to limit the forum as a tool to form it the way it is intended.
I am grateful for the opportunity to join and involved with the nice people here.
Every one of you have great experiences and knowledge that are very important, it is a shame if they are unvoiced due to some misunderstanding.
I like this forum, it fit a niche that are not provided elsewhere, I learn a lot from all of you.
From the meets that I have been to, I think everyone that I met are truly nice people that share a passion of bushcrafting.

Maybe it is an Aussie thing, here often everyone needle everybody else, but I believe friends do that.
We criticize each other in hope to improve our understanding and acceptance.
Most would do it tactfully, eloquently, and others (like myself) often blurted out things that may hurt feelings.
Then again, as in all forums in the internet, it is only an opinion of an issue.
Good or bad everybody have one.

Moderators in this forum has done great job in helping to make the discussion to stick to the topics, and follow the forum rules,
some are more zealous than others :p but all in good intention, moderating a forum of strangers is not an easy job.
I am not presuming to tell the mods on what to do or how to behave, I am sure you guys have done your best and I would accept your decision.
But, let me maybe add a bit by telling the experience I have.
I moderate in a forum (HuntingNut) that have over 11000 members, I know how difficult it is to not lose temper and exert the "MOD power" when an un-enlightened member seems to be attacking maliciously.
However, like what Bartnmax said, all it need usually is a simply request for clarification, and in my experience, this best is done in private with a PM rather than in the open forum.
Aggressive voicing of opinion are usually a way to save face when one feel threatened of derision by their peers.
By bringing the discussion to a private space, usually would very quickly calm the aggressive behavior.

My 2c

Oh yeah, thanks again Blake for providing this fine site to meet.
 
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payney

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Well I have to say that this forum is the most polite and friendly I've ever read or been a part of I would like to see it stay that
way to of course a little banter between members is generally no harm. I am a member of several forums and one in particular I
don't tend to visit much as it's quite shall we say "unpleasant" it seems that every thread ends up in an argument between members
where they start slinging insults at each other with intent to offend, The only reason I am still a member of that forum is the enormous
amount of information it has.

Don't get me wrong I am a tradie and i'm certainly not easily offended sledging is part of life for me.
But Blake this forum is a terrific source of info on such a great hobby/lifestyle I applaud you for your efforts in creating a place where
novices such as myself can be made to feel so welcome I also thank all the members of this forum for being helpful and polite.
 

Blake

Nest In the Hills
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Thank you all for all your comments and support. Much appreciated.

bubba, I think but I'm not positive so please correct me that Bloffy was referring to Evelyn Beatrice Hall's biography of the famous French philosopher Voltaire where she "embellished", for lack of a better word that quote on his behalf. Only picked it up because I've got a soft spot for witty thinkers like Voltaire, Twain, Hitchins (dare I say) etc. Sorry im off topic. Some one give me a warning :eek:
 
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