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New All-Member Forum

An Old Forum

I always wanted a forum integrated with the blog, but what I didn’t want was to contend with the trolls, haters, perpetual time wasters, and those who think others owe them and work for them for free. A comment section can get unruly, but because that was typically a single topic post, and subsequent posts push it down the page, it was pretty easy for me alone to keep it real.

Now, with Memberships, both free and paid, it’s time to try. Will it be active and vibrant? Who knows? With membership just beginning April 20, 2021, we’re in the hundreds, not the thousands, yet. I won’t know until I try.

I’ve installed the bbPress forum plugin from the same people behind WordPress. It’s very thin. Everything you need, nothing you don’t. Minimalist, one could say. Interestingly, there’s another plugin called BuddyPress from the same folks. It supposedly gives you more of a Facebook-like experience, complete with profiles and such. But I also hear it’s a hog on server resources. Of course, I can always increase capacity, but I’ll wait and see. I would love to hear from anyone with experience in working with either or both of these plugins.

I just wonder if Social Media has kinda killed it for the plethora of forums that exist around and about. I have no data on that. I do sense that many are getting fatigued with Social Media, which seems to have largely become a place for you to signal what interests you so they can target something to sell you—every minute of every day you spend your time there. Double whammy: your time AND your money. Talk about a general life drain. And then they have the temerity to send you to your room if, in their young and very dumb “woke” eyes, you have misbehaved. Most of those employees need a good spanking.

Incidentally, the forum is included with all Membership levels automatically. So, anything you click, free or paid, you’re in. Those who have already signed up should have automatic access.

As you can see, I’ve kicked it off with some pinned topics. However, I’m pretty sure that members themselves can create topics, so these may be superfluous. Knock yourselves out. Discuss whatever you wish. Hell, create a film topic, or a topic for a specific film. Music? Great idea. Camping. Running. Hiking. Fishing. Hunting. Farming. Family. Church. The list is endless and I suspect that 100% of members are highly into wholesome, life-enhancing things.

I can think of a couple of reasons this has some >0 potential. First, as already implied, is Social Media doing it for you, anymore? I’m in a number of places regularly—especially various special-interest Facebook groups like expat stuff—where in large measure, it’s just dissing and insulting others. Why? Because they’re largely strangers in each other’s faces. Also, with thousands of members and tens of thousands of previous posts, not a day goes by when questions aren’t asked for which there are dozens of previous posts and thousands of comments. It gets weary, even for the most polite.

Contrary to Facebook bullshit, it’s not a fucking “community” by a million miles. So-called Community Standards are an abject farce of a bad joke.

It’s nothing but virtue signalling.

The second reason is that Members can engage with other Members whenever they want, keep the topic going for as long as they want, any time of day or night, worldwide. You don’t have to wait for the next blog post or a topic that suits your fancy. You can just create your own. A little mini-blog on the blog. Some of you are quite good at that and face it, because of the long history of dietary stuff here, you’re generally in the company of people with shared interests.

Remember when Facebook was kinda cool? It was miniscule by comparing it to today, and they hadn’t figured out how to really monetize it by then. Most of your friends were people you actually knewimagine that!—either in real life or at least, online for an extended period. You weren’t encountering random strangers who wanted to make themselves feel good at your expense every damn day.

These sorts of things would be my hope, but of course, that will require the participation and some enthusiasm on the part of enough Members to make it >0. We’ll see. I’m always prepared for failure and this is a risk, because I hate pathetic. But I’ve got to do it.

And yes, of course, I will match your participation and enthusiasm personally. This whole Members Only blog thing is my baby and what’s been accomplished in just three short weeks has me very optimistic about the future in creating a fantastic alternative to ad-revenue, social-justice, and woke-driven social media. And it’s so Free The Animal, if you know what I mean. This only works because I’m who I am, giving it to you straight, never blowing smoke up your asses, never with the bullshit pitches like THIS OFFER EXPIRES IN…!!! or, ONLY $9.99 FOR A LIMITED TIME, A ONE MILLION-DOLLAR VALUE!!! I just hate that shit and frankly, I’m not encouraging people easily susceptible to that sort of thing to become Members.

It’s good to remain a bit aloof and exclusive—a cut above—don’t you think?

Look, it’s simple for me. I can sit around thinking up marketing schemes, sales funnels, killer ad & pitch copy…or I can create content as I always do—often, interesting, unexpected, unique, and above all, obviously genuine, right or wrong—and let the whole eclectic mix of it sell itself. I know, some would call that my sales pitch right there...selling by not selling.

I don’t know the value of this. Only you do, and you’re right, for you and your money. Some wouldn’t pay me a red cent for anything I produce. Others will pay me instantly and without question for almost anything I ask. Neither are wrong, nor necessarily right as concerns anyone but themselves. And then, there’s everyone on the in-between spectrum.

Well I guess that’s about all for this installment from your humble servant. LOL.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

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