I created this thread in a new and clean 'White Room w/Black Curtains' to keep the following comment or rebuttals out of the SpeakEasy and away from becoming a source of possible contention out on Main.
Read on and you'll see what's been on my mind for quite some time and what I (and others) have seen progessively happen to reach the point that TFMR is now at. I can't say I speak for the many voices who have given up but I bet I come pretty close.
Any B.S. ending up in The SpeakEasy from this would be unnecessary imho.
Just to be clear from the start, I'm not pointing fingers and getting gender or poster specific during any of this so I hope (but doubt) that any flashback isn't thrown back at myself or by extension the community by and large. They're watching and not posting for a reason.
If TF and TFMR are in dire straits and he wants to know why that might be and what might be done to rectify it then he (and the site) should be willing to listen to what this old timers observations are that might/probably take into account many other OT's and many in-betweener's and lurkers who have tuned this place out on an ongoing basis for the last several months. Since mid-January or so to be exact.
I'm not about to rehash events or cast blame or names from then or now. We all know what's taken place on here at times since then and right up to today. Firstly, Big L has absolutely nailed the vast majority of the reasons and the evolution of how we got here for the most part. He just doesn't know the entire story and I'm not about to go there entirely or partially out of respect and common rules of courtesy/privacy.
Big L, like many, many other longtime posters, in-betweener's and relative newb Turdites, cares enough to offer an astute and level headed observation that appears to represent the vast majority of posts I've seen over months that have basically been saying the same thing in varying ways as they leave the site and explain why or they just don't and have left or are watching.
The reason appears to be along these lines....they're sick of the angry, negative, less then tactful (admittedly boasting of it) new breed of poster that could care less about TF's Turdistan community and more so about their own soapbox and attention getting mannerisms or outright negative TF attacks or unsupportive/in your face comments. This latest distraction on here (of many) is so far out of the realm from where this site used to be and partially why this site became such a draw was because of the comments from the community back then (old timers and IBTR's and welcomed newbs) who knew enough or cared enough to not be purposely disruptive and in your face right out of the gate.
In today's Turdistan we not only find the vocal and fanatical side being embraced, but excuses being made for by the site DESPITE the vast majority who vote with their wallets or HT's (or lack of them) OR by not bothering to post and support the site because it's been allowed to go off the beaten path despite what could be seen coming for a mile (many months). To be clear...it appears that the site has completely eschewed what got you here and embraced the vocal and somewhat (at times) less social or community minded person that used to represent the site forever (until months ago) and has instead avoided the hard and easy decision right away while that hard edge takes a toehold.
It has been my observation over time and on a almost daily basis since the blogs inception that self policing is the way to go and serious consideration should go to creating a "Black Hat" that can show how the community feels about posters. That would greatly eliminate the need for verbal jousting if some measure of approval/disapproval were given to the entire community.
Including the lurkers and unregistered one's who want a say but were inexplicably turned off for some reason. How could you turn off (literally) those lurkers on the edge of making a decision (about joining or not) out of the picture? If you were them, would you stay or would you leave and feel left out and not exactly being included. On any given night were talking anywhere from 50-25% of unregistered lurkers are out there unable to chime in.....either positively or negatively (yellow hat/black hat). Anyone who goes into 'negative territory' gets a light 'grey shading' over their post denoting the communities wariness of them. Anyone who cares about themselves and the community will make damn sure they stay "clear" unless they're out to incite and disrupt and could care less.
The site talks about self policing in one breath and then castigates the entire site like children for doing just that...self policing. How else might they show their disapproval? By using reason with some who look to incite and flame in their unique newb way . A Black hat/yellow hat system that employs that grey screen.
I'm personally tired of watching the slow motion train wreck but I still have respect for the man that has made it all possible. I could say lots of things right now TF that you know first hand from the many conversations we've sat in on off site and in your heart you know how it came to this point. If it was just myself saying what I've had to say for the past few months that would be one thing , but to allow the site to be taken in a completely different direction and eschew the advice of many long time turdite posters or Mods who have their finger on the pulse of the community almost 24/7 was a mistake.
Let anyone who has a better idea about any of that tell the site (not me) what their plan is and what the seed of contradictory standards sown on here has reaped on TFMR.
My advice TF at this point is to do the radical thing....return to the standards of community that got you here that (in addition to your talents/personality) drew in many, many, many newbs and lurkers and institute that black hat/yellow hat feature ASAP and to seriously consider consolidating that TTM on to this site or visa versa but you need to consolidate your base ASAP and charge $15-$20 (if that's the viability number) and put all the content under one roof and I'm willing to bet the ship will straighten slowly. And for cryin' out loud...trust the veterans who have the pulse of the community 24/7 moderate from a collective posture (5 moderators is perfect) and not an overriding central authority type of format.
TF....you know exactly what I think and about what as this problem has slowly developed and I'm asking you to take a long, hard look and make the easy but tough choices if you want this to survive. I believe you'll get through this if you... A) consolidate both sites somehow and just stick to TFMR and give bi-weekly (tri-weekly?) vid's of your 'talks' and ....B) Institute that black hat/ yellow hat (dis)approval system and allow a collective "No B.S." moderation effort to take place that listens to what the masses (and the silent lurker/newb minority).
Longtime and respected Turdite Murphy just put a post out from Ritzholtz that I ask you to seriously consider as you read it at this crossroad. If there's one thing I've always said to you and others, it's to cut bait quickly and silently. Not listening to the majority of posters and going with the flow of the vocal and sometimes abrasive/ brilliant minority is how you've essentially found yourself at this juncture.
Consolidate the sites, charge for the one site whatever it is you need to charge for it, scrap the present moderation system as presently constructed, (it's not working plus it sounds like your paying for it) and institute the black/yellow hat system and read the Ritzholtz article and 'just do it'.
I'm sorry to say that I'm one of the OT's and regulars who stopped by generous and long time donations within the past 2 weeks . It's not a lack of appreciation or disrespect for yourself TF but from what I see and from what I know (and I know quite a bit) I came to the conclusion of how a newb/lurker or unregistered fence sitter might view what I've seen devolve on here. Would I pay money to two different sites for the community and poster content on TFMR or wait to see if it gets back to being what it once was. I barely recognize the community or vibe at all.
Take a step back and take a hard look and do the hard but right thing. To be clear, I've mentioned no names but it probably appears I've insinuated along the lines somewhere.
To be clear, the site's admin and moderation (Turdites themselves) have my respect but they need to be honest about some things and grudgingly accept some of this despite any hardened positions that seem to run contrary at times to what needs to be done to get where the site was once at in the area's I mentioned. no one doubts there talents and sincere desire to make TFMR the best site on the web for PM's and Prepping etc. I think they've accomplished that part of it. It's the other side that I've mentioned.
It's possible to get back there, but it'll take some honest change. If you allow whatever donations you get now (and I hope there are many, many of them) to tide you over until next time it's like the Govt. surviving on borrowed time and OPM"s (other people's money) and not tackling the core reasons you find yourself right now. While true that silver and gold might scream higher in a highly manipulated and steered market and that in itself might draw people back in the typical silver/goldbug way it will maks the core problem and business will go back to the usual negative feedback loop that has replaced the one you had in pace in the beginning. That 'new normal' has turned off and away many old members, in-betweeners' and newbs/fence sitters. You've stated in your post that you were seeking help and this is my honest assessment and observation. I think it speaks for many who have stated the same thing over time but more importantly it might speak for the silent lurker voices on the edge who feel left out or to classy or timid to join the fray that it's become.
My best wished going forward because I can't and don't want to mention 'condolences' in the future. I'm watching and waiting like all the other lurkers and fence sitters and it has nothing to do with you per se'. Go figure.
Good luck and read the Ritzholtz article. Everyone here wants to see you succeed. No one more then myself with no intention of dissing anyone else's fervent hope and help for you and TFMR.
Be bold and be honest and move forward while embracing the past that got you here. To do otherwise ensures this falls apart quickly imho. Consolidate asap.