Forum Comes Home

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Korkki
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Re: Forum Comes Home

Post by Korkki » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:51 pm

Jammy Devil wrote:Looking forward to Wera's first post in the Numbers in Pictures Game thread
:D
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Re: Forum Comes Home

Post by village » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:08 pm

Jammy Devil wrote:Looking forward to Wera's first post in the Numbers in Pictures Game thread
:D
Apparently one of the first points of negotiation was the abolition of the Numbers in Pictures thread....
If you can read this you are too close to your computer screen....

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Re: Forum Comes Home

Post by Loddonite » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:22 pm

It must have been an interesting decision for CWL. I imagine that the complete independence was a significant part of the forum's value to CWL. Any change of perception may well affect that value.
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Re: Forum Comes Home

Post by downer » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:00 pm

Time will tell. Personally, I always thought the value (and attraction) of the forum was its independence.

If it starts to feel like a marketing tool, I'm off.
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Re: Forum Comes Home

Post by Lego » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:27 pm

What makes this place interesting is, among others, the fact that we can post negatives about the brand, the service, the overall CWL package etc without being banned or censored as most of these points are done in a way that is constructive.

I would hope that CWL would welcome the comments that are made as they are done in the genuine hope that the company listens to its customers and acts upon their concerns.

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Re: Forum Comes Home

Post by akirk » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:59 pm

welshlad wrote:The point I was making earlier is how do you ensure that it will remain independent beyond the short term.

Consider an example. Let's fast forward, say, 5 years. In that time CWL has been bought by someone else and Chris, Peter, Mike, Wera etc are no longer involved in the business. Also, Kip is no longer the moderator (for whatever reason). How will the independence of the forum be assured then? What if the new owners want to have some editorial control? How will that be prevented?

To me, to avoid this problem in the future you have to get the structures right NOW. For example, the forum could be set up in trust, separate from CWL, so that the trustees have a duty to maintain the forum's independence. Some of the trustees could be CWL directors, but the majority would not be.

That's just one idea off the top of my head. But it's important this is addressed now, in the moment, rather than leave it to the future.
I can understand where you are coming from - but I feel that in theory there is no issue here...
Yes, CWL might own the forum - but what does that really mean?
A forum is:
- Domain
- Hosting
- Software Licence
- Reputation
- SEO place (i.e. links to and from elsewhere)
- members
- posts

Actually all they have bought is the top few - if you look at the registration terms and conditions members do not sign over rights to the content they create - you give permission to have it stored in a database, but information will not be disclosed to a third party without the member's consent... there could be an argument therefore that it is not saleable - our agreement is with the forum owner (Hans) not with CWL who are a third party. There is nothing in the terms that gives the owner any rights over the content... (compare that to a big commercial forum such as mumsnet here: http://www.mumsnet.com/info/terms-of-use who have the right to do what they wish with the content).

So, technically they have not bought the posts... they are still owned by the authors...
You can't buy the members - we have no contract with the forum other than the terms

we could have a new forum / domain / software etc. set up in less than 24 hours we could scrape this forum and move the posts... if we as members felt that CWL were playing silly games, and suddenly everything changes... without the posts and members you don't have anything more than an aged domain.

So forums are a balance of tensions - and particularly with this one not owning the content, CWL are in a weaker place - I am putting this down like this, not as a suggestion that we do any of this, or any form of criticism of CWL - but to note the reality so that people don't run scared - if CWL did do anything to precipitate the above, they would create a lot of bad PR for themselves - it would be very negative...

the strength and value in what they have bought lies in leaving it as it is - independent and able to express what it wishes... I suspect that the reasons for purchase are numerous but saving on advertising fees, ensuring the continuation of the forum, enabling progression technologically, etc. are all a part of it - a desire to control it and turn it into their marketing mouthpiece has never been on the agenda...

what we don't need to do therefore is worry about the structure / etc. - it doesn't need to be in trust because the strength is with the forum members not the forum owner - so it makes no sense to complicate it all... I suspect that in 6 months we will look back and find little difference other than technology improvements...

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Re: Forum Comes Home

Post by welshlad » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:12 am

The point about forum ownership is not about what physical assets and rights have been purchased.

Ownership means you get to make the rules. Now that CWL owns the forum (or will do soon) then it has the ability to change the rules if it wants to (although I accept that it may not want to). This ability may, in itself, give the impression that the forum is no longer independent.

So rather than let this perception grow, my suggestion is to immediately put the forum under the formal control of a third party, whose only remit is to maintain independence and run the forum efficiently. My trust idea is one example of how this could be done.

Then everyone would see from Day 1 of CWL's ownership that it was serious about guaranteeing the forum's independence for the long term and any concerns would evaporate.
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Re: Forum Comes Home

Post by bspj » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:19 am

welshlad wrote:The point about forum ownership is not about what physical assets and rights have been purchased.

Ownership means you get to make the rules. Now that CWL owns the forum (or will do soon) then it has the ability to change the rules if it wants to (although I accept that it may not want to). This ability may, in itself, give the impression that the forum is no longer independent.

So rather than let this perception grow, my suggestion is to immediately put the forum under the formal control of a third party, whose only remit is to maintain independence and run the forum efficiently. My trust idea is one example of how this could be done.

Then everyone would see from Day 1 of CWL's ownership that it was serious about guaranteeing the forum's independence for the long term and any concerns would evaporate.
I've stayed out of this until now, but think that Steve's suggestion here is practicable and sensible, and might reassure doubters.
Steve

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Re: Forum Comes Home

Post by akirk » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:07 am

Steve, I think we may need to disagree... :)

If you consider that there are two parties to the forum - owner and users, we have ultimate flexibility in just no longer using the forum and it would die - we can set up another - we are not restrained whoever owns it - after all isn't that how the forum first started? What you are suggesting would remove flexibility from the owner making it out of balance.

Ultimately for CWL owning the forum is partly about protecting its brand - they need to consider what might happen if the forum landed in the hands (moderator or owner) of someone with a grudge against them - it could do a lot of damage... Would it then be censorship if they made alterations - yes, but acceptable if it were dealing with an issue ultimately that extreme where we would hope that sensible moderation would have dealt with it anyway...

so securing the ownership, but then letting it run as now is definitely the strongest outcome for them and it is not a weak outcome for us as we always have the ability to move...

the worst scenario would be mindless petty interference - but that doesn't seem to be their style...

the perception of independence will be maintained as long as there continues to be healthy debate about the watches and there are plenty of different points of view expressed - that happens now and I am sure it will continue to take place... it is independence of thought / opinion we need not independence of ownership

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Re: Forum Comes Home

Post by SimonB » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:10 am

I'm with Steve - needs 3rd party to keep it from being a CWL selling tool


(Says he now into 4th week awaiting return of frankly substandard NNC61 - will this get edited out in the future ?)
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Re: Forum Comes Home

Post by Jammy Devil » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:13 am

village wrote:Apparently one of the first points of negotiation was the abolition of the Numbers in Pictures thread....
Got to have something to do whilst waiting for my grail to be made :)

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Re: Forum Comes Home

Post by Berkshire » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:26 am

I really don't care who owns, administers or moderates. With any forum I'll decided on what I want to read and write. :D

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Re: Forum Comes Home

Post by Kip » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:36 am

Just thinking.......

Maybe we should go backwards.....a few early members may remember that there was a time when other brands or off topics were not allowed. :lol:
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Re: Forum Comes Home

Post by scooter » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:47 am

But there were only 10 members then.

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Re: Forum Comes Home

Post by scooter » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:50 am

Jammy Devil wrote:
village wrote:Apparently one of the first points of negotiation was the abolition of the Numbers in Pictures thread....
Got to have something to do whilst waiting for my grail to be made :)
'Only Three Words' should do it then.

Good morning JD.

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