Systemic The new owners have a very different agenda. They made no attempt to get in touch with CFUK mod team to start a dialogue/relationship - clearly it would seem the past was of no importance to them. It’s a sad story but that’s life - everything is reduced to monetary value - community is a term that is bandied around like confetti but the reality is the opposite. CFUK may continue but its heart has gone IMO which is why the mods decided to withdraw completely and set up this independent, not for profit, coffee community focused forum.
Above is an extract of a much longer post Patrick made, touching on our reason for moving on. I think it deserves a little expansion. VS acquired CFUK some 2 months ago, we all hung in there waiting for some sort of contact, especially as the “Admin” had posted a response thread in an area of the forum members couldn’t respond to, so I moved it for them and we carried on maintaining the forum, keeping everything going, signing up new advertisers etc.. etc..
I think it was around end Nove 21 VS put an announcement in a no reply area to say they were removing all advertisers package renewal options and of course no new advertisers could take up a package. What their “Admin” did not do is even warn us they were going to do it, or discuss how to do it. With the net result was they simply turned off the payment system renewals! I had to quickly revise the store page, place an announcement there, disable the products, etc..I wrote to the “Admin” on the 30th Nov and copied in the mod team. At this time, I had no idea (obvious from the e-mail) that they were cancelling paypal packages. I think other things were cancelled as well. To be honest, I had no idea what was going on (message below wasn’t even read by “Admin” for 3 weeks…) I didn’t even know what to tell advertisers. I quickly contacted 2 whose packages were close to expiry. To my knowledge, not a single advertiser has ever been written to, informing them of what happened to their packages, apart from the 2 I phoned. After 3 days with no reply, and the message not even read by “Admin”, all the mods left at the beginning Dec 21 and none of us used any administrative powers from that date. The actions of the VS team were grossly unprofessional, disrespectful and showed complete contempt for the community, it’s advertisers and supporters.
If this wasn’t bad enough, I later heard that advertisers banners were no longer working correctly. To date, “Admin” has NEVER responded to our communication. Of course, it’s far too late now, it became too late the moment we had enough and left. We gave them the benefit of the doubt for 4 weeks, even though we had read mixed reports about them, we did our jobs….until, they basically crapped on everyone. With a forum full of spam and a loss of posts (their post count is now down over 80% and has been for a while), finally their “admin” noticed something, as I am sure he was busy with many other forums (they own over 1000 I think). He then publishes this. Which deserves some comment, as it implies that there has been an outstanding offer of discussion for ages, and we turned them down!
- The outstanding offer of discussion with mods was made YESTERDAY more than 3 weeks after we left, in a moderator area which we haven’t used in years. It was clear many of us hadn’t logged on in weeks.
- The Deeply worried bit is puzzling, there can only be a misunderstanding or poor first impression, if there has been some direct communication. All we had was their actions to date, and we didn’t misunderstand those.
What I believe they “plan” to do is migrate the forum onto Xenforo, and then it will look like every other cookie cutter forum they run. Their exciting plans can be seen on any VS forum, how many other forums does he run (obviously too busy to give CFUK any attention).
Perhaps I am cynical, but all these posts came around 12 hours ago, I suspect what has prompted this knee-jerk response and offer to contact the mod team is the sheer loss of CFUK site activity. Most of the regular posters have come here. A few have not and for whatever reasons want to give their traffic to VS, in good conscience and morally, I can’t continue to use them and I believe the other mods think the same.
There may be all sorts of hogwash that has gone around and certainly will go around in future that we set up this site out of hubris, VS booted us out (which in fairness to them, they didn’t, we are still mods), or for some reason we want to destroy VS. We don’t, we are just fed up to the back teeth of users being commoditised or used for the personal gain of others. A large proportion of forums have sold out to 3 main corporates and it invariably leaves a bad taste in the mouths of the communities
Theres no hidden motives at Coffeetime, no selling your data, monetising your posts or desire to build something that can be sold for a profit. The only thing we do want to do, is show another way to create communities that’s 100% free and will never be sold from under you (if I ever cease to run it, I will simply hand the forum over to someone else)! No need for subscription, advertisers, memberships, sponsorships…there is a donations option, if people want to donate to Freeflarum, who provide the free platform for 100s of forums…none of that money goes to us, or gives us any special privileges.
P.S. We will give any previous advertisers of CFUK who ask us, commercial member rights on the Coffeetime forum…for free. Just to try to help them out.