Georgina wrote:Uppermost questions in my mind...
1. Guys who have lived here long enough know who the operator, allies, and affiliated businesses are of the biggest forum are (were?) Is this a reincarnation of same?
2. Was that other nasty forum sold and why?
3. I welcome a little frankness. The purpose of this forum is, I presume, like that of the other one - to make money. Nothing wrong with that. I welcome profitable enterprises. If they serve a social and educational purpose as well, so much the better. But spare me the altruist statements.
4. Is there a core group of expat businessmen who are 'fluffing' this forum with brief/uninformative replies to create traffic for purposes of boosting numbers to present to potential advertisers? Nothing wrong with silence instead of no practical comment. I mean from the journalistic rather than commercial perspective.
5. Will investigative, critical or otherwise informative articles or regular contributors be *paid* somehow for contributions other than editorial?
6. What will be the editorial slant of this forum be? I find it interesting to see overt slants to the big forum (anti-American, pro-drugs, anti-prostitution) and a witty magazine (very anti-American, pro-prostitution) versus an NGO-sponsored newspaper (pro-American, anti-drug, anti-prostitution, anti-ruling party).
Ha! Fair questions, for real.
2) I'm not 100% certain what you're asking here. I can assure you we had no business affiliations AT ALL from any forum (or anywhere for that matter) when we started CEO. All we brought with us from the other K440 are genuine friends and strangers who were just as excited to have a new discussion forum dedicated to Cambodia (and the region).
So, no reincarnation.
2) Yes, it was up for sale about a month after we launched CEO. The old owner was/is unhappy (to say the least, LoL) about us starting a new forum. I can't really answer that for him, obviously.
3) Reasonable assumption, but it's actually wrong. The most logical way I can show this is the fact that OD and I were among the most prolific posters on K440 (I think he had over 12,000 posts and I had over 20,000), and all of those posts were for free and we had no businesses to even try to promote during that time.
We post because we enjoy it. Always have. We are both very social creatures so just like being part of a fun and interesting forum. If we didn't do it for fun, why would we have posted over there for free and with no business to promote? We honestly just do it for fun! Ourselves and many others wanted a change, so we made it happen! So far, so good!
And yes, we obviously have ads, which generate $$, but that's just silly not to! But it's not the "reason" behind it at all.
I would say running an expat forum for money is about as silly of an idea as buying a hostess bar for the reason of making money, LoL. Yeah, it might happen, but to go into it for that reason is silly. I'm sure any financial adviser worth his weight in MSG would tell you that.
I'm just glad people like CEO and feel good about being members here! We put in a LOT more time to run CEO than you probably think, and it is nice to know people appreciate it.
4) In short, NO. We definitely have people that mention their businesses or have their sites in their sigs, but we allow and encourage that. They are all related to Cambodia and I've yet to see any of them just spamming our forum with "ads" like you mention.
It's not like the Dragon and I secretly own a bar and plug it every chance we get, and I haven't seen ANYONE else here do that either.
So no, nobody is on here "fluffing" threads or adding nonsense posts to make this place look busier than we are.
Out of curiosity, is there any threads/posts that you are suspicious of? Don't worry, you have freedom of speech here, so we welcome you pointing something out. Unlike the other forum, if a restaurant/bar/hotel/business is an advertiser here we don't grant them immunity from criticism or block their competitors from posting here.
The most I do is alert a business owner that I'm friends with if I see a post slagging them off so they can respond. I also did that on Khmer440, and I do that on Twitter too. Surely that's fair?
5) Ha! If someone writes a review/story about their business and we paid them for writing it, we would let our members know.
There is no hanky panky like that going.
6) Again, I'm not exactly sure what you're asking. We have no political affiliations here at all. We try to tolerate discussions about anything and everything, even if we don't agree or condone them.
I was kind of shocked a few times, as we've had a few random people seem to ask that we censor some topics or discussions on here. People complaining about having too much freedom is a hard concept for me to grasp.
If someone doesn't want to read about or discuss certain topics, don't click on the thread.
We think that's fair.
I'm actually glad to hear you ask these questions so bluntly. You're skeptical, and I think that's a very good thing. I honestly wish people were more skeptical when they sign up on forums and thought about these things before they become members.
Several members here have voiced their random concerns publicly, and we don't shy away from answering them.
I think we've all got a good thing going here on CEO. We take feedback from all members here and try to improve the place with their feedback.
We have no chips on our shoulder and don't run this place because we're on some sort of power trip. We look after all our members privacy. Period. Nobody needs to feel that we need to like them or that they need to be or friends in order for us to do our duties as responsible admin and treat them fairly.
I know that sounds a little PRish, but it's the truth, LoL. All the points you raised are important when being an active member of a forum, so glad you asked.
And if I didn't answer anything you asked, feel free to specify.