The strange world of Expat forums

There is an odd thing I find with most Expat forums (can’t say all as I haven’t been on them all) and that is the way the moderation and disputes work. Generally I leave most things on my blog purely because its real life, moderation only comes about if the replies go completely off topic, spam or abusive but even the abusive can stay if its constructive. Forums on the other hand seem to be a completely different beast due to the way the ones I have seen operate. Firstly the befriending approach that everyone is buddies but often its more like you have walked into the wrong pub and everyone is your buddy because they are about to fleece your wallet and all drinks are on you! But more importantly the balance of the people are way off as people who are just general people going about their business become offended about certain things then decide to leave. This happens way too often and its what sours the taste of most forums I have come across. On top of that the profiteering and manipulation towards specific people on the forums blocking some people or banning for doing the same yet freely allowing others.

Now to get this in context I have nothing wrong with a forum owner making money from their venture at the same time when they give preferential treatment to some members and not others they are actually removing the point of having an “open forum” because they remove people who can give a balanced view of life. For forums covering the Philippines this often leads to isolation for certain parts of the community and often its the people that are worth more that stop using the forums. How do I know? although I drift in and out of forums from time to time if something important comes up to share generally I stopped using them in the way I used to, for me they ran the course but more importantly in a lot of cases they just didn’t make any sense anymore as the same information gets talked about again and again. None have developed a good business environment on the Philippines although the closest to trying is Internations.org problem is here in the Philippines most people are scattered or removed themselves from the internet. What I have found over the last few blog years is people have emailed me privately about business as well as other things simply because they don’t want to get into the forum headaches by posting on the blog. At the same time these people don’t use forums at all although many did originally. What has happened is in many cases the best people are not available, the majority of the people I know via email have been here 5 – 18 years surviving and doing business without pensions or external support. The main reason I find people look online is trying to work out how to survive in the Philippines if they move here yet the people that can and do aren’t there.. Just a strange world we live in

0 comments for “The strange world of Expat forums

  1. dave
    March 5, 2011 at 8:50 am

    yep i agree most of the forum’s that i watch. do tend to swing toward’s in-fighting. one i still watch has been cleaned up alot. but if i read past the first page. the good information has ended. so i do watch blog’s more then most. as the informaton is more relevent. into what i was wanting to know. but one guilty thing i have to admit is there is nothing as funny as watching 50 to 70 year old men. engaged in a full blown (zoo monkey sh*t fight!!) maybe it’s just me.

  2. Steve
    March 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Here here Mike!

  3. Philip P.
    March 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    As for what people think about either of us,, well they can read, and come to their own conclusion.. I will fault no one either way… They have right to their opinion, but not to personal attacks.. So I will not continue this with you here after this post.. Because,,, this is just like forums,, and they is no need for me to keep on trying to prove my point.. I will just let you continue as you are, and you will do a fine job for me.. Ever heard, give them enough rope and they will hang themselves..
    For those who do not agree with my article or my thinking.. I respect that, and would encourage them to write one on the way they think something should be done… But, I would not encourage personal attacks against a person or their views… EX : While I do not agree with Mr. Patrick, I see it this way…… BUT NOT : Well this guy is just stupid and disrespectful, and does not know what he is talking about………. Plus the most, most important part,, it is very, very not smart to do that to the ones of us who live here daily, and see what is going on, and witness ,, first hand,, and know from other expats,,, the actions and ways of the same person who is trying to act all “ Higher than Thou.”. We see you, we know…. Which is why you are seeing this here with Mr. Lee, and which is again another proof of what this all started about…. “ Expat Forums and the way SOME of the members of the forums conduct themselves.”
    Would like to apologize to Matt for all of this on his blog.. Matt is super guy, and has always been straight forward and up front with everything he writes and does.. His blog is one of the Best in All of the Philippines.. I have lived here for long time, see many, many tourist and expats.. They are very, very few I would call friend and trust.. Matt is one that I have found to be a good friend..