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The forum to continue, but closed to new members

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:46 pm
by Jim Zim
UPDATE: 11-26-16:
I've decided NOT to shut down the forum, just to no longer accept new members.
Other than that one change... the forum will go on as usual.
Thank you for your comments and suggestions.
Here's the full original discussion of my proposal to shut down the forum completely:


Hello, everyone. This is kind of a big announcement, so here goes...

I'm 99% sure that I want to shut down this forum permanently, and to ask you all to move over to our Facebook Group. I propose to shut the forum down approximately one month from now.

Here are my reasons:
This forum is pretty much dead now. The amount of new posts being made is now somewhere around 1 or 2 a day, on average. Back in the heyday of the forum, when we were still breeding puppies, we would often have 100 or so new posts in a day.
Years ago, at the suggestion of one of our forum members, a "Zim Family Cocker Spaniel" group was started on Facebook. Since then, it has become more and more active... and these days, it's hugely more active than this forum. People seem very comfortable using Facebook, and it's easy to post pictures there. This forum is a little clunky, and there's a learning curve to posting pictures. Even after you learn now to do it, it's not as easy as doing it on Facebook. So, our Cocker group on Facebook seems to be the preferred meeting place, and people seem no longer interested in using this forum.
The other issue is that it takes some effort for me to maintain this forum, and more effort by my son, Jeff, to keep the forum infrastructure up and running properly. We were happy to do that work in the days when people were actually using the forum, but these days it seems to be not worth the effort given how little activity is happening on the forum. What you all don't see is how many spammers attempt to join the forum. Verifying that potential new members are real Cocker owners and not just spammers interested in posting ads to the forum takes up some time, and that's work I'd rather not have to do if the forum is basically unused by our forum members any longer.

So, I'm writing this message to you so that you are aware of what I propose to do, and to give you the opportunity to talk me out of it if you think this is a horribly bad idea. But I really think we should just shut the forum down completely, and everyone move over to the Zim Family Cockers Facebook Group.

What are your thoughts on this?

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:53 pm
by Ann in Mission Viejo
Wow! The end of an era. :( I go to the forum pretty infrequently now, but I remember when it was a hotbed, tons of posts all the time. I guess I will have to activate my old Facebook account.

This website has provided a wealth of information, and I will be forever grateful to you for your Zim ear cleaner. Thank you for all you have done for cocker owners everywhere!

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:33 pm
by Julie S.
I completely understand your reasoning. Will we still be able to access the archives? I'm guessing not. I sometimes search health related topics for information, although I rarely post anymore.

Thank you for providing this forum for so many years!

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:32 am
by Colleen K
I also understand your reasoning. Like Julie, I would hope there is someway to maintain/transfer some of the health information.

I would like to say that FB is not a great place to have sustained discussion or to retain shared knowledge, two characteristics of The Forum.

All the best,

Colleen K

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:38 am
by Cici
I understand - I will have to open a facebook account, which I have resisted for so many years! It will be Cici's account. I would hate to lose all this information on cocker health and care. I search it all the time and Cici has greatly benefited from this forum. If there is a way to archive this, that would be great. Thank you for such a wonderful resource for cockers and all dog parents.

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:16 am
by Darra
I understand your reasoning. It's been disappointing to see how participation on this forum has dwindled over the past few years. I joined the facebook version a while back, and it's different. Mostly pictures of people's dogs, which are nice, but what's missing is the wealth of information regarding the breed, training, grooming tips, and particularly health-related info. I was a cocker newbie when I joined your forum, and now have a cocker who is on grain-free food, has the healthiest ears around, has been allergy tested, gets titered rather than shots, gets groomed by ME, and has numerous agility titles. Before I got her, I knew NOTHING about any of this. I thank your forum, and the active participation of it's members, for all of this.

I'll echo the other respondents in saying if there's some way to move some of this very important information over to the Facebook site, it would be very much appreciated.

Thank you, Jim, for your years of commitment to this forum. It has been a pleasure and it will be missed. :thanks

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:09 am
by Jim Zim
Those are interesting viewpoints that I had not previously considered. It's good to see the forum through your eyes.

Perhaps what I should do is leave the forum open for reading, but not allow any new members to join and also not allow any new posts or replies. That way you can continue to use the existing information on the forum as a resource, but I wouldn't have to keep up the daily fight against spammers and spam-bots.

This is NOT the end of the discussion on the matter! Please continue to post your thoughts on this matter in the coming weeks, before I make a final decision on how to proceed.

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:48 am
by Julie S.
Hi Jim. If you were to do that would we be able to PM each other to ask questions/discuss topics?

Thank you,

Julie

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:11 am
by Darra
Jim Zim wrote:
Perhaps what I should do is leave the forum open for reading, but not allow any new members to join and also not allow any new posts or replies. That way you can continue to use the existing information on the forum as a resource, but I wouldn't have to keep up the daily fight against spammers and spam-bots.


Jim, if you could also include a link to it on the Facebook site, so new users to the Facebook site would have a way to find out about it and benefit from the wealth of knowledge here (even if it's only read-only), that would be great.

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:21 pm
by James
oh no not facebook, looks like i'm out, still i learnt alot. Did DT have any influence :lol2 suppose I could use wives account, it was agreat forum and you have to move with the times, thanks to the Zim family for the the hard work and no doubt extended life of our dogs. It's not the end just a new beginning.Worrying about new owmers with problem dogs won't be able access the vast knowledge of this forum.

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:12 pm
by dawn & kevin
Jim, I might not post much anymore, but I do look in on the new posts daily. I surely would add my two cents to any current comments (if I thought that I could contribute any info or thoughts that were not already posted).

I would greatly miss the Zim Family Cocker Forum. I have learned so much over the years. Especially, with regard to IMHA. A subject about a deadly illness that needs continued discussion for new Cocker Spaniel owner's.

:cry Dawn

However, I do understand your reasoning.

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:27 pm
by Jim Zim
Julie S. wrote:
Hi Jim. If you were to do that would we be able to PM each other to ask questions/discuss topics?


Yes, I can't think of any reason that private messages would not still work if I were to turn off the ability to make new posts and replies, as well as turn off the ability for new people to join the forum.

Also, I would still have the ability to create new posts...
So, if there was some new issue that came up or we realized that there was some important information that needed to be shared, I would be able to do that.

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:32 pm
by Julie S.
Great!!

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:59 pm
by rebeccao
I haven't posted frequently but over the years I have read a lot and learned from the wealth of information posted here. This is my go-to site if I need to research health issues for my babies. I would hate to think of losing access to everything here. I am also a member of the Facebook group but it isn't the same and doesn't provide the tools to search topics.

Thank you for your efforts in having established and maintained this site for so long! :Clap

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:12 pm
by MarciaM
Facebook would be easier for me specially for posting pictures. I will join. Will still drop by to read old posts and see if there are any news. Thanks for all you do. Have been an invaluable source of information for me. See you at facebook.

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:36 pm
by dawn & kevin
:hi Hi, I am here!

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:21 pm
by Cockers4ever
I'd be sad. I dont like FB for any kind of discussions plus, I think its difficult if not impossible to search.

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:22 am
by Terry T.
Cockers4ever wrote:
I'd be sad. I dont like FB for any kind of discussions plus, I think its difficult if not impossible to search.


I'm with Marie on this one. The amount of information (old and new) is invaluable. I will miss it all a great deal. :cry

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:02 pm
by SusanT
First the election and now this. What a horrible month November 2016 has been.

I don't and won't do Facebook, so this will be goodbye from Jennie and me. I will miss you all.

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:06 pm
by morewineplease
Oh my gosh! I'm so glad I decided to drop by today. I am coming up on the one year anniversary of rescuing my little Ruger. I feel so lucky to have him and want to be the best mommy to him possible so in my online research on caring for cockers, I came across this forum. I have asked lots of questions, gotten great answers...this forum is a wealth of information. I would hate to see all the valuable info lost.

I have resisted joining Facebook, but will do so need be. I was never here when it was really busy, but I do enjoy coming here and sharing pictures and info. Guess DH will have to teach me to use Facebook, lol, so I can keep in touch. I hope there's a way there to ask questions and share info and not just post pics. I like the forum format with different categories. I can search for things and it seems like that wouldn't be as feasible in Facebook.

I am certainly understanding of why you may go with the times and move to Facebook, there's a lot that goes behind the scenes that we (esp. me) don't realize. But I do hope there is a way to keep this forum around, at least for reference.

What about the zimfamilycockers website? Please don't let anything happen to that either. I learned so much about great info on grooming, ear cleaning, etc.

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:02 pm
by Joe in North Bay Ca
James wrote:
oh no not facebook, looks like i'm out, still i learnt alot. Did DT have any influence :lol2 suppose I could use wives account, it was agreat forum and you have to move with the times, thanks to the Zim family for the the hard work and no doubt extended life of our dogs. It's not the end just a new beginning.Worrying about new owmers with problem dogs won't be able access the vast knowledge of this forum.


Sorry to hear the sad news.

I'm with James, don't like the censorship of political stuff of facebook. It was probability me causing the problems in here but everything has been tested on my cocker. Now thinking about if Oliver doesn't make his fifteen years, I would start with a new cocker. Son and his wife kind of said if anything bad happened they would take my new cocker.

I had tried, second chance Cockers three times both failed. Oh well. My dog does clean up his food bowl. :gig
Maybe later on a senior cocker with that free health care, by second chance.

Joe

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:25 am
by woody
I didn't know about the facebook page and now that I do I joined.
While any internet activity is not private facebook is very not private. People need to be VERY careful about what they post there. I made the mistake, when we got Daisy, of saying that she had had a problem with children. When she bit one and we had to go to court, much was made of the fact that I knew that she was a danger to kids. Information that they had from the facebook comment. Since then, I never post on facebook.
Daisy and I are grateful for the opportunity that this forum has given to openly discuss our problems as well as our joys. Problems should be avoided on Facebook. Things can come back and bite you on the bum.
Thanks for the help. My cocker experience has been enhanced by this forum.

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:00 pm
by Jim Zim
I want you all to know that I'm reading all these comments and seriously re-considering my idea to shut down the forum. Some very good points have been made about the ease of searching the forum for useful information that may have been posted years ago. It makes it easy to find answers to those frequently asked Cocker questions.

The Facebook group is horrible in that regard. There's no searching. If you're looking for the answer to a question that's been asked and answered a dozen times... you'll never find it in the Facebook group. It's great for getting a daily dose of pictures of lots of Cockers... but it's not a good repository of knowledge. In other words, it's a bit shallow compared to the forum.

Keep posting your comments and viewpoints in this thread, as no decision has been made yet. But I definitely am no longer 99% sure like I was in that first post in this thread! :wv

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:59 pm
by Colleen K
Jim,
This Forum has been a safe space for newbies learning about cockers. The collegiality is unparalleled. I truly appreciate all the work you and your family undertakes to manage the spammers and the infrastructure of the site. Hope you decide to continue,

Colleen K

Re: Proposed total shut down of the Zim Family Cocker Forum

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:17 pm
by Chris Gomes
I've shared my home with cockers for 22 years now, and was deeply involved in cocker rescue for a few years. NO where else have I found such a rich repository of information about this breed. Because the Forum has been kept cordial and respectful, there is a tremendous amount of personal experience and research, thoughtfully documented, for all to benefit. I'd sure hate for the world to loose this precious resource!