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A few thoughts on the community’s future

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JohnPaul
Diglot
Newbie
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3878 days ago

28 posts - 63 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 1 of 7
05 October 2015 at 11:08pm | IP Logged 
This is cross-posted here and at forum.language-learners.org. I am registered under the exact same
username as I am at the other site.

I just wanted to share a few thoughts on the future of this community based on a previous experience.

In late 2006 I was feeling dissatisfied with my life and I knew that I needed to make some bold
changes in my life if I wanted to be happy. I needed out of the city I grew up in. A city that had never
entirely felt like a good fit for me. I love to travel and so I decided to apply at several airlines to
become a flight attendant. I began researching the job online. There was not much good information
available. I then discovered a forum called FlightAttendants.org
https://web.archive.org/web/20121227130404/http://www.flight attendants.org/. It was a community
of 40,000 (I believe that was the number) current and former flight attendants from around the world.

The members of the forum helped educate me on life as a flight attendant, how to apply, where to
apply, where not to apply, labor issues, etc. I genuinely believe that the members of that forum helped
me land not one but two offers at major American carriers. I became a flight attendant, moved across
the country and started a new life that has been extremely rewarding. Funny enough I only lasted
about a year as a flight attendant but I did happen to meet the woman (also a flight attendant) who in
3 weeks will be my spouse :D.

Having worked in aviation, and now about to marry someone who works in it still, I have learned a
tremendous amount about the culture that exists within the industry and in particular within the
subset of employees that are flight attendants. The work is unique and it is hard to explain to people
who live outside of the industry, even those who fly a hundred thousand miles a year.

A couple of years ago I started thinking about writing a book that would attempt to capture some
essence of what life is like for the modern flight attendant, largely because so few people understand
what it is like, and because I feel that there is something of value there that needs to be recorded
before the next major change in the industry. I immediately set out to the aforementioned website to
begin asking for interviews only to discover that it had essentially been shut down by the owner. He
was a former flight attendant, and had lost what he felt was his connection to the industry and thus
did not feel up to maintaining the website anymore. I was very upset when I discovered this. It wasn't
because the forum had been instrumental in my employment years earlier but because along side all
the very practical information shared, there was a treasure trove of anecdotes, travel advice, and a
record of the changes in the industry over more than 10 years, and most poignantly the emotions
surrounding the loss of our colleagues on 11 September 2001.

The loss of FlightAttendants.org is actually quite huge. It was an incredible primary source archive
that vanished into the ether.

In early 2009 I was again feeling dissatisfied with my life but this time it was not the city that I was
living in but the fact that growing up I had heard French at home and that I realized that I could hardly
speak it anymore. After a few months of trying to figure out how to relearn the language I discovered
the HTLAL forum. I have been a member of how-to-learn-any-language.com since the 7 April 2009,
and in that time I have made 27 posts. I am not a regular contributor to the forum, however, I am very
happy to have it as a resource, and to have the opportunity to contribute where and when I can.

Over the past 6+ years the HTLAL forum has been important part of my regrowth as a francophone,
and while I doubt that anyone recognizes my forum handle immediately, some of yours I do. Thank
you for all your contributions, what you (we) have created in the HTLAL forum is a tremendous
community with a unique culture. I believe that this culture is important, and that it deserves to be
preserved.

Recently there have been serious issues with the website and a regrettable lack of involvement from
the owner. My recommendation is this: do not continue waiting. The community of active
members and mods needs to move the community to site that is operated by a trust. Each and every
one of you has created something that is bigger than Mr. Micheloud's original intention. I would hate
to see the death of another special community.

Best regards,
JohnPaul

Edited by JohnPaul on 05 October 2015 at 11:09pm

20 persons have voted this message useful



AdamDM2
Newbie
Australia
Joined 2004 days ago

2 posts - 2 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Mandarin, Japanese, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 2 of 7
08 October 2015 at 6:53am | IP Logged 
Great post.

... but "Wayback Machine doesn't have that page archived."

(I hope Wayback Machine itself is sufficiently diversified that it continues to survive).

CU on the new forum.

cheers,
"Adam" on ALLF
1 person has voted this message useful



kanewai
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/kanewai
Joined 3057 days ago

1386 posts - 3054 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Marshallese
Studies: Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 3 of 7
08 October 2015 at 9:42am | IP Logged 
I can relate so much to this post.

There have been a couple forums that have been important to me over the years. Some were
focused on silly pop culture stuff, some were deeper - but they all had a strong sense of
community. One imploded after a lot of infighting, two were bought out by corporate
interests, and one was on yahoo groups ... and who knows what went wrong with yahoo. Or
Yahoo! And now HTLAL is fading fast.

It always feels like a forum disappears. I can find occasional snippets on wayback, but
it's not the same as an active forum.

And I'm feeling like an exile at the moment. I don't have a home computer (I keep blowing
all my extra money on travel, and that's not going to change soon), I can't access the new
forum at work, and there are no more internet cafes. It's like all my buddies moved to a
new country, and I can't get a visa.
1 person has voted this message useful



iguanamon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 3430 days ago

2224 posts - 6708 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole

 
 Message 4 of 7
08 October 2015 at 5:01pm | IP Logged 
Kanewai, we miss you. Try this for a visa: free proxy server list. It's a bit more of a hassle, you will have to copy and paste the url into a proxy server. Cookies and forum preferences won't work, but you should be able to access it via a proxy server from work.

Edited by iguanamon on 08 October 2015 at 5:02pm

3 persons have voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4765 days ago

9753 posts - 15776 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 5 of 7
09 October 2015 at 3:20am | IP Logged 
You can consider getting an inexpensive tablet :-) It has language learning benefits too ;)
(I don't have one btw :D)
1 person has voted this message useful



kanewai
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/kanewai
Joined 3057 days ago

1386 posts - 3054 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Marshallese
Studies: Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 6 of 7
09 October 2015 at 9:32pm | IP Logged 
I can watch the forum on a proxy server (or even better - using google translate!), but
I haven't figured out how to log-in over a proxy. I'm still working on out-smarting the
system!

I actually do use a tablet at home, which I like a lot. It's ok for writing quick
posts, but not so good for long posts or discussions.
1 person has voted this message useful



cords05
Diglot
Newbie
United Kingdom
Joined 1508 days ago

15 posts - 20 votes
Speaks: English, Swedish*
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 7 of 7
11 October 2015 at 1:57pm | IP Logged 
I was active on this site some years back and recall a fairly big exodus of people who got banned or dissatisfied and started an alternative forum. Can't recall what it was called. I registered but was never very active there. Can't recall precisely what the issue was, or why these people got banned. I think one reason was a sudden and big influx of new Mods, some of whom got a bit overzealous.

Personally I disliked the premium member setup here, and got irritated on the huge bias or exceptionalism towards English and native English speakers. I decided to scale down my participation when I felt I had started ranting, snapping at people, and constantly being irritated at some of the modding.

Technically, this forum is very outdated - it's using software that is well upwards of 10 years old. Average lifetime and supportability of software solutions is 5-7 years. Unless regular backups are taken, and unless backwards compatibility remains for the forum software, the forum will sooner or later stop working, and/or the effort of maintaining it will be more than the Admin is prepared to spend.

It's actually not that difficult to set up a forum. I run a forum for about a year. Depending on how "fancy" you want it, it's between a few days and a few weeks to set it up properly. It's a labour of love though - probably almost impossible to make money off a forum. Or it takes a year or so until it breaks even - assuming you don't shy away from ads, asking for donations or both.

This forum has become a valuable repository of language learning information. It would be very tragic if all the accumulated information here was lot.



1 person has voted this message useful



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