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What is the future of the forum after we join the MoneySupermarket group?
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# 1
MSE Martin
Old 03-06-2012, 1:17 PM
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Default What is the future of the forum after we join the MoneySupermarket group?

I thought it worth explaining a few things to forum users. I know proposed changes to the site are often received with scepticism and worry, as this is a home for many of you. I’ve read posts and want to put your minds at rest with the following note...

First, if you haven’t already, please read What it means for MSE? & the news story as many questions being asked are answered in those
  • The forum stays as is. Barring hopefully better technology & resources in the long run, there are no plans to change the forum at all. The Moneysupermarket group are very happy for it to stay as is.

    Yet just so you know that this is nailed down, we ensured that in the Editorial Code there is a clause specifying just this…

    4. MoneySavingExpert.com’s forum shall continue to be operated in a manner consistent with current practice for the benefit of “helping the consumer” first. MoneySavingExpert.com’s Editor-in-Chief shall control the website’s forum strategy.

    And for at least the next three years (and probably beyond) I am the Editor in Chief
  • The Editorial Code isn’t a flim-flam PR document. The Editorial Code is a legally binding part of the conditions of sale, and when the deal completes it will be enforceable with penalties if it is breached

    In a nutshell it guarantees

    - The site will continue to operate editorially independently and with content free from commercial concerns

    - We do not have to favour MSM content in any way, nor include it unless it's best (as we already would do), we are free to say “it's crap” if it's crap

    - MSE users data remains under its data protection policy and won’t be used for by the rest of MSM group.

    Do read it, it really does show how it’ll work, and took an enormous amount of time and discussion to get right and legally safe. Please read exactly what it means for the main site here… http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/new...ermarket-group
  • While regular forumites are only a small fraction of site users, we still care!

    The truth is very few regular forum users ever venture over to the main site (though you’re 10 times as vocal ) and this deal is focused on the main site.

    The forum is free and will remain so, even though it is a large net cost to the rest of the site. Yet we’ve ensured the forum is still going to be treated with the reverence it's due going forward, I’m very proud of it and we all want to keep developing it and trying to make it easier to use, and encourage more people to it.
  • This deal is what will secure the site’s future.

    The most important thing to understand is that the option of 'no change' has never been on the cards. I've been doing this for ten years, at 70 or 80 hours a week and can’t keep up this pace forever, and have other aspirations (I want to do more back end policy work). Running a website of this size is more than a full time job.

    I wanted to find a way to gradually stop the site being reliant on me running it as it is right now, and to secure its future in the long term. Of course, the financial gain of the deal to me, my family, staff and charity is important too

    Having spent years examining my options, this was by far the best. MoneySupermarket isn't a bank or an insurer, it's a price comparison site, its stated aim is similar to ours, though it's far more commercial in outlook. Yet they get what makes MSE such a powerful and important site is it's lack of that full blown commerciality and the last thing they're aiming to do is change that.

    The main logic of this deal for them is about securing their income as prime provider of click links for us (ie when we go with a * link to First Direct, you just go to FD, but the link is tracked via MSM). This isn't about getting us to link to their comparisons - if they aren't the best then that would be a breach of the Editorial Code, so won't be happening.

    Then using their expertise in Search Engine Optimisation and navigation we hope they’ll help us get more people using the site, and more people engaged in it. They’re not coming to tell us what to say (heaven forbid) but to tell us how to enable more people to read what we say, more effectively.
  • · I'm not going anywhere. After completion I will still remain in complete charge of the site. I didnt do this to destroy what i've built, I did it to let it keep flourishing.

    Even after the three years we both aim that I’ll continue to be involved, and possibly still keep my name above the door – and you can be assured I will only do that as long as MSM keeps up its side of the bargain of protecting the site's ethos. I genuinely believe it has no plans to change that.

    The alternative to this was selling on the open market, and flogged it with no safeguards at all for the site, with no Editorial Code. That was the furthest thing from my mind.

    In fact, we have even agreed that the future payment won’t be based on financial measures. Instead I’m being incentivised to grow the site in terms of clicks and traffic, grow engagement and increase trust in it – those are the measurements.

    That means all the changes people are worried may happen, I’m actually rewarded NOT to do.

    I understand that forumites in particular are sceptical of commercial motivations – and that’s something I’m proud of, so I can't be annoyed about that, even if I do hope you'd trust me in this.

    So let me ask you, instead of supposition please let the proof of the pudding be in the eating. Let us prove to you that this is good news for MoneySavingExpert.com or at worst there will be no change.
Martin
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

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# 2
louby_lou
Old 03-06-2012, 1:28 PM
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I plan to stay - yes I have concerns beyond the 3 year mark but time will tell.

Well done Martin.
* MFW by 2020 *
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# 3
Tigsteroonie
Old 03-06-2012, 1:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSE Martin View Post
  • The forum stays as is.
    4. MoneySavingExpert.com’s forum shall continue to be operated in a manner consistent with current practice for the benefit of “helping the consumer” first.
Hi Martin

Do you foresee any impact on the MSE Arms and/or Discussion Time which are not particularly aimed at helping the consumer but which help to sustain the community feel of the Forum?

You have always commented that these two areas take a lot of resourcing, are MSM prepared to continue that resource?
Mrs Marleyboy

MSE: many of the benefits of a helpful family, without disadvantages like having to compete for the tv remote

The only way is UP!

Last edited by Tigsteroonie; 03-06-2012 at 1:44 PM.
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# 4
Fifer
Old 03-06-2012, 1:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSE Martin View Post
The truth is very few regular forum users ever venture over to the main site
Sorry Martin, did that come out wrong? Very few forum regulars ever venture over to the main site? I find that astonishing.

On the code of conduct, I'm sure that it was negotiated with the very best of intentions, but my experience of large commercial entities taking over more specialist companies is that such agreements rarely have the effect intended in the medium to long term. At some point, the editor-in-chief will change and the successor may not have the same objectives and values. No one can blame you for taking the fruits of your efforts (and on that I congratulate you), but you can understand people's concerns for how it affects them personally.

I really do hope it does work and that MSE will be the exception to the rule, but as a self-confessed cynical Scot, I hae ma doots.
There's love in this world for everyone. Every rascal and son of a gun.
It's for the many and not the few. Be sure it's out there looking for you.
In every town, in every state. In every house and every gate.
Wth every precious smile you make. And every act of kindness.
Micheal Marra, 1952 - 2012

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# 5
Penny-Pincher!!
Old 03-06-2012, 1:41 PM
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Hi Martin!

I won't be going anywhere, but in 3 years time, I will see what happens and as you say, the proof is in the pudding. Ive been a member for a long time and MSE has got me through many rough times with valuable support from other members.

Im sure everything will be fine.

PP
xx
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requires brains!
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# 6
freyasmum
Old 03-06-2012, 1:42 PM
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It's amusing reading all the what? How could he? threads... anyone who says they wouldn't have done the same is lying.

Congratulations on MiniMSE
*~*~* With minx on her fingers and gels on her toes, *~*~*
~*~*~ She shall have beauty wherever she goes ~*~*~


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# 7
Penny-Pincher!!
Old 03-06-2012, 1:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freyasmum View Post
It's amusing reading all the what? How could he? threads... anyone who says they wouldn't have done the same is lying.

Congratulations on MiniMSE
Its just jealousy really isn't it. Whats really upset me today is a few posts about Martins wife, so Ive reported them. Some people are just so horrid.

PP
xx
To repeat what others have said, requires education, to challenge it,
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# 8
Belnahua
Old 03-06-2012, 1:51 PM
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Never have and never will trust Martin Lewis, and this really just proves why.

He's not a nice person, he's only bothered about himself and no one else. And yes I do know.
A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.
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# 9
jimexbox
Old 03-06-2012, 1:53 PM
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The only thing is Ive worked for two firms that have been bought out, Ive heard the platitudes first hand how nothing will change, our jobs are safe, the agreement is water tight signed in blood by all concerned.

As soon as the dust has settled and every has slipped back in the routine, the new owner does exactly what they want. Agreements are shredded and told if you don't like there's the door. Want to fight it out in court? Those with the deepest pocket can drag it out for years.

Sorry to be cynical Martin, and I do wish you the best, its just personal experience has taught me harsh lessons.
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# 10
barmonkey
Old 03-06-2012, 1:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifer View Post
Sorry Martin, did that come out wrong? Very few forum regulars ever venture over to the main site? I find that astonishing.

Ive been on here for nearly 8 years anf i think i've been on the main site twice ever.
WWSD

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# 11
fuddle
Old 03-06-2012, 1:55 PM
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Thank you for this. The forum part of MSE has helped me in more ways than just financial, it's educated me and I know the good people on here will help me out with whatever problem comes my way.

That is what you have built up here Martin, a platform that we all use and help out on. I've said elsewhere that I don't give two hoots who owns what or who is making money - just as long as this invaluable platform can remain.

I don't use the main site, I have visited but don't frequent. I read the news with an extremely heavy heart but Martin hun well done. The boy did good
Sometimes on the way to the dream, you get lost and find a better one.

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# 12
Fifer
Old 03-06-2012, 1:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barmonkey View Post
Ive been on here for nearly 8 years anf i think i've been on the main site twice ever.
I'd think that would place you in a minority of forumites, but maybe I'm wrong.
There's love in this world for everyone. Every rascal and son of a gun.
It's for the many and not the few. Be sure it's out there looking for you.
In every town, in every state. In every house and every gate.
Wth every precious smile you make. And every act of kindness.
Micheal Marra, 1952 - 2012

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# 13
jimexbox
Old 03-06-2012, 1:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barmonkey View Post
Ive been on here for nearly 8 years anf i think i've been on the main site twice ever.
Case closed then. Where are the rolls eyes?
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# 14
Fifer
Old 03-06-2012, 1:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimexbox View Post
The only thing is Ive worked for two firms that have been bought out, Ive heard the platitudes first hand how nothing will change, our jobs are safe, the agreement is water tight signed in blood by all concerned.

As soon as the dust has settled and every has slipped back in the routine, the new owner does exactly what they want. Agreements are shredded and told if you don't like there's the door. Want to fight it out in court? Those with the deepest pocket can drag it out for years.

Sorry to be cynical Martin, and I do wish you the best, its just personal experience has taught me harsh lessons.
That's been my experience jim, from companies I've worked for, companies I know of and of internet forums I've been involved in.
There's love in this world for everyone. Every rascal and son of a gun.
It's for the many and not the few. Be sure it's out there looking for you.
In every town, in every state. In every house and every gate.
Wth every precious smile you make. And every act of kindness.
Micheal Marra, 1952 - 2012

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# 15
Edinburghlass
Old 03-06-2012, 1:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifer View Post
Sorry Martin, did that come out wrong? Very few forum regulars ever venture over to the main site? I find that astonishing.

On the code of conduct, I'm sure that it was negotiated with the very best of intentions, but my experience of large commercial entities taking over more specialist companies is that such agreements rarely have the effect intended in the medium to long term. At some point, the editor-in-chief will change and the successor may not have the same objectives and values. No one can blame you for taking the fruits of your efforts (and on that I congratulate you), but you can understand people's concerns for how it affects them personally.

I really do hope it does work and that MSE will be the exception to the rule, but as a self-confessed cynical Scot, I hae ma doots.
True I'm afraid and always has been, I've spent many years pointing people towards the Main Site and equally its a fairly small small number of users of the Main Site who realise the forum is here.
Martin has asked me to tell you that I'm the Board Guide of the Telephones, Reclaim Bank Charges, Silver Savers and Scotland boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Board guides don't deal with this. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
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# 16
1echidna
Old 03-06-2012, 2:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifer View Post
Sorry Martin, did that come out wrong? Very few forum regulars ever venture over to the main site? I find that astonishing.

On the code of conduct, I'm sure that it was negotiated with the very best of intentions, but my experience of large commercial entities taking over more specialist companies is that such agreements rarely have the effect intended in the medium to long term. At some point, the editor-in-chief will change and the successor may not have the same objectives and values. No one can blame you for taking the fruits of your efforts (and on that I congratulate you), but you can understand people's concerns for how it affects them personally.

I really do hope it does work and that MSE will be the exception to the rule, but as a self-confessed cynical Scot, I hae ma doots.
We're doomed I tell ya, we're doomed.
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# 17
1echidna
Old 03-06-2012, 2:02 PM
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Scepticism always wins out unless proved wrong by events.
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# 18
Fifer
Old 03-06-2012, 2:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edinburghlass View Post
True I'm afraid and always has been, I've spent many years pointing people towards the Main Site and equally its a fairly small small number of users of the Main Site who realise the forum is here.
I'm truly astonished Edilass. I can understand forumites being in the minority of main site users and being the less frequent users (after all, much of the information on the main site comes from os is replicated in the forums) but that MOST forumites NEVER, EVER visit the main site? My flabber is well and truly gasted. How do they find out about the forums to join?
There's love in this world for everyone. Every rascal and son of a gun.
It's for the many and not the few. Be sure it's out there looking for you.
In every town, in every state. In every house and every gate.
Wth every precious smile you make. And every act of kindness.
Micheal Marra, 1952 - 2012

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# 19
Edinburghlass
Old 03-06-2012, 2:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifer View Post
I'm truly astonished Edilass. I can understand forumites being in the minority of main site users and being the less frequent users (after all, much of the information on the main site comes from os is replicated in the forums) but that MOST forumites NEVER, EVER visit the main site? My flabber is well and truly gasted. How do they find out about the forums to join?
Usually due to a freebie being linked in the weekly email
Martin has asked me to tell you that I'm the Board Guide of the Telephones, Reclaim Bank Charges, Silver Savers and Scotland boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Board guides don't deal with this. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
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# 20
barmonkey
Old 03-06-2012, 2:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimexbox View Post
Case closed then. Where are the rolls eyes?
just stating a fact in response to a question, no need for sarcasm
WWSD

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