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  • FIRST POST
    MSE Martin
    What is the future of the forum after we join the MoneySupermarket group?
    • #1
    • 3rd Jun 12, 1:17 PM
    What is the future of the forum after we join the MoneySupermarket group? 3rd Jun 12 at 1:17 PM
    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. Iíve read posts and want to put your minds at rest with the following note...

    First, if you havenít 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 thisÖ

      4. MoneySavingExpert.comís forum shall continue to be operated in a manner consistent with current practice for the benefit of ďhelping the consumerĒ first. MoneySavingExpert.comís Editor-in-Chief shall control the websiteís forum strategy.

      And for at least the next three years (and probably beyond) I am the Editor in Chief
    • The Editorial Code isnít 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 ďit's crapĒ if it's crap

      - MSE users data remains under its data protection policy and wonít be used for by the rest of MSM group.

      Do read it, it really does show how itíll 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 hereÖ http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/site/2012/06/martin-lewis-on-moneysavingexpertcom-joining-the-moneysupermarket-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 youíre 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 weíve ensured the forum is still going to be treated with the reverence it's due going forward, Iím 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 siteís 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 canít 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 theyíll help us get more people using the site, and more people engaged in it. Theyíre 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 Iíll continue to be involved, and possibly still keep my name above the door Ė 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 wonít be based on financial measures. Instead Iím being incentivised to grow the site in terms of clicks and traffic, grow engagement and increase trust in it Ė those are the measurements.

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

      I understand that forumites in particular are sceptical of commercial motivations Ė and thatís something Iím 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.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
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