Korat-Farang.com

And then there was one

Coolkorat · 13 · 420

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Offline Coolkorat

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It seems like K-F is now the last Korat expat forum standing (in English). Perhaps a good time to look back at what has been:

- Grumpy Expat. Long gone. I always thought the domain had potential; clearly others think so given the price being asked for it:

- Korat Weekends (http://korat-weekends.blogspot.com/). I don't know who was writing this - clearly someone Thai. Wish they had continued.

- Koratfart.com. Now defunct.

- Korat Info. Seems to be still up and running http://korat-info.com/forum/index.php?sid=7a94d77d727789fa9a4dd9070dd07b55

- Isaan.com (https://isaan.com/). Seb has injected new life into this. As some may know, Seb has sold Isaan Lawyers and is planning to relocate/ become a digital nomad. The forum element has been removed. worth noting; Seb has been very helpful with his thoughts and ideas regarding various investment opportunities and we have discussed various technical aspects of both global and SE Asia markets.

- Mike Newman (https://buadhai.blogspot.com/). I enjoy Mike's posts, perhaps because sports diving is something that interests me. I think his posts about travelling from Europe to Asia are astonishing and worthy of a book. It would be great to hear more from Mike but I think he's done with forums.

There are also sections on Teak Door etc. that cover Isaan and even they are more dynamic than K-F.

It is the Facebook stats that are eye-opening:

- Charlie Crowson's Expats in Korat - 9.9k members.
- The Isaan Farang - 12.3k members
- Expats in Isaan (started by Seb but with new admin)- 5.9k members
- Bangkok Expats - 81.9k members
- Bangkok Photographers - 5.8k members

In a numbers game Facebook wins!

Are there any benefits K-F could explore to give greater value to the forum? An easy membership route to Oriental Club or East India Club for example (and particularly check the reciprocal club element)? I'm going to suggest Charlie C really thinks about membership of the FCC (https://www.fccthai.com/) - he has plenty to contribute.

Please let me know what you think. We have to move forwards. Staying as we are simply isn't an option.
 





Online caller

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I am a member of expats in isaan on fb. Have been for a long time. Despite the high membership, its not really that busy. A few posts per day and from a small number of regular contributors. Well modded. New members come on to ask questions and then generally fade into the background. I hang around for the same reason I do here. I visited Korat from 2005 and lived in Korat from 2014,  and until recently my other half owned a house in Korat and for about 14 years worked in Korat, although originally from Khon Kaen, which is another reason to hang around on the Isaan fb page. The other year I was hosting family and friends for a Christmas Eve meal in Khon Kaen, when I realised no mince pies would be available - shock, horror! A quick post on the fb page and I was directed to an American producer and a few hours later, I had enough mince pies for the evening and the hotel was happy to serve them to my guests with cream. 

Mike Newman is a member of the Hua Hin forum, as am I. He is an 'irregular' regular contributor. Writes interesting posts about the local area, cycling routes etc, Cha am eating places and beer! I have been on there since 2005, I think. I first visited Hua Hin in 2000, on my way back to the UK, having spent the millenium in Oz.

I followed his travel 'blogs' on various forums and always admired his photos and writing. He doesn't really do those any more.

As for KF, I think the first thing to address, is how to increase the membership? And if that isn't possible, then you have to consider throwing in the towel. What you can get from forums and not fb, is continuity, a depositry of knowledge and wealth of experience, all stored and available to tap into with a simple search facility. Fb is very much here today and gone tomorrow. It's all throwaway stuff, even the good stuff  as it disappears into the ether (unless you save it) and you have to scroll deeper and deeper to find older material. It's a hassle.

In Hua Hin, the membership of the forum has declined, but it still does get new blood, albeit not as frequently as before. Hua Hin is a tourist town, albeit a mainly Thai tourist town, and the decline of international tourism has had an effect on the forum.

Korat is a town of spread out farangs with no obvious centre or meeting points, apart from Malls, it always seemed to me. I know that years ago, people would say Joho was where most farangs are based, but I don't believe that is the case any more. Somehow you need to reach our to the farang diaspora. Years ago on the Hua Hin forum, when it was actually called Hua Hin after dark, and the name change reflected the change in the profiles using the forum and what they wanted from a forum (something to think about?), what they did was create a load of stickers advertising the forum and stuck them all over the place, on cisterns in bar toilets, to wherever, and then ask people to provide feedback as to where they had been seen, as well as pics. It was great fun. Not sure if that is possible in Korat? Things did seem 'lighter' a few years back.

Anyway, just some ramblings.


Online Hector

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Interesting posts about the Forum: CK says: “We have to move forwards. Staying as we are simply isn't an option.”  Caller says: “As for KF, I think the first thing to address, is how to increase the membership? And if that isn't possible, then you have to consider throwing in the towel.”  Food for thought there, to be sure!
The question of what to do with the Forum and how to get more contributions, members etc comes up every year or two and will no doubt continue to do so until its ultimate demise.  A Forum is a bit like a newspaper and both have their serial posters/letter writers, which is fine as without them neither would flourish, but both also cater to those who feel they have something to say.  Those who wish to post or comment on KF can do do pretty freely in my view.  The problems of how to get more members and, more importantly,  how do you persuade the occasional or non-contributor to post are almost impossible to solve.  I am not sure that you can.
KF has a number of topic areas, in general:
*  Topics of interest to us all especially immigration matters.
*  Information on what's on, where to go and where you can get x or y.
*  World issues - of intense interest to some and average interest to most of us.  Good outlet for some to express opinions.
*  Thailand issues -of interest to probably all of us.  Eg election, politics in general, money, housing, traffic etc.
*  Personal hobby-horses which some people like to bang on about in the expectation that others are interested - some are, of course, so good steam blow-off valve!
It's a very good and comprehensive list, even if the serial posters tend to concentrate, quite naturally, on the news/discussions topics, many of which become talking shops between just a few people – no problem there.
KF is still 'nice to have' even if it is dominated by a few, who use it as a local soapbox and if 'the few' weren't there, the Forum would be dead in the water.  But like many others, I post on it only when I have something to ask or say.  I think KF will probably stagger on much as it is for the foreseeable future with or without new members if it can. In my view it will be a pity if it dies, but maybe that's changing times.


Offline Coolkorat

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Many thanks Caller and Hector. Both very considered and thoughtful comments.

Ten years ago there was a thread on Teak Door about infighting between the forums in Korat: it was a very polarised time and there was considerable nastiness and clashes. I am sure we are all very glad those times have gone.

Hector; you're right. The issue of the forum does crop up regularly. It is very low maintenance in terms of administration; apart from occasionally updating the underlying software there is nothing to do: the spam filters keep most of the junk out. It is interesting to see mention of the Hua Hin forum also. Someone has suggested 'merging' K-F with HHF and it might be worth having the discussion with them. If anyone knows the owners/ admin personally (and if everyone is in agreement) then it might be an option if they are up for it.

The sticker idea is a really good one! I always enjoyed the 'Where's Hippo' thread, and the Mystery Photo is the most interesting part of the increasingly dull Stickman Weekly column. Something different would be very interesting (and it would be possible to include a QR code to leverage technology).


Online caller

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The Hua Hin forum obviously has sections for Hua Hin only, right down to tthe weather! But there are definitely many posts about life in Thailand in general and obviously covid.

Here are the top ten topics from 'new posts' right now:

-Inter-provincial buses forced to axe routes
-The beer thread
-Weather in Hua Hin & Thailand
-90 day reporting
-Renewing a UK passport in Thailand
-Air Canada launches 1st direct flight from Nth America to Thailand in 10 years
-Amazing nature
-Hong Kongs iconic floating restaurant towed away (it has now sunk)
-Which mobile phone
-Covid 19 news (Thailand & SE Asia only) Note, there is a separate thread for HH only as well as for the ROW.

In all, 14 theads have had new posts added today.

However, I am surprised someone has suggested considering a merger with HHF (even if one of the old mods now lives south of Korat) and another regular lives in Korat itself)!

Wouldn't checking out other local forums be a better option, such as in Buriram and other local-ish cities, like Khon Kaen, Surun and so on?

However, I do know the people behind HHF even if I haven't met them for a long time. Interestingly, they just put out feelers about funding to keep the forum going, which received an overall positive response.   
« Last Edit: June 21, 2022, 04:11:22 PM by caller »


Online Roger

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Hi CK. I was sad to see this topic come up again as I thought we were settled for another year.

When I joined K-F some years ago, there were a handful of regular posters who have drifted away moreorless now, (Alfie, Anton, Caller come to mind) - it was not unusual then to see some fractious feeling around. Later 'Thaiger' tried to contribute but was not kindly received, neither was 'Baby F' as I recall. Etc. So it's quiet.

However I would add the K-F seems to be a good natured place these days so that's a step forward.

For me the 'quiet' it's just inevitable as Facebook, Twitter, 24 hour news on Smart TV etc. have developed.

Re. my own part in it as a regular poster some comments :-

1. I do care passionately about some of the matters I post about and I don't apologise for that. It's not 'soapbox' and if no discussion ensues, that's not my fault.

2. Maybe it's a good idea not just to initiate posts but to reply to others - whilst all have a perfect right NOT to reply of course.

3. IMO the K-F has been helpful to many with questions and answers over the years. Sad to see helpful replies slow to emerge sometimes - I usually wait some time so someone else can have a go, as often, I do seem to be the only one posting.

4. I think the K-F may be reaching more than you think. E.g. Scancell cancer vaccines. Over some years of posting about that, I doubt I've had more than 2 replies - yet views are 24,574 to date.

Particular thanks should go to Jivvy, TW, Teess, Eagle and all the regular posters and yourself of course.

Sorry CK if members are not interested in replying K-F will stay quiet. But it's not the fault on those who do post regularly and it doesn't help when some demean those who do post..

Caller a helpful post and we miss you. CK if you have to let K-F go, there's always 'Asean' - an Isaan section on there. ATB Guys and Waterheart !
« Last Edit: June 21, 2022, 10:10:35 PM by Roger »
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online caller

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Caller a helpful post and we miss you.

Thanks Roger, but I haven't gone anywhere.  I still visit Korat and enjoy such visits more than I did living in Korat, well after the 1st year of living there anyway. But my other half still has a managerial role there and I tend to tag along when she has to visit. We were there just before Songkran and went out for an evening meal with her colleagues. They became friends during my time there and we shared lots of days out, parties and what not, including a couple of great weekends away with the whole office.


Online Hector

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I think the fact that a mere three people have replied to the initial post that there is a danger that a lack of interest may well secure the demise of KF, is pretty indicative of the Forum as a whole.  Without reasonably active members and with only a few 'serial' posters, I don't see how any Forum can survive.  But even in these times of Facebook, Twitter etc there is a place for a Forum like KF, particularly for those who are not on any social media.  Personally, I like the idea than I can – if I wish - post about or reply to a subject that interests me or that I can ask for local advice.  If KF didn't exist I suppose one alternative might be the awful “ASEAN Now” if one was prepared to wade through all the rubbish and junk posts!
So how to get more members and how to get more contributors?  It may well be that many newcomers don't know that KF exists.  What sort of advertising can one do to remedy this?  Word of mouth is about the only think I can think of I'm afraid.  As for contributions to discussion, once again, “you can take a horse to water......”
I regret to say this, CK, but I really don't believe there is a lot than one can do to breathe new life into a moribund media outlet, be it a newspaper, magazine or Forum.  I hope that KF can survive and I make sure that my contacts know about it, but apart from that and a vague promise to post more often, I don't think there is a lot more I can do.
PS.  So come on guys and gals.....(stand fast CK, Caller and Roger) …...what about some thoughts from the rest of you?!


Online Robert

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I check the forum on a daily basis and read the articles I like. At this time no new contributions from me because as I am getting older (76 now) time really slows down. Having said that maybe coming week quick trip to Loei necessary  ;D ;D ;D.

I for sure would miss this forum if it stops existing. Like Hector mentioned always nice to be able to ask the locals.

Have a nice day.


Online sfs

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I am the same as you Robert, check the forum everyday but have little to post.

However hopefully this will all be changing at the end of July as we will be moving from the UK to Korat permanantly. So I am sure there will be lots of questions from me and also some posiitve contributions too.
If at first you don't succeed you are clearly not cut out for it. Give up and move on.


Online jivvy

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I also check the forum daily and occasionally post, usually something of a lighthearted nature , I rarely reply to posts, especially if they could be contentious. I am 81 now and do not want to engage in differences of opinion with others, especially as in the past this has led to active members leaving {i.e Tiggs/Thaiga}
I think a special thank you should go to Eagle 3 who posts on a daily basis.
I am a member of Buriram expats which also seems as dead as a Dodo for topic posting, but they do have a 'shoutbox' which is used for one offs and quick messages (and insults) to other members. Maybe something like that on here would be useful???
« Last Edit: June 27, 2022, 10:25:11 AM by jivvy »
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Online Eagle 3

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I have the forum open in a tab on my browser, so I look at it all the time. I would hate to see the forum go away since there is no good alternative. If it's a matter of money to pay for the hosting, myself and I'm sure other members would be happy to contribute.
I can't believe I'm the same age as old people.


Online Roger

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Jivvy - everyone is different  8)  IMO a 'shoutbox' on here would be a bad idea - K-F has the merit of being a reasoned and polite (if quiet) place. That Buriram forum sounds awful and I would personally not go there. BTW I always read your posts and I'm sure others do too.

It was a shame when we lost 'Thaiger' again but the issue went back to the past I think. Regrettable though as he would have been a regular poster. I think CK is in touch with him - perhaps CK might invite him back ?

Eagle yes I'd be happy to contribute to the costs of keeping K-F going.

SFS - good luck with the move, and as for posting, no time like the present  ;)
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein