We had discussion forums in place from day one of the NL Planet website and they were originally part of our even older Haarlem Shuffle site, where they were mainly used by local, Haarlem expats to arrange meetings and get-togethers.
We have noticed the gradual erosion of such expat forums here in Holland, much of which can probably be put down to the increasing use of other online networking software. There are still some thriving expat forums it is true, but these are more the exception than the rule. We have lost count of the amount of such forum start-ups here in Holland which were nowhere to be found only a couple of months down the road.
And so our forums suffered the same fate: in their latter days, there were not enough expats willing to take part in the discussions to justify the expense and effort involved in maintaining the forums to the standards we set ourselves.
The forums were set to ‘read-only’ at the end of 2009 so visitors could still search the content for useful contributions which might help them. However, it is now six months later and the information left on the forums was inevitably becoming less and less relevant and up-to-date. And so the final, painful decision was made to delete the forums from our server.
The upside for us is that we no longer have to worry about updating and maintaining the forum software or monitoring possible spammers and spambots. The downsides are in the main sentimental as we could not maintain the forums for such a long span of time without missing them now.
We would like to thank all participating members for their posts over the years and would point them now in the direction of this NL Planet Blog section where they may, if they wish, submit new material as authors or comment on the various articles they will find there. We are always on the look-out for fresh blood here and as long as all material submitted has to do with Holland or the Dutch way of life, it will be considered.
We look forward to seeing you all here in future!