This used to be a lively place where people under the cover of anonymity used to drop in to browse, impart some pearls of wisdom , answer some queries and generally not take themselves too seriously recognising the sometimes ridiculous situation that secondary transfer had placed them in.
Now by being forced to register the spontaniety has gone, it's all a bit too premeditated. I am sure that there are lots of very earnest reasons why a person should register but what was a secret pleasure has become something else. I don't want to have identifiable conversations with others, sometimes I want to help, other times to elicit information or maybe to offer a sanity check for some correspondents who have lost the run of themselves.
I feel it's all at an end and this will become a moribund place losing that spark that once made it a great forum.
I'm glad that you have registered, despite your reservations! Don't give up on us so soon.
January always tends to be a rather serious month on the Forum, so please look at things in that context. Appeals is busy with worried parents from Bucks, some children in other areas are taking 11 plus tests this month, the results and school allocations are still quite a few weeks away, it's dull, dark and wet outside, everyone's struggling to keep their New Year's resolution ...
As a Mod (and long-time Forum member, of course) I don't miss:
- the unutterably filthy spam that managed to sneak past our defences (there has not been one single spam message since the change)
- the snide posts by people who hid behind their invisibility cloaks
- the outbreaks of rudeness and personal attacks by "Guests" with no discernable manners to merit that title
- the posts by people determined to undermine this site
- the endless, indecipherable debates between "Guest" and "Guest".
It was a really hard decision to take and it was on the table for a very long time indeed. In the end, this was one of the few remaining internet forums to allow unregistered guests to post - at least in the Mods/Forum Admin's combined experience. The world had moved on in 2 years and, for all the reasons I have mentioned, we finally agreed that the change should be made.
There have been 119 new members since we announced the change, and most of them have made one or more posts. 119 new members, 119 different opinions - the fun and games will return once the January blues have gone, I am sure, but without some of the more unpleasant aspects.
As for your secret pleasure? Well, there's not much I can do about that, but I highly recommend chocolate. If you haven't given it up for 2008, that is.