What is happening with the ITALY Community site?

05/18/2013 - 20:14

Hello all - this is our first post on the ITALY Community site smiley!ITALY magazine has been going through some very significant changes lately - and much more is yet to come.Part of it has been overhauling the community site to provide better focus and more utility. We do apologize if in this transition the site was left in a bit of a state. A certain launch button was pressed a bit too early, but we are on our way to recover with the intended functionality.ITALY Community started out as a forum many many years ago with varying degrees of success and, as we understand, a fair bit of excitement as well wink. Nowadays, the web is a very different place with tools such as Facebook and Twitter really substituting the social aspect that was traditionally managed by individual sites. It is no wonder that our Facebook page  - http://www.facebook.com/ItalyMagazine - has over 27000 followers, actively commenting stories every day.So what future can a community site have? We believe that the real value of the ITALY Community is to be found in the wealth of information available in its archives and in the willingess of the readers of ITALY to share with others information about Italy.As such, after some long hours of discussion we decided to change direction. Rather than trying to be traditional forum we will focus on making it as easy as possible to ask questions about Italy and get answers. We've cut down on features that were not used by the overwhelming majority - such as Groups, private messages, etc and will just focus on facilitating straighforward questions and answers.In the process we hope you, as we, will enjoy learning more.We know that there is much yet to do and that not everyone may agree with the direction. If you don't agree we hope you will occasionaly check back in. There should always be interesting tidbits of information to discover!In the meantime, why not check out our seach page - http://www.italymagazine.com/answers/search - it has never been easier to get to all the wealth of information the ITALY community has created. We even included the archives of the very old forum!Now, we will get back to making this the easiest and best way to ask a question and share information about Italy.---PS: If any existing member needs access to their Private Message or Group Posts from the old site - please let us know. We would be happy to zip them and pass them on.


Ciao e tutti,As a long-time fan of the community I think it would be a shame to all lose touch. I have found this place to be very useful & interesting.Perhaps we subscribers (past & present) should take ourselves off somewhere else. Do we have, or can we get a full list of emails for everyone?Pip pip

Ciao a tutti.I have found http://tuttoitaly.com/community to be a good resource for Italy. It's a shame that italymag thinks that internet communities only resolves around Facebook and Twitter. Times for forums have changed but they still have a use.

I have looked in there now and again but have never been drawn to join.This community has a lot of interest from all over Italy not just Abruzzo. I find it refreshing to hear from all corners of Italy and find it a sad thing that what was called "the community" will be no more. What can be done? 

I can only hope that the current Admin will reconsider its position, although I fear that the damage has already been done. I agree with Badger, Facebook or Twitter do not fulfill the same role as the Forum/Community/Piazza or whatever you want to call it. And the PMs have always been a very important communication tool. I have made many friends from different countries and backgrounds over some 7 years and I have enjoyed sharing information and even having a few arguments. BUt that is what a Forum is all about. It is neither Twitter, nor Facebook, it is a different and more personal way of communicating that some, perhaps many of us still enjoy. Time to migrate, perhaps??? I would hate the idea... 

Great to hear of how useful the ITALY Magazine site has been for many and remeber we are not going anywhere smiley We are simply shifting focus from trying to be a generalized forum/community site to a site specific to answers & questions about Italy, in the style of Yahoo Answers! or Quora. That still means people can interact with each other and connect. Also sounds like for quite a few people the ability to message each other is important and that is something we can certainly re-introduce.  

Most of the questions were virtualy always about Italy. Regular users on here would always post replies on specific questions. The first forum was the best, albeit there were a lot of battles, but you could just ignore them, then the community change lost a lot of regulars, with this Drupal. Now it seems you want to change everything again and to a even less interactive site. There was nothing wrong with the groups site, as it was specific to certain areas of interest.Would have been far more helpfull, if before the person pushed the button too early you had explained what you were going to change and asked for opinions, or set up a beta to see the reaction prior to launch.We don't want a site like Yahoo or even Quora, that I have never heard of and cant be bothered to even look up. Will not go on to facebook, as even that has lost a million UK subscribers in the past year and has poor security. 

What a shame. The forum has become very difficult to use and is so cumbersome.   I too, hope that the PM's come back.  We have made several friends through the Forum that we get together with when we're in Italy and having that option of contact was most helpful.Another site I sometimes use is:  http://www.expatsinitaly.com/  I know it is geared more to the US but some of you may be interested in checking it out.

Totally agree with you, Lisa. The PMs have been vital. I can only hope that they will be reinstated. And we lost quite a few contributors because of difficulties with the use of the site. All this can be easily fixed and will entice members to become more active. Groups are not needed, particularly those with a restricted membership. On the other hand, dividing contents according to topics is necessary. To sum it up, I would suggest the current Admin to take a close look at the old Forum. It worked. 

I don't really care what format is used, but the problem seems to be that all of the regular people are looking for somewhere else to go. And if it's just like Yahoo answers, there won't be any regulars as once a question has been asked and answered, that's it, job done, why come back on any regular basis for general interest.Not to mention that in most cases the quality of the questions asked and the answers given clearly demonstrates that Yahoo is populated with complete knobs.I am another who has joined Facebook and left (twice!) as I really, really didn't like it.I'm guessing that they simply want rid of this forum and want to stick to a traditional magazine approach with advertising. Perhaps they feel the forum doesn't draw enough footfall to the site to attract advertising revenue?

This is an opportunity for someone to create an easy use forum for persons who love italy, if anyone can be bothered!I can not be bothered to use much this forum. If many of people exit, the message may be received by the proprietors 

And I may add that the Forum has always plyed an important role in the promotion of Italy Mag throughout the years, considerably helping its revenue by generating more interest on what is advertised. I further agree in that Facebook is a bit of a flop and many people, like myself, come and go and are not particularly impressed by it. As for Yahoo answers... quite pathetic and does not favour interaction, which isexactly what a good Forum does. If Admin fils to see that... I would respectfully say that they are in the wrong business.

I too have not and will not join or use facebook, twitter or any of the other so called social networks. They are a serious identity security risk and not really geared to what this forum has been able to achieve. Whilst I have only occasionaly posted I do regularly follow many of the conversations with interest and was intending to become more active as I now have a bit more time. However, if it remains unwieldy and without PM facilities I shall, like many appear to be saying, withdraw and not bother. I have looked at a number of other forums and together with the Puglia Posse which is aimed at the Puglia region members, where I have a place, this site has been one of the best and most informative. That is largely down to a hard core of regular active contributors who are willing to spend time, effort and energy to provide help in areas where they *usually) have some knowledge or expertise. It would be a great shame to lose those people.  

What a shame - I've not been as active as I will be soon as I haven't had much to say!!  Having just returned from a long weekend in Italy where we've had confirmation that our restoration will start next month I know I'll have more to comment on/ask about as the move to Italy becomes a reality.  However for me it needs to be a forum where there's a connection to people - I've made "real" friends not just "virtual" ones on this forum - people who live 5km from where my future italian home is without the use of PM we never would have "connected"  a real shame.In terms of any other forums there's a new one which you might want to take a look at - I found it by doing a search - looks really new therefore no baggage but will need people to join it or it will be me as billy no mates! Here's the link http://italy.forumotion.com

I have just joined it. the new site......Well done Penny, you have helped us all over the years sorting out our problems.  Sorry Italy Mag, you have decided to drop a valuable  community member...Penny will be much missed but hopefully many of us will contribute to her new site.

This site is now miles better than the last version!That says more about how completely dire the previous one was, but on this one you are able to add attachments from your own computer - which is a godsend, that gallery rubbish was difficult and badly implemented, and we all know a picture is worth a thousand words.Another feature (very rare on other forum formats) is that an edited post appears at the top of the posts list. I can see that this might annoy regular visitors to the site if you happen to spot a typo when the post has alredy been up a week and choose to edit it - but it is a feature I very much like.The search facility roughly works - you can just type in (e.g.) roof or floors and get a lot of suggestions including entries from the original Italymag forum (though these have lost their authors), but unfortunately the search term initially returns the thread header, rather than the post body, and I haven''t found out whether you can refine the search (on a time period etc.)I think that anybody who went through the previous version experience will appreciate this one after a couple of visits - however for an utter newbie it is pretty impenetrable: I can't imagine them getting past the ''headline" post, and if that doesn't grab their attention they'll click out.  I think the first screen of the community section does need a "taster" of other recent posts.However - nobody is going to arrive here because there is no indication on the magazine home page that all of us founts of knowledge exist. There is the community button, but who would guess what that conceals - maybe it would be better to change the label to Answers.But I'll give the current site quite a lot of marks for techno, and quite a lot for aesthetic, but nul points for having an intuitive interface.

I finally found some time over the Christmas holidays to check back into Italymag to see what readers were saying about IMU and Letta...I was astonished to find that the Community has literally been killed off. I spent a few years posting on the upcoming Succession Regulation which affects millions of people who have property or interests in Italy, especcialy for British citizens. I think it became a useful resource for people to read through to think about their own situations and ask questions. Could you send me a zip of the posts please. I looked at your Facebook page but its obviously not a forum. Not sure if I am too late, loks like all the names I recognise signed off at the end of May!   

Can anybody tell me why it is not in chronological order as this is very confusing trying to figure the latest posts. I agree that the format is not user friendly, but for a long time the forum was out of control in terms of being exceedingly unfriendly - a lot