Status of the move to A42

The short version is "it's happening", slowly. Why slowly? Because you (plural) aren't helping. Let me offer some NicaLiving history.

NL is over 10 years old. It started as a personal experiment -- mostly me talking to myself. It attracted interest because there was new content about Nicaragua. Much of that content and the moderation/organization of the content came from a small group of people (including myself) who volunteered their time. If you have been around here for a few years you know who they are.

Success meant over 100,000 posts. Many times more than I had expected. Some of the success was addressed by re-organizing the photo galleries so you could actually find things. (Thanks Susan.) But, what is needed is a lot of time organizing content (and tossing maybe 80,000 things that just don't belong). That's a lot of work.

While the age of the software and no upgrade path is forcing the change now, there is another reason for A42 rather than a new NL. One of the biggest contributors to the noise on NL has been posts that have little or nothing to do with Nicaragua. I am as guilty as anyone here but I want a solution. I see A42, a site about expatriation but from/to anywhere, as offering a more general place for such posts. Let me offer some examples:

  • The "debt crisis" in Argentina alters the prospects of Argentina as an expatriation destination. Understanding what happened, why it happened and what it means is important.
  • The "War on Drugs" and the "War on Terror" change the expatriation landscape. As a specific example, the President of Guatemala has suggested legalization of drugs in Guatemala explaining that his country is a victim of drug-related crime that is not caused by drug use in Guatemala but just being on the grower-user supply chain route.
  • If your "home country" does something bad to a potential expat destination, that is likely to change whether that would be a good place for you to relocate.
  • The development of renewable energy in Chile, the buy-back law in Guatemala, Saudi Arabia's development of solar, China's ban of coal in Beijing, ... all change the future.
  • The development of the BRICS bank (and hopefully the Bank of the South) will make huge changes in the international marketplace -- and what "your" money will be worth.

There are also a lot of generic topics discussed on NL. Topics that apply to Nicaragua but equally apply to other places. Thus, it is just more efficient to have them discussed in a world forum rather than a Nicaragua forum. For example, while getting residency in Nicaragua is unique to Nicaragua, how to get paperwork authenticated in the US is (almost) the same no matter where you are headed.

OK, all that said, A42 will succeed if you contribute for some quantity of "you". There isn't anyone making money off A42 (or NL). It is a cooperative volunteer effort. It's up to you.

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Recent Posts for Nicaragua?

Does A42 have a way to get "Recent Posts for Nicaragua"? I don't want to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what topics and comments are new. I always use Recent Posts in Nicaliving.

In the forums, yes

Actually, an assortment of ways.

For the Wiki+ areas, you have the same search and monitor options.

Note that there are forums for CA-4 and Central America as well as Nicaragua so you may want to add a monitor to those as well.

A42

Having read your reasoning noted above I must simply decline your opinion. I am interested in Nicaragua. I obtain information from other sites on topics that interest me. A42 is not as structured , or structured poorly, at least for my purposes. I am sad to see the move to A42 and humbly request you might survey interested parties as to your decision. I used to look at Nicaliving daily. Now, maybe once every 4-6 weeks. Just my opinion..................

Opinions and reality

I accept that you don't see A42 as "what you need" but I want to point out some realities.

  1. NicaLiving has been here for 10 years and, as I said, has over 100,000 posts. At this point it is pretty difficult to find a good answer on a specific subject.
  2. Ignoring point 1, NL as it exists must go away in November just because the software is so old and there is no upgrade path. So, something has to change.
  3. NL is not a business. It exists thanks to volunteers, not income other than minimal ad revenue. That sometimes covers the hosting costs.
  4. A42 is new. The organization is actually modeled after NL but with much better search capabilities. What's missing is the content.

What will make or break A42 is content. For example, more Nicaragua-related forums can be added as we get more content. The photo galleries are organized the same -- but someone needs to get all the photos moved. The "Where?" section for Nicaragua needs to get filled in with the useful and current posts from the NL book pages.

I don't know what you have contributed to NL (I see you have made no blog posts) but, once again, what makes the site is content. The organization/search methods and such can be changed as needed (as has happened with NL until we reached the limits of what could be done). It's up to (all of) you.

Just make the Nica section

Just make the Nica section blue and you got at least one helper (see below).

It seems that a talking heads forum of politics and economics is where A42 is headed. There are plenty of on-line newspapers for that sort of outlet. I hope it works, but fear that you'll just get the political ideologues debating the minutia of their party politics.

Could be for the forums

That's up to you. The forums (particularly the country-based ones) are what you make them. Just like on NL, sub-forum categories will get added based on demand. http://a42.com/forum/pg/forumview/misc/country-information/nicaragua shows you what the Nicaragua ones are right now. There aren't any for other countries yet.

But, the forums are but one part of the site -- again just like NL. The How?, Why? and Where? sections are for more permanent information, just like the book pages in NL. There is (OK, will be) a Where? entry for each country. They have the same general format but sub-pages get added as needed. http://a42.com/site/pg/s/1/3/63/76 is the Where? page tree for Nicaragua.

Why? is about considerations about why you might want to ex-patriate. How? is about "the mechanics", for example, http://a42.com/site/pg/s/1/4/99 is about learning a foreign language. There are certainly specific Why? and How? considerations for each country but the sections are for the generic information.

Finally, there are individual blogs, photo galleries and such. One additional section is downloads. We tried to offer this on NL but there wasn't a general place to find this.

As for what the site can contain, there is little difference from NL. What is changed (and probably overwhelms some people) is the organizational change. It was, of course, on purpose -- a direct result of the over 100,000 entries in the NL forums which makes it close to impossible to find what you are looking for unless it just happens to be a recent topic.

Now, as for those political idealogues, we already have them. The difference should be that those debates end up in one place and don't get in the way of someone just looking for how to open a bank account in Guatemala (e.g.,http://a42.com/site/pg/s/1/3/63/73/335/351) or some such.

Yup, it's different and, yup, we'll see.

A42 needs to be blue

A42 needs to be blue.