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Hello world! Why we’re launching a forum

Hello! For the first post in the new Prepared forum, we wanted to say welcome and share our thoughts on why we’ve created “yet another survival forum” and some plans for the future.

Most importantly: No company can “build” a community. Only people can do that. So while we’ll keep the lights on and the spam out, it’s up to you — the rational people out there who want to see a better preparedness forum — to create the kind of party you want to hang out at. Step up!

Part of why we started The Prepared in the first place was because existing social forums/groups weren’t the best way for people (especially beginners) to get routine information.

Other forums/groups are too often polluted with repetitive questions like “should I buy a Lifestraw?” or “how do I get started?”, for example.

That kind of information is better kept in a linkable, well-researched, and professionally-written article that you can actually trust (unlike the random comments you’d get elsewhere). That’s why we started with the permanent reviews and guides in the main part of this website — and we’re still ramping up that investment even more.

Discussion forums are better for open discussions — things that aren’t easily captured in a single broad article or video.

Put another way: articles are great for building the roots, trunk, and main branches of a tree, while community discussions fill in the spaces with smaller branches and leaves.

So we think of articles and community discussions as a one-two punch. Each one is valuable on its own, but together, they help more people learn more stuff in the best way possible.

Raising the bar on moderation and quality

Another common problem in online prepper groups is the noise and nastiness that comes from bickering about hot-button topics like politics and other generally bad behavior.

Many of you have been asking us to launch this forum just so that you had a nice place to hang out that wasn’t ruined by that noise.

So that’s another reason why this forum exists: not to censor, but to create a place where anyone can talk about prepping — not where preppers can talk about anything.

Even though this is still a young project with a small team, through the support of community donations we’ve been able to hire a community moderator to show how serious we are about making this the best place on the web for meaningful preparedness conversations.

You can read more about our moderation policies and goals here: https://theprepared.com/forum/thread/community-rules-moderation-policies-and-faq/

What kinds of people and topics will be here?

There’s no way our staff can know everything about prepping, keep up with the latest gear, write about every personal scenario you might be facing, and so on. That’s where you come in.

Thankfully there are so many knowledgeable and helpful people in this community! Thank you to everyone who’s offered to contribute to developing the main knowledge base on this website.

We hope this forum is not only a place for people to learn, but also to share:

  • If you bought a product and want to share your thoughts, do it!
  • If you grew up fishing in a harsh climate and have advice that general fishing guides might skip, share it!
  • Curious about how to power a CPAP machine while off-grid in the Pacific Northwest where solar exposure isn’t great? Ask!
  • Do you work in a relevant job (such as a power plant engineer) and want to explain the weak points in the system? Preach it!
  • Crafted a neat DIY 3-D printed project? Show it!

Not only will excellent posts and comments be rewarded, people who are either verified experts or show they are great community members will get extra labeling so you have more context about the people you interact with here.

We’ve also hired writers that were found in the community and/or will give credit for any information that helps improve the main knowledge base.

We’re so excited to hang out with and learn from you! Cheers,

The Prepared Team

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      Here’s some of what we’re working on for the forum, besides any bugs and general improvements over time:

      • Push notification settings so you can better control what emails you get.
      • One-click unfollow links in notification emails.
      • Optional user profiles so you can see more about the people in the community, eg. if they are a professional survival teacher.
      • A search function so you can look through past topics and avoid duplicates.