When I first began this blog more than a decade ago, I was adamant about the role of a community with it.
Sure, I wanted to share the knowledge I’d gained (and the experiments I was trying), but I also wanted something more to the experience. I wanted a healthy comment board that encouraged rigorous discussion on blog topics. And I wanted a separate forum (aside from the blog with its comment sections) to foster camaraderie and support among readers.
It was critical, I believed, for folks to be able to talk with each other, to ask questions, and to share ideas for what was on their minds and not just on the blog that day. So, my team and I made it happen. The MDA Forum was born. It flourished, in fact. It became, in its own way, a hub of information within the Primal circle for sure, and even within the emerging ancestral movement.
But today it’s time for a new chapter.
It’s no secret the forum (a separate entity but associated with the Mark’s Daily Apple blog and website) has been plagued by serious technical issues since last fall, and I’m not going to mince words here. I know many of you have shared your concerns on the forum itself, on the comment boards, and in private emails to me. I appreciate those messages—and especially the generous offers to to help with community moderation. If only it had been an issue of simple Grokpower…
Those messages and suggestions haven’t fallen on deaf ears. I’ve heard them. My team has heard them and tried several solutions to the issues over the last year, applying considerable time and expense. While we were able to make some headway at times, it seemed progress would quickly be replaced by additional problems. Unfortunately, the forum as we’d built it—and customized it (the operative point from an IT perspective) over the last ten years—had become virtually unmanageable and unconducive to essential updates.
What to do next was a complicated decision, which is why it’s taken this long to be honest. My team and I wanted to explore every avenue and resource for keeping the existing forum but eventually found this wasn’t going to be a reasonable option.
So, we needed a new direction. While the Primal Blueprint philosophy and community aren’t the small, fringe elements they were a decade ago, I wasn’t willing to forgo a community hub. That’s what MDA was founded on, after all, and this wasn’t going to change. What could the next phase be—and how could it intersect with the tools, developments and supports we’ve put together since? Ten years ago we didn’t have a 21-Day Vimify app. We didn’t have Primal Health Coaches. We didn’t have a Keto Reset Group—or anything beyond the bare bones of social media for that matter (since most channels were in their infancy or didn’t exist then).
Send a request to join, and once our staff moderators approve the request for membership (no more spambots), you’re good to go. Our Mark’s Daily Apple Editor and our Community Outreach Coordinator will join up with some of our Primal Health Coaches to help answer questions, contribute resources, and maintain the rigorous but respectful community that characterized the best of the MDA forum.
I realize not everyone is on Facebook—for a variety of reasons. I get that. I don’t deny this was a consideration. As a blogger and business owner these days, however, I’m committed to participating in the social media space (including frequent chats on Facebook Live), and I’ve come to genuinely enjoy it. A lot is possible now for online communities that wasn’t when I started this venture in 2006, and this appears to be the direction things are going.
Most importantly, I should say, without the intricacies of technical investment (i.e. letting Facebook do the hosting and troubleshooting), my team and I will be able to put more time into actual community building—and some fun. With all the headaches of the last year, I’ve missed that, damn it.
Does Facebook offer all the organizational options of a forum? Not yet, but it’s moving there quickly, and it offers a streamlined, spam-free, multimedia experience for community members. The group page is fully searchable, so you’ll be able to look for posts on whatever topic interests you and respond—with notifications when others chime in.
With sensitive topics, if you don’t feel comfortable posting them, send us a line, and we may either do a blog post on it or have one of our moderators present it (anonymously) to the group for brainstorming. Finally, those interested in personal privacy (and I know that’s a concern for some) have the option of creating or adjusting their public profiles (e.g. photos, display names) in ways that serve them best.
As for the existing forum, it isn’t going anywhere but will remain part of MDA as a now archived resource. You’ll be able to go in and search for topics at will. As of this morning, however, it will be closed to further sign-ups and postings. In the next few weeks we’ll also have a team go in and scrub it of spam. Bear with us on that.
I know this next phase of the Mark’s Daily Apple “Forum to Facebook” Community will be welcome news to many…but not necessarily all. I recognize that, and even if you won’t be following the forum community to the Facebook Group, please know I appreciate the insight and support you’ve offered others in the forum over the years—thank you.
And I’ll say this because some questions have already started to roll in: The Mark’s Daily Apple website and daily blog will remain exactly the same. Read and comment on the latest blog posts every day right here as always.
Now, let’s turn the page and start building what’s next for the forum community.
The Contest…and a Request
I’m excited to get the group off the ground, but I need your help. Simply hop over to the new Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook Group and join today. The staff and I are ready to go, and we’d love to see as many folks there as possible.
With that in mind, I’m giving away a $500 PrimalBlueprint.com gift certificate to one randomly chosen winner who signs up this first week. That’s right—just request to join the group before midnight PST, Sunday, December 10th, and you’ll be entered to win.
But I’m going to ask one more thing as we begin this new venture. Let me know—on the comment board below or on Facebook—what you’d like to see us do with the new MDA Facebook Group. What ideas, suggestions or requests do *you* have for us? I’m all ears, folks.
Thanks, everybody. I’m excited to have a new direction to move and grow the community. I hope you’ll join me there.
About the Author
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.