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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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December 04, 2017

A New Chapter For the MDA Forum Community (With a Giveaway)

By Mark Sisson
79 Comments

Inline_What's_Next_MDA_ForumWhen 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).

What we decided upon is what I’m unveiling today: the new Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook Group.

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

mda_win_blog_645x445I’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.

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79 Comments on "A New Chapter For the MDA Forum Community (With a Giveaway)"

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Ion Freeman
Ion Freeman
2 months 19 days ago

Thanks so much for making a change. Please don’t move the blog comments to Facebook 😉

Ion Freeman
Ion Freeman
2 months 19 days ago

Are y’all just reusing the Keto Reset group? Do existing members get in the drawing? Is Primal Endurance going to continue having its own group?

Ion Freeman
Ion Freeman
2 months 19 days ago

Here’s what I meant. I tried to type in the URL and do a search in the Facebook app — my corporate desktop can’t go to Facebook, but my mobile device can — and I ended up on Keto Reset both times. I just tried the link from this page on my phone, and it worked great, so let’s call it user error.

Roanne
Roanne
2 months 18 days ago

Worked it out the hard way: Marks Daily Apple Group. The word ‘Facebook’ isn’t meant to be in it.

HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
2 months 19 days ago

Very cool! I’ve been putting off getting a Facebook account for years, guess it’s time to do so.

Susanne
Susanne
2 months 19 days ago

Will it be possible for non-Facebookers to see the new page?

paleofam321
paleofam321
2 months 19 days ago

I’m wondering how the Primal Health Coaches will be involved. This seems like an awesome way to tap that resource.

paleofam321
paleofam321
2 months 19 days ago

I love the idea of some kind of regional organization where we might get together for some face to face conversation about where this movement might be heading.

corrie
corrie
2 months 19 days ago

Such an excellent suggestion!!

Beth
Beth
2 months 19 days ago

We’ve been asking for years: a women’s forum. Break out areas include the spectrum of maiden/mother/crone: pregnancy/child birth; feeding younglings; Primal tweens to teens; perio to post menopause. Hormonal implications at all stages.

Leigh
Leigh
2 months 19 days ago

I second this. So much of how people’s bodies respond is based upon sex.

Ontario
Ontario
2 months 19 days ago

There is another paleo/primal based forum that does have a women and kids section. It was created out of a love for the primal/paleo lifestyle. A lot of old MDAers are over there. No disrespect to Mark – on the contrary. He is the reason a bunch of us are primal in the first place and have a love of sharing what works for us and other primal/paleo inspired finds. Anyway, I will type it out so it doesn’t get tagged for moderation. Hopefully you can figure it out:

PrimalForums dot com

KLL
KLL
2 months 19 days ago

Hadn’t found that forum yet. Thanks for the alternative!

Barefoot girl
Barefoot girl
2 months 19 days ago

I think it’s a great move, the Keto Reset group is well managed and well run! I will miss the ‘journlas’…I’ve had great fun over the years meeting folks and following their very personal journeys. That will certainly be absent on FB, but time and change marches on. Thanks Mark for all that you and your staff do.

Griffle
Griffle
2 months 19 days ago

I left FB a couple of years ago and am happier for it. I’m not going back.

wildgrok
wildgrok
2 months 19 days ago

Same here 🙁

Catherine
Catherine
2 months 18 days ago

And me too. I am sad about this change though appreciate the difficties of managing a forum. Blessings on your new paths.

Maria
Maria
2 months 19 days ago

Well, this is good-bye, then. Facebook has behaved in seriously unethical ways, and will continue to do so. I can’t be part of that, and am disappointed that you’ve chosen to move discussions there instead of using one of the many excellent alternatives.

Oh well. Thanks for all the great content over the years. I wish you well. Ciao.

corrie
corrie
2 months 19 days ago

I agree with Maria that Facebook has shown a dark side recently and I am ambivalent about supporting it with such a move…. unfortunately Fb is the only other game in town.

KAWAM
KAWAM
2 months 18 days ago

It’s painful to opt out of the only game in town, but do-able when one remembers the various evils of that hell-sink.

ramsmom
ramsmom
2 months 19 days ago

The more positive content on Facebook, the better. Their staff responds to volume – just like any other organization/company. Don’t leave – support the positive and be part of great change! thanks, Mark.

wildgrok
wildgrok
2 months 19 days ago

Same here, and I am copying your line:

“Thanks for all the great content over the years”

Jonathan Millett
Jonathan Millett
2 months 19 days ago

Sorry to see this move to facebook a place to which I refuse to follow. Hopefully you remain open to more ethical alternatives that don’t capture data and track users. Remember that with facebook, the end users are the product not the customer.

eatsleepswim
eatsleepswim
2 months 19 days ago

I don’t do Facebook but Mark, you are a champ in my book so I know you’ve made an informed decision about this.

Elizabeth Resnick
2 months 19 days ago

Just joined! I’m not on FB that much (Instagram is my thing) but think this is a great idea. Private Groups are the way to go with FB, and with this community I think it will be worthwhile.

Dena
Dena
2 months 19 days ago

I like it, I participate in several LCHF groups on Facebook, so this will be one more resource.

Anthony
Anthony
2 months 19 days ago

More success stories with pictures. These offer so much motivation!

Monikat
Monikat
2 months 19 days ago

I’ve managed to avoid FB for years–even when moving cross country away from my tribe—but I can’t give up on your helpful information and outlook. You’ve truly changed our lives, Mark–you and your team. So I’ll join FB, but I’m hoping your tech guys can please take a little tangent and tell us non-FBers how to set the FB settings so as to be as private as possible. If you would do us this favor, I’m sure you’d get many of us to join who have previously shied away from FB.

Guy
Guy
2 months 19 days ago
I use Facebook sporadically and forums frequently. I’m struggling to see how one can take the place of the other. I understand the benefits of free hosting etc but the two mediums are very different beasts. I recently set up a second Facebook account so that I could follow my musical interests without having my real life friends pushing their political views on me when I’m not in the mood. I thought it might be a relaxing alternative but it just hasn’t worked that way. Facebook is great for a quick catch up with friends at the end of a… Read more »
Will
Will
2 months 19 days ago
Mark, I posted this on the Primal Endurance FB Group but want you to see it because you have helped me crack the code. Or so I believe. “I think Primal Endurance explains Jerry Rice’s otherworldly success. This post is my theory. Is it sound? Jerry Rice, all time NFL statistical leader as wide receiver for receptions, TD receptions, receiving yard, was known for his grueling offseason Hill workouts. 2.5 miles up a steep hill every day, though other reports say 5miles (so likely 2.5 up 2.5 down). This was supposedly the key to his success and endurance on the… Read more »
Nocona
Nocona
2 months 19 days ago

I’m somewhat confused. This site will remain the same with comments? and now if you want, you can go to Facebook and it’s kind of the same thing?

Narrowminded
Narrowminded
2 months 19 days ago

i’m sorry I can’t joing the FB group. i did so for the keto reset group, it’s clogged up my feed and I could see nothing else but it. finding things, even through search was not easy for me. I can’t do it with this too, I’ll never get feed I need to see, not enough time in the day. I’ve learned a lot here, and I’m really upset about losing my journal in the process. No way to get that off of here easily. I’m very disappointed.

Colleen M
2 months 18 days ago

That’s an easy fix. Go to one of the posts, there are 3 tiny dots at the top. Click on them and and you can either snooze it-for up to 30 days, or unfollow but still stay friends. This will stop the clogging of your feed. Then just go to the MDA page when you want to check it out.

wildgrok
wildgrok
2 months 19 days ago

I cancelled my FB account years ago (and all the years that existed it was inactive 99.99% of the time). I was also one of the first 50000 in LinkedIn, also cancelled it.
No wildgrok in Facebook, will keen on visiting MDA and reading its unmatched content.

wildgrok
wildgrok
2 months 19 days ago

Hi all, this blog where we are putting comments and good stuff stays 🙂

Quoting Mark above:

“Our MDA site with the comment section for each new blog post will remain exactly the same.”

All Is Well 🙂

Tim Steele
2 months 19 days ago

I feel I owe a debt of gratitude to MDA and especially the forum section. Made a lot of friends there and worked through my health issues. Good luck with the FB group.

Annika
2 months 18 days ago

I used to peruse and contribute to the forums frequently, and was quite sad when they declined in use and got so riddled with spam. I look forward to the new FB group!

Katie
2 months 18 days ago

Thank you for keeping the blog and comment section- I look forward to it every day! And I can’t believe that I never even noticed the forum section until today’s post….

Gregory
2 months 18 days ago

I hope there’s a section somewhere on peoples success stories with pictures. That has been the most inspirational over the years!

Janice Condon
2 months 18 days ago

I recently joined and enjoying your daily Apple. I want to send you the children’s book I wrote on gut microbes called Lulu Meets the King of Poo. How do I send it to you?
in the discussion

Elisa
2 months 18 days ago

That childrens book sounds like great! We need more of these kinds of books to educate our kids not about how a princes should behave, but to inform them about the real world and teach them usefull skills and information. Hope your book gets publised!

Rig D
Rig D
2 months 18 days ago
I too gave up using FB a long time ago, couldn’t stand it and their policies. I’m so disappointed in the current Forum and how MDA has handled, or more correctly, not responded or acknowledged the complaints from those of us who were once active. I’m retired, and worked in software support so know what user interaction should look like, and it hasn’t been here at all. After about 18 months of trying to get any response out of MDA that addressed user concerns, a whole bunch of us have left and with the efforts of one member, started over… Read more »
KAWAM
KAWAM
2 months 18 days ago

Oh, Mark. How horrid. I’m one of those who finds Facebook toxic and ferociously dangerous to basic privacy. On a general level, I resent having to choose between that evil and maintaining contact with all sorts of entities, from far-flung relatives to informative and creative websites. I get it that you didn’t have much choice, the forum having devolved into spammer-troll chaos. I’ll sure miss this, but Facebook is my brain’s Mordor.

Reg
Reg
2 months 18 days ago

What I look forward to seeing is new, fresh content and engagement from the community. What I don’t look forward to is 27 posts a day from people saying “I’ve been eating this way for 10 minutes and haven’t lost a pound. Is that normal?” Hopefully people will actually use the searchable content feature!

Rahan
Rahan
2 months 18 days ago

Great move, thank you!!
To be honest, (it will sound harsh but this is only my personal perception and I don’t mean it in an aggressive way) I hated this forum because it seemed to me like it was filled with extreme/orthodox/orthorexic content that were far remote from the fundamentals of basic primal lifestyle… thank u ? I will use my alternate Facebook account to access it as I wouldn’t feel too confortable joining a group like that with my true Facebook profile

Agne
Agne
2 months 18 days ago
I think Facebook group is a great idea on its own, but not sure if it’s really a suitable replacement for a forum. I have to say I’m not a huge fan of forums either, they feel clunky and outdated compared to newer social discussion platforms like Reddit. But one advantage a forum has over a Facebook group is organisation. To my knowledge (though I could be wrong, I don’t use Facebook that much), the facebook group page is just an endless scroll of posts. There’s no option so somehow tag or label them by the topic, which could certainly… Read more »
Coccinelle
Coccinelle
2 months 18 days ago

Normally, I would be sad because the forum was really great in the past. But now, seeing that I didn’t even check it for more than a year, I won’t miss it that much.

LindaG
LindaG
2 months 18 days ago

No Facebook. The blog is more than enough for me.

Matthew Zastrow
2 months 18 days ago

As one of the Primal Health Coaches, I’m VERY happy to hear about the new facebook group. I will check in regularly and add some comments and content.

Timothy
2 months 18 days ago

Good heavens, Mark, first you get me into keto now you get me on Facebook which I have avoided for decades.

Your power of hypnotic suggestion is terrifying.

We can only hope you continue to use it for the benefit of all mankind…

Andrew Mencher
Andrew Mencher
2 months 18 days ago
Awesome! This sounds like a great opportunity for the community to gather, I sent the request to join moments ago. I’d like to see a coupe of things (I am assuming that the group will take on a life of its own and for many will become the main source of direction for primal living and support much like the NSNG group): 1. Contests: recipes, workout challenges, etc 2. A structured FAQ section in the About tab (structure could be basic Primal do’s and do-nots as well as supplementation and why) 3. Use of the links page to stuff not… Read more »
Ethan Lange
2 months 18 days ago

It would be cool to see live video Q&As. Maybe in that format questions could go broader than what is currently covered in the Dear Mark posts

meepster
meepster
2 months 17 days ago

Can the Facebook group also involve face-to-face meetups? Y’know, to make the whole thing more Paleo. Grok didn’t have social media, after all.

Kartik Singhal
2 months 16 days ago

Did you ever consider porting the forum to Discourse: https://www.discourse.org/ ? It’s the next generation platform to build community forums built by Jeff Atwood and team (of Stack Overflow fame). They provide cloud hosting and I am sure the team would have helped you move over all of the forum archive to the new platform as well.

I am new to MDA and never really participated in the forum, but it kinda saddens me that after recommending something like Cal Newport’s Deep Work as one of the books to read, you decided to move the community to Facebook (home of distractions).

oxide
oxide
2 months 16 days ago

I also won’t do the Facebook thing. But I’m happy that it’s there for people who want it. However, we all owe a debt to Mark for showing us to the way, so I’ll likely show my support by picking up a copy of Keto Reset.

Adam
Adam
2 months 11 days ago

Sad to see it go. I’m not on Facebook, so it does make me sad that I can no longer communicate with others looking to improve their health. Nonetheless, it is what it is. At least the blogs are still coming out.

Alexandra
Alexandra
2 months 10 days ago

There still is a Primal Forum… just not at MDA where the spam took over.

Plenty of former MDA’ers have already joined: PrimalForums dot com

Looking forward to seeing you there too!

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