Sunday, March 14, 2010

The New Forum is OPEN!

Well folks, as promised, it’s here. The forum is open, and as I said earlier, it’s in beta. Everything APPEARS to be working, but you can never really tell until you turn a bunch of people loose with something, you know?

Many of you have used online forums in the past, and may even be familiar with the engine behind this one, vBulletin. It’s big, powerful, and gives a lot of options for what you see, what you say, how you say it, who gets to see it, etc. You can say as much or as little about yourself as you want, including how to contact you, unlike a lot of other forums, so your privacy and ability to connect with other members is entirely in your hands, since we won’t share personal info with anyone for any reason except either by court order or in voluntary cooperation with law enforcement in tracking a stalker, sex offender, etc.

There are some features new to vBulletin forums, such as a Front Page, personal blogging, Facebook-style personal profile pages, and photo albums and sharing. There are also some things that are NOT standard forum fare, such as live chat, both in a chat room and one-on-one, mobile access (through Tapatalk, which lets you browse, search and post in vBulletin forums from your Blackberry, iPhone, or Nokia with Symbian 60 version 3 or 5, free for some phones and very cheap for others; I think it was $2.99 for my Nokia), social networking, and more.

And of course, there are forums. LOTS of forums. For both men and women, married/committed and single. And as the need arises there will be even MORE forums added. Some are free, some require a subscription (and if you check around the Internet, you’ll find these subscription fees to be almost too good to be true, because I want this thing to get HUGE, and FAST!), but for as long as we are in beta mode, all content will be free to all who register. More about registration in a minute.

What are all these forums for?

Good question, if I do say so myself. Following is a roster of all of the currently active forums and their intended purposes. This list will be kept current, and hence new forums may appear from time to time as members voice an interest or I want to offer something new, and if a forum goes inactive for a month or two it may be removed, at my sole discretion, just to keep things tidy.

And lurkers, be advised, most forum content, even the free, public content, requires registration. Registration is free and we’re not requiring registration so that we can spam you. We don’t send out e-mail offers nor share your e-mail address with anyone except by court order, and you do not have to expose your e-mail address or any other personally identifiable information to other members. We do however try to protect our users from stalkers and sex offenders, harassment, etc., and we will, if possible and at our sole discretion, prosecute anyone abusing or harassing our members in any way. Registration is for the protection of all, and facilitates IP address logging, so offenders may be prosecuted if they have the bad sense to walk among us.

Welcome (Public)

Everything a new users needs or wants to know. If there is something you think would be useful to a new user and it's not here, by all means suggest it in the Suggestion Box forum. All users should read all content in the welcome forum before proceeding to the rest of the site.

Testimonials (Registered Members)

I have accumulated a lot of testimonials over the years and have never made most of them public. I will make some of them public in this forum, and members are also invited to write their own to post here. The hardest thing in this entire endeavor has not been helping people to find happiness, but to help people understand that THEY CAN find happiness. Relationship/marital problems cause a lot of frustration and anxiety, and as any of you who have read my bio know, there is much more bad information available than good (the reason I had to conduct this research and ended up publishing it in my book), and the only way that some people can know that anyone, including myself, can help them and that they can in fact live a happy life, even if it means starting completely over, is to hear someone who has already done it say so. And yeah, it’s advertising in part as well, but I sell all the books and coaching I need to sell and then some just on word-of-mouth referrals. Your testimonials, more than anything else, are for the sheer empowerment of people who may be looking at the biggest, scariest problem they have ever faced in their life, empowerment to try to make things better instead of wallowing in the squalor of comfortable unhappiness.

Newsletters (Registered Members)

I've produced many newsletters over the years that have been broadcast and appeared in blogs on Blogger, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and my own site. As time permits, I will be placing current copies of the entire library in this forum, categorized. There will be more valuable information in this forum free of charge to all who want to read it than you will get out of most authors' premium products, so don't turn your nose up at it because it's free. It's good information, and if you have read THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage it's even more valuable as continuing education.

At some point I will be combining all this material with the current e-book to create a master book, if I can get somebody to publish something that big in paper. It will really be THE book then!

Guest Book (Registered Members)

Stop in here and introduce yourself, leaving as much or as little biographical information as you like, what you'd like to learn or do here, or anything else you'd like to say about yourself or situation. This is a place to learn, but it's also a place to make friends.

Hobbies (Registered Members)

This is the place for guys to be guys. Ladies, you're welcome to join in too, of course. There are already some sub-forums created for specific hobbies, such as sports, and if you want a specific forum for your own hobby leave a note in the Suggestion Box forum. If I see a lot of threads starting on a particular area of interest I'll make a forum for them and move the threads. All users are allowed room for a picture album and posting pictures.

Also, I don't want this site spammed to death with the latest MLM get rich scheme, but if you have a hobby that allows you to sell what you produce, want to buy or sell supplies or tools for a hobby or know of a good place to do so, have sporting event or other hobby-related event tickets you need to sell, etc., I encourage you to do so. That includes whole cars, hot rod parts, and even firearms, as long as it is related to YOUR hobby. Warning: porn videos, ED and other drugs, insurance, real estate, mortgages and credit rebuilding services are NOT hobbies, so don't go there. Spammers will be banned, and prosecuted if possible; your IP address is recorded every time you sign on, so don't push your luck.

Stories (Registered Members)

Any story you want to tell, as long as it has a happy ending or a useful lesson, preferably about successes. This is not a forum for validation-seekers to air their idiocy or chronic whiners to chronically whine. If it's not educational or somehow uplifting, keep it to yourself. Stories of enjoyable dates are welcome; stories of sexual conquests are not. This is a place for men and women to enjoy each others' company and learn from each other, not a place approval-seekers, braggarts, predators, or parasites to feed their demon.

Suggestions (Registered Members)

Anything you would like to see, post a thread in this forum after making sure that nobody else already has. If a thread has already been posted about your idea, post a comment in that thread that you also like the idea and note any changes or enhancements that you would like to see. I'll make every effort to accommodate all reasonable requests as long as there are sufficient resources to maintain and support them.

Group Problem-Solving (VIP Bronze)

This is the place for talking about your relationship issues with those who have been before you, the step before intensive training or personal coaching with David Cunningham. It is NOT a place for the blind to lead the blind, nor is it a place for validation-seekers. If you want somebody to tell you that you were right and your spouse was wrong regardless of the facts, you won’t find it here. We’re here to help you improve your life, not blame someone else for your troubles. This is a place for achievers, not wannabes and whiners. And that’s part of the reason that the Group Problem-Solving forum is in the premium area. Whiners have plenty of free places to vent and seek approval. ;-)

The Lounge (VIP Bronze)

A place for those in committed relationships to hang out and have fun. Anything goes, but please, no politics or religion. This is a place to have fun, not recruit people to a cause or argue. And for those of you seeking “a little civil discourse to discuss your ideals,” seek it elsewhere. It’s a “lounge,” not a “lecture hall” or “debate table.” Another reason this forum is in the premium area, to be honest, is to keep those looking for a soapbox out, same idea as the whiners and validation-seekers.

VIP Suggestion Box (VIP Bronze)

Suggestions for the VIP areas. Make suggestions and comment on others’ suggestions. Popular suggestions may end up getting implemented even if I don’t particularly like them if they’re reasonable, so don’t worry about rejection. This is a place to learn and grow, but I also want it to be a place to make and enjoy friends. And it’s in the premium area for the same reason as the Lounge, to filter out the whiners and other ne’er-do-wells that tend to spoil the party.

Boot Camp (VIP Silver)

Remedial training for men who are so without a frame of reference for real manhood that they have a hard time shedding their old wuss programming and getting with us. Men of Oak, this is your chance to mentor those who aspire to be like you, and Ladies, this is your chance to help to mold a man. I will be taking an active part in this forum as well, as the world is running a little short on real men and this forum needs all the legitimate input it can get, as well as any politically correct or otherwise false ideas kyboshed before they can do any damage. I will be the final authority on what men-in-training are taught and on this site, my word is law, so those of you who take issue with the concept of a man actually acting like a man, seek like elsewhere, because in here you will be a flea on a dog’s back, occasionally irritating and usually ignored.

Hot Tips (VIP Silver)

You’re going to love this one. I’ll be posting tips in this forum that do NOT appear in newsletters and possibly not even in the current release of my book. It could be anything from a simple recipe that allows a man who has never cooked to wow his wife with a candlelight dinner to a sudden revelation about anything in the world, including things that don’t directly pertain to your relationship, but more to just living a happy life as a man, such as career, philosophy, or a great place to buy guy stuff; Ladies, you can bet that some of this will be relevant and useful to you, too. Members who have accumulated sufficient reputation points will also be allowed to post in this forum, but all VIP Silver members may read all content.

Singles Lounge (VIP Silver)

Yes, it happens. Sometimes married people get divorced. And then they eventually want to get back into the dating world, possibly for the first time in decades. One of the most frequent requests I get is for a singles matching service, especially from women wanting to meet men who have been through my program. So while I have historically avoided dating issues for the most part because there were too many in need of help with long-term committed relationships and marriages, through the magic of vBulletin (the software that drives this forum), I can finally offer help. I won’t be doing any matchmaking, but this is the place for singles to meet up, discuss what’s happening in the dating world now, protocols (“It was a great date. How long should I wait before I call them to say so? Should I send flowers? How long should I wait before going out with them again? Something seems off; is she taking me for a ride?”), etc. If you had a great date and want to talk about it, do so, but spare us the sexual conquest stories.

If you need to talk about that with somebody, do so by private messaging, but keep in mind that kissing and telling is disrespectful to your partner and to a large degree also projects approval-seeking and a lack of self-respect, and conquest itself speaks to the same problems. It’s supposed to be fun that you share with someone else, not a competition between the two of you with you trying to get in and her trying to keep you out.

Personal Ads Workshop (VIP Gold)

Ladies, this one is for your benefit, too. For those who are interested in posting a personal ad online or in a personals section somewhere, you may have already heard that most ads get no response. It’s not because personal ads are a bad idea, but because most people don’t know how to write a personal ad that is interesting to the opposite gender. Start a thread in this section with your personal ad and moderators, other members and I will help you by reviewing, commenting, and coaching. Men, tell the women how you respond to their ads, and Ladies, tell the men how you respond to their ads. NOT to each other, mind you, but to the ads, specifically whether the ad, not the person behind it, intrigues you, presents well, makes you want to read more. When ads are fully developed, they may be posted in the Personal Ads forum here in addition to wherever else you might care to deploy them. And again, Gentlemen, one of the most common requests I get from women, even more commonly than wanting to understand men, is wanting to meet men who have mastered what I teach, so don’t pass up that opportunity.

Personal Ads (VIP Gold)

Singles, if I have to explain the purpose of this forum, I think I can give you a really good guess as to why you’re still single. ;-) Just kidding, of course. This forum is for single men and women to post their personal ads after they have been fully developed. Exchange contact and other info at your own risk, of course. It is not my intent to train predators or parasites here, and I actively try to weed them out, but there is always the possibility of one slipping through, so vet your prospects carefully and follow common sense rules for meetings, such as meeting for a first date in a public place. I just
searched Google for “dating safety tips” and came up with 16,400,000 hits at places like, so there is no excuse for you not knowing how to conduct yourself. Personal happiness, personal liberty, and all other personal pleasures and privileges come at the price of personal responsibility, and you have only one life, so treat it with the honor and respect that such a rare and precious resource deserves.

Ladies’ Book Club (VIP Gold)

Ladies, this forum is for you to make friends and discuss whatever you like, as long as it’s not politics or religion, openly and honestly amongst friends. Men, this forum is for you to observe, first and foremost, that your communications problems with your significant other are not because she’s weird or hard to get along with by observing how women interact with each other. Do NOT post; if you have a question for one of the women posting here about something that is going on and you want to understand why she asked or said something, use private messaging. The value of this forum will be diminished if men start posting in it and interfering with the discussions, so don’t do it. If there’s something happening in here that you want to discuss openly, do so in The Lounge. If it proves more useful, we’ll set up a separate forum for such discussions aside from The Lounge. The software that drives this site is very versatile and feature-rich, and I’ll be doing everything I can to improve the overall usability of everything here for you folks.

Ask David (VIP Gold)

This is the last step before private coaching, and it differs from the Group Problem-Solving Forum in that I and I alone will be answering questions. If you have a relationship or marriage issue that you don’t mind disclosing in front of others, I will answer specific questions about specific situations in this forum. This is not a group discussion forum; questions and answers are recorded here for others to learn from, not to comment on. At this level, things are tense and potentially volatile, so we really do not want to risk a “blind leading the blind” situation causing you problems.

And be advised, I am a consultant and professional troubleshooter, not a traditional “counselor” or “therapist.” I go over the details of your situation with you and point out specific cause-and-effect relationships, just as I do in telephone coaching consultations. There will be no asking of nebulous, non-descript questions to help you brainstorm and eventually trip over an answer that causes a light bulb to come on. We will get down to the crucial details by eliminating all non-factual elements, including assumptions, emotional influences, etc., and the details will speak for themselves in terms of cause and effect relationships and actions to be taken.

This forum is partially taking the place of the coaching I used to do by e-mail, addressing specific issues, not hypotheticals, and if problems become too complex or otherwise difficult to address in this manner, I will suggest personal coaching to you, but I’m willing to try this first if you are. It saves you money and gives others something to learn from. Content from this forum will NOT appear in daily newsletter lessons without the express (that’s legalese for “written”) consent of the person who started the thread. I respect the privacy of all members and I insist that members respect each other’s privacy as well; don’t be posting things you see here on other blogs without the consent of the person who started the thread. Blogging is great, but like any tool it can cause just as much damage as it can fix, and sometimes more.

Private Coaching (VIP Platinum)

VIP Platinum members will have virtually unlimited direct access to me for addressing specific relationship and marriage issues (and at my discretion, possibly others as well), including my personal cell phone number. This forum is where I will post my current telephone number, any relevant scheduling information, etc., that might help to facilitate access for coaching purposes. It will not contain coaching transcripts or anything for members to learn from unless members who receive coaching post it, as coaching at this level is very personal and private and I will not disclose it.

That’s it for now, folks. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s here. And it will be constantly evolving as members and I discover new uses, needs, and functionality. Come on in, register, and make yourself at home. It’s brand new and there are very few posts, so come on in and make history by being among the first. It’s the new center of the community, your community. Respect it, protect it, learn from it – and each other – and enjoy it.

David Cunningham

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