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Why ThaiVisa.com told me to start my own forum

So it was a month or so ago I went to the Thai Visa expat forums and asked a question to see if anyone new some good books to learn the Northern Thai dialect. Well I got a few good answers but mostly the same old BS where people would say things like "why would you do that what a waste of time". Many people weren't being friendly at all and to what we've become to expect in the forums.

So I thought I'd go ask another question on the technical / admin forum and ask if they could implement a system where we could vote up answers so that other people didn't have to see the crap answers. As people explained to me it wouldn't make sense because a forum is more like a discussion where people talk after one another. Basically the other users on the forum told me in order to do what I wanted I had to start my own forum style website about Thailand.

New ThaiVisa.comKnowing a forum style website about Thailand wasn't going to work because it's not really a discussion it's more of a Question and Answer website similar to Yahoo's Q&A. This actually makes more sense because people who have Thai Visa questions usually want an answer they don't want to talk about it. In fact when the question is answered is there really anything else to discuss? I don't think so.

So that's how I came to create the New Thai Visa website. It's going to be a place to get answers to all your Thai Visa and general Thailand Questions. Trust is a big thing so in order to build trust I've built into the website a reputation score. This reputation score is based off what other people think of you and how good you responses are. Unlike other sites if you write 1000 crap responses someone with 5 helpful responses is going to have a better reputation than you and this should help with trust.

What about Thailand News?

Are you sick of getting daily news about Thailand that is mostly boring? I don't know about everyone else but I don't like to read all the damn news. I just like to read the interesting stories on a Sunday. So what I'll be doing with the site is adding all the interesting news stories but only be sending out a weekly "Interesting" newsletter about the most useful pieces of news going on in Thailand and the world.

So please if you have a chance check out the New Thai Visa website sign up let me know what you think.

Oh if your wondering about the name of the website NewThaiVisa.Com I chose this name because I thought it would be an easy name to remember and it has no relationship to the owners of ThaiVisa.Com

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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

39 Responses to Why ThaiVisa.com told me to start my own forum

  1. sam December 26, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    I signed up and the site looks nice. I like the idea about the reputation score. Congratulations!
    The site design looks good. I have a question.. Is there a way to differentiate between a news item and a question? May be this is how it is designed to be? (Like you allow users to write comments for the news item and the reputation score depends on those comments also?)

    • Chris December 26, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

      I think your right the news will get distracting so I have a bit of programming to do in order to make sure the news only shows on the news tab, but it is a work in progress. We’ll see where we are in a years time. But yes the news stories only I will be entering them in but once you have reputation you can vote up comments to different news stories which does give you more reputation.

    • Billy August 6, 2014 at 11:56 am #

      What do Thai Visa Mods and US TSA agents have in common? They are both on power trips and never pass up a chance to assert their authority. I quit the site, don’t need the agro 🙂

      • Steve December 19, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

        Well said. Amen

  2. Banjo December 27, 2011 at 1:27 am #

    Looks interesting, I generally avoid the news on ThaiVisa as many expats/long term tourists become offended if any one disagrees with their opinions, often formed after a few years in the bars of Pattaya and the occasional reluctant visit to Watthefukburi with their current paramour.
    I find the regional forums useful for local knowledge and seldom stray far from there now.

  3. ChiangMaiGuy December 27, 2011 at 1:37 am #

    I joined this morning – Thaivisa is great for information (to be fair) but the Mods are like little Hitlers. 6,000 people have been banned from Thaivisa and it’s connection to ‘The Nation’ says it all – very, very establishment and right wing bias and highly censored – it’s basically a money making machine.

    You will have a very tough job, though, as it’s the first port of call for information. If you want to compete you will have to decide do you allow political (Thaivisa is VERY yellow) debate? do you allow all the sub-threads?

    Personally I hate Thaivisa due to the bias and wanker Mods who allow no dissent (a clique of mostly gay right wingers – no disrespect to gays). When I posted against gay marriage I was flamed and crucified on there by a few posters who have tens of thousands of posts and are supported by their friends the Mods.

    It will take you ages to gain support – not sure about your choice of newthaivisa as it will just be seen as ripping off the original one because of the name.

    There IS a market for a no-BS version and some have tried but ended up just as ‘cliquey’ – orientexpat being one – a bunch of intellectual snobs run by a right twat who imposes his and his friends views and bans or censors others.

    Teakdoor is better with far less moderation BUT is a bit too far out for me with hardly any information.

    Thaivisa is the BEST for general information and the Addicts sites are the BEST for hunting information regarding bars and girls etc.

    I support you and have joined – but I do wonder at the name. You also need a few reasonable mods – don’t try and do it all yourself. Anyway that’s my tuppence worth.

    • GGT May 8, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

      Thanks for the comments on the Mods on Thaivisa…I have been censored so many times for just telling the truth…not flaming or being rude…also the Mods will arbitrarily…based on their personal bias and views…just not post what you have written…no comment from the Mod…your post is just kicked to the curb…and their sexual preferences cause much of their disdain for any objective discussions…

      • Chris May 18, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

        I’m starting a new forum up soon. thaivisa.ws so keep reading to find out when that really happens. Everyone is sick of this thaivisa.com.

      • aziz anom June 5, 2015 at 7:16 am #

        Is Thai visa run by dim-witted Westerners who have appointed themselves as “moderators”?

        Recently I posted in their forum something critical of the Iraq war and some Bush and Blair lover reported me. The moderators while saying that there was nothing wrong with my post sent me a warning. What an insane thing to do! If there was nothing wrong with it, why send me a warning?!

        And when I myself wanted to report something I found that there was no button to do so. So it seems that only some select few are given the privilege of reporting abuse. Which is why I use the word dim-witted.

        I contacted them, telling them that what they had done was inappropriate and offensive and guess what happened? NOTHING. They ignored me completely, feeling perhaps embarrassed. I have since unsubscribed from their stupid website.

    • Dex November 26, 2014 at 10:46 am #

      Will I be allowed to slag off pommy twats? 🙂 English wankers like to dominate everything, they’re bullies and “gang rapists” and control TV. You can slag off Yanks, Aussies, Kiwis, Jaapies … but the moment you criticise Poms for ganging up on others and attacking them mercilessly, you get banned. I just like to tell it like it is.

    • Erik June 25, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

      I got banned today from thaivisa for posting that the EU is better off without the UK in it. No swearing or insults, just monetary facts and my opinion. While Brits get to bash each other over their home nations.
      It’s best to leave after more than 10 years of membership and never look back.

  4. Banjo December 27, 2011 at 2:20 am #

    Here’s a link to a Peace Corp Kham Mueang language booklet.


    • Chris December 27, 2011 at 4:53 am #

      lol thanks mate, did get it in the end.

  5. Johnnie Walker December 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    I agree with most of what ChiangMaiGuy has written, especially his 1st paragraph. TV is denitely over modded by power hungry keyboard warriors. Even I had a run in with them for merely pointing out that the spelling and grammar of a guy complaining he was having difficulty getting work as an English teacher, was absolutely atrocious.

    Layout looks ok Chris, but yes news & questions needs splitting off.

    I do think you might get some grief from TV over the name. Perhaps it would have been an idea to just bolt the forum onto Livingthai.org so becoming Livingthai.org/forum but we all have our own ideas.

    • Chris December 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

      I’ll do some work today to add the categories in and make it look more split.
      Thai Visa is very over modded. And you can’t say anything bad about them in their forums they remove anything like if you were to say “Thai Visa Sucks Ass” they would remove that but someone can go in and write a post with the number “1” and that wouldn’t be counted as spam. That’s stupid.
      I didn’t want the site being on livingthai.org because it’s more search engine friendly to have them seperated on different sites.

      • ChiangMaiGuy December 28, 2011 at 12:30 am #

        an example of Thaivisa censorship:

        A friend was banned once when there was a discussion over who needs work permits.

        People mentioned farangs playing in bars, painting their own house and lots of other relevant examples. He simply asked a question ‘what about Thaivisa Mods?’ and was banned immediately.

        Several Thaivisa members then started a thread about why he was banned (in support) – that was banned too!

        The owner of the Red Lion in Chiang Mai was also banned – and he was a sponsor!!! he then met the owner at the Xmas Party and was told he would be allowed to go back on – that never happened of course

        So the trick on Thaivisa is banal postings, no interesting comment and never, ever challenge those wonderful all-powerful wise Mods!

        I am a member but only to get information. I have noticed that some members with ‘connections’ do get away with blue murder on there and say what they want as long as it’s pro-Dems, anti-Thaksin and pro-gay.

        You could receive a lot of support (and members) if you could position yourself as ‘different’.

        Take this the right way but I wonder if trying to do a one-man-band ‘copy’ is the right approach? what would we think if a rival manufacturer of cars put out a ‘New Toyota Hilux’?

        I would go for a different name and not be seen as an ‘Anti ThaiVisa’ forum (although I like that idea in some ways as I loath them) but i’m not sure it’s good for your new forums growth – ThaiInfo or ThailandLife might be preferable but ‘up to you’ 🙂

  6. Ray December 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    Good luck with this buddy! I’ll tweet it for you, and like it on my Facebook page. Hopefully it will gain popularity after a year or two. Awesome idea because forums can be a big pain in the ass sometimes.

  7. Banjo December 28, 2011 at 5:50 am #

    I have a few moderator friends on ThaiVisa who are neither gay or right wing, or for that matter, care a rats about gay marriage in or outside of Thailand.

    I personally hate being abused by someone from behind the safety of their keyboard so if they get banned it’s fine by me; many who claim to have been banned for “disagreeing” have usually done so with the accompaniment of a tirade of foul language.

    Then, of course, there is another popular forum where it’s considered a rite of passage into manhood to get yourself banned from ThaiVisa under as many names as possible. 🙂

    • ChiangMaiGuy December 28, 2011 at 8:57 am #

      I hate being abused by people behind the safety of the keyboard too! but I also hate little Hitlers who suspend and/or ban people for disagreeing with them – you are the first person I have ever come across defending Thaivisa Mods – maybe there are some nice ones but there are some arseholes too and just about every farang I know/have met knows it.

      I do not use a ‘tirade’ of foul language – ever (well only to my keyboard occasionally) and have always argued thoughtfully BUT it is indisputable that most of the Mods and ‘heavyweight’ posters are very right wing (just read the posts on the Bangkok sit-in) and many ARE gay from the owner down. I mention this not to attack gays but to demonstrate that any anti-right wing comments OR anti-gay comments are stepped on and flamed ferociously.

      I have told you why my friend was banned – just for asking a question. That is a FACT – no bad language, no trolling or flaming – just a question! then they banned the thread friends of his put up just asking ‘why ban him’? they must be VERY worried about work permits is all we can think of 🙂

  8. Chris December 28, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    In the article I told you why Thai Visa told me to start my own forum. But I didn’t mention why I wanted to start the New Thai Visa.
    Firstly it’s because I don’t like website owners who refuse to publish negative comments about themselves. For instance you couldn’t go to ThaiVisa.Com and start a thread about why you hate ThaiVisa.Com they should be above all that crap and be open to critisism.
    So Why I decided to start NewThaiVisa.Com because there is no place on the net where you can can get good answers
    QUICKLY about anything you to do with Thailand.
    I get a million questions by email so why not have a website where other people can help answer.
    If the QA site NewThaiVisa.com starts getting good traffic if will only help this blog get bigger and that’s my main goal. ThaiVisa.com gets what 50,000 people a day, yesterday I only had 2000 people to the blog so I have a lot more to grow.
    I Chose the name mostly because it’s a marketing strategy and not a copy of ThaiVisa.com in fact they are completely different, one you can have a threaded discussion the other you can’t. Two different models.
    Time will only tell how well this new model works the other forums have 6-10 years over this site but so do many Thai blogs have 3-5 years over LivingThai.Org and yet the blog get’s more traffic than most other Thailand blogs so don’t rule out it out just yet. Wait and see.
    I can’t do it all by myself that’s for sure so if anyone wants to help out ask and answer a few questions now and then, thanks for all your help guys.

    • ChiangMaiGuy December 28, 2011 at 9:47 am #

      you will get lots of support too! I love it already 🙂 have you a FB page that supports it? if not get one up and I can start recommending friends and contacts. Any other help just ask

      • Chris December 28, 2011 at 9:53 am #

        Yup, the facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/newthaivisa give it a like and sure recommend people to it. I have heaps of work still to do but these things take years not days to build. Thanks for your help mate.

  9. phil March 6, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    Great stuff and glad that you started.
    i suspect there are thousands of people sick to death of TV and the obnoxious owners and mods.
    I hope that you start an avalanche.

    Ten years ago there was some good info on TV but look closely now and there is a lot of misinformation.
    Also conspicuously missing is any empathy between posters.
    The greater majority seem to gloat in the misfortune of others.

    Sincerely wish your new forum to be a great success !!!!

  10. anonymous1713 October 3, 2012 at 1:04 am #

    I want to start a boycott of Thai Visa sponsors and I want to shut Thai Visa down.

    • Mike September 14, 2013 at 9:24 am #

      It’s about time someone challenged those pricks over at Thaivisa! They have become such a bunch of arrogant b’tards that don’t allow any form of argument or disagreement. If anyone challenges their policy or questions their motivation concerning moderators removing certain posts they give you a warning or remove you altogether. Thaivisa is controlled by idiots. Take em down

  11. Donkey Boy December 27, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    If you want to damage Thaivisa, write an article about your negative experience on http://www.pissedconsumer.com. If a lot of people do this the negative articels about them will outrank TV in Google and kill them. I hate TV and hope they will go out of business very soon. Let`s hope for a 2013 without them.

  12. livinginparadise February 14, 2013 at 2:30 am #

    What a great idea if we can get straight simple answers to our questions instead of some of the tripe that is dished out now and again good luck !!!!!!

  13. Philthy August 13, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    Good idea chris. ! I will definitely be on it. !

  14. Robby December 15, 2013 at 3:18 am #

    Couldn’t connect to that site…. Waaazaaaaa ?

  15. Bokchoi January 4, 2014 at 5:51 am #

    As a businesswoman in the Greater Mekong region and now Thailand I finally opted to leave ThaiVisa despite having a good relationship with everyone there. In this day & age of “mutual respect” comments I read on that website from “moderators & administrators” made me re-consider belonging to an outfit like that – even if only a once or twice a month reader. Below is an email exchange which supports the popular view that ThaiVisa “moderators/administrators” lack the depth, quality & caliber which professionals & business are looking for. Imagine writing an email to a businesswoman telling me that maybe I’m a “man” if I cannot laugh at moderator rudeness towards a male-customer who contributed a comment in the ‘Ladies Forum’. the subject was “visas” – a very generic topic and not gender-based.

    Putting ThaiVisa behaviors in the public domain is important given its regular practise of publicly lashing out at hapless customers whilst hiding behind anonymity & a belief of safety in numbers ! Its in the public interest to be made aware of ThaiVisa moderator/administrator behaviors.

    Read on –

    Email One

    Bokchoi commences Emails to Thai-Visa Admin/Moderators on concerns of very public rudeness displayed to several customers.

    To: support at thaivisa
    Date: 30 December 2013 14:02

    Good afternoon,

    Subject: Thai Visa Thread – MY OPTIONS AS A FARANG WOMAN MARRYING A THAI GUY. Complaint about Post No 9 Comments made by Moderator Boo

    I am a member of 3 or 4 forums/blog-sites mainly out of reading interest, given my business venture in the Greater Mekong Region and more recently Thailand. I appear at speaking engagements and even act as moderator for some TV (television) debates out of Singapore. So it is with some interest I began following how ‘Thai-Visa moderators’ respond to infractions.

    I enjoy reading contributions to Thai-Visa. I agree that some are off-subject or on-the-attack quite viciously. Deleting these comments is natural. Sadly, in the present thread what comes across is moderator comments some may say is a Thai-apologist style, as well as, on display is a need by moderators to protect a personal-Thai-narrative. I am not in a Thai nor farang relationship. I have no views one way or the other. I am a casual once or twice a month reader of Thai-Visa. Its often easier to say nothing about the quality of moderator comments esp. when one has been forewarned about the situation. Its also important to stress that Thai-Visa does have a handful of quality, mature, moderators who add much value to a debate / thread.

    In keeping with Rule 21 –
    I am writing to express serious concerns about verbal attacks on posts deemed unfit by some ‘moderators’ – whilst at the same time locking out comments which offend the moderators. I do it with some reluctance & respectfully. However after reading several threads and moderator attacks on contributors its important to provide this feedback and let things take their course. It does not seem okay for a moderator to be offensive in retorting to contributors whereas contributors are needed to toe the line – something readers notice time and again in Thai-Visa commentaries.

    Deleting a post & putting up a sign which guides people can be done in a civil manner like the thousand other websites & blogs do. In fact many moderators on Thai-Visa do it rather well. There’s nothing productive or uplifting or enriching (to the mind or to the bank account) witnessing a ‘moderator’ use his/her title to verbally attack people as has happened on this thread. As human beings surely we are capable of better especially if we hope to moderate a topic and be respected for a job well done.

    It would help for people to ask themselves if he/she would reply in a particular style were there no anonymity. Hiding behind anonymity to deliver rude one-liners to helpless contributors is called “bullying” in some circles. Telling people that they are “tiny minded” or go down to “the pub where someone might give some poos” is a no-no-zone for quality moderators. This is only one example of low-calibre moderation I’ve witnessed on Thai-Visa. If you need more feedback one has only to google ‘Thai Visa moderator’.

    Thai Visa is an informative blog ie: if one leaves out some moderator comments. As I said, I am providing this feedback reluctantly and respectfully. I have nothing to gain nor lose personally since Thai-Visa is a once or twice a month browse for me. Its hoped the feedback benefits the owners of this site who are no doubt intent on fostering a professional trustworthy brand image.

    Thank you, kind regards

    On 30 December 2013 16:17, “Thaivisa Support” emails Bokchoi to justify public name-calling & rudeness displayed towards its customer(s)


    Your post was edited for blatantly breaking forum rules. You did not receive a formal warning for discussing moderation publicly but you could have easily by a different moderator. Since you seem to be a man I can inform you that your objection was to moderation in the Ladies forum. A forum which attracts a very large number of aggressive and misogynist men. There are times when the female moderators patience runs out.

    I would suggest that you if have difficulties with this you stay out of the Ladies forum

    Kind regards,
    Thaivisa Support Team

    Bokchoi will have none of the excuses from Thai Visa and writes back. After this email Thai-Visa fell silent. No apologies for rude public behavior to customer’s was ever made.

    Email Two

    to: Thaivisa Support
    date: 30 December 2013 17:28

    Thank you for your quick response.
    First and foremost I object to being called a “man” moreso since one of my lines of business in Asia is women’s cosmetics and a second women’s leather goods & accessories. Being feminine is something I take pride in !! It takes a very simple mind to suggest that “men will object to this post” and “women agree with this post”. To educated professionals – rudeness to customers is plain rudeness and gender does not enter the equation. Also, “running out of patience” is not an excuse professionals use.

    Secondly, my email was “general feedback” ie: relating to several Thai-Visa threads/forums I’ve read. I went to great lengths to explain this. So my feedback is not about being edited. In fact being edited or even having a post deleted on Thai-Visa is quite inconsequential and really no big deal. Its not like its the end of the world or shrinks my bank balance. Providing honest feedback on moderator comments I’ve witnessed has been and remains the object of my communications.

    With respect –
    Blaming either Men or Women ie: Thai-Visa ‘customers’ of being “aggressive and misogynist” when they break a rule hardly sounds professional. In my Asian business staff who respond to customer feedback by blaming customers are usually exited. Calling people “tiny-minded” and suggesting they “go down to a pub for poos” hardly sounds like quality moderation. The example I refer to is just one thread. Venture into other threads and one will find similar moderator outbursts.

    People of quality do not hide behind anonymity to throw insults at ‘customers’ visiting their website or hope for safety in numbers when defending bad behavior. If my complaint was a solitary one I’d agree with your analysis. Reading google comments confirms my concerns about the quality of some Thai-Visa moderators.

    Thai-Visa is a great information forum and my once or twice a month visits I find enriching during coffee-breaks. On holidays for Christmas I’ve spent a couple of moments to write you feedback.
    In providing the above feedback I speak with respect and after carefully considering things. I do not mean to offend.

    kind regards,

  16. Mick September 4, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

    I found this site because I was also “suspended” for 3 days – basically for pointing out the double standards of some posters. And then noting that the moderator was biased when he deleted posts that highlighted the double standards of some quite obnoxious hate spewing posters. Seems that the moderator shares their views.
    I hope this site becomes far more than a home us disaffected TV types. It will need to if it is to be a commercially successful venture, which is the only way it can survive for a length of time.
    Some of the info on TV was useful for me – local forums, motor sections, health provision etc. But what I would like is a forum for debate that finds a balance between allowing diverse views and preventing racist reactionaries from tromping all over opposing views.
    I do think that such a forum would be a quick way to attract more members, although I understand there are restrictions due to technology. I have joined, and will try the site for size on and off over the next few weeks.

    • Chris September 5, 2014 at 9:53 am #

      The problem with a site that would allow open debate is the advertising revenue which for a forum like Thai Visa comes from Google AdSense and they are strict on their guidelines which is why ThaiVisa is heavy handed (but overly so on many subjects). Without AdSense the forum would make little money and the whole reason why I didn’t pursue it and no one else is really stepping up to the plate either.

  17. Bob January 24, 2016 at 5:38 pm #

    Has this venture failed ??? Or been closed down ???

    • Chris January 25, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

      I sold the site to someone, they didn’t seem to do anything with it.

      • Bob February 11, 2016 at 11:57 pm #

        Thanks for answer Chris – nothing venture capitalled, nothing gained 🙂
        As Mick said, the ThaiVisa site is good for information/answers, as is yours too of course, but it would not surprise me to see TV come under investigation soon. They seem to me to deliberately ‘provoc’ their bitter and twisted Expats, by posting news items about the Govt, the PM or the Police, or anything negative about Thailand they can find. Meanwhile they ignore anything positive, but whenever a good news story is posted the bitter and twisted Expat whingers (I call them BTEWs) are silent. The reason TV post bad news stories is simple of course – the more hits they get, the more they get revenue from the adds. They dont get enough hits on the helpful forums (Visa issues, Working, IT, Motor, etc), but post a negative story about the PM and they get 1000s in a day. I can only hope their day comes soon – and I will be cheering the BIB/Junta on. Hopefully it will be soon and even better than seeing Cam ‘the Cat’ Newton fail and crash down to Earth in a flaming heap – that was a great day 🙂 (NFL Superbowl for those unaware).

  18. Horhey Imanes June 27, 2016 at 10:48 pm #

    Keep plugging away Chris…the “other” forum badly needs competition…

    I have been banned from contributing to the “other” forum for using such offensive words as “drones” to describe how the average citizen lets the government and press control their thinking…

    The “other” forum is not run by people I would have a meal or a beer with…

    Good Luck!


  19. D August 7, 2017 at 3:56 am #

    Thaivis where they measure their pricks by the number of posts Tools especially the moderators

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