The Great Misunderstanding
Some of you will have noticed that the MVT Forum has gone to $25 per year subscription service. Many have not. I have recently been going through the user list, deleting spam profiles, and sending emails out to those who were previously members but who have not yet signed up. It leads to some interesting responses, from many who were simply not aware now signing up, to outright hostility.
Much of this is to do a with lack of understanding about what the MVT Forum is, or has become, and why there would be value in paying the whopping sum of $25 per year to be part of it. Part of the reason for the subscription is to reduce numbers to those who are serious, who are willing to be invested in the forum, not just internet tourists looking for free stuff. I know that MVT has given out a huge amount of free tactical wisdom and information over the last probably four years, most of which is not replicated elsewhere on the internet. That information has value, and the forum has running costs, hence the subscription. If you can’t see the value in what we do, then I really don’t want you to be a part of it anyway.
The MVT Forum itself has changed, evolved, and will continue to do so. If you have not seen it, you may not realize the following:
1) The MVT Forum is now the repository for all the MVT articles. The blog is no longer the priority, and the serious tactical articles have been moved to the forum. I publish articles on the forum that do not go up on the blog, and thus you don’t see them unless you are a member. The forum has in effect become the focus of the MVT online presence.
2) ‘Forum’ is perhaps not the best term for what the MVT Forum has become, and the future vision for it. Yes, there are many forums on the internet, and the MVT Forum retains the function of being a place for chat and communication. But it is also a site for online learning, a repository for a huge number of educational articles, and can be understood perhaps more as a distance learning ‘blackboard.’ As we go forward, we are developing tactical and information/ intelligence training products that are accessible on the forum.
3) We have a number of subject matter experts, in addition to the MVT cadre, who post and will answer questions on the forum. We have intelligence professionals, communications professionals, the MVT Gear design team and any number of others.
4) The MVT Forum has always maintained a rational and mature environment with none of the insane bickering that is seen elsewhere on the internet. It is a grown up place for good productive discussion. Now that it has become a subscription service, this will help to maintain that.
5) We have begun to develop various aspects of the professional advice and knowledge available on the forum. From sensible advice about gear, through to ‘ask the Commsprepper’ we have a lot of value to add. I have restarted the series of tactical planning exercises that you can do online at home, and we have a team of senior intelligence professionals who are developing online training in critical thinking and information/Intel analysis. Training exercises are on the way in that field. The objective here is not to simply roll out military Intel doctrine, but to do the same with Intel analysis that MVT has done with tactical training i.e. make it accessible, understandable and implementable by the armed citizen in an informal environment.
6) As an example of the changes, I just yesterday started the ‘Combat Media’ sub-forum, which is a new thing, where I have started to post useful combat footage with tactical analysis so that lessons can be learned. Last night I was analyzing some combat footage from Syria with a grenade duel and a stalled infantry assault. This is also a place where members can post footage that they have found in order to ask questions or seek clarification on what they can observe.
Thus the MVT Forum has become so much more than a chat space. It was never my focus before, I always focused on the blog, and originally the intent of the forum was to allow discussion without the need for my intervention to approve comments. That, basically, was it, it was simply designed to take a task off my plate. Now, it has become the focus of the MVT online presence, and a vehicle for online / distance learning. We have retained our core membership since the switch to subscription, and numbers are steadily growing. You won’t find your ‘free chicken’ types on the MVT Forum.
This change has caused an unseemly amount of anger among a certain sub-set. They appear to on the one hand resent the idea that now, after four years of free stuff, they are being asked to pay a nominal fee in return for a lot of value. On the other, they don’t seem to understand that the Forum is not the same animal that they may have been used to, and it is certainly not ‘just another’ forum on the internet.
MVT is about quality, and serious tactical training. The move to a subscription forum at a very small nominal fee is doing a very good job of maintaining that environment. If you want to be a part of the team, please consider joining.