The foral world is not without its rivalries. There are only a handful of consumer forums in the UK and none of them could be said to be in direct competition with each other, each one focuses on a different aspect and often they also take a different approach. There are, however, strong rivalries between the various forums.
Legal Beagles was set up by a splinter group from CAG (the Consumer Action Group) just a year later. The departure of a number of people from CAG wasn’t exactly peaceful, there were all sorts of allegations, accusations and even libel and defamation against certain people.
Eight years later, things are a lot more subdued on this front, however another site was born a few years later and, despite being considerably smaller and rather niche in its approach, its owner took a highly aggressive stance and a great number of Beagles were poached in the early days of this new site’s life.
Beagleland wasn’t well looked after at the time and lots of threads were left unanswered while both owners were busy with their own lives. Nothing wrong with this if it wasn’t for the fact that they never liked to delegate and didn’t trust many others to do their jobs. As a result, rather than having a solid team structure with moderators, board guides or whatever you want to call them, they left the site in the hands of a handful of trusted people who had their hands full and couldn’t do all the admin as well as replying to posts and tidying up the site. As a result, the site was a mess and on-one could find anything.
Come 2014, trouble between sites flared up again. This wasn’t exactly the Beagles’ fault but as such but they just didn’t know how to handle it. Their idea of a practical solution was to remove half the regulars, including some who had been donating most of their time to the site from the beginning. The Cull couldn’t have come at a worst time and the measure couldn’t have been worse. Instead of curbing the rivalry or obliterating the other site as they would have wished, the decision had completely the opposite effect.
As was to be expected when people feel used and betrayed, when they got removed from Beagleland, they all found refuge sleeping with the enemy. The owner of the rival site who had been causing trouble in Beagleland offered comfy kennels to all the newly evicted, homeless Beagles, who, ironically, included someone known for their fight against homelessness. They all got together and joined forces with the Beagles’ old enemy against the Beagleland Owners and who can blame them, after the way they were evicted from Beagleland.
Had the Beagle managers given it a bit of thought, they would have chosen to nurture these long-term contributors and deny their rivals the pleasure of harbouring them. They would have attracted more regulars rather than ejecting the existing ones.