Earlier today a sad, but for me at least somewhat unexpected, announcement was put up on the UKVapers.com domain. It is now official UKVapers.com has shut its doors permanently. Whilst a member of the forum for a good six months I was never a post whore, but I did check in everyday at least once to read the latest news and reviews from the UK’s vendors and vapers. The site was truly a valuable resource to me when I first got into electronic cigarettes – trawling through the archive of thousands of posts to got my head around vaping terminology and understand what I should buy and where I should buy it.
Sadly this resource no longer exists for the exponentially increasing number of newcomers to electronic cigarettes and that does leave a big void in t’interweb for many. So what can and is being done about this? Well, amazingly the members and moderators of UKVapers have jumped into action to try and fill the void. The moderating team is starting afresh on a new domain to try and give those users a new home. I hope UKVapers.org will be the proverbial “phoenix” rising from the ashes to help reunite the amazing community that was UKVapers.com. In addition, a new forum that arose as a temporary home for UK Vapers refugees (supportukvapers.com) has rapidly grown and looks set to become established again. So from a community point of view I am confident that, whilst UKVapers has gone, given time something will come to replace it.
But more worrying is the message this closure might have on bloggers and reviewers in the e-cig world. Are we now no longer to express negative opinions about products or services we receive from vendors here in the UK? Must every post, blog piece or video begin with “In my opinion…” to avoid potentially costly litigation?
I don’t know the answers but what I do know is that I will continue to write reviews of products I buy or get given. More importantly, I will continue to be unbiased about those, regardless of supplier and if I think something is a pile of pants I will say so, without personal criticism of company or owners thereof. I hope that others feel the same and the refugees from UKVapers continue to express their own honest opinions about products they buy whether good or bad and help rebuild the valuable resource held by UKVapers.com in wherever they call there new home.