Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
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Red Ryder
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Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Jul 11, 2023 3:02 pm

It feels like NOM is slowly fading away.

I have mixed feelings about it.

On one hand we should all find our peace and move past Mormonism. On the other hand, you all have been an invaluable resource and a soft shoulder to cry on.

But let’s face it. It’s fading away. We haven’t seen very many new people coming in. We’ve seen many come and go. Some back for a bit and then gone. Others fading away as Mormonism becomes less relevant in our lives.

I remember when Jenny was posting all the time about her mixed faith struggles. Then once her spouse checked out of the church she disappeared and moved on simply because the anxiety was no longer there.

I’m in a similar spot now that Syster Ryder is exploring the deep depths of the rabbit hole, learning to think for herself, and navigating the world with exposed shoulders.

So we must ask the hard questions? How much longer should we leave the lights on here? Indefinitely? As long as possible? Until all of us quit posting? I had lunch with Corsair last week and we briefly discussed. He’s considered himself bored with Mormonism and has found new hobbies and interests to dedicate his time to. He’s assured me that Captain Salty won’t assume the identity of the (Holy) Ghost of Thayne and pull the plug. Like what was done in other worlds.

But decisions need to be made regarding his future participation and the resources to continue this cesspool of whiny apostates who’ve all moved beyond the middle way.

One thought I had was perhaps it’s time to rebrand to a PIMO theme and attempt to draw in the PIMO crowd found throughout the many different Reddit boards, Facebook groups, and podcasts. To provide a safe place for longer form discussions that simply don’t exist on Reddit.

I’m not typing all this up with the intent to communicate that NOM is shutting down. I’m attempting to start a discussion to develop ideas and understand what’s needed for it to continue in a more meaningful way. It’s been an important part of my life and journey and I want to see it continue to benefit others in the same way.

Thoughts? Feelings?
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~Rosa Luxemburg

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moksha
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by moksha » Tue Jul 11, 2023 3:59 pm

The trouble with history in an electronic medium is that people contribute and then someone gets to erase it. Future historians will be left to wonder what transpired after the 1990s when everything shifted from print to electronic. Not even the LDS Church kept gold plates.

For NOM to have new members, people have to know this exists. Is the link posted anywhere?
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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DPRoberts
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by DPRoberts » Tue Jul 11, 2023 6:29 pm

I'm glad our admins are reasonably committed to not doing a Thayne repeat.

This board still feels more like home to me than others. I don't fit the vibe of exmo Reddit, in fact I consider it a success if my comments there get equal up and down votes. Then it feels like I might actually be contributing something. Dr. Shades site is good to read, but feels a bit out of my league.

Despite the dwindling numbers we still have some excellent contributors here even if they are few. Quality over quantity I suppose. If there are ways to market the forum better that would be worth doing. I wonder if we have picked the low hanging fruit like optimizing the meta data that would get us more hits on search engines. I still feel a sense of loss from when the old site died.
When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease to be mistaken or cease to be honest. -anon
The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world. -Max Born

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Angel
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by Angel » Tue Jul 11, 2023 9:04 pm

I like the small size - introvert I guess, the huge boards you don't get to know people as well.

I like written words, without hearts/smiles/votes - just words, no popularity contest of whose post got the most likes.

Theater majors will tell you its impossible to please someone who's read the book. Reading - everyone attaches words to their own experiences, books/words are more personal.

There's good Qi (Ch'i) / energy. No need to complicate. No need to get millions of followers and lose everyone in the crowd.

You all are perfect just the way you are.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Angel
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by Angel » Wed Jul 12, 2023 7:22 am

It looks like 32 guests lurking - robots? If there's any ppl out there, freaking make an account and start posting already!!
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

stuck
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by stuck » Wed Jul 12, 2023 9:19 am

Yeah, I feel like a lot of you are "kindred" spirits. So it's nice to have a place to come and commiserate or discuss Mormon issues or problems. And get advice on how to navigate life in a mixed faith marriage and so forth. And how to navigate life outside of Mormonism. Hopefully Nom can stay around and also get more viewership and activity. I would even be willing to pay a nominal fee to keep it going like I pay Mormon Stories or RFM etc.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Jul 12, 2023 10:06 am

Angel wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2023 7:22 am
It looks like 32 guests lurking - robots? If there's any ppl out there, freaking make an account and start posting already!!
The users online number always seems to be misleading. I believe it is bots. Probably scraping data to feed the AI revolution. :lol:
stuck wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2023 9:19 am
Yeah, I feel like a lot of you are "kindred" spirits. So it's nice to have a place to come and commiserate or discuss Mormon issues or problems. And get advice on how to navigate life in a mixed faith marriage and so forth. And how to navigate life outside of Mormonism. Hopefully Nom can stay around and also get more viewership and activity. I would even be willing to pay a nominal fee to keep it going like I pay Mormon Stories or RFM etc.
So far the cost for hosting has been NOMinal and has been absorbed by a few aNOMymous apostates whom may or may not be offsetting their tithes and offerings to the LDS church.
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~Rosa Luxemburg

stuck
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by stuck » Wed Jul 12, 2023 10:41 am

So far the cost for hosting has been NOMinal and has been absorbed by a few aNOMymous apostates whom may or may not be offsetting their tithes and offerings to the LDS church.
Thanks guys :D

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alas
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by alas » Wed Jul 12, 2023 11:06 am

I think part of why NOM is fading is that more people decide to leave, leaving becomes easier. As more people leave, there is more real life support for leaving, which lowers the need for a place to discuss the issues with strangers on line. So, in a way, it is good there is less need for a place like this.

But we still get a lot of lurkers, and they are not all bots. Just compare the number of unregistered users during high usage times such as general conference. We used to have a breakdown of number of bots and there are normally about three or four bots on, so we have to assume the rest are lurkers. Now, often I will read and only log on if I want to comment, so some readers are registered, just catching up on reading. But we have an awful lot of lurkers who never comment and I don’t know how to encourage them to actually participate.

Now, I lurked a lot over on Dr Shades discussions, (Mormon discussions/discuss Mormonism) but there are two reasons I will not participate. One is that every time I commented, it seemed some ass hat attacked me. They seem to just want to argue and keep their trolls well fed. And, while I will read their constant arguing and attacking each other, it just isn’t something I want to participate in. The other reason is similar in that they do a lot of attacks against the apologists. I don’t give a s*** what the apologists are saying, so why would I be interested in arguments against them. I am just too far out of the church to care about apologists for it. They are dead wrong, so why argue with them. But the crew over there seems to love a fight more than just having the self confidence to feel that they are correct and why argue with an idiot. But they LOVE to argue with believers and Trump supporters and right wing nut cases. So, that’s why I lurk but don’t participate.

Now, I want to ask our lurkers in there is a reason they read but never comment. I know my own reasons for lurking on some discussion boards and wonder if our lurkers have a reason they do not want to participate. Please share.

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Advocate
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by Advocate » Wed Jul 12, 2023 11:08 am

I was on the first NOM board and continue on here.

There was a lot going on in the mormon world, especially things that are interesting to those who have questions, from 2013 to 2016-7. Then when Nelson came in and made all the changes in 2018-19 that was interesting. In my view, the church has become kind of boring over the last few years. In the past 2 years, the only thing I can think of involving the church that is remotely interesting is the SEC fines. The church itself hasn't done anything, giving us less to talk about.

For myself, I continue on as PIMO serving in a bishopric for a couple reasons: (1) wife is still mostly a TBM, and (2) the people in my ward make a great community. Wife and I are pretty comfortable with where we are, so we rarely have discussions on it.

I agree that the PIMO is a good market for NOM, but I'd say it isn't all that different from people living mormonism on their own terms.

I expect a big issue with the lack of new members here is a generational gap. I'm an X'er, and I think most on here are X'er or older. Millenials and zoomers seem to care a lot less about not conforming, so I don't see many of them wanting to stick around as PIMO.

Even though I don't check in much, I would consider it a huge loss if NOM went away. There are a lot of kind souls on here that have helped me and others make it through tough transitions.

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Ghost
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by Ghost » Wed Jul 12, 2023 12:14 pm

I'll likely keep visiting this place as long as it's around. I used to browse a bunch of religion-themed discussion forums, but now it's pretty much only this one.

I get the impression that there are fewer people trying to "make it work" these days. Even NOM itself has seemed to gradually shift from people trying to keep the parts of the tradition that they value to mainly people who would love to make a clean break if doing so wouldn't damage relationships. (Which is fine, and of course there's still room for all types.)

Also, I totally agree with Angel that it's great to have at least one platform without a "like" feature.

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jfro18
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by jfro18 » Wed Jul 12, 2023 1:54 pm

FWIW I hope this place stays for a long time - when I was really getting into all of this stuff I found exmo Reddit and while it might have a place, it's (to me) not the healthiest place to stay.

My SIL turned me to here and it was just so helpful between being a very welcome group and just being a small community of people that was just a really calming place to go to vent or ask questions.

I've passed this site on to a handful of people but I dont know if they just lurk or if they don't show up - I think we have a lot of people that for all sorts of reasons might not to post and open up.

So for me I'm voting to keep this place open and happy to help make sure that can happen! I need to keep passing the site along to others who might be in this space of trying to figure it out and wanting that nice, calm space to do it in. :)

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Emower
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by Emower » Wed Jul 12, 2023 4:13 pm

alas wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2023 11:06 am
The other reason is similar in that they do a lot of attacks against the apologists. I don’t give a s*** what the apologists are saying, so why would I be interested in arguments against them. I am just too far out of the church to care about apologists for it. They are dead wrong, so why argue with them. But the crew over there seems to love a fight more than just having the self confidence to feel that they are correct and why argue with an idiot. But they LOVE to argue with believers and Trump supporters and right wing nut cases. So, that’s why I lurk but don’t participate.
Love this!

I quit participating quite a while ago, but I do still lurk. This board and the IRL friendships that came from it are important to me. I dont know where I would be without them, but in a worse place I think. I wanted to join the old board and couldn't, then it disappeared and this one popped up. So I was helped at the peak activity for this board.

I visit the board because I still do enjoy the discussions that are had, and the jokes the penguin and the cowboy throw out.

I lurk/don't post because I just don't feel like I have much to say beyond "meh." "Do what makes you happy." I'm not sure that my thoughts are very valuable. But maybe they still are. My sense is that the majority of the active posters have arrived at an agnostic POV. Not all, but the majority. That POV is not a real interesting one to be honest. Which is why I dont post. Even I am bored with my POV.

From the outside looking in, I think its pretty clear that there is less robust discussion around gospel topics and more around griping about the church. Dont get me wrong, I am always up for a good gripe about the church, but it likely pushes some participation to the sidelines or maybe people are hesitant to engage in them. But I certainly wouldn't want this board to turn into anything close to the mormon discussions board which is like watching a dumpster fire. A church dumpster fire, right after the diaper pail from the bathrooms have been emptied after three weeks.

I have truly moved beyond Mormonism, but I did attend the ward party yesterday. Mostly because it was had at the State Park I run, but I did hang out and have a cold one (root beer).

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Angel
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by Angel » Wed Jul 12, 2023 8:48 pm

This is definatly a calming place, and good place to see examples of patient people making it work with friends and family. It has a kinder tone, light and fluffy - balanced, objective, rational - without being hurtful. Genuine good intentions, honest, humble - laugh at ourselves as much as anything. If/when I need to tone it down - this is the spot. I'm trying to get out of argue/debate mode - good examples here - how to live with independent thought without need to be defensive. Laughter - great medicine :)
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Hagoth
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by Hagoth » Thu Jul 13, 2023 9:33 am

I make new friends all the time, but that doesn't mean I feel the need to abandon my old friends. Maybe we should look at ways to be more visible to people looking for a place like this. It's kinda hard to find, even if you're searching for it!
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

Conman52
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by Conman52 » Thu Jul 13, 2023 5:57 pm

I would hate to see the board go away it has been a tremendous help to me . I was on the old board under a different name . I still love it although I don't visit as much as I use to. It is a safe place to vent when it all gets to crazy like our branch president threatening everyone in sacrament to take our phones away !! Or when the TBM wife goes on all Sunday about the world coming to an end. I know you guys are here when I can't take it anymore. Thanks. Love all of you.
By their fruits ye shall know them

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by RubinHighlander » Fri Jul 14, 2023 9:42 am

Lots of great points made here as to the value of this tiny spot in the great digital global matrix. The fact that NOM has provided not only a space where opinions can be expressed and respected, but the real connections, the physical ones. I too recognize the tone here, free from the spew of hyperbolic angst in places like Redit. I've been trying to keep away from the really toxic parts of the web.

The range and breadth of situations accommodated here is impressive. Many have made the escape, some still stuck in the middle, a few find a way stick with it. It's been interesting to watch the evolution of many of the lives here. It would be good to bring in some new members, many could benefit. But it's a noisy world and only the ones who spend $$ with the digital overloads get the attention.

So my vote is to keep it going, but I understand that those who volunteer to run it might just get too busy or tired someday to keep investing. So, thank you for all the effort!
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Gatorbait
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by Gatorbait » Fri Jul 14, 2023 2:34 pm

Like many have said before me, this is the site that "feels like home". We've sort of gone through a lot of the same feelings about ten years ago when we started finding out that much of what we learned on our mother's knees were lies.

At first I looked at a lot of web sites and learned a bit from them, but always came back to this one. This has been my shelter in the mormon storm. It really has.

A huge debt of gratitude to those who set this up and have kept it going. Even though I check in a lot less than I used to, I always enjoy reading your comments and have learned a great deal from many of you and for this I am also grateful.

I can now sit through church, Sac Mtg, when I go, maybe once a month and not get upset when someone blabs on about some of the things I used to blab on about and don't believe any more. Now I can just chill, know I'm sure as hell not going to go to Elder's Q or Sunday School, but even when I get suckered into going to that, I'm able to just tune out. I've learned this technique from many of you. Just learning not to take things personally, or having to feel like I've got to be right.

Enjoyed your comments on this post. Thanks again noble ones.
"Let no man count himself righteous who permits a wrong he could avert". N.N. Riddell

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Red Ryder
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by Red Ryder » Fri Jul 14, 2023 4:56 pm

RubinHighlander wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2023 9:42 am

The range and breadth of situations accommodated here is impressive. Many have made the escape, some still stuck in the middle, a few find a way stick with it. It's been interesting to watch the evolution of many of the lives here. It would be good to bring in some new members, many could benefit. But it's a noisy world and only the ones who spend $$ with the digital overloads get the attention.
Love this!

I remember reading the board clear back in 2009 when I found the original NOM. I wasn’t clearly seeing my own path (towards the exit) but identified with those who had made their way and admired those who found their way out as a couple or family. It was difficult to see a way out for myself given family and marital relationships. However I knew it could be done from reading the collective experiences of those who had gone before me.

I remember posting a bunch asking for random information from the people whose spouses left. What did they do? What did they read? How did it happen? I wanted to find the magic dust, an algorithm, an equation. Anything that I could replicate. In the end I realized it couldn’t be manufactured. People have to find their own way out. Ironically, once I stopped caring about my spouses underwear, belief in prophets, and temple attendance, that’s when things began to happen.

Now nearly 15 years of reading NOM later I find myself navigating another faith crisis as my wife is figuring her faith crisis out. I need to share this experience more so that those still struggling with a TBM spouse can have hope and eventually they can apply the same knowledge and understanding.

So I’m committed to keep posting. Beside some of you have been amazing real life friends.

Thanks for this epiphany Rubin!
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~Rosa Luxemburg

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Meilingkie
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Re: Slowly fading away? The future of NOM?

Post by Meilingkie » Sat Jul 15, 2023 2:32 am

There's a new club, it's called Reddit.
And then there's this old crusty saloon.

There is a place for both in my life.
And to be honest, this is where I feel safe.
Reddit is too big, and too many people I know frequent it.
And when I vent or complain or just plain gossip on ExMo Reddit.
It might just come back to bite me.

So, there's that.
People know me here, know the history.
It would be a shame if this disappeared, but I would totally understand if it did.
"Getting the Mormon out of the Church is easier than getting the Mormon out of the Ex-Mormon"

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