Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Africa & the Middle East (
-   -   Who's "in" with the "in-group" and why? (

Jess215 Sep 21st, 2007 09:53 AM

Who's "in" with the "in-group" and why?
First,let me say how friendly and helpful everyone has been since I began posting in April or May. But I am curious as to how a bunch of you seem to know each other, call each other by your "real" names, etc. Also, at the outset there was someone named Julian, who posted frequently, seemed to be known to all, and was especially helpful, cheerful and polite - but he seems totally and suddenly to have disappeared.
Is there some subtext here?

ShayTay Sep 21st, 2007 10:32 AM

Sometimes we sign our "real" names and sometimes we don't (I usually forget.) It's amazing how you begin to develop a sense of who a person is by their postings and even feel as if you've made new friends. I appreciate all my fellow Fodorites taking time to help with their extensive knowledge. Sometimes Fodorites have a GTG (get-together) and meet face-to-face, as we did in LA last year.

There have been some controversies regarding travel agents and safari planners on the Board and whether or not they were advertising their businesses, which is not allowed. I think that Julian may have gotten caught up in that, although I never saw any posts that I could characterize as advertising.

sundowner Sep 21st, 2007 11:01 AM

Jess, the longer you hang out here the more familiar the regular posters become. Some reveal their names in posts and if you have a good memory you can remember their names as well as where they've been on safari.

I don't think there is an "in" or "out" group here. Well, maybe there is. Some people post a few questions about their trip and never post again. They would be the "out" people. Others post questions about their trip, take their trip, post a trip report here, post a link to their pictures and keep coming back to this forum to read,ask questions and talk about Africa. I guess anyone that stays around and continues to post would be the "in" group.

Most people in my everyday life do not share my passion for Africa. And that passion is just too strong to keep buried inside so I come here to talk about Africa with anyone that is willing. Of course, reading all the trip reports just makes me want to hop on a plane and go again! It's a vicious cirlce.

The amount of safari/Africa knowledge on this board is quite amazing to me.

(I usually forget to sign my posts.)

napamatt Sep 21st, 2007 12:35 PM

Julian has posted very infrequently of late, but is to be found regularly on Trip Advisor, maybe that's more fertile ground. It's a pity becuase he still owes us a bunch of photos!

Jess215 Sep 21st, 2007 01:03 PM

Aha..well, this is my first trip to Africa, and since I am not much of a photographer, will probably become a "lurker" on this board until I am fired up for the next trip. I try to "give back" a bit when I've done a boatload of recent research (as I did a few months ago on "cancel for any reason" insurance) and on the Europe forum, since Paris is my "second city."
At the moment, I feel like I went dancing wirh a porcupine, as I was at the travel doctor yesterday, getting all my shots (and began my oral Typhoid vaccine today). Oddly, this doctor is also a veterinarian...(don't ask!)
You guys are great!

LAleslie Sep 21st, 2007 02:46 PM

Thyphoid?! Wherever are you going?
Leslie (an "outie")

atravelynn Sep 21st, 2007 03:25 PM

Are you talking about your belly button?

Julian has his own company now, Timeless Africa, so he is less frequent. I was awaiting his next trip report installment on Mala Mala, but it took so long I just up and went myself.

Everyone who takes a camera to Africa becomes a good photographer. No real skill required.

It's not hard for people to figure out my real name.

A few folks have actually met at GTGs or in Africa. I've run into 3 different Fodorites in Africa and some of us even gossiped about a 4th. Small world.

I've had to get typhoid a couple of times for your standard safari destinations. The vaccine lasts 2 years and the oral lasts 5.

Welcome to the vicious cycle, Jess.

PredatorBiologist Sep 21st, 2007 03:30 PM

Jess: not saying I'm 'in' or that there is even an 'in' group but in my case I post my email address so that people can contact me directly and over a couple years I would guess more than 50 people have emailed me with questions or comments, many of whom I have continued to correspond with and thus on a 'real name' basis which sometimes comes out on the board.

It really is a great community with lots of knowledgeable people willing to share their thoughts and try to assist others. Those that put effort in definitely become well known. Glad you are here and hope you stick around and become a regular part of the pack.

LAleslie Sep 21st, 2007 05:05 PM

atravelynn, I'll keep my belly button configuration to myself, thank you very much! :-D

HariS Sep 21st, 2007 06:17 PM


Good question. Sometimes, we know a few people on the boards as we have common interests in terms of wildlife/fav places etc etc., and tuning into the boards every day we get to meet some people.

I haven't attended any GTG's .... but, i have met a few fodorites on safari. This past june i met some at both Lebala and Zibalianja, i guess we crossed paths.

I met another fodorite on safari one time (even before i become a poster on these boards) and i did meet him again this past safari in June.


africanj Sep 21st, 2007 10:03 PM

Do you have a theory of your own?

atravelynn Sep 22nd, 2007 06:03 AM

Since I mentioned Julian, I'll mention his business partner, also. She rarely posts anymore either. Her fodor name is Cooncat with various numbers after it: Cooncat2, Cooncat4. Her real name is Sharon.

So Jess215, What are your Africa plans and itinerary at this point?

HariS Sep 22nd, 2007 06:15 AM

Jess215 : yes, do you have a theory? i ditto africanj's question .......


Jess215 Sep 22nd, 2007 07:09 AM

Nope - I really don't have a theory - At first I did, because my first trip to Africa will be with Micato, and at the outset, certain snide assumprions were made about that. Others came to my "defense" for various reasons, and in a very straightforward, friendly, and informative way. Since I don't "play games" of one-upmanship, I took the good and ignored the not so good, realizing how frustrating it is for some people, especially those in the travel business, to see others "throwing their money away." Still, I had to wonder who the ____ were Eben, Dennis, Tom, etc., and why did "everybody" (but me) seem to know who they were?

cary999 Sep 22nd, 2007 07:59 AM

Jess215- you say "Still, I had to wonder who the ____ were Eben, Dennis, Tom, etc., and why did "everybody" (but me) seem to know who they were?"

Well, to somewhat repeat previous replies, it's because those you mention have been posting here for a couple of years or more. I don't believe that it is a regular practice of internet forums (at least the ones I know) that everyone also post their biography, or even real name. Are you acquainted with internet discussion groups that do it differently? Perhaps we are missing something here?

regards - tom
ps - FWIW, my real name is Tom Graham, and my email is tdgraham at sbcglobal dot net. I live in beautiful sunny southern California. (But NOT today, it is actually RAINING here !!!!)

Jess215 Sep 22nd, 2007 08:19 AM

No biggie, Tom...just curious; coming in on ACT III, you wonder whether you missed anything that others might expect you to know....
(in Newton MA where it actually IS sunny and 74 degrees...we are being set up!)

Nyamera Sep 22nd, 2007 08:22 AM

Hello Jess215
Iíd say the only way to be in the in-group is to be a frequent poster. Because of that I feel really stressed to post something even when Iím extremely busy with awful trip-paying activities. I donít want to be out!

RE. the Micato thing, Iíd say most Fodorites, not only the ones travelling with Micato, pay a lot more than they really have to for their trips. I just make the assumption that most are zillionaires, and thatís a condition that almost never make you part of the out-group.

atravelynn Sep 22nd, 2007 08:43 AM

Tom, I was just wondering if you had returned. Apparently you have if you are in CA and not South Africa at the moment. Hope you had a good trip.

Jess215, When are you going? Micato does seem to be a hot topic. Oh well.

Nyamera Sep 22nd, 2007 08:50 AM

Iíve been waiting for a silly thread where I can ask for some teaching advice. I canít do it in someoneís trip report! Does anyone have an idea what I could do during a ďCulture WeekĒ? It really shouldnít be that difficult, as I only have to do something for 2 hours with different kids during the whole week. Teachers with some hobby like dancing or origami will have a very comfortable week, but I donít know how to do anything and I donít have a hobby. When Iíve come across theme weeks before Iíve taught Swahili, for more than 2 hours, but I think I need to have something more practical thatís not too similar to Spanish classes. Also, thereís a Kirundi and Swahili speaking girl who would laugh at me if I said Iíd be teaching Swahili. I donít think sheís impressed with my Swahili, but fortunately sheís too polite to say anything.

Another thing that Iím clueless about is where to find a not too difficult text about extended earlobes, or something in that style, to use as reading comprehension in an English test. Any ideas?

cary999 Sep 22nd, 2007 08:50 AM

thanks lynn, yes good trip, got back Friday,yesterday. Trip report to follow, in a couple of weeks or so.
regards - tom

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:01 PM.