Hardest Part of Moving To Costa Rica: The Yahoo Groups Forums

We have done extensive, exhaustive research on the innerwebs to prepare for our move to Costa Rica. By FAR, the most frustrating part of our research has been the forums on Yahoo Groups.

So many opinions, so few facts.

The biggest of the Yahoo Groups forums is Costa Rica Living… touting 6746 “members”… of course a handful dominate the posts, holding themselves out as experts on every topic.

The forum is heavily moderated, something I had to get used to. Online forums are the last of the www wild, wooly, web. Step into most forums and write the sky is blue today and be prepared to be called a rad-lib, greenie eco-freak.

I did not enter the Costa Rica Yahoo Groups lightly. I plunged right in. When someone asked for advice on which was the best laptop, I responded along the lines of “Jane, you ignorant slut…

Well I wasn’t quite that blunt, but I guess my feelings were revealed in my reponse. Here’s what really threw me for a loop. The site is moderated! Heavily. By seven people! (although not all at once, I’m guessing they have some kind of rotating schedule.) I got slammed by one of the female mods for my personal attack and my response never saw the light of day.

I offered my mea culpa – to a forum mod! – and moved on.

But wow, there are some real winners that have internet access, asking such questions as:

  • Is it safe in Costa Rica?
  • Where should I take my grandchildren when they visit?
  • Will my iPhone work?
  • Should I buy a camera in Costa Rica or the US?
  • What’s the best way to get from Miami to San Jose?
  • My name is ______ and I want to move to Costa Rica, what do I need to know?
  • How much does it cost to own a car in Costa Rica?

There are other Costa Rica Yahoo Groups, one is even unmoderated. But that didn’t stop me from apologizing to that forum to when I linked to this post about earthquakes. I got roundly slammed for being childish and sophomoric.


Here’s another oddity… the moderators on Costa Rica Living don’t like threaded messages. You know where I respond and you respond and I respond and you respond and it’s all one giant long message? Piggybacking…

…piggybacking. NONE – 99% of the time the subject line you are replying to is sufficient. If absolutely necessary – perhaps a snippet of the previous message for clarity, but allowing it will be TOTALLY up to the moderator’s discretion and NO arguing or berating the moderator’s decision allowed. No berating the moderators in general any day of the month is a good rule to live by anyway. The moderators aren’t going to remove the piggybacked message for you unless you get a nice one (and your odds aren’t good, since I know who will be moderating), the message will just be rejected and you will have to figure it out.

But as with most forums, there seem to be some very helpful nuggets of information. (I guess, we won’t really know until we act on some of the recommendations and referrals.)

Forums: Bringing New Life to “Separating the Wheat from The Chaff.” It’s a struggle for me not to chafe them with chaff. I don’t do well with authority… especially fake humbleness.

Your humble moderators

There is a cartoon making the rounds now, but I can’t locate it now that I want to, about commenting on blogs.  A stick figure is in front of a computer going through the various stages of writing a comment… and ends up with delete.

I’m doing the same now with the Costa Rica Living Yahoo Groups. I read, I fume, I open up a reply box, I flame, I re-write, I re-read and I then I delete without responding.

Costa Rica will be good for me. I think it will knock some of the smart-assery out. I think that is a good thing.

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Hardest Part of Moving To Costa Rica: The Yahoo Groups Forums — 7 Comments

  1. No no… keep the smart assery. I honestly believe we need more smart asses around to keep the idiots in check.

  2. Oooh, I have lots of gripes about moderation myself – sometimes that there isn’t any of it, and sometimes too much. Done by anal compulsives.
    My big gripe is that a large gardening Yahoo group in my area that I STARTED years ago is now moderated by someone else, who won’t let me post directly to the group anymore because god forbid I should ever link to something I’ve written. Which MIGHT somehow promote my career. And we all know that gardenwriters already make way too much money.
    Susan Harris recently posted…I’m psyched about Diana Nyad’s Cuba-to-Florida swimMy Profile

    • Right. Linking to something on our blogs somehow really pisses moderators off. One called it “advertising” which is forbidden. Sheesh.

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