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Gear Diary: My EDC Forums Run Has Evidently Ended

Wow, I sad to report my friends that EDC Forums has placed some sort of restriction on my account to the point where I am unable to access the Forum.  I keep getting server timeouts.  However, when I browse anonymously, I’m able to access the site with no issues.  They didn’t have the guts to outright ban me but XBanker (the site admin) made sure I couldn’t post anymore, which is effectively the same thing.  

It’s all unbelievably below board but I guess they didn’t want the scrutiny that a ban would bring and additional focus on the rule changes that has driven away a number of long time members and destroyed the positive vibe that EDCF was once known for.

It’s sad that it has come to this.  Until recently, I enjoyed my time on the Forum and I tried my best to help others in need.  That will have to continue now on Loadedpocketz.

More to follow.

Best Regards,
Blaine

Founder/Chief Editor
Loadedpocketz.com
(a.k.a. “TARFU”)

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65 Responses so far.

  1. Jason says:

    Ya, it’s a real shame. :( Have you found the Facebook groups yet? EDC Underground, Cool Knives and Gear, etc!? :)

    • Blaine B. says:

      No, I haven’t but thanks for letting me know. I’ll have to check that out. There’s also another forum called EDC Planet. Mike, the owner, seems like a great guy. I’m going to hang out there since they don’t have all the silly link/video/deal spotting/contest restrictions, arbitrary censorship and anti-blogger policies that EDCF now has.

  2. Blitzwing says:

    Well, that’s bullshit brother.. You’re reviews were one of the things I always eyeball because they saved me alot of grief..

    That’s just not cool, but I’ve been lurking here for quite a while so it isn’t all bad.

  3. Wow, that might seriously curtail my future postings there. Your in-depth bag reviews were one of the reasons I became a member there. I’m glad I can just come here and get it “direct from the source” from now on.

    • Blaine B. says:

      David, I tried very hard to work out a mutually beneficial arrangement with EDCF. I couldn’t include links to this site in any of my reviews, post any videos that mentioned this site, mention my blog or have it included in my profile, and they even made “Loadedpocketz” a blocked word. I even offered to become a sponsor at one point. In the end, they wanted me to do all the work to post my content on their forum for absolutely nothing in return and I’m sorry but that isn’t fair. If they had conceded on any of those points, you’d still be reading my reviews there.

  4. gregdaynes says:

    I’ve stopped visiting the EDC forums a while back, but I still follow you here. I think I’ve read more of your posts there than anyone elses.

    • Blaine B. says:

      Greg, I feel honored that you choose to spend some of your leisure time reading the reviews I’ve written. Welcome.

  5. Hi! I’m the happy owner of a Hazard4 Kato and a TAD Gear fast pack edc… and i bought them after reading your reviews. The only usefull things in that forum were your reviews… so now it’s empty, don’t you think? :-)

    • Blaine B. says:

      Raffaele – I think there is great content being contributed by other members still. I particularly enjoyed discussing firearms there and knives also (just to name a couple). But, I’d like to think I added a little something to the bags sub-forum and that will be missed in the wake of my departure.

  6. Jim says:

    Blaine that sucks – I actually haven’t been on EDCF much over the last 6 months so haven’t been paying attention but everything I am hearing makes it apparent I have no need to go back! Your reviews and blog are great – I picked up a 2013 hawg based on your recommendation! Best wishes Jim

    • Blaine B. says:

      Thanks Jim. You were missed but good to see you here. Enjoy that HAWG and maybe I can help you add to that collection going forward!

  7. Rexx says:

    I joined EDCF last month and I really enjoyed reading your posts and your recommendations, Blaine/TARFU. In fact, I consider you to be the Obi-Wan Kenobi of that board. I was just becoming familiar with some of the personalities on that board, but this news really saddens me because these undercover moves seem to go against the spirit of the forum. It definitely will keep me away.

    I’ll still follow your excellent reviews and recommendations here, and maybe some of us should plan a rebellion. Keep writing, brother. Best, Rexx/”zenpunk”

    • Blaine B. says:

      Don’t start a coups d’état on my account. 😉 That phrase “spirit of the forum” is thrown around a lot on EDCF and many of the long time members (including myself) felt that stood for a certain brand of camaraderie, brotherhood, and openness that separated that place from other competing sites. The deletion of posts and entire threads without any explanation, talking down to members and making accusations, and putting in place draconian rules because there is little-to-no trust that the membership can police themselves is not within the spirit of the forum that I knew and once loved.

    • Blaine B. says:

      And Rexx, thanks for subscribing. You’re welcome here. And may the force be with you — always. 😉

  8. Art says:

    Sorry to hear Tarfu. Because of your comprehensive reviews I purchased the Rush24 and learned a lot about bags. I subscribed here long time ago to follow you. EDC will lose a very valuable member.

    • Blaine B. says:

      Art, you’ve been here since the beginning and I greatly appreciate it. And thanks as always for the kind words.

  9. Lou_G says:

    Sorry to hear that, your username of TARFU really applies to the situation. I mostly enjoy EDCF, but the rules are a little overboard. I put up with them because of the great people there. I’ll have to check out EDC Planet and see if it has the good people while being a bit more relaxed. I enjoy your reviews and am at least happy I know of your site here. Keep up the good work!

    • Blaine B. says:

      Thanks Lou! I think it’s progressed past the TARFU stage and gone straight to FUBAR. 😉 If you decide to join over at EDC Planet then I’m sure I’ll see you over there. I also plan on being more active on Twitter and other forums like Tom Bihn (in addition to writing reviews here).

  10. Jeff/Flyersfanjv says:

    That’s a shame. You’re reviews and insightful comments helped make some great discussions over there, you’re comments and reviews were one of the things I looked for, along with a few other guys. Guess I’ll be hanging over here more often now and a few other sites.

  11. Charles Bradley says:

    Well, that just plain sucks! Your reviews and insights have helped me and I’m sure others from spending additional cash on our terrible bag habit. Can’t imagine why the admin would do that to you. The TRUTH must hurt him somehow.
    Please let us know where you will be landing. Perhaps that site you mentioned above will be a good alternative.
    Best of luck with your site and wherever you wind up.
    Motorman

    • Blaine B. says:

      Charles, to be fully transparent (there’s a concept)… I did repeatedly break some of their rules and then had the audacity to question them when I got terse private messages for violating either the letter or more frequently “the spirit” of the rules that were put in place. Not all of the violations were intentional on my part but I didn’t get the sense that they ever truly believed that. And they weren’t interested in member feedback regarding the rules. Pretty much their way or the highway.

      So would I have been shocked if they banned me?. Absolutely not. I wasn’t looking for a ban but I pretty much expected it given the tone of their responses. The stealth manner in which it was carried out is the issue and leaving members in the dark about it, that have come to rely on my contributions, is what I have a problem with.

      Anyway, I kind of feel like I’m taking one for the team on this one. Maybe they will read these comments and realize how disenchanted some of their members have become. Certainly that was not possible in the forum since any post openly addressing the issue was quickly deleted by the mods.

  12. Adam says:

    Blaine,
    Thats really sad to hear. I remember when EDF started and I also remember the infamous Maxpedition post when it happened. I have to say you are not the first one to have this happen to them and it’s a clear pattern now.

    EDC planet sounds like something to check out. I love your blog keep the posts coming!

  13. Tod says:

    WHAT!?! Dude, you are, like, THE EDC Forums guy!! Sure this isn’t some mistake or sumpin’?

  14. Alan says:

    EDC shows that you’re on now

    • Blaine B. says:

      That was the stealth part of it Alan. You can’t tell I’m locked out. It just looks like I’m ignoring posts, PM’s, etc. 😉

  15. jarheadgreasemonkey/Kevin says:

    Figured it would come to that…

    Like I’ve said elsewhere…

    Ridiculous.

    Anyhoo… have already seen you and LouG on EDCPlanet and have recently joined there as well.

    Perhaps we can take the best of EDCF there and leave all the nanny-ism behind.

    EDCPlanet is certainly less active; but that can change.

    Maybe it’s for the best TARFU.

  16. Alan says:

    Just joined the Planet and will disuse the previous. There was way too much interference, censoring and nanny-nonsense for me.

  17. Well at the end of the day – the key thing is I’ll still be able to read your reviews. How else would I have known to get the H4 Kato or the CUA ? Also your Kickstarter references ….
    Come to think of it, maybe I shouldn’t follow you, I’d save money :)

    Honestly though, to me the value in most forums is “deal-spotting”, the link between EDCF and the associated store always struck me as a kind of conflict of interest.

  18. dcmassena says:

    That sucks. I’ve been on that forum for a couple of years and it has always been one of my “internet hangouts”. I have been frustrated in recent months by some of the direction that the forum is taking. Hearing this news I going to reduce my time there. Guess I’ll jump over to EDCPlanet and check it out.

  19. Matt Wright says:

    Thats extremely disappointing to hear. I’ll continue to follow you on loadedpocketz and look forward to reading your detailed review of the Gamut backpack

  20. BoxDrink says:

    What a shame, I lurked on that forum for over a year and routinely referenced your reviews. I am the VERY happy owner of a Kato because of your pic-heavy review. Something similar happened to me when I co-hosted a podcast. Difference of opinion and I had to leave it all behind. Keep on keepin’ on, you’re doing great here!

  21. Brian I says:

    That sounds like utter bull. Hopefully it’s an error or something … but I posted to their Forum Functionality:

    http://edcforums.com/threads/ban.119982/

    If it is a silent gag – well, I don’t support that behavior and I’m out.

    I’m already at EDC Planet, by the way.

    • Blaine B. says:

      Brian, I can indeed get to the site now. However, I have no doubt the site admin was preventing me from accessing the forum yesterday. I tested by attempting to get to EDCF while logged in and got site timeout errors. I completely cleared browser cache and was able to access the site without issue. This came on the heels of a discussion with the site admin that did not go well. And no forum issues were reported by other members who were having issues accessing the site. I checked before making this post because I wanted to be sure there was no other explanation. Wanted to private message them about it at the time but couldn’t even get to the site (as me) to ask.

      It if looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck.

  22. Alan says:

    It’s a duck, no question. So much for free speech in the land that bore so much to defend it. They have devalued their brand and will deprive themselves of interested, expert and committed people like you (if only there were more like you!).

  23. Brian says:

    Well, they are stating that you haven’t been banned.

    They would like you to email cowsmilk (his email in the link above) about this issue.. 😉

    ~Brian
    Schuey2002

    • Blaine B. says:

      Brian, I’m well aware of what they are saying NOW. I won’t share much of what was discussed behind the scenes but if you like being dictated to and threatened, then you would have really enjoyed reading the PM’s I was getting on a regular basis. And for what? Posting a video where I mentioned this site? In the same thread where someone posted a video from a retailer (that competes directly with Jon) and one from a manufacturer (who isn’t a forum sponsor). That’s why the original Vertx thread was nuked there. The other videos were within the “spirit of the rules” but mine wasn’t. Really? Seriously? Just one example.

      The only reason why they’re pretending nothing happened is because you all flooded this post with comments echoing the same degree of frustration and support in response. But, make no mistake. They don’t want me back. And at this point, I’m not sure I want to go back. I’m public enemy #2 in their eyes because I rocked the boat. Right behind Maxpedition.

    • Blaine B. says:

      Brian, I’m sorry to see that you’re getting attacked over there by certain individuals for asking the question. Sorry, I know you were just trying to help.

      BTW, I noticed they said I was logged in while experiencing issues. Tapatalk maintains a constant connection to a forum unless you force a log out. I was trying to do stuff on there via Tapatalk and I was logged in as far as I could tell but I was getting server connection errors every time I clicked on anything. Again, why me and no one else reported an issue? All very curious. Whatever.

      I’m going to move on now and focus back on the topic of EDC. Everything is fine. I’m enjoying my new home on EDC Planet. Life goes on.

  24. vonlichenstein says:

    Love your reviews, they’re great stuff. Sorry to hear that you’ve been treated this way, I felt you added a whole lot of value and knowledge to the forum. It’s disappointing to hear that someone in the forum management might have done crap like this (I say might have only because I believe in waiting for both sides of the story, but it kinda quacks), and that kinda explains why I haven’t been seeing any new posts from you there.

    Look forward to seeing more of your reviews here then I guess!

  25. Arnie says:

    Blaine – so disappointed to be reading all of this. You were definitely an authority on many EDC topics over there and the inspiration for many of my purchases ;). I always respected your in-depth reviews and found them informative and entertaining. I’m not sure what’s inspired all of the hardcore rule changes. There are so many longtime users that have been missing for a while that I used to see posts from all of the time there. I have been following this blog and will continue to do so. Will miss seeing you there.

  26. kmc says:

    That is a shame- but it happens allot in these online communities
    when people over moderate.
    In any case Ive enjoyed your photos and comments so thank you for that.

  27. Dale says:

    I notice that EDC Forums is down tonight. First time since I have joined. hunter s gatherer.

  28. Chris says:

    Tarfu:

    Thanks for offering some explanation for your absence on EDC Forums. I got into EDC late last summer and discovered that you were one of the members who offered great input,insight and reviews. Your reviews always stuck with me when considering a purchase and I appreciate your efforts.

    I found this site and enjoy it immensely. I am also a member at EDC Planet and will spend more time there if that means being able to read more of your content, etc. I consider myself still new to the EDC arena so it’s important for me to gravitate to those sites and places where the “solid” people go as well.

    It’s clear you have numerous supporters after reading thru these comments and that should make all the difference when comparing to the “blockades” you encountered elsewhere.

    “Those who matter won’t mind and those who mind don’t matter”.

    All the best.

  29. ascii says:

    Blaine,
    That is quite disappointing. While I also haven’t frequented EDC Forums for a while, I found your posts and reviews to be quite informative. Glad to see that you have other places (as well as this site) to post your great reviews. I will check out some of the links you’ve posted above.

    Thanks for being transparent about what has been happening. Remember: Drama happens on alms all forums. It’s usually not a good thing for any of the parties involved.

    Cheers!

  30. bigfoot says:

    Was wondering where you had vanished to on EDCF — then I came across your blog post. Ugh. So sorry to hear about all of this. You are a great contributor and reviewer, and please don’t let this slow you down. Will check out the other sites and look for you there (and here)…

    • Blaine B. says:

      Thanks Bigfoot! I always appreciate your contributions as well so please continue to do so here (and elsewhere).

  31. HtR says:

    Blaine,

    I have not been checking out EDCForums or LoadedPocketz since Feb 2014 because I was away on business but when I got back I am sad to read it has all come to this.

    No doubt Jon at EDC believed he did what he did to protect his commercial interests, but I personally think it was a hamfisted and odious way of going about it. I run my own business for years, very successfully if I may add, and there are graceful ways to behave in business and in life. This is not it.

    While Jon thinks it is within his prerogative to censure those who compete with his store or his sponsors, let’s put that in the proper perspective. If it had not been for the strength and effort you put into your gear reviews, in particular those dealing with Tom Bihn products, I would not have been brought onboard as a loyal customer Tom Bihn….who, as it happened, is one of the Forum sponsors :) So much for the bitter irony of certain forum idiots who accused you as a ‘shill’ for other manufacturers.

    I do not think there are many comparable reviewers out there who put so much effort and objectivity into their gear reviews and for this I owe you a debt of gratitude. You certainly make the endeavour of sifting through myriad of gear less overwhelming for anyone requiring answers.

    I have not thanked Tom Bihn for their exemplary customer service last December when they got me the Synapse 25. It was a pleasure to deal with them. Originally, I was planning to post my gratitude at EDCForums. Not anymore. EDCForums do no deserve my patronage any longer. I will write a personal letter to Tom Bihn to thank them and I’ll be sure to let them know, in no uncertain terms, that it was TARFU of LoadedPocketz and his reviews who got me to Tom Bihn. Of course I will also be telling Tom what I think of the admins behavior at EDCForums. I do not care so much what Tom chooses to do about his future at the EDCForums, but I trust Tom will have the good sense to continue his association with LoadedPocketz. From a commercial standpoint, customers like me get a whole lot more meaningful feedback from a LoadedPocketz review than any mere advert space at EDCForums. It is somewhat shortsighted of Jon to think that EDCForums can exist in a vacuum without good objective reviewers and still have the same utility and popularity. I certainly do not wish him well.

    Best Regards,
    C.Y. Choe (aka HtR at the EDCForums….soon to be ex-member at EDCForums)
    Ipoh, Malaysia

    • Blaine B. says:

      C.Y. – I could be dead wrong but don’t think what happened was necessarily Jon’s doing and perhaps that’s part of the problem. I think Jon has, for the most part, turned over operation of the forum to Karen, XBanker, and others. I’ve personally never had an issue with Jon other than the conflicts of interest that he never let anyone forget that the forum had with the store. I’m sure all of the changes of policy were driven by that but how the policies were policed and carried out were the mods doing, not Jon.

      Anyway, I’ve moved on. I’m active on another excellent forum (EDC Planet) minus all the silly restrictions and I’m spending more time here. That’s probably a good thing for you guys since I’ll have time to crank out more reviews. 😉 I do greatly appreciate the support and I’m glad you were able to find a pack you love based on a review I’ve written.

  32. mauseum says:

    Well I’m glad I didn’t invest a significant amount of time with that community if this is what they do to their members.

    Your reviews and posts made that forum all the better Tarfu.

    I’ll have to check out EDC Planet.

  33. IronRaven says:

    I was a member at EDCF for many years, and I left after concluding that the “certain brand of camaraderie” was whatever brand was putting money in Jon’s pocket, and woe to those who questioned him, his store, his temper tantrums, or the mods there. Particularly when I was threatened and harassed by members for not drinking the Kool-aid on the new, spiffy, Captain Coolguy brand that was being pimped.

    Pity to see that they still haven’t fixed their problems.

  34. former member says:

    It’s interesting that I ran across your website. I was also a former member of EDCF (and recognize some of the names here), and ironically it has been the only forum I’ve voluntarily quit. I never had any interaction with the mods, not so much as a warning or stern post, so there was no drama or falling out. In fact I didn’t remember the reason I quit until I read some of the comments.

    There’s a different energy in that forum compared to all others I’ve been accustomed to. Most forums encourage a free exchange of ideas and information, EDCF was like most people said, about making money. I really don’t want to bad mouth someone I’ve never met, but there was a definite arrogance that came through Jon’s postings. What Jon said was the law, and he made sure everyone knew it. Eventually, the over-moderation of the discussions, the constant not-so-subtle hints for donations (times are tough, don’t know how I can afford keep this forum going) pleas, or the cliquishness of the members (what brand are we hyping this month, what other brand are we boycotting?) just bothered me to a point that one day I decided that it just wasn’t the place for me and never returned. Looks like I haven’t missed a whole lot

  35. Thagr8Cornholio says:

    Hmm..last comment didn’t post..but they’ve been disabling profiles left and right from 2013. Started a new forum because of it (well-and post-nazis)-won’t mention the name though-invited tarfu some time ago but it’s up to him if he wants to share (and if he remembers). They’re losing members left and right, who will just end up at the other survival, firearm, edc, knife, and light forums without hesitation. It’s a shame, though-since some people are blinded from what’s REALLY happening, and they are still extremely dedicated. But hey-if they love it, I can’t hate.

    Sorry that it happened tarfu-it’s a real damn shame. Just glad you still have this.

    • Blaine B. says:

      Thanks for commenting. I totally don’t remember the invite so feel free to send it again. Most of my focus is on this site now but I do sometimes post on EDC Planet and a couple other forums.

  36. willydigger says:

    I know that feeling. There are plenty of the other places out there though. No need to be part of that group.

  37. Terry says:

    This is a complete shocker to me. I was an avid reader of that super-long GR2 thread of which you were a significant and very reasonable contributor. I wound up buying the GR2 and am still very happy with it … thanks to you and others for the in-depth analysis which influenced my buying descsion. Was googling edcforums with the intention of picking up more tidbits on edc stuff but if they’re blocking you that’s probably an indication I shouldn’t waste my time there.

    Anyway, best wishes!

    • Blaine B. says:

      Terry – thanks for the well wishes. As far as my split from EDCF, that was a while ago and I’ve moved on. EDC Forums is still a great community as long as you don’t mind adhering to their rules. But, there are certain vendors that were Persona Non Grata because they rubbed Jon (the forum owner) the wrong way. GoRuck is one of them.

      As for this site, I’ve always found GoRuck to be pleasant to work with. I wish they’d release new versions of their packs more often. When they do, you’ll most likely find them reviewed here along with other GoRuck gear.

  38. Alan says:

    The forums have devolved without you; nasty messages, carefully worded and couched in smarmy phrases abound. As do people inciting others to buy something and then abruptly changing their minds after others have ordered. More mean spirited in general and less helpful than it was, too bad.

    Things Are Really Fouled Up! They should hire you as an executive consultant to boost the quality of the content.

  39. Alan says:

    Their loss!

  40. Alan says:

    Seems that the trickle from EDCF has become a torrent…

  41. Ben says:

    Let me tell you my EDCForums story… I tried to sign up for an account. Followed the link in the confirmation email I received… for several days, I could log in and see that my account approval was pending. After 3 or 4 days, they simply deleted my username — poof! — no explanation by email and could no longer log in. Then, those fine folks BANNED my IP address! I can’t even view the board as a guest. Morons.

    Oh, well — plenty of other boards.

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