Hi. I'm vtac, and I've been missing. For almost 10 years this place has been my home and my home away. For the last year or so I haven't been around nearly enough because I foolishly let personal issues get the better of me. It's humiliating and I feel awful for neglecting the people and things that mean the most to me. This includes fc as well as the more traditional aspects in life. In short, I wasn't out having fun. -- This community is amazing and I have to say thank you so much to everyone who sent positive vibes, it means more than you might think and won't be forgotten. Of course uncertainty spawns rumors, and unfortunately some misleading things have been said recently which I feel the need to address. One that stings the most is the the assertion that I've personally been sitting back rolling in advertising money, having given up on fc. To put it simply I gave up on myself and the feeling of being powerless to do anything felt like absolute shit every day. It's equally as painful because this site was created as an antithesis to the vaporizer-company owned "review" sites of 2007, and advertising has always been relegated to bare minimum. In truth I've embarrasingly been out of contact with a majority of fc's sponsors for nearly a year and haven't collected a dime from them despite being in a difficult spot financially. Authenticity and trust are paradigms fc was built on and that vision has never changed. When retailers first inquired about advertising I struggled with the idea. Two years after the site started, three text links were added to the bottom of the page. It was the most unobtrusive advertising I could come up with and it hasn't changed much since. Truly, if the goal was to make lots of money, I've been screwing that up for nearly a decade. Relatively immense amounts of money could have been made by incorporating a store into the site. I get advertising offers almost daily - some very lucrative - all of which are turned down. You don't see pop-ups or banner ads here for a reason. We don't use or allow affiliate links. fc hasn't sent a single unsolicited email or sold your information, including cookie-based tracking on my watch. All standard practices in online advertising, but we don't do it here because money isn't the impetus. I've seen a bunch of numbers thrown around, none correct. The reality is that the terms were suggested by retailers themselves and haven't changed for close to 7 years. The number of advertisers hasn't changed much either. They are loyal and so are we. I've also heard some surprisingly disparaging remarks regarding the time it took for fc to attract members. Personally I couldn't be more proud of the fact that this community grew organically. On the contrary I feel it's upsetting when a community of great people is built using negativity, deception, plagarism, and opportunism. It is also somewhat ironic and telling when a new site pops up amidst all of this with advertising right out of the gate. I wish our former moderator all the best and would not have spoken a word on these topics, however it's become painfully clear that ugly things are being said, and in disinformation ulterior motives often lurk. Also worrying are member reports of unsolicited emails painting fc in a negative light while inviting them elsewhere. I don't believe our member information was compromised en masse, however it's apparent that some members' private information was exploited. This is deeply regrettable and I apologize to anyone who had their privacy disregarded. It feels terrible to be discussing these matters here. I don't like talking about myself or getting caught up in drama, however after the number of messages I've received on these topics it was impossible to stay silent. When something you love is being attacked you have to stand up. I know I've let a lot of people down and intend to make good. As always don't believe everything you hear and keep in mind that a story usually has more than one side. -- Going forward it feels good to be back home at fc and I'm excited for what the future holds. I'm aware of the technical issues that need addressing along with some general housekeeping. Much of this is long overdue and I apologize for the inconvenience that it has caused. A huge thank you goes out to everyone who has so graciously helped out during this time, and to those helping me get back on my feet. You know who you are, even if you won't read this, thank you. I've been told that there has been some disagreements with staff here and the blame lies squarely at my feet. I'm confident that while feelings may have been bruised when emotions ran high, intentions were good and hearts were likely in the right places. Friends sometimes fight, and misunderstanding and miscommunication often creep in to make a tough situation worse. It won't be long before those disagreements are with me directly. If you've sent me a private conversation message or an email I most likely haven't responded. Sorry about that. The pile towers much higher than I've been in a long time and while an attempt will be made to get through it, please feel free to resend your message. Thanks for making this place what it is and rest assured there are some great things in the pipeline.