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Right, my Jedi calm has finally broken

Right, my Jedi calm has finally broken

This site has been a God-send to myself and I imagine many more like me who are either sole traders or lack the support within their organisation. I have found it an invaluable tool in solving tax queries, especially given how bad the HMRC search function is.

When I post a question my name comes up as Thomas Peterson. Oddly that is not my real name, neither do I expect 'Old Grey Accountant' or 'Swiss Toni' to be their real names either. So I consider my post to be anonymous even if I don't tick the box! There are plenty of people in my office who use AW and none of them have ever worked out who I am (even going so far as to call Mr Peterson names to me :) ).

The only danger is if a client or manager spots 'their' question and traces your name through other posts, but how often does that happen? Clients tend not to ask their accountant a question then try and find out themselves, so how likely are they to spot the question?

I'm sick of people having a go at this great site! Regardless of its minor faults it is an incredibly useful forum and serves as both a learning platform (tax changes sooo fast...) and a source of entertainment thanks to the likes of Mr Toni (and long may be remain!). This job can be so demoralising and light relief is needed sometimes.

So to all the people complaining that people can see their pseudonom, pick a better pseudonom if you don't want to be traced. If you think too many stupid topics are posted here just don't read them.

I miss the old AW in some ways, but this new incarnation is nowhere near as bad as people are making out and I would be most displeased if it were to be scrapped.

That was cathartic, appologies if it was too much of a rant for this time in the morning.


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By mwngiol
16th Jul 2009 09:15

You're right. There are absolutely teething problems, but all people have to do is point them out. What I don't understand is the sheer aggressiveness and tone of some people and the way they're complaining.
As far as I can see, the only justifiable reason for anyone being pissed[***] off is if they made shedloads of pseudonym postings, and at one time it did seem as if the'd have to delete each posting one by one. That's now not the case.
Some people are acting as if they've caught everyone at Sift Media in bed with their daughter. Chill out!
If they get this angry about this stuff, I wonder how many times they'd stab me if I accidentally stepped on their foot??
Disagree with you about Swiss Toni though. He's about as funny as a dying bunny wabbit.

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16th Jul 2009 09:15

Many thanks
We are here to help

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16th Jul 2009 09:53

Good bit of Jedi perspective!
Steve Holloway is my real name and I have never used a alias and therefore most of the strife on the change has bypassed me. I have always tried not to post anything which I would not be comfortable with clients etc reading but I do understand that employees might not have the same relaxed attitude.

My gripes are now down to one (well apart from the fact that my text dissapears off-screen) .... I just want to be able to see who is posting what be it alias or otherwise. It totally destroys the flow of debate.

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16th Jul 2009 10:32

I'm not convinced
Like Steve, I use my real name so haven't paid too much attention to the anonymous/not issue. I can, however, understand the concerns of people who have, for whatever reason, posted anonymously and feared that their real name was about to be published.

Most of my visits are to Any Answers so I cannot really comment on other parts of Accounting Web.
There are, however, several issues with the new Any Answers which I think are significantly worse: -

1. The original question is not displayed when a comment is being made. This is stupid!
2. The latest comment is at the foot of the page, so that for a question with several answers we always have to scroll down to the bottom to see the latest response.
3. I don't understand why, but when I look at the replies to a question and scroll down, something like 40% of my screen is white, again making it necessary to scroll down more.
4. The type seems to be much larger so is taking up much more of the page.

The combined effect of these is that it takes longer to read replies and, to read a question I have to have AWeb open twice and flick between the two. Certainly over the last few weeks there have been a number of occasions when, knowing the length of time it would take, I just couldn't be bothered. Based on the number of reads and comments, it looks like I'm not the only one.

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By mwngiol
16th Jul 2009 10:44

I agree about the anonymity thing, and understand why some people got so annoyed about it.
The other points you raised I think are just part of a to-be-expected-problems element of the transition - I agree that some of them should have been obvious (especially not being able to see the question when replying). What I don't understand is the hostility of some members when they point out the things they don't like. Are they that rude when they complain in person or is it just the usual internet thing of people being a lot more rude than they otherwise would?

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By Moltke
16th Jul 2009 11:26

Got to laugh
Issues of anonymity and website layout have been a disaster. The site has really gone down hill and the quality of posts has reduced.

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16th Jul 2009 11:39

Not Jedi - Vulcan Logic
Thomas / Stephen, forget that load of Jedi hogwash, it's cold Vulcan logic that you need. The reason it matters to some is that it really does matter to them, therefore Aweb should take the complaints on board, though i must admit that there is no reson to be quite so rude to the editorial staff who have done their best after a bad start to deal with everyone's requests.

Like you I have no real problems with identity, i just prefer the pseudonym.

And logic dictates that recent answers should be at the top.

Live long and prosper.

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16th Jul 2009 11:40

I am also unconvinced
I agree with Stephen Kendrew - apart from his point (excuse me while I click back to read his comment again and find the number) 2; the order of comments has indeed been reversed, but while it is unfamiliar, I can see no decisive argument in favour of either order and I am prepared to adjust.

The failure to display the question on the screen when writing a reply is daft and must be rectified ASAP. I would like to see the previous replies as well, but I guess that may be too difficult to engineer.

I agree with the comments on the layout. It was awkward enough on the old platform when the text of questions was squeezed into a newspaper column in order to accommodate all the adverts at the top of the page. However, at least, it used to spread out across the page when space was available. So, please stop wasting 40% of the page on the new platform and spread the questions and replies to 100% of the available width. I suppose that if you are really addicted to newspaper columns, you could put the replies in two columns of 50% each, but do something to cut down the wasted space and excessive use of the scroll wheel. The new website is not very user friendly as it stands and that will inevitably reduce the level of use of the website.

I have another gripe. I often find long delays in loading the links to Any Answers or from there to specific questions. It is a sporadic fault and the old platform was not immune, but it is noticeably worse on the new platform.

Like the other respondents, I was not bothered by the anonymity/psueodonymity issue, but I am grateful to Gareth Beck at Members Services for changing my username to the "First Name Last Name" format. I know it is only a little thing, but Steve Roth and Steve Holloway have evidently done it as well. So Stephen, if you would prefer to join us as "Stephen Kendrew" rather than "stephenkendrew", send an e-mail to Members Services!

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By snopes
16th Jul 2009 12:34

...the aweb team are to blame. All the problems there have been - especially the anonymity/psuedonymity issue - could easily have been avoided entirely if the editorial team had give proper forethought to what they were doing that prioritised what was important to their audience.

ebenezer cuckpowder

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16th Jul 2009 13:21

No offence intended to those using their real names
(and I mean that sincerely)

But why on earth did you put your real names? Unless you are using the site to drum up business, in which case fair enough.

But the whole annomininity issue wouldn't matter if you obeyed the rules of the internet and used a fake (and funny) name.

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16th Jul 2009 16:04

Posted by ....... now there!
I can shut up now!

What is this 'rule of the internet' that you must operate under an alias? None of the editors use an alias so why should the posters (unless required by their employment status)?

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16th Jul 2009 16:13

Law of the Internet
Hmmm, I admit I am basing that on using message boards of a lower calibre than AW, but I am just so used to not using my real name (the thought of my actual name appearing on the net other than, for example, underneath something I want credit for makes me shudder...) it is second nature.

If I were just answering questions I might proudly use my real name to get kudos for my business, but even then the thought of giving advice over the net and people being able to come back to me if it is misinterpreted or wrong is just...

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16th Jul 2009 17:13

You cant keep a good chimp down !
I agree,you cant keep a good chimp down !

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By 3569787
03rd May 2016 19:31

Bit people are still leaving?

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By Anonymous
17th Jul 2009 12:17

its a fact of life that just when you get that IT software that is perfect they decide to mess it up..tinkeritus its called...this government invented it...main symptom is an uncontrollable desire to interfere in things that work perfectly well ...

Personally I don't find this site as good as it was but its still main gripe has always been (in no particular order):
1.people who use it as a marketing tool
2.people who post ridiculously complex and subjective questions
3.people who post questions that indicate they should not be allowed in the same room as a client

Rebecca Benneyworth for PM say I with Joanna Lumley as her chancellor (or should that be the other way round ?)


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17th Jul 2009 14:04

complete the cabinet

Can i nominate the following to the government alongside your choices

Foreign Secretary - Swiss Toni (who else!)
Defence - Can only be Ronald Angus
Home Secretary - OGA - the man talks sense.
Business & Enterprise - Clint Westwood.
Social Security - Davis Winch- just try and be a benefits cheat on his watch.

Anyone else have an opinion?

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17th Jul 2009 14:11

Thanks for the promotion!

As it happens I am regularly instructed on behalf of (alleged) benefit cheats because they may have been, for example, claiming Income Support whilst working 16 hours per week or more, but have failed to claim, say, Tax Credits to which they would have been entitled.

The DWP will prosecute for the Income Support overpaid (a person working 16 hours per week or more is generally not entitled to Income Support) without any recognition of the Tax Credit entitlement unclaimed. Putting forward the unclaimed entitlement can be a significant factor in mitigation when the matter goes to court.

Other cases typically involve, say, a single mother whose boyfriend has moved in with her and she has failed to notify the DWP that she has a partner who is in employment 24 hours per week or more (which again would bring the Income Support to an end, but Tax Credits would still be claimable).


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17th Jul 2009 15:22

Still - the old poacher turned gamekeeper rule would apply. Not sure it's actually promotion though.

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20th Jul 2009 12:55

Reply window pop up
Why can't a reply window pop up leaving you free to see and scroll through earlier posts?

I don't post anonymously and seeing as I am self employed I don't see the point. A few weeks ago AW wasn't showing names for whatever reason and some guy got agitated because he didn't know my name and thought I should put it on my posts. Now the names are back showing I hope he's calmed down.

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