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Ask Antimoon won’t be coming back

Quick update for those of you who care:

After spending weeks trying to configure a replacement for Ask Antimoon, I’ve convinced myself that the project is not really worth the effort. I’ve got to face the facts here: the site never took off the way I hoped it would. The number of visitors was minuscule next to the total number of Antimoon visitors and, while there was an upward trend, it was barely detectable. I know there was a small group of people who really liked Ask Antimoon (I still get enquiries from former users). There were also some insightful discussions there and I’m sorry they’re no longer accessible. Still, setting up, maintaining and administering Ask Antimoon takes really unpleasant work. Since I suck at making money on the Interwebs, there would be zero financial payoff to that work. Of course I like doing stuff for the community, but I think my time is better spent on things other than providing and policing a discussion board.

I apologize to those of you who were waiting for the site to come back up. And no, there will be no revival of the old forum. No way I’m going back to that level of discussion.


37 Comments so far ↓

  • Asad

    Any new offerings in the pipeline?
    or do you think Antimoon is now a dead duck from now onwards?

    • Tom

      Not sure I understand the concept of “dead duck”, but no, I don’t have a new community site up my sleeve.

      • Asad

        Well, I meant to say that:

        1. You update new articles in months.
        2. Language forums are shut down for good.
        3. No new community like Ask-Antimoon in future.

        So , Are you almost done with the site? (Is is doomed to failure? I used the phrase “dead duck” in this sense.)

      • Tom

        I am working on a big project (let’s call it “Project X”) that I hope will lead to a product or several products for English learners. If that doesn’t work out financially, I think I’ll give up. By “give up”, I mean that Antimoon will stay online, but there will be no more updates.

  • K

    Would’ve done the same thing in your place, but that still would’ve made me an asshole.

  • Adam Byrtek

    I was only a casual visitor, but simply deleting all the valuable content on such a short notice had to be painful to those dedicated users who contributed the most. I think a nicer way to resolve this would be to find a volunteer to take over, or at least offer an option to export the data.

    • Tom

      A volunteer? It was hard to find people willing to moderate the site. Few people even bothered to flag spam posts.

      • Adam Byrtek

        My point is that it doesn’t inspire trust when you bring the site down without notice and with no way to recover contents contributed by users. There was a lot of useful information out there, and authors should have an opportunity to recover it.

        I perfectly understand that you are not interested in running the site anymore, but the least you can do is to publish a database dump. Stack Overflow, which engine was used at Ask Antimoon, does it regularly[1]. It won’t cost you anything.

        Anyway, good luck with Project X.


      • Tom

        (1) The dump contains sensitive user data, so I would have to remove it. (2) I’d have to find some place to host the file. Between Antimoon and Typeit, I am already using almost all of my bandwidth allowance. (3) I’m not sure anyone is actually interested in doing something with the dump. I don’t want to spend a day on this and then find out no one really cares.

        Perhaps it would be best if people who are interested write to me directly.

      • Kyralessa

        Tom, I flagged spam posts. If you recall, I also offered to help you, free of charge, to migrate the data to a new site. My impression is that you feel like certain parts of the work (e.g. anonymizing user data?) *must* be done by you alone, and you simply don’t feel like doing them. This is…disappointing.

  • jeanJean

    Hey, what don’t You create You google + account and continue …

  • sailingariel

    Hey Antimoon users! If anyone is interested in trying to get a similar site going (still thinking through platforms), feel free to e-mail me. I love our little community and would love to keep it going. :)

    • Adam Byrtek

      As a programmer, I can help when it comes to technology, but only if you are able to recruit the regulars to bootstrap, and convince Tom to give his blessing, consent to use the name, and database dump. He did a great job with Antimoon, and I don’t intend to do anything against his will.

      Feel free to get in touch at

  • sailingariel

    Oh, sorry – my e-mail is

  • Niall

    Oh I really liked ask antimoon

  • mike

    What a shame!

    This website was by far the most helpful and motivating thing for learning English that I’ve discovered in 20 years, and so was it’s small, but wise and friendly community.

    There’s a couple of sites that I visit on a daily basis, and Antimoon, as well as Ask.Antimoon was one of them.
    I’ve been waiting from the 18th of July, till now, for Ask.Antimoon to come back. I still got a text file on my hard disk, full with questions what I was going to ask.
    I didn’t sign up to any other community, I didn’t even search for another one, because I knew, Ask.Antimoon would be the best choice.

    I also still have about 40 bookmarks of Ask.Antimoon in Firefox. Some articles that I haven’t had time to read, and lots articles with very useful information.
    Perhaps I’ll never get the chance to read those articles (again).

    Tom, could you please at least upload Ask.Antimoon as a backup/archive?

    Goodbye Ask.Antimoon.

    • Tom

      Thanks for writing this. I liked the site, too, but if it was so great, why was it so unpopular?

      • Ivana

        This whole site has a subjective feel, somehow it feels like your on view on language learning. That’s how it strikes me. Maybe that’s the reason
        Gives it an amateurish feel

        • Karen v.H.

          Ivana, that’s such an interesting comment, and now I’m really curious about your perceptions. I’m a professional English teacher — primarily an accent reduction coach — and I’ve had a very different reaction to the site. I imagine my reaction may be so different because I’m coming at it from a different background. I just found this site yesterday, and never saw the “Ask Antimoon” section that everyone is talking about. But I like Antimoon a lot. Earlier in the day I had been barely suppressing my fury at a site written by a professional English teacher that was full of incorrect information, confusing “explanations,” and outright spelling errors (imagine an English teacher who doesn’t know that the past tense of “lead” is spelled “led,” not “lead”). I see a lot of that in the world of ESL websites, unfortunately.

          In contrast, Antimoon made me sit up and take notice because Tom’s English is just as good as he says it is. He writes and sounds like a native. And his observations about why his approach worked for him make intuitive sense to me. I’m taking a very similar approach in my study of Russian (though I’m nowhere near fluent yet in Russian, so I can’t show the same dramatic results yet). So when I see this site, my reaction is “Oh my, this guy’s English is practically perfect! How did he do it?” He has immediate credibility with me as an expert on how to learn English, because he’s done it. You’re coming at it from a different angle and so it may look very different to you.

          I’d be very curious to see some examples of sites that come across as “professional,” because I’d really like to know how English sites appear to people who are working on learning the language. They may look very different to learners than to native speakers, and I’d love to know.

          • Ivana

            Hi Karen,
            sorry, I haven’t seen your reply until now. I would really like to answer but don’t know if you are going to see my answer. If you do, please drop a l;ine here after reading my text.

          • Ivana

            In fact I’ll give it a try. The first thought I had after I had read the site was that Tom projects his own points of view as ‘truths’ he wants to teach others. Take an example of the part about the uselesness of English classes, or myths and facts about learning a foreign language.
            Imagine that I start teaching you what’s wrong with Antimoon method (though I’m partly guilty of it:) will I have many followers?

          • Ivana

            I think it is not enough that you believe your observations are true. I think your observations need to be much more elaborate if their goal is to convince others

      • Ivana

        Sorry for being so blunt, I just wanted to state what I see as a possible reason that should be fixed

  • Javi

    Thanks for everything !

  • Radek

    Hello Tom!!! Your Website is the best. My English is basic, but with you I can learn faster. How can I learn a bit faster? I am going to study a Nursing in the U.K ( Sep 2012). Kings regards:-) Radek

  • Rancher

    I just listened to Shaggy Dog Stories. They are absolutely marvelous! So funny and interesting. Thank God I was looking for a good learner’s dictionary review. If that was not the case, I would never find this incredible site. I never read so much on the Internet as I did in the past two days. A lot of tips, experiences and recommendations. Too bad that I did not get a chance to see this Ask Antimoon section of the site. Anyway, Tom, thanks for existing!

  • Franco

    Thanks for this site, Tom.


  • Niall

    Somebody has already set up a new ‘ask antimoon’ check it out here:

    Dont know if his helps though?

  • Caspian

    Hi, Tom.

    I really think this is a shame – so now we have no community here whatsoever. The site is 100% one-sided: people can browse the articles that you write, and the material that you have written, but there’s no language community, no mutual helping, no Q&A any more. We’re no longer a group of language learning enthusiasts who like to help each other, we’re a number of individual users who cannot communicate with one another.

    First you shut the forum down – and I did e-mail you a couple of weeks ago about this (a reply would have been nice), I really think it was a shame. I’m not going to go on at length about that because I honestly think it’s futile trying to get you to change your mind. I feared that you might (but hoped very much that you wouldn’t) give up on the idea of Ask Antimoon. That replaced the old forum, but there’s nothing to replace Ask Antimoon.

    There’s actually no equivalent online. There are language learning forums, but none of them have the same level of interesting discussion as Antimoon used to. It seems you’ve got quite defeatist and gloomy about it, whereas you should be looking at the positive side! Look at what you brought to the language community. You’ve made a huge contribution to it – if English weren’t my mother tongue, I would definitely use your method to learn it. You do need some sort of interaction, some way people can discuss language and encourage each other.

    So, one last plea. I understand you’re not willing to keep it going yourself – but will you help us to continue it? I’m very rusty, but I can manage with PHP, and I’m quite good at HTML and Javascript. I’m going to e-mail sailingariel above and see if we can’t get something going again. Would we be able to contact you for tips and advice, and perhaps eventually we could work towards trying to import some of the old Ask Antimoon content into the new system, if it ever happens?

    I’m not saying it’ll work, but I’m very willing to give it a try – for you, for me, and for all the language learning community.

    Caspian M

    • Tom

      It’s not like I shut down the site just to spite everyone. If the company that provided the software hadn’t shut down the site, it would still be running today. It’s just that keeping the site afloat would require some work that I don’t like to do (modifying someone’s else’s messy, undocumented code). It would be hard for me to justify the effort — there’s nothing in it for me. I’m certainly not getting paid for it.

      And even if I pulled it off, the end result would be worse than AA, so it’s hard for me to get excited about it.

      BTW, have you checked out They’re the 800-pound gorilla in the English Q&A space. is a new site based on the same engine that Ask Antimoon used (the company that used to host AA runs it), though it is more geared to native speakers.

      About your question, I’m not sure what “tips and advice” you have in mind. Importing the old content is an option, though it would be nontrivial and probably not worth the effort.

  • Wojtek

    Hey Tom and others! We could create our own Q&A service in They say it is possible to create own site within 8 seconds.

    Since it is free/open source software it is possible to install Shapado everywhere.

  • Miss Language Learning

    It’s a shame that Ask Antimoon is closing down. I loved it. You should have kept some kind of archive. :(

  • Liz

    Good morning everyone,

    I just wanted to say that I support Tom. He has been very clear from the start about his stance and I find it very selfish of those of you who insist he not shut down the Ask Antimoon site or who criticize him for the measures he has taken. I applaud those of you who have the desire to start new projects in order to keep alive the concept of what Ask Antimoon was since Tom can no longer do so. How about patting Tom on the back for all the unrewarded work he has put in all this time?

    Give Tom a break, guys.


    • Kyralessa


      When I saw that Tom had posted about having trouble importing the data, I sent him this:


      “I just now saw your blog post, about migrating to a new host and having trouble importing the data.

      “Could I offer some help?

      “I’m a C# programmer by trade, and if you need the data converted from one format to another, I could assist. If I take on the job, I can do it pro bono as my contribution to a site that I enjoy and whose benefits I receive for free.

      “If this would help you, let me know.”

      Tom thanked me for the offer…but wasn’t willing to let me help. Presumably he doesn’t trust anyone else to treat the user data appropriately. But then he doesn’t want to do the work himself either. What are we to think?

      Further, all of us contributed to the great information on the site, information that was then suddenly purged from the Web. I think we have a right to be a bit upset about that. If Tom, understandably, isn’t willing to do the work to bring the site back, he ought to *entrust* the data to someone who will.

  • Chris

    AFAIK Steve Pavlina’s forum is run by volunteers. And his on-line business seems to be thriving. You could consider this instead of giving up your forum altogether. It’s just a thought. Good Luck !

  • David


    Please bring the forum back!

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