Boquete Ning Rebuttals

Normally I ignore comments on other Internet media, but personnel associated with Boquete Ning are making that difficult. When Boquete Ning personnel besmirch my name and character and I cannot respond on Boquete Ning, I will respond the only way I can, and that is here.

I want to cover five items that have been voiced on BN, which I consider personally insulting, without foundation and very hurtful.

  1. Personal and cordial email from Mr. Hunter.
  2. Bashing Ning
  3. Encouraging others to create a Ning
  4. Interested in driving traffic to Chiriquí Chatter
  5. Not interested in crime or the current case with Marion.

Personal and cordial email from Mr. Hunter

The new BN Administrator Ambreen’s current comment is what made me decide to respond. Had BN Ambreen wanted to close comments, on that particular post, Ambreen could have closed comments without insulting me.

Ambreen said that Mr. Hunter issued a personal and cordial email “reaching out”. If his email, which I dissected HERE was cordial, then my definition of cordial is much different than Ambreen’s. (Warm and friendly it wasn’t)

BN Administrator Ambreen said that Mr. Walker sent me the email. My email was signed Bob JLM. Am I to assume Bob JLM is Mr. walker?

Ambreen’s post on Ning, banning me from Ning was inflammatory. Of course, like many messages on Ning, it is no longer available to read. A CC reader had captured her last comment on that post, but the original post is gone.

High quality site moderators usually moderate and do not express opinion. Hopefully, BN Administrator Ambreen will learn this skill.

I don’t know where BN Administrator Ambreen lives, but I doubt sincerely that it is anywhere near Panama.

Bashing Ning

I have been accused of bashing Ning. I did a search for “Ning” on CC and only found two posts prior to my post on being banned.

The first of these posts is HERE. I certainly didn’t intend this as a bashing post. What I did intend was to register a concern about owners, not living in Panama, and wanting to remain anonymous being in charge of Boquete Ning. While the current owner wants to take credit for following in Lee’s ideals for Ning, Lee’s words in my post reflect a huge difference. My concerns still exist. I don’t know who JLM is and why they really want to control Boquete Ning. Until I know that, I have no trust in their intentions.

The second of my posts related to Fran’s being banned and what she had written explaining her reason for resigning. Since her resignation post was removed from Ning, no one could read it. What I read from her resignation was many of the same concerns that others had and were afraid to voice. I still think JLM could have accepted her resignation and let her remain a contributing member.

Encouraging others to create a Ning

If anyone can point me to where I suggested others create a new Ning, I would like to see it. I would have no doubt that I might have said that anyone can create a Ning that has $600 for a membership the size of Boquete Ning. The technology is provided by If someone can point me to where I recommended other create a Ning, I will stand corrected and issue an appology. Until then, I think I just pointed out that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to have a Ning Site. It just takes some cash.

Interested in driving traffic to Chiriqui Chatter

Now, of all the accusations, this is the most ludicrous. I started my first Chiriqui Chatter site in 2003, long before Boquete Ning and much before Boquete Guide ever existed.

I have looked at CC’s stats from referrals from Ning and Boquete Guide and they have never registered 1/2 a percentage point. In other words, it is not even seen. I continually get around a million hits a month. It may be higher or lower depending on how much I post and the subject.

I always posted on CC first and if I thought it was of interest to those in Boquete, then I posted on Ning. I always posted the Embassy and Warden information in Ning. People who register on STEP would get most of the notification directly from the Embassy, but I always got emails from people that learned about the Embassy Information from CC.

My current traffic has gone up following being banned from Ning. Go figure.

Not interested in crime or the current case with Marion

This is another foolish attack. All you have to do is look at the CC tags of Crime and Chiriquí Neighborhood Watch to see how much focus I have placed on crime and crime prevention over the years. In the past I set up a Chiriquí Watch site to let anyone record pertinent criminal information for the Chiriquí community. At that time, not enough people found value in it and I shut it down. I would never have set up that site if I hadn’t thought crime was an important item in Chiriquí to monitor.

The attack on my integrality of caring more about stats more than Marion is the most hurtful. Marion is one of my best and dearest friends in Panama. That is one of the reasons I was so angry that Keith (another principal of Ning) created a post identifying Marion as the victim of the home invasion. That was the first time I had seen Marion’s name in print as the home invasion victim. Until then, I had kept Marion’s name private in all my posts. That Ning post, and exchange of comments, was deleted from Ning so it is not available to be seen. I did make an issue of Keith’s copying and pasting the CC post on Ning because Ning is a commercial site and his posting material from CC was violating the Creative Common’s License.

When Marion gets through this ordeal, anyone can ask Marion’s opinion about how much I care about her and her family or the Chiriquí community as a whole.

As I said when I started this post, I usually ignore comments about me on the Internet. However, when officials of Boquete Ning attack my character, then that requires a response.

29 thoughts on “Boquete Ning Rebuttals

  1. Thank you for continuing to report on Marion, and for all you have done for her and so many other expats over the years.

    Ning continues to shoot itself in its foot, regularly. The new owners have shown, in many instances, that they have no interest in Boquete or Panama… only in preserving those accounts which might enhance Ning’s earning capacity.

    No matter, because we have a new and much better site for those of us who appreciate real communication about life in Chiriqui. No one needs to rely on Ning for useful information now that we have

    Chiriqui.Life is non-profit, has no connection to anything related to Ning, and has all of the features we love and use…. forums, notices, an event calendar and more.

  2. Don, I know from personal experience how much time and effort you are investing in Marion’s welfare. For anyone to suggest otherwise is convoluting the truth.

  3. Well I said it on NING and I will say it here…they have made a mistake and owe you an apology. This was a misunderstanding fueled by paranoia. I said there, and I will say here…the LAST thing you are is self serving. I said there and I will say here….you are a helper by nature and we are blessed to have you as Warden. ( by your communications you serve David and Boquete as well)
    I made those comments about a week ago. If no apology has come your way, and those folks are sticking to their guns then dust off your sandals and move on. Keep doing what you do….and well, I might add !

  4. This was in the “Blogs” section:

    Posted by Ambreen on October 3, 2015 at 9:00pmSend Message View Blog
    In the last few hours, there was a travesty in our area which affected the lives of some of our neighbors. For those of you who may or may not know, there was a post about it here on Ning.
    I am told to stay away from reply’s and leave them to Mr. Woolford. However do to the severity of the incident involving our neighbor’s and the reply’s to the story by a “Don Ray Williams” ( see below quote)
    Reply by Don Ray Williams 4 hours ago
    That is correct Bonnie. I did. That post, on Ning, is my work. In Keith’s comment he copied material from the blog (My work) and then referenced the post on Boquete.ning. Should I decide or Boquete.ning management decide to remove my membership, than all posts by me would leave Ning. If my words have been copied and pasted, then they would only leave if the person that put them there removed them.
    We have come to the reality from many readers and members emails/comments to us, that this Man’s post(s) as of late always link back to his site ( which we will not offer any further credit to) and his way to discredit Boquete Ning in an effort to create viewership for his own self promotion. We have let it go to date, but this post above in the midst of a horrible tragedy to our own neighbors has now forced us to say no more!. Our patience has worn thin! Who could ever be worried about self promotion in a time of trying to help those whose lives have been at risk? We do not welcome them on our site! He is banned! We exercise / reserve the right to keep this type of self promotion off of our site.
    BN Administrator

  5. Don Ray, thank you for venting. What you have said is what most long-term residents here feel. As Fran said, there is a new community forum available that I hope others will see as an alternative to the now more or less useless boquete.ning.

  6. Mr.Woolford is actually the main problem over this. He violated Mr. Williams copyright. That started it all. Ning would be better served handing him severence papers.

  7. Very sad situation indeed. Frankly I just don’t understand how this could have happened…….
    I suppose dumbfounded would be the word.

  8. You keep up what you’re doing Don. As a dear friend to us who has helped us several times, my husband and I feel you are one of the kindest men here in Panama. Fran is so right. We now have a new forum and as my father used to say “Go pound salt boquete.ning”!!! Glad I am no longer on that site. We don’t need them.

  9. I support your opinions. I have an very uncomfortable feeling about the new ning. Twice I have asked if they own all the content and can they sell the member’s IDs and email addresses as their policy only shows what is required of the members. Can you shed some light on this? Why are they being so secretive?

  10. You are truly a gentleman and concerned about your community. Your response to foolish paranoid attacks illustrates that, not that more evidence was needed.

  11. I have been reading Don Ray’s blog almost since the first day. Boquete.ning came along when imploded and I began following it as well.

    Here is the test on judging Web sites: if the site is covered with ads and the owner is reminding get you to support the sponsors, EVERYTHING you see may be slanted toward making a profit. Lee was smart enough to know that conflict drives Web traffic. The current b.ning owners are clueless as to this fact.

    The next grand mistake they made was turning over the daily control to someone who has not only never been to Panama, she never took the time to even read past postings on what Ning was about.

    The last point was the selection of Keith Woodford as the “face” of ning. Keith is one of only two people who have ever called me an a2240le in an email message. I thoroughly dislike vulgar language so that told me everything I needed to know about ning’s new barker.

    One last bit of advice about the newning, if you suddenly find yourself banned, you have no way of removing your information from ning. I know this because I have been trying for weeks to do that. I finally contacted directly and they have not been able to get anything done.

  12. I have but one simple comment: I consider it a great benefit and a genuine privilege to be able to visit Chiriqui Chatter on a daily basis. I have a deep appreciation of one man’s deeply personal observations of life and living in Chiriqui Province — especially as those observations are augmented by the fact that the observer serves the expat community as the appointed representative of the diplomatic arm of the government of the country from which so many have expatriated.

    I object most strenuously to the gross mis-characterizations of Don’s actions and perceived intent.

    Furthermore, words cannot express my own personal gratitude and appreciation for Don’s immeasurably positive assistance to Marion and her daughter, Deborah during this crucial time.

    Thank you, Don Ray

    Davitt M. Armstrong

  13. I’m no longer in Boquete, so according to some, my opinion no longer matters. I’m sorry for what has happened to you personally, and sorry for the entire community. Ning WAS a good thing. I’m glad there’s a new, replacement site, but still saddened it came to a new site being needed. I never met you, but have always enjoyed your blog and contributions to .ning, and have never read anything by you that wasn’t thoughtful or helpful, or showed anything but integrity.

  14. Don Ray, it’s obvious that many past and present ningers are behind you 100% and are disgusted with .ning for their crass treatment of you.

  15. If Ambreen’s grasp of the English language (spelling, punctuation, grammar and putting a sentence together) is any indication, she really doesn’t need to be moderating or commenting anywhere. It makes my head hurt to read her comments.

  16. Many have already posted and the overwhelming support of the community is obvious. My apologies for the length of this but here is my take… (thanks for allowing us a voice Don)

    I think the center of this entire issue is that Don was attempting to provide his readers with the very personal and private experiences of someone dealing with medical issues in David. I am sure that getting Marion to share her struggle on a condition of anonymity was not easy. I doubt most of us would willingly share our private medical battles on a public forum. Kudos to both Don and Marion for finding the courage to do so.

    In my observation, Don did what he always did – he wrote about it on his blog rather than putting it on Ning, thereby getting the information out to as many people as possible. Not everyone reads Don’s blog and sharing content by a link is proper way to do it. It prevents wild speculation and gossip since it points to the original source.

    Where it all fell apart was that Keith, in his zeal as a new moderator of Ning, copy and pasted from Don’s site and also identified Marion as the anonymous author. I doubt Keith realized the issue of copying and pasting content to a for-profit website. Ning profits from any content that is posted. Copyright laws are in place to protect content creators (such as Don and Marion) from others that would profit from it. A simple link protects the content creator and gets people to the actual source information. Don proudly displays the Creative Commons License at the top of the front page.

    The second and more egregious error on Keith’s part was to reveal Marion’s identity. Again, this was probably done without thought in his effort to expand the discussion on Ning.

    An apology by Keith could have settled this quickly but Ning management jumped into the fray. The randomly deletion of content and the banning of members who vocally disagree created a situation where the poor reader cannot get the entire story. JLM Foundation and Ambreen have actually created a divide and halted the healthy yet passionate discussion. They then compounded their error by banning Don only fueling the debate and driving traffic to many other sites (Facebook, Chiriqui Chatter, Chiriqui.Life etc) for discussion.

    In passionate and heated discussions, both parties present their views and the reader then has all the facts. In this case JLM and Ambreen have prevented the reader from getting all the facts since content is quickly deleted thereby giving a one-sided view. The Ning reader is left without any way to make an informed opinion. When you hide behind a veil of secrecy and eliminate opposing views you cannot expect intelligent people to respect your point of view and give it value.

    I know that Lee created Boquete.Ning on November 4, 2007. I know that Don Ray joined and posted on Boquete.Ning on Decemeber 20, 2007 when Ning had less than 75 members. According to my copy of the Ning membership in mid August of this year, Don had posted to 288 discussions. It is obvious that Lee had no objection to Don and welcomed his posts and links back to Chiriqui Chatter. Almost 8 years of posting speaks volumes.

    Finally, to quickly address the five points that Don outlined:

    Personal and cordial email from Mr. Hunter.
    Don posted the email and while it was signed by Bob (no last name), Ambreen mentions it as Mr. Hunter. It appears to me that Don is willing to have a discussion but like him, I would not be willing to start exchanging emails without knowing the other person. Expecting Don to respond to “Bob (no last name)” is no different than expecting someone to respond to spam. Responding on a public forum is the only responsible way to prevent a “he said/she said” argument that is sure to follow.

    Bashing Ning
    Encouraging others to create a Ning
    Interested in driving traffic to Chiriquí Chatter
    Not interested in crime or the current case with Marion.

    I have to almost chuckle at all of these statements. I have dinner with Marion about once a week at her house. She makes an awesome Shepherd’s Pie. I am well aware of her longstanding friendship with Don Ray. To imply that Don is interested in driving traffic to his own non-profit site is ridiculous. Ning’s handling of this entire affair has driven traffic to many other sites and away from their own! Don simply informed the most people he could by posting a link on Ning and then passionately objected to Keith’ s handling of it.

    To think that Don Ray would not move heaven and earth for Marion is not to know the man. His actions speak for themselves as do the actions of his critics that have done very little.

  17. Everything TwinWolf said is absolutely correct but there is so much more to the man. He has helped untold ex-Pat’s and local Panamanians and people wanting to more here with his deeds and actions. I, for one, I’m forever grateful to Don Ray Williams. By the way, I life the new Forum, Chiriqui Life at and hope that they are successful.


  18. We have known Don Ray since we arrived in the area in 2011. We have never known him to be anything but kind, respectful and generous. We are upset about the treatment he has received from Ning and believe they owe him a public apology.

  19. In my opinion, having read don and Keith’s ning posts they both behaved consistently. Don, has always linked to his cc site. Why would he bother to type the whole post a second time? I have appreciated Don’s linked posts, particularly as it relates to Embassy news. I don’t know who the embassy warden for Boquette is. I do not participate in any of the activities in the boquette expat community so perhaps others know him that way. Keith to reacted in his normal mode. Keith often will cut and paste longish posts from other sites. Often I have found that helpful because of my limited Spanish and the occasional times that I can’t get links to work. alas , Keith sometimes has shown a lack of discression as in cases where he has gone into attack mode on a non-offensive post by a person he has had prior argument with. the unknown in thi is Aberdeen. what occurred reminds me of an incident in my first weeks as a manager for a hospital department. going over time cards, a person who worked alone had claimed overtime. a long time employee in the dept told me that policy would not approve it because the nursing supervisor of the shift had not signed off on it. so I did not approve the ot, the person quit, I got suckered. I think Aberdeen got suckered. she reacted to a person who was angry and overreacting that Don had called out Keith on reposting his material. So she immediately reacted in a hasty way.

  20. The Boquete ning folks stuck up for me and Irene with BCP. The Boquete ning folks are the regular expats who are simply looking for local news or a deal on a refrigerator. No one wants to read personal attacks. That stuff is why we left the states in the first place. Maybe it is a lesson that needs to learned by the new management. It is okay to be business oriented and try to make a profit. That does not include putting down folks they don’t like. My guess is Chirqui life is going to take off like a bullet.

  21. As I haven’t seen a recent update on Marion, I had a peak on ning, simply out of sheer curiosity, to see if anyone was keeping up with her there. Very coincidentally, I found that Marion’s daughter had just posted. Can’t be sure that the post will be there for long – as deleting comments that don’t agree with them about how awesome they are is their modus operandi.

    I copied Deborah’s reply to Walter to share with your readers here, as many who have deleted there ning accounts won’t be able to see it…

    Walter’s comment yesterday… Is there an update on Mrs. Clamp’s condition? Is she recovering well?

    Hello Walter. This is Marion’s daughter. I am no longer posting updates on this website. There is too much misinformation going around on ning, not to mention many hostile messages on various topics. I will soon be terminating my membership here. Please refer to the chriquichatter website for reliable updates. Thank you and take care.

  22. I want to reiterate the facts relating to Keith. When Don Ray’s post referred readers to his site to read the article there, it seemed obvious to me that Keith should have left it at that…or at most quoted from the Chiriqui Chatter article. When Keith instead posted the full article, I posted on Ning and pointed out to Keith that copying the whole article to Ning was not Don Ray’s intent and a breach of the copyright that allows copying but only for non-profit sites. To his credit, Keith replied to my post within minutes and removed the Don Ray article that was at issue.

    IMO he took the corrective action after making a mistake. I very much doubt he was the one to delete Don Ray’s membership, something that almost seems like an act of self-mutilation even if supported by Ning sycophants.

  23. Just to let you know, Don,, I too defended you on BN and I have removed myself from their membership. Aren´t you glad you are you??!!:):):)

  24. In every minefield of a disagreement there is a little nugget of gold or something to be learned. I found this quote from “Bill” to be such a nugget. In one sentence he summed up the entire reason for allowing the freedom of discussion from varying points of view – even those you disagree with… He stated:

    “I don’t learn anything new from being right, but I’m forever indebted to those who take the time to offer alternative opinions or straighten me up when I am wrong.” – Bill on Ning

    In my opinion, that best describes why each of us yearns for a place where we can voice our opinions, and share our experiences. Again, thank you Don Ray from myself and from the people of Chiriqui. You have allowed all of us the freedom to learn new things… even those with whom we disagree.

Leave a Reply