First, let me start with the issue that everyone, anyone, can understand-this site is not free! It is free to all of us who use it but it is not free to the person who has created it and maintains it. While I have never been given the details on this, anyone with an ounce of internet knowledge knows that a website like this costs money to start and to keep open. Also, the work involved to make this site what it already is and what it is becoming takes much more than two full time jobs, especially to do this in the amount of time that this site has been built. When you come here, benefit from all of the site building and networking efforts and time, etc. that the site owner and others have put into this site to make others come here for YOU to connect with and learn from, then try to take others away from here, you are, in my opinion, stealing from all of us as well as the site owner. KNOCK IT OFF! If it wasn't for all of this hard work, dedication, endurance (yes, endurance to put up with the nonsense of people stealing your hard work and taking advantage of the money and efforts expended here daily) YOU WOULD NOT EVEN HAVE A SITE to even be able to ask others to connect elsewhere with. How dare you? Please, THINK before you do something so low!
You need to think about this very carefully, how would you like to put in all of your waking hours 7 days week for many months straight with a never ending list of work to make this a place for you to come FOR FREE and have other people that you can connect with and learn a new language with as well as have volunteers willing to put in the hours just to improve YOUR language skills. I am not speaking of just myself when I mention these things, there are others here that volunteer their time and efforts to make this site more than just another social network site, in addition to all of the time and work that the site owner puts in to make this a useful place for you and others to come to. We do not do this just for you to come and take away the benefits of all this hard work!
When we use SpeakAlley's resources, such as the practice page, to connect with other learners, we not only benefit ourselves but all others who come here. Think about this, what good is it for us to make this a useful site, providing a place to for you to easily find and connect with other learners, if you and those like you keep taking the prime benefit away? The prime benefits, the immediate benefits to you as a person wanting to practice their language skills are THE PEOPLE who come here to SpeakAlley to learn and practice with each other as well as the volunteers who do all they can to help! When you invite others to connect with you elsewhere on the internet, you have not only stolen the results of our hard work from us but you have stolen the benefits of this site FROM ALL OTHER PEOPLE HERE trying to connect with others to practice. You came here only because of the site owner's hard work and money to not only create the site but to bring people here and to show up on the search engines to further the ability of even more to find this site. When you remove yourself to another site and you ask another to join you there, you have now removed at least two benefits-the people- from not only SpeakAlley but all its other members.
You also need to consider that you are hurting yourself as well as the person you ask to join with you elsewhere because the more people that you can connect with for every practice session that you have, the larger your information pool becomes for you to learn from. For example, if one person can contribute a new vocabulary word from each conversation you have, and you join them elsewhere to have this conversation, you have learned one new word, but if you connect here at SpeakAlley, a site designed to help you connect as a group, if you join with even just three other people you have not only tripled your word base to learn from but you have tripled your chances of engaging in a subsequent conversation and therefore tripled your chances to practice and learn even more. Often when engaging in these conversations, you can also receive other advice and tips besides just a new word to use. Why would you want to cheat yourself and others of this opportunity?
When you use a different site to connect with, you are cheating yourself in other ways. Let us consider time management. It takes a little time to contact and connect with others here at SpeakAlley, but then more time must be expended again to give them your new ID, make arrangements to meet up elsewhere and connect again. Since you are already here on SpeakAlley to find these people anyway, all you have to do is open a link and begin and you might just find that there is already a practice group open to join so you get to practice even if your regular contacts are not available at that time. You may also find that a session that started with only two people grows to include many more as others see a session open and join, providing a cumulative effect on your learning opportunities. This means that if you use Speak Alley to for its intended purpose, you will be able to connect with other learners and you will be able to use, improve and practice your language speaking abilities. This is a given; it will happen if you simply follow the suggestions found on the FAQ page and do your part in making the effort to interact.
Since you have come here to try to get others to connect with you elsewhere, I assume that you have already realized this, but for those of you who don't get it, let me explain another benefit of SpeakAlley over other networking sites. SpeakAlley is not just a social network, it is special in that it has been developed to cater to a very specific group of people- language learners. It has not only been developed for this specific purpose but it has been marketed to attract people who join specifically because they want to connect and practice with other language learners. The sites that I have been seeing you try to take others to cannot even try to claim this. If the place that you want to invite other members to was so beneficial to you for your learning endeavors, why don't you just find people from THAT site and connect with them? Why do you come here and then try to connect with them elsewhere? I'll tell you-the other sites were not designed solely to benefit your learning in the area of languages like SpeakAlley is nor will you be able to do find people there to practice with, at least not with the low level of effort that you can here. At SpeakAlley, the real work involved in connecting with other learners and in having other learning opportunities is already done for you. I will also give you another reason, the site owner does so much that you probably know nothing about to keep his site free of predators, scammers and spammers. You cannot say that about the other social sites that I see people trying to take others away to connect on. The other sites may do something about these problems but it will only be after the problem has become a serious issue, this is the first site I have seen that is so proactive about deterring the problem before. Also, since SpeakAlley is such a specific use site, if you do encounter a problem person, it is much easier to discern an ulterior motive and therefore report them sooner. Of course, as with any place on the internet, practical cautions and common sense should be used by each person, but at least here, potential problems are easier to deal with and eliminate.
Last, and this is my very personal opinion, if you like the other sites so much-some of you have mentioned that you think those scammer infested sites are better-well, "to each his own" but please don't sink to the tactless and classless level of coming here just to connect elsewhere.
Please show respect for not only the purpose of the site but for the other learners who come here as well as for those who work so hard to make this site a reality. If nothing else, please at least have appreciation for the fact that it is because of this site that you yourself have the opportunity to connect with other learners and support the site and your fellow members!
Personal note: When I first came here, I used the exact ideas found on the FAQ page, #2, #3, to connect and now I cannot even keep up with the people that want to exchange language skills, not counting the recent people I have followed. This works, period. I do not and will not use other sites to speak with other learners for these and the following reasons. My language benefits are here, the people that I have learned from, and made friends with are here, why would I go elsewhere just because one other person wants to talk elsewhere? I won't cheat myself like that. I am posting the rest of what I wrote on this subject in reverse order so that the paragraphs and reasons do not get blurred into one continuous thought. Please make sure that you read from the last post first to understand this.