Issued - 10.03.11
For immediate release
The Survive France network grew out of Catharine’s blog http://survivefrance.blogspot.com/ about coping with life and three children in a foreign country. She explains, ‘I had increasing numbers of people getting in touch, telling me that reading my blog and knowing that others were going through the same kind of experiences, was the one thing that kept them sane. The catalyst was a woman who commented that she was reading my blog out loud to her partner, prior to leaving him, in the hope that he would understand how she felt. I realised that there was a huge need for people to be able to connect and swap experiences in a mutually supportive atmosphere. And this is what SFN is all about.
We called the network ‘Survive France’ partly because of the association with my blog and partly as a tongue in cheek reference to the fact that for many people, living in France is a huge culture shock. Although geographically close, France is very different to the UK and getting used to how things are done takes time. We also realised that there was a huge demand for a site where people could network, personally and professionally.
SFN is unique. It is not a forum. We have a discussion board but we were always clear that we wanted to move away from the anonymity that goes hand in hand with old style forums. SFN is a real network used by real people. Members use their real names and upload a profile photo of themselves rather than an avatar, this formula has proved enormously successful.’
Since its launch in January 2010, SFN has gone from strength to strength. There are well over 2000 registered users on the main site with new members signing up daily. The facebook fan page currently has around 3500 fans and this number is also growing. Members can be found worldwide with the majority based in France and the UK. Membership in France is spread throughout the country with a concentration in those areas that have been traditionally popular with the British market, Aquitaine and the Charente. There are over 60 special interest groups and as one member says,
‘I’m very impressed with SFN - There is such a great choice of groups that every day something different is being discussed. It is varied and interesting.’
Another member listed her “Top ten reasons to love SFN” as:
- Freedom of Speech - SFN is open for discussion, it’s lightly moderated so you can say what you think
- It’s friendly - You won’t find any snidey remarks on here, if we disagree with someone we do so with respect for their opinion
- Excellent Resource - You can find out just about anything on SFN about life in France, from bringing up your kids and buying houses to raising dogs/cats/horses/pigs/chickens…
- It’s more than just a forum, you can read, blog, chat & listen in…
- Proactive approach to businesses - you can advertise for a very reasonable rate and list your business for free
- It’s fresh, progressive and fun
Yet another wrote this:
‘A testimonial for SFN: A year ago I posted my need for a French and English speaking personal assistant on various expat and French business forums. I got ONE response telling me I would never find anyone… 2 weeks ago I posted it on SFN, got 27 replies, within hours, and was lucky enough to find someone who is absolutely fabulous and may just be the difference between me ‘coping’ and ‘doing well’ in the French system. She’s an absolute star, I’m very happy and I can’t recommend SFN enough to anyone needing to know more about living, working and coping (lol) in France. Thanks Catharine and James, a fantastic resource!’
But don’t just take our word for it, come and see for yourself….
Notes to Editors
Catharine or James Higginson
Tel + 00 33 (0) 558915706
Mobile + 00 33 (0) 628371776
Survive France Network
Stats available upon request.