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It just says on 10-13-15, their services are down, which I guess none of us could figure out. There was something more substantive today, which basically says that their technicians are still having trouble with their servers (no shit?), and that their help desk is backlogged. Additionally, even some of their help forums are down. It's practically comical. I can just imagine the Yuku technicians, with their slide calculators and TI-99/4 computers, working really hard to solve this. When I was trying to deal with them earlier this year with their Tapatalk issues, they basically replied as if I were speaking another language. So let's say they were already not on my Christmas card list before this week. Oh, but based on the announcement they plastered on the forum last week, they've made some absolutely stunning changes to their home page! A note of trivia, by the way: for those old enough to have been on the first iteration of The BBWC (roughly 2004), EZBoard is actually now Yuku.
So I want to tackle this from two angles: first, how did we get to Yuku in the first place and, two, what's the next step?
How We Got Here:
Some of you might remember, but for those who don't: around summer of 2012, our previous owner, Richard (known as doctyper), was unable to continue to run the site, so he handed that responsibility to the moderators at the time: me, Kyle, Torgy, and Greg (Big Blaster), and we needed to find a forum roughly by the offseason. As it turns out, that's easier said than done, particularly amongst four people who largely had no experience in such matters, because not all forums are equal (as you've been reminded, this week). Most of the options, believe it or not, were even worse than Yuku at the time. Beyond the horrid aesthetics from the 1990s, a lot of what we found was pretty lacking and, as hard as it is to believe, Yuku was literally the best option we had at the time. So given the time constraints, we went with that for the time being, and once I was able to re-design the site, things did start off well enough. Yuku truly seemed like they had their act together at the time. Sadly, that turned out to be wrong. So what's the next step?
The Next Step:
The first thing I'm going to ask is for no one to donate any more money. I truly appreciate every dollar that all of you have contributed to keeping this site ad-free. None of it has gone unnoticed, and I've truly been amazed at how supportive everyone has been throughout the nearly three years we've been here. Thank you all, you are incredible.
But it's the last dollar any of you guys are going to contribute. Even on a functioning site, no one should have to pay a monthly fee to essentially keep adware from spamming their computers. I get that Yuku needs to make money, so they can keep up this first class service, but asking people to shell out monthly fees in order to not have 3/4 of the site covered in ads is screwed up. And if they're going to ask that out of members, then it makes these crashes even more inexecusible. So the first thing: no more money to these people.
Secondly, some of you might have noticed me talking about the idea of a new forum at times, this year. It's something I already wanted to do, and after these past two days, it's something we're definitely going to do. Ideally, I'd like something by the end of the year/beginning of 2016. For sure by Spring Training. I know after the past few days, that seems like eternity, but if the past three years of Yuku has taught us anything, it's this: the next forum needs to be done right, from top to bottom. I don't want to have to keep us moving every 2-3 years, I'd like to find a permanent solution. So it's critical to find the proper foundation. So this is where you come in:
As some of you might remember, our old owner was a programming wizard. He could have annual Christmas forum upgrades, with little snowflakes pouring down the page. Unfortunately, while I have many strengths, from leading world famous rock bands, to pleasing the ladies, programming is not one of them. This isn't generally my area, so I don't want to go about trying to do this and utterly screw it up. So if anyone has any expertise about forums, from the kind we should have, to the best brands and services, anything about domains, hosting, now is the time to let me know. I want us to have a very modern, kick ass forum, with all the bells and whistles. It's time, and after all the contributions you guys have given, you deserve this in return.
From my limited research, and experiences, I've heard many great things about Xenforo.
It's highly rated and talked about. Once you buy a lifetime license for the forum itself, then I think you pay other companies for them to host it, and then buy the domain. For anyone in the know, does this sound right? Are there any other, preferable services? Anyone have experiences with this area?
Finally, for the membership in general: outside of the forum, you know, actually functioning, what type of features do you want to see in the next iteration? Feel free to use this thread to voice your wishes, big or small. I can't guarantee every one of them will be used, but I want to make wherever we go next to be something all of us can really enjoy.
So let the discussion begin.