I have a simulation baseball league that relies on Yuku as well. These last two failures are coming at very inopportune times. And when they come during live drafts and the like, it's more than frustrating.
Matthew, I'd love to rely on your expertise to tell me about your experience with Xenforo as you set this thing up.
Well, that's the funny thing: I'm kind of learning on the spot here, right now, myself. The most knowledge I have of running forums pretty much goes no further than here. I've just been used to being the lowly moderator who posts different banners. Generally, all the forums we've dealt with were kind of "built in" in the sense that all we had to do was just run the basic administrative stuff, while people like Doc, or companies like Yuku, handled the back end for us.
See, XenForo, like Vanilla in the past, is just forum software. Very good forum software, but you still need to find a host, and domain. Also, finding a good host is at least as important as the forum. If you pick a bad host, well, it could be another Yuku. If you remember, Vanilla had its share of outages, as well.
So this leaves us in a funny spot that I've been trying to think through, and one I wasn't expecting to think through this fast. Technically, we could just say, fine, we don't have the technical experience to play Doc, screw it, let's just find another free forum. The plus side, unless they pull a Yuku and charge a fee to remove ads, it's free, and there's no back end work to do. The down side, it's free, and you could be at the mercy of another Yuku and go through what we have been going through the past two weeks. You also don't have much control over a lot of things.
Take Tapatalk: it's the most popular app to access forums from on a mobile device, and around last year, Yuku forums were able to be added to it. Of course, from the way quotes were displayed, to a few things, all Yuku forums were totally botched on it. Why? Because Yuku never updated the Tapatalk plugin that was needed to make it work properly. When trying to contact Yuku about it, they basically responded as if I were speaking Jim Tracy, and referred me to their own POS app that hasn't been updated since approximately 1992. Contrast this with a place like XenForo (not necessarily them specifically), and I can just install the plug in myself. Done. There's other things you get to do that's nice when you're on your own: remember when Doc was able to create that PickleViewer thing on Vanilla, that had a scoring update on the home page? We could have fun with that, as well. For instance, I'd love to find a way to automate all of us having to constantly post things from Twitter, when breaking news happens. It'd be nice to have, say, a Twitter widget of the worthy feeds doing it for us, and we can just get to discussion. That's probably a lot tougher, if not impossible, to do that on, say, a Yuku.
So the nice thing about that is that the forum people get to focus on making the best forum software, and the server/host people get to focus on doing their job well. Also, if the hosting people do get terrible, you just have to change hosts, instead of uproot everyone to another forum. But, of course, there's a cost to that. A single XenForo license, for instance, is $140. (I'd imagine other companies would be similar.) It's lifetime, which is nice, (and they have other things you can buy, like having people install the software for you) but then you have to factor in monthly hosting/domain costs, as well. And then after that, does anyone actually know how to install the stuff and maintain it? For instance, what if we did have to change hosts? I know, at least right now, I wouldn't know how to do it.
Ultimately, I guess, this is one large non-answer, because I'm still learning myself, right now. I don't pretend to be an expert, and if I'm missing anything here, please correct me. In a dream world, sure, let's go get the leanest, meanest forum software that's built upon great foundation that will last us for years and we don't have to re-visit moving every 2-3 years. But unfortunately, there are things to consider, and I'm trying to work through them. I feel everyone's pain here right now on Yuku; trust me, I'm just as pissed off. But I do want to make sure whatever we do, it's the right move, particularly over the long-term.