Happy anniversay to us and still standing.

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    The first test forum was created on 9th January 2017 using simple machines forum software, there's been a "few" other changes since then, but after six months we're still standing. Most new forums collapse within six months, so hopefully our odds of longer term survival have just increased.


    It's been tough for me, on a lot of levels... the main one being I haven't got the foggiest idea what I am doing, but that's never stopped me before!


    I would like to thank all members, past, present and future for their support and here's hoping for even better things to come.


    Time for a little song:


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    Thank you. Hope so.


    As I've said to the staff here, many forum admins/owners think most independent forums will collapse under the giant that is Facebook which has just passed 2 billion people using it. Hope they're wrong.


    I think with billions of people on this planet, I think there is enough room on the internet for other chat areas apart from just Twitter and Facebook. Quite like this forum to be among them, but we'll see.


    Most mature forums have ageing software now. Software does not get old as such, but unless the software is kept up to date, it can be prone to hacking and other tech issues, so this forum is well placed to perhaps pick up any that might run into problems. With commercial companies like Amazon turning their backs on forums, they closed down the hugely popular IMDB boards a few months ago, we may eventually pick some stragglers up from there too and others.


    This forum, unlike my previous versions, does have social networking tools, so once I'm beyond the setup phase (it's always been in setup phase here as I've gone through so many different software changes, I must win an award for that...) I will go back to forum promotion in the Autumn using the tools that this software provides. If you use Twitter, Fleasebook or any other social media platform, by all means use the tools here too and if there are no buttons for your particular social media platform, ask, and I'll get them added.


    Hope to have the site's logo and overall customised design done by the Autumn too, if any designer ever bothers to show any interest.


    Here's to the next six months.

    :)

  • Thanks for this forum Horizon, I am trying to spend more time on here, but life has this nasty habit of getting in the way, finally got the forum bookmarked on my tablet so that when I am out and about and get a spare minute and free WiFi hotspot permitting I can try to get on here.

  • I'm glad you got it off the ground and so far it's holding up. I expect things may quieten down a bit in the summer but they'll pick up after the holidays again I'm sure. ;)

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    Thanks for this forum Horizon, I am trying to spend more time on here, but life has this nasty habit of getting in the way, finally got the forum bookmarked on my tablet so that when I am out and about and get a spare minute and free WiFi hotspot permitting I can try to get on here.

    Thanks Ron.


    Hopping to get back the others who came from DS like yourself, but some like Tabasco encountered password problems like all of us and haven't made it back in yet. I have contacted them all, but unless they ask me for assistance, there isn't much I can do unless they reply to me.

    • Staff Notice

    I'm glad you got it off the ground and so far it's holding up. I expect things may quieten down a bit in the summer but they'll pick up after the holidays again I'm sure. ;)

    Thanks Morgan.


    Considering the forum has had four software changes within the space of five months, I am surprised that things are as good as they are. As I said, once I am past the setup phase for this software, it'll be back to promotion for the forum in the Autumn and hopefully that may bring a few others here too.


    The forum just needs a couple of dozen members who visit every day or every other day, to be a proper viable site. How hard can it be to attract another 12 people here? Very, actually!

  • Congratulations Horizon on this first of many Anniversaries.


    I have only experienced this version and I am sure it will appeal to many new members, the light handed moderation and varied content has certainly kept me coming back. :thumbup:

  • The forum just needs a couple of dozen members who visit every day or every other day, to be a proper viable site. How hard can it be to attract another 12 people here? Very, actually!

    Have you tried offering bribes? ;)

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    Could do, I suppose.:)


    The "bribe" I hope is a site which will look better and work better than many others, so I hope that will be the main attraction. Although Facebook's 2 billion members is hard to compete against.

  • Six month is an anniversary??


    Anyway well done for sticking at it, hope your stamina is maintained...! The current forum software is very good.

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    Six month is an anniversary??

    Well....:) perhaps I've spent too much time on American forums and everything becomes a anniversary for them. I just fancied a nice self absorbed post.:P

    Anyway well done for sticking at it, hope your stamina is maintained...! The current forum software is very good.

    I am pleased with the software and the multi quoting feature is the best there is. Once its fully tweaked and customised, it'll be even better. As for my stamina, after what I've had to do prior to starting this forum and in part, what I am still doing now, a forum is a doddle. I just wish I had some tech knowledge to drive things at a greater pace.


    Yourself, Morgan as well as LW and Heero have been here since the beginning through all four software changes. So, well done for your stamina too! Unfortunately, others were not so patient, but perhaps they might show their faces again in the future.

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    As it's half a anniversary, perhaps I'll call it a anni instead. :P And as I'm feeling very theatrical this morning, time for another song and very relevant for my circumstances:


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    Six month is an anniversary??

    Now we ARE at the proper anniversary.:P (not that he's currently here!)



    One year ago today this site was created, so happy birthday to us!


    My plans both in the real world and for this forum haven't exactly "quite" gone to plan. Life seems to do that, doesn't it? But the good news is, we are still here and I'm delighted to announce to members that the server for this site is renewed through to 2020, so we'll still be around to at least then.:)


    I won't repeat what I said in post #6, but the monster that is Facebook is still sucking the life out of all the forums we love, but I hope some will survive including this one. I will start promoting this site on Facebook soon. I've put it off for a year, I can't put it off any longer. I can't stand that site, but for this site to progress, I must start promoting there. Wish me luck!


    Please help this site if you can by telling your friends about this place and most important of all, by using it.


    I have a lot on at the moment, hence the lack of new threads by me, but by the end of January, I'll be back in full topic creation mode again. Until then, please post as much as you can and especially helpful is creating new threads as this gives new things for other members to read and enjoy. Thank you.


    ================


    I will create a new thread soon about my future plans for this site, oh sod it, I'll just post it here. Here's what's coming up folks:


    Logo and Forum avatar - I am currently getting designed a logo for the site which will incorporate a avatar which will become the site's host. The avatar will be a cartoonish type character and I mainly intend to use the avatar in dealing with member behaviour. The avatar will be called Robbie or Robbie the Box, so look out for him soon and remember, be nice to him!;)


    I need the logo and some branding here to make the site distinctive enough so that I can promote this site on Facebook and Twitter, also some of the colours for the site will get tweaked a little bit too.


    New software version - In the next few weeks I will upgrade the site's software to the latest version available - assuming it comes out next week! There is nothing revolutionary in the software and most things are behind the scenes which members will not notice, but there are a few things I'd like to highlight to you:


    • Push notifications and enhanced notifications - most people on mobile love this feature and I've been testing it and after a while, I've come to like it too, but if it irritates you, switch it off! Basically whether you're on your mobile device or desktop, if you allow your browser to accept push notifications from this site, you'll get a message popup in your browser when you've been quoted in a message, or however you have your notification set up. This is the box that your browser will show you for this site:



      As part of this, the notifications itself will get enhanced with more options, so have a play around in the settings once the new software version is installed and customise this site how you want it. I will provide a help guide on this soon.
    • Google/Facebook/Twitter login - maybe of interest to future members this one, but if someone has a Facebook, Twitter or Google account, they can use those accounts to login here.
    • Google AMP - will allow faster page loading for guests on mobile devices.
    • Automated Avatars - for those members that have not created a avatar here, one will be automatically created made up of their username initials just like how Twitter does it.
    • Full editor in comments - you will now get the full editor box when typing comments in the blog and gallery section.
    • Vids in the gallery - you will be able to post videos in the gallery. Up until now it has only been pictures.
    • Profile Banners - members will be able to upload a picture for their profile page.
    • Improved Search and sort filters - thread index pages will change a little bit. Currently there is a box in the right hand sidebar where you can filter posts by various parameters. That box will be removed and a easier way to do it implement these functions will happen by the use of two functions at the top of each thread index page.
      On the top left of each page will be a button so that you can view threads via the last post posted, author, title etc. On the top right of the page will be the search filters, so you can filter threads to only show you pages within a certain time frame. More in the future help guide, but this will give a consistent look to thread pages on both desktop and mobile devices. This is what it will look like:



      The screenshot above from my test site also illustrates the automated avatars for those members who have not uploaded their own ones yet, as you can see from my Horizon one.
    • Private Help and feedback forum - the Help and Feedback forum will only show you the specific threads that you have created yourself. Lots of reasons for changing this particular area but one of them is, that if members have complaints about somebody else, they can post in here and be reassured that no-one else but staff can access and read their threads.
    • Sitemap - this is purely a behind the scenes thing, but to aid us with search engine rankings, every time this site has new content on it, the search engines will be told. Many forums have hundreds of "guests" on them, who are not guests at all but search engine spiders (bots) trying to find new content and using up site resources in the process. The sitemap will eliminate that problem here.

    There are about 200 other changes, mainly behind the scenes stuff, but I sure as hell am not going to type every minor thing out.8o If I've forgotten anything major, I will post it here. As said, I will update the help guide with more detailed info.


    But, by far the biggest change will be the introduction of the site host Robbie which will aid staff in moderating this site and he will display various messages to members depending on the situation. Related to that, there will be messages displayed in threads if posts gets moved, deleted, titles changed etc. They will look like this:





    Oh and I lied, I'm a couple of days early with the one year anniversary8o But I'm busy on Tuesday, so partying now! Here's to the next year and thanks to you all. Anyway, I'm off to do battle with shoes (don't ask) see you soon.


    :)^^


    Horizon

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