Your forum past, present and future

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dontcoz
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Your forum past, present and future

Post by dontcoz » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:04 am

I’ve enjoyed 10+ years of hosting a phpbb forum and helping other ppl host theirs. I am at a point in my life when I am reevaluating all my activities including my forum adventure and as much as it was a super fun ride, I might be ready to take a break from it.

How do other ppl stop doing this? Do they sell and how or do they just say goodbye and go offline. Any thoughts welcome.
Last edited by dontcoz on Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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warmweer
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Re: Your forum past, present and future

Post by warmweer » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:49 pm

dontcoz wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:04 am
How do other ppl stop doing this? Do they sell and how or do they just say goodbye and go offline. Any thoughts welcome.
They evaluate their needs, wants, possibilities and constraints (financial, time, capabilities, etc...)
Life situations change over time and in some cases behavioral changes are forced and not chosen.
My board's not broken, it just went peculiar

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dontcoz
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Re: Your forum past, present and future

Post by dontcoz » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:28 pm

Alright, they evaluate. And what are the outcomes that you know of, do the forum owners sell or do they just pull the forums offline. Do you know of any examples? I actually don’t know of any forums that outright disappeared for no reason. Some are still online even with zero or one new post per week or month. What’s the point?

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Re: Your forum past, present and future

Post by John connor » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:20 am

Your forum past, present and future.

For me it was more about a learning experience with websites and cyber security. I'm still learning to this day after having a forum with next to no users after 4+ years. :lol: I guess there are many other reputable computer forums out there and social media I think has killed off the forum platform. But having a gander at your forum you seem to have a lot of traffic.

As to your question, I don't really know. Selling it off might be viable if the interested party thought they could make money on it with Ads. Do you have good SEO? Not sure how valid they are, but what about your Alexa rank?

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warmweer
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Re: Your forum past, present and future

Post by warmweer » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:16 am

dontcoz wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:28 pm
Alright, they evaluate. And what are the outcomes that you know of, do the forum owners sell or do they just pull the forums offline. Do you know of any examples? I actually don’t know of any forums that outright disappeared for no reason. Some are still online even with zero or one new post per week or month. What’s the point?
The outcome differs, some go offline when the current hosting account expires, some are just left to die, some remain in a read only stage, some disappear overnight, some are submitted to the internet archive before being removed.
What's the point? That's a question for the owner or users - they probably have their reasons.
My board's not broken, it just went peculiar

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dontcoz
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Re: Your forum past, present and future

Post by dontcoz » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:01 pm

What's the point? That's a question for the owner or users - they probably have their reasons.
Agreed, I was hoping to hear from them. What did you mean by “behavioural changes are forced and not chosen”. Thank you for your thoughts.
For me it was more about a learning experience with websites and cyber security. I'm still learning to this day after having a forum with next to no users after 4+ years. :lol: I guess there are many other reputable computer forums out there and social media I think has killed off the forum platform. But having a gander at your forum you seem to have a lot of traffic.

As to your question, I don't really know. Selling it off might be viable if the interested party thought they could make money on it with Ads. Do you have good SEO? Not sure how valid they are, but what about your Alexa rank?
Hi john, for me too it was about learning in the beginning and I loved every minute of it. At some point though, when it came to seo and Alexa ranks, I slowly gave up. As I saw you mentioned in another thread, once the seo-friendly url mod, that was still phpbb 3.1.x, was abandoned by its creator, I ended up with a whole slew of broken links. And I believe that, at the end of the day, it is about the content and whether it garners interest or not. This forum and its traffic are a great example of good content finding readers irrespective of its url seo friendliness.

I find though that after 10 years, my own interests are changing and moving away from the forum, so I was wondering if there are others who had experienced the same. This forum for example is all about how to start move update and fix your forum, but nothing on how to close it down. And despite what may seem on the outside, it’s a hard decision to make and proceed with.

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Re: Your forum past, present and future

Post by warmweer » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:46 pm

dontcoz wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:01 pm
What's the point? That's a question for the owner or users - they probably have their reasons.
Agreed, I was hoping to hear from them. What did you mean by “behavioural changes are forced and not chosen”. Thank you for your thoughts.
Lack of or change of (own) interest, lack of time, changed priorities, dwindling user interest, plain outdated subject (e.g. certain gaming sites), unwillingness to cover the hosting costs, sometimes changing technical requirements and lack of technical knowledge, perhaps the board not bringing the expected income anymore (and probably lots of other reasons I can't think of).

Most of the boards I set up (3.0 boards) were for other people who lacked the knowledge to make modifications themselves. I provided support for those boards during approx 6 months and when 3.1 was in the making I explained that the board owners would need to learn a bit of php as I had no time to transform my "mods" to extensions. In fact I only transformed 3 (very simple) mods to extensions (due to lack of knowledge and no time). Needless to say most board owners stayed with 3.0 and eventually closed their boards.
One of my own boards was focused on old DOS Games and that was predestined to wither and die (which it did).
Currently I have only 1 public board truly active and 2 private boards (which have sporadic activity) used as a permanent and fixed contact area for RL soulmates from around the world (we all hate the FB approach and mail doesn't allow much interaction : a phpBB board was my suggestion, initially not greeted with much interest but relatively quickly accepted as the best means of staying in contact).

I doubt you'll hear much from other owners since most probably don't visit phpBB.com often.
My board's not broken, it just went peculiar

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Re: Your forum past, present and future

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:09 pm

If the owner does not have the interest or the desire to keep it going then there are a few choices as you have said.

the owner can keep paying the cost for the hosting and give the board to someone else to maintain.

the owner can simply close the hosting account or delete the board from the hosting account if they want to keep the account.

the owner can sell the board and the hosting to an interested party.

the owner can give the board and the hosting account to someone.

the owner can just walk away and let it die when the hosting bill comes due.

probably other options that I can't think of right now.

the point is, the owner has to decide and then just do it and move on.

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dontcoz
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Re: Your forum past, present and future

Post by dontcoz » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:09 pm

I hear you Robert. That in my opinion is the hard part - just do it and move on. Have you ever made and maintained a board Robert? I see you help ppl with your advice but never read about you maintaining your own board.

Thanks warmweer. Interesting path you picked.

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Re: Your forum past, present and future

Post by warlock666 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:11 pm

I left my forum back in 2012, a modified car club forum and had 100s of members then they started leaving in droves not because of club that was still huge but it was facebook that killed off my forum. Then i fell ill and i had to close my club down. But the car scene had also started to change and everyone just drifted apart and that was that. Now i have a new venture and with help from a phpbb member i decided to use forums again and was astounded how much has changed, mods are now extensions and board styles are much better. I have only 14 members at present but also having a online store/website helps because my customers get inquisitive and register. But things are still very hard to get people motivated away from facebook, i tell people about the forums and most now have never heard of a forum let alone seen one.

But time and time again i am asked the same question from friends on facebook, can we have live mobile phone feeds like what facebook has, when i tell them no, then they end the convo by saying "it's not worth it then" which really gets my back up as they have no idea how corrupted facebook is, i have a facebook profile because of my business so i can reach out to more customers. I hate facebook with a vengeance it destroys lives and there is so much bullying and hate speech it is really bad.

there must be a way an extension can be done to rival other social media platforms including live video blogging. Phpbb has potential but is still lagging behind, i hope facebook crashes and burns but i cannot ever seeing that happening :(

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Re: Your forum past, present and future

Post by Wirral Talk » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:04 pm

I've virtually shut my main phpBB down, no users can post. Like others, social media took over, posting reduced so now only the automated feeds post and those posts then go to twitter and to a lesser extent facebook. phpBB is an overkill for the function and a few times I've started to write something else instead but I'm useless at front-ends.

On the upside, I'm starting a trial of another phpBB forum for a charity. People are starting to realise that twitter etc is too transitory and people that want to look up information etc need either a forum or a wiki.

Like most (I imagine?) I've had a love/hate relationship with phpBB and almost left a few times but upgrading two forums from 3.2.5 to 3.2.8 in less than two hours (including all backups, downloads, uploads, checks etc.) using the clean start method has put me on a high again. I used to to put upgrades off for more than a year because I dreaded them so much, not helped by some dodgy changes I made to core files in the early days.

I don't think I'd delete a forum altogether, people do like to look back. I have a few legacy websites that I have left open, I've only deleted trivial page-holding sites.

I'd find it very difficult to just hit the big switch and don't envy you.

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dontcoz
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Re: Your forum past, present and future

Post by dontcoz » Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:02 am

I'd find it very difficult to just hit the big switch and don't envy you.
Difficult is right. I don’t think I’m ready to do it.

Thank you both for your thoughts. It helps to know others have gone through similar.

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Re: Your forum past, present and future

Post by AmigoJack » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:12 am

dontcoz wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:11 pm
Apologies, double post.
Sadly you haven't learnt in 10 years to report one of your own posts so moderators can delete it, or that phpBB has no threads.

I experienced someone else "running" a picture board for years (he only posted himself, wasn't even interested in members). When he wanted to quit he tried to sell his board (and his other websites). Didn't even get 50 USD for it, although praising its daily traffic hits. So it went all offline (IMO it was no loss).
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Re: Your forum past, present and future

Post by dingus33 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:38 am

i started a forum a couple years ago. i enjoy watching it grow and have no plans to step away.
however, when i'm no longer able or willing to maintain it, it's up to the community to step up. maybe another member of my site would be willing to be the new sysadmin, or maybe the members would donate money to hire professional help to handle the maintenance. as a last resort, i hope to offer the db in some sanitized form (omitting PMs, email addresses, hashed PWs, and other sensitive info) to the community in case they find it useful.

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