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Forum Software - Again

January 19 2009 at 12:19 PM
Michael Dorosh

As discussed at the link above, there have been ongoing issues with the antique layout of the forum software. Most of you are familiar with vBulletin forum software and probably post at other messageboards powered by this powerful new software.

My website server has offered to get me up an running on vBulletin if I wish, but the snag may well be that the messages here - 10 years worth - would either be lost permanently, or at least relegated to a non-interactive archive. I would be reluctant to make a move in the former case, a little less in the latter case.

But then, it occurs to me I would not be the only one impacted by a move, so I'm asking for opinions - how badly out of date is the forum format to you, and how much does it matter?

Network54 has been promising a Version 3 for literally years now but has stopped responding to commentary on their support forum. They don't even respond to requests for simple fixes, like the blanking of name fields when we go to edit our own posts and lose all the data and end up posting "anonymously." They show no ability to change even the simple stuff.

On the other side of the coin, in addition to having 10 years of information stored here, there are some appeals to the current format - it's a low traffic forum and easy to see ALL the messages for the last month or so at a glance, not just the initial posts in each thread.

Some of the vBulletin stuff leaves me cold; idiotic "avatars" do nothing for me and strike me as a waste of bandwidth - I don't think a picture of Mickey Mouse shooting a machine gun beside your name enhances your credibility as a subject matter expert necessarily. wink.gif Though I do like the notion of being able to track the number of posts and visitors.

So, what is your opinion? Is a move worthwhile?

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