Future of the AVA

January 9 2018 at 8:30 PM
No score for this post
Garvin  (Login oldcoot)
from IP address

This is a message to let you know that Dave has kindly given me this great forum to look after.

As some of you may know, Network54 has been acquired by TapaTalk, which calls itself the "mobile-first community platform". Exactly what this means for a forum like the AVA I'm not sure, but I think the migration from this format to a new one will happen soon.

Hopefully, it won't mean too much disruption.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm a long-time vintage airgun collector and enthusiast.

I fully intend to keep things much as they are. I've been a member of the AVA for many years and admire the gentlemanly way discussion is carried out, which is very much to Dave's credit.

Please carry on as you were!


It seems were are at the point of being forcibly migrated to the Tapatalk version of the AVA and the Network54 servers turned off.

The new forum could look a bit like an AVA version of this:


What do you want me to do?

It seems to me we have two options, (1) go with the flow and see what Tapatalk come up with or (2) migrate ourselves over to another platform.

I could easily make a corner of my vintage airgun galleries website available for an AVA Mk2 forum, and it would be immune from interference since it is independent and paid for by donations from vintage airgun enthusiasts.

If I do this I will inevitably be accused of a 'power grab' or 'grandstanding', or something like that, none of which is true.

There is also only a point in doing it if a significant body of AVA members move over and populate the new forum, making it a vibrant, distinctive place like this once was under Dave B's careful ownership.

I'm happy to go either way and will be guided by you, if there are enough AVA members left who care enough to express an opinion!

Over to you - what do you think?

EDIT 2: I am also emailing the membership to canvass views on this. Apologies for the overload but it feels urgent...

This message has been edited by oldcoot from IP address on Jan 12, 2018 11:46 AM

Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.Respond to this message   
Ken Walker
(Login therealkennyboy)

Many thanks...

No score for this post
January 9 2018, 9:53 PM 

...to Dave B. for establishing this great forum & enabling years of enjoyment on my part.

I know we remain in good hands, Garvin!

Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.
(Login leonardj)

Thank you Dave, and congratulations Danny.

No score for this post
January 10 2018, 5:25 PM 

Thank you to Dave for founding the AVA, and hosting it for so many years.
It stands as an example of how well a forum can get along for many years, without moderators, when all the patrons behave as gentleman.

Congratulations to Danny for stepping up and carrying on the stewardship of the AVA.
It could not have been placed in more capable hands, and I look forward to enjoying the AVA for many more years to come.

I for one do not have any concept of what is involved with making a major move to another domain, or continuing to run the forum under the Tapatalk system.
As far as I am concerned, the person doing all the work should be the one making any such decisions, for convenience of operation and ease of maintenance.

Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.

(Login tca)

Thank you Dave and Danny

No score for this post
January 10 2018, 11:03 PM 

for the years of pleasure you have given me!happy.gif The proposed new format looks fine.Trev

Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.
(Login Hammerli)

Re: Future of the AVA - views please

No score for this post
January 11 2018, 2:59 AM 

Hi Danny

Thanks for stepping up, without people like you and Dave before these forums, which always contain such a wealth of information and knowledge would just fade away.

I have seen the UBC (Umarex Boys Club) migrate to Tapatalk and it looks very 'fresh' and from a 'members' point of view it works just fine.

Paddy who runs the site and is a member on BBS would I'm sure let you know how it works behind the scenes

Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.
(Login oldcoot)

Thanks Ken, Len, Trev and Mark

No score for this post
January 11 2018, 3:36 AM 

I'll take a look at the UBC.

So far I have heard back from about 65 AVA members out of the 500-odd I emailed for their views (I have to wait until tomorrow before my email provider will let me email the rest!) and most have very kindly entrusted the future of the AVA to my judgement. Tapatalk doesn't seem to have many fans...

At the moment I'm leaning towards waiting and seeing what happens with Tapatalk, mainly because I think it's so vital not to risk losing all the posts going back to 2005 when Dave started the AVA. Despite the holes caused by Photobucket etc, it's still a rich vintage airgun resource.

Unfortunately Network54 makes it impossible to move or even back up the database of posts in any other way (I dare say this is what is stopping other Network54 forums from jumping ship at this time too).

Starting an AVA Mk2 forum elsewhere will be a fallback position if the forum doesn't survive beyond the transition to Tapatalk.

So many people speak fondly of the supportive, gentlemanly nature of the AVA (and for this Dave B must take all the credit) so I'm hopeful it will survive. But discussion forums prosper only if members get stuck in and post, so we shall see... happy.gif

Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.
(Login oldcoot)

The decision...

No score for this post
January 12 2018, 11:46 AM 

I have now heard back from around 100 registered AVA members and the consensus is that I should decide the forum's future.

Of those expressing an opinion (about a fifth), a small majority prefers waiting to see what happens and only cutting loose from Tapatalk if it's too much different from the existing AVA, which everyone (bar one who didn't remember registering at all!) thinks of fondly.

I've been estimating the number of posts in this forum and I reckon there are between 7,000 and 8,000. There is apparently no way of saving them into a transferrable database, unfortunately (probably the reason why Tapatalk saw value in Network54).

There is much valuable knowledge contained in there and unless someone wants to extract it somehow - a very big job - it's important we try to preserve it intact. The only way of doing this that I can see is to let the Tapatalk migration carry them over.

Probably in the long run, Tapatalk will only keep the new AVA going (and hence preserve the posts archive) if there is a viable forum attached to the new site.

So my decision is: we go with the flow for now and embrace (or at least tolerate!) the Tapatalk migration, but if their version of it fails to attract new blood or satisfy the existing membership, we move to another platform and live with losing the archive (perhaps after making some effort to save information buried within). I hope you feel this is wise...


Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.
(Login AndrewR7)

Sounds like a wise decision

No score for this post
January 12 2018, 4:48 PM 

to go with the flow and to see how it all pans out and to preserve so many important posts.

Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.
(Login airgunbuff1)

first of all many thanks !!

No score for this post
January 14 2018, 10:43 AM 

But I received no email !!! LOL Just my 2 cents here and nothing more. You do as you see fit !! That said tapa talk really sucks as did network 54.
In the long run it would be better to just move as there are many other hosting places to chose from. This forum as all other forums under tapatalk and notwork 54 are just too damn slow and sloppy.
But I understand from having a forum just how much or a pain in the backside they can be.... do what is best in your judgement and do not be a slave to the forum.
Many thanks for all of Daves hard work over the years and thank you for taking over.

Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.
(Login oldcoot)

Thanks Ron

No score for this post
January 14 2018, 1:20 PM 

for your kind comments. I echo your thanks to Dave B for all his hard work. Sorry not to email you - I didn't get around to including everyone. happy.gif

Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.
  Respond to this message   
Find more forums on Air GunsCreate your own forum at Network54
 Copyright © 1999-2018 Network54. All rights reserved.   Terms of Use   Privacy Statement  
This forum dedicated to all that enjoy collecting and restoring airguns. Have fun. Dave