Firstly my thanks to the handful of members who have made postings on this Forum over the last few weeks. Without the handful of comments it would seem that it had died.
A few months ago the original version of this Forum had a series of attacks from trolls and spurious member registrations. This caused a considerable amount of issues and, at one stage, I had seriously considered closing it down. As my writing workload has increased hugely in the last year or so I simply do not have the time to be as actively involved as I used to be.
When I announced that I was considering closing down the "Anthony Peake" Forum for any new activity (i.e. that all the amazing postings on here would remain as a page on my website) I was inundated with emails and messages begging me not to do this. Others volunteered to take over the running of the Forum for me. I was amazed at this response and discussed options with my webmasters.
At that time we had received a notification from the software designers (phpBB) that there was a major upgrade of the functionality of the site needed to have it reflect the latest levels of functionality and security. Myself and the webmasters agreed that we would take this as an opportunity to re-brand the site.
We agreed to de-couple the Forum from my website and to have a name change. The new Forum was no longer to be called the "Anthony Peake Forum" but "Cheating The Ferryman" and I paid for a new url which does not reference my name. I felt that this would allow the Forum to go wherever it wished without me feeling the need to oversee it. It no longer had any directy links with me other than being a typical "reader" forum.
A handful of members offered to act as moderators for each of the sections and the new site was migrated away from my website to its own place in cyberspace.
I then happily "backed -off" and focused in on the books and articles that I have to write and deal with all the other issues and challenges of being a regular human being.
However what has happened is the traffic through the new Forum has dwindled down to virtually nothing. With the exception of postings by a handful of willing individuals such as Swann
and a handful of others, activity has almost ground to a halt.
It seems that the guys abover have tried really hard to get things moving by posting interesting threads but lack of response have ensured that these have never really got off the ground as discussions. I really thank them for these efforts. But if nobody responds then a fascinating posting is just lost. I have also tried, when I have had spare time, to assist in getting things moving again but as this is not the "Anthony Peake" show anymore I feel that my involvement should be once in a while and not regular ... allowing the Forum to take its own direction.
I am very aware that the new "functionality" of the Forum has been, in fact, a retrograde step in that we can no longer simply check the latest postings. Once viewed the reminder is lost. I used to find this facility really useful whereas now it is next to useless. I have no idea why phpBB changed this but they did. It seems we have greater security at the loss of functionality.
I was hoping that the approval of new members could be shared with the admin team. However problems with the new "admin" email address means that this is no longer possible. All new members have to apply to join and be given an "anti-bot" code. If this was not the case the forum would again be flooded with gobbildygook postings trying to sell fake watches etc etc. The bots have now become very clever and they can get through most automatic security protocols. The only way to stop this is to have a validation process via email and an "anti-bot" password that is sent out. I am sure that this is really putting off many potential new members who are simply passing through on a surfing expedition and think "this site looks interesting". They are put off when they realise they have to jump over a handful of hurdles before they can join.
I also feel that this Forum has lost out to the immediacy of Facebook. There are a couple of ITLAD-related groups on Facebook that have really taken many of the original regular contributors of this Forum away. They can discuss matters itladian there and gain swift responses from fellow itladians. Here they have to log on, draft a posting and then wait for it to be uploaded ... and then only the other members logged in at that time see the new posting .... and even then it is only seen if they are looking out for it. The two Facebook groups can be found at:http://www.facebook.com/groups/110161129033771/
(The ITLAD Walker Group) andhttp://www.facebook.com/groups/361269600563529/
(The ITLAD Discussion Group).
You will note that both these groups are very active indeed .... a reflection of how this Forum used to be.
I will be posting a link to this "new topic" in the hope that some of the Facebook folk will join in over here and help save this Forum from stagnation ..... I really hope that we can get this "kick started" again because there are some simply amazing threads on here that can be started up again by simply somebody adding a comment to them. They are far to important to just be lost forever ... and they present an intriguing history of how ITLAD developed before Facebook took over the World.