Back when we started this blog over three (!) years ago, it wasn't long before we moved to a forum on the ground that that would make discussions easier to have and manage. The forum worked pretty well, though I came to feel that the blog worked better as a place to make our ideas visible to others, while the forum was better for the dedicated readers and contributors to hold discussions.
We used the forum for close to two years before the webhost was hacked and we ultimately lost almost the entire forum contents, and so the blog came to be revived. The blog's been going well, and we've had some pretty active discussions in the comments. But comments are subject to getting spammed, or deleted over time; and a forum does allow for an easier way to manage discussions and reply to specific comments. So we (John, Tony, Brandon and I) have been talking once again about having a forum available to hold further discussion, when people want to do so.
John's main concern is the risk of repeating the loss of the forum to hackers. I have a forum (linked above in the title) on Delphi, which is a large commercial forum site supported by advertising and paid memberships. Being a commercial venture, it's fairly secure from hackers; it's occasionally had hardware failures bring down the forums instead, but even then they've got massive database backups, so I've only ever seen availability, not content, lost in such events. My forum has been rather quiet for a long time, and I have a few unassigned folders available, so I'm willing to open up one or two for our purposes.
Points for consideration:
- You must sign up with a membership to post; guests can only read.
- Basic membership is free, but basic members see the advertising. There is an option to buy set numbers of ad-free pageviews.
- Basic members can only post straight text, no formatting (HTML). Advanced and Plus (both paying) members can include HTML. (Plus members who use Windows and IE get those built-in formatting buttons.)
- Basic members can have moderator rights, although not the fullest level; as the forum owner and also a paying member, I would have full and final control.
- Someone would have to remember to add links between the blog and the forum when a discussion thread is started (ideally the person starting the discussion, but I can monitor that too).
- My forum URL name ("beetsareyummy") cannot be changed; we'd have to start a wholly new forum if we wanted something like "attacksofopportunity".
Feel free to click the heading link and check out my forum. Let me know in the comments what you think of this proposal. If anyone has an alternate forum suggestion, suggest away.