Obviously, it's pretty apparent that I'm not around very much anymore. Life, work, and all have gotten to the point (quite a while ago) that I just don't have a whole hell of a lot of time to dedicate to posting regular content and babysit the forums like I used to. I also don't have the time or desire to hack in the forum customization and the like that some of our older members may remember from the mid-late 2000's.
The forum script (Invision) is still one of the top two contenders for online community bulletin boards (despite JC's hatred of it). While I've owned the license to operate the site indefinitely from the get-go, I just got an update that they are changing their licensing and that future updates are going to be rolled into a new system. This has the potential to be good and bad.
First, the good. The new subscription model licensing, as I understand it, includes some pretty slick new features that we're not able to utilize presently. Most notably a very robust SPAM Account Filter. Think of it like Gmail spam folder. All the IPS powered sites are linked to the mothership and when spam profiles are created they are banned/blocked from all sites at once which prevents the FLOOD of fake registrations from sweat shop workers looking to post Viagra/Cialus posts. Also in the good category, all updates to the forum would be made to the new client meaning that security and features would continue to be implemented going forward.
The bad. The new license is a subscription that essentially never ends. I'd be entitled to continue using the forum so long as the subscription remained active. It's not terribly expensive. The pricing that I was given in the email alert is currently $50/year. That doesn't include hosting of course, that's just the community. I expect that I would be able to get assistance in the migration to help protect the existing content archives.
I've got an email out to support to get some additional information. One of the issues that I'm presently struggling with centers on security. They plan to release security updates for at least the next year for the old script, but after that it will likely be dropped from support. That also poses a problem if the site is compromised (hacked) and puts the server at risk, the whole thing gets shut down. The other issue is that over the years I've picked up a number of licenses to this software for various personal and business sites. If I go down the migration path on any, I have to do ALL of them. So that means not only does this site go from paid for to $50/year, but the other 4 forums do as well.
Bottom line, the new platform would probably result in having a much more open forum that would handle new registrations while filtering out the undesirable spammers without any admin/moderator interaction (as I understand it anyway), but it would increase operating expenses. The forum would also continue to see maintenance and feature additions as they were rolled out by IPS.
Not sure which way I'm leaning at the moment, but I thought I'd throw this out there and let people throw their 2 cents in. The current migration offering is good through the end of March.