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Announcement: New Forums in 2017


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#1 ryangibson

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 01:53 PM

Hi all,

 

I just wanted to let you know that in January 2017 we'll be retiring the School History forums as they currently are and moving them over to the main site. This was a very tough decision to make, because I know that many of you have been members for up to a decade and have come to rely on the forums here.

 

In this post I just wanted to explain why I've decided to do this, and what's going to happen next.

 

Why close these forums down?

 

There are a few reasons guiding this decision:

  • Technical issues. We currently maintain two forums in addition to the main site, and this puts significant stress on our web servers. If you've ever noticed School History not loading, or showing an error, it's because of the forum database size (over 1GB).
  • Software issues. The software we use is very comprehensive, but also an older and out of date version. It's really hard to update templates or modernise the forums.
  • Ongoing costs. Our server costs to run the forums alone are over £1,000 a year and that doesn't factor in the time it takes to handle database errors, technical issues, or hiring freelancers to help us with other forum related problems.
  • They don't integrate with the main site. There has been a lot of confusion for members between the main site and the forums. They are different pieces of software, each with their own usernames and passwords and they can't be connected.

So what happens next?

 

This forum will remain online until January 2017. I wanted to give you plenty of notice for the change so it's not a complete surprise in January. 

 

Over the next 4 months I'll be working to move over some of the popular forum posts manually but most will be redirected to the closest relevant page on the main site. Where possible, resources attached to posts will be added as free downloads, although this forum has 4,000+ attachments and no easy way to download them in bulk, so I'm not sure how feasible this will be yet.

 

If you have uploaded resources to this forum and would prefer not to have them as a download on the main site, please let me know and I'll honour that.

 

This is your community and I want to do right by every member so if you do have any thoughts, feedbacks, or concerns then you can comment below or contact me directly.

 

-Ryan



#2 Roy Huggins

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 04:53 PM

Hi Ryan,

 

Two very quick questions, what will happen to the old forum threads? Many of them contain resources that people still  download and use?  Secondly, when you say 'pay for access' what exactly do you mean? Will there be a donate button, which I have suggested in the past or will we have to pay for different levels of access? 

 

Kind Regards

 

Roy


"Men are disturbed, not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen." - Epictetus

#3 ryangibson

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 06:11 PM

Hi Ryan,

 

Two very quick questions, what will happen to the old forum threads? Many of them contain resources that people still  download and use?  Secondly, when you say 'pay for access' what exactly do you mean? Will there be a donate button, which I have suggested in the past or will we have to pay for different levels of access? 

 

Kind Regards

 

Roy

 

Hi Roy,

 

Over the next 4 months I'll be working to move over some of the popular forum posts manually. Those with resources attached can either be attached to the new forum, or added as free downloads to the main site, depending on what the authors of the resources would prefer.

 

All I meant by pay for access is that if teachers would benefit from having a paid membership (access to premium resources and online courses for students to take) then you are welcome to purchase and I'd be happy to give a discount on that. But to access the actual forums, no payment whatsoever will be necessary and it'll simply be a case of signing up for a free account.

 

If I could, I'd migrate all existing users of this forum over, but it's not possible to do that, so anybody wanting to remain a member would need to signup at https://schoolhistor....uk/membership/

 

Let me know if you have any more questions!



#4 Roy Huggins

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 03:59 PM

Hi Ryan,

 

No problem, I would suggest havinga donnate button at the top of the page that says something like this: 'Help us to keep the forums free by making a donnation to the £1000 me need to raise each year?'

 

Its only a button and might help?

 

It might also be an idea to have a section where folks could upload resources to sell or share for free?  You could take a small cut on the premium of 10%, again to help keep the website free?

 

Just a few thoughts

 

Roy 


"Men are disturbed, not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen." - Epictetus

#5 Dom_Giles

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 07:27 PM

Sad, but understandable. This was the first internet forum I ever joined (2003) and I have gained so much from it. Kenny, my avatar, will miss it!


Edited by Dom_Giles, 28 August 2016 - 07:30 PM.

Thinking is SO important Baldrick. What do YOU think?
I think thinking is SO important, my Lord.


#6 lbaker

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 11:12 AM

Very sad, but I am one of the 'confused' and do not know what you mean by main site!!! where will we find the 'new' forum?



#7 ryangibson

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 10:15 AM

I just wanted to post a quick update to this.

 

As we reviewed the decision to move the forum over to main site and keep everything inside one application, the time and effort involved was very daunting since it has to be a manual process. We also wouldn't have been able to keep all of the existing content in the way we wanted, and the link to the new pages wouldn't be automatically redirected.

 

This wasn't a good enough solution for the School History community who have relied upon and enjoyed this site for many, many years...

 

So we've decided instead to invest another £1,000 a year into keeping this forum alive, as-is.

 

The server has been upgraded to a dedicated platform, with additional RAM and storage space which we are assured will mean a better and faster School History. Although not much discussion takes place in these forums now, many of the threads are visited daily and provide excellent information to people visiting from Google searches - we want to keep that!

 

So please ignore the original message, the forum will not be going away in January after all. We've invested every penny we have into keeping it alive for the community and will do so for as long as possible.

 

Thanks!



#8 Roy Huggins

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 09:23 PM

Thanks bril - many thanks


"Men are disturbed, not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen." - Epictetus

#9 Ed Podesta

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 07:19 PM

That's great news - thanks :)


"In the past, philosophers have sought only to understand the world. The point is also to change it." - K. Marx
"Classification is exceedingly tedious" - I. Berlin

 

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#10 Lesley Ann

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 02:40 PM

This is fantastic news. Thank you. This forum has been a lifeline for me for the past 14 years. Twitter & Facebook groups are good for sharing instant ideas but they are a nightmare to navigate through if you want earlier ideas. The forum is best for that.
Carpe Diem - Seize the Day




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