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  1. #31
    TDF Member Irnbru's Avatar
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    A big thanks to GLOC, Mal etc. for all the work that has gone in. I jumped ship from YD right at the start and have both YD and TDF to thank for the fantastic people* I know now and some of the incredible places I have been.

    Personally a static copy would be preferred for posterity but failing that, just close it down. Running the forum, means running it for the right reasons and for 99% of the time it's bound to be a thankless task.

    *If any of the fantastic people I know read this, I didn't mean it - you are all wankers.
    Like Cave Diving? - see www.fb.me/CaveDivingFilms
    A few videos of dives I have done over the last few years - Scotland, Wales and Egypt | www.youtube.com/Stirlingscuba

  2. #32
    TDF Member JasminNeedsGills's Avatar
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    Really sad news, but it is the way of all things! I'm afraid I can't contribute much time wise as I work full time and have out of work commitments, but would certainly be happy to chip in what time I can. I work in IT and while I'm no guru am happy to do some housekeeping.

    Financially, I wonder if a Patreon or modest subscription model would work? £1 or £2 a month from regular users should pretty much cover hosting, and if a Patreon model was used, it'd let people who are able to contribute more.

  3. #33
    TDF Member
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    I'm a full time software engineer (well Software Engineering Manager now - but that transition was recent and none of the skills are rusty yet) - if a group of people are looking to take over some of the day to day running I'm happy to volunteer tech skills - comfortable across the stack: frontend, backend, SQL/NoSQL and DevOps/SysAdmin/SRE.

  4. #34
    Administrator Garf's Avatar
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    My take on this is very simple. when I started TDF with the other guys i was a humble developer in a small company. Now I'm a CTO in a listed company. I hardly see my family never mind have time to administrate a system.

    TDF is largely automated. It runs on a linux server that is automatically updated. It's backed up automatically every night. The admin is virtually non-existent on the technical side. It just runs. The cost is not even three figures a month and that results in pretty solid performance and near 100% uptime. Add to that the cost of an SSL certificate and it's still not much. It's not a financial issue - I'm sure new owners could easily raise funds to cover hosting and the secure backup solution from the community if not from advertisers. In terms of technical expertise you're going to want to be familiar with the LAMP stack.

    However, it's easy because I haven't done anything for years except make sure it stays up. We could have updated vbullitin a long time ago to a more recent version. We could have updated links to mobile integrations etc. There's no end of things that could be done, but we focussed on what must be done due to time limitations. The issue for me personally is that IF it went down, or IF an upgrade was necessary, I just wouldn't have the time to commit to sorting it out. I'm a technical leader these days rather than a developer so I'm also slowly losing touch with my technical skills. Finally, I also haven't dived seriously since my daughter was born so am out of touch with the community.

    so the Techy bit is pretty easy.

    It's more than we have put the years in and it's time to move on. There is more to managing the forum than the technical bit. There's the user approvals, the ENDLESS reported posts, dealing with shitty and threatening emails from people who are totally offended because we won't delete their posts or profile. Dealing with shitty emails because we haven't approved their requests in the 5 minutes since they demanded an immediate response despite the fact that we all have jobs. Dealing with HMRC. Constantly reviewing the board for posts that could end up with us, or the posters themselves, in real trouble. Trying to achieve the impossible and actually moderate without having abuse hurled at you or turning the bloody thing off in disgust. Make no mistake, Gareth and Mal make it look easy and put 10 times the work into moderating the board than I do administrating the technology behind it. That's where the real work is.

    I'm not really selling it, am I.
    Last edited by Garf; 09-11-2022 at 10:21 PM.
    Gareth Burrows
    Having a break from teaching divers.
    www.divedir.com

  5. #35
    Established TDF Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garf View Post
    Snip

    It's more than we have put the years in and it's time to move on. There is more to managing the forum than the technical bit. There's the user approvals, the ENDLESS reported posts, dealing with shitty and threatening emails from people who are totally offended because we won't delete their posts or profile. Dealing with shitty emails because we haven't approved their requests in the 5 minutes since they demanded an immediate response despite the fact that we all have jobs. Dealing with HMRC. Constantly reviewing the board for posts that could end up with us, or the posters themselves, in real trouble. Trying to achieve the impossible and actually moderate without having abuse hurled at you or turning the bloody thing off in disgust. Make no mistake, Gareth and Mal make it look easy and put 10 times the work into moderating the board than I do administrating the technology behind it. That's where the real work is.
    This was the main reason the BSAC forum was closed. We couldn’t justify the time requirements anymore.

  6. #36
    TDF Member
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    Thankyou for the hard work,time and money you have put in over the years,much appreciated.

  7. #37
    Established TDF Member
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    It’s a lot like most clubs of any ilk. A handfull of people or less do everything while the rest do nothing ( ok accepted) or moan about everything but still do nothing .
    All I can say is thank you for setting TDF up in such a short time to start with & then managing it for all us lesser mortals all these years & keeping the peace.
    I trust my rebreather implicitly I just don't trust the owner

    Onwards & downwards.

  8. #38
    I've got a semi by the sea Scuttler's Avatar
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    I've logged on having had the first bit of free time in 7 years.
    As a Director for a listed company I've had 0 time to myself for much of the past 5 years so I can appreciate where Garf and the team are coming from. I've even had to drop my role with my club around 5 years ago. I miss diving, miss the community, miss the club and miss the friends i made.

    Wind back 6-7 years ago and i'd have stepped up for this in a heartbeat. There's a million places my marketing mind would take it whilst maintaining the core ethos that created the forum in the first place.

    I truly hope someone picks up the baton.

  9. #39
    Moderator GLOC's Avatar
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    Update:

    The Dive Forum is open for sealed bids to be taken over in December 2022.

    The forum has 6800+ members, 3500+ who have never posted, and 600+ who have been active since January 2022.

    The running costs are approximately £100 per month and £100 annual fees for the virtual server. The domain cost is included in that as is the costs of relevant email addresses.

    The forum runs on a virtual private server running linux and is hosted on 123-reg.co.uk with automated nightly backups to a dedicated backup vault at 123. Skills will be needed to operate linux, and it will be useful to familiarise yourself with the plesk desktop system and FTP for file transfer. The database runs on mysql and is largely self-sufficient, although database skills would be useful for any migration. Garf would be willing to assist in this area for an agreed handover period.

    There is now only one active sponsor who gets charged £30 per month.

    Time needed to moderate posts and undertake admin is around 4 hours per week.

    The sealed bids will be taken by email to staff@thediveforum.com and assessed, not just on cost, but also on the value to the diving community and experience that they have in running fora/boards as listed in their submission.

    The forum is paid up until 22 Dec 2022. If there isn’t anyone to take it over at this stage, the forum will close. The closing date for submissions is Friday 2 December.

    If you need more information about the forum, please contact staff@thediveforum.com and if you are interested in taking over but cannot arrange the transfer before 22 Dec, we will consider an extension if the running costs are paid for the next month.

    Those who sent an email through previously will also be receiving a copy of this message.
    Gareth

    www.imagesoflife.co.uk - Underwater Print Sales, Teaching and Stock Library
    www.cognitas.org.uk - Improving Safety by Challenging Current Practices
    www.divingincidents.org - Diving Incident and Safety Management System (DISMS)
    - 2014 Report here

    “Set your expectations high; find men and women whose integrity and values you respect; get their agreement on a course of action; and give them your ultimate trust.”

    “It is far better to be trusted and respected than it is to be liked.”

  10. #40
    Moderator GLOC's Avatar
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    The closing date for offers is this Friday...
    Gareth

    www.imagesoflife.co.uk - Underwater Print Sales, Teaching and Stock Library
    www.cognitas.org.uk - Improving Safety by Challenging Current Practices
    www.divingincidents.org - Diving Incident and Safety Management System (DISMS)
    - 2014 Report here

    “Set your expectations high; find men and women whose integrity and values you respect; get their agreement on a course of action; and give them your ultimate trust.”

    “It is far better to be trusted and respected than it is to be liked.”


 
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