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So here's what has been going on

Posted: Tue August 26th, 2008, 9:28 am
by diamondlil
Given the amount of questions that there have been about what happened at, I thought I would lay out the events as I know of them, and then we can move forward in our new home!

When was started just under three years ago, the owner was an active participant and moderator. Just under a year later, the forum was sold without any warning to anyone to a new owner. Initially, there wasn't really a noticeable change, but as the time went on the response times kept on getting longer and longer, to the point where the monthly updates to the home page some times didn't happen for several months. That was not the only frustrating thing. As none of the moderators had administration rights, we could not even set up any new sections in the forum like we wanted to let alone anything else.

Then, in July or August last year the site was sold again to a UK based company. We didn't actually find out until some time later, and so immediately started trying to contact the new owners to ask them to give us at least access to the forums so that we could have some control. One of our biggest fears was that something would happen to the forum and that we wouldn't know what was going on - fears that turned out to be justified in the end.

In the time since the forum was sold again, we have had one contact with the new owners, despite the fact that we have been emailing them constantly since at least January, and to the point where we have been trying to phone them as well (my phone bill is looking a little bigger than usual given the amount of times I have phoned the UK from Australia). Every time I have phoned them over the last six to eight weeks, the contact that we have was either in meetings, not available or out - it is hard not to reach the conclusion that he doesn't want to talk to us - and there was no one else available to help us. More emails, both directly to the contact and to the general email address have been sent, but still no response.

Then we get to the events of Friday. Yet more emails, and more phone calls and still I could not make contact with the owners. The thing is that even if we did manage to get through to someone, it would still be just a temporary fix for now because given our experiences over the last year basically, I can't help but think that in the long term things were not going to get any better.

My main reason for telling you all of this is to reassure you that the decision to start this forum is not a spur of the moment decision. It is something that has been brewing for a very long time. It is very upsetting to lose so much information but hopefully with everyone's assistance we will be able to build up a bigger and better resource! We are off to a great start.

I am not sure how much we will be able to recover, even through cached Google searches etc, but if people have specific threads that they would like to try to recover then certainly feel free.

Now that the mods own this site, we now have the flexibility to make the changes that we want to make, without having to wait for someone else to do it for us. We have some ideas that we are working on, but for the time being we are just trying to concentrate on getting this place up and running and then we will try to make it a bit prettier etc!

We are so grateful to everyone who contacted us wanting to know what was going on, and offering support. We hope that you enjoy our new home and we look forward to continuing to discuss great books with you all, and sharing with you all!

Posted: Tue August 26th, 2008, 10:34 am
by EC2
Many thanks for setting all that out Marg. What a hassle. You - and the other moderators have busy day jobs and lives to lead, and I do very much appreciate all that you're doing and the time it's taking out of your lives. Thank you!
From a selfish viewpoint I am over the moon to find the forum back up and running. In the interests of diplomacy I won't say anything about the former forum owner's behaviour!

Susan (formerly EC and now EC2)

Posted: Tue August 26th, 2008, 10:35 am
by pat
Thanks Marg. Shame it had to come to this, but at least now you mods are in full control. It is sad that the new owners wouldnt even speak to you, downright rude.


Posted: Tue August 26th, 2008, 12:55 pm
by Leyland
Thanks for sharing the information, Marg. It sounds like you and Susan H, along with other support, have salvaged something wonderful from a train wreck! My sincere appreciation is wrapped all over this post.

I look forward to the changes you plan to make and intend to have fun with the forum for months and months to come. And pretty is good - I love green, so how but some greenness when y'all pretty up the site?

Liz (formerly RacingGreen -because my favorite toy is a British Leyland matchbox car ;) )

Posted: Tue August 26th, 2008, 1:13 pm
by Ash
Thanks Marg! I always appreciate not being kept in the dark (I am indeed in the mushroom category at work!). Its weird that the owners couldn't just be upfront with you, but its wonderful that you guys were able to see what was coming and to be able to put it back together. And yeah, we'll make this work!

I am not among the computer literate here, but if there is something I can help with do let me know!

Posted: Tue August 26th, 2008, 1:16 pm
by Rowan
Please allow me to add my sincere appreciation to those who have posted before me. I didn't think I'd become so attached to the forum, til it wasn't there. :o

I'm sorry to learn of all the hassle you went through, but the first person who sold it started the ball-of-rudeness going by not telling everyone that the site was being sold in the first place. Everything else just snowballed on top. :rolleyes:

As I mentioned in my roll-call post, I have experience with the technical side of forums as well as graphics. I'd be happy to help out in that regard.

Rowan (formerly Lady Sorbus)

Posted: Tue August 26th, 2008, 1:41 pm
by Misfit
I'm adding my thanks to the others for all the hard work you and BB have put into this and very happy to see everyone back posting.

Posted: Tue August 26th, 2008, 1:52 pm
by MLE (Emily Cotton)
I do computer graphics too, Marg, altho I am not as up t- speed on the internet 2 stuff as I am going to be in a year -- if you want a selection of appropriate images, or you need them adjusted, resampled, whatever -- I can pretty much do about anything you want with portraits or photos, or blend them together.

I hope new HF enthusiasts will be continually joining and commenting, so this will be a resource for writers to get a feel for the various tastes and dislikes of a variety of readers. Also for editors/publishers/agents to consult, to help them do a better job producing what the HF demographic will respect.

Some threads on the old forum were really good for that, among them, the ones that gave a range on how much explicit sex is preferred and when it becomes a liability; the several on historical authenticity; the thread on villains, on sympathetic main characters, on how long a book should be, on whether a given reader preferred real historical characters or fictional ones in a historical setting --- The old forum was a serious resource on that.

Over time, I got a feel for what each of the regular participants liked and didn't like, as I'm sure others got a feel for me in the same area. What a shame to lose that!

But those threads tended to drop to the bottom in the old forum. Perhaps we could have a 'reader's resource' section that stayed up? Maybe I'll go start some polls.

Posted: Tue August 26th, 2008, 2:03 pm
by Leyland
[quote=""MLE""]But those threads tended to drop to the bottom in the old forum. Perhaps we could have a 'reader's resource' section that stayed up? [/quote]

Excellent idea, MLE. Those lost posts represent nearly as great a loss in resource value as did the reviews. And they did tend to get buried in the general areas. Perhaps a reader's preferences section would be a good thing to start.

Posted: Tue August 26th, 2008, 3:28 pm
by SonjaMarie
Thanks for letting us know Marg, I'm just so happy to a forum again! Mega Huggles too all my friends!