Our forum page crashed a few weeks ago. When I was notified of the problem, it was too late to recover the previous version from our web host's weekly rolling backup of our account.
Before the forum crash, I discussed moving the forum over to a new format at the January club board meeting. I won't be serving as our club's webmaster forever, and I need to set things up in a manner that a non-technical person can maintain with little or no difficulty.
For those who have never managed a "traditional" web site, it's not as easy as it looks. To start, there's "Linux," "SQL server," "FTP," "phpBB," "WinSCP," etc. Basically, the traditional web site needs someone with a technical background to manage. Over the years, no one has volunteered to run for the webmaster board position probably due to the lack of technical knowledge to run the site. Then the spammers found our forum, and I've spent most of my time recently throwing out the bogus forum account requests. Sometimes, I deal with over 100 bogus account requests in a day.
At our February board meeting, the board decided to use a Facebook group for the club's event schedule. This requires minimal effort to maintain. With the group, Facebook, through it's acceptable use policies, keeps the bogus/spam accounts under control. Also, technology is moving to mobile devices, which aren't ideal platforms for a traditional web forum. Most mobile phones and tablets have a Facebook app, which provides users near real-time updates wherever they're at, provided they have cell service or Wi-Fi access.
Most of the complaints with the forum were about the limited number and size of photos that you could post. This limit was due to the 150MB hosting subscription that we have for the forum, which didn't allow room for you to post a lot of photos.
The biggest drawback to a Facebook group is that you must have a Facebook account to access the group. Some of the membership has express concerns about using Facebook; I'm not too thrilled with it myself, but I'm giving it a try for using the Trailchasers' events group page, as well as some other clubs' group pages.
For those concerned with privacy on Facebook, there are some guides on the web to adjust your account settings for maximum privacy. One good place to start is Facecrooks.com's "How to lockdown your Facebook account for maximum privacy and security at:
Also, if you have any questions regarding privacy settings on your Facebook account, please feel free to contact me
We're going to try the Facebook group for a couple of months to see how it works. You can find it listed as "Oklahoma Trailchasers - Events." If it works well, we'll set up a separate Facebook group for club member's to post their projects/builds.
Richard Jurey, Webmaster