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Thread: VFTT in transition

  1. #1
    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
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    VFTT in transition

    Fellow members of VFTT. After some 18 years of being one of the internet's longest running hiking boards, VFTT is going through a major change. Darren has done a great job of building this community but is moving on. In November, Darren told Dave and I that he wanted to permanently step away from the board and relinquish any future role going forward. This leaves a large gap here. In addition to Darren being the founder, he has also been the techie guy behind the curtain. Handling administrative duties, all the computer stuff, dealing with the servers and hosts, and sharing moderation with Dave and I. Darren has contributed thousands of dollars of his own money over the years to keep the site running.

    With Darren's departure in mind, we began searching for someone who the VFTT community respects, has a strong technical background, a sense of how the Board community functions. Ideally someone who'd spoken to us about helping out in the past if we ever needed a hand.
    A light went on. BikeHikeSkiFish, aka Tim Lucia, immediately came to mind. Since mid December we've been talking to Tim and he's agreed to join the two of us in keeping VFTT up and running. Tim, Dave and I will split moderator duties, and Tim has agreed to be the tech guy behind the scenes.

    In addition to the technical and administrative aspects of a forum, there are costs associated with running a board. In our case, the current version of Vbulletin that VFTT is running is obsolete. Should it crash, there would be no technical support and it's likely we'd lose everything and have to start over from scratch. This is a concern we've lived with for most of last year.

    Tim, Dave and I are kicking in the start up money for the new VBulletin software and hosting. For the first time, though, we are asking members to assist us to keeping the board running. We will institute a donate-for-hosting-costs button which we hope will cover the costs. If not, we may be forced to accept advertising.

    Tim loaned the board $195 on behalf of all three of us to purchase vBulletin 4 (the latest), in keeping with your offers to support this upgrade, donations to defray this cost should be made to Tim. Any donations above the $195 will be graciously accepted for hosting costs. Please PM Tim for his address.

    Tim, Dave and I are hoping to keep VFTT much the same, but you'll see some small changes over the coming months, things we hope will add to everyone's increased enjoyment.

    Alan( on behalf of Dave, Tim and I )
    Last edited by darren; 02-08-2012 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Alan forgets about ski ;)
    "The fact that going off the deep end appears
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    in this life has not escaped me." Jim Harrison

  2. #2
    Senior Member vegematic's Avatar
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    Thanks to the three of you for taking this on, and to Darren for developing and maintaining this community for so long. I'll be happy to chip in for the new software and for site hosting. Is the Donate button going to appear soon or should donors be sending something to Tim through the mail for now?
    -vegematic
    If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat

  3. #3
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Dear Friends,

    I am going to upgrade Views to the latest software. My plan is to do this on Wednesday evening, February 8, 2012. During this time period, the forums will be unavailable. Since Darren wishes to retain ownership of the existing domain name ("www.vftt.org"), the new site will be available after the upgrade. I will include instructions, along with an HTTP Redirect to the new site.

    In preparation for this migration, I have done a dry run already and have addressed any of the obvious or serious issues I could find. I do expect there will be minor hiccups to address after the migration, so please have patience with me as I started a new job on Monday, February 6, and will have limited access to the site during business hours. I had hoped to complete this before today, but there were technical reasons for the delay.

    Again, thanks to Darren for his support for 18+ years, and for your support and patience during these changes.

    Tim
    Last edited by darren; 02-08-2012 at 12:41 PM.
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  4. #4
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Please use this thread for discussions or questions.

    If you wish to make a donation, please PM, e-mail, or FB me (your choice) for my address. I'd rather not post it publicly.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mohamed Ellozy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peakbagr View Post
    Tim, Dave and I are kicking in the start up money for the new VBulletin software and hosting. For the first time, though, we are asking members to assist us to keeping the board running. We will institute a donate-for-hosting-costs button which we hope will cover the costs. If not, we may be forced to accept advertising.
    A rough budget would help us decide how much to contribute!

  6. #6
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    At this time, I am ONLY asking for donations for the vBulletin license (for which I am out $195.) I only need 20 volunteers at $10 each to break even. See https://www.vbulletin.com/ for more info (vBulletin 4.0 Forum Classic).

    For the on-going costs, we are going to provide a Click-Here-To-Donate button which will deposit your contribution directly into our account with the hosting provider.

    Thanks,
    Tim
    Last edited by bikehikeskifish; 02-06-2012 at 08:38 PM.
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  7. #7
    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
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    As Tim mentioned, any 'surplus' will go towards the hosting site. We may need add'l financial support if it becomes necessary to upgrade the speed of the board, for example.
    We hated to ask, but there was no way the 3 of us could match the one-of-a-kind financial support Darren provided year after year.

    Alan
    "The fact that going off the deep end appears
    to be a requisite to doing anything of consequence
    in this life has not escaped me." Jim Harrison

  8. #8
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Also, I will happily provide a summary of income and expenses at some regular interval. Probably when we have too much of one and not enough of the other

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  9. #9
    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    Big thanks to Darren for founding VfTT and keeping it going all of these years. You've really created something very special for a great many people. I hope you drop by and visit us from time to time.

    Alan, Dave, and Tim: thanks so much for your continued commitment to the community and all you do for VfTT. My check is in the mail.
    ADK 46'r NE115'r NEHH NH 48 x 6 NH48W NH 331/576
    Terra NH 48 x 6+ ~93/100 NEHH ~ ADK 35/46 ~RIP~
    Pemi NH4K~ Gem NH4K

  10. #10
    Senior Member Willoughby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by una_dogger View Post
    Big thanks to Darren for founding VfTT and keeping it going all of these years. You've really created something very special for a great many people. I hope you drop by and visit us from time to time.

    Alan, Dave, and Tim: thanks so much for your continued commitment to the community and all you do for VfTT. My check is in the mail.
    What Sabrina said - all of it. Mine, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peakbagr View Post
    We hated to ask, but there was no way the 3 of us could match the one-of-a-kind financial support Darren provided year after year.
    ... and no reason you should be expected to. Thanks for asking, it's a pleasure to be able to contribute.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Paradox's Avatar
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    You can count on Main Street Dental for regular contribution.

    Thank you Darren, for all these years of support.
    WNH4K:48/48, SLAT50:50/50, NEHH:100/100, NE115:115/115,
    TW72:60/72, WADK46: 18/46, 52WAV:16/52, Cat35:9/35(39)

  12. #12
    Senior Member TrishandAlex's Avatar
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    You can count on me for regular financial support. Tim, I've sent you a pm.
    [B][SIZE=3]Patricia Ellis Herr (TRISH...ALEX...SAGE)


    Those who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of those doing it. --Chinese proverb.

    For more info about The Terrifying 25, contact me at patriciaellisherr@hotmail.com or search for The Terrifying 25 on Facebook.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mtruman's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that Darren is leaving but completely understand. Thanks for everything you've done over the years to make this such a great community. I've only been a member for a few short years but have gotten immense enjoyment (and value) from reading and participating here.

    Thanks to Tim for stepping up to the challenge and taking on the task of the technical upgrade and maintenance (and to Dave and Alan for their ongoing dedication).

    I'm happy to contribute to help keep this going and you can always count on my support financially and any other way I can help. Glad to participate in any beta testing of the new software or any other tasks along the line. Tim - just sent you a PM on this.

    Looking forward to seeing the new site later this week!!
    Mark

    Going to the mountains is going home.
    - John Muir


    Hiking photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42
    Hiking Blog: http://theramblingsblog.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
    Senior Member MikePS's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Thanks to all who make this board work, it has been invaluable to me since joining. My best to Darren.

  15. #15
    Senior Member DSettahr's Avatar
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    I'm glad to hear that you guys are willing to take on the responsibility for managing the community.

    Any chances we could get some updates to the rules? In particular, I'd like to see:

    - Allowance for threads on fund raising for activities that benefit the hiking community. (Heck, in asking for money, even this thread is technically against the rules ) As a VFTT community member, I want to be able to share about these opportunities and learn about them here.

    - The ability to provide feed back for more than 2 posts per day. Every day I see great posts that I'd like to provide feed back for, but the 2 post per day limit prevents me. We could increase the reputation amount needed for each rank, so that people don't have green squares up the wazoo. (Of course this could all change completely with the update to VB4).

    Thanks!

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