Alright everyone, I've set up the forum I said I would. I've tried to set it up like MiA, I think it kind of feels like MiA but that's for you all to decide if you check it out.
I've only created the base stickies required to get up and moving so it looks a bit empty. Starting soon I'll begin copying stickied threads from MiA. Any help in this endeavor is appreciated.
It's set up like a full forum, it operates like a full forum and if it gains some popularity it can easily be converted to a full forum.
For now some sections are locked until a staff can be established. These sections include Commerce and its' subsections, Airsoft Related, Real Steel and Miscellaneous. Team Forums are also closed at this time and will open pending forum growth.
I appreciate any helpful comments and opinions and I hope you like the site so without further delay I present to you the Michigan Airsoft Archive!
New users are required to post in the introduction section before posting anywhere else. This is a blanket policy and applies to everyone.
I'm running a trial of a no-ban warning system that allows users to keep their accounts and keep browsing MAA.
Names of Moderators on MiA are reserved for them at MAA and all accounts with those names on MAA will be verified by me.
I built MAA to address some concerns I have seem about use of a paid platform as well as to insure that in the event that MiA is deleted or MI6 fails we have a backup of the information. That's why it's currently named the archive and not MiA 2.0. If it becomes more popular I'd be happy to activate the closed sections and run it like a board. Until then it's just plan b.
I have checked and double checked, crowd gathers' ToS only prohibits the sale of illegal weapons. I.e. ballistic knives, unregistered class III firearms and the like.
EDIT: Here is the exact quote from the "prohibited activities" section of the ToS.
"7. Upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any User Generated Content that provides instructional information about illegal activities such as making or buying illegal weapons or promote physical harm or injury against any group or individual, violating someone’s privacy, or providing or creating computer viruses;"
I think one of the bigger things that needs clearing up is that animosity exists in the first place between the two boards. What it really boils down to is Deacon wanted to create something on his own, and without it being a complete month since the launch was announced the attitude of "screw this place, I'm just going to stop posting here" has already been reached. This is a vast forum, with years of information that is going to take some time to start transcribing. Right now we're at a point where we understand MiA isn't sufficient, and we have to find a new home, although it's not like we were going to lose members every day because a commerce section didn't exist, because before Mi6mm we had nowhere to lose them to.
We're looking at a lot of different avenues right now, and it's safe to say within 2-3 months we'll either suck it up and continue to use this, or we'll rebuild as a consensual agreement among the current Moderation staff, not just two or three of them. Most of the mods all operate on different schedules of work and lurk time, so I don't understand why we are placing a rush on this.
Personally, I'd like to make the switch only after knowing all other options to keep business running as it was two months ago were explored. The decision to where Michigan Airsoft's next home is going to be for the next 5, 10, or even 20+ years isn't one we should be trying to make in less than a month, and I'd like all players to think big picture on that. Having a free board where bank accounts and credit cards don't have to get involved, and where when it's time for the senior guy that started it to retire, he can simply do as Hado did, and pass the torch to a Kneif or a Zorak, is important in my eyes.
That being said, I'd like to wish Deacon and Mi6mm the best of luck in their board, and I'll be lurking and posting there as often as I do here should it come to a point where the player base over there warrants the switch. In the meantime, I'll continue to do my part in discussions on the Mod page to find our new home.
Thank you Mosin for throwing us a bone with the approximate time line for a decision. I invite you or any of the other staff that wishes to, to make an account on MAA to explore the platform further. MAA fits nearly all, if not all of the criteria I've seen suggested or outlined in this thread. It's phpbb based, free, has clear neutral/pro 2A ToS and can be walked away from hado style.
In the meantime I'll continue with my original plan of archiving as much information as possible there.
There have been a large number of free message board services that shut their doors over the years. Some were hosts of communities that I was once part of. The entire landscape of the internet has changed in the past 10 years, and will probably be 100% different in the next 5 to 10 years again. Message boards are becoming less popular overall as social media takes over more and more, causing a decrease in ad revenue. This is what has shut down a large number of the free hosts online. There is no guarantee that any free host chosen will even exist in the next year, let alone 5 or 10 years. This is why private hosting is a more stable solution for longevity.
Here is the "short" list of now defunct forum hosting options.
AGSG Bulletin Board akiStuff amandote.net Anexa, by Paralogic Assembly, by Nerd World Media Be Seen, by Looksmart Casual Forums CE7 CGI4All Diskussion Board CGI For Me Cgihost.com ClueIn, by Inclusion Complete Forum Coolboard, by TUCB Technologies CoolList Dachshboard Discussionworld Dream Tools eCircles.com eHosting.com Enclave Community Suite, by Digi-Net Techologies Evalve Excite Communities Extreme Online EZCGI Converse FocusPoint, by UKWeb FootyNET Forumat Forumboard Forumcities Forum Explorer, by Creative Digital Resources ForumHost ForumUniverse Forumworld.com (formerly SMD-Forum) Freeboards Freeforums, by Inspiring Technologies Ltd. Frogtech Forum Hosting FXT Corp. GroupVine (formerly E-Meet), by GroupServe Hi-Fun Forums Home Page Tools @ SiteJunction.com HostedScripts.com HotBoards (Formerly Paradise Online Message Forum) Hot Community iland Internet Solutions Corporation Formerly hosted message boards using WebBoard. Infora Internet Business Boards (formerly Better Business Boards) Inclusion Focuses on reporting and analyzing usage trends and user behavior. Infinite Board InfoPal Informat InScribe Message Boards, by CriticalPath Insero InsideTheWeb, by ITW Newcorp Joint Planning, by Bridgeline Technologies Kudosnet Web Forum LinKo LiveUniverse Lycos Clubs Mach.org Internet Services Message-board.net Message Foundry Minerva Network Systems formerly offered Allaire Forums. MSN Communities (Microsoft Network) MyAssociation Connect NukedWeb ONEList - merged into Yahoo! Groups Phuser, by Bluefire Systems Proxicom Quorum Quorum is now E-ThePeople -- an interesting site, but they no longer offer their software for other organizations. SitePowerUP Sizzly(no longer offering web hosting) SixDegrees Snap Clubs Site Forums Solforum StarForums SmartGroups SparkList Stuffincommon Swell Media Design SwiftBoards Swingout Forums SuperGroups Operated a series of specialty club sites, including SuperFamily and SuperFriends. Talkdungeon VantageNet Verve MeetingPlace has been renamed to VerveShare Virtualscape formerly offered Allaire Forums. Village 2000 Project VoiceBoards Allowed posting voice messages. Voxtok Webb.net communities (formerly CommunityWare) Webforums, by Waveshift (formerly MediaFax) WebShaker Message Boards WebToys WWWBoard.net WWWThreads, by Show Me the 'Net YourBBS Zinester 123 Chat
Both routes have potential problems no matter how you want to argue it. I'm simply offering another option for consideration. I'm going to continue the archive project regardless of decisions by the staff.
You may want to do some research into Crowdgather. The company that owns freeforums.org. Their stock is traded publicly under CRWG. The founder of the company and the board of directors live and breathe message boards. They stumbled mid 2013 but have had a slow, steady recovery since then. I have no doubts about their ability to continue on long into the future.
Edit: MAA well be placed into an inactive state since there's no support for it. It will appear offline but still exist should we ever need it
The idea of a free forum going under hadn't crossed my mind. Although I think we dislike that Proboards took our commerce section away, I think for the most part having 16 million viewers per month (or so they claim) means they'll stay free and open for a good bit of time.
I'd entertain the idea of Deacon's board becoming the new MiA Commerce, with much more detail and emphasis placed on specific types of gat blasters and gear bought and sold, maybe call it Michigan Airsoft Commerce or something along those lines? That way you have one central place where you buy and sell gear and gats in Michigan, along with having the full section of buyer/seller feedback. In addition to that, we can continue to use this forum for what is was originally intended for -- hosting events and talking about the sport in general.
I'd also like to throw out that the timeline I set was purely speculative, as I'm pretty much the only mod speaking openly about this.