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Discussion Starter #1
DATE: 20th February 2014

Good Evening,

I am an active 'paying' member of your website & discussion forum 'www.labradorforums.co.uk'. Furthermore; I am an experienced user when it comes to coding , web design and maintenance and administrator of discussion forums.

Labrador Forums holds a massive wealth of information & knowledge with character full bunch of wonderful people; which I personally really enjoy browsing and talking with; and I'm positive a many other active members do as well.

For that reason my intentions have the best interest of the forum and fellow paying members in mind, I am contacting you 'The Owner' regarding the current setup of the website and I'd like to clear up & point out and proposal a number of things to you; so that I and the other members of the forum can hear what you have to say.

----------- The Forum As It is
You require a cash subscription fee in order to be an active posting member; however you forum is somewhat 'disappointing' in the aspect that it's not looked after. Myself and a fair number of other members and not happy with the current status of the forum and wish for it to be prioritised. The forum carries a magnitude of issues; which need serious looking at, it continues to get worse; each issue takes forever to get fixed and the site downtime is unacceptable for a paid service. Cannot post with apostrophes. Cannot read private messages. Cannot read/view the second page of threads. When you subscribe it took days upon days to be accept despite it saying immediately. The search function is extremely poor. etc etc -- Just to mention a few. Plus the fact that the actually software of the website is free and extremely outdated and the large amount of advertisements and I've never seen an Administrator online. All in all; I don't know how you can justify asking members to pay. It's very clear the subscriptions are not used to maintain; upgrade or improve the forum. And If you don't have the time or effort to maintain and provide a service; then simply remain the forum as free.

----------- Out with the Old, In with the New!
Just because the forum has been around for many years and built up a mass of content doesn't mean it's stuck like that forever. It's the 21st century now and having members willing to pay for a service should be meaningful to the owner and should be provided with an updated excellent service. Having paying members; I suggest the best and latest Vbulletin. Clean, fresh and modern which is easy to maintain and update. Options to have vbulletin with mobile suite which provides an app for android and apple devices is now available. The one off license to run may cost around £200 but having twenty members paying ten pounds or forty members paying five pounds; then it's paid for. Not only will this provide current active members with brilliant functions and features, it will most likely bring in new members.

There is also the potential to use the phpBB2 importer to get the job done and convert users, threads, posts etc to a new-setup. -- if not, then there is still option to leave the old board as a read-only forum and a new board for the future.

----------- Pass it Over
However, it comes back to the point that creating and improving the forum with something new would cost time and effort; so if you don't have that then again make the current board free or would you even consider passing your website over; perhaps to myself and I can strive to meet the members requirements and continue to provide a service which would be non-profit, and full function for the everyone to enjoy again.

- - - - - - - -

So, to round up. We would all like to hear your voice, opinion and thoughts on the current matters above. I have posted this contact email on the forum for the others to view; you can respond via email or via the post itself.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Bestest,
Ross
 

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I can vouch for vBulletin. As a new member I love the people and content of this site, but it is very out of date. A mobile app would be amazing!

X
 

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I am just a member, but have lurked since 2006!!!

This site was sold to Verticalscope in Canada approx. ???? two years ago???
I can remember that members tried to buy it then :(

If you do a bit of "googling", you will find that Verticalscope has a job advertised for a web designer, but, I think you might have to move to Canada!!! :roll:


Chel and Dilys xxx
 

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Hmm, VerticalScope are basically a company which buys up enthusiast owned forum websites, they own hundreds of sites. Looking through their sites, they just seem to keep them running as they are with minimal maintenance to keep them up and running whilst taking money for subscriptions and the advertising revenue. Can't really find any sites where they have put in any real effort to improve the site and move it forward :roll:

Obviously if I've got the wrong impression it would be nice for the site owners to set the record straight on here and tell us what the future plans are for the site :p
 

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Discussion Starter #5
teejayw said:
Hmm, VerticalScope are basically a company which buys up enthusiast owned forum websites, they own hundreds of sites. Looking through their sites, they just seem to keep them running as they are with minimal maintenance to keep them up and running whilst taking money for subscriptions and the advertising revenue. Can't really find any sites where they have put in any real effort to improve the site and move it forward :roll: :p
Oh well that's it then, that seems about right since there is no actually admin involmemt or patrol if it's a company and not a independent dedicated person. I did find it weird when I went to Account -> Staff and all the Admins are goners!

I can't access the LF Way Ahead sticky but I'm sure I've read it before. Shame the old owners had gone.
 

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Unfortunately the staff details are out of date and don't give new people a clear understanding of who does what!!

This staff list needs updating so people don't put their feet in it without realising! I don't think it is the OP fault at all, just another example of how the site owners need to sort it out.

Chloe
 

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I really don't know what to tell you all.

There are two member admins they are myself and John W, we are volunteers we don't have any access to coding etc, we can activate members, kick off troublemakers and that's about all.

There are a team of member Moderators, and then there are Staff members who make up the core of advisors.

Verticalscope bought Labrador Forums as the previous owners Dave and Julie had pretty much gone off and started another concern and LF was growing bigger, it had appalling problems towards the end of their ownership and to be fair, when things go wrong now they are fixed pretty quickly.

John and I have both been emailing Yung, but Yung is tech support for the forums and not the owner himself, and we have been told that the forums will be improved, more than likely in a whole new format, we have been asked for our input on many things including the subs issue.

We cannot tell you anymore than that as we don't know anymore, there are no secrets, or underhanded goings ons.

The forums and the info contained within in its pages are a goldmine and I am sure that Verticalscope has no intention of loosing that.
 

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Thanks very much Nat. You, John and all the mods do a brilliant job and we all do appreciate it very much.

You have all had the rough end of the stick recently and that isn't fair at all - if the owners themselves were to have made an announcement on here then most folks would have appreciated it and waited patiently. They are the ones to blame for the upset and it is so unfortunate that you have been made to feel dreadful.

xx
 

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Discussion Starter #11
FAO: V-Scape

I actually used to independently run one of the biggest fansites (for a sport team) in Europe. It was non-profitable but unfortunately the club went into administration and well everything faded as a result.

I would cherish this opportunity to build LF back on top - I wish to own and run this place and give it the care & attention it deserves by upgrading and developing it back to its full potential - All with a non-profit intention. What comes in goes back in.

At present I have the time on my side, and the right skill-set to do the job. I'm not here for business, I'm here to interact with interest and that's how I will remain.

I very highly doubt your going to say "here you go" .. Because I know for a fact that an intake profit is being made from all this - As its certainly not through passion or interest your involed.

This is my proposal; on the table, so now what would it take to obtain this domain? - Please be kind enough to respond at the very least.
 

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I did send this thread link onto Yung - the contact we have for Verticalscope. And I have just sent it through again to him. He tends to leave the day-to-day management of threads/members to us admins and MODs and Staff that you see posting!!
 

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I had the same idea as loyalblue. It needs a new backbone structure the current one is outdated. Albeit well moderated and looked after as best as can be by the current guys. I've mot long joined and I'd hate to see it go tits up.
 

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Oh and do forgive me and some of the even older members for just seeming to 'ride out the storm'. Somewhere buried in the archives are similar threads from other members with all sorts of experience etc etc proposing very similar things to you. Some have even left and set up other forums/sites etc after being unsuccessful in take over bids/suggestions... this forum still endures due to old and new members continuing and the quality of old and new advice!!!

Just thought I'd explain any feeling of 'been there, got the shirt' you may experience or lack of enthusiasm/response to your proposals.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Or In other words I'm not supported beacuse of past ecperenice??

Ayee well il be so lucky to even get a reply the site involers care that much.
 

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Unsupported is a strong word to use, just thought I'd give you some info you might not be aware of!

The creators and first owners didn't sell to members of the forum who were in a good position to purchase from what I've gathered over my years here (and this could well have been more than once) and you know the current owners as well as I do! I go with the flow as far as things on here are concerned!
 

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I'm not well up on forums, but I do use one other. It doesn't have the bells and whistles of LF but it is extremely easy to use. I also pay for that and each year as part of my subscription I even get a car sticker all the way from the US. In contrast LF looks really good, but it keeps seeming to have issues. I do feel LF needs a bit of TLC. I've been here since 2008, but I don't recall such a serious meltdown in terms of functionality as we just experienced having happened before.
 

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Hi there,

Thank you for writing to us.

I have been working behind the scenes to get us to the vBulletin platform and hopefully, we will see some traction on that in the near future. I have no time frame for it but when I get confirmation, I will let the mods know and we will communicate it to the community. We are huge fans of vBulletin so we are in agreement with your sentiments.

When we came on board a couple of years ago, we made a commitment to not overhaul things and throw the community in a tizzy. As much as we love vBulletin, we weren't going to just come in and overhaul something that everyone has come to use with familiarity. As our team became more familiar with this particular platform, we realized that it was sorely in need of a refresh. We've been doing our due diligence and assessing the feasibility of converting this platforum to vBulletin. While it's not rocket science, it does require proper planning to ensure we mitigate any potential hiccups during the conversion process.

Our intentions are to be here for the long haul so we look forward to the refresh and making LF even better than it is now.
 
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