Hi all, crikey its February already, spring will be around the corner and so i hope everyone is gearing up for their spring projects, meets and maintenance.
Speaking of which, the forum, having been live now under its current guise for a few years, is having to undergo some necessary changes, mostly background stuff, that'll barely be noticeable, but unfortunately those that we purchase our webspace and internet provision from have informed me that the forum template and software that we currently use, and have done since day one, will no longer be supported, in fact, in their attempts to purge their own systems and servers of elderley and unused clients and data, they wish to actually delete their servers of such archaic formats! How very dare they!
So we are in talks with own web developer as to how we can avoid such a catastrophy, and he has a plan to back up our entire forum database to date, write a new supporting forum site and upload everything into it, before it gets to this horrific deadline.
If we can stretch our budget a little further, we may also "freshen up" the look a little, but it is very much funds allowing, and rest assured this will only be an image or two, maybe a few colour and pallet changes here and their, our desire is to certainly remain as we are as far as layout and usability goes. A case of if it aint broke don't fix it, and i think most folk agree that this simple and advert free layout is still a pleasure to navigate compared to most other forums and webspaces.
And the mention of other webspaces brings me to another notification, regarding our always intended sister site the Modern Alfa Forum.
Again we have to be realistic and wise about where we spend what when it comes to the forum, and whilst we appreciate every single penny you guys donate, it is still very much coming out of the fruits of mine own and Kev's labours, our own pocket, and whilst this is not a begging bowl post, what we have had to concede to doing is to let the Modern sister site idea fall by the wayside.
With the pending costs of the background developer looming, which will also include some targetted google search engine work, we hope to attract new members in order to flesh out our quieter, and even unused area's of the forum. Where are all the 155, 75, GTV , Spider folk hanging out? We must try and at least get a piece of the action from these guys to justify the expense going forward.
Another reason for dropping the Modern Alfa Forum, is that so many new free pages and sites are cropping up on Facebook, including the new Club Alfa Facebook page that i was invited too (:roll: ) , i think we would be wasting our time and money trying to combat this trend with our own forum, and better apply what budget we have to what we know and do best.
Besides, most of which i see is still the usual "Air Freshener" and "Turtle Wax" debates rather than anyone getting their hands proper dirty, and we've never wanted a site of any size or shape to be used so superficially. I think i speak for most who remember the old alfaowner days of these debate posts, Who Cares!
And "Getting their hands dirty" reminds me of yet another forum related announcement.
Myself and Kev were chatting recently on the amount of work now required to keep an ageing 156, 147, GT etc on the road and in good fettle, plus considering that the conception of that platform is around 25 years old, we wondered whether it was time they gained classic status and a lounge here within the forum.
We agreed that a model of car that is of that age, and often now requires the repairs that many of us consider common place and very familiar with, must surely deserve a place now, and so to that end we will be adding a new lounge or two to allow these platform and next generation of cars and owners into our forum and fold
So, I certainly have my hands full juggling this little lot around, but the final word is that we may experience short periods of service interruption and outage whilst the database is being worked on.
We hope to minimise this, and i apologise upfront for any inconvenience it may cause, but its either that or the forum suffer a much larger and longer lasting impact from this software update and purge operation, so please bare with us.
All the best everybody, time for us all to get cracking...