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Old 05-19-2015, 08:02 AM   #1
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Change in Administration

A little over eight years ago the forum started off as a fancy ďWanted: SMBĒ ad where I asked a bunch of questions and great people showed up to answer them. Since then itís grown into quite a community and keeps growing. Over the years itís grown by leaps and bounds and I regret I can no longer afford the time to own and maintain it.

The forum has grown to over 150,000 posts in over 15,000 threads. While itís true fully half of them are gas vs. diesel discussions, the rest are a wealth of knowledge and insight that have helped me and countless others buy, own, sell and enjoy their vans (and everyone elsesí) over the years. The problem is it has simply gotten huge at a time when I have no more resources to put towards maintaining and making it better.

For that reason Iím passing ownership of the forum to Andy (AndyR) and at the same time stepping down from my admin role. Iím not changing accounts, Iím not leaving the forum, I just do not have the time to invest in keeping things up much less improving them.

Everybody knows when you drive one of these vans, people run up, drive up, shout, yell ďGreat van!Ē or give a thumbs up. Even if you havenít been driving one, you have probably been the guy frantically trying to express how cool someone elseís van is- or if youíre like me, you still do. Funny thing is people occasionally do the same thing with the forum- occasionally someone makes a point of saying, ďGreat forum youíve got here!Ē and I always think, and often say the same thing: ďItís the members that make it great.Ē

Simply said, you the members are what has made this forum great- and I appreciate everything you have done to make the forum what it is over the years. Itís just a mix of really great and really knowledgeable people, and Iím proud to have sparked it but thatís all the credit I can really take. And thatís all I did, was start it. I dug out a little place and people came, and it grew and grew, and got better and better. And itís still a place I want to be, I just donít have the time to run things anymore.

So this is my last opportunity as the owner and admin to say thanks, and so: Thank you all, you are what has made this place great and will continue to do so and Iím happy to still be just a part of it.

J
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:13 AM   #2
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Re: Change in Administration

Jeremiah, I agree with you that it's the members that made forum communities such special resources. Thanks for starting and fostering this site for so many years. I have some big shoes to fill.

I know any time there is a change like this the members want to know who the new guy is and what his plans are. I'm hoping to answer those questions right now but if you have any other questions for me please ask away.

I started my first forum in 2002 when I was working on rebuilding an old 60s Airstream trailer. Through a random set of events I ended up adopting two forums from the same guy that were going to be shut down. I found forums to be fascinating and my hobby quickly turned into learning and building tools to help forums grow.

I'm a wanderer at heart and in 2005, I was fed up with my job and wanted to get out of dodge. I decided to get rid of most of my belongings and pack the rest into a self storage unit go see the world. Being on a tight budget I had to stay in countries that had a low cost of living (Argentina, Brazil, Thailand, South Africa, etc). In all I spent nearly 5 years on 6 continents living out of a couple of bags and trying to build a little business focused managing forums. I met my wife along the way and we now have two girls (ages 3 & 5).

I'm always reaching out to forum owners to see how they are doing and find out if they might be interested letting their forums be part of my forum business. I contacted Jage a few years go but the timing wasn't right. A couple months ago we emailed again and this time the stars lined up. I'm honored that he's decided to entrust this forum to me.

I know there have been many members who have helped offset some of the costs to run the site through donations. The plan will be to set you all up in an upgraded usergroup where you will have more perks as a way of saying thank you for your past donations.

I have a great little group of folks I work with so you will see some new faces. Janet H is my right hand gal and she'll be working with the team and checking in on the site to make sure everything is working properly. Jeff (Tech Admin) is the software/server guy. I hope all the Admins will stay on so we can venture into this next chapter together.

As Jage mentioned, he's still going to be on the forums, just as a regular member and not having to handle support requests or zapping spam. I feel confident that together we'll be able to add value through our knowledge of forums and keep pushing the forum forward.

Please post any questions you might have here.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:38 AM   #3
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Re: Change in Administration

Jage/Jeremiah, many thanks for setting up and keeping the SMB forum going over the years! Like many others, I've learned a ton from it and it's been a great resource. Thank you!!

I'm a bit surprised that you didn't approach the SMB community first if you were interested in selling or otherwise getting out of the forum business. It would have been nice to give the current members a heads-up and the opportunity to keep ownership within the community rather than selling it to someowe who prior to this has never participated in the forum (that I can see).

@AndyR, do you own, or have you owned, a SMB or similar campervan? I don't see anything about that in your post. I'm assuming this is going to be turned into a for-profit venture since you (Andy) have a "forum business"? Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but given the forum's grassroots, no-ads (generally) history to date, you should be clear and upfront with your intentions and future plans in order to not alienate the current members.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:46 AM   #4
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Re: Change in Administration

Jage, thanks for keeping the forum going over the years! It is a great place to get info and share. Thank again for your time and effort.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:22 AM   #5
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Re: Change in Administration

BrainW,

I use an ad supported business model to keep the forums running. I know some people have donated to keep these free resources online so we'll setup an option for them to access the sites without the ads. I understand this is a change from the past but it's hard to sustain a site on donations only.

I have not owned an SMB nor a campervan. I do enjoy them tremendously and plan to read up on them over the years to come. I have a couple small girls right now (ages 3 & 5) so at this phase in my life we are camping in our vintage Airstream. At some point in the future when the girls are saying stuff like "Dad you just done understand" then I'll be running to get away for some alone time and hopefully that means my own camervan to get way out there and enjoy some peace and quite.

I understand that it feels weird to have someone that has not been part of the community now own it. I know I'll have to earn your respect and trust and plan to work hard to do so.

As I mentioned previously, I hope the Admins will stay on board and the plan will be to talk over any issues together and decide how to handle them as a team. They have tremendous experience with SMB/Campervans and I'll have to lean on them while I get educated myself.

Andy
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:28 AM   #6
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Re: Change in Administration

Good to meet you Andy, though this is pretty weird. I'll be very curious what it takes to continue to access ad free. In my opinion that is what has kept this forum as good as it is. Good luck and let us know.

Anyhow, welcome.

Messages aren't working for me today. I'm getting this error message.

General Error
SQL ERROR [ mysqli ]

Got error 28 from storage engine [1030]

An SQL error occurred while fetching this page. Please contact the Board Administrator if this problem persists.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:31 AM   #7
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Re: Change in Administration

I received an email indicating that my automatic annual $200.00 payment/contribution has been canceled, so changes are in motion.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:35 AM   #8
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Re: Change in Administration



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Old 05-19-2015, 09:37 AM   #9
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Re: Change in Administration

Return to the index page
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Please notify the board administrator or webmaster: forum@sportsmobileforum.com
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Good luck with yer new forum... I'm sure it'll be as pesky as the average Sportsmobile
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:05 AM   #10
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Re: Change in Administration

As a (now former, I guess) contributor, it would certainly be nice to have a no-ad option. I was just looking at what I assume is one of your other sites, http://www.airforums.com/forums/, and there are a LOT of ads. Wow.

Can you clue us in as to whether you will be changing the forum software and all that? I assume you will want to move the SMB forum to the same platform you use on your other forums.

Will you be offering "enhanced" services similar to what you have on the Airstream forum [ http://www.airforums.com/forums/f138/ai ... 20812.html ]

Out of curiosity, apart from the Airstream forum, what other ones do you run?

Nice Airstream Bambi, by the way. I always thought they were really cool.
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