There is a live archive of the old forum at http://forum.hayling.co.uk , but not interactive forum on the site at this time.
The forum had become increasingly time-consuming and the source of other issues for OKO and our volunteers. When the decision was taken to redevelop the site we also decided that we wanted to continue to improve and expand the site after relaunch. In this age of social media and instant messaging, we think that is where we can be useful rather than in just providing another platform for people to argue on.
There is no immediate plan to bring a full forum back. We have tried to provide new, better, platforms for the most interesting parts: Classified ads, The Questions section, What’s on guide etc. We have also maintained private messaging and given members their own timeline/wall.
We are also testing a more free-form discussion system. This is currently limited just to those who are helping by being contributors to the site.
More interactive features will be coming. The aim is for the site to continue to develop into a platform to be contributed to by a much wider audience . It is unlikely that will look much like the forum of old though.
This will be a disappointment to some and a relief to others I am sure. The decision not to include an open forum in the launch version of the new site was made in order to ensure that we were relaunching a site that was sustainable and could continue to be relevant, rather than just buying time for the old format.
Further update re the forum archive.
The new server, that we switched to in order to improve performance , is having none of it. The old forum software is too old, creaky and insecure to even run the archive.
My options are are now:
- Pay to renew the forum server license, try to convert the old content to the new format and continue to maintain that
- Try to convert the content to a new license/maintenance free format without compromising who can see what
- Leave the old forum offline and focus on the way forward
I’m going with #3 for now at least. I’ve a big list of jobs to work through that have long term advantage. I think that they will be the best use of my time for now.