Just wanted to throw a quick note out there updating you on what we've been thinking behind-the-scenes and what's coming.
In a nutshell, we have some needs, desires, deadlines on support and service, and much more on our plate. All of this and more is prompting us to look at migrating EH-Net from it's current platform to something new. We're hot on keeping this community based on LAMP, but other than that, anything goes! We've been pretty much open to any platform, open source, free or commercial, that best fits our needs. Unfortunately, I'm not finding a single solution for everything, but I'm doing my best.
As you know, we currently run Joomla CMS and Simple Machines Forum (SMF) and connect them with a bridge. This allows us to have single-sign on (SSO), integrated discussions for our articles, calendar, private messaging... all within a single look and feel. I'm doing everything I can to keep it that way. It's proving harder than you would think. Argh!!
This is a short list of the larger items we'd like to tackle:
1. Move to a faster dedicated server.
2. Implement our recently purchased SSL certificate
3. Create a better backend for our advertisers
4. In addition to our Columns and Articles, setup Blogs (less formal publications with no editing process) for interested EH-Netters (PM me if you'd like to be considered)
5. Better SPAM prevention
6. Upgrade everything!!
We have a number of small items as well, but those can always be done later and/or added as we move along. The big things need to be baked in from the get-go.
With that in mind, I also want everyone to know that no project of this magnitude goes off without a hitch. There will be sacrifices on my end and yours. In the end it should set us up for big, long-term growth. Here's what I may have to sacrifice:
1. Changing the look and feel of EH-Net.
2. Taking an initial hit in the search engines as we transition to new, friendlier URLs
3. We may lose some members as they may not like new stuff. 3h!t happens.
What might happen to you:
1. Might lose functionality or have to adjust to the way old things are accomplished in the new system
2. Might lose password and have to reset it (not always a bad thing)
In the end, this process has really helped the creative juices start to flow. It slows things down on outward appearances, but it's been a lot of work that no-one sees. All in all, I'm happy and excited for the future of EH-Net.
So I have a few questions for you:
1. Are you on-board with what we may have to do?
2. How extensively do you use PMs through our forums?
3. who's interested in Blogging for EH-Net?
4. Who's willing to help test?
5. Who's willing to possibily help moderate the forums?
6. Anyone willing to lend a hand who has expertise in PHP, MySQL, design?
7. Should we implement OpenID, login with Twitter?
This should be plenty to get the conversation rolling.
Thanks in advance for always being there,
PS- Please keep in mind, that I have already been at this a while and have narrowed down some decisions. Things will hopefully move very quickly.