I will be using this thread to post updates about the site...
The story so far, if anyone doesn't know.
A year or so back I got rid of UKHippy as its popularity had severely waned, and I was simply fed up with the ongoing negativity (admittedly some of it was mine). It isn't easy separating personal opinions from moderation, while trying to compete with social media and other websites etc.
I think I just needed a break tbh.
But, rather than sacrifice years of hard work (and years of contributions from members) I tried to re brand it as a site geared towards nomadic living (hence classifiedcampers.com)
The database was the same, the graphics were slightly different, the niche was more focused --- so after I swapped the name to 'classifiedcampers' I trimmed and merged a lot of content in order to streamline things.
Members who never ever posted got removed, and so did a lot of irrelevant content -- members who didn't like the new ethos were welcome to delete their accounts, and quite a few did. I did everything in accordance with the new GDPR laws.
Needless to say, the venture didn't work, I lost my own enthusiasm and was on the verge of killing it completely!
A couple of people convinced me to change my mind, and instead I have brought back UKHippy!
I think the break did me some good; it's given me a fresh set of eyes and I'm feeling positive about getting this moving again. I intend to keep this website as a positive experience the best I can.
However, restoring old content is going to take a bit of time.
Some of it is lost, but nothing important is lost -- so, old forums like 'The Lizard Lounge', 'Animal Welfare', 'Planet Earth' and so on will be back, but it'll take me a while to sift through old content and reorganise it.
I'm going to do my best to be as fast as I can with this, but please bear with me.
The site hosting is currently costing about £45 a month including VAT, domain registration, software licences etc. It rests on a UK based cloud server with a pretty high tolerance for forum software.
I'm not going to excessively nag people for donations, instead I will let people choose their own level of appreciation and support -- if you're happy then you'll tell me, if you're not then you'll tell me. A day at a time I will do my best.
If anything changes with the running costs I will let you know -- but I prefer giving people freedom to choose rather than charging a regular fee -- doing that in the Classified Campers 'project' never sat well with me - I want everyone to have a similar experience regardless of their means.
I am currently the only person moderating and administering this site -- last time around the two remaining moderators abandoned ship without any warning and that's how its been since.
But, if the traffic builds up I may invite some people to help me; we shall see. My own values are about individual freedom and self-expression within a managed infrastructure (i.e. the forum layout).
I don't like heavy handed moderation and will avoid (as far as is practical) being overly dictatorial, so long as people play nice and don't try to deliberately disrupt the site or anyone else's enjoyment.
There undoubtedly will be issues -- this site is cloth-eared, ragged around the edges and runs on fairy dust --- so if you find any issues then please use the suggestions and feedback forum rather than reporting them to me directly.
Welcome back; thanks for popping by