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Old 25-12-2005, 16:43   #1
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Greetings - My introduction....

It has been just about 4 years since I started working on forum communities. I was just about to buy a 1961 Airstream Bambi and realized that the Airstream community needed a great place to call home on the internet, so I started www.AirstreamForums.com. We worked really hard to make the friendliest and most feature rich Airstream community and today it is still the leader. After about a year and a major change in my life (moving from Colorado to Texas) my hobby changed from Airstream trailers to online communities.

Through a strange twist of fate I ran across a forum site that was going to shut down in a few days unless someone wanted to take it over. I sent the owner a message and a week later I was managing a community on Royalty (www.TheRoyalForums.com). The same owner was really busy and did not have time to manage his other community so I ended up acquiring a site on fashion from him.

Since then I have started a few more communities and acquired a few other and worked really hard with the members at each to make sure they stay leaders in their respective niches. I was doing some research on sailing in Brazil and ran across this site and noticed it had not been upgraded in quite some time. I sent Gisle an email to see if he wanted to sell to a caring owner and here we are today (Christmas Day 2005). Thanks to Gisle for founding such a great community and helping make Cruiser Forums what it is today.

I truely believe that forum sites are online communities where people with similar hobbies/passions/interests gather together just like they would in real life. My goal is to enable the members to evolve the community to fit their needs, to find the leaders that are willing to volunteer to help the community by helping with the administrative decisions, moderation, etc...

I am really looking forward to meeting everyone around the community and working with you all to keep evolving CruiserForums (CF). I plan to start doing research around the site so that in a few years (god willing) I will be able to buy a sailboat and join you out on the water.

If you have any questions, please post them here and I will try to get them all answered ASAP.

Happy Holidays!

Andy R
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Old 26-12-2005, 05:31   #2
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Welcome Andy!!

It sounds like you have LOTS of bulletin board management experience.

I must tell you that "change" is often at least a little scary, and if others are like me, we're wondering what changes may be in store.

I think there's a strong comfort and confidence level within Cruiser's Forum, and I've got to believe you will want to continue that; but those words about you "buying" this service make me wary. It seems that this has been run in the past without any profit motive.

I'm a big believer in free enterprise and capitalism, even with all it's problems; but just what does it mean for this board? Will there be advertising? Will there be membership fees? Will there be those annoying pop-ups?

Whatever changes you make, please go slow and keep us well informed; and whenever possible seek and take seriously users input and feedback.

Thanks.

Bob
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Old 26-12-2005, 13:57   #3
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Great questions...

First off let me start and say that this community will ALWAYS remain free. I do plan to add some ads to help pay for hosting, domain registration, software licenses and to place our own online ads to help get the word out. If you look at the other sites you will notice the ads are nicely placed and there are NO pop-ups.

The software upgrades will really enhance the community (the developers have come a long way since v2.3.0 which we are currently running.

I know that change is hard to adjust to sometimes but I feel really confident our community will handle it. Other changes will include a portal home page that sums up all the recent discussions on the home page so you don't have to dig into each forum to see what is being discussed. I also plan to add a links section so we can collectively build an awesome resource of the best links on the web related to cruising, sailing, manufacturers, resource sites, other forums, etc. I also plan to add a member map like the one on www.AirstreamForums.com (look in the upper right corner for the map link). That site is a good example of the features I would like to add to our community.

I do plan to listen and work with the community to evolve things. We are all never going to agree 100% of the time but quite often there will be a concensus. I will need leaders to help listen, organize ideas and make recommendations to me. These leaders (administrators) will be instramental in the evolution process.

A few other things I want to do is create a text only interface for accessing the community from a slow satellite connection & PDA. I also want to try to attract some sponsors to donate some good and then have give-a-ways so our members will benefit. Also, like the Airstream Forums, I would like to encourage us to start having get togethers (even if it is just a few people which might already be happening).

Also, I am hoping to use some things I have learned from the other boards to turn guests into members, lurkers into posters and in general help promote a healthy community (which we already are).

I know sometimes it is difficult to trust someone you just met (totally understandable). Over time I hope to earn your trust and keep pushing CrusiersForum.com to the next level. In all the niches that I manage forums, I try to keep them the best moderated, most features & friendliest in their niche.

I think competition is good because it ultimately benefits the consumer. With forums this is true too. Members make a big investment in the community they participate in and I hope that you will look back in a couple of years and be even prouder that this is a community you choose to participate in...
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Old 27-12-2005, 23:49   #4
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Andy, We welcome you aboard!

Or should I say we pipe you aboard as the new commander of the site.

Life always changes (change-in-command) and one has to except that. I think the most annoying thing that bothers people are the pop-ups and I'm glad you will avoid those.

Sailors/Cruisers are a unique and generally friendly group of people and I believe we all would be honored for you to join in!

Personally, I hope you plan to keep the rules and Mediators that have been establish here. It has been a civil and very friendly forum from the start and would like to keep it that way, if at all possible.

Fair winds............................................. .._/)

P.S. I've always like Airsteams myself!
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Old 29-12-2005, 15:31   #5
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Thumbs up Happy to have you onboard Andy

I'm looking forward to seeing the upgrades and the new content you plan to add.

We haven't talked about the Photo Gallery. Will you upgrade Photo Post too? I think that's an important addition to the forum.


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Old 29-12-2005, 16:56   #6
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Yes, I will upgrade Photo Post also. I think I might upgrade to the lighter more tightly integrated version called vBGallery that Photo Post now offers. It seems to have less integration issues then the other version they offer.

Right now I plan to start the upgrades in mid-January and let us get settled then start to add new features, etc.

Also, I want to work on our search engine optimization so that more of our discussions are indexed and found easier. That will help spread the word about the quality of discussions going on here...
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Old 30-12-2005, 05:51   #7
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May I join in the welcome.

One of the best features is the allowance of some space for our photos, and letting us manage the actual content of that space.

I find it a bit irritating that it is difficult to answer a specific post on a thread, and it is even more difficult to track a specific part thread where somebody has wandered of subject and there is a sequence of answers to that new subject. This also ties in with the difficulty of people being informed if somebody has answered a specific post (i.e. email notification of an answer to a post that is not the last post in the thread.
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Old 30-12-2005, 06:07   #8
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Welcome

Welcome from the sunny tampa Bay area. I look forward to your new plans. Best of luck.
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Old 01-01-2006, 15:22   #9
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New commander-in-chief

Welcome aboard, Andy!

You've taken on a fairly tall order, I say: This is a very special place!

Until now this forum has been serendipity, and not much to do for the moderators apart from deleting a coupla "gate-crashers". Must admit that I myself have not been too active, like redirecting misplaced posts. GordMay has taken care of members' wishes and needs, regarding for instance new forums.

Sounds like you have a lot to offer, although I cannot decipher some of the lingo. Reading in-between the lines I feel that it MAY be beneficial to the forum. Gisle is the best judge of the technical aspect, and thus I'll second his choice of relief captain.

But - IF this turns into "just-another-hip-forum-in-the-crowd" I fear that we may lose most of the wise sailors who have anchored here because they detest the noise elsewhere.
Love from (airborne) wannabe.
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Old 01-01-2006, 19:20   #10
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Andy - I checked out what appear to be your other websites. Are you planning to change our format ans appearance to that used on "cooking, fitness, travel, home repair, airstream, royals (hmmm) and fashion ?

Larry
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Old 04-01-2006, 06:59   #11
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Uh-oh, Gisle sold us down the river to the highest bidder...

What is in store around the corner?

A new and improved version?

Aye, don't change a thing, this little board is humming away just fine.

We have problems posting pictures on the threads, but that is about the only thing I can think of.

Once we get the picture issue sorted out, we can post some of these: http://wickedweasel.com/



Welcome aboard Andy.
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Old 04-01-2006, 07:16   #12
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CSY - You ARE on vacation! Nice to see my first wife is still looking good. I think you might want to post that one on the "fashion" site, or perhaps "cooking". Seek shade immediately !

Larry
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Old 04-01-2006, 08:13   #13
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Yer ex-wife eh?

Why did ya ditch her, can't say she got fat....
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Old 04-01-2006, 12:46   #14
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Must be STD's
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Old 04-01-2006, 13:19   #15
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High maintenance costs.

Boy - Talk about a wandering thread. And all on the new owners first post. No respect

Larry
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