100% -- forums are all about the community. While i'm not involved with the community any more, I do have an interest in keeping this forum alive for those that are.
RE: Software change -- It does look and feel a bit different, but I think the improvements make it easier to use. The "Marketplace" change was a little misguided, as I believed having a more "visual" representation of items for sale/trade and more of an ebay/shopping type experience would make buying/selling/trading a better experience. However this might have been a case of "too much too fast", as after the upgrade, everything worked entirely differently than it had been for years, and without a good explanation or a "user guide", it was destined to fail. Going forward, I think we can address that, and perhaps some community input on having the marketplace work like it should, and building that out over time for a better experience.
I wasn't aware of the change in PinPics mgmt, so i've no thoughts about that atm.
fully agree. Since I'm not fully informed on the "drama" (per se) regarding the community's feelings on PTDB and the postings about it, i don't really have an informed opinion, so i won't say anything other than going forward, I don't think other projects or links in the interest of community growth or alternative resources should be restricted as much as it sounds like it has been. But that also doesn't mean a free-for-all shilling other sites. Again, moderators + new mods going forward will use their own discretion as to what's best for DPF.
I don't run ads on the site, and it's fully supported by the occasional donation drives we have for forum software/upgrades/modifications to better the user experience.
In the interest of full disclosure, The site is running 2 virtual servers (a web server and a database server) that cost roughly $100/month combined with the traffic that we receive (this can go up if the forum ends up returning to its previous form and starts being more active); additionally, keeping the forum license is about $55-60 per year in order to get the latest updates. Paid addons/enhancements vary anywhere from about $25-100 per addon/enhancement, and we are running quite a few of these to ease the mod's job, provide a better user experience, and increase visibility of the forum. At this point I've not outsourced any custom development, but that does get expensive if we were to want a custom solution for something the community wants. So, it doesn't cost a whole lot in the grand scheme to keep it running, but we also generate 0 revenue, and none of the staff (mods/smods) are paid. DPF is, and always has been, entirely a community-driven endeavor.
I'll get to page 2 a little later.
Of course continue responses at your own pace, @Cicada , but just wanted to express appreciation for the clarifications and responses already. It’s awesome that you are able to take the time out to check on this great site and - on a personal note - still my number one stop for Disney news.
The amount of people coming together who enjoy this site speaks volumes of the hard work that has already been invested and put in freely by you and your staff team. And hopefully the growth of the mod team gives the needed help to the amazing ones already a part of it <3
Looking forward to how everything works out, and wishing DPF all the best in getting the help it needs!