Kinda like the burning man of the forum world, LOL!We built it, and apparently we destroyed it. And given the group of people that DFWstangs is - the most powerful gang in the world, it was a fitting end.
Fail..In the wake of the events since last Friday, I feel it's necessary to explain the sale of DFWstangs, some of its history and its future.
In the 11 years since DFWstangs was started, a lot has changed in my live as I am sure it is with everyone else. Next year I will be 40. I have a wonderful wife and two great kids ages 5 and 18 months. I have a job that I like but takes up way too much outside time since I work 9-10 hrs a day and I am on call 24/7 pretty much all the time.
My family is the most important thing to me and I want to spend as much time with them as possible. As the kids get older and older, they will require more and more time: coaching soccer, doing cub scouts, taking my daughter to dance lessons, etc. I am looking forward to doing all of that stuff. My wife and I would also like to travel more. Unfortunately, so might my regular job.
Over the last year I have started to consider not doing DFWstangs anymore. I haven't had the motivation to spend the extra time required to get the software upgrades, new features, and general maintenance done that needed to be done. I don't like going down to the data center in the middle of the night to repair hardware or fix security holes after a hacker has got in and the servers have been shut down. I don't like dealing with spammers trying to fill the forums with their junk. I don't like people threatening to sue me 2-3 times a year for what people say on the forums. I didn't like worrying about the servers crashing or database corruptions that would cause outages for you all. I was worried about the economy and all of the advertisers leaving since they no longer had the budget for it. And I did that all the time. I am the only one to do any of that.
As I was considering what to do, Autoguide contacted me and wanted to discuss purchasing the site. They assured me that all of the existing moderators would stay in place, advertiser agreements would be honored, existing rules would stay in effect, and would do as little as possible to disrupt the character of the community, which is what makes it popular. Since I have been no more than the "man behind the scenes" for the last couple years or more anyway, I saw this as a positive for DFWstangs. They are experienced, knowledgeable and motivated to keep DFWstangs moving forwards and provide the bext experience for the members and the advertisers well into the future. Part of the agreement was that I not tell anyone about the sale until it has been completed. That happened last Friday when I first informed the moderators through the Hired Hands forum (but I don't think anyone checked in time) and then through The Back Porch.
Autoguide has lived up to what they said. The transition to their servers was almost flawless concerning the complexity. The changes made have been minimal and have been blown completely out of proportion. They have provided a dedicated resource that is extremely knowledgeable in running forums and has asked for anything you want changed and done several of them already. Philip is very easy to work with and his job is to make DFWstangs the best it can be and I know he will do a great job of that.
As far as censoring posts and removing users, they did nothing different that I would have done in the same situation. Only people who broke the rules I had instated were banned. Posting links to competing sites is not allowed and porn, illegal material, and hate speech are reasons for immediate banning and have been all the time.
One major topic that has come up is ownership of DFWstangs. Some people think they know how it is but they don't. Below are the facts since the first days of DFWstangs.
1. DFWstangs.net and DFWstangs.com were purchased by me and renewed each year by me.
2. I paid for all the hosting for the site throughout the years, from the days it was on a shared server to being on 5 dedicated servers in a datacenter with a 100mb/s link; for the years it lost money, the years it broke even, and the years it made money.
3. DFWstangs.net is a sole proprietorship registered to me.
4. I purchased all of the software and maintenance agreements for the site, and keep all of the applications and operating systems running.
5. I wrote all of the software for the site that wasn't purchased.
6. I purchased the servers for the site.
7. I manage all of the business parts of the site including billing,receivables and pay income tax on all the revenue.
8. I set the rules for the site.
It has been over 7 years since I have even talked to Jose either in person, on the phone or via IM. I have maybe got a handful of PMs from him in the last several years, and those haven't even been about the operation of the site. I honestly didn't even know he was still around. I offered to meet with him to discuss but he refused. His role in the site would have not changed under the new owners, since I'm the one that kept the lights on and that is the only part that would have changed.
In closing, change is inevitable. The more you resist change, the more change there will be. Considering the limited front facing role I had, I thought this change would bee much less drastic than when I switched to Vbulletin from UBB or changed the classifieds over to Photopost, since those were user impacting and this one really isn't. I hope all of you that have negative feeling toward the site will take the previous information in, think about it, and then make the decision on your next action. For those that are neutral or consider this a positive thing, please give it some time to see how things work out. I do believe DFWstangs will be better than ever. If you do have any further questions or comments, please post back and I will answer or you can send me a PM.
Thank you all