TPF - Updates & Changes

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by Chase, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. Chase

    Chase I am now benign! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    All,

    I wanted to take a few minutes to share my thoughts and give you updates on things that are changing with TPF. So, to begin with, I'll cut straight to the chase. After quite a few years of owning and operating TPF, I have decided to let go of the site. For those that are interested, I'll give you a little time line of TPF just for the fun of it. (If you're not interested, skip ahead a few paragraphs! :D )

    When I first started this site, it was more of an experiment and learning experience for me and I never dreamed it would turn into what it has become. I started it because I had an interest in photography, but I was also curious what it would be like to run a forum and I also wanted to learn about running a web server, making it work, etc. For the techies around, I actually started an early version on the site on a cheap web hosting plan I had with a hosting company and what I used were the FrontPage features that existed at the time for creating a pseudo "forum". It had just enough ability to basically create a page of links, and people could "respond" to the message on those links and it would created a nested way of viewing information on an otherwise very static web page. It was ugly, but it worked, was fun to learn about....and somehow...somehow a few people actually found it and used it. :lol:

    After letting that run for a while, I also started frequenting other sites and found some forums running "cool" stuff like phpBB and vBulletin. When I found out that phpBB was free, I had to give it a try. But then I also found out that I had to have a database to run it with and some additional access level to the site. All of these things also seemed to assume that it would be running on Linux (kinda tough to do with my little hosted service with front page extensions running). So, here starts the beginning what I'd consider to be the TPF you use today.

    I started looking at various hosting options, learning about what it would take to have a database back end and get access to everything I would need. The more I looked, the more interested I got in the technical aspects, so I decided I'd use this as a chance to learn more about Linux by hosting the site myself. I had an old computer lying around and didn't think hosting the site on my computer running on my home DSL line would be a problem (besides, how many people were going to visit my little site anyway). So, after a little work, I managed to bring up a Linux server, get all of the appropriate goodies installed, including phpBB, and up popped the first version of TPF (this is about time I purchased the domain "thephotoforum.com" as well). At the time, I was doing some work on search engine optimization as a "side job", so what I had learned also helped me put the word out about TPF and things slowly, very slowly, started to happen.

    As the site started to grow a little, I quickly discovered that my ultra-slow DSL wasn't going to do the job, so I opted to move to a business package with a whopping 768k upload speed. ;) Suddenly the site was more useable, but oops, there went all stability. My DSL line was up and down like a yo-yo and I would constantly be stuck resetting my router, etc. This went on for months, if not a year. I'm sure Terri, and some other TPF "Old-timers" remember those days well. It wasn't uncommon for the site to suddenly go down, and be down for hours until I could get back home and reset that @#*$(#* router! After battling this for what seemed like way too long, I decided to look for more hosting options and now I could afford to offset some of my hosting costs with wonderful new banner advertising that was starting to trickle some money my way.

    I ended up finding some hosting packages (similar to what I've run on right up until a couple of weeks ago) that provided me with a dedicated server which gave me lots of room for growth, both in terms of bandwidth and server space. As we continued to grow, we ended up switching from phpBB to vBulletin and started looking for additional features to include such as the gallery, etc. Basically, this was the final step to get to what TPF is today.

    So now we have the current TPF and boy things are going well. Site is running great, membership is growing nicely, etc. Enter life! :lol: When I first started the site, I had periods when I wasn't working, and then other times when I was doing a job that didn't demand a whole lot from me and meant many hours sitting in front of a computer. It was pretty easy to dedicate hours a day to the site. More recently, I've moved to jobs that require heavy amounts of travel and wear me out just a little more than in the old days. Oh, and did I happen to mention having a 2 year old running around the house as well? Needless to say, for quite some time I haven't been able to give TPF anywhere near the level of attention it needs or deserves. I've had all sorts of ideas about what I could do with the site, but none of the time to make any of it happen. After thinking it over for several months, I decided selling the site to someone who has both the enthusiasm and time it takes to invest into a site like TPF was the right thing to do.

    Dan, one of the new owners, approached me quite a few months ago asking if I would have interest in selling the site. He has had a number of years of experience operating forums on a variety of topics (quite a few of these forums having been significantly larger than TPF). I was skeptical at first over what would happen to my poor site (maybe not unlike many of you feel about it now), but as Dan and I exchanged more email back and forth, and after getting a chance to speak with him on the phone about his thoughts for TPF, I was happy to find that I was talking to someone who I felt comfortable with and who I believed would continue to do his best to keep the feel of TPF alive.

    Over the past week or two, Dan (dascrow) and Doug (4nines - another fresh face here) have been working behind the scenes to migrate TPF to their servers and otherwise get things in order for the official transfer. That has now been completed and I'd like to ask you all to help welcome them to TPF! They will be making themselves available to answer questions and give you a chance to get to know them as well. I really believe they will be a great benefit to TPF and be able to give it the attention that I haven't had time to provide and help make this an even better place to talk about photography!

    Lastly, I just want to say thank you to everyone for all of the years I've run this site. I've met many great friends and I've seen many peoples' lives change dramatically (including my own) in the time that I've been here. I intend to continue to be a part of TPF for the foreseeable future but, as of now, I am no longer at the helm. Thanks again to all of you for helping to make TPF what it is, and I'm looking forward to seeing where TPF heads in the future.

    Please visit this thread to welcome Dan and Doug! http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=146412
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  2. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There's nothing I can say now that I haven't said before, over the years. I've always found you to be a fair, reasonable, forward-thinking site owner. You took a little side project and made it into a major forum player on the web. Not everyone can do that - congrats to you, Sir.

    :salute:

    And now, goodbye, as our owner. You'll always be TPF's founder, though. Thanks for giving us the forum. :hug::




    Dan, Doug: Welcome to TPF, where we put the "fun" in dysfunctional. ;)
     
  3. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Massive amounts of respect from me dude, thanks so much for creating this site, one which im sure many people would agree has one of the friendliest and helpful vibes on the internet.


    :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup: :mrgreen:
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well said Chase. Thank you for creating and nurturing the forum that we have come to love.

    And congratulations to Dan & Doug. Welcome to the party eh!
     
  5. dascrow

    dascrow TPF Tech Staff Member Supporting Member

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    First of all, I would really like to thank Chase and his mod team for building such a great photography resource. I've spent many hours as a a lurker over the past couple of months trying to learn more about photography and what gear to buy. I realize what a great community TPF has and I'm proud to be a part of it now. I look forward to getting to know more of you and participating with the day to day conversations. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask here or send me a PM.

    Thanks!
    Dan
     
  6. Chiller

    Chiller Mental case

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    Greetings from the cellar. :D First off I want to offer a huge congrats for getting TPF started and having it grow to the place it is now. When I joined here almost 5 years ago, there were under 1000 members, and now the membership is 36000. TPF was the first forum I ever joined, and I learned most of what I know now from the members here. And you never kicked my arse out for posting all my creepy stuff. :lmao:
    Thank you for all your efforts, and time that you have put into TPF, and I know a lot of thankless hours have gone into this site. Whatever your future holds now, I wish you all the best. Take care my friend.
     
  7. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks Chase for being the founder of TPF. My absolutely favourite forum in the whole www! I thought I'd best point that out just this once, since my post count would not lead anyone to think it was ;) .
    Many happy years to you as member from now on!

    Welcome Dan and Doug, "our" new owners.
    I hope you know what you have let yourselves into ;) ;) ;) !?
    Ah no. Great fun here.
     
  8. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

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    Thanks to Chase for all that has been done in creating TPF and getting it to the place it is now as a well run, well respected site for all those with an interest in photography. No where else could possibly have induced me to start photographing frozen chillis at 22:00 at night - go figure... :lol:

    To Dan and Doug, just remember...

    :addpics:



    welcome aboard... :mrgreen:










    PS. Beware of the penguin queen
     
  9. dascrow

    dascrow TPF Tech Staff Member Supporting Member

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    We don't want to scare all of you yet :lol:
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Bah If we have survived the scary Chiller photos we can survive some mugshots ;)
    Welcome to the site and hope to see you round the place!

    And now for the most important question - Canon or Nikon?











    oh and yes do beware of the penguins!
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If I'm not mistaken....it's neither Canon or Nikon (gasp)....

    ;)
     
  12. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    is - is - is such a thing even possible?
     

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