Thoughts and opinions
#11
I will explain the technical aspect so users here have a better idea of what we are dealing with and what we can use for "legacy".

These things cost to maintain this site, and the price varies depending on the company you use to acquire each:
- Domain name (what you type into the address bar) - Annual billing
- Hosting (where all the files that deliver the site are stored (IE also where your files go that get uploaded, etc) - Monthly billing

These things are part of the maintenance process:
- Spam control: This covers a variety of issues, from users who create accounts just to post advert links in their profiles to users who sign up to post spam posts (belligerent or hidden in "informative" post)

- Security control: Another variety including users who sign up just to try to gain access to email people from the board (and subsequently securing your email addresses), attacks that try to take down the board (insecure forms without captchas can be spammed to create an influx of traffic more than what our hosting allows, thus shutting down the site - and that's just one example of such attacks), and security from losing information in our database (usernames/passwords, post information, the posts themselves, etc)

- Updating the software: Our code is written by MyBB contributors, and for the most part they take the above and patch out fixes when exploits are found. However, this is not like iPhone or Android application updates (automatic) - it involves me taking the files they hand me and putting them where they belong, and sometimes running scripts to make database changes (the scariest part for me, as that is our actual information). If you stay on top of it, it generally is not hard, and the changes are small, but if you fall behind even 1 iteration of changes, you have to basically re-install the board, and do so without deleting attachments or avatars or signatures or the like. So it requires constantly checking to see if there are new versions and grabbing them within the week of being put out in order to not have a harder job 3 weeks down the road.

And now these things are what it will mean if we take the expenses away (give up the domain name and the hosting):
- The domain name will no longer point to anything, so it will not point to this site.

- Within the week of expiration of the domain name, it will be put up for sale, so someone else will most likely buy it up (it will NOT be linked with the files of this site, and so will not be a sale of this site). The best way to think of this is to think of the domain name as the address to a house. When you sell your house (or let the rent contract expire), you move and you take your things with you. The next person who inhabits that house will have the same address but it will be filled with THEIR things, not yours. Domain names must always be "rented/sold" or be "available for rent/sale" - there is no holding on to it without paying. And based on Linda's inquiries, we can expect a new site to pop up within a few months of letting it go.

- Once the domain name is no longer linked to our files, our files will sit without anything pointing to them. Think of them like a homeless person's camp in the middle of the words. There is no address, so there is no way for a tour bus to plug it into their GPS and locate it. I will hold on to these files for a little bit, but I am personally thinking of getting rid of my hosting account completely. If I do, it will be like giving up the contract on a rented storage shed. Either I download it all and take it with me or it gets emptied by the company for the next person's use.


One thing we could talk about per KBB's request:
We could do SOMETHING to save this as a legacy item and make it available for a few weeks to active members of this site. Something like an eBook can be built from some of our favorite content - we could maybe start a thread to have people post links to their favorite conversations. I could easily enough save out the pages in PDF form and put them together to form a sort of book that users can download before we close the site down.

Another idea is to take images from current active member's dogs as they have been known on this site and build a book that showcases all the dogs from their time here. So for Ember it would be from the day I got her. And for others there will a dog who was here and no longer is with us.

If anyone else has other ideas, let me know!
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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