Hi, just thought i’d respond to a couple of the perceptions here to help maintain the record straight…
Logging on – this forum has always been readable by any user without the need to log on (or even have a registered user account) – this goes way back to 2002 when the original forum software was quite primitive and did not support individual user accounts. Even as webmaster I rarely log on with my username just to check the forum and i suspect many other users do the same as me – usually the only time I log on is when I want to post of view the Forum Members’ Area. This would mean that my presence on the forum is usually shown as a ‘guest’.
‘Guests’ – these are not just human, at any one time the open areas of the forum are being automatically trawled by internet search engines (which regularly update their indexing to ensure their own users get the most up to date search results). These automatic trawls also appear as ‘guests’ in the ‘who is online’ section at the bottom of the forum home page.
Access to the Members Area – this has never been intentionally rationed in any way. However, for me to grant access requires users to email me to confirm they are a Club Member (by forwarding their current Membership Number) and to tell me their registered forum name (so I can find them amongst the list of registered forum users). Usually this process is straight forward but user error does happen from time to time, both on my own part (where i lose these emails in my automatic and manual spam filtering) or by complications with forwarding the complete set of details above. I have to admit that i will sometimes take up to two weeks to process these requests but have on occasion taken even longer, i’m very sorry if some Users have not had their accounts activated or upgraded in a timely way (and so please keep reminding me via email if the account setting aren’t changed as required).
Inactive users – until recently this forum had over 10,000 inactive users which i have slowly been cleaning up. This is some of the less interesting work that I have to do to maintain the forum. Again the reason we have so many inactive accounts is down to automated processes registering on the forum – it’s just one of the features of the internet.
Hopefully that info is of interest in the current debate.
On a personal note as webmaster I have to remain neutral on many matters (including the current debate) where my role is to implement the requirements of the Club, so hopefully you won’t mind if limit my input to the functional aspects only. However, I do like ideas and feedback from anyone and which, time and practicalities permitting, I will try and incorporate to help improve both the forum and the website.
Best Regards to all,