Good to have you pass by, SolaDrive. Here is a short (and honest) summary of what happened.
I acquired the community in so-so shape in 2010. Threw a good amount of money and development resources at trying to revive it, which required changing everything. I've done that successfully before with another community (which I believe you are also a part of), so I knew what I was facing at that time. The development was an awesome, but a long and painful process, with multiple people taking over from designers to developers. We aimed so
high at delivering a unique result that would affect both the forum and the marketplace that I simply fell flat on the face after months and months of delays. As negative feedback rolled in, it finally made an impact on me and demotivated me from continuing. I dropped out for a good amount of time (probably even up to 2 years), which in most cases is lethal for any community, especially the one that was already struggling and given up on prior to my acquisition. In the process I upset a lot of people who had high hopes. Looking back, if we were to go through those changes back then, we would have still faced an increasingly difficult battle in the face of declining activity as far as traditional forums are concerned.
Fast forward to today.
As of the last three weeks, I have made a quiet comeback. It first involved cleaning up the whole community from accumulated spam. In the process, over 50,000 messages and dozens of accounts were removed (with another 20 or so suspicious accounts under investigation). In the process I have reached out to a few members who used to be active and involved and had a surprisingly nice conversation with them on my plan to re-launch TF and they have offered their feedback and advice on a number of items. I feel like not everything is lost around here and it's giving me hope and motivation again.
Since then, some development work has been going on behind the scenes and I think we aren't that far off from relaunching a reinvented version of TF. The objective (and core desire) is to bring back the environment of the early days of the community. In order to get there (and advisor-members agree), I have to make some very radical changes (I talk about some of them here
). So that's what we are preparing for. Only this time we have to keep things simple in order to get there, with a one step at a time approach rather than all-at-once.
PS: Oh, since I left, I have shut down the registration capability. That probably really saved us from an epic mess.
Anyway, I haven't really mass-informed the community about any of this. I'm going to keep things organic this time around until we accomplish a major chunk of upgrades.
Thank you for asking your questions, SolaDrive. If you are interested in the upcoming changes, stick around.