Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Andrea Computer Forums Archived-Read Only.

Last year I told readers that I deleted my old forum, Andrea Computer Forums, because it didn't work out. The idea of starting my own forum was good, but I made the mistake of using Forumotion, a free forum service. The main reason I shut down my forum was because of the Online Guardian plug in. Which is a spam filter that Forumotion use, which was blocking out most of my members. So they could not log in and post.  

I told FM about this on their support forum but they would not fix the plug in, and I was not the only one who had this problem. I have read many posts on FM support forums from admins of other Forumotion forums, whose members are being blocked by the Online Guardian plug in. As well as admins.

Should one have the misfortune to be blocked the user is presented with this message when trying to log into a Forumotion forum.

"We have detected suspicious activity on your account. Click here to unblock it."

But it does not unblock your account as the member is then presented with a captcha or word verification. Which no matter how many times you complete it correctly it won't unblock your account, so the member is locked out of their account and cannot get in.

 I put this to Forumotion but they insisted the captcha is working and the spam filter is not broken. So the situation is that should you or your members be blocked from your forum, you then have to wait for the head admin of Forumotion support to unblock your username and IP address. The Online Guardian plug in seems to block short usernames like Jane or John for example. And many of my members were being locked out of my forum because of this wretched plug in. Yet there was no way forum us admins to disable it. 

There are many restrictions with using free forum services such as Forumotion, Proboards and other. In short, you have no control over the free forum services and they can delete your forum any time. As time went on I soon realized that I could not do what I wanted, and I could not give my members with the service they rightfully deserved. So I deleted my forum last April 2013. 

Though a few days ago I decided to restored my forum but put it into archives, that is make it read only. So my forum is now back on the web, but is read only, and new registrations are disabled.
Andrea Computer Forums  can be found here at http://andreaborman.forumotion.org
Soon after my forum closed, one of my forum admins started his own forum on Zoho Discussions,Computer Chat Forums https://discussions.zoho.com/colinl2  
Of which I am a member and I post on there quite a lot, as I do on other forums. 

I have learned from experience, and next time I start another forum I am going to do it properly. That is I will host it myself on my own domain though a paid web host. I will never use free forum services again,never. Free forum services don't work.

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