I am so happy that Fan saved the forum. I was shocked to hear the news of Linnea's passing. Was really hard.
But thanks to Fan for keeping the ship afloat! I think she would be proud!
IMO, I would turn on PM's. It allows people to connect, and speak of personal things when the time is needed.
(I run a massive gaming forum, Ironworks Gaming Forum, and I understand how crazy upgrading forum software is. I began a simple php forum in 1997, which was so limited, it was called 'Ultraboard' or something..
I then converted to UBB in 2001. I actually saved the posts. then a few years ago I upgraded to vB, and had to run a conversion process on over 1 million posts, and 15000 users! (it also was the first forum with a SQL database, so imagine how hard that was--I actually had techs help me with the conversion, and added some code to the converter). It took 14 hours to convert posts, users, pms, and everything else. but it worked!
If you ever need some help with the forum, I know loads of stuff. But IMO, I'd keep the same look and feel, but maybe add a few small things.. maybe PM's, as I said. Maybe a chat interface when the AB shows are on. Allow for larger avatars under our username? Not TOO big though..
(see my forum at: http://www.ironworksforum.com/forum/index.php
BTW, themes are a pain in the butt!
The hardest part of maintaining a forum is the following:
1. Database issues. (most are easily fixed)
2. BIG issue is spammers making accounts. New vBB has loads of ways to curtail bots from registering, but they still get through sometimes, so I actually manually validate each new member. And that is a pain sometimes
I'm just glad the Fantastic Forum was saved, and the memory of Linnea. She was a special person that brought together so many great people. Hell, Art Bell *preferred* posting here, even over the old C2C forum! That alone speaks volumes. Amazing family here... Thank you, Fan!
JoeQuinn would also be proud, and offer a lengthy post about that
His posts were great!