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Old 09-12-2013, 12:20 AM   #81
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Re: 500 members!

As an update to this marker post thread there's still plenty of things to celebrate about the forum. With renovations to the forum ongoing over the last two years and still far from complete - the size of the task is tribute to the shear amount of use the forum has and has had.

Over 4,000 members have now registered to the forum (although that does include users that have since been banned for inappropriate behaviour or spamming).
There are over 10,000 threads (even though the number fluctuates due to ebay feeds coming and going) containing over 100,000 posts.
The forum marketplace has had more than 3,000 offers on it, with considerably more items finding new homes.

The "renovations" to the forum over the last two years have included the vast expansion of the "Soviet Bloc" section with the large array of subsections with all sorts of items from the Communist world and former Communist nations. Now containing over 3,300 threads (compared to the 3,700+ Soviet threads) but continually expanding - more "Soviet Sphere" sections coming soon.
There are many new sections in the "Soviet Awards" section too. A full renovation of the Badges and Paper sections with more clearly defined subsections, no more confusing of military and labour awards. A "Table Medal" and "Award Groups" sections. there has also been a streamlining of threads - one award, one thread - making navigation considerably easier.

The forum software does sometimes struggle with the demands on it and some threads, posts or images have been lost or corrupted. This is simply a drawback of the software and nothing else. Very infrequently does this problem impact a popular thread but it does happen.

Due to forum restrictions in the early days, when the young internet had considerably less bandwidth, posts were restricted to single attachments, this problem has been solved with the collapse of old posts spread out over posts due to image restrictions into single posts. All those "reverse", "and the back" and "serial number" type posts are now merged with other items of each item. This collapsing of posts does make post counts reduce in number but the sheer number of posts in the same time has ensured a maintenance of the number of posts on the forum. "Old" forum users that are now inactive will have seen a sharp drop in their post counts but all the information is there - just not split over an inflated number of posts. Currently active "old" forum users from the single image restriction period may not have even seen a reduction in post count. Post count, like age is generally just a number.

Just reading every post on the forum takes a formidable period of time let alone merging or moving a post so renovations continue. The sheer number of posts and information available on the forum is a solid testament to the diligence, loyalty, intelligence and enthusiasm of the forum's members.

I've certainly tried to do my bit during this time. In the last two years I've posted over 5,000 new posts which include over 7,000 new images and fortunately for enthusiasts of all things Soviet or awards this is only the start and for now I have only just brushed on documented Soviet groups and haven't even bothered with uniforms yet. More to come with time.

Now the best news has been saved for last!
On average the site gets over a million hits a month, over 35,500 hit per day - 25 hits per minute!

With the latest forum statistics between February 2013 and July 2013, the number of visitors is up by 8.3% with the number of page views up 10.5% - don't let anyone try to persuade you otherwise, the forum is more popular than ever. With the forum in its twelfth year there are more people finding and offering more information than ever - it's certainly not all been said and done yet.

With more access to information, communication, research resources and other enthusiasts the forum certainly has a very bright and ever expanding future.

All members adding to the images and information on the forum can be assured that they are making a positive impact on the hobby as a whole.

Congratulations to all.
"Signed with his own rubber stamp"
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Old 09-11-2015, 07:13 AM   #82
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Two years on it's time for another update.

Obviously a major change has been the change in ownership - this was somewhat unexpected but the forum continues to progress.

The Forum was unfortunately down for a few days last week, it was changing servers. The server change had a minimal effect on the forum (other than the outage) and to date I've only noticed one lost thread - which has been recreated. A net loss of 4 images - Not bad considering there is almost 5gb of forum to move!

Users will notice that there has been a slight reshuffle of the forum's sections. All the old sections are there and many, many more sub-forums as a foundation for us to build on.

Oh, then there's the larger image allowance - I'll be re-uploading some pieces with larger images so those items can be enjoyed in higher definition.

Lots of other fun things going on too like the cheap research. Good times for collectors and those who enjoy history!

I'd also like to add that not only are we at 2,900 members now (although this will go down when the inactive users are purged - mainly spammers) but also forum usage has increased over 25% in the last month. More people enjoying more sections.
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Old 02-02-2018, 02:07 PM   #83
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Re: 500 members!

Now that the forum is over 16 years old (older than some of it's members) it must be time for an update.

The forum continues to expand, there have even been new sections added in 2018. There are many new additions, some freshly uncovered and some newly created awards, going hand in hand with solid additions of researched awards and the solid favourites.

The forum continues to get thousands of hits every day, which is why there is sometimes a little "down time", the servers simply can't handle the demand!

We still have a very loyal base of users that log on every single day, as well as new members signing up and purchases of forum subscriptions. Whilst inert accounts have been removed (no posts, no activity for 1,000 days). I have been trying to do my bit, nearly 11,000 posts with 17,500 pictures. Lots more to come as and when I can.

There have been over 6,000 items offered on the marketplace over the last 10 years. Many nice items re-homed and posted in detail on the forum.

With the service I have offered via the forum, I have researched over 1,500 Soviet awards - that can take up quite a lot of time. It does help understand the awards in greater detail and I am often surprised by strange results. I only post researched awards in my possession or add to ones already posted, to keep the anonymity of those using my services. (There are a couple of people who have publicly stated they'd never use my services, whilst at the same time were awaiting a result from me - that's the way it goes!). I've commented on my success rates elsewhere so I won't bang on again here. I get excited about every single positive return, no matter who owns the award, research is a passion.

Only 7 people have been banned from the forum, which averages out at less than one every two years and of those 3 were banned for non-payment of items received from the marketplace. These minimal figures are testament to the quality of the active members here.

I know some members' interests are very focused, whereas others' are very general, I think there is something here to pique the interest of all. Sharing images of items in your own collections not only can allow more information to be contributed but it adds to the overall information available on that subject. Some items that we may not particularly feel are overly special ourselves are the stuff of dreams for others. I know I've had a few things hidden away in drawers for decades that have had a whole new light to them once shared. At the same time this forum has a focus and I think we have been very successful in keeping it on track. It may be your cat's birthday but this is not the place to be celebrating it, although some may have previously been under this assumption.

With the forum's age, it does look a bit dated, especially the main site. Once all the ducks are lined up, there will be a significant and long overdue overhaul. For now we can just keep soldiering on, "If it's not broken why fix it?"

So where will the forum be in another 5, 10, 16 years? Right here, with more interesting items and more research added to formerly silent or misunderstood pieces. Hopefully with updated software. It'll be fun to find out together.
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Old 02-02-2018, 11:46 PM   #84
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Re: 500 members!

Moreover I'd like to encourage not only posting here at the site, but aspiring authors. I'll provide a $100 purchase credit to those who publish an article in a reputable publication in the course of 2018.

I'll be the judge of what's worthy but if you're sincere I have a low bar. If desired I'll also be happy to offer suggestions or edit.

Here's to another year!
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Old 06-04-2018, 02:17 PM   #85
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Re: 500 members!

Discovering the new rules about posting. I have been quite silent these last years.
Let's start again...
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