Update on Gingerbeer

(click on the title of this post to go to the post page and see the comments)

Hi all,

It’s taken me a while to get this up and running for a variety of reasons but here it is.  This site is open to anyone to sign up and post (first post requires approval) and create new pages so you can at least continue conversations here in the meantime.

So, the update.  The company that Gingerbeer was hosted with sent me an email at the end of September saying that on the 31st Oct the site would be deleted as they are no longer serving out type of server.  I missed this email as I was out of town and they did not send any further emails or notifications.  It was several days before someone contacted me to say the site was down.  I called the company the next morning to find out that not only was the site deleted but the entire server wiped clean including all of the site back ups.  I had been making local back up copies intermittently however in June my desktop computer crashed.  I rebuilt it but have been having problems with the user accounts so I couldn’t reconfigure the backups as my move a few weeks later took up all of my time and attention.  It is likely therefore that the most up to date backup I have of the site is from June at the latest and anything that was posted on the site between then and when it went down is gone.  That is the best case scenario.  Most of the posts are actually stored in the ‘database’ and I’m not sure how often I backed up the database locally.  The whole point of having a Cloud server is that it keeps a back-up stored remotely for you.

Essentially this means that the site needs to be rebuilt and an old back-up restored.  However, as I haven’t had tech support for the site for several years, SMF wasn’t running the most up to date version of the software so I can’t just install the newest version of SMF and then paste Gingerbeer back into it.  The long and short of it is that this is going to take some time and a lot more effort on my part as well as the funds to pay someone to spend some time troubleshooting our site.

I can certainly do that so that we have GB back the way it was at some point in its history.  However, this may be a good time to start again on a platform that is easier for me to manage without tech support, like WordPress with a database that isn’t massive and won’t crash a cheap server platform (which is what I have here (it’s scalable so I can upgrade this package without trouble if we decide to keep the old site).

Anyway, feel free to comment and let me know what you think.  At some point, I’ll try to figure out how to put up a poll.


Boards are live again at boards.gingerbeer.co.uk

16 Replies to “Update on Gingerbeer”

  1. I can’t transfer but I can put up an archive so that we don’t lose the entire history. Due to the size of the database it’s difficult to put the site on cheaper platforms, I’m hoping that putting it back up as an archive will mean it doesn’t require as much hardware.

    Putting up a new site on something like WordPress means that it is something I have a greater chance of managing without major tech support.

  2. Hey Evict, thanks for the update. I think some of the stuff that’s been lost might be for the best tbh. (ymmv etc). I know for lots of GB has fulfilled it’s function and they’ve moved on but I still think there are people out there that would find it useful.

    Would there be a possibility, with volunteers etc, that we could move back to a more moderated space?

  3. Thanks Evict.

    Like many, I haven’t really been around on gb for some time (I made a concerted effort to start posting again a while back, but I just couldn’t find the time – which I guess is about priorities etc). But it was a big and brilliant thing in my life some time earlier, and it’s entirely likely it still is for others. I’m sure it’s often been a thankless task for you. It feels quite sad to imagine gb just disappearing.

    Are they separate decisions, about whether to restore and host (sorry I’m hazy on the terminology) the archived boards, and whether to host a live ongoing messageboard? As in, could just put up the existing stuff for reference/posterity; could start a new thing; could do both for an all-singing all-dancing functional gb?

    Undoubtedly there is a lot of dross on it (not to mention things many of us would like to forget). But there’s also I think loads of really valuable insightful commentary, most of which is still very relevant and some of which probably isn’t readily available elsewhere online. I may be biased because (predictably) there are at least a couple of threads I’d like to have the chance to save for sentimental reasons, but it does seem a shame to let the collective dyke wisdom of many years just evaporate into cyberspace, if we can avoid it.

    I totally appreciate I have no sense of the costs involved though…

  4. Thank you Evict! are you gbwebguru now? (Well, clearly you always were our web guru, but has your username changed?)

    And lovely to see you, Wolfie, AN and Lyco!

    It’s taken me two days to log in, I feel like some kind of intrepid traveller new surroundings😅

  5. Yes, it’s me, my account on the content site was always called webguru and it was the email address of an email account.

    We have not lost GB and as long as I have the money I will ALWAYS make sure that at least the archives are alive in some way. Whatever method we decide, I need help putting that back together. If you want to wait until I can get the old site up and live again then that will take some time but it will happen. The question is whether you want that old site to be active going forward or whether or not to create a new one and leave that old one as an archive. I don’t need help to put up a wordpress web forum (You can see a few here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/search/forum/) so I can probably do that over a weekend. I need help to reinstall the old GB messageboards and I still have no idea where I’ll get that help.

    We can do any combination of any of the options raised. However, please keep in mind that I have recently moved across the country, am working and doing a PhD at present so time is at a premium for me and it will take time.

    The offers for moderation are great, but I’ve constantly ran into problems with board members complaining about abuses of mod privileges as mods have access to private information about all board participants. We’ll run a vote at some point when this is sorted and we’ll go down whatever path you choose keeping in mind that if there is a breach of law, I am liable so I will protect myself.

  6. Thanks Evict!

    I am up for a simpler platform, stronger moderation and contributing to the funds for both an archive and a new board going forward.

    Gingerbeer has been a valuable resource to many including myself over the years and, while it’s been usurped by other social media like Facebook, it still has its place. Maybe an idea to simplify it, especially since active membership is smaller. Also, there’s the possibility a new board will also have better restrictions on mods accessing private info?

    Thank you for your commitment to keeping it going and happy to help out any way I can.

    Madge x

  7. Hi Evict,
    Thank you! Am also happy to help if I can. Gingerbeer was a lifeline to me, many years ago and it holds a special place in my heart, so thank you for all the hard work you have done and for continuing with Gingerbeer in what ever format works best. Kindest Regards xx

  8. I’d forgotteWP did forums and I’m up for that provided Archive GB is thoroughly searchable and the new forum is pretty. Gingerbeer was pretty.

    I’m not fussed about mods but a lot of people do want (named) mods and we did leak a lot of members without them.

    Also could you show us the current User Agreement please?

  9. I can totally help you with tech support if needed. I actually want to practice my web dev skills so would be a great opportunity if you needed. My gf also loved getting involved in all the forums on the site back in the day. Let me know 🙂

  10. Hi, so I used to be on the boards but unlike others I’m more than happy for the archives to well… not be archived tbh. For some the site was a place to feel safe and happy but for others it was hell and is a place left wherever it’s ended up.

    Facebook and other newer sites are a lot safer in terms of the ability to protect privacy when required at a later date. With the site itself down and I’m assuming no access to original logins there’s a lot of legal issues now with GDPR laws in force.

    Unfortunately I would be willing to go down the legal route if the site came back in a way where no-one could edit what information was published without their explicit consent in it’s newer form.

    If the site archives were paraphrased into useful blogs, without reference to original authors, then it would be different. However as I’m assuming that would be a very long and difficult process; then in my opinion it is safer left in the memories of those of us that used it and look instead to create a new version. A version that sits under GDPR and other legal privacy processes.

  11. Hi, I was on the old Gingerbeer and miss some aspects of it. Have people gone somewhere else? I would like to be able to connect with people in the ways we did before. Just wondering if there’s another forum somewhere… Thanks

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