WARNING! A lot of what I am going to post tonight is blue-sky speculation. I will post retractions if and when needed. I am throwing these ideas out there to help find a way to restore the Roadfood forum. If nothing else, it has historical value, since it documents part of how society changed in the early years of the Internet era. We did things you simply couldn’t do before.
1. People from all walks of life has been trying to figure out why Fexy blew this job. Based on similar experiences over the years, I believe Fexy is “technically thin” and therefore unable to satisfactorily complete a migration. I think they wanted to convert for reasaons I will speculate on below, and were stunned things didn’t turn out as they hoped for. Remember that we had access to Stephen Rushmore, Jr. before the sale.
2. I don’t know how much money the site brings in. I see an ad for Jane and Michael’s latest book, and targeted ads on most review and guide pages. There are no ads on forum pages. There are click-bait ads on the bottom of some pages. I thought there were ads on the old vNext forum pages, but not sure. There is no subsidy from product sales, such as forums run by manufacturers to support electronic equipment and software. Maybe it is strictly an investment property. But I just found this article about another property Fexy bought about the time they bought Roadfood:
So, do they have enough money for hardware and software upgrades? I don’t know enough about the business end of internet publishing.
3. I don’t think they were trying to play with the audience in migrating the forum. They were trying to cut costs. As I wrote about earlier, the old vNext software may have support issues, since it is proprietary software. One outfit I worked for once hired 4 programmers from an outfit we bought a critical system from after the vendor went Chapter 7. Fexy may also have been incurring larger hosting and storage charges than with newer software solutions. It’s a little like changing out incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. Fexy’s sites all seem to be hosted by Cloudflare. Maybe the vNext software did not run there, or may no longer run in the future as operating systems are changed. However, I did find a forum in the UK that is still running APG vNext Commercial Version 4.6:
that is much bigger than the old Roadfood forum. I did confirm that one of the references APG gave, EGVA, still uses “APG vNext Unbranded Version 5.5”.
4. Who did the software conversion? No idea. And Fexy could have run out of money on a time-and-material job before the bugs were ironed out. It could have been a American consultant. It could have been someone working at Fexy from this probably out-of-date listing:
This firm does forum migrations:
They don’t support the old vNext software.
It could have been someone they hired off the Internet. I walked into WordPress and bbPress cold and found a come-on atmosphere. They seem to have adopted the Gillette razor and Hewlett-Packard inkjet printer model: impossibly low come-on price, but the bottom line could be an order of magnitude greater. Take a look at these ads for cheap bbPress forum software help:
This conversion is not for someone who just knows Word and Excel. Look at this gyp sheet from bbPress:
As I suggested earlier, if the old software with content will run indefinitely, put it in read-only mode like other users did, and start up new forum software for going forward.
5. One nice thing about bbPress is that someone could put up a WordPress/bbPress site from a come-on hoster for cheap and let all of the interested folks here customize it until we get something we like. We could call it Roadparts with the following conversion chart:
Beverage Forum > Shock Absorber Forum
Breakfast Forum > Muffler Forum
Desserts Forum: Spark Plug Forum
Lunch & Dinner Forums > Tire Forum
Miscellaneous Forums > Miscellaneous Forums
Restaurant Professionals Forum > Parts Countermen Forum
Roadfood News & Information Forums > Parts News and Information Forums
Side Dishes Forum > Filter Forum
Snacks and Candy Forum > Battery Forum
Then, we mail the settings to Portland.
6. For TJ Jackson:
https://roadfood.com/topic/so-uhm/page/4 message 3002452
7. For Tony Bad: is this your contact?
8. Two big things still wrong with the new bbPress forum software is no SEO and poor Responsive Design.
9. Many thanks for the software leads to donw9876 and edwmax.
Timed 03:35 AM EST March 8, 2020