Yes, I did propose my own forum, but not lightly. I had some serious security concerns about this site due to the lack of any forward movement. I also agree that having anything separate is a BAD idea too. I now have been shown that my worries were unfounded.
Here is what I think and hope I can offer.
Some mistakes and problems happened in the past. Action had to be taken and fast.
This set-up was a mistake. Cloud hosting, Word Press and anything Goggle is very bad. (YouTube and such are not the problems)
First. It’s OK to make mistakes. Our constitution was NOT the founder’s immediate and wonderful creation. They really screwed up the first go.
Cloud hosting is not trustworthy nor are they going to admit to any security breaches if they can cover them up.
WordPress has had a history of security problems. They update things in a way that breaks the links. That can be fixed behind the scenes, but it requires someone who knows how to do it. Apart from that, purely personally, I just don’t like the presentation we see here. Too many widgets and things fading away and popping back up. Cute little avatars of who is online that spin, what possible need is there for that little whistle and bell? All of those little things open up an bigger security attack area. I just want good, plain functional content.
Fixes. We need the right hardware and run this stuff ourselves. Outsourcing email is fine. As long as no forum content is in it, nothing secret is being sent out. Hardware isn’t free, but it can be bought as refurbished or other ways for a pretty low price. Maybe even donated. As in we need server hardware to help our disaster relief work?
The very best and most secure software is both open source code, which anyone can audit it and fix it. It’s also completely free! Not only that, but my preferred software for the operating system is the extremely secure OpenBSD. It is licensed so that we can even sell it ourselves! Want to do a few things securely? Pop in a USB thumb drive, boot into OpenBSD. Done. Pull out USB stick. Reboot to use Windows, Mac, etc. afterwards.
I know how to do a lot. I don’t know how to do even a lot more. I have already started asking for hardware and software advice on one of the OpenBSD mailing lists and getting really good advice and offers for detailed help too.
Mentioning the word free. I’m not interested in getting paid. I want to do this. We benefit. I benefit from doing this. I don’t see a downside.
I haven’t heard anything back from National yet. That’s actually best since I am pulling together the information and resources I need to even propose a specific plan.
All of you are users. There are really only two things that matter. Data security and reliability. Users. Don’t mention State Boards being missing. That is obvious, but for example, Texas is huge. Boards for West Texas, Central Texas, etc. would be good sub-boards What else do all of you want to see as good boards and information kept in the private area? (Which is not truly private, can we say SPLC members?) But it’s also not public.
And not to forget, Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!