First off, my post is not a complaint, it's an observation of the facts - that's all.
This is after all a forum that encourages free speech.
I went through Rick 32's posts and he never asked for any of this stuff. Hardly any of us ever complained about the lack of being able to clutter up posts with images, icons, etc...
Does anyone remember this post "Jeff, we'd like less area to post, more advertisements and a need for greater bandwidth just to use the forum". I certainly don't remember that post!
And none of us asked that Jeff functionally remove 40% of the screen area that we use for posting. The bottom line is that there are a lot of little bells and whistles on the forum that hardly any of us asked for, they clutter up the screen and only tend to detract from the primary purpose of this forum and that is to post and read messages.
WHO REALLY CARES ABOUT BEING ABLE TO:
1) CHANGE A POST SUBJECT IN A THREAD
2) SELECT A CERTAIN COLOR, FONT, ITALICIZE AND BOLDFACE TEXT.
3) RATING MESSAGES AND THREADS
4) BEING ABLE TO PERSONALIZE TO THE NTH DEGREE THAT THE NEW FORUM AFFORDS
5) BEING ABLE TO INSERT PHP INTO MY POST. I'LL BET 99% OF THE PEOPLE HERE DON'T KNOW WHAT PHP IS.
AND FINALLY: [SIZE=4]GIVING UP 40% OF THE SCREEN AREA!!![/SIZE]
The new forum wastes a lot of screen space, is a pain in the butt for people without cable modems and has a lot of features that no one ever asked for.
While I do appreciate and can appreciate all the work that went into the new forum and site, we are after all the people that purchase the products from the folks that advertise here. Why must we have more of it rammed down our throats?
The forum is for the open exchange of ideas and opinions. Commercialization brings pressure to produce revenues and since there are no direct revenues from us, it's the advertisers that have the upper hand. It's the Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules. Mark my words: If an advertiser get's enough clout, you'll see posts start disappearing that disparage advertisers. Where's the free speech then and where is the open exchange of ideas and opinions? It's gone because big brother will be looking over your shoulder.
Being able to post images into messages is nice but the problem is that the forum has to host these images and there are two factors that drive up hosting costs: Bandwidth usage and disk space used...I know; I offer hosting services.
I also belong to the Club Cobra forum and we routinely make contributions to keep the forum operator in the black and keep the forum from becoming a spam tool. I realize that we must take the bad with the good, but I personally don't care for all the advertising and would be happy to make a donation from time-to-time to keep the forum non-commercialized or at least to a minimum. It's a great example of good balance between the need to serve the community and the need to survive through generating advertising revenue.
The only thing I ever asked for was a "spell check" feature before posting and I guess that wasn't as important as being able to insert PHP.