POTN successor forum

The old "photography-on-the.net" (POTN) forum was deleted in December 2023. What you see here is a new forum. This is the life raft for all POTN members. For free.

Help to keep the POTN community together. Register and tell your friends of the old POTN about us!

POTNforum.com - all questions collected


Founder of POTNF
Dear "old" POTN members,

yesterday 2 members asked different questions, which seems to be discussed in the POTN forum currently, to find an alternative forums.
Since these questions are always the same as soon as one forums gets closed and the members look for new alternatives, I decided to write here a kind of FAQ for members of "soon-to-be-closed-forums".

The procedure is always the same and I have seen this many times already in the past. The creation and the death of forums is a natural thing and part of the community forum life cycles. No matter what the individual reason is in that specific situation, it happens often and it will also happen in the future with other forums.

Although it is a pain for the old owner (yes, he/she suffers too) and for the members, there is no reason to get mad, angry on someone, aggressive towards others or start to insult people who only offer help without knowing the truth.

If you have doubts, ask the person directly. Do not talk about others if they can not answer. Do not make bold assumptions about people, do not bad talk ideas or people. Treat others like you want to be treated yourself. Daumenhoch

Now to the most common questions:

1. Why do I want to help?

Because I run community forums as a business and thanks to the economies of scale, I am able to cover the costs easier than others. I have the know how and the infrastructure to import or merge old forums with different forum software.

2. What is your background?

See my posting here.

3. Will the old postings, photos, members, username, passwords etc. keep intact?

Normally yes. It depends on the forum software and the import script. Sometimes everything can be imported, sometimes only parts of it.

4. What happens after the "take over"?

There is a technical part and a management part. Technically that depends on whether I take over with or without the domain name.

4.1. If I take over a forum with its domain name, I try to import it to the software we I always use in my forums (Xenforo). The domain name stays the same, and after a week-end or so, you have everything at the known place, just with a new forum software. All content is preserved. All users etc.

4.2. If I do not take it over with the domain name, that means that the owner does not want to hand it over (i.e. dpreview), but still wants to delete it. In that case I open a fresh, empty forum with a different domain name and clone the forum structure so that the users feel easier at home after the switch.

5. Who is running / managing the rescue forum?

The owner of the new forum is me. If you mean with "running the forum" who is moderator there, this is flexible and depends on the situation. Normally, I try to get all old moderators on board and they shall also be the moderators in this new rescue forum. But sometimes some of the old moderators want to take this switch as an opportunity to stop their work as a moderator. That is the decision of the moderators, I respect this. In general the purpose is to keep the moderators, because they are part of that old community and we want to have a smooth transition.

Over the time new moderators will be added or exchanged. Moderators are recruited always out of the community. Within the first i.e. 6 months, I am actively involved also in the moderation to get a feeling for the community and to make sure, that the "branding" of all of my forums is assured. That means, respectful conversations, no harassment, no trolls, etc. I want that the members enjoy their hobby in the forum. I do not want to have fights. After the first 3-6 months, I will be less often in the forum.

6. Why do you use domain name "XYZ"

If I start a blank forum as a rescue point for the old forum members and I can not get the old domain name, I try to find a new domain name that has something in common with the old one. This is common sense. You want to give the old community the emotional connection with the old name. Remember: The purpose of a rescue forum is to keep the old community together. A random fantasy name as a new domain name, which has nothing to do with the old one, does not make sense at all. For the "POTN" it was therefore "POTNforum.com"

7. How do you finance the forum?

I finance the forum via ads and donations. Same as the original POTN too. Like every other forum, I know of.

In the first 1-2 years I will make a loss, depending on the amount of the donations at the beginning. But If I succeed to grow the community and make the community happy longterm (there will always be a few complainers), then it is a win-win situation. The more the members are happy, the more donate once in a while and I get out of the red zone.

8. Can I use the forum for free?

Yes. Everything is for free.

9. Is my data protected?

Yes. The servers for all my the forums are located in Germany. We are obliged to the GDPR. Data protection is guaranteed. We do not sell email addresses or whatever someone tries to make you believe to bad mouth us Teufel Grinsend Schwanz

10. Can I donate to support this rescue of the old community?

Yes. If you decide to become a Patron of this forum, you get "tiny" more rights, but nothing substantial. It is more a "thank you". The donation option is not meant to sell something to you. It is meant as a "good will" to finance the costs of running the forum (besides ads). Click on the top of the forum on "donate" or click here.

11. I am member of another forum that will be closed soon. Can I contact you about it to rescue it?

Yes. Send me a PM. I can not guarantee anything, but I can try to contact the owner and talk with him about it.

12. Do you sell forums?

No. I never had and I never will. My oldest forums are 22 years old and still no interest to sell them. Z04 Aetsch

13. Do you buy forums?

Normally no. But it depends on the case and the price. I might buy a forum, if a community is in danger to be deleted and if there is a prove, that I can cover the costs of the payment within 2 years. But we should be realistic. If the owner of a forum decides to delete a forum, it is very unlikely, that there is enough income of that forum to cover the price tag the owner wants to have. Especially photo forums are dying since around 3 years a lot more often than in other industries. This is because the photo market is shrinking dramatically.

Nobody knows what happens after a transition. I do not want to sit there in 2 years with a big loss, because it turned out the community is dead and impossible to reactivate it. :eek:

14. This new "rescue" forum is a clone of the original forum structure - can we change that old structure?

Yes, of course! I do always clone the old forum structure at the beginning, to make it as easy as possible for the old members to feel at home. After a few weeks or months, the members can then discuss what they would like to have changed. We do also surveys to find out what the majority of members would have liked to have changed, deleted or added

15. ...?

(As soon as more questions are coming, I will add them here.)

It might make sense if you link this FAQ in your POTN thread here, in the discussion here and here. It seems that there are some users who want to make others to believe I would be the devil, although I am the only one who offers a reliable solution for this problem immediately.

Do not be afraid to register and talk in the chat/ lounge about your wishes. Nobody will bite or kill you here ;)
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