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Old 10-29-2013, 11:44 AM   #1
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Dear Forum Members,

We are excited to share some news with you all that is a very positive step for this community. As many of you know, keeping these forums online and spam free has been a chore at times. Earlier this year when we had some forum issues, a fellow named Andy contacted CrossRoads to see if he could offer us some assistance. After some discussion and learning about Andy's experience we felt the best path forward was to let him adopt CrossRoads and Redwood forums. Last week we signed a deal and the forums are now part of the Social Knowledge family of forums.

Some members here are members and/or moderators on other Social Knowledge communities. They will be able to vouch for the way they are professionally managed. Social Knowledge works hard to empower, train and foster the mod/admin team so the communities can be managed by their peers. They also have advanced spam filtering and other tools to help make keeping the forums clean a bit easier. I'll let Andy reply now so he can tell you more about the plan for this forum and what can be expected in the weeks/months/years ahead.

It's been a great opportunity to get to know you all over the years, we look forward to a continued presence on the forums.

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Old 10-29-2013, 11:59 AM   #2
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Thanks for the intro Brad. I know a few of you from Thor forums which has been a retreat for some of the regulars when there were software issues earlier this year. I am honored that Crossroads has allowed us to adopt the forums, we plan to work hard to make sure they'll always look back knowing it was the right decision.

As many of you know, I founded my first forum in 2001 for Airstream Trailers (link) and still run the site today. Through a random twist of fate I ended up adopting a forum that was going to be closed due to the cost to run it and before I knew it, I had a little mini-network of sites. Now we run some of the finest RV forums on the internet including Forest River Forums, iRV2, Fiberglass RV, Thor Forums and other various smaller RV forums.

Our plan will be to move the forums over to a new domain name (RedwoodOwners.com) and switch the software to vBulletin at the same time. We understand the knowledge shared is a tremendous resource to other Redwood owners and no posts will be lost in the software conversion. We plan to launch smart phone apps so you can chat while you are on-the-go. I understand we need to earn your trust and feel confident that everyone will look back and see this was the right choice. Janet and a few others from my team will be around on a regular basis to make sure everything is getting taken care of and working with you all to build out our mod/admin teams.

You all probably have a lot of questions, so please post them here and we'll respond ASAP.

Andy
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:21 PM   #3
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Welcome Andy,
When do we get started? This forum has been very helpful with all it's great advice especially to me and my wife. You sound like a roll up your sleeves type of leader. Dirty hands and ruffeled shirt shows me a leader that can take charge and have an earned respect. Good luck with this varied group of Redwood owners.
We look forward to moving ahead and into the fut--ure.
Jay and Linda Muller
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:45 PM   #4
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Hello everyone - just checking in. I work with Andy and will be around to help out as needed. We're hoping to move to a new software platform in the next week or so. All the posts and accounts will be retained and other than added bells and whistles everything should continue as before. We'll be sure to post an announcement about this in advance of any change.

There will be some nice new forum features including added spam barriers, attachment capabilities and some other features. In the meantime please let me know if you have issues or concerns and I'll try to address them. It will take some time to get to know the community and how you do things here but now that camping season is drawing to an end, I suspect there'll be lots of folks around to offer input.
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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Welcome Andy & Janet, looking forward to the improvements you mentioned. Hoping that it remains, as current, with no advertising.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriana
Welcome Andy & Janet, looking forward to the improvements you mentioned. Hoping that it remains, as current, with no advertising.
X2
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:31 PM   #7
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Thanks for the warm welcome.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobys Home
When do we get started?
We are currently testing the conversion process and hope to be able to move the site and switch to new software in the next week or two.

One we move to the new software we will also publish some free iPhone/iPad and Android apps as well as look at adding more features to the forums.

Just like so many services on the internet like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, etc and millions of other sites, we use an ad supported model. Although ads might not be internet user's favorite thing, it beats having to pay to use websites. We typically show more ads to guests and a limited number of ads to members. All members are free to use an ad blocker as well which will provide an ad free experience but keep in mind it's hard to keep a forum online if we can't pay the software licenses, server fees, programmer costs, etc.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:58 PM   #8
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Well that is discouraging. Truly.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:03 PM   #9
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Looking forward to the new forum...and continued communications amongst the Redwood owners.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:32 PM   #10
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Welcome Andy and Janet. I look forward to the future. I have and continue to look forward to keeping in touch with the Redwood family.

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Old 10-29-2013, 10:57 PM   #11
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For those who are worried about ads, we could certainly look into an option to allow members to pay a small annual fee for more perks including the ability to turn ads off. We just wanted to ensure the community stays online, remains free, and that the knowledge shared is protected. Software licensing, server costs, backups (and verifying the backups) all come with a cost but we are able to keep the forums free through an ad supported model.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:40 AM   #12
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I can deal with a few ads for the continued benefit of networking with the Redwood group.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atom ant

Well that is discouraging.* Truly.
Brad - this forum has been brilliant for our learning curve due the feely distributed knowledge and experience of the other members.

However, adverts also don't work for me and is the reason I no long look at the Thor or some other sites.

When adverts start I will only be using Tony's site.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:42 AM   #14
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[QUOTE=Happy Camper] Welcome Andy and Janet.* I look forward to the future.* I have and continue to look forward to keeping in touch with the Redwood family.

X2 ....and ads don't bother me too much. Look forward to a successful transition.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:45 AM   #15
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Considering the options, I'd vote that we keep the site free and go with the ad supported model - of course there are limits so will let you know if I change my mind once the ads up and running.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:29 AM   #16
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Ads do not bother me. But I do have a question about them. Will the ads be RV based or general. If they can be limited to the RV side would be great.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper

Ads do not bother me. But I do have a question about them. Will the ads be RV based or general.
We use Google's ad serving system for ads. They target them based on the topic of the page (talking about hitches the text ads should be about hitches) and on a user profile basis. You can turn off the profile targeting and manage your settings at the following links (which work across all sites that these networks touch).

Here you can manage your Google AdSense targeting:
https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/142293?hl=en

There are also other places to opt-out including the following which is for a consortium of ad agencies who want users to be able to be in control of their preferences (works across many sites you visit).
http://www.networkadvertising.org/choices/

I have some ideas on how we can take care of everyone here regarding the ads. Please be patient and let us convert the software first. We have a lot of conversion stuff to handle at the moment. Once converted I'll find ways to make sure members are well taken care of.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:24 PM   #18
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Understand that nothing is free. Somebody has to pay. Would be willing put up with a few ads, especially if they are rv related. I would think it would be hard to keep up with a pay for access. My initial vote would be for the ad site.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:48 PM   #19
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I personally don't have a problem with paying an annual fee to keep the advertisements away. I find the ads to be a nuisance.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:00 PM   #20
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I would rather put up with a few RV related ads with the ability to block them than pay a fee. Seems like collecting a fee from users would be a pain.
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