Brookmans Park Newsletter Community Discussion Forum

Using This Forum => Forum agreement, guidelines, moderation & features => Topic started by: Editor on February 19, 2018, 10:33:57 pm

Title: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Editor on February 19, 2018, 10:33:57 pm
The Brookmans Park Newsletter and community forum will close at the end of June. The date marks the 20th anniversary of the site. The history and walks sections are being moved to new sites, The North Mymms History Project (http://www.northmymmshistory.uk) and Hertfordshire Walker (http://www.hertfordshirewalker.org), but the forum and the rest of the site will no longer be accessible from July 1, 2018. The site's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/brookmanspark/) has been handed over to local resident James Bentall to manage. I'd like to thank all those who have worked so hard to make the Brookmans Park Newsletter a reality. The new history site has a feature about how the Brookmans Park Newsletter began (http://www.northmymmshistory.uk/2018/02/the-history-of-brookmans-park-newsletter.html).  The last 20 years have been great fun.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Bob on February 20, 2018, 09:22:01 am
Sad day  :(
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Nobby on February 20, 2018, 09:50:20 am
It will be sorely missed. I've found it a great source of local information and entertaining debate. Thanks must go to Dave and all those who've provided this valuable community asset over the years.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Pixel Crazy on February 20, 2018, 04:09:52 pm
That will be a shame
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Alex on February 20, 2018, 05:12:16 pm
Editor,

you have done a superb job with this award winning site. You deserve a break, and we thank you for all that you have done!
Alex
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: larrylamb on February 20, 2018, 06:17:02 pm
Dont always agree with your views David but appreciate the amount of time and effort you have put in over the years.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: BrookyP on February 20, 2018, 06:27:00 pm
Big Shame. Thanks for all the hard work and hours spent. BP
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: jet on February 21, 2018, 11:28:33 am
A very sad ending to an iconic site. Inevitable due to the constraints inflicted by the EUSSR rules that have destroyed all freedom of expression on virtually every forum. Dilluted websites are a sad result of the snowflake generation that can take but not give.
What is awful is that the social history contributed over 20 years will be obliterated by the flick of a switch. A case for books and the written word, still we all know what happened to books in Nazi times so even they are not safe.
I would like to think that even those of us that crossed swords did not inflict wounds. Merely expressing contra views and in some cases playing the devils advocate.
As GREAT BRITAIN finally casts of the shackles of foreign interferance a great website will not even become history.
Like Friends Reunited where the history of millions is now a blank screen it could not survive the digital age that created it.
We should all now understand that the whole idea of computers was to control our lives, movements and finances. At the cost of freedom and to the advantage of international/national crime.
A fond farewell to all who contributed and to David Brewer who has worked, at personal risk, to bring communications to some awful places in the world. If only we had all tried harder to restore our ideals to Britain then this site would have had a future.
Still many of us gave up and ran away choosing a life other than in the best "new" village in Hertfordshire.
Still when you cannot even park your car or use a real pub locally.............
All the best from John in the Republic, which is just another state in western new Russia, that has been ethinically cleansed in the time it joined the club that it beat itself over the head with.
Rule Britannia, GSTQ and two fingers to Brussels.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: sasquartch on February 21, 2018, 11:50:31 am
What is awful is that the social history contributed over 20 years will be obliterated by the flick of a switch.

Most of the content is being transferred to alternative platforms (although not the forum if that is what you're referring to)

 
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: jet on February 21, 2018, 12:42:41 pm
I realise that me old flower, not completely native here yet. The forum was the thoughts and writings of real people at the time. These things matter because they are real, right or wrong they are real.
I would suggest and open forum for the last week so people can have a say, that was the spirit of the thing and why people came to the site. A bit like the Amphitheatre of the past.
There is not one site, newspaper or any form of media that is not censored now. We let it happen.
The young have been let down by their shackled elders. We have less freedom than when we could not have a say.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Editor on February 21, 2018, 02:32:51 pm
What is awful is that the social history contributed over 20 years will be obliterated by the flick of a switch.

Hi jet, nice to hear from you again.

That doesn't need to happen. I am happy for anyone to move the entire forum over to another host. It's a three step operation (https://wiki.simplemachines.org/smf/Hosting_-_How_do_I_move_my_SMF_forum_to_a_different_host) that would preserve everything written so far and allow people to add to it. The new owner could even ditch the evil, restrictive and Big Brother censorship rules I have inflicted on the community for the past 15 years.

 ;)

I see the domain www.northmymms.uk is available for less then 10 a year. It just needs someone to take it on. I might even sign up as a forum member and learn to rant.   

 ;D

A reminder that moving the history stuff over to The North Mymms History Project (http://www.northmymmshistory.uk), and the walks over to Hertfordshire Walker (http://www.hertfordshirewalker.org), is moving ahead nicely. Hard work, but worth it.

And North Mymms Parish Council (http://www.northmymms.org) now has a Local History link on their site (top of the page and last link on the right) that embeds the new history site into the local authority site. Screen grab below.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: jet on February 21, 2018, 04:07:37 pm
Hi Dave, well let us see if anyone in the community steps up. The rules " you inflicted " were I imagine, due to external politics and laws which were an unacceptable risk to yourself. You did a great thing by embracing new technology and I will be ever grateful for meeting people on the forum and in a few cases making real friends that I am still in touch with.
Also it is time for us 1950s crew to realise it ain't a rehearsal anymore and let others do their bit
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: JAF on February 22, 2018, 07:43:58 am
David,

I know you say you will hand the service over to another host, but you seem to suggest this would be on a different domain. Would you not hand the domain over too? Without that, I doubt any new site would gain any traction.

This site was good, excellent even, for a very long time. Sadly overly restrictive and inconsistently applied rules damaged it years ago.

John
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Editor on February 22, 2018, 08:20:13 am
I know you say you will hand the service over to another host, but you seem to suggest this would be on a different domain. Would you not hand the domain over too? Without that, I doubt any new site would gain any traction.

Hi John, yes, if someone wants to take on running the forum they are welcome to transfer all the files to a new domain. If it's done quickly the old site can point to the new forum while it gets established. It's time for a fresh start. That is why I am moving all the history and walks material to new sites. The hosting for the current domain ends in July.

This site was good, excellent even, for a very long time. Sadly overly restrictive and inconsistently applied rules damaged it years ago.

I realise some didn't like the forum rules and felt they limited their freedom of expression. All I was trying to do was avoid anything being posted that was racist, sexist, or generally offensive to any members of our community. I was also concerned about defamation.

As for inconsistency, perhaps you are right, but each case where posts were edited or removed was considered carefully. The moderating team worked hard to reach a consensus. However, in the end, someone had to make a call. And, yes, I probably made mistakes by erring on the side of caution or just being wrong. Anyone who has taken on to run a community discussion forum will appreciate that it's a difficult, time-consuming and stressful task. I guess it's impossible to keep everyone happy. Apologies to anyone I offended because of the "overly restrictive and inconsistently applied rules".

David

Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: jet on February 22, 2018, 09:57:34 am
All very well the site closing but I have been waiting a decade for someone to tell me something good the eu ever did for Britain.
Worth the wait to get that in  ;D
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: James Bentall on February 22, 2018, 03:20:38 pm
I have been aware of Dave's plans for a couple of months and hope to keepthe forum (and other resources) going as it is a valuable resource that I have no wish to see removed. Not wanting to take anything away from Dave's hard work over the last 20 years, but I feel with a new team and some new ideas (hopefully not from me as I've also been around far too long!!) we could build a new online community resource for the local area. I would be interested in hearing from anyone else who would be willing to help with SonOfBrookmans.Com (working title!).

James
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: chicken legs on February 22, 2018, 11:13:17 pm
I will miss the Forum so much as it has been the source of much of my local knowledge. I feel bereft.

Thank you, David, for all your work over the years.  I have never felt the heavy hand of censorship.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: JAF on February 23, 2018, 07:39:42 am
I know you say you will hand the service over to another host, but you seem to suggest this would be on a different domain. Would you not hand the domain over too? Without that, I doubt any new site would gain any traction.

Hi John, yes, if someone wants to take on running the forum they are welcome to transfer all the files to a new domain.

I take it that means "no, you will not allow a new site to use the domain brookmans.com"
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: jet on February 23, 2018, 10:39:39 am
I can see pistols at dawn over the "vulture fund" site, real eu stuff. No one wants them because they are toxic but they go fast enough on the market.
One of the problems with this type of site is someone hijacking the thread, ne pas petite vielle moi.
BTW James is au fais with the running of the site, is a pillar of the community and an obvious choice, I am sure there would be willing deputies but ony one Marshal.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Editor on February 23, 2018, 10:53:55 am
I take it that means "no, you will not allow a new site to use the domain brookmans.com"

Correct. Time for a fresh start.

James has already suggested building a new resource for the local online community:

I feel with a new team and some new ideas (hopefully not from me as I've also been around far too long!!) we could build a new online community resource for the local area.

Such a "new online community resource" featuring "new ideas" put together by a "new team" deserves a new name and new domain. The old site and the old domain have done their job and served a purpose. Time to move on.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Nobby on February 23, 2018, 11:52:16 am
The comments about the EU brought a smile to my face. There's the famous scene in Monty Python's Life of Brian where a bunch of curmudgeonly dissidents from the People's Front of Judea (not to be confused with the Judean People's Front) complain "What have the Romans ever done for us?" Deja vu.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: sasquartch on February 23, 2018, 02:42:03 pm
I know you say you will hand the service over to another host, but you seem to suggest this would be on a different domain. Would you not hand the domain over too? Without that, I doubt any new site would gain any traction.

Hi John, yes, if someone wants to take on running the forum they are welcome to transfer all the files to a new domain.

I take it that means "no, you will not allow a new site to use the domain brookmans.com"

I think it's fair to say that brookmans.com will be forever linked to Dave Brewer who ran the site as he saw fit

Once the forum is handed over it is absolutely right that the domain name changes, it will no longer be anything to do with Dave (although I hope he would still participate in the new forum)
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: jet on February 23, 2018, 03:38:23 pm
Nobby, so tell me what they have done for us, and really think before you jump. Here is one, destroyed Magna Carta which worked and inflicted ECOJ which cost a fortune and does not. In the long run the Romans destroyed our way of life. Bendy tracks are more fun than straight roads, they slow down the Chariots. Washing? destroys a good coating of grease and dirt.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: trekbat on February 26, 2018, 05:29:43 pm
Sad to learn The Brookmans Park Newsletter will be going to cyber heaven.

Double thanks from me to David.

Firstly, as I believe this site (or rather the people behind it and using it) played a major role in the battle against the HCC-Veolia incinerator.

Secondly, for your BBC Online work which you might be interested to know, I thought highly of and used as my guide when I was unexpectedly asked to join the Post Office's first intranet team [as I told them at the time, I had no knowledge or interest in computers. And did they listen? (rhetorical question, no reply required)]. Also, when our regular newsfeed supplier was suddenly discontinued I used BBC Online content to create a stop gap (we were trying to encourage people to use the intranet and not everyone had internet access in those days).

Live long and prosper, David ex of the Beeb and People of the Park.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Editor on February 27, 2018, 11:50:44 am
An update to my previous message about the future of The Brookmans Park Newsletter.

I have been in discussions with The Positive Internet Company (http://www.positive-internet.com), the site's hosting company, and we have agreed a deal to maintain a stripped-down version of the site beyond July, when the current hosting package ends.

This means that, after July, www.brookmans.com (http://www.brookmans.com/) will continue to offer links to the much of the valuable content that was previously on the site, but which, over the next few months, is being given a new home.

We will continue to showcase the topics being discussed in the forum until the forum closes at the end of June. If someone wants to move the forum to a new home, the site might continue to present links to the topics being discussed depending on the editorial standards adopted by the new site.

So, to summarise, keep your bookmarks for www.brookmans.com in order to continue to check local train times, weather, see any updated forum posts, monitor the new material being added to the history section and the blog, and be alerted to any new local information being posted in the blog.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Editor on February 28, 2018, 05:24:16 pm
We now have three lovely sites (my own subjective opinion there) where the content from the current site has been uploaded, updated, and enhanced. These sites will act as an archive for all that was on the old Brookmans Park Newsletter when we move to the new, stripped-down site in June (http://www.brookmans.com/forum/index.php/topic,5757.msg42006.html#msg42006). All three are being updated between now and June so that all the valuable material from the old site is safely preserved. The sites are:

The North Mymms History Project (http://www.northmymmshistory.uk)

(http://www.brookmans.com/history.jpg) (http://www.northmymmshistory.uk)

Hertfordshire Walker (http://www.hertfordshirewalker.org)

(http://www.brookmans.com/walker.jpg) (http://www.hertfordshirewalker.org)

North Mymms News (http://northmymms.blogspot.co.uk)

(http://www.brookmans.com/nmn.jpg) (http://northmymms.blogspot.co.uk)

David
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Helen on February 28, 2018, 05:37:42 pm
What will happen to all the photos David?
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Editor on February 28, 2018, 06:51:01 pm
Hi Helen,

Are you referring to the village day photos? I still have 1999 to 2003, but 2004 to 2006 were lost when Photopics closed. And I can't find the forum galleries created for 2009 to 2013, perhaps they disappeared during a forum upgrade. I will check with James who might know.

David
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Helen on March 01, 2018, 12:31:13 pm
Thanks David. Yes, it was just a general enquiry as to whether the photos will survive once the site closes at the end of June. The 2009-2013 ones were put on by me under your instruction. Shame some of the other years have been lost. I should really try to transfer them across to our PTA Facebook page - it's just finding the time.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Editor on March 01, 2018, 03:20:16 pm
Thanks David. Yes, it was just a general enquiry as to whether the photos will survive once the site closes at the end of June. The 2009-2013 ones were put on by me under your instruction. Shame some of the other years have been lost. I should really try to transfer them across to our PTA Facebook page - it's just finding the time.

Hi Helen, yes, sorry, that was my fault for advising you to load the images for those years to the forum's gallery. I thought they were safe, but I have since found that the gallery has vanished. I've looked into it and it seems that the module that supported the gallery, created by Aeva Media, was removed by SMF (the forum provider) because of security issues. I am guessing that subsequent updates to SMF (which this forum runs on) didn't include the gallery. However, I have messaged James and he is going to see whether the files are still on the server, even if the gallery no longer renders. I hope they are because neither of us has deleted them.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Helen on March 01, 2018, 06:03:00 pm
OK, cheers Dave.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Editor on April 26, 2018, 09:54:20 am
I've just posted an update about the changes to the Brookmans Park Newsletter on our site North Mymms News. Anyone interested can access the update below.

Status update regarding the Brookmans Park Newsletter
Title: An update on the future of the Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Editor on May 22, 2018, 07:45:28 pm
It was announced at the start of the year that the Brookmans Park Newsletter is changing. This is an update on how those changes are progressing, and what can be expected in the six weeks leading up to the introduction of a new arrangement with our hosting company, The Positive Internet Company (http://www.positive-internet.com).

On the face of it, not a lot will appear to have changed. There will still be a Brookmans Park Newsletter home page (http://www.brookmans.com), accessed via the usual web address of www.brookmans.com (http://www.brookmans.com).

Updated, refreshed, and enhanced

The majority of the content on the Brookmans Park Newsletter has been revised, improved, and given new homes. All the history content has been moved to the North Mymms History Project (https://www.northmymmshistory.uk), all the walks to Hertfordshire Walker (https://www.hertfordshirewalker.org), and much of the local information is now on North Mymms News (https://www.northmymms.uk/). New information is being added to all three sites all the time.

Daily email updates

All three sites mentioned above offer daily email updates. Simply go to the sites, click on the 'free email updates' link on the top right of any page, and sign up to be alerted when new history features, new local walks, or local news and information is added. The daily digest for the site you sign up for will be sent out between 5pm and 7pm each day, but only if new content has been added. So instead of having to check the sites, you will receive notifications once a day if there is any new information to share.

Comment on everything

You have the option to comment on any of the posts on the history, walks, or news & information sites. Every article posted on all three sites has a comment box at the bottom. At the moment those comments can be made anonymously, although it's always nice if those offering feedback introduce themselves. Because anonymous posts are allowed there will be a delay in the publication of those comments while they are checked. This policy might change to registered members only if the anonymous option causes problems.

Bookmarked links

Any old links to a page in the former history, walks, or news sections will automatically redirect to the new sites. So nothing of any value has been lost. There will still be prominent links to all three sites on the Brookmans Park Newsletter home page.

Weather, trains, and discussions

The Brookmans Park Newsletter home page will continue to display the local weather and train updates, but the future of the forum is unclear, other than it will continue until the end of June. At that point it will have either been taken over by a new community group, or it will disappear. If someone offers to take over the discussion forum it will have to move to a new home. Whether or not the discussions continue to be showcased on the front page of the Brookmans Park Newsletter will depend on the editorial ethics adopted by those running the forum.

Privacy and forum membership

For privacy reasons, any changes to the forum ownership will be posted in the forum. This is so that registered members can decide whether they want to retain their accounts. The forum has a database of more than 1,000 registered members going back to 2005.

Twitter updates

At the top of the Brookmans Park Newsletter you will find the Twitter feeds for the three new sites. They are @NorthMymmsPast (https://twitter.com/NorthMymmsPast), @NorthMymmsNews (https://twitter.com/NorthMymmsNews), and @HertsWalker (https://twitter.com/HertsWalker). There you will find the latest tweets and links so that you can follow the feeds you want.

Facebook

The former Brookmans Park Newsletter Facebook page has a new admin, and has been given a new name. It's now called Brookmans Park Local News and Events (https://en-gb.facebook.com/brookmanspark/). Registered Facebook members should make sure that they are happy with the change. The Brookmans Park Newsletter is no longer on Facebook and has nothing to do with the new Facebook page.

Contributions welcome

The slogan for the Brookmans Park Newsletter has always been "content created by the community for the community", and that will continue. There are contact forms for the three new sites (bottom right of every page on each site). Please get in touch if you have a history feature to suggest, a local walk you would like to comment on, or a news item you would like to suggest, publish, or discuss. If you want to write for any of the three sites, please let me know.

Copyright

All content on North Mymms News and Hertfordshire Walker is published under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/). Which means anyone is free to use, adapt, and publish the content on condition that they:
The same is true for much of the content on the North Mymms History Project except where the copyright for certain elements belongs to others. In all cases that is made clear.

So why the changes?

The are two main reasons for these changes. One is costs, the other is forward planning.

Costs

The old hosting arrangement with The Positive Internet Company was costing around 200 a year - the new arrangement costs about 20 a year. The most expensive element has been the forum.

Positive, who hosted the Brookmans Park Newsletter free-of-charge from 1998 to 2010, would have continued to do so, but I took the decision in 2010 to cover the costs by displaying Google adverts. I thought Positive had been generous enough, and I became aware that the site had grown to five times the size of the originally agreed free space allocated to the project.

At first, the revenue from the Google ads more than covered the costs of hosting and domain renewal, but by late 2017 it became clear that a fall in forum usage, and the resulting drop in Google income, meant that the site was no longer self-sustainable.

Forward planning

The old site is registered in my name, so if anything happens to me everything is lost. Now all the content is on platforms that will continue long after I am history.

Looking forward

I hope you continue to find the Brookmans Park Newsletter and the three associated new sites useful. Please do consider signing up for email updates, and please add any comments to the pieces you read, or suggest stories, history features, or local walks that should be covered.

In the meantime, the team behind the North Mymms History Project, and the two of us who keep adding new routes to Hertfordshire Walker, as well as those who update North Mymms News, will continue to upload new content specifically designed to try to enrich the experience of living in the local area.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Editor on June 01, 2018, 06:16:32 pm
Just to remind everyone, the Brookmans Park Newsletter Forum will be closing at the end of this month. At that point, all data will be deleted. So, if any forum users want to download their posts/pictures, you have 30 days to do so. Forum users can also delete their posts and their accounts whenever they choose. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the forum over the years.
Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: larrylamb on June 07, 2018, 12:31:25 pm
It would be interesting before the site closes to understand if any contributors over the years now have a difference of opinion on politics/immigration/policing/houses/council services etc as we watch our country and Brookmans Park change dramatically in the recent past.

Title: Re: Changes to The Brookmans Park Newsletter
Post by: Therock on June 07, 2018, 07:56:44 pm
Hi Larrylamb,
Long time no speak on here! I would like to take this opportunity in thanking all the People who posted Honest and truthful opinions on the site! Even the ones that were took off due to them not being as they say To the standard!  Sad thing is Brookmans Park in 5 years will be just another overcrowded village surrounded Big Time by Social Housing (Nothing Wrong with that I come from a 5 bedroom Council House) and the village feeling as completely gone.  I lived in Brookmans Park for many years, and the best thing I ever did was move away to a Real Community and not one with there HEADS in the Sand. There is A real world out there but it will be coming to the village in due course, Starting with the Railway timetables, Housing (and lots of  it) Bad Road, overcrowded parking, permits etc. And not forgetting our Nice hard Working Eastern Europeans.  Anyway its a Shame the site is closing  hope the Editor gets a Job with Mr Corbin they both seem to have the Wrong ideas. Anyway bye bye Brookmans and see you in 5 years as part of the Greater Hatfield. Regards to all THE ROCK