As you might have noticed, PCQandA has been very quiet
recently. When we first launched in October 2002, we had close
to 11,000 posts in the Computer Forum and nearly 4,000 posts
in the OT Forum. This past June, however, we had only 12 posts
in the Computer Forum and 2 in the OT Forum. Worse, many (if
not most) of the recent posts appear to be spam. Forums, in
general, have experienced a severe decline - replaced by
social media applications like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit.
Given all that's happening, and the issues we've had with
spammers recently, a decision needs to be made: What happens
with PCQandA in the future?
I might not stop by here as much as I used to, but PCQandA
still holds a place in my heart. Therefore, I really don't
want "shut PCQandA down completely and take it
offline" to be an option. This leaves me with 4 possible
The first option would be to shut down new postings. PCQandA
would still be available as a searchable archive, but nobody
would be able to register or post to it.
The second option would be to shut down new user
registrations. This would stop spammers from making new
accounts to post their links, but it would also mean that
people stumbling across our site looking for computer help
wouldn't be able to get in.
The third option would be to moderate user registrations. This
would mean that I would need to specifically approve every new
member that tries to join. There were 124 new users registered
in 2023 so far. Most of them haven't posted and it appears
that they might have been created for spammy purposes. (Their
profiles contain links that might go to spammy sites.)
Requiring approval would mean more work for me, but I might be
able to separate out some of the spammers before they got a
chance to post.
Lastly, we could migrate to a new forum software. Our current
forum system is old which means that it doesn't have as many
anti-spam features as newer tools. The downside here is that
everyone would need to create new accounts and all of the
current PCQandA posts would need to live in an
"Archives" area. Essentially, we'd be wiping the
slate clean on PCQandA. Perhaps this would let us grow again,
but it could also be a lot of time and effort just for the new
forum to die on the vine.
So I'm asking for your opinions. What do you think we should
do with PCQandA in the future?