As you may have noticed, TIMGUL has reached 13000 posts now. This may not seem like much compared to some other forums, but this is a great period of time in TIMGUL history, as it marks the end of an endless struggle that prevented the site from getting past the 12000 posts mark, despite posts being made regularly.
Two and half a year ago, the site was hit by typical internet community disputes during an entire year, in addition to suffering from a database crash that brought the site down during three month and causing a three months database rollback, all of which caused the loss of over 5000 posts and 1000 song attachments over time.
One year afterward, everything returned back to normal, thanks to the help of our administrators that kept the site afloat over time. However, the site needed time to recover, so Early 2010 was marked by two periods of slow forum posting activity, where the site started to be invaded by spambots.The Present
Over the time, TIMGUL rebuilt a new userbase of MTVMG enthusiasts, and now the site activity, despite not being as high as in 2008, is enjoying a slow increase and several new songs are being posted. This is very good, considering that several Internet forums normally never recover from a long period of inactivity.The Future
Now come the future. As you remember months ago, we upgraded once again to SMF 2.0. However, we would like to eventually give TIMGUL a customized look, once and for all (in other word, stopping using pre-made forum themes such as the default one), which is something that SMF 2.0 is making extremly hard on us. In addition to that, I find the SMF 2.0 admin panel very hard to navigate compared to SMF 1.1.x, and the extra features offered there are not signifiant enough.
What this means is that TIMGUL will be downgraded from SMF 1.1.14. The Bookmarks feature
and custom profile field features will be removed completely, although a different custom profile field feature will eventually return.
Here's a preview of the forum theme that would be used after the downgrade, although the O icons would be replaced with the Music 2000/MTVMG memory card icon (M2):
Also here comes the hosting issue. I would like to eventually get rid of my 1and1 account to only keep my AspiratioHosting one. Recently I cleaned TIMGUL webspace from broken files and unused data, in order to cut the site size from 8 gigabytes to 4. This included moving some videos over Youtube, for example. This would finally allow me to host TIMGUL on the same webspace as Omnimaga website and still have almost 7 GB of diskspace left, three of which would be assigned to TIMGUL song attachments. The only downside is that the maximum attachment file sizes for future uploads would return to 6 MB per file instead of the current 16 MB, which, however, should no longer be a problem, as several websites allowing playing music automatically without having to wait for a download link are now available, including some popular ones used by our members (SounCloud, for example), and Youtube now offers pretty good sound quality.
The major good side if TIMGUL website is moved to my other webspace is that even after downgrading to SMF 1.1.14, it would run faster than where it is now, and it would finally have an extra anti-spambot software to reduce the task of admins.Possible merge of TIMGUL with Omnimaga
Because Omnimaga website, which I also founded, also includes a music discussion and showcase section, I have considered the possibility of merging both TIMGUL and Omnimaga together. Basically, TIMGUL would replace the Omnimaga music section, although the entire TIMGUL content would pretty much remain intact, even the site portal and the forum theme (when Omnimaga users would open the TIMGUL section, the forum theme would switch to TIMGUL's). It may even be possible to have every mtv-music-generator.com URLs redirect automatically the respective relocated posts. This would allow TIMGUL to gain extra traffic from the userbase there (1000 members), although such website merge is ambitious, as this requires a lot of work in the database. Don't expect such merge to happen very soon if it has to, since it will require some testing prior that.
The only data loss that may result from a site merge are PMs (private messages).
In any case, regardless of if the site merge happens or not, when the downgrade to SMF 1.1.14 and site hosting move happens, cookies settings may be lost, so you may need to login again once if you set your account to login automatically on each visit. This SMF 2.0 copy of TIMGUL would remain online in read-only mode for at least a year, for those who wish to retrive custom profile field and bookmarks that they lost, and if the site merge happens, their private messages. If the site merge occurs and it is possible to setup the MTVMG URL to automatically redirect to appropriate posts and content, you may not even notice that the merge happened, aside from the URL changing to Omni in your address bar and the sudden post count increase from 13K to over 176K.
Don't worry, when the site moves, a lot of backups will be made, in case. We certainly won't take any chance (like the failed 2009 SMF 2.0 upgrade attempt), lol.
I would like to thank everyone who allowed TIMGUL to stay active and for keeping it a friendly environment, and let's hope for a great long-term future.