It's a sorry state of affairs, to be sure.
I can certainly see the merit in closing down the Bullboard, and replacing it with Facebook as the principal competitive communication medium. However, I do not see this as being the way to progress. Indeed, were this to happen, I would doubtless feel a void inside me that would be difficult to fill. Although the Bullboard is currently largely inactive, I and others still feel a strong sense of comfort from knowing it is here. Kind of like my grandmother.
As I see it, the problem with switching exclusively to Facebook as the WRPSS meeting area is that it lacks individuality; every man and his dog uses Facebook, and has the ability to join groups and Roshambull tournaments. Maintaining a dedicated forum system demonstrates that we are not just a small group of misfits. In fact, by keeping the forum going, we will remain at the pinnacle of competitive sport. If you don't believe me, Google just about any sport or game, and tack "forum" on the end of your search. Most searches will reveal at least one message board, just like this one, where fans, hobbyists and professional players discuss strategy, history and any number of topics. Do we really want to be in the same category as "non-forum" sports, like extreme ironing? (http://www.extremeironing.com/
To that end, the solution I propose is a review of the forum system. If the spam can be defeated, I believe that the forum holds a strong chance of once again becoming popular and current. The Rider's decision to post this roll call in the "inactive" Ladder Tournament section has been met with a sudden surge of spam therein from our resident bots; it seems that wherever we go, they follow. They will give us no peace until they are comprehensively banished. It is no fun to trawl through countless sale threads trying to find some RPS-related information. This is largely what turns me and, presumably, other members, off posting. I can only reminisce about the glory days, where a dozen new RPS threads would pop up every week and be met with critique and augmentation.
"It's all very well to talk about reviewing the forum system. But how???", I hear you feverishly type (discerning the specific characters was difficult). Although I have suggested a method in the past, no one seems to want to face up and adopt my ideas. Friends, now is the time. By installing a simple CAPTCHA for each new post, we could completely cut out automated messages, at the small cost of each member spending a few seconds typing some characters into a text field. I would recommend Google's reCAPTCHA (http://www.google.com/recaptcha/whyrecaptcha
), as it is easy to install, completely free, and helps to digitise old books. I encourage the current administrator (whoever it may be; Brad Fox? Who knows around here?) to utilise the system and restore the Bullboard's raw functionality. I would be happy to install reCAPTCHA, or advise on how to do this. When the spambots are unable to post here anymore, they may very well stop trying, allowing us to remove the CAPTCHA requirement from new posts.
To clear up the board entirely, though, more work must be done. The thousands upon thousands of false accounts and posts must be culled. As the current administrator seems unable to find the time to frequently pursue this goal, I propose the appointment of a new lead janitor. This should be someone prepared to spend time erasing all the useless accounts. Although I would be happy to take on this role myself, I nominate martinburley (should he accept), as he is a member in good standing and knows about computers and crap.
It would be a shame to lose such an important landmark of our successes, and I hope that, for 2011, we find a way to bring back the Bullboard's usefulness, rather than condemn it to an eternity of solitude. If anything, it should become a historical snapshot only when it is enjoying high levels of activity. Not just get sick and die. That's no fun.
As per the roll call, I'm here, and will continue checking the Bullboard periodically as long as I am allowed and able (although my former Master is correct. You should all be committed to fixing the Bullboard so I can continue the tradition when you retire). This member of the Old Guard hasn't given up just yet.