Thanks, Ryan and Roger!
I would likely have chosen a different path, but, that doesn't matter. You have been very stressed this past week. I hope this is only temporary. I fear it may be permanent.
Many of the forum members are stressed, too. The decision to close the site is a good one. The spam and related issues have caused a number of BS threads and, more generally, a large distraction from the subject by members. Picking out which postings are good, which are spam, has been annoying.
I agree with the past policy of open registration, but, with software that is as sophisticated as what we have seen, this is not an option. If not for inept programmers running the spamming SW, they would be registering new users, logging in and spamming continuously: destroying the site faster than it is possible to humanly maintain. The BPL staff has shown that for a single admin, this is impossible.
This represents one of the things I hate. I hate that the dissemination of knowledge is now only to the wealthy. No, it does not prevent a user from reading what others have written. But , the *poor* user takes this as it comes, with no involvement, with no questions…with partial answers. If you can afford a membership, you can ask a question and expect a response to it. Is the cost of membership that high? No...not compared with the expense of the infrastructure needed to simply access this info. The fact that it requires any charge just goes against my grain.
Gear Swap is protected and posts replying to ads can be sent through external means. Anyone wishing to post publically will have to post an email address. I never use it (except for two small purchases,) but I may reconsider, now. I suspect others will need to simply post to forum members. (I have my own thoughts on the ethics of selling my older or used gear.)
This does not prevent a non-member from reading. Often, especially here, acquiring background on a specific subject is as important as asking a question. He is still free to read, I think. This site represents the single best resource on lightweight packing for anyone. It is supposed to be a magazine. Perhaps, this will return it to that status.
I agree with the need, if not the methode (but that’s just me.) Good Job, guys!