Scott - I vaguely remember Dishy - must have been a long time ago! I really admire your tenacity in trying to get the boards back to the AUK way - but with added security - I can appreciate that. However one point - this is still a public forum and encouraging people to post personal details as in the "who am I thread" could be an issue for some and the added sense that there is more security involved - because of the long winded log in - may mean people are more ready to post personal details than they would otherwise be. If you could get the message boards back to what they were when I first started reading them - about 10-15 years ago - but with the added level of security many people pleaded for then - than that might work. But I think there would have to be messaging that was not available in the public forum for that to work. For many years this has happened by people's use of the chat facility - if they wanted to reply to a thread openly giving advice but did not want to make too many of their own personal details public then they sent a private message to the other person in reply. Lots of very valuable advice was given in this way. Another issue I think that would help is having two separate facilities for prospective / new adopters and adopters of older children - that way prospectives would not be constantly saying that the posters were too "negative" - maybe a way of separating out the concerns people have at different stages / with different age groups? One thing that was suggested before was a public boards with an option of a private board for members only which is where people could post when they needed anonymity - and the increased security level could ensure there was no trawling by SWs or BPs (hopefully) The chat facility I know is something you are working on but the delay is so frustrating and nobody is now on the boards / posting as regularly as they used to - old users are popping in from time to time for a browse but the immediacy is lost.
As I said I really appreciate what you are trying to do and I can see how hard you are trying - so keep up the good work and don't be disheartened - the criticisms are meant as helpful pointers not negativity.