. Here is an update on our current site situation with some forum news, updates, and an outline of future plans. About ECF As you may know, this forum is the largest and most-respected ecigarette-related website in the world, with about 180,000 pages. It also has the largest online community, with over 20,000 Members, and also the largest number of ecigarette businesses (more than 500) are represented here. Some people have remarked that it is also the best-run and best-protected forum they have ever belonged to, of any kind. This is not an easy achievement because it requires a fairly large staff, some of the most important being our highly-diligent Moderators. The Role of Suppliers In addition, this site has an unusual component that is not found on most other forums - a large number of commercial traders, who we refer to as Suppliers. Their contribution is very important and they are an integral part of the community. Indeed they contribute a large part of the value of the forum to Members, as the latest and best products can be found here, at very good value, and with direct communication between supplier and customer. Of course, Members debate this and similar topics intensely. We only approve Suppliers who meet our standards, which have been carefully developed over time to select good Suppliers, and be a balance between providing the best resources for both Members and Suppliers. However, it is not easy to balance the requirements of both parties, and something like 75% of website management time is devoted to this. It is an intensely resource-hungry area and the remarkable success of the website illustrates how well the balance is kept. ECF Management Our site's founder recently decided that professional help was needed to run the site, as the phenomenal growth of the forum meant it was impossible to continue as a one-man run website. Consequently a web management team was chosen, picked for their experience and high standards in running community- based sites. You will no doubt have seen or contacted one or both of the main team, Chris (rolygate) who is the Site Manager and Tony who is the Business Manager, in charge of accounts and advertising. You will surely have seen the progress we have made, due to more man-hours being available to fix issues and develop better site facilities. Note that despite the new professional management, financial concerns are clearly not the main factor in ECF management's motivation: our top-level suppliers, who each have a forum and pay a fee for it, are capped at 80 in number although we could probably double this figure. And as several waiting suppliers have stated in public, offers of more money are politely rejected. Our motivator is the health of the community and that is clear at all levels. Our Plans Our site plans include the provision of even higher-quality resources for both Members and Suppliers. The site will expand and grow, just as the number of ecigarette owners grows. Our task is to keep the forum efficient and a pleasure to use, as at present, and add more and better resources. In fact it's impossible to say what the site will be doing or what topics will be covered in two years' time, as a community site grows and reacts to its environment like a live entity. All we know is that the forum will always be the highest-quality resource in the ecigarette / PV world. Web Security I thought you might also like to know something about our site security, as that affects all members. The web hosting, the server, and the web applications we use have to be robust enough to survive a continual assault from Internet attacks, which may be automated or human-controlled. In addition, the visible part of the forum must withstand daily pressures of a similar nature. The site machinery blocks the web probes and the Moderators keep the forum safe. Due to the various pressures you may sometimes feel that the forum moderation is a little strict, but the end result is that the forum is exceptionally clean and free of misuse. You are most welcome to email me if you feel you have been judged a little harshly. Before you do, though, please ask yourself the following questions: what would happen if many - or even all - of the thousands of people who visit the forum every day were to do the same thing? And what escalation might occur as a result? Or alternatively, what if all the other five hundred Suppliers represented here were to do that? If, after answering those questions honestly, you would still like to discuss it - then let's talk! admin AT e-cigarette-forum DOT com Chris ECF Site Manager . . . . .