Today is the thirteenth anniversary of the day The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum opened for posting!
Thirteen years ago -- after three frustrating days when only Elspeth, Ann (Empireone), and myself could post -- The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum opened its doors to the general public on the Delphi online service. This was before it was known as Delphiforums and back when user forums, then known as "Custom Forums" had a presence on both the paid Delphi Online Service (in wonderful a pure text/command line like environment) and on their new free Web forum version. The forum was an instant success with 60 or 70 messages posted that December and hitting 1000 messages within six months or so. That's 1000 messages total, not 1000 messages a month.
The Cauldron was started as a Yule gift from me to Elspeth -- you had to pay Delphi for forums back then (six months in advance). It was staffed by Elspeth, Ann, and myself with an able assist from our friends from the dying GEnie Online Service. We started a web site for the forum in the web space I got with my Delphi account in January of 1998, although we did not get domain name for a couple of years.
Our forum has done well in the years that followed, although TC has had to move around a lot. From Delphi to a mailing list. Then back to Delphiforums (Delphi's new name). When Delphi's poor service and pricing got to be too much to much in early 2004, Bob offered us server space and we moved to our own site. First with Beehive's Delphiforums-like software (two incarnations), then (very reluctantly) to SMF early in 2007 when it became apparent that Beehive software just could not meet the needs of this forum. Bob's server gave up the ghost in 2008 and we had to move to our own Linode VPS. The first time in our existence that have had to pay a monthly bill for the message board. Fortunately, our members have stepping up and are donating every month to make continuing this board possible. As the SMF software is have problems, we may be moving to another forum software in 2011 -- at least these time we should be able to take the current messages with us.
It has been a very interesting 13 years. Sometimes it has been interesting in the "may you live in interesting times" sense of "interesting," but mostly it has been interesting in the good sense of the word. Lyricfox and I met through TC and married over five and a half years ago. We all made many new friends via TC. It's also been a lot of work. Work which has been shared with our staff members -- without them, this forum would not be here today. This is especially true this last few years as the hosts have been dealing with cancer and have not been nearly as active on the board as we had been in the past. However, the reason The Cauldron's message board is still here isn't the Hosts or the staff, it's our members: the wonderful people reading this message (and now funding the monthly server costs). Without you, this forum would be a ghostly place haunted by memories of discussions past.
It's been a great thirteen years. In "Internet time" we are as ancient as the dinosaurs, but we are still here, still doing our thing, and still enjoying ourselves doing it. We have great plans for The Cauldron's 13th year and we hope you will join us and help make them happen. With any luck, these plans will work out better than our plans for this last year did. Oh well, you win some and you lose some, but just being around 13 years is a big win. Thanks for being along for the ride!
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