Our current forums are crap, we know that, you know that, everybody knows that, you can’t search, there are no formatting options, you can’t see how many people have viewed a post, which forums you have read, etc.
We have discussed it and looked long and hard, and the best solution would be a 3rd party solution called vBulletin with a WordPress -> vBulletin bridge.
Unfortunately this costs money. £220 to be… vague (prices are in dollars so depends on the exchange rate vBulletin costs $250 and the bridge $80).
So the question is, is this something you guys would like for a start, and is it something you would be willing to help us purchase?
If anyone wants to donate to this cause, please put in the paypal comments that the donation is for new forums, if we can’t raise the funds for it within 30 days we will refund to anyone who has put that in the comments (unless you specifically tell us we can keep the money even if the drive fails) and at least we will know it isn’t something people want.
If people want to see what the bridge allows check out this link: http://vimeo.com/81468596
Another possibility might be hosting the forums separately from the API and main website, so if something happened to those the forum would still be available, whether this would be on a different server on the same network or a server on a totally different network is something we would have to consider.
In any case, let us know what you think