Welcome to all Effects Lab Member's and new visitors,
As you may or may not know, our site had been compromised in January of this year. Some very unfriendly hackers had dealt a serious blow, for the second time in nearly ten years.
The Initial Situation:
After this happened, there was a brief period when I thought it was going to be easily corrected. However, even if the hacker's access was cut off & the threat removed, the process to accomplish this would set the forum back about 2.5 years. This means that all posts left for the last two and a half years would be lost. Even returning the site to that point would have been at great financial expense. It was also apparent that new memberships were not increasing in the same way in which they were. So, with great remorse, I had decided to allow The Effects Lab to pass into the pages of history.
I now feel that decision was a bit premature. While I did post a notice on facebook alerting many of this sad occasion, I have further reflected on the situation. While there may have been a decrease in new memberships, it was not conclusive that there was a decrease in site visitors. I know that many people; members and guests alike, were still visiting the site to read the posts. Much can be learned from the site by just reading, even if you're not sharing your thoughts with the rest of the forum. Since most of the forums could be read without actually logging in to a member account, many members and guests could partake of the useful information, without logging in and making their presence known. Many people like to read but not post.
While the site had incredible amounts of helpful information, the need to exist as a Forum is less important than the need to use it as a resource. I realize that the forum was a wonderful place to receive encouragement and immediate answers to problems. Unfortunately; due to this recent hack, that format has become substantially more costly to recover, as well as increasingly more difficult & costly to sustain.
Of all the heartfelt comments I received after posting the 'Closing site' notice on facebook, one in particular caused me to rethink things. I quote, "It's a shame that the whole thing could not be turned into a giant book." In light of this I am proposing that the format be altered to a Tutorial & Reference Resource. I had begun to save off-line copies of the 'Sticky' tutorials as a backup. While I don't have them all, I have many. Some of you members may also have some. If so, they would be helpful in rebuilding the site. At this stage I am still compiling what information I have, so I can make a comprehensive list.
What to Expect:
The plan is to organize the materials into categories and subcategories that can be accessed through various menus. At some point, I may be looking for some assistance from Lab members to help in organizing the category types necessary to best suit your needs.
I have copies of all files pertaining to 'The Gallery', 'The Study' & 'The Links', so they will still be available. I would also like to build on those as well. I plan to include a Q&A area. This would allow a place for smaller bits of information to be stored, that don't require an entire tutorial. Both questions and answers can be emailed to me for insertion into the Q&A. You will also be able to submit a 'Question & Answer Combination', to be added into the appropriate category as a resource, essentially creating a mini tutorial on a subject you know will be important to others.
Since the site will no longer contain a forum, it will not be necessary for you to login.
I am working ferverishly to reconstruct as much as I can. You may notice some things are not where you rembemer them being & the pages may look slightly different than before. However, outside of the forum itself, all other pages are being added back in. Soon after that, I will start converting the forum tutorials for insertion into the 'Tutorial' section of 'The Study'. I will also be creating an organized method of finding the tutorials you need.
Even though the site is now hosted with an entirely different Hosting company, I still have the same email address. I have re-created the previous address: Admin@TheEffectsLab.com. You may use this to contact me with questions or to send any copies of tutorials you may have & would like to have included on the site. Please contact me before sending anything, since it may be something I already have. Try to contact me using the same email address you used with your Member account and include your Member name too.
More information will be added here; on how things are progressing, so check back in. Once fully created, the new format will be easier to maintain. It will take time to rebuild this fine resource but I believe it is worth saving.
Thank you all for your patience during this restructuring.
The Effects Lab