Cloudy Nights has always been a labor of love, ever since it
started as a pure telescope review site around 14 years ago. As the popularity of the internet grew, so did the size
of CN. Adding the forums really helped the site explode until it finally became too large for Allister, Tom T, and
the original crew, I would call them the Magnificent Seven but I honestly don't know how many were involved in
the day to day, to handle. So in 2004 he asked if we would like to purchase CN. We thought about it for around a
second and said we would be happy to help. Along the way there have been entirely too many good folks help run CN
behind the scenes to name names, so this is a heartfelt blanket thank you for your service.
During the past decade there has been a paradigm shift in the way that CN functions. The reviews are not coming in on as steady
basis as when the website really started going. The "front page" of CN actually doesn't see as much traffic as we think
it should. The majority of reviews are actually showing up in the most popular part of CN, the forums.
The forum software itself is bad compared to current standards. The search stinks, the site is slow, it has outdated structure, and
is just is pushed to its limits with the current thread load. Greg, Mike L., and the rest of the crew, has done their best getting
the site to function properly but we have run out of band aids. There is only so much they can do with both hands tied behind their
backs due to the limitation of the software.
The user base is what makes CN such a great instrument of astronomy and really a platform for the way other communities should
conduct themselves. You all are friendly, knowledgeable, and happy to help a fellow enthusiast in need. For that, I thank you all.
However, times they are a changing.
You all have worked very hard over the years to make Cloudy Nights the booming site that it is; we are now working to make it a
better experience for you. Cloudy Nights is going to go through a transformation. The site will have a different fit and finish when
we are all done. It will be faster, slicker, and better overall. The biggest change will be some of the items that will not be here
for a little while.
1. Review page
The review page has always been a separate entity from the forum software, but it is time for a facelift so we will roll something
else out in the near future. The articles from Cookman, Harrington, etc. will continue as a blog. That will allow the most read
parts of CN to transfer over without a hiccup. The classifieds on the other hand have been a handful for quite a while. I have some
new software that we are considering, but that particular part of the site really falls to the back of the update line. It won't
be forever, but it will be a little while.
After a while of going live with the new site, we will look to introduce some other nice features to the site, ones I can't talk
about yet, but it looks very promising.
There is some difference in the verbiage of the site. The PMs are currently called dialogs. I don't know if we can get that
changed to something that everybody is familiar with, but it is a minor change.
Thank you for all your time and effort into making CN what it is and I think you all will like the new site.