The International Association of HEAVY
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Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.
Back in 1979 I created the first International Association of Rubberists. It only had about 16 members. I would ask each of them to contribute some piece of writing relating to their fetish and then combine them into a quarterly newsletter which I would mail out to each member. This opened the door for private correspondence between them, too.
It only lasted for a year or two.
The SECOND (and current) incarnation of the IAR was created on Aug 20, 1998 as Yahoo "LatexLovers2 Club", which is still online today! You can view it HERE. (Yahoo refers to is as a "Group" now.)
This opened the "flood gates"! Within only a month or two we found the Yahoo interface to be quite inadequate for our needs.
So, we moved to the Delphi forums which seemed to better equipped to deal with diverse conversation topics and threads. It also provide a bit more sophistication in managing and administering a busy forum.
However, the Delphi system was also heavily laden with rather irritating commercial advertising unrelated to our themes and, more significantly, they also used our forum to very actively promote other Delphi forums. In effect, once you found our IAR forum they tried to send you to another forum. Many of the administration tools they provided which were either cumbersome, restrictive or utterly lacking.
We needed something better. Meanwhile, we continued to experience "explosive growth" which continually strained all of our systems.
I chose DISCUS based on my extensive experience as a FIDOnet "BBS" operator. Compared to Yahoo and Delphi, the DISCUS forums offered amazing flexibility in presentation and administration of forums.
Things were working fine for a few months but then we woke up one morning to find that the site AND the hosting company had disappeared!
If I remember correctly, Morten had recently joined our Admin team and we both shopped around to find another web hosting company as quickly as we could. I think the IAR was "off the air" for a week or two as a result. This was our first real lesson into the fickleness of webhosting companies...
For the next several years we moved around from one web hosting company to another. Some simply went bankrupt. Others had issues with the adult nature of our content or just the sheer volume of our activity. I seem to remember that more than once we set up the IAR on webserver someplace that lasted only a few days. When we originally signed up with that company they told us our content was OK, but shortly after we set up the site they shut us down. Yeesh!
Many of you will remember those crazy and often very frustrating days of hopping around from one webserver to another.
In 2004 (approximately), we stumbled on to Servage, a web hosting company located in Germany. We finally found a webhost who appeared to be financially stable, had responsive technical support, did not have issues with our content and provided amazingly massive amounts of bandwidth and diskspace at very reasonable costs! We are still with them and, overall, have been very pleased with their service since 2004. They seem to be 1000% better than all of our previous webhosts!!
(NOTE: If you decide to have Servage host YOUR website, please use this link or click on the Servage icon at the bottom of any IAR web page to sign up. This is a special link containing a code which will give IAR a free month of hosting if you do. Thanks!)
Also around 2004 or so (pardon my foggy memory...) we started to reach the upper limits of the DISCUS forums system capabilities. DISCUS does not utilize a database design and, therefore, simply could no longer handle the load our constantly growing community imposed on it. For example, something as simple as a search on "catsuit" would impose a very massive overload on the webserver and bring it to it's knees. (Webhosting companies do not like it when that happens!!!!!)
So, after a lot of "shopping around" we changed over to the vBulletin system and began to earn how to use it.
"vB" has all of the good features and versatility of DISCUS but is also "industrial grade", making it much capable of handling substantially larger forums. (I have, for example, seen vBulletin-based forums which quite literally have 3 or 4 million messages in them!) vB also has an amazingly sophisticated administrative back-end which is vastly superior to any of the "free" forums currently on the market. Also, as a commercial product, we have access to professional technical support.