1 - to upgrade the social/interactive functionality of our community
2 - that will reduce the financial burden of operating the site
I had explored the Ning platform - which most liked - but which would have meant us losing all of our content. We've been up and running for 7 years. There's some extraordinary content here. It broke my heart to contemplate losing it. Recently, though, I came across a rather elegant solution that accomplishes all of our objectives while also allowing us to retain our content!!
As with any site change, its going to involve some adjustments and its going to take some time to for all of us to get used to it. Like Ning, it is more of a contemporary, social networking platform. The functionality will be a bit different, but the package is from the same manufacturer of this site - so you should find it familiar.
In the next few days you when you come back to the site you will see a page that asks you to register. That's about the only upfront thing that you will have to do. To make the transition smooth, we will need to integrate the registration systems and it works best if as many people as possible are registered before the change takes place.
Please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions. This will be new to me as well, so we'll be learning together, but I am very excited about being able to enhance our functionality and keep our legacy of content!