The following news is posted by ALSforums.com administrators and moderators. These updates reflect changes in service, website news, system updates and general site information.
ALSforums news includes general information about the forums, this website, and any upcoming service changes.
Video Embedding Updated
[April 4th, 2012]
After a long outage the video embedding system is now online again. Video's posted to the site will now be viewable inline with content without having to offsite link to see the video. This feature will work with major video suppliers such as YouTube.
Site Offline / Issues
[December 27th, 2011]
The server for ALS Forums has been a little erratic lately, including having some downtime the day after Christmas.
As it turns out, we were just notified by our host that the server has some bad sectors on one of the primary RAID drives. As such, the server will be offline for 3-6 hours while the drive is duplicated and replaced with a brand new drive.
Once the drive is replaced we look forward to another smooth year of hosting and ongoing growth of ALS Forums. Oddly, it does seem to be this time of year that a drive or two craps out :)
Tracking, Liking and Software
[April 24th, 2011]
A significant addition of software has been completd over the last few days.
The updates include adding TweetDeck to both the homepages and forum pages. Creating, updating and linking to 'insights', a forum statistical tracking software. As well as the updating of the forum software to the lastest SEO friendly version.
We hope these additions will help us continue to build a strong following while also being able to find out where people are coming from, what they do on our site, and how the interact with others. This information will hopefully lead to site improvements for all.
Good Riddens Dishonesty
[March 14th, 2011]
We did a cleanup of the forums, and as usual, it's very disappointing to see how many 'members' of our forum are not what they appear. Many have been identified but the saddest part is some have accumulated hundreds of posts over the years. Can't blame these people though, they're either paid to prop post, or directly profiting from the product(s) they're pushing.
As always, and much to the chagrin of these individuals (and groups), their links have been removed where possible, and their status downgraded.
As is often the case, they'll loudly complain, yell discrimination, shout that their rights have been violated, and try to get other real members on their side in a coup d'état.
The most common practice is for these 'people' to try to mislead our honest members to leave our site and become members of other less moderated forums. Forums where these dishonest people have free reign to post links, services, and to spread lies and mislead members... why you may ask? All in the name of profit.
Fortunately, it won't matter, life and operations here at ALS Forums will continue as normal, and as always, 'they' will find other ways to advertise and mislead. What's the latest avenue? Legitimate looking sites that advertise products, verbal recommendations without links, and YouTube videos that promote products or services.
How can we stop it? We can't really, but we can try hard to mitigate the trouble it causes, and reduce the number of our dear and trusted forum members that are misled.
Through continued efforts we do hope it'll be less viable to use ALS Forums as a place to market. Hopefully these corrupt people will leave our site and go to the PLM site and other similar forums where it's much easier for them to spread their lies and behave dishonestly.
Simply put, they're not welcome on our forum, full stop, period, end of story, get lost!
To all of our real and trusted members, thanks for your continued support and for being a part of the most reputable online forum for people affected by ALS.
[March 5th, 2011]
There has been many changes recently, but we forgot to post them here. First, the software has been completely overhauled with the latest secure releases. We've also improved the database backup facilities after a short scare last week. Moving forward, we plan to move to a more robust dedicated server.
[November 14th, 2010]
We removed numerous sticky threads that were cluttering forum category pages and brining unneeded attention to particular threads.
Forum Post User Profile Update
[September 22nd, 2010]
On recommendation from our newest moderator, Joel, we've added an additional profile field to each users' posts. This addition will show on the left-handside of all posts and will display the members set "relationship to ALS". It is our hope that this additional peice of information will assist other members in providing more accurate information to the original posters thread and/or comments.
Please note, the above change will only be visible to individuals that are logged in to the forums. Happy posting!
[August 17th, 2010]
Some may notice that we've updated the forum order in the General ALS/MND Forum - we hope this change properly orders and prioritizes our forums.
In addition, the ALS Drug Trials forum has been moved up a directory to give it more precendence.
Website Glitch & Site Updates
[July 14th, 2010]
We apologize that threads were unavaible for approximately 30 minutes. Eveyrthing should be back to normal now but you will notice that two small improvements have been made.
The first improvement was to move the Reply and Quote buttons. You'll now find they're aligned left, this should make it more intuitive for new users. Current and long time members will have to make a small adjustment - we hope this is not too troublesome.
The second change was to add Facebook's Like button to the first and last post of every page. We hope this feature will be used by our members so that good content can be shared with the Facebook community.
Thanks for joining and all the best. Should anyone have questions or concerns please content forum staff.
[November 2nd, 2009]
We apologize for the recent outage. This outage was due to a hardware failure with our second RAID device.
We will review logs to find the root of the issue and replace the hardware if necessary.
We did lose the statistics for blog reads; big apologies, but it was faster to come back online than to restore backups - we will try to ressurect this data if/when time permits.
SEO Performance Update
[August 23rd, 2009]
In keeping with the times we've overhauled the forum structure to make it more search engine friendly for all those individuals online seeking our help through search engines.
We hope these recent updates will help more likeminded individuals to ALSforums.
While making the updates we also updated search engine submitted sitemaps as well as updating the Blog software to the most recent secure version.
[August 10th, 2009]
The website and forums were offline for approximately ten minutes. This outage was due to a server process hoarding all the resources. The service was killed and disabled. My apologies to thos connected at the time.
Updated Forum Software
[February 27th, 2009]
Cleaned up the old and outdated templates from the forum software. This will unleash all the newly added features of the software. Enjoy!
This update was long overdue; happy posting everyone!
Updated Forum Software
[February 4th, 2009]
The forum software was updated multiple versions; you will notice the icon images on the forum have changed. The images are the default images, which are the ones we will use moving forward (because it makes updates less time consuming).
This update was long overdue; happy posting everyone!
Email Server Offline, Part II
[December 11th, 2008]
User confirmation and activation link emails were resent to new registrants. Since resending the emails we've had a flood of new members.
Email Server Offline
[December 10th, 2008]
Our email server was offline due to an issue with vBulletin, our SMTP port, and the configuration of software. The issue was resolved and email appears to be functioning normally. We will resend out all emails to new members. Due to the email outage, any new registrants would not have received their confirmation email (with activation link).
Forum Map + RSS Feed Generator
[June 6th, 2008]
Added a new forum sitemap along with RSS feeds for each forum section of the site.
MMN - Multifocal Motor Neuropathy
[April 16th, 2008]
Added a new forum for people affected by multifocal motor neuropathy.
Please review the new forum here: Multifocal Motor Neuropathy Support Group
Guides, Manuals and Tutorials
[January 20th, 2008]
On Al's request we've added a new helpful resource section to the website.
Please review the new guides, tutorials, fact sheets and manual section.
Massive Data Loss
[November 30th, 2007]
We learned the hardway that despite our love for ASO (our host) that not everything is roses in this network of eden.
Due to massive dataloss as a result of a hardware failure, another website has been reverted, losing months of updates. To ensure this doesn't happen to alsforums.com we've implemented a new backup system. Daily incremental offsite backups to a RAID-1 server, with monthly full backups to our internal RAID-1 backup server.
I feel safer already! Not to mention I can sleep a little more peacefully at night :)
[September 27th, 2007]
Under Al's guidance we've done some massive upgrades; we've upgraded another 4 subversions, to the latest and greatest version available.
In addition, we've added back all the minor customizations and a few enhancements (adding location details to the post bits, including diagnosis date).
Also, our latest new feature will be user blogs; not sure if they'll catch on, but it'll be interesting to see. OH, we also re-ordered a new license for the software so we can continue our improvements and security updates :)!
ALS Forum Software Updated
[September 13th, 2007]
After numerous requests we've finally had both the time and the nerve to completely overhaul the outdated forum software.
We expect some growing pains but hopefully things will iron themselves out in a few weeks.
UPDATE: We've installed an agressive anti-spam system for new registrants. It is our hope this will help curtail the number of viscous spammers our forum tends to attract.
Living with ALS a daily struggle
[May 22nd, 2007]
Al Pettit makes the news again; read all about it following the link below.
In other news, Al Pettit has shown up in the news again, in an article titled: "Living with ALS a daily struggle".
Online Equipment Donations
[May 10th, 2007]
We have setup a page to allow online donations where the proceeds go direclty to our caring and lovable moderators. These donations are needed to fund special equipment that is required, and which will allow our moderators to continue to offer needed support.
Receiving strong support is required by our members, and providing good support is of the utmost importance to our dedicated moderators. Please consider donating today.
ALS Society of Canada Awareness
[January 16th, 2007]
The ALS Society of Canada has added a permanent page to their website about ALSforums. The hope is that this new page will help individuals find our website more easily. We are very encouraged by the success of our website awareness campaign.
ALS/MND Alliance Awareness
[January 9th, 2007]
The ALS/MND Alliance has opted to provide the safest outbound links from their website and has updated their links page to offer ALSforums as the primary chat forum for people affected by ALS.
We are proud, and excited about this update; we hope it helps direct people to the great resource that is ALSforums
[November 9th, 2006]
In order our continued commitment to our members we've installed a series of the latest patches to the forum software. Happy chatting, posting and supporting!
Outage + Update
[October 25th, 2006]
The website was offline for almost seven hours today due to a webmaster error (David, me, I'm sorry). Thanks to Al Pettit for phoning me directly. We were able to get the site back online immediately - a big apology for the lack of service.
Due to a lot of out bound links to drug companies for definitions we have added a medicine and drugs section to the site. Hopefully we can add information to this section and stop promoting off shore drug companies.
ALS Site Search Added
[October 21st, 2006]
We've received numerous requests from members and casual visitors that informatin is difficult to find. People felt a search feature would be helpful. In response we've added a site search that is powered by Google.
Additionally, we've updated the support directory, adding links to major ALS organizations as well as cleaning up the directory structure.
ALS Support Directory Launched
[September 9th, 2006]
After months of e-mail inquiries from individuals looking for ALS support groups in their area, or other local ALS help centers, we've launched an international ALS support directory to help these people find the information they so desperately need.
We currently only have American listings, but will be adding Canada and the UK in the near future. We hope this will help fill a gap online. Our online ALS Support and Resource Directory is the first of its kind!
ALSforums.com Moves Servers!
[September 2nd, 2006]
Due to some recent problems with outages we have moved the server. Expect faster page loads and a more responsive ALS forum!
ALSforums.com Increasing Awareness
[July 31st, 2006]
As a part of our campaign to attact more quality visitors to our community we've signed up for Google and Yahoo sitemap's. This technology allows search engines to more appropriately index our website and include links in their respective search directories. It is our hope that this effort will help individuals affected by ALS find our online support group early on in their search for help coping with ALS.
In addition to adding searchable index of our content, we have also taken the time to e-mail other ALS organisations in the hope they will link to our site as a safe and moderated site for help with ALS.
ALS Forum Upgrades - Forum Archives
[July 26th, 2006]
As a benefit to all forum participants and to the ALS community at large we have added forum archives.
The archives are a web-friendly and screen reader friendly low-bandwidth alternative to the regular forums. It is our hope the archives serve as a quick reference for all individuals in search of information related to MND and ALS.
ALS Forum Upgrades - Backup System
[June 1st, 2006]
In order to improve the ongoing availability of ALSforums; a weekly backup system has been implemented - we hope this will guarantee the future of ALSforums and the accessibility and history of all posts made to this website.
Forum Spell Checking Addition
[May 7th, 2006]
Upon member request we have added a spell checking service to all forum posts. Hopefully this helps members better express themselves, and help eliminate the need to edit time consuming typos :)
ALSforums.com Scam Watch Addition
[May 1st, 2006]
Due to an increase in online fraud and problems with individuals promoting false information and fraudulent claims ALSforums has created a scamwatch section to help spread awareness about this growing problem.
ALSforums.com Definitions Addition
[April 15th, 2006]
Upgraded the definitions list available at www.alsforums.com/definitions.php including the ability to update listings. Public updates will be available in the future - coming soon.
ALSforums Linked from Ride For Life
[April 10th, 2006]
Ride for Life has updated their homepage and their forum to link directly to ALSforums!
ALSforums extends its sincere thanks to the Ride For Life organisation for their support, and for their great contributions to ALS research and ALS awareness.
For more information about the Ride For Life please click here.
ALSforums.com TOS Change
[March 17th, 2006]
Our Terms Of Service (TOS) was updated to add information about articles, materials, and a legal disclaimer about medical content.
ALSforums.com Officially Online
[February 28th, 2006]
The ALS Society of Canada has officially shut down their online support forums due to a lack of resources to properly moderate the forums.
It is our hope that these forums and the resources available through this website will be as successful at helping people affected by ALS/MND as the old forums graciously provided by the ALS Society of Canada.
ALSforums.com is Born
[February 17th, 2006]
The ALS/MDN support forum groups go online. The website has undergone several changes and looks forward to offering moderated forums for individuals needing help dealing with, or living with ALS/MND.