Back in 2004, when my wife was running a sewing couture business, I set up a web based forum called The Sewing Forum
The Sewing Forum became an Unincorporated Association, a club, offering a UK based international discussion forum on sewing and related crafts. The aim was, and remains, to provide an online community of sewers for mutual help and support.
There are now over 1000 members and lots of useful information on the site.
Originally I set it up using the free phpBB software than upgraded to a heavily modified and enhanced version called Intregramod. This became hard to manage and not enough people knew it to be able to provide technical support and updates so using donations I bought a vBulletin licence and paid for someone to migrate the system over.
Also, by they my work was getting extremely busy and both my wife and I were getting frustrated with the level of work we had to do to maintain the site. We also went through a period – hidden from all the members and moderators -where the site was coming under a lot of malicious attacks that were taking time to fend off (moving to vbulletin helped to stop this). We wanted to see the community that were benefiting taking more ownership of the forum so we stepped away.
I wanted to leave gradually but realised if I did that then there would be no incentive for anyone else to take up the mantle so I spent a lot of time doing minor updates to make the system robust, putting key posts in place setting policies etc down, and then announced my departure with a deadline. I made it clear that if no one took over from me, the site would be closed down. That was just over a year ago.
Well, I am pleased to say that others did take over and the site has been steadily growing ever since. I hope it continues to grow and is around for a long time.
Now, I have a few other forums that have similarly grown (some of you know what I am talking about) and I need to hand them over as well.