This forum is my home on the web. I've read nearly every post made here since I joined about 8 years ago. It works well for me, as it is. Maybe, I should recommend that OSSI join us here.
I think having OSSI joining us here would invigorate HG, but it doesn't solve the problem of the future. It doesn't bring more admins on to moderate and deal with spammers and stuff. It doesn't deal with the pic loading issue, and we'll be stuck with the same framework, it really bugs me that we don't have a sub forum about genetics.
There's also nothing stopping Alan from coming back and turning this into a distilling/moonshine/whiskey/bourbon forum if he wants to. That's where his interests lie these days from everything I can tell. This all belongs to him.
So I see the uncertainty of the future of this proboards platform at HG as a big drawback. Just because its worked fine as is for 8 years doesn't give any security that any of it will be here tomorrow.
But maybe that's what this will take, losing HG would obviously force the interested individuals to build SOMETHING. I guess.
I don't think that any major change is going to increase the number of active members in this or any other forum. The exact same conversation is going on in Homesteading Families. When I first joined forums in 1999, they were the best source for sharing garden information. That was fine when it was the only source but only if it were correct. Then Google and Bing came along and one could find reliable information with no waiting to sort out various comments and replies. In many instances now, questions are being asked only by those who are just getting started in computers. Without those Internet search systems, every one of you would have thought that I erred when I used the word "quean". For those who looked it up, you are that much better educated than yesterday due to this particular thread and know that a quean is not a part of royalty.