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Important Announcement!


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If you've read my post of December 8, 2011 in the Your Comments forum (http://hovforum.ipbh...indpost&p=57355),you already know that Hospice of the Valley is planning to move our grief forums to a server different from the one we are using now (Invision PowerBoard). Although we don't have a date certain for the transfer, we want to alert you to some of the consequences of this move, so you'll have ample time to prepare.

Since we've been informed by Invision Power Board and by Hospice of the Valley that forum content cannot be migrated to the new server, news of this move has caused some alarm both for our moderator and among our members. Concerned that some eight years' worth of soulful and informative posts are scheduled to be erased, one of our members has found a way to save the content of our forums!

Earlier this month, HOV Discussion Groups member Ron B. (who is himself a professional librarian) shared our plight with a colleague at Archive-It.org, an Internet archiving service that harvests and preserves digital collections for organizations. In an extraordinary act of generosity, the Internet Archive has created for us a complimentary "friends of the Archive" collection, whereby every grief forum post from May 2003 up to and including December 12, 2011 has been saved and archived at the following URL:


When you click on this link, the Web page that comes up is a snapshot of our site's main page on December 12th, 2011. The links in the individual grief forums (on the left side of the page) work perfectly. You can scroll back months or years, and find every post ever written by you or anyone else.

Still, understand that this is not an exact replica of our grief forum. The Internet Archive could not archive any site content requiring a user log-in, nor could they replicate the search feature on the main page of our site. So this is our current predicament: We have successfully archived all forum posts, but we still lack a good way to search for and find specific posts within the archive.

In order to find messages you posted earlier, here are the steps you'll need to take. (Be aware that, depending on how many old posts you wish to save, this can take a good chunk of time.)

First, you'll need to create a finding aid. You'll need to do this now (or as soon as possible), before the site is switched over to a new server in early 2012.

Here is how you can create your own finding aid:

Bring up the grief forum as you normally access that Web page, at www.hovforum.ipbhost.com (that is, do not use the wayback.archive-it.org link above). Find the search feature at the top right corner of the main page. Select "Advanced." A new Search page appears. In the "Find author" field, enter your Display Name. If you've posted in more than one forum and wish to search the entire site, click on the blue "Perform the search" button, which will bring up all your posts, page by page. (Alternatively, if you wish to search for all your posts in just one forum, in addition to entering your Display Name, you can select your forum in the "Find in forum" box by clicking on it.) A list of links to all your posts appears, beginning with the first page of posts.

Now you will need to use a word-processing application on your own computer, so as to transfer content from the list of your posts. The simplest way: When the first page of your posts appears, just copy the entire page (graphics and text). If you use Internet Explorer, find the edit menu, choose "select all," then choose "copy." Then paste the content into a file in your word processor and save the document. (If you use Google Chrome, you can place your mouse anywhere on the page, right click, then click on "Save as." You can save the page as Type: "Web Page, complete" with a File Name of your choosing.)

You may want to give your page a name ending in a number, as it will help to number your saved pages sequentially (e.g., HOVSavedPostsPg1). Now close that document, and bring up another blank page in your word processor. Then find the second Web page of your forum posts, copy it and paste it into the word processor, repeating until all your pages are saved. Depending on the number of posts, this can take a few minutes or more ~ e.g., it took Ron about 10 minutes to save the 7 pages of his posts (173 posts), whereas Marty had more than 60 pages of posts, which took more than two hours.

To retrieve the full text of your posts:

Consult the finding aid you've just created.

Find a post of interest, and remember the date.

Go to the wayback.archive-it.org link mentioned earlier: http://wayback.archi...t.com/index.php

Select the appropriate forum on the left side of the page.Then just scroll back through the forum to the date of your post.

Also, be aware that this archived service will not capture any posts added after December 12, so if you wish to keep any posts after that date (until our new message board is up), be sure to copy, cut, and paste those messages into a Word document and save them to your own computer.

That's it, dear members. A bit time-consuming at first, but we've both tried the new archive and we know it works. For those who don't create their own finding aid, it will be difficult to locate your old posts. You'll be able to spot threads you started, but your reply posts will stay buried.

If you have difficulty following any of these steps, please post your questions here, since it is likely that other members will have similar questions ~ and we'll do our best to provide the answers. That way, we can all learn from one another as we go along.

Ron B. & Marty T

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Marty,

Saving posts aside, do you know if you can also archive past PMs that haven't already been archived, even if your PM folders aren't full yet? I'd asked this question elsewhere previously, but no one had an answer, and I still don't see any option button to archive PMs whenever one chooses, as there used to be provided in the Messenger system. Or will all current PM folders be saved and moved over to the new server anyway, so no need to worry about this?

In fact, is there anything else that will get deleted along the way, e.g. our profiles, avatars, member ranking (as seems to have been changed/lost last time), any account info, passwords, etc.?

This has been very upsetting news, since I've had almost zero time to do all this saving, with over 500 posts to my name through all these years & no time to be selective in which particular ones to save - yikes!

And still no exact date when this move happens?

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Maylissa, my dear, I understand completely your reaction to this most disturbing news ~ Believe me, I am right there beside you!

I will try to answer your questions individually:

No, there is no way (that I know of) that you can archive Personal Messages. The only way I know is to "cut and paste" your PMs into a word processing program file.

No, no current PM folders will be saved and moved.

And no, as of today, I've not been given a date certain as to when this switch will happen.

Once our forums (currently "run" by Invision Power Board) are ended at their present location by Hospice of the Valley, nothing you see on the current site will be saved, including User Names, Passwords, Avatars, Profiles, Member Rankings, etc. All of it is going away, and in effect, we will be "starting over." What our new grief discussion site / message board will look like remains to be seen. I can only report to you and all our other members what I have been told ~ and this is my current understanding.

Needless to say, over the last several months I have expressed to my agency's administration my grave concerns about all of this, and the announcement I've posted here is the best I can do right now. I recognize the burden this places on all of us who wish to protect and preserve all the excellent material that's been posted here over the last eight years ~ No one wishes to protect and preserve that material more than I do ~ and I am forever grateful that one of our members helped us find a way to do that. The solution we found is not perfect, to be sure. It is cumbersome and time-consuming to say the least (My own posts numbered nearly 200 pages!) ~ and I too wish there were a better way.

My advice to you, Maylissa, is to set aside some time and follow the instructions in the Announcement, to create for yourself a Finding Aid, which in effect will serve as an index to enable you to find all your posts (prior to December 12, 2011) in the archive that's been created for us through Ron's efforts. Don't try to pick and choose which of your posts to save; they'll all "live" in the archive. The challenge will be in how to find them, and that is why it is necessary to create your own Finding Aid.

I hope this makes sense to you ~ and again, I am so sorry for any inconvenience this has caused ~ for you and for all our other members. Believe me, I completely understand (and share) your concerns . . .

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Thanks for the further elucidation on all this, Marty, sad as it is. But perhaps I can add something of use, too, as I and my much computer-savvier H have been frenetically finding and saving much of my own "history" here over the past 2 days.

Maybe I'm missing something key and don't even know it (wouldn't be the first time!), but all we did was use the Advance Search function here to find all posts/topics I'd posted in under each forum I wanted to capture, right clicked to open each one listed in a new window, used "save as" to copy them into folders we set up on my computer, renamed each file as I saw fit (using the ".html" ending for each), and that was it! It appears that all "outside" links included will still work, but obviously not the internal ones. Of course it still took us both several hours (with my faster-typing H getting the bulk of them done - praise be to him!), but I think I've got most of them now. We ended up doing much the same for each outstanding PM that hadn't already been archived under the (older) archiving system that was once available here - C&Ping each one separately as you'd suggested. I also captured my Profile page as above as well, to make it easier to re-set up again later, whenever I get the chance.

That said, it seems as if even the current site hadn't saved/transferred all of my oldest posts, as I'm pretty sure I'd had quite a few more in certain forums from way back, such as in Loss of Parent....or my memory's just more shot than I realize??? :blink: Unfortunately, I don't have enough time to really investigate more into that right now.

It's also quite strange that the site shows me as logged in, yet is currently treating me in certain areas as if I'm not even a member, e.g. telling me I can't post new topics; my avatar is missing on certain pages only; under the Search feature, my name came up as a "contributor," not a "member"; and even posting my initial reply here netted the message that it would have to be reviewed by the moderator (you) before being posted. ??? I don't know what's up with all that, but it's certainly very odd!

I suppose we can all just hope that the new site is even more user-friendly and includes more and better features (that are also easy to understand!) as a trade-off for all this angst and work, but it's a real shame they can't transfer everything over. I know on another board I used, they upgraded their system once and nothing was lost and much was gained, but I'm not sure if the actual server changed, so perhaps that's why.

I feel badly for all of us, including another older member I know who hasn't the time right now, either, to save her own past posts and is quite upset about it. Luckily, some of my own captures include a bit of her material, too, so I can at least pass those few on to her.

And naturally, I can well imagine the huge headache it will be for you, to re-set up everything (links, etc.) you've so carefully and lovingly added here through the years! Someone should give you an assistant for a month or more...and then a lovely, paid vacation for you both!

Many of us knew 2012 was going to require many big shifts for the world, but who knew it would so personally affect the Grief Healing site, too? The irony is rich for such an event on such a specific type of site, no? - another change and "loss" to cope with, and another "new beginning" at the same time.

Here's to adopting new organizational habits in 2012 -- C&P and save whatever is important to us as we go along!

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