[Correction - It appears the downtime was an unplanned outage and the host/webmaster service is unwilling or unable to get it fixed. frater/jason]
I haven’t seen them yet, but I have read that Bob has said in a video that the CRVL downtime is due to changes made to accommodate the mentor program. Maybe that’s a bit of retconning the unannounced forum downtime, or maybe it’s real. [note - see blog comments below for more info on this – frater/jason]
Both are problematic, from my point of view.
If the downtime was unplanned then Bob’s hoster (Hello World) is more clueless than I thought, and Bob is more careless than I thought. The host should be making backups automagically, and Bob (or delegate) should be making an off-site backup regularly. It’s really not hard to restore a forum’s DB from a backup: close the forum-db connection, load the backup, open the connection.
If the downtime was planned this suggests some functionality being built in for the Mentoring program. _I don’t have a good feeling about that. _
A mentoring program could be implemented informally, with new members being assigned to older ones (quasi-moderator role). Support would be done in PM.
Implementing system changes for mentoring makes me think there will be some [additional] control freakery to keep non-approved folks away from newbs. We already know what Bob thinks about posters who fail to hand out hugs with their advice.
I suppose it is possible the mentoring program will be implemented in a non-forum section of the site, and the designer[s] for that dorked up the DB accidentally, taking out the forum.
Regardless how it’s implemented, I think there is a 25% chance the mentoring program will be pay-to-play, even if a nominal amount. :-(