We hope you enjoyed Christmas (even though it feels like a long time ago) and that 20178 is going well for you so far! Have you managed to keep the New Year Resolutions going?

Before we move on to new happenings, I just wanted to say that 2017 was a fascinating year, both on Boards and in the world at large. We did a roundup of the year, including some notable threads and major world events and there was no shortage of things to discuss.

In case you missed it, there was a thread started in After Hours about the Slow Death of Forums, which turned more into a discussion about After Hours and Boards in general. Beasty has compiled a post that outlines some of the issues raised here, but if you have anything else to contribute, please let us know.

Now that the New Year is underway, it's all about betterment (and holding yourself accountable in some cases). A number of forums have launched their Goals for 2018 threads, which can make for some interesting reading at the end of the year as people compare their progress to their goals. Meanwhile, other forums are putting together their list of events, gatherings, logs, as well as forums that may help you better yourself, break bad habits, and so on. Here's a collection:
[Golf] Golf Society 2018
[Fitness] 2018 Goals
[Cycling] 2018 Goals
[Arcade & Retro] Gaming Resolutions
[The Gentlemen's Club] 2018 Goals
[Literature] Reading Logs
[Fitness] Fitness Logs
[Photography] Photo Challenges
[Gaming] The Backlog Completionist Diary
[Athletics & Running] 2018 - 1000 Mile Challenge
[Athletics & Running] Running Events
[Chess] Chess Events 2018
[Cycling] Training Logs
[Golf] Scratch Cups 2018
[Strength & Strength Sports] Strength Sports Logs
[Swimming] 2018 Swim Log
[Triathalon / Duathalon / Adventure Racing] Training Logs
[Triathalon / Duathalon / Adventure Racing] Call Your 2018 Goal
[Fitness] Nutrition & Diet
[Giving Up Smoking] Forum
[Non Drinkers Group] Forum

It's not just our own forums that are looking forward to 2018. Websites across Ireland and around the world are doing roundups of things to watch out for this year and a musical duo who met through Boards have been highlighted. Vulpynes were selected by Golden Plec as one of their Plec Picks (or ones to watch out for) in 2018. You can read through the article and listen to one of their songs here.

The round-up of the year thread highlighted some times when the community pulled together or helped someone out. The year's off to a good start in this sense as one Italian native helped a user get to the bottom of their speeding ticket from Italy and how to actually pay it.

I've mentioned the Forum Games forum a few times for its ongoing Werewolf games (as well as other games such as Codenames and a full blown RPG). One user put together a guide for new users that explains what the game is, how to go about joining a game, the ins and outs of games, and other things that a new player might not have considered (such as the impact of dropping from a game unexpectedly). It's an interesting read, a great example of a community member using their own initiative and trying to better a forum, and it may even encourage you to get involved in a game.

I wanted to take a moment to highlight one amazing piece of creativity (though they can be found across the site). Recently, witnessmenow shared a homemade Zelda chest that lights up and plays the melody when you open it. And they put together a tutorial so you can make one of your very own. You can find the thread in the Nintendo forum.

Finally, I stumbled across a clever initiative to keep a particular forum going in its off-season. While Christmas doesn't start for retailers until at least September and for some of us until November or December, there are others who keep the Christmas cheer going the whole year round. The Christmas forum will celebrate Rudolph's Day every month on the 25th and plans to do something Christmassy. If you want to get involved this month, get your Christmas socks ready

That's it for me this month, but if you have any questions or news that you'd like to share, please get in touch by sending me a Private Message or sending an e-mail to hello@boards.ie.