I think that the reason no central hub exists at the moment is because whats out there on the internets currently regarding compound sites are still is not as good as what we had 4 years ago. I agree its not that easy to organise users and they may not come, this is like the snake eating its own tail though and I really feel that if we had same functionality as we had, then
a) there will be more reason to participate as it will be super easy to browse , view details , upload / download compounds
b) it will be the 'definitive' place to get and share Softimage compounds
c) it will concentrate on delivering compounds to the community and nothing else, it wont try dilute itself to be a forum, gallery, news or a blog.
now Softimage.net downloads section was, I believe, moderated by SI staff and there will of course be some moderation needed but after the initial burst of activity in filling the site with whats out there currently - and a small team of folk could quite easily do this once the upload functionality exists. Im more than happy to transfer all of Rray's ICE compounds links to a new database - thats like a high percentage already of what exists. and of course anybody could upload compounds to it themselves.
I didnt realise that vBulletin was so cheap like £200 for perpetual license and DownloadsII is a free plugin for it. Im currently looking into server space costs and and someone to help setup and manage the server and massage Vbulletin into something like a leaner , meaner more modern version of thishttp://web.archive.org/web/20080827144906/http://community.softimage.com/downloads.php?do=cat&id=15
its the running costs of maintenance and bandwidth Im not sure yet how to deal with, but sadly its a case of if you want something done properly then you have to do it yourself.