OK, it's good to see so many people willing to jump in. So this exchange will live on. Very good. So now let me describe a bit the "technical aspect" coming with the groupings.
Yes I wrote a little Java program which allows me to easily do the groupings, all that is needed is an input file in the correct format. With this file the program creates the groups. The next thing is to send out the PMs with the address lists as these lists are different for every participant. Since I am kind of lazy my program creates a big macro file which I can run in Firefox with the iMacros plugin. So within half an hour all PMs are sent with only one click. But here is also the hairy part of it. Whenever the software running the forum the html to send a PM changes and that means that I have to adjust the part which creates the macro file. So if you are able to do a little bit of Java programming ...
OTOH I already have a program which just generates all the PMs to be sent and you can copy/paste from that file into your browser to send the PMs manually.
To use all this the minimum you would have to:
- be able to use a real editor (not to mix up with a word processor like wordpad or Word or OpenOffice etc)
- be able to install Java on your computer and run a Java program from the command line (my little program has no fancy window user interface)
- be able to deal with people who are a bit nasty when you make something wrong - a very rare case not happened for a long time
At the moment we have four people who want to volunteer (ozphoto, George Nova Scotia, Oxleyroad and Christopher Coy) that's great. And @Christopher - when I jumped in I wasn't around very long either. So I would not like to be the person who prefers one over the others. I think everybody should be able to use my program at least with the manual sending of PMs. The hardest part is to find good groupings and that is solved with the program. Sending the PMs by hand is probably one hour of concentrated but manual and boring work. I have to say that I resign not because of this part. I resign because I do not have the time to be around enough to be a good organizer.
Thanks to all of you who make this a great exchange.