Forum transition thread.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by MSP, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    Thanks again to Dan for years of toting this load alone essentially, keeping the community together. This thread will be for the purpose of discussing how to move forward, what a Tweak 2.0 would look like, how much it would cost, and how we would govern and fund it.

    Having chatted with some of you offline I think it's clear most folks would be against a Google Group, and frankly I have to agree. Unless we get desperate, or there is more customization than it appears to have, I think it should be a last resort.

    So Option #2 would be to keep a forum solution like we have now, which is going to require funding. I think this is probably the best course. And I have an idea of how we might accomplish and sustain it. Here goes:

    Stage 1) Interested parties would identify themselves. People desiring a leadership role on the forum, and who would be willing to contribute financially. Joint ownership, a Tweak council, who would evenly divide the hosting costs. And for their money would have moderation powers, and a vote on how things would be run. Most decisions would be debated and brought to a vote, democratic majority rule. Drop outs of course will occur, and those seats offered up to the community as they become vacant. We'd have some sort of lottery to decide when we have more applicants than seats, etc. A constitution or charter would have to be designed and modified over time.

    EDIT: It goes without saying that Dan would retain a permanent and free seat on the council. This is his baby, and it's the least we can do.

    Stage 2) Hosting solutions investigated, compared with what Dan has in place now, and an estimate of yearly costs determined.

    Stage 3) The results of Stage #2 posted on the forum, and final calls made for those wishing to participate.

    Stage 4) Money gathered, hosting established, and the existing site transferred. I'm pretty fuzzy on this stage, as I've never been involved in the hosting of a serious forum. My assumption is that we could transfer the existing forum, user accounts, threads, etc, to the new host easily. A seamless transition for the community.

    So whatcha think? Personally I think it's a sustainable system. Even with only 3-4 people splitting the hosting costs it wouldn't be a burden, and frankly I believe we'll have more like 10-20 step up. Tweak3D worth $50 a year? Hell yeah.

    Option #3? Any an all options are on the table, please speak freely.
  2. gB dAvId x

    gB dAvId x thats what she said

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    your alive? can you change the text color for those of us that use the undefault theme we can't read it unless we select it, k thanks
  3. Sparky

    Sparky ¿sdooɥʍ

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    I can't imagine that, at our current size, we use much data bandwidth, but I'd be curious to see the stats for an average month. If anything, the SQL server takes a beating from forum software that makes a lot of requests. Would it be beneficial to host the SQL database separately from the main website to try to offset some of that load?

    I'm in a situation with my old literary journal, Aerie, where I still have administrative access to the web host and the database server. I'd be hesitant to use that SQL server because overload may lead to downtime for Aerie. However, if someone else could host an SQL server, I could arrange for the forum to be hosted along with the journal on Blue Host. Or we could just chip in and pay for separate hosting altogether, just thought I'd throw that out there.Whatever we decide, consider me an interested party.

    I have plenty of web administration experience, from forums to CMS-driven websites, to torrent websites. 8) I used to run Onemoresolo.net, a live music torrent tracker. We started on 1&1's cheapest solution, but having a torrent tracker really rapes an SQL server with request after request so they moved us up to their dedicated server option. That still didn't help. Ultimately we ended up getting hosting from a French member of the site to host it in his basement.
  4. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    I'm really excited about what can come out of this. I think some new enthusiasm is what the forum needs to grow and be stable, happy and interesting.

    I'll post a lot more about this later, but here's the first things that come to mind:

    Shared hosting from Network Solutions would probably be fine for bandwidth and reliability. You don't have tons of control but we used to host Sharkwerks.com for years. It handled ~1000 hits/day no problem and was about $200/year I think.

    Xenforo is what we run now for software. I also have a Vbulletin 4.x license. We can use either of these for the forum, the skins I made, etc. I can transfer all this over. I prefer Xenforo (this software) and if someone else wants to administrate it I can still help if there are problems. We can switch my license over to the new server. I can do the migration, data export/import etc. I can show you how all the forum software/backend works. I would not recommend the VB license, it's a real POS these days.

    The only concern is reliable backups. Whoever is the administrator needs to be sure the forum's SQL files are being backed up regularly. I could help set up scripts initially for this, also the internal NS (or other hosting companies') database manager probably would include automatic backups. I hope whoever decides to take the reigns as "administrator" knows a little about SQL import/export. I would gladly tutor/train any of you to be an expert in this stuff.
  5. bigwill51534

    bigwill51534 Saint, Church of Ryanism

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    I'd be more than happy to help fund the site. I can't give a lot of time towards coding or web design, but will gladly help out however I can. I'm definitely interested in coming to some sort of a solution with the site and helping things along.

    ~Will Courtier~
  6. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Hey Sparky,
    I'll try to get the bandwidth / usage numbers for the forums. Currently it's on a VPS with 1 GB ram dedicated to T3D and 2 GHz CPU I think. The forums are serving about 7500 pages/month currently. Not a whole lot.
  7. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    Oh sure. How's that?
  8. Miller

    Miller Tweak Guru

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    Glad to see some great ideas are coming out. I would like to take a leadership role, if theres room. i am wiling to donate time and funding. I don't know much about running forums, but have basic programming/web development background and could help with regular backups of the SQL database. As I brought up to MSP, after we get the forums squared away, I could donate some time on the to work on articles for the front page. I'm not as enthusiastic about computers as I once was (I think a lot of us aren't these days), but home improvement, mobile computing, HVAC, cars etc are things I could write articles/reviews about. Just an idea but who's to say tweak has to be about computers, there's much more out there that we can tweak. we have a lot of talented members with skills they could write about and share (brewing beer, home theater, living off the land, home improvement, automotive.)
  9. gB dAvId x

    gB dAvId x thats what she said

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    what i see

    Attached Files:

  10. Miller

    Miller Tweak Guru

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  11. Coleman

    Coleman fresh off the corner

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    I'd be willing to contribute financially to the site and to have a board seat. Google Groups is terrible and I'd hate to see T3D transition over to that.
  12. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    OK, how about now? Apparently when I bold black text you can't see it.
  13. gB dAvId x

    gB dAvId x thats what she said

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    its better, mixed text colors but it's readable
  14. gB dAvId x

    gB dAvId x thats what she said

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    glad to see your back - i need someone to steal techie ideas from
  15. Sparky

    Sparky ¿sdooɥʍ

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    Now it's all grey and low contrasty for the people using Mega Man. FIX IT, DAN! ;)
  16. Lord Kain

    Lord Kain Keeper of the Timeline Staff Member

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    Finally! A positive outcome for everybody, Dan included. It's gonna be a great adventure!

    I'd like to invest too and get a leadership role too. But not the same as Miller. I'd be more willing to help make and enforce the rules and also mod. I'd be also willing to try to make some "publicity" to get new members, if that's what we want.

    So we can sum it up through the thread, but here a list of the interested people:

    MSP
    Sparky
    Miller
    Coleman
    Lord Kain

    Any others? Smersh, Tass, Torx.... (and many others) ???
  17. gB dAvId x

    gB dAvId x thats what she said

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    i'd give signups at least 48 hrs, people could not have read this thread yet
    Coleman says thanks for this.
  18. czechrboard tassia

    czechrboard tassia Likes gay people.

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    I've loved this place and you guys for a long time, but I can't commit to much financially and therefore wouldn't feel comfortable taking any sort of leadership role. I would, however, love to continue to facilitate things like Secret Santa.
    Sparky says thanks for this.
  19. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    A few weeks even.

    EDIT: Also, I would only want to be involved with the site if I was wanted. I'm content just to stay on as a member, I have no ambitions to run anything.
  20. Coleman

    Coleman fresh off the corner

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    We can still be lovers, MSP.
  21. mistawiskas

    mistawiskas kik n a and takin names

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    http://www.tweak3d.net/topics/no-more-twinkies.60904/#post-426005 :)

    This is all moving rather quickly. I get busy for a few days and everything changed. WTF?
    granted, this forum has been dying for awhile now, but what caused it to decline? No one is
    addressing the real issues. I'd be glad to contribute what I can to keep the community alive.
    be it cash or administrative. Does that count as a "sign-up" or is there a more complicated
    proceedure?
    I do however, stress that a simple regime change won't stop the decline and if there is not
    a healthy amount of community left, a change this large will just blow the thing completely
    apart.
  22. Coleman

    Coleman fresh off the corner

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    Nothing has to change. Dan just needs some of the weight lifted off his shoulders.

    WIskas, I know you're worried about the lack of new users but how do you suggest we go about gaining new people? Banner ads on other sites? A subtle viral campaign... email spam? Dan said he'd write more articles if he could spend less time maintaining the site. If we have more tech content, that should drive a few more users to the forums. It all comes down to how we treat new people, though. It's not easy for all of us to accept new users into our midst since we've all been here for a decade (more or less). But.. we've done it in the past.

    If we can get more front page content and drive front page view to the forums, we shouldn't have a problem with growing as a forum. I'd be interested to see where the majority of our traffic comes from, how many front page views translate into forum visits, and what most people are looking for when they stumble on T3D.
  23. Sparky

    Sparky ¿sdooɥʍ

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    I don't think it'd be difficult for us to gain new members, but I'd imagine it'd involve a degree of rebranding. I guess we'd have to discuss and vote on certain things, but there's always the possibility of relaunching Tweak3D as a general interest DIY community, since that's pretty much what we've become. Along with that comes the potential for writing articles and reviews like the old days, drawing in people from google searches and whatnot, adjusting with the times.

    I think it'd also be interesting to seek out formerly banned members and people who drifted away from the community. I think it'd be kind to extend a branch to people like Seven, Mushu, and ElectricHead (just to name a few), informing them of the next phase of Tweak, and inviting them back to the community.

    Not trying to jump ahead on things, but throwing ideas around is what this thread is for, right?

    Edit: Right now there's 71 guests on Tweak. Wonder what's stopping them from registering?
  24. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    Rebranding did cross my mind. And if we did, wouldn't a name change be in order? Simply "Tweak", or something along those lines.
  25. gB dAvId x

    gB dAvId x thats what she said

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    I think if MSP made a guide on how he had setup his home theater remote that that could attract a lot of users, funny enough phil from modern family did the same thing in last week's episode!

    I think more guide's like that wold bring more people here, not just computer tweaks, but home tweak's, guides that are techie