The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

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AngryBob   100 W

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by AngryBob » Jan 11 2020 9:26am

Yes, I started reading here not long after those events.

IIRC, the main objection was that the site would be used to generate a PROFIT, with somebody else in charge.

What I would propose, is to run it as a non-profit, a simple banner ad on the front page only, to pay the bills. Everybody loves a freebie, but this place costs money to host, and to maintain. Expecting somebody else to pay those bills is just freeloading. There is another site I frequent which, while on a completely different subject, is remarkably similar to this one. They host ads as I suggest above, and the site has been up over 20 years now. Few to none object to the ads. They are not intrusive, and are related to the subject matter.

The ads, and/or donations, could also be used to create INDEPENDENT product reviews, testing, and perhaps even some product development. The choices could be user-driven, voted on with a steering committee, etc.

The site would be independent, and it's future existence assured. Backups, redundancy, enhanced features, etc. Justin is great and his charity is a magnificent thing, but depending on someone else's generosity is kind of against the spirit of what many people are doing here. Do It Yourself is very different than begging someone else to do it FOR YOU, for free.

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by Jenming » May 13 2020 10:41pm

My point of view here is somebody who's relatively new but also relatively into this kind of stuff and into this forum.

From what I've been able to find this forum is the best online e-bike resource available. so everything below is constructive criticism. this is the go to place for me. and it's certainly possible the forum does what it needs to do and other online resources do what they need to do

The elephant in the room is the funding question hasn't been addressed. From the outside perspective I don't think I have much to add, but it's obviously a lurking issue. I assume if it was easy as throwing on some Google ads to fund the server space it would already have been done.

one thing that seems to be missing is a real-time chat. I don't know if the population is large enough to support that but it would be kind of nice.

The other thing that seems to be missing is a wiki. The hundred page threads that contain really good information but a lot of not useful posts are difficult to digest. Especially during the summer. during the winter I'll waid through some stuff because I can't be out there but now I can just go bike.

With a wiki space we could put permanent answers kind of like the sticky threads but a little bit better. I think the first page of the leaf motor thread is really awesome. But would be better in wiki. We have the threads that go on and on but we could have a wiki also that would just be you know a page or two and and have the information that people think is important and could be edited with normal kind of wiki rules.

The forum also is at least a decade behind in kind of ease of post. images and formatting things that are just kind of trivial in Facebook or any kind of modern online space are a pain in the ass here. And I've lived through BBS on to now and this isn't bad in comparison to a lot of what the internet has been but still is not modern.

Below are some things I think the Facebook group does better. Not criticisms of the forum. Maybe an argument for why both should exist and be better connected. or maybe somebody smarter than me will read them and think of ways they can make the forum better by addressing them.

The Facebook page is better for scrolling through people's new builds.

Facebook is also good for simple questions that have already been answered. If you post that kind of question here somebody just says search the forum. Which is fair enough. The answer is actually already here but on Facebook people just answer the question.
I don't know what the solution is. you really don't want to clutter the forum with answering the same question over and over but on Facebook the kind of lack of permanence is an advantage for this kind of question because people are just trying to kill some time and will answer the question.

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by amberwolf » May 14 2020 5:41am

There used to be a wiki, something went wrong and it was trashed, I think basically no one is available with the knowhow to fix it and restore backups, it isn't as easy as it sounds.

The next best thing is index threads. Anyone that is willing to do the work can dig thru things and make lists of useful info links, and make an index thread that can then be linked from one of the Sticky Index threads, or even copied to them.


My opinion (everyone's got one ;) ) on realtime chat...if it's not technical, there's a bajillion ways to do that outside the forum. If you wanted to chat about technical stuff it's much better to do it as a public thread, so the knowledge is then always available to others.

The other stuff has been discussed in some other threads (and this one), basically it requires someone willing to recode PHPBB and various addons to fix, and *document what they do so someone can continue to update that work*. Probably hundreds of hours or more of work, at a guess. If you know anyone willing to volunteer that kind of time, for no reward other than complaints about how what they do isn't good enough, send them this way. ;)

Or else completely ditching the whole existing forum and everything in it, and starting over from scratch with a totally new forum software. (cuz again, probably hundreds of hours to write something to convert the existing database and files over to a new format, if it can be done at all).

So...unless someone with deeper technical knowledge of our actual forum software/setup can say differently, I think we're stuck with what we have for the forseeable future.


The last bit...well, that's just the nature of a forum that's been around this long. There's always people that do answer questions...but the longer one has been around (like me) the harder it is to answer the same things over and over, especially when one can post a link to the answer or say exactly how to find it, and the person asking still wont' read it. :/

If we still had the wiki, the answers for most of those things could be put there as they are found by people looking for them (that's what used to happen).


FWIW, I've also been "online" since the acoustically-coupled modems were being phased out for the plugin kind, starting with a Zenith ZTX-11 terminal. ;)

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » May 14 2020 5:39pm

I'm still currently waiting on the next version of some forum software in order to solidify anything resembling a plan. But this is the year we need to make a big move.

I'm glad that starting fresh sounds appealing. I think starting over again would be important not only for keeping things clean, relevant, and up to date.. but also giving newer members of the community a sense of pride and ownership of filling out whatever is ES 2.0. Many good articles were written by members that are no longer active. I want those who are passionate about this community to fill that spot. We'd be ditching a lot of legacy structure and garbage that's hard to fix and democratically agree on how to fix also.

Changing our funding structure is of utmost importance. Justin at grin technologies saved this community's ass a decade ago and has financially supported it since, without asking anything in return. We are fortunate and eternally grateful, but i think the community should be paying the hosting bill and for some programmer/webmaster/moderator/server admin hours so that 2.0 is better maintained and doesn't rely on community enthusiasm and altruism alone.

If we start again, maintaining ES 1.0 as a repository of useful information indefinitely would be a promise that would be outlined in a new constitution for ES 2.0.

Something resembling a wiki would be part of the deal also - there needs to be a place for banter, and a place to hold valuable and useful content. I'd like the two to coexist seamlessly

What i wouldn't want is for leadership, the ethos and values of the community, or the attitude of ES 2.0 to be notably different than 1.0. I would also want the community to approve of a new plan.

This post i've made here isn't a plan at all, but i'd like to hear some feedback on these ideas anyway.
"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive." - Dalai Lama

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
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amberwolf   100 GW

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by amberwolf » May 14 2020 6:45pm

neptronix wrote:
May 14 2020 5:39pm
I'm glad that starting fresh sounds appealing.
Not sure where you get that?

Being what others call a curmudgeon, I don't like that idea much, if at all, but as long as this is true:
If we start again, maintaining ES 1.0 as a repository of useful information indefinitely would be a promise that would be outlined in a new constitution for ES 2.0.
then I don't suppose it matters that much as far as information loss.

If we did have to start over, I'd vote for a new rule completely disallowing any form of political, religious, etc discussion, to be immediately deleted with a user warning, and banning as necessary, to get rid of the seemingly huge amount of crap that we end up with around here. No "toxic" area, just don't allow it at all.


Changing our funding structure is of utmost importance. Justin at grin technologies saved this community's ass a decade ago and has financially supported it since, without asking anything in return. We are fortunate and eternally grateful, but i think the community should be paying the hosting bill and for some programmer/webmaster/moderator/server admin hours so that 2.0 is better maintained and doesn't rely on community enthusiasm and altruism alone.
Can't really argue about that. ;)

But for at least the community-contribution portion, I wonder if something like a Patreon setup would work?

I have the "contributions" link in my signature, and I occasionally get a few bucks here and there thru that from helping people in their threads. If there was a general link on every page for the forum itself to do such a thing, I think there'd be some funding that way.

The forum could also "charge" for vendor sale threads in the for sale section. Dunno what the scheme would be, there's a number of ways to do it. (per thread, per month, etc). Individual members not posting "business" stuff could post an ad free.

Could even charge for "business" accounts vs member accounts, and not allow any posting of ads (beyond bits of used stuff, etc) without a business account.


Something resembling a wiki would be part of the deal also - there needs to be a place for banter, and a place to hold valuable and useful content. I'd like the two to coexist seamlessly
That would be a good thing. Then we could have something like what we have done in some threads, where there is a "locked" technical reference thread containing the specifics for actually accomplishing something, and a discussion thread linked to it that contains the discussion about it, questions, answers, ideas, etc. But in a perhaps more usable format for the reference material, that could still be edited by anyone that needs to. (a wiki is pretty good for this purpose, I don't know enough about what's out there to know if something else would be better.)



If we really do have to start over, I have some ideas on organization of things, but won't waste people's time posting them unless they're needed.

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by marty » May 14 2020 9:09pm

Shutting this forum down and "starting fresh" is a horrible idea. I started electric bike project # 2 in 2007 and as soon as I get some new batteries I will continue working on this project. All the parts and pieces are in my basement. Not quite ready to archive as "repository of useful information".

I am not the only one here with unfinished ongoing projects. To end them all and expect everyone to start fresh is delusional.

Neptronix - you doing a excellent job of maintaining this forum. Suggest you think of it like a beautiful antique [fill in the blank]. Please keep it running and don't just buy a new [fill in the blank] because ya think new stuff is better.
Changing our funding structure is of utmost importance. Justin at grin technologies saved this community's ass a decade ago and has financially supported it since, without asking anything in return. We are fortunate and eternally grateful, but i think the community should be paying the hosting bill and for some programmer/webmaster/moderator/server admin hours so that 2.0 is better maintained and doesn't rely on community enthusiasm and altruism alone.
Remember what happened when we had the Trevor episode. Lets not let history repeat it self. If ya think ya not getting paid enough to manage this forum? Get a different job. Sure we can find someone to replace you.

Any one who wants to start a wiki? Domain names are about $10 a year. Hosting is almost free. Start wikiying.
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nicobie   10 MW

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by nicobie » May 26 2020 4:33pm

One of the few things in life that we can be sure of is that all things change.

God forbid, but what if something happens to Justin? He could get sick or in an accident or even go broke. Maybe it's time to "future proof" ES.

Because Justin owns a e-bike parts company, selling ads for e-bike parts from other companies would be problematic. It would be the same with e-bike part reviews. However I see no problem with ads for stuff other than ebike parts. No need to put this up to a vote by the members either. Explain that it's necessary and just do it. Just keep the ads in a designated area off to the side so it's easy to ignore them. Start small to let the members get used to it.

An ES fund needs to be started with a clear and easy way to donate to it in a prominent place on the forum. Donations could be rewarded with a membership or contributor title granted to the donator. Recurring small monthly donations could also be encouraged. Bi-annual drives might be useful. These would be a good time to publish the fund's balance sheet too.

Set up an account with the Brave browser so readers can donate their "Rewards" to the forum.

I see no reason to tinker with the forum's basic structure. Just keep moving what AW calls "crap" threads to the basement where google isn't allowed and the threads eventually drop off. IMHO the moderation work here is just about right.

Even though my coding skills are nil, I'd be happy to help out any way I can.

Nick
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by goatman » May 27 2020 1:07am

put the ads down in toxic

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neptronix   100 GW

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » May 27 2020 6:28pm

I really don't want to see ads in this place or in ES 2.0. I'm against any arrangement where a company would sponsor the forum and feel like it then has the ability to nudge the content or moderation in any way. This place is for us. Justin has respected that and we are incredibly lucky that he has.

We can discuss such politics when the time comes to make a choice on how to handle funding. My vote is for something like patreon to be used. But there's a lot of other cool possibilities to fund a vibrant community, which allow us to continue to have the same thing we've always had.

Some people are going to hate the change from phpbb to our new platform, and fight it all the way. But there's 999x more people who won't use phpbb forums because they're so dated, than people who want to stick to their guns. So catering to the holdouts means the forum losing relevancy - which has been happening for quite a few years now. And that's my biggest concern.

PHPBB is basically dead. Here's the github code commit activity graph for phpbb that shows how often new code is added..
phpbb.png
..and here's the much better new platform we're waiting on the next release for:
2020-05-27 16_31_08-Contributors to vanilla_vanilla · GitHub - Brave.png

If ya think ya not getting paid enough to manage this forum? Get a different job. Sure we can find someone to replace you.
This comment really sticks in my craw. Everyone who runs ES works for free out of passion for the site. As your server administrator, i charge ES $0/hr to do the same work i charge $65-90/hr to other clients. We have moderators who have been here since the site's inception, still putting work in, and a vendor who foots the server bill and asks nothing in return. ES is a statistical outlier in how internet communities are ran, and we're in deep shit if we lose any of these people. And in no way is finding a replacement for *anyone* here easy.
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"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive." - Dalai Lama

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » May 27 2020 6:50pm

Side note, it appears that the next version of our proposed forum platform is a major version and will not be released as quick as i suspected.. however, at this time, i can compile a working copy of the beta/alpha stage code and possibly even perform a test migration..

When i get a moment, i'll start working on getting a test site set up.
"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive." - Dalai Lama

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by thender » May 27 2020 7:33pm

I completely understand and respect not wanting the place to become riddled with aggravating looking banner ads.

I'd be willing to pay for a non-intrusive sponsored spot as we have an electronics-ish company. Not even just so much for ROI, but because I have learned so much from reading through countless threads here, own a business myself, and understand just how precious communities that become knowledgebases like this are. I value being a repository for information and education in my field, and I value this place for educating me on matters where I used to be very clueless. I think good things are being done here and I'd be honored to have our name attached as part of why it still stays up.

I wonder how many others feel the same. I bet many do.

Maintaining anything requires hard work and effort - that you can't put in if it doesn't pay your mortgage/rent/food bill. I don't expect people to maintain treasures like this for free.

You might find the patreon route is better than taking business sponsors depending on the size of the active member base.

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neptronix   100 GW

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » May 27 2020 8:24pm

I'd certainly like a way for businesses that are useful/part of the community to be able to reach out in a non obtrusive way.
I'd like vendors to have clearly defined rules and places for them to primarily post as well. I think we don't do as good of a job as we can to support our members' business ventures. Sometimes these people are hated on for selling things, and that's not cool. There's networking opportunities that get missed as well. And being of similar mindsets, this is a very cool place to network.

We'll have to discuss that in another thread in another time - but i am personally open to more commercial activity if we can keep the commercial stuff and the DIY stuff a bit more separated than we do now to prevent collision, and flame wars, lol.

Thanks for pre-emptively pledging your support though. :)
"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive." - Dalai Lama

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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nicobie   10 MW

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by nicobie » May 28 2020 3:01pm

Thank you for the (new to me) info. This is welcome news and I'm glad to hear that progress is being made to make this joint more self sufficient.

While I brought up ads, I'm in agreement that they should be avoided if at all possible. But if the forum can't be user supported, we should keep the idea as a last option. I believe that starting and maintaining an ES fund will be necessary. This could get complicated as everybody will want to be involved with the spending decisions. Accounting rules will need to be established and some sort of financial statement will need to be published periodically. Somebody will need to act as a treasurer. (Fechter would be perfect). Setting all this up will be a pain but I'm sure with the help of some of our talented members it can be accomplished.

I completely agree with Neptronix that this old software needs to go. There is better stuff out there. For God's sake, we were using PHPBB on Napster!

So if we want to make some changes and try to make this place a bit more self sufficient, the first step is a plan of action. How about we start with defining our goals.

I'll start with:

New software that makes posting pics easier.
Setting up an ES fund
Setting up a way to fund the ES fund
Setting up a way to spend the ES fund and deciding what to spend it on.

But the very first thing is to ask the members to help out by volunteering their expertise.

I'm willing to do what I can and am willing to seed the new ES fund in order to get it started.

Nick
Take it easy... but take it. (Woody Guthrie)

my eTownie build thread: http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=23701
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by kiwifiat » May 28 2020 8:11pm

neptronix wrote:
Jan 09 2020 8:04pm
Oh you mean something that would resize images as they're being uploaded to make uploads easier.
Yeah that's a huge code change and future maintenance nightmare that i'm not willing to take on. It's a key reason we want to get away from phpbb. it's shocking that phpbb hasn't added some basic code to do this already.
Have you not tried this simple plugin that does exactly that?

https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=2445391

I'm with Amberwolf, not keen to see a change. I am quite happy with phpBB and it is used on other forums that I belong to where it does everything expected of it. Regarding work load I'm pretty sure larsb offered assistance, did anyone take him up?

A big thanks to all the volunteers who keep ES ticking along.
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by nicobie » May 28 2020 8:34pm

See, good ideas already!
Take it easy... but take it. (Woody Guthrie)

my eTownie build thread: http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=23701
Magazine article https://www.electricbike.com/nicks-etownie/

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » May 28 2020 10:01pm

kiwifiat wrote:
May 28 2020 8:11pm
Have you not tried this simple plugin that does exactly that?

https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=2445391
Ah, but that won't handle our ~40gb of past images, and will only solve 1 problem of many with uploads.
It's also abandoned, like most phpbb plugins are.. which is why over the years, we continue to lose features.
kiwifiat wrote:
May 28 2020 8:11pm
I'm with Amberwolf, not keen to see a change. I am quite happy with phpBB and it is used on other forums that I belong to where it does everything expected of it.
I understand it's hard to accept change, but we don't really have a choice. It's not fun for me either.
"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive." - Dalai Lama

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by Just_Ed » May 29 2020 1:05am

I'm just a newbie here, I know nothing about running a website so I can't offer much in the way of solutions. However, I've been a member of AtomicZombie.com since 2012. AZ has been around for over 20 years. The site is managed by just a husband and wife team. They/we 'just' went through this closing down and restarting. So I know what it is like to lose years' worth of text and photos of my projects. The loss of +/- 18 years of technical content, projects, sources, etc. from many many members is incalculable.

Here at ES there seems to be some disparity between the 'Forum Rules' and 'Content Categories'. Just a comparison of the categories vs the Forum Rules....well you can't have your cake and eat it too..so to speak. Contradictory at the least.

One thing I whole heartily agree with is the no politics, no religion, no debating, no bullying, or name-calling. In the 8 years I've been a member of the AZ forum, only once do I recall a member being barred. Why? Because the reason everyone is there is for DIY bike building and other DIY projects, nothing more, nothing less. I remember well the instances, and they were short-lived. I enjoy that website immensely, and have made, and met friends, as I have here. It is a place where one can feel relaxed and get and give advice about most anything, without being judged or having to endure the aforementioned prohibited subjects.

I enjoy this forum very much and have received invaluable help and I'm still learning. I'm sorry to say I've been a contributor to the 'toxic' category, in recent weeks. ONLY because it is allowed and easy to write it and post it. Unless ES has a goal of participating in political and religious content, then it should be left to websites that do. No place for it here.

https://atomiczombie.com/forum/threads/ ... ditions.4/

One thing AZ did was to cut down on many of the categories that did not meet certain usage.
If that has anything that relates to $$$$, I'm not sure.
Another thing is AZ no longer hosts the posting of photo's to the individual threads, as you do here.
That was a financial decision for them as well.
Photos of completed projects will be hosted by AZ. However, we have to use a third party photo host for our individual threads. That is risky as well. I've lost hundreds of photos that were contained in my build threads when Postimg.org went belly up. I'm using imgBB.com now.

Oh, one last thing. AZ was in a financial bind as well. AZ is like a family. They resisted instituting a 'donations' button. But after conferring with the members at large they included it. Many members responded immediately, and AZ is again receiving enough to keep the website bills paid. Just a thought as I didn't see one here for ES.

Ok, thanks for listening to this newbie's comments. I now return you to your previous program.
You are never to old,
----------- to set another goal,
--------------- or have a new dream.

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by marty » May 29 2020 10:13am

When Knightmb started this forum in 2006 there were no adds. We've been going this long with no funding. Whats the change now? Want more money? Welcome to the club. I have nothing against asking for contributions like Amberwolf does.

Curious? What type of server is required to run a forum like this? I have been playing with web sites since the beginning of the internet. Pay $14.99 a month to GoDaddy for Pro Reseller Plan.

Deluxe Linux Hosting with cPanel
1 Shared CPU
Up to 512MB Shared RAM
Unlimited Sites
Unlimited Shared Storage
Moderate Traffic

I be happy to donate server space. When it comes to figuring out why the internet is broke. Neptronix is about 1000 times better then me at this stuff.

When we had the Trevor episode. I made a phpBB forum. It was easy.
neptronix wrote:
May 28 2020 10:01pm
I understand it's hard to accept change, but we don't really have a choice. It's not fun for me either.
Reminds me of the surgeon who needs to do surgery's so he can make the payments on his boat. Happy to say that my wife is running great and we never did the surgery. Angioplasty in her neck after a stroke. She takes Aggrenox pills to keep the blood flowing.

This forum is perfect just the way it is. If its not broke PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, don't fix it.

Took a look over here:
https://www.phpbb.com/
THE #1 FREE, OPEN SOURCE BULLETIN BOARD SOFTWARE
They got a very active forum discussing phpBB forums.

Re:
It's not fun for me
Go do something that is fun. Sex, drugs, music, eat, ride a electric bicycle.
MARTY
Volt Electric Vehicles
http://www.voltev.com

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neptronix   100 GW

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » May 29 2020 2:38pm

marty wrote:
May 29 2020 10:13am
When Knightmb started this forum in 2006 there were no adds. We've been going this long with no funding. Whats the change now? Want more money? Welcome to the club. I have nothing against asking for contributions like Amberwolf does.
The forum always cost money + blood/sweat/tears/anguish to run. KnightMB ran this site on passion and on the side, as he ran a web hosting company and had spare capacity. It cost him plenty of money and he sold it to an investor to make his investment back. He wasn't concerned with the longevity of this community and what it means. Or perhaps he needed cash to defend himself in court from all the other interesting activities he was doing on the side..

I won't tell you what this site costs to run, but you're off by a digit on the monthly hosting bill. And a company pays that. And people work for free. And that's frankly, not a smart way to operate anything designed to last. And i want this to last forever, ideally.
marty wrote:
May 29 2020 10:13am
Reminds me of the surgeon who needs to do surgery's so he can make the payments on his boat. Happy to say that my wife is running great and we never did the surgery. Angioplasty in her neck after a stroke. She takes Aggrenox pills to keep the blood flowing.
It's more like the surgeon performs a major cosmetic procedure for free, and the patient complains endlessly that they look different, never expresses gratitude, but eventually notices that they go from dating 6's to 8's :lol:

The surgeon understands that the patient is irrational but will change their attitude, and gives them the facelift because they love them anyway, and know they'll eventually become grateful. :mrgreen:
"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive." - Dalai Lama

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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neptronix   100 GW

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » May 29 2020 2:53pm

Just_Ed wrote:
May 29 2020 1:05am
I'm just a newbie here, I know nothing about running a website so I can't offer much in the way of solutions. However, I've been a member of AtomicZombie.com since 2012. AZ has been around for over 20 years. The site is managed by just a husband and wife team. They/we 'just' went through this closing down and restarting. So I know what it is like to lose years' worth of text and photos of my projects. The loss of +/- 18 years of technical content, projects, sources, etc. from many many members is incalculable.
That's horrible to hear but a common thread for web forums becoming more complex over time to the point where average people who aren't linux geeks not being able to run them anymore. Things like SSL certs, mail validation, and other web 3.0 "red tape" have taken down a lot of the web ( thanks, google ) and lead to consolidation of discussion happening on places like reddit and facebook instead. These big sites having centralized control over discussion is extremely worrying to me and that is a big driver as to why i want to keep this place on the up and up and keep it relevant far into the future.

I like your feedback on the no politics rule and agree with it but a majority of the moderation team doesn't really agree we should disclude politics. However, political discussion has become a major part of what the forum is used for as a result and we end up paying for extra resources and expending a lot of moderation time because of politics, so it's to our downfall as a forum IMHO.
We'll have to make a decision on what to do about that in the future, and that's not an easy talk to have.
But I totally agree with you there.
Another thing is AZ no longer hosts the posting of photo's to the individual threads, as you do here.
That was a financial decision for them as well.
Photos of completed projects will be hosted by AZ. However, we have to use a third party photo host for our individual threads. That is risky as well. I've lost hundreds of photos that were contained in my build threads when Postimg.org went belly up. I'm using imgBB.com now.
That's actually the largest problem this forum has. The software does a very bad job of handling image uploads, which encourages users to use external sites. Therefore we've lost SHIT TONS of content over the years and there's absolutely no way to get any of that back. A forward thinking plan is to adopt a platform that makes image uploads very easy, and manages the size of these uploads as well as facebook's system does.

My backend image crunching tool performs the same types of expensive compressions that facebook, reddit, etc use to manage *their* hosting bills and the new platform will facilitate easier uploads. The new post editor also works more like Microsoft Word ( way easier to add/remove bold, italics, etc ) and doesn't require silly things like requiring you to cut up a Youtube URL etc when posting a video.
Oh, one last thing. AZ was in a financial bind as well. AZ is like a family. They resisted instituting a 'donations' button. But after conferring with the members at large they included it. Many members responded immediately, and AZ is again receiving enough to keep the website bills paid. Just a thought as I didn't see one here for ES.
See, that's an old altrustic mentality that no longer works in the new web. Running a website takes more time, resources and money now.. we can't expect everything to be free. Free things get neglected and disappear.
( i know this, i've ran dozens of free sites over the years on my own dime and let them lapse too. )

I want ES users to feel secure in knowing that what they contribute here will stick. That's why i want a solid foundation for this community that diversifies it's income and ensures there's always a way for it to survive as an independent entity.

ps - i love atomic zombie and if you know their leadership and they require some help with their infrastructure, let me know.
"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive." - Dalai Lama

My first major build: 1.6kW 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
The new all-arounder: Leafmotor 1500w @ 4kW on a Turner O2 full suspension.
The monster scooter: 20" eZee on a Cannondale Semi Recumbent.
Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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nicobie   10 MW

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by nicobie » May 29 2020 5:50pm

neptronix wrote:
May 29 2020 2:53pm
That's why i want a solid foundation for this community that diversifies it's income and ensures there's always a way for it to survive as an independent entity.
That is exactly what I was talking about.

Let me know when you're ready. I'd be proud to be the first to donate to the new ES Forever Fund.

There comes a time when a person needs to put their money where there mouth is. I think I cause enough trouble for the Mods that the least I can do is contribute to ES's continued survival. Maybe some of the other trouble makers in the basement might do the same. :wink: :wink: :wink:

Also, as soon as I can figure out how to get my picture files back from google photos (f-uped and deleted originals) I am going to re-populate the pics in my build threads and add new ones from some of the races Luke (LFP) and I went to. I think I will put them in the ES time line thread.

Nick
Take it easy... but take it. (Woody Guthrie)

my eTownie build thread: http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=23701
Magazine article https://www.electricbike.com/nicks-etownie/

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MJSfoto1956   10 kW

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by MJSfoto1956 » May 29 2020 6:31pm

nicobie wrote:
May 29 2020 5:50pm
Also, as soon as I can figure out how to get my picture files back from google photos (f-uped and deleted originals) I am going to re-populate the pics in my build threads and add new ones from some of the races Luke (LFP) and I went to. I think I will put them in the ES time line thread.
Have you tried the wayback machine? For example, here is what Endless Sphere looked like 2 years ago (note that functions like search don't work, you need the URL of the specific page you are looking for): https://web.archive.org/web/20180612162 ... om/forums/

Likewise, you "might" be able to see if wayback has indexed your old photos where you originally posted them.

M
Trump lied. People died. His supporters high-fived.

Слишком мало, слишком поздно

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amberwolf   100 GW

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by amberwolf » May 29 2020 6:50pm

The problem with trying to recover lost externally-linked files like that is that the archived version will have the same links the present version does, that points to the same no-longer-working (for whatever reason) file location.

If there is an archived version of the original file location itself, that still contains the file, then *that* allows file recovery...but this is rare, as most of those hosting sites aren't archived at all, and typically have a robots.txt or other file that prevents archival sites from doing their job.

If the lost file is just an ES-hosted file that was damaged, then there is a chance it could be on an archival site...but it is common for images to be missing on archived pages. :(

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Just_Ed   100 W

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by Just_Ed » May 29 2020 7:40pm

neptronix wrote:
May 29 2020 2:53pm
ps - i love atomic zombie and if you know their leadership and they require some help with their infrastructure, let me know.
Thank you for the offer. I 'think' they've got it under control for now. It's still going through some rebuild bugs, but generally, it's a working site.

A link for anyone not familiar with AtomicZombie.com
https://www.atomiczombie.com/about/

I've had the pleasure of getting to know them on a personal level. I will pass along your kind gesture, even if it only fosters communication. Brad Graham works in the IT world (programmer) and science-related fields. I'm sure you two would be able to talk, each other's language.
You are never to old,
----------- to set another goal,
--------------- or have a new dream.

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